Explore Colombia: Medellín

Where to stay:

La Campana Hotel Boutique: Located in the wealthy Poblado neighborhood, this cute boutique hotel is small but full of friendliness from its staff.   You will adore this  place if you like spacious rooms, spotless new baths, nice gardens outside your window, delicious home-cooked breakfasts with fresh-squeezed juices and fruits of the season, and quiet accommodations to let you get up in the morning feeling rested.  Only a five minute walk from the main road with shops and restaurants, this hotel is located in a quiet location for you to rest up after a long day.  Room pricing begins at $44 USD/night.  http://www.lacampanahotelboutique.com/  

 

Rooftop, Luxury Apartment:  If you like to live like a local and do something different while you travel- then this luxury apartment may just be for you.  A change from the standard hotel with fluffy, white pillows.  By staying in this apartment you will have the freedom to cook for yourself, invite guests over, and have a rooftop jacuzzi all to yourself.  Set in the historic, safe neighborhood of Estadio.  Apartment can accommodate up to 5 people and prices at $110 USD/night. Book now through Air Bnb at https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1376870?guests=5&s=wGGY

Where to eat:

Mondongos: Medellín families flock to this unremarkable-looking eatery to fill up on sopa de mondongo (tripe soup). It is served with avocado, banana, lemon and arepas (corn cakes), which are added or dunked in the bowl according to each diner's personal ritual. For the full experience, come for Sunday lunch. There is another branch on La 70. Large portions, perfect for sharing or saving for leftovers!  A must try for adventurous eaters and authentic food while in Medellín.


Tinto Tintero:  Live place and great cocktails, this is the place to go for a social atmosphere and tasty eats.  A great meeting place and Tuesday they have a meetup for people to practice speaking English. They also host a jazz jam on Thursday nights, a great place for music lovers.  On the corner of 43b and 10, opposite the NW corner of Parque Poblado, but the entrance is a unremarkable door on 43b and is up a flight of stairs. Food pricing for plates is $5-7 USD.

Posted on September 20, 2015 .

Lust over Colombia: San Gil

where to stay:

Hotel Campestre Camino Real: Located amongst the lush greenery of San Gil, this countryside hotel is a pleasant stay amongst other less-than-satisfactory choices in the area.  Located about a 10 minute taxi ride from the city’s center, Camino Real is a great jumping point for all of your extreme adventures.  The staff is über helpful and will arrange any and all of your trips during your stay- from river rafting to repelling down waterfalls.  Small, neat rooms are just perfect for most travellers, starting at only $33 USD/night.  http://www.hotelcaminoreal.co/

Hostal de la Nueva Baeza: White, fluffy beds and a beautiful inner courtyard evoke feelings of the colonial era in Colombia at this lovely, little 10-room guesthouse.  Newly remodeled rooms with flat screen TVs and awesome bathrooms will make you feel at home.  Located in the city of San Gil, Nueva Baeza.  Email hostaldelanuevabaeza@hotmail.com for room availability and pricing.  

 

where to eat:

Plaza de Mercado: Get a true local’s experience by visiting this bustling covered market in the city’s center.  Choose from a variety of fresh-squeezed juices to a tasty desayuno (breakfast) of stuffed arepas.  Located off of Carrera 11 in the Parque Principal.  

 

La Mansion de Sam y Sam’s Gastro Pub:  Have a delicious meal while staying in San Gil (the adventure capital of Colombia) at this gastropub, that is also attached to a hostel.  Popular amongst travelers and tourists.  We recommend trying the steak at Sam’s Gastro Pub- we’ve heard it’s quite juicy and flavorful.  Reasonably priced as well.  

 

Posted on September 13, 2015 .

Explore Colombia: Tyrona National Park

where to stay:

Tayrona Tented Lodge:  A quiet escape from the city, worth the half hour trek off the beaten path.  Stay in one of three cabanas right on the beach and fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing onto the sand.  Basic lodging and provided meals parallel the simplicity of your stay at the Tayrona Tented Lodge- and all at a good price.  The hotel is located in a palm tree covered beach nestled between the Sierra Nevada and the sea. The area's weather is comfortable all year round, combining the warm temperatures of the tropics with the mild humidity and cooling breeze from the mountains. Ecotents are fully equipped, each with a private bathroom and ocean views. Each ecotent can accommodate up to 3 people. Tent prices begin at $63 USD/night.  http://www.onressystems.com/webapp/book_search.asp

 

Casa los Cerros: If you’re looking to stay in the city of Taganga, just a few miles outside of the National Park, this is by far one of the best hotels you can choose.  The hotel features three villas, which are all reasonably priced.  One of the best features of the hotel however is the pool at the center of the property, a perfect place to put up your feet.  Some of the greatest hosts you will have in Colombia, Jean-Luc and Ana will do anything to make your stay lovely.  We suggest asking for a room with an ocean view- totally worth it.  Room pricing begins at $57 USD/night.  https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1350865

 

who to tour with:

Viator: Visit Tayrona National Natural Park and swim in a reef-formed pool in the Caribbean on this day trip from Santa Marta. Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona, as it’s known in Spanish, is one of the most popular national parks in Colombia, home to animals like monkeys, dolphins and condors that live in its 37,000 acres (15,000 hectares) of land and sea. A local guide will lead you on a walk through the park to a white-sand beach where you can swim in the clear water of the natural pool and enjoy lunch.  This well-guided tour is perfect for those looking to see and do everything Tayrona Park has to offer in one day.  Day trip tours begin at $163 USD. http://www.viator.com/tours/Santa-Marta/Tayrona-National-Park-and-Beach-Day-Trip-from-Santa-Marta/d4520-6289SMRREEF

Posted on September 7, 2015 .

Check out Colombia: Cartagena

where to stay:

Casa la Fe: Set in a charming republican house decorated with flowering plants, Casa La Fe is in Cartagena's historic centre. Its rooftop pool and sun terrace overlooks the scenic city skyline.Guests at Casa La Fe can enjoy its central location or make a trip to Bocagrande Beach, only a 5-minute drive away. They can also enjoy the hotel´s free bike use and tour the town, or visit the renowned San Felipe Castle, a 20-minute walk from the hotel. An a la carte breakfast is served daily, and may be enjoyed in the pretty central courtyard featuring a vertical garden and ornamental furniture. Coffee is available 24-hours a day. Casa La Fe is a 10-minute drive from Cartagena Airport.  Room pricing begins at $103 USD/night.  http://kalihotels.com/en/hotel-casa-la-fe/

 

Casa Santa Ana: A romantic oasis, located in the quieter area of Getsemani in Cartagena, this boutique hotel offers guests the chance to truly relax while visiting Colombia.  Take advantage of the dreamy day spa on the premise with a massage next to the pool.  Guests speak very highly of the staff at Casa Santa Ana, noting their ability to go above and beyond.  Ideal location in the middle of Old Town.  Special room prices being at $91 USD/night (opposed to $500) when you book through http://www.booking.com

 

where to eat:

La Mulata: A cafe that represents the city of Cartagena well with its lively staff and colorful, flavorful dishes.  Trendy, hip, AND pretty darn cheap.  We recommend ordering the camarones con ajillo, as well as the coconut lemonade (which will quench your thirst after a day in the sweltering heat.  Get a taste of typical Cartagena when you dine at this colorful spot.  

 

Ely Gourmet: A classy cake shop molded to satisfy the sticky desires of Cartagena’s sweet-toothed populous.  Ely is a prized, air-conditioned hideout for lovers of healthy salads and sandwiches.  Try the three-layered coconut , vanilla, and walnut cake drizzled with Colombia’s version of dulce de leche, which pairs perfectly with a macchiato.   

 

 

 

Posted on August 30, 2015 .