Friday, January 15, 2016

Christmas in Colombia

We barely made it to Colombia this year. There was a 62 page leave packet submitted, terrible airline problems (I'm looking at you Spirit Airlines) and serious parental dislike in our destination choice. We made it though and we managed to return without being kidnapped, drugged or attacked in any way. Lucky us, right?
Colombia has a bad reputation but seriously, it was almost 30 years ago! Of course they have their problems still, but I highly endorse vacationing in this magnificent country. It is too large to explore everywhere so just start with the touristy cities and I promise you will not be disappointed.
Cartagena was our first stop and was incredible. Safe, beautiful, diverse and cheap! Cheap if you are making USDollar pay. We ate 3 course meals with a bottle of wine and paid $30 USD for both of us. The food is delicious, fresh and so flavorful. Bonus, neither of us returned with any stomach problems.
Cartagena from La Popa
La Popa Monastery

Old Town Cartagena
Entrance to Old Town
A day at La Playa Blanca

Pargo Rojo with coconut rice on the beach

The top photo is from this year at the pool, the bottom photo is 7 years ago on our first vacation to Mexico

Our next city was Medellín and we were blown away by how modern, clean and unique it is. It recently won the "Innovative City of the Year" and it's clear to see why. We went on a great Colombian street food tour, walked around some nice neighborhoods, rode on the cable cars and ate at so many great restaurants.

Botero Plaza

Botero Plaza

Arepas, empanadas, queso and more on the La Mesa food tour

Medellín from the cable cars

Typical lunch. Let me tell you about these avocados!!!
 Bogotá was our final stop and I was a little apprehensive about our safety in the city. I've read about the dangers hailing taxis from the street and being robbed at gunpoint, etc. We had no problems and the taxi situation turned out to not be a problem because it was so inexpensive to hire a driver. The hotels can also call you a taxi from anywhere you are to be sure you are getting a certified driver.
It's hard to say what my favorite part was, but I really enjoyed Bogotá. It may have been due to my lower expectations and initial fears. Then when we realized we weren't going to have any problems, it may have made this experience better than we imagined. Either way, this adventure was incredible and I am so glad we were able to go.

Bogotá from Monserrate

Graffiti in the city

Me & Corey on the mountain

New Years Eve on the small cities tour