Colombia

no drugs, no war, just coffee

Soaring Andean summits, the Caribbean coast, enigmatic jungle statues and cobbled colonial communities. Colombia has it all and we saw just a fraction of it.

Colombia is a country coming out of a long period of fighting, drug wars, Government corruption and an all out crime rate that Hollywood thrived on. Today however, the security situation has improved dramatically, helping Colombians recover their regular lives and for the country to get back some normality.

Surprisingly, on the whole, we have felt very safe here too. The military has a strong presence still but they are keeping the roads open and the streets safe.  You see the solders all along the roads and when the buses go past, they give a thumbs up

. This is more to show they are there and looking after you than anything else but it does give you a sense of being protected.  As long as you take care – probably more care because of the country’s reputation, there is no reason why you cannot have a fabulous time in Colombia. But let’s face it, crime happens everywhere and it’s the minority not the majority of people who orchestrate it.

Time to slow down

Enigmatic Statues

It is very very hot here!

So how dangerous is it here???

Halloween in coffee country

Is it still ‘The most dangerous city in the world’

Cartagena – stepping back in time

The map above is from the Foreign Office website and provide a advice about which are the safe areas to travel, green is safe, orange comes with warnings.

We loved ~  The people and the mountains

We didn’t like ~ the food – sorry Colombians but your food is awful

The people ~ Colombians are lovely warm, friendly people and they want us here. They want the tourists to come and they go all out to make you feel welcome. With tourists comes the feeling that the past is behind them and that the future is brighter. The Colombian people ensure you leave with a different impression than the one you landed with. Their warmth and friendliness got us when we landed and has just proved itself every day. Many times we were greeted with genuine smiles and a “welcome to Colombia”.

Food ~ Awful! So much meat, tough leathery meat according to Bryan. The traditional Colombian food is not nice and consists of one dish. Its the same everywhere. Hopefully with more tourists will come more international flavours and more international restaurants. The only local food that we have come close to liking is pandebono bread (cheese bread). Thank goodness for the Italians though, without them Jody would have starved!

Transport ~ Buses and coaches only. The rail road was abandoned and left unmaintained years ago. Buses on the whole are ok though.

Miles travelled ~ Cartagena – Ecuador –  2,200 miles

They drive on ~ the right

Currency ~Colombian Pesos
£1 = COP $ 4,655.73


Things which will remind us of Colombia ~ graffiti, eggs, colourful bags, fat statues, rain

Would we recommend it?  Yes definitely. But not to everyone!

Places we stayed, cost per night and our Star Rating

Hotel San Filipe – Cartagena – COP 105,000  -2*

Hotel Casa Catalina Real – Cartagena – COP 100,000. – 4*

Palm Tree Backpackers Hostel – Medellin COP 70,000 1*

Hotel Castellano – Armenia  COP 63,000 2*

The Plantation – Salento COP 75,000 4*

Fatima H.I. Hostel – Bogota COP 70,000 3*

Explora Hostel – Bogota COP 65,000 3*

Hotel Continental – Neiva COP 45,000 -1*

Donna Lilliana – Villaveija COP 40,000 1*

Hostel San Agustin – San Agustin COP 40,000 1*

Casa Pampa – San Agustin COP 100,000 4*

Trail Hostel – Popayan COP 52,000 3*

Hotel Le Parque – Pasto COP 55,000 3*

Bryan

  •    Wiltshire, England

  •    Tel: +44 117 2 302030

  •    Mail: b_avery@yahoo.com

         

Jody

  •    Wiltshire, England

  •    Tel: +44 117 2 302030

    

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