3 Weeks Itinerary for Colombia- Part 2

17.02.17 01:42 AM By Putri

And the journey continued.. 

Medellin region

Day 9. Bus to Medellin
We moved on to the next city, Medellin by taking a 6 hours bus ride through the zigzaging road along the mountain. This bus trip definitely was not for the weak bellies like me. I could taste the empanadas and papaya I had for breakfast that morning the whole trip... 

Day 10. Medellin down town, Botero Plaza

Plaza Botero or also called as Plazoleta de Las Esculturas (Sculpture Plaza) in Medellin is an outdoor public place located in front of the Museum of Antioquia and also surrounds the Uribe Plaza of Culture (you see that Gothic building with stripes in the pic? That’s the one.). This plaza felt like an outdoor exhibition to me because we can find the authentic Botero’s sculpture donated by the artist himself as his gesture of love to the city. The sculptures are made from bronze and you can see lighter color patches here in there on the sculpture where people mostly rub their hand on and yep, the boobs part are the shiniest of them all..

With three monumental landmarks in one area, I can only describe the atmosphere as CHAOTIC. This area was so busy, I almost got a panic attack due to the number of people crowding this place. Going into the Museum was a good idea to refuge. 

Guatapé is known for its colorful downtown

Day 11. Guatapé


After the chaotic day at Medellin downtown, we decided to take a 3 hours bus trip to the next city called Guatapé and visited its famous massive rock that looked like a mono boob called El Penon de Guatapé.

The clear river, Rio Claro


Day 12. Rio Claro 


Rio Claro is the closest we could get to visit a tropical jungle in Colombia since we didn't get the chance to go to the Amazon part of Colombia. We got up early to take the first bus to Doradal and hoped the bus drive could pitch us out at the gate of Rio Claro nature reserva natural.


Day 13. Back to Medellin

Going back to Medellin from Rio Claro was an adventure itself. We had to hail a passing bus  by the road, hoping there would be a place for us in it. Rio Claro is situated in the middle of nowhere, 5 hours from Medellin and the nearest next city is about 2 hours away. 

Cartagena

Day 14. Cartagena


We took an early flight to Cartagena, I couldn't wait any longer to be on the Caribbean coast. I’ve heard a lot about Cartagena and its charming old city and beautiful beaches. After two weeks of going around in busy cities, plantation, and forest, it felt just right to take a break and just lazy around under the sun and have a dip in the Caribbean Sea! 


Iconic style of fruit sellers of the Caribbean

Day 15. Gente de mar in Playa del Rosario

About 45 minutes to an hour of fast boat ride from Cartagena, there is this tiny coral archipelago called the Rosario Island. It’s a chain of small little islands that you can visit as a day trip or even spend a night or two. We went to one of private resorts on one of the islands called Gente de Mar. I really should migrate to this stunningly serene island! 


Look at that clear water!!!

Day 16. Easy Christmas in Cartagena


I thought Christmas will be quite and religious, but man I was wrong! The Centro (down town inside the walled city) was lit with lights and music. Side streets were closed because each neighborhood was throwing their Christmas party on the street, only main streets were kept open. Bbq grills were laid out and working the whole night, reggaeton music blaring into the sky and everyone seemed to enjoy this gathering. It was simple yet festive at the same time. 

Giant Christmas lighted tree inside the walled city of Cartagena

Day 17. Inside the walled city in Cartagena and Castle San Felipe de Barajas


Did I tell you how was the Cartagena sun? It was merciless. I could only enjoy being outside from 8 AM until around 11 AM because from mid day to around 3 PM, the sun needed to take a chill pill, it was seriously hot. It’s not the kind of heat that fries your skin to crisp, it’s more like a humid heat that melts you from inside.

We spent the day lounging on hammock by the pool while waiting for the sun to calm down. For once, doing absolutely nothing while on vacation felt actually good, but that feeling didn’t last long. Right after the breeze starts to cool down, we went to the famous, big ass super fortress Castel San Felipe de Barajas. There are so much to discover in a walking distance from where we stay in Getsemani. 

Massive Castle/fort of San Felipe de Barajas that is known as the non-penetrable fort in Colombia

Day 18. Tierra Bomba island


This is another visit inspired by Anthony Bourdain show: No Reservations, where he visited Tierra Bomba Island. I contacted one of resort agents in Cartagena to visit the island and they suggested us to this newly-opened resort called Blue Apple.  

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Zoning out in the pool, gazing at the horizon.

Santa Marta

Day 19. Santa Marta


Our vacation was almost done, but we still had one more city to visit: Santa Marta.

Santa Marta is the gate to Colombia's most beautiful beaches and national park and it was only 2 hours of bus trip from Cartagena. 

Dramatic sunset at Santa Marta harbor
Tayrona National Park was the only reason we were in Santa Marta and it was worth all the hassle. It was breathtakingly gorgeous here. 

Day 21. Back to Bogota 

We took another early flight to go back to Bogota to catch our flight home the next day. We arrived a bit before mid day so we got to enjoy the city one last time. 

Day 22. Flight back home 

This was the day when we had to catch up our last flights to go back to Quebec and at the same time our bodies decided to catch a travelers' diarhea. Stupid body! We transited for the night in Atlanta, where we puked ourself to death thanx to that dang bacteria. We spent the NYE trying to survive on hotel's bed. Luckily the next day by the time we had to catch our last flight to Quebec, we felt a bit better. 


Beach meets mountain, magical!