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colombia(na)


Bogotá

In all honesty, I didn’t love Bogotá. Am I happy I experienced the city? Yes. Will I be back. No. But as with anything, you should decide for yourself. So, if you’re planning an upcoming trip here, my recs are as follows—

First, to break it down…

Zona G: the gastronomic area.

Zona Rosa: the nightlife.

Zona T: literal T-shaped part of Zona Rosa, filled with bars.

Parque 93: quaint area for coffee, picnics, and restaurants.

Usaquén: trendy eateries and cafes, buzzing cocktail bars, and a flea market on Sundays featuring music, crafts, and food.

La Candelaria: cultural and historic district. A colorful jumble of small streets filled with graffiti murals. This area gets dangerous after 5pm.

To see…

Catedral de Sal: entrance pictured above. Exactly what it sounds like, an underground cathedral made of salt.

Monserrate: hike or take a cable car up for a scenic view overlooking the city.

La Candelaria: check out the street art, plazas, and iglesias.

To eat…

Café Bar Universal, El Bandido, Casa Comida Para Compartir, Segundo, Black Bear

To drink…

Apache, Andrés Carne de Res

Medellín

Getting closer, but still not in awe over this city. I enjoyed my visit solely due to the coffee tour my group attended in the literal rainforest—one of the more memorable things I’ve ever done. This grueling journey isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you dare, it’s incredibly rewarding. We took a two-hour ride outside of Medellín to where coffee is expertly grown and produced, had a home-cooked Colombian meal with the family that owns the plantation, picked our own coffee beans, hiked through the jungle (where some of us couldn’t handle the rough terrain and wiped out *several* times), and then ended with a coffee tasting. So special, so unique, and an absolute must-do.

To see…

Coffee tour: as mentioned. Full day.

Comuna 13: first picture below. What was once the most violent barrio in the country is now a calm neighborhood filled with cool street art.

Plaza Botero: what’s considered the city center. The actual area is over-crowded and dirty, but Botero’s adorably oversized statues stand all throughout the plaza.

Museo de Arte Moderno: modern art.

Museo Casa de la Memoria: Colombian wars and conflicts.

Parque Arví: take a cable car up the mountainside to walk around.

To eat…

Clandestino Casa Comedor, Burdo, Gato, Carmen, El Cielo, El Botánico, El Correo

To drink…

Panorama, Envy, Bolívar, Salón Amador, Vintrash, Parque Lleras (an area populated by Señior Frogs style bars)

For coffee…

Pergamino, Revolución

Cartagena

Favorite. City. I mean…I couldn’t have been less expectant of a city so fabulous, so vibrant, so energetic. The Spanish influence is seen by way of the brightly colored buildings, one more charming than the other. Flowers are blossoming every which way you turn, as if someone planted them to float in the sky. And there’s always a party going on in the street. Bienvenido a heaven, more commonly known as Cartagena.

To see…

Old town: wander around Insta-heaven. Tropical-colored facades and pastel churches await to enchant you.

Boat day: rent a boat and float around the Islas del Rosario. The city beaches aren’t very…alluring. Isla Barú is idyllic, however. Make sure to take the boat to Agua Azul if you want to eat lunch at the cutest little beach restaurant. You can also take a quick boat to nearby Fenix or Blue Apple Beach for the day.

To eat…

La Vitrola, María, Donjuán, La Cevichería, Demente, La Perla, Mistura

To drink…

La Movida, Café Havana, La Jugada, Alquimico

For coffee…

San Alberto, Abacus