Colombia Travel: Castillo De San Filipe, Cartagena

Construction on this fort was started after Sir Francis Drake”s attack on the city in 1586. It began as a small fortification and after 150 years of construction, with the help of slave labor and a Dutch engineer, it eventually became the largest Spanish fort built in the Americas. Seen from below, it looks like a massive pile of stones ...

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Travels in Colombia: Salento

SALENTO AN INTRODUCTION With Carlos Alberto behind the wheel urging his KIA onward, negotiating the mountainous roads as if he was Juan Pablo Montoya, the famous Colombian Formula One driver, we reached Salento in considerably less than the usual one hour driving time from the Valle del Cocora. Salento was established in 1850, making it one of the oldest towns ...

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Travels in Colombia: Valle del Cocora

To reach our next destination, the Valle del Cocora, we headed back into the mountains. When the road was not following the contours of the mountains, it was going up, over and down, crossing from one valley to the next. Lush tropical vegetation grew in profusion, enveloping us in a symphony of green. Lacy tree ferns lined the road while ...

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Travels in Colombia: Willys in the Coffee Zone

From the beginning, when there were only paths, coffee beans and other agriculture products were brought to market on the backs of mules, intelligent, hard working animals, capable of carrying heavy loads while negotiating the rough terrain. In place of roads, cable cars were strung between the mountains but the mule still proved the most durable means of transportation. Along ...

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Travel in Colombia: Zona Cafetera – Filandia

Filandia, Colombia

On our second day in the Zona Cafetera, the morning began with a sky struggling to remain blue while rain threatened from the distance. According to our program, Johnny was taking us to Filandia and Salento, both typical small towns in the area and to the Valle del Cocora where we would eat lunch and see the famous Colombian wax ...

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Visiting Zona Cafetera, the coffee growing region of Colombia

When the Andean Mountain range enters Columbia from Ecuador, it branches into three ranges and crosses Columbia on a diagonal from south west to south east. These ranges, called Cordilleras, are labeled Occidental (west), Central, and Oriental (east). The coffee growing area, Zona Cafetera, which Donald and I visited is located in the central part of the Andean highlands between ...

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Colombia: A trip to the coffee country

BACKGROUND The word “coffee” is derived from a Turkish word, which could have been borrowed from an Arabic word, as coffee was first cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula, or it could have evolved from an Ethiopian word, because coffee was first discovered there. Around 850 AD, as per the legend, a goat herder in Ethiopia noticed how playful his goats ...

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Time out for culture in Bogota

Ettica, whose son is a doctor in Knoxville, picked us up at our hotel the following morning. She and her husband, Isaac, also a doctor, were born in Colombia but their grandparents emigrated from Central Europe early in the 20th, contributing to the multicultural mix that makes Bogota so vibrant. They had once lived in New York where Isaac was ...

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Travels in Colombia: What’s for dinner?

Dinner in Colombia

If a city is lucky, it has a famous restaurant that is a major destination not only for the locals but for those visiting the city as well. In Bogota, this restaurant is Andres Carne des Res, the same restaurant the young man suggested in the immigration line. In 1984, to help pay for their college education, Andres and his ...

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