Guide to MEDELLÍN – And a Day Trip to GUATAPÉ

Let me guide you to Medellín – which is also a great gateway for a fantastic day trip to the mesmerizing town of Guatapé.

Fernando Botero La Muerte de Pablo Escobar
Fernando Botero La Muerte de Pablo Escobar
Escobar was shot and killed by the Colombian National Police already in 1993, but like all the rest of this beautiful country, since then, Colombia progressed a lot; sadly, without the world taking notice.I wish my post will change that at least a bit.
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Cartagena is Colombia’s most touristy destination. No wonder, they have a Caribbean beach and a walled old town that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nevertheless, I found spending two days in Cartagena enough.

Woman walking in Cartagena, Colombia
Although no Colombian woman is wearing this when there are no tourists around, this lady makes this picture….picturesque.
(Photo: ShonEjai from Pixabay)

However, the old city is very alluring and there are lots of touristy infrastructures.

Exactly the reason to dislike it.

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SANTA MARTA – Spectacularly Unspectacular

Santa Marta is a spectacularly unspectacular place.

Coffee vendor on a street in Santa Marta
Good morning, Santa Marta! The coffee lady is pushing her cart on Calle 19; who needs Starbucks, anyways?!
In the afternoon her place is taken by the gentleman who sells cheese-filled arepas. A very pleasant fast-food culture far from chain companies. 

The perfect place for those who don’t suffer from FOMO but are very well able to observe and enjoy the small things of truly Colombian life.

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Before I begin to tell you about my amazing day at Parque Tayrona, I must admit that I skipped one stop.

Parque Tayrona
Getting sneak peeks at the cool, blue ocean is very encouraging. Like the carrot dangling in front of a mule.

After we left the pleasure hell of the beaches of Cartagena, we made it to Santa Marta, a city by the sea. A little colonial, a little touristy, a little average, but very unpretentious. A healthy mix of good crowds.

And adjacent to the fantastic natural reserve Parque Tayrona.

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Floating in PALOMINO – Take Me to the River, Drop Me in the Water

Floating in Palomino: The former fishermen’s village is booming! Because it has one of Colombia’s nicest beaches and a river with a major fun factor.

Floating on Rio Palomino
Floating down on the shallow waters of Rio Palomino.

So floating is what we did today. Not only in time, but on the long and winding Palomino river.

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Guide to LIMA – beyond Miraflores

Vamonos, let me guide you to Lima – beyond Miraflores and off the touristy trails.

Plaza Mayor in LIMA - beyond Miraflores
One of the more picturesque parts of Lima: Plaza Mayor – the Main Square – with view of the Cathedral and the Palacio Arzobispal – the Archiepiscopal Palace – to its left.

Give Lima a chance to amaze you with beautiful museums, colorful markets, and great food.

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Here comes a guide to Paracas which is actually only a short promenade along the shore. However, it’s a great gateway to natural treasures like the Islas Ballestas, Peru’s Galapagos Islands.

Going by boat to the Islas Ballestas off the shore of Paracas
Paying birds and beasts a visit.

Every morning, the tour boats leave the village and show the visitors the undisturbed wildlife on these rocks. Sea lions, flocks of different birds, and even groups of penguins are greeting from the shores.

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Let me guide you to Ica, unjustly, mostly considered a gateway to the desert and artificial oasis of Huacachina which is a major tourist attraction.

Woman hiking the desert of Huacachina, an oasis close to Ica
Hiking the dunes of Huacachina looks far easier than it actually is.

Nonetheless, Ica itself has a handful of landmarks. Most of all, it gives you the chance of experiencing a Peruvian town out of the tourist hot spots.

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