A Travellerspoint blog

Viva-Colombia

sunny 33 °C

In the past few weeks we have probably seen more of the country than most Colombians.
We’ve visited the biggest cities, many of the authentic colonial towns, the Caribbean coast, and, especially, we have driven many hundreds of kilometres through the Andes…
Driving in the high mountains is not for the fainthearted anywhere in the world, but it is the only way to get off the tourist track to experience the true beauty of Colombia...
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The country’s serpentine highways are bedevilled by legions of slow moving trucks and daredevil bus drivers, but our little car served us well even on the steepest of Andian tracks…
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Colombia gets a bad rap in the Western media because of its violent past, but that’s not the country or the people that we encountered today. Colombians are working hard to keep their streets free of crime and garbage and it is certainly one of the cleanest countries we’ve visited. Nowhere is perfect, but the streets and enormous central plazas of Colombia’s touristy towns are always picture ready for when the tour busses turn up. This is the central plaza in Villa de Leyva – one of the largest plazas in South America…
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Everyone plays their part in keeping Colombia clean and we were astounded in the bustling city of Medellin when a cop chastised a young woman for doing her nails in a cable car and dropping the clippings on the floor. Colombia is in most respects a thoroughly advanced country with modern factories and homes. The Colombians are well-educated sophisticated people and thanks to our Spanish teachers at home and in Cuba we had no trouble communicating with them. Aside from the friendly people we will have many wonderful memories of Colombia, including the profusion of exotic flowers…
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…the many colourful birds that were so often impossible to catch on camera…
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…the numerous historic buildings…
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...the wild animals...
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....the colourful creole women
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…and the somewhat weird works of Botero…
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As we have found in so many countries – the facts on the ground do not bear out the stereotypes. There are places in Colombia, we are told, where it would be inadvisable to travel, but we encountered no problems whatsoever. So, to rephrase the Colombian Tourist Board’s motto, “When you visit Colombia, the only danger is that you may never want to leave.”

But we have our tickets and so must say, “Adios Colombia”. Next stop – Quito, Ecuador – where the Andes reach even greater heights.

Posted by Hawkson 16:46 Archived in Colombia

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Comments

Columbia looks more beautiful than I imagined. Thank you for challenging the stereotypes.

by The Vickerage

You are certainly educating me. A complete about-face for sure. Gorgeous settings. The photo of the Creole woman--dazzling!
BTW-Is that a real road your little car is on? Can't imagine a bus sharing that with you.

by R and B

Well, you have certainly convinced me to go back; I was there briefly many years ago. You should share your blog with the Columbia Tourism, they would want you to write for them full time..

Thanks for the great pictures and insights.
G

by gottfried

Colombia certainly looks beautiful and peaceful and it's great that your Spanish studies are paying off. I notice the tourism board is working hard in London to promote it.
I'm off to Morocco soon so will catch up with your blog when I'm back at end of March.
Hasta la vista!

by Heather M-T

Lovely bird. Had a Northern Flicker banging on my roof to attract a mate this morning. I would happily trade him for the nifty blue Columbian counterpart. If he came with his Creole handler that would be great.

Looking forward to the next country.

by Tom

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