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Caño Cristales – The Newest Destination In Colombia?

A Game Of Colors

Caño Cristales, Parque Nacional Natural Sierra de la Macarena, Colombia

Caño Cristales, Parque Nacional Natural Sierra de la Macarena, Colombia

Caño Cristales (in English: “Crystal Spout”), in the Parque Nacional Natural Sierra de la Macarena, is situated approx. 350 kilometers Southeast of Bogota. The river is also called the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow” (yes, Colombians even call it “the most beautiful river in the world”). Why? From July to November, the riverbed is colored yellow, green, blue, black, and especially red, due to the “Macarenia Clavigera”, a reddish endemic algae that flourishes especially in the rapids of the river. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Colombia

South America’s Most Diverse Country?

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In summer 2009, I spent 7 weeks in Colombia and discovered Salento & the Zona Cafetera; Popayan, San Agustin, Tierradentro & the Desierto de Tatacoa; Bogota; Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara & Bucaramanga; Medellin (during the Feria de las Flores); Santa Marta, Taganga & Tayrona National Park; Rioacha & La Guajira (up to Punta Gallinas) and last but not least Cartagena de Indias. Continue Reading →

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Colombia – A Selection Of 93 Pictures

Templo la Immaculada y San Lorenzo, Barichara, Santander

Templo la Immaculada y San Lorenzo, Barichara, Santander, Colombia

In summer 2009, I spent 7 weeks in Colombia and discovered Salento & the Zona Cafetera; Popayan, San Agustin, Tierradentro & the Desierto de Tatacoa; Bogota; Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara & Bucaramanga; Medellin (during the Feria de las Flores); Santa Marta, Taganga & Tayrona National Park; Rioacha & La Guajira (up to Punta Gallinas) and last but not least Cartagena de Indias.

In summer 2016, I also traveled 7 weeks there and visited Villa de Leyva, Monguí, Barichara & San Gil; Riohacha & La Guajira (up to Punta Gallinas); Medellin (during the Feria de las Flores); Jardín, Salento & the Zona Cafetera; El Chocó (Bahia Solano); Bogota; Caño Cristales; Popayan & San Agustin; and last but not least Cartagena de Indias.

Here you find a selection of 78 Pictures of Colombia… Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Colombia

Cheap To Travel, But Not Everywhere!

View of the Café del Mar, on the City Walls, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

View of the Café del Mar, on the City Walls, Cartagena de Indias

Type Of Travel

My two visits to Colombia were quite different: in summer 2009, shortly after my first Round The World Trip, I was traveling on a (tight) budget. In 2016, I was back for 7 weeks to Colombia, and was actually “Flashpacking”: sleeping in nicer hostels or even some more upscale guesthouses, indulging quite a few activities and local tours, partly flying instead of long bus drives and also going to areas Off The Beaten Track like La Guajira (actually no longer a well kept secret), El Chocó (Pacific Coast) and especially Caño Cristales, which turned out to be very expensive… Continue Reading →

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Cartagena De Indias – The Most Popular Colonial City?

Cartagena de Indias – The Walled City

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

The Old Town of Cartagena de Indias is a maze of beautifully restored colonial houses, churches, plazas or convents, most of which have been recently turned into boutique or luxury hotels. A characteristic of these colonial houses is an overhanging wooden balcony covered by a tiled roof and one or more shady patios inside. Continue Reading →

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Medellin – How To Enjoy the Desfile de Silleteros?

La Feria De Las Flores & the Desfile de Silleteros – Do Not Underestimate Planning!

Desfile de Silleteros, La Feria De Las Flores, 59th Edition in 2016, Medellin, Colombia

One of 300+ Silletas, Desfile de Silleteros, 59th Edition of La Feria De Las Flores

This is the second time I experience the “Feria de las Flores” in Medellin, and I encountered mostly the same challenges in 2016 as in 2009… Except maybe that the increasing popularity of this festival makes it now even more important to carefully plan your visit than it was 7 years ago… Continue Reading →

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Popayan, San Agustin, Tierradentro – Colombia’s Ignored South

ColombiaSouth-101

Iglesia La Ermita, Popayan, la “Ciudad Blanca” or the “White City”

Though slightly more popular than it was 7 years ago, the South of Colombia still remains Off The Beaten Track, with mostly Colombian visitors. This is of course easy to understand considering the difficulty to reach this part of Colombia in the first place, though things have improved recently.

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Salento – The Touristic Heart Of The Zona Cafetera

Wax-Palm Trees in the Valle de Cocora, Salento, Zona Cafetera, Colombia

Wax-Palm Trees in the Valle de Cocora

Salento has changed A LOT since my last visit in 2009… The once quiet village that young backpacker would flee on weekends because it was too quiet now seems to be on everyone’s itinerary in Colombia… Nonetheless, this small Pueblo has kept its laidback and relaxing charm, and is a good introduction to the Zona Cafetera, especially if you have little time at hand!

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Bogota – La Capital

Catedrl Primada, Plaza de Bolivar, Bogota, Colombia

Catedral Primada, Plaza de Bolivar

Bogota is a city that is hard to grasp at first sight: widespread, congested with heavy traffic, harboring a number of very diverse districts but no real “City Center”, with neighborhoods changing within a few blocks from posh districts to very poor, probably unsafe neighborhoods. Add to this high altitude (2.625 meters) and a very unstable, quickly changing weather with chilly nights, and you understand why it is not easy to really enjoy Bogota if you only have a few days at hand… To make matter worse, I am not found of large cities, when I travel, period! Continue Reading →

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