Colombia was my first country I visited during the trip across South America. That’s when it started to really dawn on me, that I am thousands kilometers away from home, pretty much on my own and that I had the greatest adventure of my life ahead of me.
My travel itinerary in Colombia (see map below)
Altogether I spent 6 weeks in Colombia (one of them, stranded to a hostel bed because of some crazy tropical fever). My travel budget was around 35 dollars a day, including everything. Below the list of the bus trips I made.
- Bogota – San Gil: 7 h bus ride
- San Gil – Santa Marta + Taganga: 13 h
- Santa Marta – Tayrona National Park: 1,5 h + 3 amazing hours hiking through the rain forest (highly recommended)
- Santa Marta – Cartagena around 5 h
- Cartagena – Medellin: 14 h (expensive bus – around $55)
- Medellin – Guatape – Medellin: 2 h each way
- Medellin – Salento: 8 h (change in Armenia)
- Salento – Popayan
- Popayan – Quito (Ecuador): around 15 hours including border crossing
I don’t have to think about it too much. It was definitely Tayrona National Park. 3 days sleeping on a hammock, away from civilization. Beach, sand, swimming. What else can you ask for?
Least Favourite Spot:
Call me crazy, but I would have to say Medellin. I really didn’t get all that fuss other travelers were making about it (supposed to be great for partying, but if you are coming from Berlin then…oh well). But as always this is just my personal opinion.
Tips and Recommendations:
- If you are going to Tayrona NP, don’t forget your student ID (If you have one). Thanks to mine I paid 7000 pesos instead of 35000 to get in.
- A lot of guide books said travelling on the night buses is dangerous. My choice was usually night bus and I never had problems. Take a blanket though. AC is definitely overused sometimes.
- Food: you should definitely try Patacones and Arepas…delicioso!
- Hostel ‘La Brisa Loca’ in Santa Marta. It was my favourite hostel in Colombia (except the hammock in Tayrona NP, but this doesn’t count). Great atmosphere and awesome rooftop terrace!
- If you are in Colombia during the rainy season (as I was) be prepared for bus cancellations on certain routes an try to check in advance to avoid dissapointments. My trip to Quito was delayed by one day because of some nasty landslide. My friend missed his flight to Galapagos because of another!
- Expect to hear latin music all the time…everywhere, and after a while the songs all sound the same. Let me tell you, after 6 weeks in Colombia I could not listen to one more latin song. Right now I would love to hear that drumming on the streets again!