Colombia has had a bad rep in the past, but Netflix’s Narcos has put it back on the radar for more than just its drug-fuelled past (although, that too). We travelled beyond Bogotá and Medellín and found the picturesque small towns where the real, day-to-day Colombia thrives.
Locals and travellers alike recommended we visit Mompox, a small colonial town set up along the banks of the Magdalena River.
Mompox enjoyed its glory until the 18th century, when the Magdalena River silted up. It has been stuck in a time capsule since.
The people of this sleepy town were one of the friendliest we ever met. These kids requested us to take their photo.
Guatapé is a small town 2 hours away from Medellín. We planned on visiting for a day and ended up staying for 2 weeks.
The view of the area from the top of the Rock in Guatapé is one of the most spectacular we have ever seen. The lake is a man-made reservoir, the largest lake in Colombia.
The houses in Guatapé were the prettiest – painted in bright colours and they flaunted unique art on the exterior. Artist Ignacio Suarez has created 80% of the art in this town.
The Guatapé Lake is popular for many water activities such as; boating, jet skiing and canoeing. During the week it is a peaceful place to be but during the weekends, it gets real busy.
A visit to Colombia wouldn’t be complete without traveling to the coffee region. So we visited another small town called Salento.
A tour of the coffee plantation explained that Colombians do not drink their best coffee at all. It gets exported for us!
A 5 hour hike in a region 30 minutes from Salento got us to the Valley of Cocora. We were simply amazed at how tall some of these palms were! No wonder Cocora, Wax Palms are the National Tree of Colombia.
Writer: Arranged Travelers
Photographer: Arranged Travelers