We spent almost 2 hours waiting for an exit stamp out of Colombia, where it is complete understaffed chaos processing the Venezuelan refugees. There is one single person staffed to handle the hundreds (or thousands?) of people waiting to leave Colombia and head south.Continue reading “Ecuador – Mitad del Mundo”
Our last few weeks in Colombia were spent exploring a few final spots in the south. We had already passed the 3 month mark in Colombia and were eyeing Ecuador, so the only way to go was south!Continue reading “Southern Colombia”
From the Zona Cafetera, we had a couple of days to drive to Bogotá in order to meet incoming guests! Yolanda, who has been out to meet us in Belize and Honduras, and Hung, Rachel’s friend from college, flew in over Thanksgiving week to check out a bit of Colombia with us!
The next stretch of road is one we’d been really looking forward to: Zona Cafetera. As an avid coffee lover (meaning a person you shouldn’t talk to before their morning coffee) the fields of coffee are a special kind of beauty to Rachel.
We spent four weeks in Medellín to attend Spanish school and explore the city. Our Spanish school Colombia Immersion was wonderful and we can recommend them to anyone! It is a fun and interactive program where we spent plenty of time working on grammar but also working on conversation and having fun. We aren’t paid by the school, don’t worry! We just the liked them a lot.
Iza, Dessert Capitol of Colombia
After burning tons of calories on the trails of El Cocuy, we found the perfect place to eat them back: Iza, dessert capitol of Colombia. This tiny village has 20 different shops all selling the same assortment of desserts. How do you pick a dessert shop when they’re literally all the same? You pick 2 at random and try out a few different cakes! The desserts aren’t worth a long detour, but if you’re already nearby it is worth a stop!
El Cocuy National Park is a high elevation gem tucked away in eastern Colombia. Although it is a stunning location, there aren’t too many tourists here. Access to the park is time consuming and it requires a bit of planning and money to organize the permits required to enter the park. In addition access to the park for tourists has been limited or completely blocked during the last 4 years. The popular 5 day trek through the park is completely closed and now only 3 day hikes are available. The day hikes are tough and scenic all day events, gaining 1000m or more and up to elevations of 4800m or more. The other catch keeping some people out is the requirement to have a guide, which costs around $40 (USD) a day on top of the entrance fee.
Not only a fun city name, also a bustling metropolis!
After yet another long drive day heading into Bucamaranga – we’re sensing a theme here – we got to enter the chaos of another Colombian city. Ben is getting pretty good at handling the traffic and apparent lack of rules, and Rachel is getting better at not screaming. We attempted to do some shopping in the city, but after getting turned around a few times, we finally arrived at our destination to discover we’re too tall for the garage. Then we headed about an hour east from the city to find a campsite, only to find the young girl working at that moment to be unhelpful and unwilling that we got frustrated and just left.
Our next stretch of road in Colombia took us to three very different climates: The cloud forests of Minca, the hot and humid swampiness of Mompox, and the dry deserts around Los Estoraques.
It only took 15 months and 50,000km, but we made it to South America!