Hola! I have returned safely from Colombia after a fantastic 8-day visit to what might be my new favorite South American country (though Chile is definitely giving it a run for it’s money). As I mentioned in my pre-trip post, our quick jaunt would only cover a small portion of what Colombia had to offer, but with a good itinerary and a list of travel goals, we definitely made it count.
In my last article, I made a list of some of the top experiences I wanted to get out of my visits to Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. Want to see how I did? Check it out:
- Adjust to Bogota’s altitude while eating mangos and arepas at Plaza De Mercado De Paloquemao
- Watch the sunset over Bogota from atop Monserrate
- Bar hop through La Candelaria
- Dine on tamales and chocolate completo at Puerta Falsa
- Pretend like I have the Midas Touch at Museo del Oro
- Cruise La Macarena and experience Bogota’s foodie culture at Tabula
- Get my Colombian caffeine fix at Oma, Juan Valdez, and any local coffee stop I can find
Play tejo and blow stuff up!…because that’s the object of the game
- Scope out Fernando Botero sculptures in Medellin’s Plaza Botero
- Go clubbing in both Parque Lleras and Zona Rosa
- Find the best bandeja paisa, Colombia’s national dish
- Take a day trip to Guatape and climb La Piedra Del Peñol
- Step back into the 17th century while roaming Cartagena’s old walled city
- Spend a night in a hammock at Playa Blanca along Colombia’s Caribbean coast
Crash a party at Media Luna Hostel
- Take in one last sunset from Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
But that’s only what we were planning on in advance. See below for all of the unexpected adventures that popped up along the way…
- Take a personal, impromptu walking tour of the Chipanero neighborhood with See Colombia Travel, checking out hostels and independent coffee shops
- Ride the cable car up to Parque Arvi, a giant nature preserve right outside of the city
Get an adrenaline rush paragliding off of the mountains surrounding Medellin
- Come up with a backup plan because paragliding got rained out 🙁
- Backup Plan: Cheer on Atletico Nacional – Medellin’s oldest futbol club – to victory at Estadio Atanasio Girardot in the rain!
- Watch Game 5 of the World Series and sip on Colombian microbrews at an expat bar in El Poblado
- Haggle with the local island peddlers on Playa Blanca for a reasonably priced massage
- Finish my Christmas shopping early by taking advantage of authentic souvenirs throughout Cartagena
And that’s that! My first trip to Colombia is in the bag, but not without plenty of great experience to look back on. Sure, I didn’t get to do everything on my list, but you never do. Rather than rush everything or let a setback get you down, look for another experience to make up for it. Chances are it will be even more memorable than what you originally planned on, and it gives you something to look forward to when you return (never assume that you won’t have a chance to return!).
Until next time, happy travels!