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Colombia trip report

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A brief trip report.

My wife and our two teenagers went to Colombia for 10 days at the end of August. We flew on Copa and paid around $550 round trip, including a trip from Bogota to Cartegena and back.

We stayed in Bogota with relatives, so I can't report on hotels, taxis and stuff. We liked Leo, a nice restaurant near the museum of modern art (I think) and Andres, a favorite with Colombians located about 1/2 hour outside of Bogota. I liked riding a bike from about 93rd and Septima downtown on Sunday morning (when streets are closed to cars) to the Plaza Bolivar.

In Cartegena we stayed at the Hotel Agua, Isla Rosario, and the Hilton. Hotel Agua is in the old town and has a nice rooftop pool. Old town is wonderful for wandering and watching. The Santa Clara library bar is a great place for a mojito. Isla Rosario is an island about 45 minutes by boat from Cartegena. You can go for the day or overnight. We stayed the night, went snorkeling and paid too much for necklaces. But it was fun, sorta like a mini vacation at Jakes in Jamaica (but not quite as chic). Then we came back to the Hilton where you could play volleyball in the pool, get a massage on the beach, and watch fishermen haul in nets nearby.

So, should you go? Sure. Colombia has a lot of energy. Cartegena looks like Spain, like Sevilla with narrow streets, old balconies, and lots of flowers. Nicholas is a great little restaurant near Hotel Charleston. Trips in the local buses were fun. Ditto the carriage rides. We paid too much for taxis, but too much was $5 across town. I think the kids had as much fun as we did wandering and looking, and playing soccer. The beach isn't perfect, but the energy is compelling.

Hope this helps a little.

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