Pijao – the ‘slow city’ in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Pijao is a small town 31 kilometers (19 miles) to the south of Armenia located in Colombia’s famous coffee triangle in the Quindio province. Along with Salento, Calarca and Filandia, Pijao is considered one of the most beautiful villages in the department. Only an hour bus ride from the city of Armenia it can be a day trip as part of the coffee tour or a destination to go relax and decompress for a day or two.

Continue reading “Pijao – the ‘slow city’ in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle”

15 Best Destinations in Colombia

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Seasoned South American travelers say Colombia is the continent’s best kept secret – beautiful, affordable and relatively undiscovered by tourism.  Though large, Colombia is easy to travel with plenty of low cost internal flights, comfortable cross-country buses and taxis everywhere.
Travelers can easily visit more than 2-3 destinations in a week with an ample selection of destinations to visit over extended periods.

This is my selection – the  15 best destinations to visit in Colombia. These are places I gladly return to time and time again.  The list is divided by topological identities: beaches, colonial towns, archaeology and cities.  For more information on each destination read  the full articles on colombiatravelreporter.com Continue reading “15 Best Destinations in Colombia”

The Best Colonial Towns – a look at Colombia’s 17 ‘Heritage Villages’

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Whether your travel focus is visiting Colombia’s beaches, jungles or big cities, it’s hard to tour Colombia and not want to visit small towns like like Jardin, Barichara or Mompox. Continue reading “The Best Colonial Towns – a look at Colombia’s 17 ‘Heritage Villages’”

Colonial Towns in Santander

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Off the beaten path Santander, a Colombian department, is rarely visited. Santander is on the east side of Colombia between two mountain ranges one of which borders Venezuela. It’s a region with green mountains that go from tropical valleys to high plains, tumbling rivers, deep gorges, sleepy Spanish colonial villages and bustling medium sized cities. Continue reading “Colonial Towns in Santander”

The Beautiful Colonial Villages of Boyaca

Reading Time: 13 minutes Lake Tota in the department of Boyaca

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Boyaca is a picturesque department of green fields, glacial lakes and charming Spanish colonial villages; popular with Colombian tourists, rarely visited by foreigners.

The region of Boyaca reminds me of  the European Alps with its vast open plains, green pastures and backdrop of lofty mountains.

And while Villa de Leyva and Mongui are the most visited towns in Boyaca, there are over a dozen more beautiful mountain villages, rarely visited, but waiting to seduce travelers with their underrated charms. Continue reading “The Beautiful Colonial Villages of Boyaca”

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”

Playa Belen – One of Colombia’s Most Beautiful Villages

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Playa Belen is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Colombia. But it is so far off the beaten path few people ever visit.

The name of the town means ‘The Beach of Bethlehem‘ and I always thought this inland town had a beach on a river, a lake or something. But this semi-desert town is bone dry and beach-less. It was called Playa because of the fine beach-like sand of the surrounding desert constantly blowing through town. Continue reading “Playa Belen – One of Colombia’s Most Beautiful Villages”

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”

Capurgana and Zapzurro: Caribbean villages and the Darien Pass

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Village of Capurgana

is a small village on the Caribbean on the Colombian – Panamanian border.  There are no roads to get here; either one flies in  ($100 from Medellin to a small airstrip outside of the town) or comes in by boat – $20 from the city of Turbo on the mainland.

The difficulty getting here makes this place one of the best kept secrets in Colombia. Continue reading “Capurgana and Zapzurro: Caribbean villages and the Darien Pass”

Los Llanos – the Great Plains of Colombia

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Los Llanos of Colombia sometimes look and feel similar to the plains of North America and the fields of the Midwest. Lush, green, flat grasslands stretching as far as the eye can see, scattered with herds of cows and huge red skies in the morning and night. These tropical grasslands are treeless savannas and stretch for hundreds of miles before stopping at the jungles of the Amazon river basin. Continue reading “Los Llanos – the Great Plains of Colombia”