I've spent the last 18 months living in Colombia - despite never intending to visit here. I'm a freelance journalist and was travelling in South America when a Colombian friend suggested I go north, to visit her homeland. I fell in love with Bogota and decided to stay; writing about the country and doing my best to improve my Spanish. I've since travelled all over Colombia and am now living between Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast and the capital.
I knew Cali was Colombia’s 'Capital of Salsa', but I didn’t realise the city's salsa circus – called Delirio – would showcase its talents quite so spectacularly. This amazing show does exactly what it promises, combining salsa and a genuine circus in a flash of smiles, sequins and daring trapeze stunts. You’ll laugh at the clowns and marvel at the ...
David Lee is the Editor in Chief of MedellinLiving.com and GoBackpacking.com.
In 2007, he quit his office job in northern Virginia to embark on a dream trip around the world. In January 2009, after visiting more than 20 countries, he arrived in Medellin, Colombia.
He was immediately enamored with the city, and proceeded to spend the next 6 months delving into Antioquian culture, learning Spanish, and more importantly, learning to dance salsa. David continues to spend several months per year living in Medellin.
It's safe to say Colombian food often gets a bad wrap, but if you give it a chance, I'm confident you'll find at least five dishes you'll want to eat more than once.
Below are five of my favorites. These are the foods I miss most when I'm not in the country.
I discovered ajiaco on my first full day in Colombia. I was walking around P ...
Geographically speaking, Colombia is a surprisingly diverse country. Before arriving in 2009, I imagined it was one big jungle. I'm embarssed to admit that my knowledge of the country was limited to what I'd seen on news clips and in Hollywood movies.
Now that I've spent over a year and a half living in Medellin, and traveling Colombia, I can lo ...
Learning to dance salsa was the last thing on my mind when I arrived in Colombia. I'd taken lessons at a studio in Washington, DC a few years earlier, but I was far too shy to start asking strange women to dance outside of the classroom.
It was par for the course. My parents had enrolled me in ballroom dance classes when I was a little kid. We l ...
I have a confession to make. In August 2010, after a cummulative 18 months living in Medellin Colombia, I left to explore the rest of South America.
Until then, Colombia had been the one and only country I was familiar with on the continent. I knew the city and paisa culture of Medellin were awesome, but what if there were other cities that ...
The people living in Colombia's big cities, including Bogota, Medellin and Cali love to get away from their concrete jungles whenever possible.
Weekends and holidays are all reason enough for them to visit nearby pueblos, usually no more than an hour or two away by car or bus. Weekend homes in these pueblos are called fincas, and if y ...
I was born in Sydney, Australia – a sunny, multicultural city. At the age of 18 I spent 5 months vagabonding around India before I returned to my home town and started university to become a journalist.
Between classes I wrote for a newspaper called Sydney City News and on the weekends I rode my motorbike as far away as I could. I had a dream brewing, a motorcycle ride around South America. So when my university offered me a scholarship to study my final semester in Colombia, I accepted straight away. In Bogotá I bought a new motorcycle and rode it throughout Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Boyacá, El Valle del Cauca, Santander, the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts. Then in December 2010 I finished university and hit the road again. I rode down to Ecuador, across Peru, down through Chile, over to Argentina, up to Brazil, around Uruguay, over to Bolivia and then back up to Bogotá. It took me a year to ride that motorcycle 20,000km´s around South America, living my dream. Back in Bogotá, I was out of cash and in love, so I decided to stay a while and soon found a job as a travel writer with Mantaraya Travel.
The dream is to ride all the way up to Alaska. But for the meantime, I´m comfortable and content in Colombia.
Cartagena´s colonial charm, colorful culture and picturesque coastal setting has made it Colombia´s number 1 travel destination for decades. Whether you´re there to wander through the narrow streets of the World Heritage Listed old city, party or chill out on the beaches of the beautiful neighboring islands, Cartagena ...
Is this person calling me an idiot or saying that the bus is full? Are they blowing me a kiss or pointing to the restaurant across the street? This one minute video on hilarious Colombian hand gestures will help any traveler slip smoothly into Colombian culture, making the locals jaws drop in the process.
Since I moved to Bogotá I´ve been fascinat ...
I grew up in N. California, but also worked for several newspapers in the southern U.S. To improve my Spanish, I traveled to Chile, where I taught English, then to La Paz, Bolivia for several years, to Paraguay and then to Venezuela, where I covered Hugo Chavez's 'revolution' for foreign media. But I became disillusioned with chavismo and wanted to see Colombia, which did not receive the attention it deserved, so I came to Bogotá about six years ago. After three years, I started Bogotá Bike Tours.
With the annual bookfair going on in Corferias, I decided to tour the bookstores of central Bogotá, where you don't have to pay admission, can hang out as long as you like, and can pick up hours of entertainment or a piece of immortal literature for less than the cost of a beer in La Zona Rosa.
Books on Colombian history on display in the Knight ...
La Recreovia is sort of La Ciclovia's little sister. During La Ciclovia, which happenings almost every Sunday and holiday, hundreds of people swing, jump and shake it up in mass aerobics classes held in the Parque Nacional and other location.
La Recrovia, much less known than La Ciclovia, is another effort by the city to get people to do ...
The Pasaje Rivas, a central Bogotá market which offers the essence of Colombianness, commemorated its 120th anniversary this week. The L-shaped pasaje connects Carrera Decima to Calle 10, and is full of souvenirs, furniture, clothing and lots more. Its vendors are proud that the pasaje pioneered the retail trade in Bogotá.
Walk through t ...
Colombia is known for its coffee, but it plays a much bigger role in the world emerald market, where it produces more than half of the stones - and some of the best ones.
A round emerald, known as a colchon, or pillow.
If you're looking for an emerald, all you have to do is wander through the city center, where emerald ...
While Bogotá hasn't experienced waves of foreign immigration like many other Latin American capitals, the city's neighborhoods do have characteristic personalities, formed during the city's growth north and south from the historical center.
A street of centuries-old buildings in La Candelaria, Bogotá's historical center.
Bogotá was founded ...