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Backpacking Colombia – In Pictures

Happy Travellers

Colombia

 

A year ago we sent Kevin Rushby, one of the best Guardian travel writers, to Colombia. He produced some beautiful material, in particular the featured articles Colombia’s Lost City: lore of the jungle and Colombia is full of beans: coffee regions open for tourism. Those, combined with the improvement of Colombia’s image as a tourist destination, led this stunning country to becoming one of our best sellers. Since then, the question we have to answer the most is not ‘is Colombia a safe country for tourists?’, but ‘when is the best time to go…?’

The answer is always a big YES! And we’ve been very much enjoying handcrafting amazing journeys for our travellers, while fighting the misconceptions around drugs, violence and safety. Sometimes we also help friends, or friends of friends, to plan their journeys, by sharing our unique knowledge about cultural tourism and off-the-beaten-path experiences. And sometimes they are so glad with our help that they share their travel pictures with us, to say thank you, but also to help us in fighting misconceptions. Catherine is of those lucky friends of friends, and it’s better if you read about this Backpacking Colombia adventure in her words.

An incredible Colombia adventure – By Catherine

I travelled to spend one month this November in South America, stopping first in Argentina and then onwards to meet up with a good friend and travel buddy, Ciara. The whole continent was there for our choosing and it was Ciara who suggested Colombia. Having heard some great reports from those who ventured there and with some good advice from Felipe at Sumak Travel, we were keen to check it out.

Colonial architecture in La Candelaria, Bogota

Colonial architecture in La Candelaria, Bogota

We linked together up in Bogota and spent 14 brilliant, some intrepid but all fun-fuelled days journeying around Colombia. Taking flights for the longer jumps (great value and a time-saver), we took in many great places: Bogota, Salento, Tayrona National Park, Palomino, Cabo de la Vela, Santa Marta and finished on a high with Cartagena.

Bogota view from Moserrate

Bogota view from Moserrate

Top highlights were:

1. The absolute tranquility of Salento

Beautiful landscapes in Salento, Coffee Region

Beautiful landscapes in Salento, Coffee Region

 

Horseback riding in Valle de la Cocora, Coffee Region

Horseback riding in Valle de la Cocora, Coffee Region

 

2. The eerie remoteness of spiritual Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira Desert

Cabo de la Vela in La Guajira Desert

 

Wild horses in La Guajira desert, Colombia

Wild horses in La Guajira desert, Colombia

 

3. The utter vibrance of Cartagena!

Amazing night of rum and salsa in Cartagena

Amazing night of rum and salsa in Cartagena

Colombian people are wonderful, friendly and peace-loving. If want to make 10 days feel like 2 months, head to the north Caribbean coast where days cruise by at a snail’s pace and you slow yourself down to move to the local rhythm. Mixing some backpacker resorts, eco-lodges and nice locally-owned boutique hotels in the bigger towns gave our travels a nice mix of adventure and comfort. And did I mention unspoiled beaches?

Unspoiled beaches in La Guajira

Unspoiled beaches in La Guajira

 

Time standing still at Palomino - imagine South-east Asian beaches 20 years ago

Time standing still at Palomino – imagine South-east Asian beaches 20 years ago

I hope these photos will spark your imagination  – just go there and experience it all for yourself!

 Related posts:

 Backpacking South America – In Pictures (Part 1 of 2)