If Colombia than Carribean coast!

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

Favourite Spot:

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!

Rio de Janeiro

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This gallery contains 15 photos.

Unfortunately Brasil wasn’t on my list of things to see on this trip. The whole plan was to get a bus from Iguazu Falls to Rio de Janeiro, spent few days at the beach and depart home. After being here … Continue reading

San Telmo

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Buenos Aires did not charm me. Just another big, and in this case huge, south american city with very rich and beautiful and extremely poor and ugly areas. But I must admit there are some parts of the city, that … Continue reading

Gaucho and Yerba Mate

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If you have been to Argentina, Paraguay or Uruguay you must have heard of yerba mate. It is typical for this region beverage, prepared by steeping dry leaves of mate plant in hot (but not boiling) water. It is very common to drink it with friends from shared, special cup (in spanish called mate) through metal straw (bombilla). To those who are not used to it, yerba mate might have very bitter taste. Also by now I have already learned that argentines are very sensitive with the whole ritual of drinking it. You certainly should not play and move around the straw, because it stirs the mate too much and causes the straw to clog. I’ve done it once and been told off by a loca personl!

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet up with the real argentine gaucho (south american cowboy) and drink the best yerba mate I had so far, prepared by him. Mayo (named after the month May he was born in) spends his life here in Patagonia on taking care of one of the estancias and animals living on it. I was very impressed by his way of living, especially when he showed me the skin of puma that he killed the night before in order to protect the other animals. Even though it was very difficult at times to understand him, due to the very strong patagonian accent that he has, I had a great time talking and listening to him and promised to give him one of the photos that I took during the visit.

El Chaltén

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If there is a perfect time for me to photograph mountains it would be in the morning light. Few days ago I went on a trek to Laguna de Los Tres near the town of El Chaltén in the northern part … Continue reading

Perito Moreno Glacier

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Almost 300 square km of snow and ice, up to 70 meters high, and still Perito Moreno is not the biggest glacier in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Viedma Glacier, which is very hard to reach is over … Continue reading

Lago Argentino

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I just got to El Calafate, a litle town located in the southern argentine Patagonia, have by now only seen Lake Argentino from a viewpoint and I am already in love with this place. Because of my very small budget … Continue reading

El Bolsón

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Last few days I spent in El Bolsón, in the southern lake District of Argentina, doing…absolutely nothing:) Nothing as far as the touristy things go. I used the time mostly for sorting out my photos and finding out the best way to get to southern Argentina. Both sorted. Tomorrow I am leaving for el Calafate to see the Perito Moreno glacier which was from the start on the top of my ‘to do’ list!

Below few pics of the town.