Colombia 2019

Colombia 2019

The plan was to meet up with some friends from Lima in Cartagena and then celebrate a birthday on some nearby island. That's about as much planning as I put into this part of the trip. Which is to say, my plan was to show up and be told what to do. Then we'd hit up some mountains. And, finally, finish off our trip in Bogota. When it came to planning for these latter two segments I made more of an effort. Still minimal. But effort.

The Flight
A horrible storm blew through Atlanta right before our flight. So, we were wildly delayed and stuck at the airport. Fortunately, we had good seats in the lounge and I served my patriotic duty by having three or four Jack and Cokes. I'm told the flight was short and uneventful.


Arriving in Cartagena
I was warned that Cartagena was hot. But nobody told me it was the kind of heat that makes you question the meaning of life.

Highly recommended Restaurant in the walled city.

Cafe Havana
Great live music in the nearby Getsemani neighborhood Great live music and dancing and incredible air conditioning

San Pedro Hotel Spa
I was warned that Cartag

Cerro de la Popa
Great live music an convent, cloister and chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de la Popa are located at the top of Mount la Popa, also called Convento de Santa Cruz de la Popa. religious complex dates back to 1607 tip: hire an uber todrive you up the hill and wait, you don't need more than 30 minutes up there to look around and enjoy the best viewpoint of Cartagena.

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
castle was built in 1536 and is located on the Hill of San Lázaro in a strategic location, dominating approaches to the city by land or sea. It was originally known as the Castillo de San Lázaro. It was built by African slave labor under Spanish supervision during the colonial era. ... meh

Sunday Softball
Saw from the castle, at the end of a park along Avenida Pedro de Heredia. They play every Sunday here and had DJ music and grilled food. Baseball is more popular in this part of Colombia than soccer.

La Cocina de Pepina
best meal we had in Cartagena. See video for what we ate, never been so sweaty and hot in my life, but I still don't think that facrored into it.

About the Doors and Buildings
Write something here

Calle Angosto (Calle 27)
One of the particularly pretty streets in Getsemani

Puerta del Reloj
One of the particularly he main city gate of the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia and the original entrance of the fortified city. It is located between the squares Plaza de Independencia and Plaza de los Coches. The name "Puerta del Reloj" responds to the clock with which it was crowned at the beginning of the 18th century

Cebiches & Seviches
Stopped to cool off and have another ceviche.

Café del Mar
Super touristy spot to watch sunset, good view but just a total tourist trap

La Vitrola
Wanted to eat here but requires pants. Story of my life.

Doesn't require pants ... or a refined palate.


Cartagena > Isla Múcura
Two-hour boat ride from the mainland to the island.

Hotel Punta Faro
The resort where we met friends from Peru

Stefano's Bistro
Uber'd from the boat dock for one last meal in Cartagena before our flight to the mountains. Stumbled into this cozy little place where I tried Colombia's national drink, Aguardiente. Even though it's called "fire water" it's really not that strong. The TV on the wall had news showing us that there was flooding and landslides where we were going. So, we would just have to wait and see how it all worked out. Until then, more beer and ceviche.

Avianca #9789
First we had to go from Cartagena to Bogota. Its a short flight.

Avianca #9417
Then it was Bogota to Pereira.


This is is a department of Colombia. It is in the western central region of the country, crossed by the Andes mountains. Its capital is Armenia. It is famous for the quality of the coffee plantations, colorful architecture, benign weather, variety of hotel accommodations and tourist landmarks. This department is located in a strategic area,The drive from Pereira to Salento normally takes 1 hour but because of mudlside traffic was closer to 2 hours.

La Herreria
Had dinner here. I have video of my entree being serverd, and my response was, "Holy crap!" Remember it being good, but is now permanently closed.

El Mirador del Cocora
Arrived at night and didn't really appreciate the natural surrounding beauty until morning also had a amazing coffee

About the town where we stayed

Valle de Cocora
Grabbed the 8:30am Willie to the trail. Costs about $4 roundtrip for both of us total to the Valley Valle de Cocora. Long lines, early is popular, but enough Willie's to go around. They packed about 13 of us into the Willie, some literally hanging on in the back. We did the three-hour hike. Amazing. Like out of Jurassic Park. Wax palms - tallest in the world. and

Donde Juan B
Resstaurant at the trail head. Not sure if there is a Donde Juan A, but the B was nice enough. Although I was tricked into eating a blended trout head soup, made with bones and veggies. It's known for its good trout, and the soup wasn't bad, but I got grossed out upon learning what I ate.

Back to Solento
We rode on the back just because, and it was joyous!

Off to Filandia
Purchased Willie return tickets in the same plaza in Salento to go to Filandia. Packing a lot into one day, but totally do-able. It's about a 40-minute ride. Similar to Salento - a very laid-backm colorful snall town with really good food.

Claudia Cafe Bar
Great little coffee shop right in the main square.

Mirador Colina Iluminada
Just a short walk from the town center. Once there, it's 110 steps to the top. I counted. And the view is lovely. It's 27-meters-high which is abotu 88 feet. or

Viejo Rincon
Stumbled on this cozy little cafe where people were playing carom billiards. Stopped to watch for a bit. If I lived here this is definitely where I'd just hang out.

Calle del Tiempo Detenido
The Street Where Time Stopped we walked here to the town's other popular scenic lookout and also found an ATL United sticker along the way!

Mirador del Tiempo Detenido
Time Stopped Viewpoint is at the end of the street. Great for a beer and look.

Helena Adentro
Unquestionably the best meal of the entire trip Spacious and funky. We also tried some amazing rum that we ended up buying before going home to Atlanta.

Las Acacias Coffee Farm
Took us about an hour to walk there from our hotel, but we were accompanied by a friendly dog for most of the way. So, all in all, it was pleasant. This is just one of the many nearby coffee farms. I forget how or why we chose it, but it was a nice enough experience.

Willy back into Salento
Didn't feel like doing another hour of walking. And I also love the Willys! We had a couple more hours to kill in town so we spent some time taking in the colorful sights and local dogs. There is another mirador we could've seen in this town, but I was pretty mirador'd out by this point. I'm sure it was nice, though.

Camino Real
Last meal in Salento before heading off to Bogota. Burgers and beers.

Drive to Armenia
Flew out of a different airport. The ride was about one hour to get there.

Avianca #8436
It's a short flight back to Bogota. Then we took a moderately long taxi to our friends' apartment in the city.

:: BOGOTA ::

Started our morning with some homemade arepas. They were out of this world. I don't deserve friends like this.

Our plan was to visit this hill on the edge of town which is supposed to offer some incredible views. Walking it is free and takes an hour. There is also a cable car. But it's mega touristy and was a bit too crowded for my taste. And just entering was going to take too long. So we decided to skip it. There were other things we wanted to do, and waiting in line wasn't one of them. and

La Candelaria
Hopped in a cab and drove over to this vibrant historic district of Bogota. Great for just walking around, people watching, and taking in the heart of the city.

Museo Botero
One of the highlights of the trip, this free museum dedicated to the unmistakable works of Fernando Botero is an absolute not-miss. Especially if you like big butts. And you cannot lie.

Andres D.C.
Back in the central part of the city we stopped at this amazingly charming, colorful, and popular restaurant for empanadas and beer.

Walk to Usaquen Neighborhood
It takes about ___ minutes to walk from the restaurant to the colonial quarter of the city.

Rock and Roll Circus
This was the only place where we could find seats to sit down and watch the Copa America match between Colombia and Argentina. Colombia would win 2-0.

80 Sillas
Final dinner in town before our early flight out the next morning.

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