Where We Goin'
Near Christmas we'll visit Playa del Carmen on Mexico's
Mayan Riviera, and in January we'll spend a month on the
beach near Gulf Shores, Alabama. In February we'll travel
to Colombia for a month
to see the highlights of this
large South American country -- about twice the size of

  • Bogota. We'll fly into the third-highest capital city in
    the world (8.612 ft elev.) and see a few key sights
    like the Gold Museum, Bolivar Square, and
    Monserrate Cable Car (for city views from above).

  • Salento. A long bus ride (8+ hours) will bring us
    northwest of Bogota to the quaint coffee town of
    Salento. A hike in scenic Cocora Valley offers the
    chance to see the tallest palm trees in the world.

  • Jardin. Another super-colorful coffee town tucked
    into the mountains south of Medellin is our third
    stop. It's another long bus ride to get here but the
    traditional town life should make it worthwhile.

  • Medellin. The City of Eternal Spring is known for its
    flower festivals. Luckily the days of Pablo Escobar
    are long gone. We hope to ride the Metrocable for
    views and visit sculpture-filled Plaza Botero.

  • Guatape. A few hours east of Medellin is Laguna de
    Guatape, a scenically dramatic spot offering terrific
    views from the top of El Peñol. It's 740 steps to the
    top but the flooded islet views should be worth it.

  • Barranquilla. It just so happens we'll be in Colombia
    during Carnival -- and Barranquilla has the second-
    biggest Carnival festival in the world after Rio! Who
    knew? We decided we had to go and join in the fun.

  • Cartagena. The walled Old Town is popular with just
    about everyone who visits. This Caribbean coastal
    city is a favorite cruise port for good reason: it has
    loads of character and a nearby fortress to visit.

  • San Andres & Providencia Islands. Our final stop is
    an unusual one: two Caribbean islands owned by
    Colombia but situated near Honduras. Both are
    known for snorkeling and beaching. Providencia in
    particular is famous for its "Sea of Seven Colors."