20 July 2011

We have moved!

Hello all,

We are very excited to announce that we  have definitely moved our Colombia Travel blog here:

Colombia Travel Blog <--click here:)

There you'll find our new, bigger and better collaborative Colombia Travel Blog by the See Colombia Team, a multicultural bunch of lovers of Colombia . Please make sure to "like" it here http://www.facebook.com/SeeColombiaTravel  and  follow us on Twitter  http://twitter.com/#!/colombiatravels !

See you there!



24 April 2011

The Colombia Travel Blog Gang grows!

Hello all,

When I started this Colombia Travel Blog a little more than a year ago my intention was to reach as many people as possible to tell them about the beauty of my homeland and to encourage them to come visit us, during that process I met a lot of Colombia lovers both from Colombia and abroad ( travelers and expats) that had that same aim. Some time ago I met Paul and Ryan , a couple of Brits living in Colombia that decided to start a Blog called " Colombia Travel and living Blog" focusing mainly in the cultural differences of living in Colombia when you come from a place as different as the UK.

I'm very glad to tell you that as of today I'll be part of the Colombia Travel and Living blog ( very kindly renamed now as  " Colombia travel blog by Marcela and friends"  :)  ....  over there I'll post shorter more factual posts about Colombia's destinations in a more regular basis , while here you'll still be able to find my never ending rambling about my personal experiences in Colombia.

Click the link ---> to go to our new  collaborative Colombia Travel Blog.



8 April 2011

Rio Bogota ( Bogota River ) .... the second most polluted river in the world :(

Hello all,

This is a folow up post to the introduction to the Teqauendama Falls post I did a while ago, unfortunately this is not about the outstanding scenery of the falls  but about the extremely poluted Rio Bogota that affects not only what should be one of Colombia's touristic spotlights, but also - and more importantly -  represents a serious health hazard to the unprivileged people that live at its shores.

A phrase by The International Development Research Center, Canada says it all:

“The Tequendama Falls has the dubious honour of being the largest wastewater falls in the world…Liquid wastes from the city are flushed untreated into the Bogotá River at the lower edge of the sabana, a few kilometres upstream of the Tequendama Falls. Downstream from Bogotá, the river is filled with sewage…”

Besides promoting touristic destinations  in Colombia, my Colombia Travel Blog also wants to help create conciousness about how important is to respect the enviroment and our frail eco system when visiting a site. It is a shame that we have the doubios honor to have the second most pulluted river in the world , as supporters of Fundacion Rio Urbano ( a Waterkeeper alliance member)  we joined a group of Rio Urbakno members, See Colombia Travel staffers and an American friend I met in Bogota a few days before during a Trek . The objective was to realize how seroious the situation of the river is as well as help us understand the many reasons that have caused this eco tragedy.

Thanks to my friend Lee Pera for letting me reproduce her post, you can read her whole chronicle about our visit below ,  and you can find her  Bogota blog here:

23 March 2011

ColOmbia is not ColUmbia!

Hello all,

Ryan Wallace from the Colombia Travel and Living blog is an English expat in Colombia that is falling in love with our country one post at the time... he was kind enough to let me reproduce his entry about " ColOmbia or ColUmbia" , a common mistake made by english speaking people, especially in North America...every time I hear it I try to correct it, but there's just too many people confusing " Columbia" with 'ColOmbia" , so here it is , hoping it reaches as many people as possible :)



Columbian Vacations

Colombia. With an 'O'.
Of all the misconceptions about Colombia, there is one that seems as though it will always remain pervasive and almost impossible to change; a dark cloud looming over the country that may never be cleared. For decades, Colombians have sought to teach us English-speakers the truth about their country, but to little avail and the problem remains. On this blog, though, we’re dedicated to spreading the good word about this beautiful country and attempting to correct the mistaken ideas that haunt the country as a whole – especially this particular one. The problem?
As a writer on this blog I see plenty of evidence of this misspelling. I see searches for “Columbia Vacations”, “Beaches in Columbia”, “Columbia Hotels”, and many more. From our English-language perspective, it’s easy enough to understand the mistake. After all, the country’s name is derived from Italian explorer and discoverer of the Americas, Cristoforo Colombo, a name that is pretty much always Anglicized in our schoolbooks as Christopher Columbus. On top of this, the US city Columbia, South Carolina is named after the same explorer, as is Columbia University in New York, leaving us with the simple conclusion that the country, too, must be spelt the same way.
Not so. What is now known as the Republic of Colombia was named as such in 1886, after Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda used Colombia conceived of the name Colombia as a reference to the countries of the New World. Because of this, Colombia the country is spelt with an ‘O’ in whatever language you’re speaking.
So if you know anyone who’s still searching for “Columbia Vacations”, or “Columbia Holidays”, be sure to tell them right away to correct themselves before they actually get here. Not only will Colombians be very happy they can spell their country correctly, we’re also pretty sure if they book a Columbia vacation expecting the beautiful beaches they’ll find here in Colombia, they’re going to be sorely disappointed.

3 March 2011

Anthony Bourdain in Colombia

Hi all!  I just came back from a wonderful trip around Colombia so I've got tons of material both for my Colombia Travel Blog as well as for my ongoing Colombia Project!

For now I want to leave you with a 3 part video of Anthony Bourdain's show "No reservations"  from a couple of years back... what I love about this episode is the fact that Bourdain not only discovers the vast and rich Colombian Gastronomy, but is also the perfect example of a traveller with prejudices about Colombia that suddenly realizes that instead of being in the horrible place he heard about, he's actually discovering an almost untouched country to be exlored. My favorite quote: "Its ludicrous this place exists and that evervory doesnt wanna live here!"

Enjoy !



29 January 2011

Tierra Caliente, Colombia (?)

Some months ago, thru Trip Advisor I met an Argentinean girl called Lorena that just had moved to Colombia and she started visiting my Colombia Travel Blog regularly. Amongst many other questions she asked me there was one that caught my attention , she wanted to know how to get to the place called “ Tierra Caliente” ( “ Summer Land” ) that everyone seemed to recommend as a very relaxing destination but that no one seemed to be able to tell her how get there. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I just laughed , but then I realized that for us Colombians this  is pretty obvious , but for a foreigner “ Tierra Caliente” means nothing. 

I replied back basically saying that there is no such  place as “Tierra Caliente” , is just that due to Colombia’s position within the Equator and in the Andes  every town or city  below 1000 meters a.s.l is warm(ish)  and therefore called “Tierra Caliente”  by all of us living above that altitude.

Bogota is at 2600 m.a.s.l so we have a colder average than many regions in the country, which means that ,   as an example, we don’t have outdoor swimming pools  , so on weekends  is usual for us Bogotans to head of the city in search of “ Tierra Caliente”
which can easily  be found at only a driving hour away from Bogota .

This entire introduction is to put give some context of a day trip we did out of Bogota last weekend to Tierra Caliente, and more specifically to the legendary Tequendama Falls, a 515-feet high waterfall on the Bogotá River, located about 18 miles southwest of Bogotá in the municipality of San Antonio del Tequendama.  My fiancé, who’s not from around here, had read about el Salto del Tequendama when he was a little kid in a comic book called “ Joyas  de la Mitologia”  and he didn’t  even remember that the story was set in Colombia, but  had always remembered  the legend of Tequendama, which  involves the pre-Columbian  Muiscas  and a white bearded deity (Bochica)   who created the Fall with his golden scepter. So when I told him that el Salto del Tequendama was less than hour away from Bogota, he jumped in the car and we headed in search of his childhood memories…..  the trip was a mixture of awe due to the outstanding scenery and a mixture of sorrow and  disappointment  due to the horrible pollution of the Bogota River ….. More about that in my next  Colombia Travel blog entry.



12 January 2011

Colombia featured in The Sunday Times!

Gathering onformation for a coming post of my Colombia Travel Blog, I recently came across an article  in the prestigious British newspaper The Sunday Times entitled Colombian Gold. I worried, of course, that it would be riddled with safety recommendations and warnings that were meant to reassure people but really just bolstered the image of Colombia as a dangerous destination. I shouldn’t have worried at all. Stanley Stewart’s article is an overwhelmingly positive look at Cartagena, and proof of the growing interest in Colombia as a travel destination.

1 January 2011

Christmas Lights in Colombia

Is that time of the year again and I’ve been meaning to relive one of the many special Bogotan traditions: to visit  Monserrate,  the tallest and most well known  mountain that frames the city of Bogota, by night . During December visiting Monserrate is especially beautiful because of the Christmas lights that decorate the whole mountain and the church that lies on top of the crater of our now dormant volcano that has become a