Our first three stops in Colombia definitely lived up to the raving reviews that had been passed on from fellow travellers. The vibes are chilled, the landscapes diverse and the prices economical.
MEDELLÍN / A city with a painful past and a past that is so very recent. The Casa de la Memoria Musuem was created in 2006 in order to the understand the overcoming of the armed conflict and the diverse violence of Medellín, Antioquia and the country. A confronting welcome to the country, the violence is so recent that it really makes you appreciate the current feeling of safety, a true testament to the overwhelming transformation the city has undergone. Similarly, the Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour is a must if you’ve got time. The neighbourhood holds some powerful messages in its artworks and again reinforces it’s remarkable transformation.
Our friends Em and Zander met us here, a beautiful city to start our next month of adventures. With one of the best climates in South America (the eternal Spring), Medellin is a stunning spot to wander. Lots of restaurants, bars, clubs, rooftop views, boutique shopping, it’s a great spot to launch into a Colombian adventure and we very much enjoyed our time here.
SALENTO / Take a seven hour shuttle bus from Medellin and you’ll end up in the quaint coffee town of Salento. Lush landscapes of verde and cute buildings of a colonial era. The best things to do in Salento are drink coffee and hike through valleys of palm trees, a pretty cool destination if you ask me!
Our first full day in Salento consisted of a Jeep ride to the Cocora Valley and a five hour hike through the Los Nevadas National Park. A stop for lunch at the hummingbird sanctuary and then a stunning walk through the forest of palms. Definitely unlike any other scenery we had witnessed in our first six months of travel. Rolling green hills lined with spectacular wax palms. Shout out to Em, one of the biggest troopers I know. She hiked for hours in tricky terrain, all with a ruptured ACL, torn MCL and a huge as brace (photo evidence below). I take my hat off to her! She definitely deserved the glass of red wine overlooking the slopes of neighbouring coffee farms that capped off a cracking day.
The following morning we attended Don Eduardo’s famous coffee tour through his finca (farm). Quite the character, Don also known as Tim, shared insights into the coffee making process. From seed to cuppa, there are many steps involved. The morning finished with some delicious Colombian coffee, grown directly on the farm and roasted in a copper wok and wooden spoon. The chicos spent the afternoon playing taha, a traditional Colombian sport involving gun powder, metal plates and beers. The chicas sipped on almond milk coffees and enjoyed the Salento charm.
GUATAPE / Two hours from Medellin the colourful town of Guatape pops out at you. A rainbow town, with delightful colonial style buildings. Most people come to Guatape for The Rock ‘El Peñón de Guatapé’, a short but steep climb to appreciate the spectacular views below. You don’t need too long in Guatape but we really enjoyed our overnight stay in the colourful oasis.
Much love, Laura and our amigos (Em and Zandy) xx