Street food vendors in Cartagena, Colombia

When I reached Cartagena after almost half a year of travelling through South America, I was tired of meat, rice and french fries. It didn’t matter where we went on this continent, it seemed as if half of the restaurants would only let you choose which kind of meat you wanted to have with your dry rice and your soggy french fries. And it didn’t matter which one we went for, the meat seemed to taste the same everywhere.

I am not saying that we didn’t have amazing food along the way. I remember that Patagonian lamb, for example. Or the delicious sopa de mani in Bolivia, a soup rich in flavours and spices. But there had also been parts where we hadn’t been able to afford anything other than the cheapest and most tasteless dishes, particularly in expensive regions like Patagonia or Galapagos.…

Mountain hut in the jungle

Located less than an hour away from Santa Marta, Minca is a little paradise. Up here in the mountains, a fresh breeze offers relief from the heat. You can hike through bamboo groves and swim in rivers and waterfalls. And at the end of the day, hammocks invite you to relax.

Not too long ago, this tiny village used to be a refuge for extremists who used to hide in the mountains. These days, instead of soldiers with machine guns, backpackers stroll through the streets.

And while Minca can be seen as a day trip from Santa Marta, you should consider staying the night. Let me show you why:…

Palm trees in the Cocora Valley, Colombia

This year, when travelling through Colombia, I was lucky and got to see the Cocora Valley. Located close to Salento, in the south of the country, it is a valley of green pastures, cows, hummingbirds and wax palm trees. Those palm trees are the national tree of Colombia and the tallest ones in the world. Walking in between them makes you realise how beautiful nature can be and also how small we are.

The Valle de Cocora is not just worth a visit because of the palm trees. Along the way, you will get great views of lush green valleys and you have the chance to spot hummingbirds and other wildlife at the Casa de las Colibris. Plus, the Cocora Valley is easily accessible from Salento.…

Street view in Salento, Colombia

Salento was my first proper stop in Colombia. I won’t count Ipiales, the border town where we had to stay for a night, or Cali, where we only stayed for around 12 hours as well. Salento was the first place that I properly explored in Colombia and I couldn’t have gotten a better introduction to the country.

With its colourful houses and red-tiled roofs, Salento is a beautiful town. Add to that the coffee farms in the surrounding hills and the nearby Cocora Valley and you have found a little paradise. I recommend staying for at least two days so you can enjoy the region as much as I did. There are plenty of things to do in the area, and when you’re done, you can always relax in a hammock in your hostel.…

Comuna 13, Medellin, Colombia

I have already done one interview with a local. When I travelled to Ecuador, I met Jaime, a tour guide from Cuenca, with whom I spent an amazing day in the Cachas National Park.

Now that I have moved on to Colombia, I got the chance to meet more amazing people. Colombia is one of the most interesting countries in South America. Not long ago, it was completely off limits to tourists and Medellin was labelled as the most dangerous city in the world. It is unbelievable how much this country has changed. When I came here, progress was visible everywhere. From public libraries and free wifi at every corner to the creation of small businesses, it is obvious that Colombia has come a long way.…