Travel Southern Colombia: Cali, Popayan, Pasto

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Southern Colombia, while on the Pan American Highway heading to Ecuador, is often overlooked, done in a transitional hurry – a night in Cali, a night in Popayan a night in Pasto –brutal trip really – then onto Ecuador. But there would be so much to see and do in this area. Continue reading “Travel Southern Colombia: Cali, Popayan, Pasto”

Popayan – A Colonial City in Southern Colombia – More than just a White City

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Popayan – (pronounced Popa-jan) is the capital of the department of Cauca. It is called ‘the white city’ or Ciudad Blanca due to the color of the colonial buildings and churches in its historical center. Continue reading “Popayan – A Colonial City in Southern Colombia – More than just a White City”

Cali – the City of Eternal Summer and Salsa

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Mostly what you read and hear about the city of Cali goes something like this: Cali is hot. The people like to dance. But the town is short on sights and things to do so it’s o.k. to skip. The city rarely makes the list of ‘top destination in the country’. And while most travelers don’t even bother with the southern part of the country, the tourists who do visit Cali are usually passing through in route to other sites in Southern Colombia, or to Ecuador. But if you’re touring Colombia and don’t visit Cali you’re missing out on a great Colombian city. Continue reading “Cali – the City of Eternal Summer and Salsa”

Pasto – Colombia’s ‘Surprise City’

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Pasto, the southernmost major city in Colombia, sits high in the Andes. It’s a six hour bus ride from Popayan on a road offering a look at some of the most dramatic mountain landscapes Colombia has to offer. Founded by the Spanish in 1537, the city’s name, Pasto, refers to the indigenous people, the Pastos, who inhabited the region at the time. It is one of Colombia’s oldest cities. Capital of the Narino province, it is called Colombia’s surprise city. Continue reading “Pasto – Colombia’s ‘Surprise City’”

Lake Cocha – Colombia’s Little Venice

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In southern Colombia the town of Pasto lies 250 miles north of the equator, high in the Andes at an altitude of 7,000 feet above sea level. Just 12 miles outside of town is Lake Cocha or Laguna de la Cocha. It is one of Colombia’s largest and most beautiful lakes. It is also one of the Andean water reserves and a birthplace of the Amazon river. Continue reading “Lake Cocha – Colombia’s Little Venice”

Las Lajas – Colombia’s Most Beautiful Church

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Las Lajas Sanctuary, a catholic church located in southern Colombia about seven miles from the Ecuadorian border, is considered the most beautiful church in Colombia. It was voted the most beautiful church in the world by the English newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ in 2015. Continue reading “Las Lajas – Colombia’s Most Beautiful Church”

Searching for Sevilla in the Valle de Cauca and a Colombia Long Past

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What makes us want to look up people and places from our past?

People from relationships long over, old faded brick schools, homes we once lived in that now look so small. And places? Magical places so far away in both distance and time. Maybe those are the best. Memories, selective of only the good stuff, getting better but more vague with each visit. Continue reading “Searching for Sevilla in the Valle de Cauca and a Colombia Long Past”

The Pacific Beaches around Buenaventura

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Colombia is the only country in South America with access to both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. While Colombia’s Atlantic coast is taunted for all its beauty, history and culture – the Pacific coastline remains a guarded secret – like a family embarrassment they don’t want you to bring up and definitely don’t want you to visit.

There are only three access points to Colombia’s 865-mile-long Pacific coastline. Last June I visited Bahia Solano and Nuqui west of Medellin in the Choco region. A coastline only reached by boat or plane, and was impressed by its wild and remote natural beauty and pristine beaches. Continue reading “The Pacific Beaches around Buenaventura”

Mocoa – The End of the World – A Gateway to the Amazon

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Mocoa is called a gateway to the Amazon. Located in the department of Putumayo in southern Colombia, the town is a remote gem on the fringe of Colombia’s Amazon jungle. Located in a tropical rain forest, the area is filled with turbulent rivers that feed the Amazon river. Continue reading “Mocoa – The End of the World – A Gateway to the Amazon”

The Most Dangerous Road in Colombia. The Trampoline of Death. Pasto to Mocoa

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Highway 37 – the road stretches from the Andean city of Pasto over the mountains and down to the jungle town of Mocoa a gateway to the Amazon. Though it’s only 121 miles between the two cities the trip takes 5-7 hours depending on how many rock and mudslides one encounters on the way.

This is the most infamous road in Colombia. It has been rated the most dangerous in Colombia and one of the worst on the continent earning the nickname ‘trampoline della muerte‘ or trampoline of death. Continue reading “The Most Dangerous Road in Colombia. The Trampoline of Death. Pasto to Mocoa”