February Update: Exploring Colombia (Kind Of)

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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.

Our luck didn’t improve in Santa Marta. At the airport we were ripped off by a taxi driver, refused to pay the extra charge and were followed around by him threatening to call the police on us. We gave in and paid, but it was a rather upsetting incident and we lost our trust in people somewhat. Finding a place to stay was the next challenge – again all the reasonably priced, recommended hostels were booked and the affordable hotel we found was not somewhere we wanted to spend another night. Colombia just isn’t compatible with our budget, and as the beaches seemed too crowded for our tastes, we decide to move on to our final stop: Cartagena.

The constant accommodation hunt was getting depressing and the colonial city of Cartagena is probably the most expensive destination in Colombia. We decided to blow the budget and treat ourselves to a boutique hotel with a pool. Relaxing in the sun was just what we needed, and we love wandering around the old city. Still, we can’t keep spending at this rate so tomorrow we are flying to Panama. Just four days before our one year travel anniversary we’ll be leaving South America behind.

Never Ending Voyage Around The Web

Here’s where we appeared in the last month.

I wrote my first hostel review for the South America Tourist site – read about La Serrana Eco Farm and Hostel in Salento.

My guest post 7 Compelling Reasons to Visit the Cook Islands was published on Gap Year Escape.

We had the pleasure of meeting the mother and son travelling team Lainie and Miro from Raising Miro in Medellin. We had lunch with a group of travellers and Miro surprised us with some interview questions. Here’s the resulting podcast (we had some questions for him too).

Andrea the Vagabond linked to a couple of our posts in her post 5 More South American Travel Ideas.

Digital Nomad Update

Simon has taken a well deserved break from web design, although quite a few enquiries have come in so he’ll be back on it soon.

Are you planning your next travel adventure? See our Travel Resources page for our favourite tools and gear to help you plan the perfect trip. 

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  1. The coastal cities are definitely what I am after, in Colombia. I have never been – but really excited to visit.
    I’m think I am going to use the hostel options in the local areas. Cheaper and we get to meet other similar-minded people. Win-win to me :)

    Thanks for sharing your story!


  2. Reading your post from our apartment in Medellin. Sorry to hear about your experiences with the cab driver – luckily so far we’ve had good experiences here in Medellin. Looking forward to exploring more while we’re here.


  3. Hi, I found your blog by chance after googling for something related to Colombia.We are headed there in a months time and can fully appreciate your comments on how expensive it is. I too am shocked by the prices of the hotels which I can partly stems from more demand and less supply.

    Could you suggest which areas in Bogota and Cartegena are best for spending a few nights including any suggestions you have on hotels etc.

    Enjoy your travels



    • We liked the Candelaria area of Bogota and the old town in Cartagena but we can’t really recommend particular hotels as we struggled to find good options. We ended up paying $100 a night in Cartagena for a hotel called Don Pedro de Heredia, but it was way over our budget. If you can afford it it is lovely and in a good location.


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