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Julia P
Created byJulia P

Backpacking 2.0: Colombia

Featured Guide
Backpacking isn't just for gap year kids. At 32, I spent two months exploring the magical Colombia, with an open itinerary, a laptop, and, of course, a backpack, and benefited along the way from my extra years of life experience. 
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National Archeological Park of Tierradentro

Tierradentro is a magical place to visit. The mysterious painted underground tombs are well preserved monuments to a people we know nothing about - except that they buried their dead twice: once as a body, and again, after fifteen years, as cremated ashes in an urn. The landscape is also gorgeous....

Medellin

A cosmopolitan city with a notoriously fabulous climate, which also happens to be super artistic, easy to navigate, and reasonably priced.

Cartagena

A genteel city on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena's old town is very safe and tourist friendly, while Getsemani covers the funky/developing beat and Boca Grande the modern, shiny consumerism one. Sophisticated, elegant, and HOT, Cartagena is worth adding to any Colombian itinerary....

Aldeafeliz

A beautiful ecovillage in the lush, green coffee zone, Aldeafeliz is an established experiment in community living in harmony with the earth. Naked children, thatched roofs, and the latest eco-technology are all common sights. It's a great place to go and volunteer or just chill out as a guest:...

Andres DC

Andres DC is basically like being in a supper club from the 20s that was invented and adorned by Pedro Almodovar and Salvador Dali. The five floors of Andres DC take you from hell to heaven, each table 0 named for a deceased person (and speculating on where they ended up.) A cabaret plays music, confetti...

Iguaque National Park

Iguaque is the site where the Muisca indigenous people believed the world was born. The lake where it all went down is a spectacular, and spectacularly challenging, hike up the mountain. Any pain in your legs (and knees) is worth the experience of watching the ecosystem change from bamboo forest to...

Villa de Leyva

White walls, hacienda style buildings, gorgeous handicrafts and stone streets make Villa de Leyva a village-y, charming antidote to dusty, industrial Bogota. It's a little touristy, but not so much as to ruin the sight of the hills surrounding it and the blue, blue skies....

La Guajira

The Guajira region has some of Colombia's most remote locations. The main city of Riohacha is reasonably well kitted out and a fun, kind of wild place to stay for a night before venturing farther. The presence of the Wayuu tribe is ubiquitous. On the whole, the region felt the most "third world" of any I...

Teyumakke Playa Brava

I wasn't sure whether to rate Playa Brava 5 stars for the nature or 1 star for the amenities. Jungle, beach and river all meet in a lovely little triangle between two cliffs. You can pick up coconuts off the ground, and if you're willing to hack them open, guzzle coconut water for free (rather than paying...

Bogota

If you're looking for graceful architecture and quaint piazzas, go to Rome. Bogota is having none of it. It is, however, a fascinating city with llamas (imported from Peru) walking the streets, cheap, delicious food, and its own heartfelt, caliente vibe. Creative, decadent nightlife adds to the...