Colombia is a country in South America and located at the Pacific Ocean.

Impressions of my Vlog

Santuario de Las Lajas (Ipiales)

Santuario de Las Lajas is a basilica that reminded me of a castle. We visited it after crossing the border from Ecuador and stayed in Ipiales.

San Agustín

The municipality of San Agustín has around 500 statues in front of graves and no one knows why they are there. We explored the remote excavation sites with horses and saw the only two colorful statues that were the most beautiful of all.

Cali

Cali is the city of salsa and we stayed at Viajero Hostel with free salsa hours.

Salento

The municipality of Salento is known for growing coffee. As an enthusiastic fan of black gold, it should not be missing on the route. We harvested coffee beans on an organic coffee and removed the husk. The beans were then dried and roasted. Also worth seeing at Salento is the Cocora Valley with the tallest palm trees in the world at almost 60 meters.

Medellín

The city of Medellín was one of the most dangerous cities in the world 20 years ago. Nowadays, neighborhoods like Comuna 13 with its many beautiful graffiti are overrun by tourists. During a day trip we were in the colorful city of Guatapé. From a huge rock after more than 600 steps appeared a painted landscape with many lakes in front.

Santa Marta

The city Santa Marta lies on the Caribbean Sea and the city center didn’t offer much. We spent Christmas here, for the first time in my life not in cold Germany.

Cartagena

The port city of Cartagena is located on the Caribbean Sea and is considered one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the world. The old town consists of colorful colonial houses and the city wall is accessible. The fortress Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas has an interesting history and served as a strategic defense. During a day trip we were on several islands and at the very crowded beach Playa Blanca.

Travel Tips

Planning

  • I traveled to Colombia on my world trip through Latin America:
    • 1. Taxi from the Ecuadorian border to Ipiales. On the same day, a trip to Santuario de Las Lajas.
    • 2. Bus from Ipiales to Popayán. We didn’t go to San Agustín on the same day to avoid night buses in southern Colombia.
    • 3. Bus from Popayán to San Agustín.
    • 4. Buses from San Agustín to Cali via Popayán.
    • 5. Buses from Cali to Salento via Armenia.
    • 6. Night bus from Salento to Medellín.
    • 7. Night bus from Medellín to Santa Marta.
    • 8. Bus from Santa Marta to Cartagena.
    • 9. Flight from Cartagena to Panama City.
  • I used for my planning and can recommend the Lonely Planet for South America.

Transport

  • Arrival from Ecuador
    • Direct buses from Ecuador to Colombia are only available from Quito.
    • We were in Otavalo and made the border crossing on our own, which was not difficult:
      • Bus from Otavalo to Tulcán.
      • Taxi from Tulcán to the border of Ecuador.
      • We enter Colombia and took a taxi from the border to Ipiales. From Ipiales are buses to major cities like Cali and Bogotá.
  • Arrival from/to Panama
    • The Darién jungle lies between Panama and Colombia and there is no road connection. Traveling through it is too dangerous as the area is used for smuggling illegal goods. The alternatives are as follows:
      • From Cartagena are sailing ships for 5 days that make stops on beautiful islands along the way. Sounds good, but it also costs about 500 €.
      • Flights between € 150 and € 200 are faster and cheaper. We booked our flight over a month in advance.
      • The cheapest option is to sail around the dangerous part. To do this, however, you have to take the bus awkwardly close to the borders.
      • There was once a ferry for 1000 passengers, but it was discontinued.
  • Transportation between cities

Accommodation

  • We stayed in hostels and found the cheapest rates on Booking.com or Hotels.com. HostelWorld had fewer choices and they were more expensive.

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