Colombia is one of the most outstanding places on earth. Its people are kind, generous, warm, and friendly and being that it is the second most biodiverse country in the world, it is geographically awesome. For me, Colombia is fighting hard with India for first place as the most phenomenal country ever.
Let’s take a quick trip together to seven of Colombia’s best spots.
1. Bogotá: Cundinamarca
Bogota is a thriving city, filled to the brim with fascinating places to explore. Take a cable car up Mount Monserrate and if your vision isn’t obfuscated by clouds (mine was), absorb the dramatic landscape that cushions Colombia’s capital.
2. Medellin: Antioquia
Medellin was once Colombia’s most dangerous city, and home to the most infamous cartel leader in the world, Pablo Escobar. Now, it’s still laden with contradictions, with a gaping chasm between the rich and poor, but is rapidly changing for the better. This small city in the mountains is in the state of Antioquia, and is home to the Paisas, who are some of the kindest, most generous, warmest people on the planet.
3. Baru Island and Cartagena: Bolivar
Playa Blanca on Baru Island is basic beyond belief. There’s no running water, or electricity and is perfect in every way. The warm waves calm and wash away all negativity. Cartagena is aesthetically wonderful, but it seems like slavery never ended there, just took on new forms. The old colonial town bedazzles the eye, but oozes with isolation, poverty pushed into the rubbish-filled outskirts. For those reasons, my heart and soul wept in this historically-rich city.
4. La Cuidad Perdida: Sierra Nevada
La Cuidad Perdida (Spanish for The Lost City) is an ancient city in the Sierra Nevada. It took 3 days to trek through the jungle, mountains, blaring sun and regular rainbows to this awesome archeological site. A leader from the Kogi tribe answered loads of our questions, and implored that we stop destroying the planet, as it’s our collective home.
5. San Gil: Santander
I met a Colombian couple in the jungle who sung the state of Santander’s praises, so after the trek, I headed there on an overnight bus. Fate placed me with Justin, Andrea and their family in the woods. Their community welcomed me with wide-open arms and hearts, and Lucho the dog became my homie. My life forever changed and flourished from the temazcals and ayuashka ceremonies that further opened my soul to the potentiality of people to be good.
6. The Amazon: Amazonas
On the plane from Bogota to Leticia, I met a woman who worked for the Colombian government. We immediately became friends, and she organised a room for me at her basic and quiet hotel. We attended a tribal gathering of indigenous peoples from Brasil, Peru and Colombia, and discussed politics over fresh fish and salad.
7. The people
I have Colombian people to thank for reconnecting me with the beauty of humanity, which is no small thing! My academic background had almost wiped out any hope I had left. The warmth, smiles, intrigue and generous hearts made me feel welcome, and loved. I have two families there now, and for that I am eternally grateful.