Bogota and Medellin Photography/Coffee - Apr 1 - Apr 11, 2019
What a fantastic experience from beginning to end!
In the initial stages I was connected with Nathalie, and after discussing my specific interests in Colombia via correspondence, she got back to me with an itinerary including additional suggestions that were welcomed and encouraged! After a little tweaking we had created a fantastic adventure through Bogotá and Antioquia!
Nathalie was always swift to respond with answers to my questions and even a couple weeks before the trip, she notified me that she’d be out of the office for a few days and put me in touch with Laura in her stead and Laura was equally as helpful!
Nathalie arranged all my transportation including airport transfers which was incredibly helpful and one less thing to worry about!
In Bogotá, I spent the day with Balthazar (a very smart and funny Rolo) starting at the Paloquemao market sampling a myriad of wonderful and delicious local produce and experiencing the calm chaos of one of Colombia’s largest markets. Ducked out of the rain into Cafe de la Fonda for some coffee and mate de coca and learned a little about coffee production in Colombia before ascending Monserrate and taking in the incredible view of Bogotá and beyond!
The following day was spent with Michael, owner of Bogotá Bike Tours in La Candelaria. We mounted up and traversed the city viewing some of the most incredible street art I’ve ever seen and Michael’s vast knowledge of history, politics and pop-culture and how it could be interpreted through the murals we were seeing was eye-opening on multiple levels!
Onto Antioquia! My first day was spent with Germán exploring Santa Fe de Antioquia including the historic Puente de Occidente bridge over the Cauca River! The beautiful churches and plazas of Santa Fe with it’s cobbled streets was a fantastic getaway from the city and Germán was knowledgeable and eager to show me it’s history and charm.
The following days I explored El Peñol, Guatapé, a coffee finca in Fredonia, Comuna 13 and downtown Medellín with Andrea. She was equally as knowledgeable and excited to share the highlights and history of Colombia with me. Climbing the 700+ stairs of Piedra del Peñol was exhilarating and the view from the top was incredible! I loved wandering through the vibrantly lined streets of Guatapé and seeing all the wonderful zócalos (bas reliefs) decorating each of the colorful houses!
We then traveled out to Cafe Luna Llena, a coffee finca in Fredonia, southern Antioquia. Where Gustavo Palacio completely schooled me on the coffee process in Colombia! From seed to cup, we walked the hillside noting coffee plants in various stages of maturity, I even planted one and picked some coffee beans myself! He covered the various drying processes and exported coffee versus the “Tinto” that is consumed by the majority of Colombians and how drastic the difference in quality is. So informative and interesting, this was was one of my favorite days in Colombia!
The next day we ventured to Comuna 13 and Andrea explained how the neighborhood has blossomed into the welcoming and colorful area it is today from a very poor and violent past. Vivid murals tell the story of its history and triumph with sweeping walkways and little cafés, peddlers selling handmade goods, ice cream and fresh juice it was a very cool experience!
We hopped a metrocable to get a nice aerial view of the cascading neighborhoods and jumped on the metro into downtown Medellín to see the hustle and bustle of it’s core and view the 23 sculptures of Fernando Botero in Plaza Botero!
This was such a wonderful adventure! Nathalie kept in touch throughout the whole trip and would check-in often to see how I was doing. All the drivers and guides were on time if not early and incredibly friendly and warmly welcomed me to their wonderful country!
I have nothing but good things to say about this country and it’s people and it’s all due to Nathalie! Thank you so much!