I’ve never been to Colombia. Such a failure, I know. But for months now, Colombia has been on my mind.
Last fall I read this New York Times article about Morat, a band from Bogotá. It was one of those stories that made my antennae go up. Suddenly everything was Colombia. I had this feeling, in my gut, that I need to make a plan and go – and soon. My DoorDash app was offering Colombian takeout. I did a deep dive on Instagram #colombiatravel.
Then, right after the new year, my friend Melinda texted saying she was going to Santa Marta and Alupo with her family and would I join them? Hmmm. Let me just check my schedule. Maybe I can make it work. No, wait. I can’t. Too busy with work. Too much to do. That, my friends, is the ballad of the moron who said no.
Here’s a lesson: ALWAYS SAY YES.
To get an even clearer picture of what I missed, I spoke with Laura Jana, who is a local expert with Elsewhere by Lonely Planet, our travel-planning outfit that crafts trips all over the world, including Colombia, where Laura is based, as well as other far-flung destinations like Nepal, Costa Rica and South Africa.
I caught up with Laura while she was on an adventure of her own, learning about community tourism. Her appetite for adventure, her intelligence and experience (she’s a botanist, by the way), her passion for her home country and her expertise in crafting one-of-a-kind itineraries make her an ideal ambassador for Colombia.
Check out some excerpts from our conversation, and get a taste of what you can expect when you book a trip with Laura.
Itinerary: The Amazon, Medellín and Cartagena
If you’re dreaming about Colombia – located in the north of South America – this customized itinerary from Elsewhere will inspire you to pull the trigger and go.
Explore the cities of Medellin and Cartagena, experiencing them like a local. Meet the indigenous Ticuna people of the Colombian Amazon. Marvel at tiny pygmy marmosets and freshwater pink river dolphins, and snorkel on the Caribbean coral reefs of Islas del Rosario. The best bit? Laura has done all the planning for you. Salsa and sunshine for everyone!
Days 1–4: Off to the Amazon
This is the real start of your Colombian adventure, as you catch a flight from Bogotá to Colombia’s southeastern corner and the town of Leticia – the gateway to some of South America’s most incredible wilderness areas along the Amazon River.
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Stories – Lonely Planet…