Tall and brilliant, the Andes Mountains watch peacefully over the city of Bogotá. Down below, the people of Colombia, with a rich history of thriving art and culture behind them, bustle through markets and stroll along streets with impressive, bold art adorning the walls. A warm and inviting atmosphere, Colombia draws you in with open arms…
During a trip with Adventure Travel Trade Association, on their highly anticipated AdventureWeek Bogotá, Colleen explored the towns and landscapes surrounding the capital city of Colombia, in the department of Cundinamarca. Four days of hiking, exploring, and learning left an imprint of gratitude for this South American country.
As the second most biodiverse country in the entire world, Colombia proudly hosts an array of flora and fauna. But perhaps the most distinct feature of this terrain is the páramo: an ecosystem only found along the highest peaks of the Andes Mountains. Páramos are inhabited with unique plants and animals, and as a vital source of drinking water, they absorb and direct water down to the city. A perfect place to explore these one-of-a-kind ecosystems is Chingaza Natural National Park, where a journey through the mystifying fog will transport you higher and higher to Siecha Lagoons, home of the Muiscas and the Guayupes—the indigenous ancestors of the Colombian people.
Step into Plaza Mayor in Villa de Leyva, in the department of Boyacá, and you will be delighted with the sounds and sights of the quaint colonial square. Taking the time to sit and chat with the locals at the various shops and cafés will enrich your visit of this historic town; as will a stop at the Museo Paleontológico, where you can view the fossil of a kronosaurus, among other prehistoric creatures.
And if you’d really like to be blown away by incredible art and architecture, travel to Casa Terracota, a house made entirely of clay—and quite exquisitely, with a multitude of ceramics that dazzle in the sun. Afterwards, Colleen would recommend the accommodations at the charming and cozy Plazuela de San Agustin. It just might be the perfect place to stay the night.
Of course, you absolutely cannot help but be pulled directly into the colorful town of Ráquira, also in Boyacá, deemed the "pottery capital." The craftsmanship of the art that is embedded into every nook and corner of this municipality is incomparable. Maybe this is because Ráquira literally rests upon a ground rich with a clay-filled soil that manifests into the art which makes this town so special.
There is so much more to do and see in this magnificent country. So after a long day of exploration—as you get some rest before embarking upon the next busy day that awaits you—the perfect way to end your night is a steaming bowl of the country’s famous ajiaco soup, paired with some live, traditional music in a local restaurant in the heart of Bogotá…