If you love crazy partying, beautiful beaches and vibrant cities you will love Colombia. I entered Colombia via bus from Ecuador, excited to see this amazing place that I had only heard rave reviews on. After hearing amazing things about Cali and Medellin…well I had just spent quite a bit of time in Lima and Quito so to me, yes they were nice but…they were just cities. To me they didn’t particularly stand out as anything special. I came into Colombia a little let down- I had heard so many positive things but so far it hadn’t met my expectations.
However, my next stop Cartagena blew away all expectations. Wow, this beautiful coastal colonial city is a travellers dream. It is easy to get lost wandering the wide streets, trying the ice cream and cafes and watching the world go by..
Now I was in Cartagena for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and what a fantastic place to be it was- I spent my first Christmas on the beach, and NYE partying at our hostel the amazing Hostel Mamallena followed by fireworks in the square and then a salsa club! I highly recommend this hostel – the owner Aussie Stuart was super friendly and the hostel will arrange everything you need from San Blas trips, beach trip, bus trips etc, and you will meet a range of interesting characters, not to mention their parrot!! Just a cool, quirky hostel with everything you need!! Oh and they do pancakes for breakfast- always a win win in my book!! It was one of the stand out hostels on my trip!
We had an actual Christmas dinner at the hostel!! Then for NYE, it was drinking with others and then heading out to the square for the fireworks. After some partying at a local salsa club until the very early hours of the morning NYE was one to remember!!
After going to Cartagena I headed up the coast to Taganga. Previously a small fishing village on the coast it had turned into a hippie/backpackers chilled out paradise. I absolutely loved Taganga, one of my highlights was the nightlife- from salsa bars, to a nightclub set in the cliff overlooking the ocean- a night I will never forget!! This is probably the craziest party place I had been to where anything goes! Now I came expecting rustic charm, and a quiet beach…I didn’t get that, but I did get a really interesting, vibrant party/hippie/backpacker hangout with amazing sunsets…
From there I went to the famous Tayrona National Park, the main highlight was sold as sleeping in a hammock on the beach… now this turned out to be crowds and crowds of tourists, and the hammocks were not exactly comfortable!
Personally although I enjoyed it to an extent, I did find it to be over rated. That is one thing I don’t like about this traveller network and the internet- sometimes places are soo hyped up that they could never meet your expectations. I prefer to stumble across places and ignore the hype.
If you’re in need of a beautiful retreat, one of my favourite spots was my next destination of Minca. Set in the hills it is absolutely beautiful – filled with nature, hummingbirds, toucans and thousands of different birds. During my five night stay there I would take myself off for long walks enjoying the beautiful scenery, hills and waterfalls. The greenery is just spectacular. I remeber sitting with a coffee, watching hummingbirds come and feed from the feeders the Minca is home to coffee plantations and you can visit La Victoria coffee farm to see how the coffee is made- from bean to cup.
I stayed with a local host who i found on couchsurfing who kindly offered me a room in his house and would make me the most amazing french toast and fresh coffee each morning!! His house overlooked a river and toucans, woodpeckers and other colourful birds were frequent visitors! Whenever I have french toast and coffee I’m transported back to those mornings. Its funny how smells and food have such a poweful impact in our memories.
After that I went to Palomino, where I stayed at a few different places including The Dreamer Hostel which is more like a backpackers resort. Here I met lots of travellers and did plenty of crazy partying. I also had some nights on my own and spent my mornings strolling along the beautiful beaches along the Carribean sea- bliss!
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.