Okay – before anyone from Bogota gets defensive, I have many many reasons why my time in Bogota was not my fave part of my Remote Year experience so far. It was cold and wet, and that includes being cold inside of buildings, the altitude definitely affected me, particularly in my sleep and my immune system, I just didn’t feel safe, and I really feel like I was burned out of playing tourist in every city we went to. I had my reasons. But, before I skip Bogota completely…here were some highlights.
LUCIA LONDONO TOSTADORES.
We kicked off our time in Bogota with an absolutely awesome event that played off of the fact that legitimately all of the coffee fiends among us were so stoked about! Learning more about Colombia coffee. This time through the eyes of a roaster as opposed to a grower. We met Lucia Londono in her toasting facility in the heart of Bogota. She told us all about her history as a grower. She was a fascinating woman and told us all about the different aspects of toasting and how you can smell, taste, etc different things in the coffee. We tried different coffees of different qualities and compared the aroma, taste, etc. It was amazing! Some of the coffee grounds (before adding water) legitimately smelled like beef! It was so crazy! We then tasted our favorite grounds brewed in different ways. It was so fascinating and the coffee fanatic was in heaven. So naturally, I bought some extra of her amazing beans to take with me on my adventures.
CAVING IN THE SUESCA REGION.
This is one of the few times that I actually left the city…and this region is perhaps the only reason I would. I was obsessed with the Suesca region outside of Bogota. Not only is it an absolutely gorgeous region, but there are so many incredible things to do. Not only is it a region known for rock climbing as you can tell from the gorgeous rock face I snapped a photo of, but it also has great hiking and of course caving. This caving experience was…crazy. In good and bad ways. We hiked up to this little house, geared up in helmets and headlamps, and then proceeded to the entrance of the cave. Thank God I’m not claustrophobic or that would’ve been a problem. We thought we’d just be crawling through caves, but it turns out there was some standing water in the cave and some deceptively deep water at that! There were places where the water would’ve at least been up to my chin.
WEARING JEANS AGAIN WAS KIND OF AWESOME.
I feel like this needs no elaboration, but the Seattle-ite in me was really happy about buying a
AND BE SURE TO GET ABOVE THE CITY FOR SOME WONDERFUL VIEWS!
I didn’t go to Montserrat, which is a Medellin–
NOW, FOR THE SIDE-TRIP TO CARTAGENA…
WHEN DID WE GO: May 14-18, 2018
WHY DID WE GO: To get a little beach vacation and to celebrate my 29th birthday!
HOW LONG WERE WE THERE: 5 days, 4 nights
WHERE DID WE STAY: Hotel Almirante Cartagena
Our hotel was amazeballs. I literally cannot
The Beach! The beach was so beautiful and it was so nice to just walk along the beach with your feet in the water, people watching as you went. People said before we left that the beaches in Cartagena aren’t the best, but honestly? I loved the beaches here.
The Walled City. That being said, we were within walking distance to the walled part of Cartagena. The “old city” as it’s called. The aesthetic within the city is so quaint and there are so many cute shops and cafes. It was wonderful to walk down to the old city and spend a day. Plus walking around the wall in and of itself is pretty fun! It’s like a mini Great Wall. This was perhaps the only active, touristy thing we did while we were in Cartagena, and it was perfect! Exactly what we wanted!
Flat and walkable – aka super easy to get around. After our time in Medellin, I’m always super grateful for cities that are flat and walkable. Bogota definitely had that going for it as well, but we did a lot more walking and touring in Cartagena than we did in Bogota, so that was much appreciated. We walked basically everywhere. To the beach. To the store. To dinner. To the old city. There really wasn’t any need to take a Taxi or an uber. Just walk! Those extra steps will be good for you, especially after all the cocktails and buffet breakfasts.
Pedalers on the Beach. I HATE PEDDLERS!!!! There were peddlers in Cabo San Lucas. There are some peddlers in Playa del Carmen, though vastly less than Cabo. And damn are
ALL IN ALL – I LOVED CARTAGENA!
AND IF IT MEANS ANOTHER STAY AT THE HOTEL ALMIRANTE, I’M DEFINITELY GAME!