Highlights of Colombia
All photos by Josh Meister Photo.
We spent two weeks in Colombia, visiting three very different areas.
Our first stop was Cartagena, a little haven of sunshine and brightness on the northern coast sitting prettily on the Caribbean Sea. Our first day there we did a great city tour through the old city, learning a lot of history.
The tour ended in the Getsemani neighborhood where we had a few beers with our tour guide which led to a few more beers with our tour guide and then a few more beers with our tour guide. And lots of fun stories from our tour guide as well! Dude was awesome.
Regardless, Getsemani was by far our favorite area in all of Cartagena. There's kids playing soccer in the square during the day, tons of murals, and delicious street food. At night, tons of people hang out there, the older gentleman play chess, and there's lots of musicians and dancers.
Other highlights included walking around and taking in the beautiful architecture, salsa dancing class, checking out the casinos, and a chiva party bus evening.
The Coffee Triangle was on our list from the get go, but we hadn't heard of the little town of Salamina until a friend in the know recommended it. We loved every minute we spent in this chill mountainous town (aside from the very bumpy ride there)!
We spent a week relaxing, reveling in the lack of other tourists, trying out the local foods, playing with dogs, and visiting the tallest palm trees in the world.
Bogota was not our favorite place. And unfortunately I don't mean in just Colombia. It may be our least favorite spot on our entire year-long trip. To be fair, we're not being quite fair, lol.
We only had a few days there, and really, really enjoyed the Bogota Graffiti Tour we took immediately upon arrival (it's seriously fantastic), but when we revisited one of the “safe areas” from the tour that evening looking for a dinner spot, several guys impolitely asked us for all of our money. It wasn't fun. A little scuffle ensued and no one was hurt, at least on our side, and no money exchanged. We decided to forego the dinner plans and head back to our Airbnb, and close to our destination, a guy tried to pickpocket us. WTF?! We had heard a fair amount of warnings about Bogota before we got there, and it lived up to the hype for us.
After that, we kept a low profile in the evenings, checking out the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum during the day, which were both wonderful! We only ventured out-out again one more time, heading to a tejo bar because I was not leaving Colombia without trying out this crazy game. Tejo sort of resembles the popular backyard game Cornhole, but with heavy discs and gunpowder. And alcohol of course!
We went to Club de Tejo La 76, a bar I had read was good for beginners because it has a few half-size courts. When we arrived, we were bummed to find out that all the courts were booked for the remainder of the night, but we stuck around to watch a few rounds anyway. A group of 20-something locals that mercifully all spoke English explained the game to us and then sweetly invited us to join their crew, and we happily tejo-ed the night away, Josh even scoring some points! .... And some guaro as well!