Colombia is much more than Pablo Escobar, drugs and danger. Unfortunately, only about those negative associations I have heard before my trip. The image that most people have in their mind when they hear "Colombia" is far from fairytale. But was is it really like? I'm sure it's different when you live there, it's different when you study there and it's different when you stay there just few weeks. My experience and impression is this - Colombia is a country of colors, beautiful nature and amazingly hospitable people. I just wouldn't have been able to imagine this place better!
I have listed few places where charm, magic and relaxation float in the air.
Minca - an oasis of tranquility
Bird watching, trekking around the hills, swimming in the waterfalls are the main attractions of this place. This small village is hidden in the bushes, 20 kilometers from the Carribean Sea. The coast has many other beautiful spots, but after a quick look in the guidebook I knew I wanted to spend a few days in Minca. What made me so excited about this place? I don't have rational reason. I felt this place was what I was looking for - full of nature, magic and exotic sites. Minca also seemed to be rarely visited... And for me it was a great advantage ;) Additionally, the hostel (Casa Loma), which I chose greatly influenced my unforgettable experience from this location. In Minca I had my first South American nap in a hammock! :D I went offline there and just enjoyed wonderful views. This place may not seem like something very special but putting all those small things together made it really amazing experience. Here is a photo of my bed in a hostel house. With this landscape I have fulfilled my great dream of waking up with breathtaking views. The views that I have been seeing for many years mainly on the pictures...
Salento - coffee lovers' dreamland
The second place of Colombia that have stolen my heart was Salento. This small and colorfull city is located... amongs coffee fields! <3 Visiting one of the small and organic plantations alows you see the whole process: from seed to cup of coffee :) While visiting Salento you really need to go to
"Valle de Cocora" - the valley with the highest palm trees in the world. The views there are absolutely breathtaking! And there is adventurous and funny part as well - a very muddy trail around the place ;). I'm especially in love with this part of Colombia <3
San Agustin - place of mysterious sculptures
This city was my last stop in Colombia. San Agustin lies in the south of the country and it is on a less traveled "outbound" route to Ecuador. It attracts mainly archeology lovers. In here you can take a walk and see interesting volcanic rock sculptures. The meaning of this rock discoveries still stay a matter of discussion and the archeological park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And San Agustin for me was another opportunity to relax in nature ;). Somehow I know how to find such peaceful places. My intuition was right again ;). The hostel with beautiful garden and full of flowers was a beautiful base for a few walks around the area. I could also enjoy a horse riding through the forests and fields :). The danger of such cozy places to sleep is that you don't feel like leaving them, you don't feel like doing anything else but chillout. Let's make something clear in here... when you travel so many weeks you deserve to rest! ;D
During my travel I have met many travellers that have started exploring South America in Colombia. And many of them have stayed in Colombia instead of going some place else. So maybe, just maybe, this place is not so dangerous like many people think? ;) For me Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries I have visited so far. And I want to go back there one day.
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