Stone street lined with colourful buildings. Glass skyscrapers in the distance.

The Essential Travel Guide to Bogota, Colombia

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Bogota. The name alone brings up curious thoughts in many people. Echoes of a troubled past still raise caution in the minds of those who visit. And while some concerns may be real, most are not. High in the Andes, Bogota is a brilliant city that offers a full spectrum of experiences. Get lost beneath the unmistakable skyline of glittering glass skyscrapers and towers of orange brick against a wall of mountains. Wander the tight, winding alleys of cobblestone in …

Wet stone street surrounded by colourful wooden buildings at sunset.

The Best Things to do in Jardin Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 26 Comments

It’s tricky to write about the best things to do in Jardin, Colombia without using clichés like quaint, charming or picturesque. Jardin is all of these things. When you first arrive in the colourful village, you’ll find yourself on a small, cobbled road lined with colourful buildings. You’ll breathe fresh mountain air while Jeeps roll into town from the local farms. Late in the afternoon, old men in cowboy hats and ponchos sit at street side tables sipping beer, while …

Rolling green hills in a deep valley with dark rain clouds in the sky.

Colombia Itinerary: 1, 2 or 3 Weeks in Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 7 Comments

So you’re planning a trip to Colombia. First off, congratulations, you’ve made a great decision. There are few countries we’ve ever visited that offer such outstanding diversity and beauty. From idyllic Caribbean beaches and colourful villages strewn about Andean jungles, to cities overcoming their tragic past. Our Colombia travel itinerary will touch a little of everything that makes this country so amazing. How to Use this Colombia Itinerary: This Colombia travel itinerary builds on itself depending on how long you …

Buildings on a hillside. A long wall is covered in vibrant graffiti.

The Evolution of the Notorious Comuna 13 in Medellin

Mark Stewart Destinations 9 Comments

For years, Medellin was the most dangerous city in the world. Between Pablo Escobar and the drug cartels vying for control, and the military attempting to control them; to leftist revolutionary guerrillas and the privately funded right-wing paramilitary groups locked in conflict. Car bombs, shootings, kidnappings and outright war were commonplace in the region. While the city itself stood amongst the most violent on earth, until as recently as 2010; one neighbourhood in particular ranked deadliest of all. The neighbourhood …

Metal plate with beans, egg and meat.

The Best Restaurants in Salento, Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 11 Comments

Salento is undoubtedly the most popular destination in the coffee region of the Colombian Andes. As a result, there is no shortage of food options around town. Here are our picks for the best restaurants in Salento. Whether you need a huge meal to replenish your energy after hiking the beautiful Valle de Cocora or perhaps you’re searching for a quick snack to keep you going as you do some shopping around this chill town – you might as well …

Green jungle with cloudy sky

The Tragic Recent History of Minca, Colombia’s Backpacker Hideaway

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Minca. For most Colombia travellers, the name invokes thoughts of waterfalls, clean mountain air and a feeling of tranquillity. Many travellers head up to this mountain town to relax and unwind. They come to soak in the peaceful vibes on the Sierra Nevada mountains, to escape the business of Santa Marta below. Yet most of these outsiders, while they sit happily eating their açaí bowls and sipping herbal tea, remain blissfully unaware of the tragic past that haunts this peaceful mountain retreat. …

Blue Jeep parked in a town square in front of a church.

How to get from Salento to Bogota, Colombia

Mark Stewart Destinations 8 Comments

Given Salento’s popularity with visitors and its proximity to Bogota, we were quite surprised at the lack of information on how to actually get there. We found dozens of posts on bus routes coming towards Salento, just nothing explaining how to get from Salento to Bogota. Although common sense suggests simply following one of those routes in opposite order would suffice, we’ve had some unfortunate experiences where it just wasn’t the case. After a bit of digging and several questions …

Plates of soup, meat and salad

Menu del Dia

Mark Stewart Destinations 2 Comments

There are many ways to travel Colombia on a budget. You can stay in dorms, cook meals for yourself, or ride local buses as often as possible. And those are all great ways to save a few dollars. But the best way to save a ton of money while also getting a great experience is by eating Menu del Dias. By taking advantage of this special lunch menu, found everywhere, you’ll not only save a pile of cash, but enjoy some of the best …

Boat in the sea near the beach

Touring the San Bernardo Islands Colombia: Is it Worth It?

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The Caribbean coast of Colombia is absolutely stunning. Impossibly blue water splashes onto the shores of tiny fishing villages, buzzing colonial cities, and the occasional spattering of islands off the mainland. One such archipelago is that of San Bernardo, a small group of islands between Cartagena and Tolu. These islands are a very popular spot to visit, especially for locals. And for good reason; they’re the postcard image of a Caribbean island. But are they actually worth visiting? Here’s what we think …

Blue water beach with nice sand and a mountain behind it

Bahia Concha, Colombia: The Affordable Alternative to Tayrona National Park

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Santa Marta is the stepping-off point for most of northern Colombia and the Caribbean coast. And one of the most popular nearby destinations is Tayrona National Park. With its crystal-clear waters, palm-fringed beaches and beautiful jungle trails, it’s easy to see why. However, it’s also busy, a bit expensive, and especially tricky to pull off if you’re on a tight schedule. On the far southwestern edge of Tayrona park is a separate cove, unknown to many foreign visitors. Technically, Bahia …