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