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."