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Renee Van Trier

Renee Van Trier

Renee is an Aussie girl, who loves to travel. She was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Brisbane. One year after graduating from a Bachelor of Architecture she embarked on her first overseas adventure and hasn’t stopped travelling since.

She has lived abroad in Dublin, Ireland and Bogota, Colombia working in her profession and dabbling in the art of teaching English. She loves photography, sketching, drinking good coffee and writing about her adventures in Colombia on her blog 'un latte deslactosada'.

The Tatacoa Desert (Desierto de la Tatacoa)

To break up the bus trip back to Bogota from San Agustin, I made a stop into Neiva and the Tatacoa Desert for a couple of days. I visited the desert as a day trip from Neiva, the capital of the Huila district of Colombia. Starting off bright and early in the morning at the bus station in Neiva, I caught a collectivo bus to Villavieja. These buses don’t run on a timetable, they go when they’re full. It was recommended to me to go early so I wouldn’t have to wait too long and I only ended up waiting about 15 minutes. The trip to the town took around 45 minutes.

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  • Inge
    Inge says #
    Hey Renee, nice story. I am very curious about where did you stay for the night? You slept in the desert or in Neiva? Greetz, Inge...
  • William Pinilla
    William Pinilla says #
    The story is wonderful, but I miss the best experience in Desert Tatacoa is a night watching the stars at the Astronomical Observa...

Road trip through Meta

It was a work trip and we were off to see some properties in the state of Meta, located in the centre of Colombia. It would be 2 days of working, followed by 2 days of holiday at a farm/ holiday home (in Spanish called a ‘finca’) close to the town of Villavicencio.

Meta is a region of the plains. Long, straight, seemly unending roads with long grasses and a few trees - a very familiar landscape for me from inland road trips back home in Australia. As you drive further away from the main roads the scenery changes into an unusual hilly landscape. The climate of the Meta region was for me, perfect! It was quite warm, around 35 degrees but without the humidity that makes warmer climates so uncomfortable. The land is used for cattle, but rarely crops, although this area is becoming more developed especially with the discovery of petroleum reservoirs throughout the area. The small town of Puerto Gaitan, which serves as a gateway to the petroleum reservoirs, is expanding as more and more petroleum companies use the town as a base for accommodation and other requirements.

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  • Mike
    Mike says #
    Adam, I see its been a while since you asked but I ran into this site on my search. Hope it helps. The prices are all in Colombian...
  • Adam
    Adam says #
    Hi Renee. How do you go about renting fincas? Thanks! Adam

Volunteering for ‘Un Techo para mi País – Colombia’

An unforgettable experience I’ve had in Colombia was volunteering for 'Un Techo para mi País - Colombia', an organization that sends volunteers into the poorer areas surrounding Bogota and throughout the country to help construct emergency housing and implement social programs into these communities. We had close to 800 volunteers building 100 new houses in the south of Bogota, helping numerous families in need on the weekend I was involved.  It wasn’t an easy weekend by any means but the feeling of achievement and the gratitude from the family I helped was definitely worth the hard work.

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  • George
    George says #
    Hi, I am from Australia but lived in Colombia for 1 year. I heard about this program towards the end of my stay in Colombia and r...

Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) Trek

We’d been walking along a slightly muddy path, up and down hills for about 2 hours when it dawned on me what exactly I’d signed up for. A 6 day trek through the jungle of Colombia! I’m not a trekker, I had a terrible fitness level and had just spent the last 2 weeks partying in Bogota, what was I thinking!? But it was too late, I was there and we were walking. It would take 3 days all the way to the Lost City and back again.

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  • Lucy
    Lucy says #
    hey Renee thanks for this post just wondered i am about as fit as a potatoe - how hard was the hike????...
  • Renee
    Renee says #
    Hi Adam, thanks for your comment. On the Lost City trek you will pass some of the Indigenous communities, however it was a little ...


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