Colombia Trip 2020

Old Dec 27th, 2021, 12:20 PM
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Colombia Trip 2020

Attached Thumbnails Colombia Trip 2020-1-img_1316.jpg   Colombia Trip 2020-2-pasted-image-0.png   Colombia Trip 2020-3-img_1151.jpg   Colombia Trip 2020-4-img_1152.jpg  
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 12:22 PM
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More Bogota:


The next morning, we headed to the Candelaria district to meet up with our planned 10am walking tour. Our hotel told us that we needed to leave the hotel by 8:30am in order to ensure that we arrived on time. That sounded extremely early to us, but we had heard about the horrid traffic in Bogota so we left when recommended.
To get around in Bogota and later in Medellin, we used the app Cabify which is very similar to Uber. It was easy to use but only worked with wifi or data and we didn’t have data every day. It was easy to activate but cost $10 per day. (We may need to reconsider having data for future trips as it was very useful.)
We arrived in Candelaria about an hour before our tour was to start so we did some wandering on our own. We ran into a man who’d take your picture with his llamas for a small fee and stumbled upon the Museo Botero (which was on our list for an activity in Bogota after the tour). Since we had time, we explored the museum ahead of time.
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Hangin’ with the Llamas Museo Botero
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Painting by Fernando Botero Sculpture by Botero

Our tour met in front of the Museo del Oro and consisted of about 30 people and an English speaking guide, Juan. Juan was very forthright in his commentary describing recent dealings between the government and guerilla groups (which are not 100% resolved at this point) and the recency of tourism to Colombia. He touched upon the influence of Pablo Escabar on the country as well. We saw the main sites of Candelaria including Plaza Bolivar, the Presidential Palace, Iglesia de Santa Clara, Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo and Teatro Colon. We learned about Justin Beiber’s role in “legalizing” graffiti and drank Chicha, a Colombian drink made from fermented corn. He finished the tour with advice about restaurants, museums and how to get to the Monserrate cable cars.
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Drinking ChichaPlaza Bolivar
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Juan, our GuideStreet Art at Plazoleta del Chorro de Quevedo
We stopped for lunch at La Puerta de la Catedral where we had some traditional Colombian soup called Ajiacos Santafereńos along with a quinoa salad in a giant avocado. Both were excellent.

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Ajiacos SantafereńoAvocado Salad
After lunch, we had enough energy to tackle the Museo del Oro which included floors and floors of gold artifacts and an excellent Colombian coffee shop where Paul enjoyed a cup.
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Museo del Oro
Although we thought about heading to Monserrate, my energy level was low and we decided to leave that for the next day. We headed back to the hotel to rejuvenate before our planned dinner. I made reservations for multiple better restaurants in the major cities we visited - especially since we were in Bogota and Medellin on the weekends. Our first reservation was at Salvo Patria but we decided to start with cocktails at the Apache Bar on top of the Click Clack hotel first. It was a very fun spot playing mostly 80s music from America and with a lively, mostly young people crowd. (We later noticed there was a DJ who was playing the tunes.) The cocktails I had were wonderful and Paul tried some beers he liked.

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Apache BarApache Bar DJ
Afterwards, we took a Cabify to the restaurant. After some difficulty in finding the exact location, we went into the mostly empty small restaurant. There were two other tables with people and about 10 empty tables. We decided to stay anyway and were very glad we did. The meal was excellent. We started with an empanada appetizer and I had Lamb Meatballs and Paul had Tuna. Very tasty.



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Salvo Patria Restaurant

To be continued...
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 12:23 PM
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Last day in Bogota:


On Sunday, we took a taxi to a nearby small parish church where we attended mass and enjoyed the sunny weather. After heading back to the hotel and changing, we joined the Ciclovia in which Bogota shuts down 75 miles of roads for citizens (and tourists) to bike, run or walk through the roads from 7am to 2pm each Sunday.
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Ciclovia Flower Market along the route
We headed south toward Chapinero and saw bands, flower markets and lots of people enjoying the outside. Our plan was to find a place for lunch on our way and I saw that the restaurant called “Siete Cabras” was just a block or so off our path so we ended up there. This was another almost empty place, but we again enjoyed an excellent lunch of crab cakes and octopus in a very cute location.
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Siete Cabras Restaurant

After lunch we continued south. When we made it to the Basilica Nuestra Senora de Lourdes in Chapinero, the sky opened with rain and we headed inside for our second mass of the day. (We stayed in the very back and stood.) When there was a slight break in the downpour, we headed across the street to San Fermin for pastry and a coffee and then decided that the rain was slowing so we’d take a taxi and head toward Monserrate for the cable cars.
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Basilica Nuestra Senora de Lourdes
Well, we were wrong about the rain - it poured and poured the rest of the day. We were left off at the base of the Montserrat cable car, but nothing was running and there wasn’t anywhere to wait under shelter. We bought cheap ponchos to stay a little less wet. We tried to get a Cabify back to the hotel, but my credit card was rejected and I wasn’t sure why. Finally, we caught a regular taxi for about 3x the price and went back to the hotel to dry off.
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In the rain at Montserrat
We had dinner reservations fairly close to our hotel so we ended up walking to Local by Rausch for dinner after cleaning up and having a drink at the hotel bar. At least this place was a little more crowded than the others we had been to recently. Dinner was good but not great which was disappointing since it was one of our more expensive meals of the trip. Having said this, we paid about $62 for a ceviche appetizer, two meals and drinks that would have definitely cost well over $100 at home. In general, we had a very favorable exchange rate and most things we paid for were at least half the price (or better) than they would have been at home.
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Local by Rausch
To be continued:
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:03 PM
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Coffee Country! First Stop - Santa Rosa de Cabal


Early Monday morning, we headed for the airport, ate breakfast at Andres Paradero and caught our flight to Pereira which is in Zona Cafetera (aka Coffee Country). We were expecting to be met at the airport by Juan, the guide I’d hired to drive us three times over the next four days. Unfortunately, we learned that Juan had an emergency in the US and was unable to drive us, but he sent his friend Sergio who would take care of us instead. The problem was that Sergio spoke very little English. He could transport us to the various locations, but couldn’t give the tours and advice that we were expecting from Juan. In the end, Sergio worked out fine, but it changed what the trip could have been. For example, between the airport and our hotel, Juan was going to find us a nice place for lunch. Sergio would have brought us to a place if we told him where we wanted to go - but we didn’t know of anywhere. (I didn’t do much research on the area after I hired Juan because I thought he’d show us around.) Sergio ended up bringing us to our hotel - Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal.
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Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
Sergio did share that he really enjoyed the San Vincente hot springs and I’d also heard that from one of the TA advisors who lives in Colombia. In hindsight, it would have been better if we booked San Vincente instead because Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal was about 45 minutes further away down a very rocky road. We enjoyed the Termales and found them very beautiful, but I am guessing that San Vincente may have been just as nice. We only had one night planned here so we had lunch and explored the grounds the first day.
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Grounds at Termales Santa Rosa de Cabal
The room was very basic but had a great view of the closest waterfall as well as the nearby stream. (Not too bad for $68/night.) On the second day, we hiked down to the public hot springs (which anyone can enter for a fee but hotel guests don’t have to pay) and then came back to enjoy some time in the springs.
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Public Hot Springs at Santa Rosa de Cabal
Sergio came to pick us up and drive us to our next destination - Filandia.
Filandia is another small town in Zona Cafetera and the location for the restaurant Helena Adentro where we stopped for lunch. Paul and Sergio had the trout salad and I had a vegetarian bowl. The fruit juices were very tasty as well and they had really cool straws that looked like bamboo trees. (I took some home.)
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Inside Helena Adentro

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I just LOVE the straws!
After lunch, Sergio took us to the main town square where I bought a hat and to the Mirador of Filandia which we climbed for some great views. The structure itself was made of wood but was very reminiscent of The Vessel in New York. Sergio then drove us to our home for the next three nights, the Hotel el Mirador del Cocora.
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Filandia Torre de Mirador
To be continued...
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:05 PM
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On to Salento...


The hotel was on one end of the town very close to the Mirador of Salento - which means it was pretty high. I think the elevation was about 6500 feet above sea level. (By now, we knew to drink plenty of water and we were doing so religiously.) Everything within Salento was walkable but there were lots of hills! Our room was quite nice and had a full wall of windows with a view of the valley. We had breakfast included every day and would typically eat it outside overlooking that same valley. We slept at night without closing the curtains in order to enjoy the view. We had dinner at Quindu our first night and enjoyed more trout which is a specialty in the area.
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Hotel Mirador del CorcoraView from our room
The town of Salento was charming. Most of the buildings were painted in bright colors and many of the shops and homes had flower pots.
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Salento Colorful shops & houses everywhere
There was a large church in the town square near where the Willy Jeeps set up shop. The Willy Jeeps were first imported to Colombia in the 1940s and have become a symbol of the area. The farmers replaced the mules they had been using with Jeeps that worked well in the mountainous region. Over time, the Colombians modified the vehicles to convert them into taxis for the region.
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The Church in Salento’s town square
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Willy Jeeps in Salento
Our first full day brought us to the nearby Finca del Ocasa coffee farm for a tour in English. Of the 20-25 people on the tour, we were the only folks from the US. Most others were from Europe and Canada. We took the Willy Jeep to the farm and back for our first experience. They fill those jeeps very full. I think they are designed to hold 8 or maybe 9 people, but they almost always had at least 14 people including three who had to stand on the back. After a couple rides, we thought that might be fun to stand but never had the option to do so.
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A packed Willy Jeep
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Finca del Ocasa
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Wearing my new hat at the Coffee Farm
The coffee tour was interesting and Paul bought a couple bags of coffee for souvenirs. We learned about the entire process from seedlings through mature coffee plants and did a little picking and sorting ourselves. Fresh coffee was served at the end and Paul gave it an enthusiastic “thumbs up”. We did get some bug bites on our arms and legs which was a shame since we had bug spray with us. (The bites lasted at least a full week.)
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The Coffee farm was in a beautiful areaPicking the beans
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The Coffee our
Once back in town, we had lunch at a darling place called Le K’Fee which served healthy looking food that tasted great. The avocado toast was to die for as was the Buddha Bowl.
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Avocado Toast from Le K’Fee
We did check out the Mirador of Salento and confirmed that the view was almost the same as from our room at the hotel. We also climbed up to the “I Love Salento'' sign for some photo ops. We bought a couple souvenirs to use as Christmas ornaments.
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View from the Mirador of Salento
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Selfie by the I Love Salento sign
We stopped for a drink at Mojiteria but we were the only people there. For dinner, we went to Cafe Barnabe where we had some bruschetta, soup, Salmon on a bed of plantains and a Pesto Pasta which were all very good. Afterwards, we stopped at Los Amigos to check out the Tejo court. Tejo is a traditional throwing sport in Colombia. The game consists of throwing a metal puck across an alley into a one meter board covered in clay. Hidden within the clay are small exploding targets that are filled with gunpowder. Although we didn’t play ourselves, we enjoyed watching the groups of people play for a while.
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Tejo at Los Amigos
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:26 PM
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The Cocora Valley hike and our last night in Salento

On Thursday, we went on our long hike in the Cocora Valley. We brought plenty of water and picked up packed lunches at Brunch (in Salento) before departing. We took the Willy Jeeps to the start of the hike and decided to take the clockwise route. (Ahead of time, we learned that either way works, but the most difficult part would be downhill if we went clockwise.)
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Before the hike… all smiles!
I had a hard time with the uphill portion of the hike. The starting elevation was nearly 8,000 feet with a 1,500 foot gain to the peak. We saw the valley of the Wax Palms on the uphill portion and they were beautiful.
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The Wax Palms of Cocora
There were several hiking groups with guides but we went on our own. When we were near the high point of the hike, Paul severely twisted his ankle while trying to get out of the way of some people. He had previously sprained it slightly on a run the prior morning and this made it much worse. The rest of the hike was very difficult for him but we managed to still enjoy it.

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The view from where Paul sprained his ankle
We stopped near a stream to have lunch and continued through the “jungle” portion of the hike. There were about five “Indiana Jones” type bridges along the way and there were tons of different kinds of plants and flowers.
We didn’t see any true “wild life” but saw horses, donkeys and cows as well as many birds on the hike. There were two different checkpoints that involved paying a small fee to the landowners who allow hiking on their property.
Colombia Trip 2020-4-img_1840.jpgOne of the “Indiana Jones” bridges
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Traffic on the Mountain Beautiful Flowers in the Valley
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Cows in the pasture
After resting and showering at the hotel, we ventured out for dinner. We stopped at several of the restaurants that were on my list of recommended places but most were empty at 7pm and we were hoping for something with some other patrons. We ended up at a place called 5-43 for Paella but it was just okay and we later decided that we should have gone with somewhere recommended instead. I’m not sure why everywhere was so empty but it could have been because it was midweek.
Next stop: Medellin
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:28 PM
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The Medellin portion of the trip:


We had another glimpse into the impact of the Pandemic during the “check in” process for our Avianca flight. There was a question on whether we had been to a Covid-19 impacted country within the last month. There was no definition of a Covid-19 country so I said “no”. They clearly knew we were from the US as we had to include our passport information as well as home country information in the check in as well. We were a bit anxious to get to the airport to make sure we didn’t have issues.
On Friday morning, we were again picked up by Sergio who drove us to the airport in Pereira. It was a very foggy morning and there were several delays. There was nothing about Covid-19 at the airport and we were checked in without delay. We ended up getting rebooked on a flight that was supposed to fly several hours earlier than ours. In the end, we made our connection (in Bogota) without concern. Once in Medellin, we took a white car to our hotel for 80,000 COP (which was about $31) and we thought that was high, but we later learned that it was the going rate.
Medellin was the city that I was most hesitant about and did the least research on where to go on our own. I purposely planned to spend most of our daytime hours on tours with one of those days spent out of town in Guatape. I think my instincts were correct, but of course, things didn’t go as planned.
Our hotel in Medellin was the Hotel Dann Carlton Belfort. It was in a very nice area that apparently is where the wealthy of Medellin live. Since our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, we had lunch at the hotel’s restaurant outside by the pool.
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Hotel Dann Carlton Belfort
After settling into the hotel, it was apparent that we needed to find an ankle wrap for Paul. He further irritated his ankle helping a woman put her suitcase into an overhead bin on the plane earlier in the day. We tried to find a nearby pharmacy and were planning to take a taxi there when the hotel bellman suggested we have it delivered. Since it was pouring rain at the time, we readily agreed. After googling pictures of what we needed, the bellman called in the order and we retreated to our room. Not very long later, the young man came to our door with the Ace Bandage and with tip, delivery fee and the item, we spent about $6. Not too bad!
The restaurants in the Poblado area near the hotel were all very upscale and trendy but still very reasonably priced based on the exchange rate. Our first night, we went to Bonhomia which was a casual place with a live band and mostly outdoor courtyard dining. We had ceviche and pizza.
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Bonhomia
On Saturday, we were scheduled to take a full day trip to nearby Guatape, but since the trip involved a fair amount of climbing (up over 700 steps to a lookout point plus walking through the town which was likely hilly) we decided we should cancel and explore Medellin on our own. We talked to the front desk and decided to start our day in the historic Candelaria area. The area was a bit “rough”. There were 23 beautiful Botero statues donated by the artist in the main square, but there were also a fair amount of homeless people and prostitutes (which are legal in Colombia).
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Paul by a Botero statue in Candelaria (Medellin)
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Candalaria
After checking out the square, it was our intent to visit the main museum, but it was closed due to Covid-19. This was our first time seeing any impact of the Coronavirus in Colombia. Three days earlier, Covid-19 had been declared a Pandemic, but the number of cases in the country of Colombia was still 8 people at that point and they didn’t have any that were community spread. (All had been traveling in impacted countries.) We did learn that a couple other tourist attractions had been closed including an amusement park. We were able to confirm that the botanical gardens were still open, so we ordered a Cabify to take us there. After waiting for about 30 minutes, we cancelled the Cabify and took one of the numerous taxis instead. On the way there, we saw unbelievable poverty and drug use but the gardens were a welcome respite from the city.
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Le Jardin de Medellin
The Jardin de Medellin was extensive and beautiful. Within the gardens, we also checked out their plant store area that had extremely inexpensive plants and bushes (e.g., $3.50 for a large hydrangea bush) as well as an enclosed butterfly garden. We had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants in the garden before heading back to the hotel.
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An unusual treeBlue Morpho in the Butterfly House
We headed back to the Poblado area for drinks and dinner. Since we enjoyed the rooftop bar at the Click Clack in Bogota, we decided to stop in at the Medellin hotel as well. As expected, it was a lovely setting and we had a poolside drink with a view of the city before heading to the downstairs area for dinner.

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Drinks by the pool at the Medellin Click Clack
Dinner was also good at a trendy restaurant called Egeo that had a DJ wearing a mysterious hood. We had Octopus, Shrimp and a Trout Hummus - all very good.
After learning that all church services had been cancelled due to the Pandemic, we spent Sunday morning by the pool which allowed Paul’s ankle to rest before our planned afternoon tour. We grabbed a quick lunch near the pool as well and met our driver in the early afternoon. Juan took us to four areas. First, we revisited the historic Candelaria area and the Botero statues. Second, we had a walking tour of Comuna 13 and the spectacular graffiti of that area. Third, we took the cable car to the San Javier station and finally, we saw Pueblito Paisa, the replica of a Colombian village. Although the Candelaria area was a repeat, we learned more about history and culture on that part of the trip. Juan was very surprised we were there on our own earlier as he felt it really isn’t safe for tourists on their own.
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Since we had a guide, we got a few photos of the two of us
The graffiti tour was very informative and we especially enjoyed learning about the meaning of so many of the murals.
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Graffiti from Comuna 13
The cable car ride was somewhat distressing to me as the area underneath the cars showed the kind of poverty that is prevalent in the area. Most houses had a tin roof that was kept down by bricks laid on top. Many were abandoned.
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View from the cable car
The last site, Pueblito Paisa, was purely created for tourists. It was a bit odd but kind of cute. They sold tons and tons of trinkets from a variety of booths. Overall it was a good and interesting day.
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Military like police presence was common
That night, we went back to the Poblado area for dinner and once again noted the contrast between the “haves” and “have nots” of this city. At Juan’s recommendation, we tried Alambique which not only had great cocktails, but also had the best brisket dish I’ve ever tried. And the shrimp cocktail was delicious as well.
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Cocktails at Alambique
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Amazing Brisket

Last stop: Cartagena
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:30 PM
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Cartagena... and the Pandemic


Early the next morning, we arranged a white car to the airport as we headed to our final leg of the trip to Cartagena. We had no issues on our flight and took a taxi to the Walled City where our hotel was located. Initially, our taxi was denied access to the area, but he was able to convince them that our suitcases were too large for us to carry to our hotel. (Score 1 for overpacking!!) We started the check in process at the hotel and had our first insight into the fact that our stay in Cartagena was going to be different than other locations. There was a special form in which we had to say that we had been in the US in the last 30 days and that we weren’t feeling sick. (The US was one of about five countries identified. Others included China, South Korea, Italy.) But our answers were deemed acceptable and we would be allowed to check in. Since our room wouldn’t be ready till late afternoon, we headed out on a self guided walking tour of the Walled City. We found a spot with a menu we liked for lunch and had since decided that an empty restaurant was exactly what we were looking for since we were looking for social distancing. We had excellent food at Cuba restaurant including grilled seafood and yet another ceviche.
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Entrance to the Walled City
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Beautiful Balconies
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On the wall
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The Cathedral
Once we could check in, we explored Hotel Alfiz. It is a boutique hotel with only 9 rooms but includes a nice outdoor (but covered) courtyard for dining, a small plunge pool on the 2nd floor and a nice rooftop terrace with a hot tub on the roof. Our room had a 15ft ceiling. The tub/shower was open to the rest of the room and although the toilet had a door, there was no roof and the walls were only about 8 ft high. Obviously, you need to be very comfortable with whomever you are sharing the room! We enjoyed the staff at Hotel Alfiz as well.
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Entering Hotel Alfiz
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Colonia room at Hotel Alfiz
Our first night, the hotel staff informed us that there was a curfew from 10pm till 4am and that we must be in the hotel by 10. No problem for us! Our only plan was to find dinner. I also had an email indicating that we had cancelled our planned beach day for tomorrow. Since I hadn’t cancelled it and don’t read Spanish well, we asked the front desk to help interpret what happened and they informed us that all of the area beaches and islands were closed for the next 14 days. Unfortunately, we had mostly planned for beach/pool time while in Cartagena because the forecast was for all 90 degree days.,
Still pondering our plans for the coming days, we stopped over at the Hotel Movich rooftop bar for a happy hour drink. While we were there, we ran into a family from Atlanta with two young daughters who also had their beach day cancelled. They had found a person who was willing to take them to an island for the day anyway and were planning to do that instead. I’m wondering if that actually happened or not!
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Views from the Hotel Movich Rooftop
We went on a search for a place to eat and tried Alma at their recommendation but it was fully booked for the night. Instead, we found Restaurante Burlador which is a Spanish Tapas type place that included a spanish trio who entertained during dinner. Once again, we had excellent food including Octopus and an excellent fish special. A pitcher of Sangria was the drink of choice.
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Octopus from Restaurante Burlador
Around this time, we decided that the best course of action was to try to get an earlier flight home - either on Tuesday or Wednesday instead of our planned Thursday flight. We started by contacting our travel company - TripMasters - to see if they could reschedule us. We had trip insurance so knew that 80% of the cost would be covered if we went home early. Unfortunately, they were unable to find any open flights other than one that went through Mexico City and cost a bunch extra. At this point, we realized that we had been very smart to schedule our layover in the US vs. anywhere else and decided that heading to Mexico was no better than being in Colombia. A friend from the US, Rebecca Miller, had commented on one of my Facebook posts that they had friends in Colombia picking up a baby in Bogota with their adoption agency. Now, she sent us a message that those same friends were worried about getting home since the Colombian president had “closed the borders”. We stepped up our efforts to get home at this point trying to work through the US Embassy, our congressman and trying again with TripMasters. We would contact most of these groups repeatedly over the next 48 hours.
To be continued...
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 03:33 PM
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Last Chapter - Cartagena and Home


The next day, since our beach day was cancelled and we had no leads on finding earlier flights, we slept in a bit and headed to a walking tour of Getsemani after breakfast. The graffiti was just as spectacular as what we had seen elsewhere in Colombia.
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Graffiti in Getsemani
We also discovered that Cartagena has an affinity for hanging things over the streets - umbrellas, flags, balls of plants - and it prompted everyone to take pictures of the area.

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Flags over the street Umbrella’s for the street
We also stopped by Plaza de Toros de La Serrezuela where Paul got a phone call from our congressman’s office.
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Plaza de Toros de La Serrezuela (former bull fighting arena - now an upscale mall)
We headed back to the hotel (where it was quiet) to take the call. When we got to the hotel, the staff told us that the curfew that night would start at 6pm and we were advised to pick up some carry out food that we could eat back in the hotel. After returning the call to the congressman (which didn’t give us any more hope for getting home early) we stopped at Prispi Cafe for some carryout food. We actually had a nice carryout meal of a sandwich and quesadilla in the outdoor cafe area of our hotel. We enjoyed the sunset from the rooftop of our hotel. At night, we watched a Netflix movie.
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Our hotel’s rooftop terrace
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Our courtyard was a lovely place in the evening
Our last full day in Cartagena was interesting as well. After breakfast, we headed toward the office and met the hotel manager (who had not been on site before this) and he explained the new rules for tourists in Colombia. Unless we had been in the country for 14 days, we were quarantined at the hotel. We had to sign yet another document stating that we understood and would comply with these rules. He also told us that some tourists ignored the prior night’s curfew and had been sent to the airport to stay until they could get a flight home. He was a bit lenient with us since we had been in the country for 13 days at this point so he let us find a spot for lunch and recommended we bring back food for dinner. With heavy hearts, we headed out once again for a little exploring near the Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas and Los Zapatos Viejos to replicate a photo that Jackie and Hank took of their trip 40 years earlier.
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The beaches were empty… because they were closed
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Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas Los Zapatos
We found a small italian place for some pasta for lunch. We went back to Prispi Cafe for some more carryout food for dinner and stopped at the convenience store for a bottle of wine. Once back at the hotel, we watched another Netflix movie. By this time, we were grateful that we had a confirmed flight home. Delta (our carrier) announced they would stop flying out of Colombia just days after our flight. We again ate our carryout food in the courtyard and went to sleep fairly early.
Although our flight on Thursday wasn’t until 1:55pm, we headed to the airport by 10am. The check in lines were fairly long and at least half of the flights for the day had been cancelled, but ours was listed on time.
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Lucky flight 13… not “cancelado”
We’ve never been so happy for a flight to leave. We went through customs in Atlanta and had absolutely no issues. No forms to fill out. No questions on whether we were sick. No temperature checks. We made it all the way home by 1am on Friday and went into a self quarantine for the next 14 days.
Colombia was a beautiful country and another time, I’m sure we would have enjoyed it even more than we did. The country is just on the cusp of being ready for tourists and the exchange rate is fantastic. If we were to do it again, I may have tried to find more time in smaller towns and would have likely enjoyed Cartagena more if we could have gone to a beach or tried more of their fantastic restaurants. I took many beautiful photos that I’ve shared with others who may want to visit in the future.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old Dec 28th, 2021, 02:55 AM
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Excellent trip report! Brought back a lot of memories of our time in Colombia in 2018. We met Tom Hollander the actor ( famous amongst many others, for his roles in Pirates of the Carribean and The Night Manager) playing Tevo at that Los Amigos place.

Thank you for sharing.
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Old Dec 28th, 2021, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by crellston View Post
Excellent trip report! Brought back a lot of memories of our time in Colombia in 2018. We met Tom Hollander the actor ( famous amongst many others, for his roles in Pirates of the Carribean and The Night Manager) playing Tevo at that Los Amigos place.

Thank you for sharing.

You are welcome!
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 08:16 AM
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Great report! I'm just starting to plan a 10-week trip to South America. I wasn't initially planning to include Colombia, but after some recommendations in my posting, reading yours, and some other research, I've decided it's a must-do! Would really be interested in what places were your favorites. And was there anything you heard about while there that you were sorry to miss?
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Old Apr 1st, 2022, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by althom1122 View Post
Great report! I'm just starting to plan a 10-week trip to South America. I wasn't initially planning to include Colombia, but after some recommendations in my posting, reading yours, and some other research, I've decided it's a must-do! Would really be interested in what places were your favorites. And was there anything you heard about while there that you were sorry to miss?
Thanks! Sorry for the delay in responding. I think I enjoyed the Salento area the best. Cocora was a great hike and the whole area was warm and friendly. But we really liked most everything. The one thing I was sorry to miss was the trip we had planned to Guatape and El Penol. We had a bus trip planned for the day (about $30 per person)from Medellin that was a full day affair that included lunch, both sites and a boat excursion, but my husband twisted his ankle so we knew we couldn't do a lot of walking and we ended up cancelling.

Enjoy your trip!
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