Colombia

Caño Cristales, Colombia

The region's blood-red river, and other anomalies.

The army sharpshooter looks us up and down, his anti-guerrilla livery emblazoned on a tightly wound bandana. He establishes quickly that we represent no threat, shows us his rifle and smiles, revealing braces. Incongruous, I ...

Los Llanos: wild Colombia

Welcome to Colombia's cowboy country.

If you look at a map of Colombia in South America, you see a huge region in eastern Colombia comprising sprawling, seasonally flooded plains that have been ignored by tourists due to their location (former ...

Providencia, Colombia

Tales of pirates and Puritans in this Caribbean island hideaway.

Below us, the island came into view, encircled by a brittle ring of coral reefs made distinguishable by whitewater ripping at the edges. A turquoise iris skirted the white sandy edges of the Caribbean island ...

I Am Rambo in Chiribiquete, Colombia

Upriver expedition in the remote Amazon rainforest.

Strangely, the noxious swarm of mosquitos intent on doing me harm had ebbed, and the growl of the Chiribiquete waterfall (below) no longer sounded, as if its familiarity to my ears after a few hours ...

The Magic of Salento

Adventure in Colombian coffee country.

There was more than just a luscious countryside of diversified vegetation and smooth, rolling hills, where a clean river ran steady and uninhibited over gardens of round stones. More than just untouched wax palm trees, ...

Must-see Colombia

Get off the tourist track and see undiscovered Caribbean coast.

Most of the Caribbean has long since lost its authenticity, being overrun by cruise ships, high-pressure touts and one too many Jimmy Buffet wannabes. But there are still a few places where you can find ...

Into the Heart of Magic Realism Country

The world of García Márquez's novels.

There is a family somewhere near the Colombian Caribbean coast who have a novel way of caring for their elderly, infirm grandfather. Supposedly, along the banks of the river Magdalena, the very same river that ...

(Mis)Adventures in Colombia and Peru

After finishing my second year of law school in San Diego, I decided that I needed a little adventure in my life. I planned my classes so that all my finals were done by December ...

An Illumination in Quimbaya, Colombia

On December 8, 1854, Papa Pío IX established the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary. Granted, the publication of a dogma is not very sexy, but for Colombians, the doctrine represents the kindling of ...

Cartagena: The Most Interesting Man in the World

And there he was. The most interesting man in the world. Better yet, he was the encapsulation of the advertised Dos Equis man: someone who bathed with piranhas, dodged bullets, drank gasoline, and combed his ...

Serenity (at Last) in San Gil, Colombia

The seven-hour bus ride through the sticky night to a city called San Gil, Colombia, made the Matterhorn at Disneyland seem like training wheels: roller-coaster-like turns followed by potholes in the road the size of ...

Semana Santa in Popayán, Colombia

The heart of Popayán, Colombia, is a small colonial downtown dating back over 500 years. Everything is painted white. Traffic signals are unheard of. A church is visible from any given point and the streets ...

Carnaval in Barranquilla, Colombia

It is difficult to relate the absolute hysteria of Carnaval in Barranquilla. Most nations couldn't handle an equal event without soon collapsing into a frenzied state of all-out warfare. But Barranquilla does it, and does ...

Medellin, Colombia, Encapsulated

Medellin, enchanted city, home of the silicon buttcheek, where no one remembers the natural light of stars and the sun has barely been named, where the Paisas wear their souls on their skin and old ...

Joan Wilder’s Destination City: Cartagena, Colombia

You remember her: that romance novelist in the classic film Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas. Her sister had been kidnapped in Colombia and was awaiting rescue in Cartagena. Perhaps due to the real-life cocaine ...

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