Cartagena Colombia

Colombia, Where the Only Risk is Not Wanting to Leave

Santa Cruz del Islote

The most densely populated island in the world-Santa Cruz del Islote

Once considered the “bad boy” of South America, Colombia is trying hard to change the world’s perception of the country. Where once drug cartels made the news and headlines, today’s Colombia is considered a safe, emerging global travel destination. From the capital city of Bogota, located high in the mountains, where history and cultural attractions are plenty, to the historic Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias. Here are a few highlights from my trip and things not to miss when you plan your own visit to Colombia. This article was published January 2013 on Yahoo.

 

Caribbean Paradise at Punta Faro Resort on Isla Mucura

Located about three hours away from Cartagena and accessible only by boat, this small island paradise is a way to get away from it all. The island itself is a national park and Punta Faro Resort has eleven acres and 45 rooms on the 24-acre island in the San Bernardo Archipelagos.

But don’t mistake its small size for thinking there is nothing to do. The island has a dive shop, kayaking, paddleboards and windsurfing. There is pretty good snorkeling right off the beach or you can take a boat out to other reef areas. Meals are all included and are served in the open-air restaurant on the property.  Down by the beach there’s a bar, hammocks and massage tables.

Most of the people who work at Punta Faro live on Santa Cruz del Islote, which is considered to be the most densely populated island in the world.  Boat tours are daily from Punta Faro to this tiny island that has less than an acre of land and is home to about 1250 people. Island residents only have electricity for a few hours a day, water gets delivered 3 times a week and they walk through each other’s kitchens to get to their own homes.

I could have spent days or weeks at Punta Faro just relaxing on the beach and swimming in the gentle sea. It’s easy to see why it’s a popular getaway for locals and I hope to return to this island paradise one day soon.

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Colombia

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Colombia. No, that’s not Columbia, Couth Carolina but Colombia as in South America.  I have to admit that even though this destination had been on my “bucket list” for a long time, I was a little hesitant at first about the trip.  After all, I grew up in the 80’s where the only thing you heard about Colombia was the drug cartels and violence going on.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Colombia is a beautiful country and the people are friendly.  I never felt unsafe, even in Bogota.  That’s not to say that there aren’t neighborhoods that you shouldn’t go into, just like any other big city.  But for the most part it was a clean, modern, progressive city.  We toured around the city, visited the Museo del Oro, an amazing gold museum.  We visited the Presidential Palace, the La Canderleria neighborhood and I was introduced to different kinds of fruits and Arepas. Next we were off to Cartagena and it was amazing!  The old part of the city is surrounded bu a wall and is a great  blend of old world history and architecture.   Where highlights include sitting at an outdoor cafe, under the moonlight directly across from a hundreds years old  church.   From carriage rides and bike tours to just walking along the cobblestone streets, each turn leading to a new discovery.  Sign up for our RSS updates as we publish great articles on this amazing country.

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