Photo of the Week: Giant Wax Palms in Salento, Colombia

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One of our favourite destinations in Colombia was the quiet mountain village of Salento in the coffee region. We trekked for hours along muddy paths up steep trails and on our way back were rewarded with an up close look of the giant wax palms in the Valle de Cocora. It was a cloudy, rainy day but somehow that added to the mystery.

For more of our favourite places in South America see our free ebook South America Highlights.

Photo of the Week: Medellin Christmas Display

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Christmas this year is being spent with friends in sunny Chiang Mai, Thailand. As always it’s hard to feel like Christmas when it’s 30 degrees and you have no oven to cook all the traditional Christmas food. The high number of foreigners in Chiang Mai has meant that the city has made an effort with some hotels and restaurants decorating with Christmas lights and trees.

It’s nothing compared to the huge Christmas light display that Medellin in Colombia puts on each year, known as El Alumbrado Navideño. This photo was taken there last year when we spent two months in the city. It was gaudy but fun and full of Christmas spirit.

Colombian Fruit: My Mission to Try Them All

My favourite thing about Colombia was the fruit: delicious, cheap, plentiful and there are so many unusual varieties to try. You have the usual tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, papaya and watermelon but there are many more including some that are only available in Colombia or nearby countries.

I made it my mission during our 2.5 month stay to try as many Colombian fruits as I could. There is a bewildering array so I have documented it here so you know which ones to look out for on your visit.

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Photo of the Week: Street Vendors in Cartagena

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The Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena in Colombia has a vibrant street scene. We loved walking around the old city admiring the colourful buildings and buying juice or fruit from the many street vendors.

February Update: Exploring Colombia (Kind Of)

We left our Medellin apartment a few weeks ago and began our travels around Colombia. It started well with trips to the quiet villages of Jardin and Salento set amongst green hills in the coffee region, where we did some challenging but fun hikes and horse rides. When we reached the busy capital Bogota, two and a half days spent on cramped buses on windy mountain roads began to take it’s toll. To make matters worse we struggled to find an affordable private room – the hostels only had dorms available and after a frustrating day knocking on doors we were stuck with a very overpriced, rather depressing hotel. This and the cold Bogota nights convinced us to leave the city after a few days and saving ourselves 20 hours of bus time, fly to the coast. We did enjoy wandering around the vibrant, student filled streets of La Candelaria though – Bogota’s colonial area with attractive architecture, colourful graffiti and cool cafes.

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