SANTA MARTA: THE DOOR OF THE SIERRA NEVADA

Santa Marta is located in Magdalena department, on the Caribbean coast in the north of Colombia, between Barranquilla and Riohacha.

The city is a good place to stop off if you are doing a tour of the country and you want to go in the Sierra Nevada or to the Guajira Department.

It is one of the most tourist-focused cities on the coast. Its location between the Sierra Nevada and the Caribbean coast makes this city very attractive, especially considering the variety of fauna and flora to be found there.

 It is important also for the historical and cultural heritage, Santa Marta, was a colonial city, where you can admire the colonial architecture and monuments such as the Basilica of Santa Marta, which is a one of the biggest tourist destinations on the Caribbean coast.

As a Caribbean city, Santa Marta has suffered from repetitive British, French and Dutch attacks. The city is steeped in history and legends. One of them, says that Santa Marta´s Cathedral contains the heart of the famous Simón Bolívar, hidden somewhere. In fact Bolivar spent his last part of the life here.

A walking tour is the perfect way to orient yourself within the city and learn about its history and culture with your guide: follow your guide along the beach, check out top landmarks such as the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, and end your tour with a prime spot for watching the sunset.

I was in Santa Marta as starting point for the “Ciudad perdida” I was by trekking! The Lost City, or Ciudad Perdida, is the archaeological site of an ancient indigenous city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It has been a commercial center around 700 A.D., and its population probably ranged between 1,400 and 3,000 inhabitants. Hidden in the jungle for over a thousand years, the Lost City was found in 1972 when treasure hunters followed a series of stone steps leading up to an abandoned city.

From Santa Marta tour operators offer three- to five-day guided treks to the Lost City which include transportation, lodging, food.

Read more about the city!

 

CEVICHE: EL PESCADO MAS BUENO DE AMERICA LATINA!

In Italy we eat carpaccio, in South America they eat Ceviche…  a traditional recipe that let you taste the real flavor of the fresh fish! The seafood is cooked in a citrus-marinated sauce originates in Peru. The origin is probably to be reconnected to Spanish escabeche, which is a vinegar-marinated dish.

Ceviche is simply fish "cooked" by marinating in the acid of citrus juice. This recipe is said to be traditionally Peruvian but in each country of South America you can find a ceviche. You can choose among different juice: high-quality white saltwater fish with lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice… and more: salt, hot peppers, onions, and cilantro basically.

Enjoy it in a hot day with a cold beer —or anytime you desire a fresh snack in your South American travels!

INGREDIENTS

1 pound white saltwater fish

1 glass of lime juice

1/2 glass of lemon juice

1/2 glass of orange juice

1 sweet onion (sliced very thinly)

1 chilipepper (e.g. habaneros)

cilantro (chopped)

Salt

STEPS:

First, start to cut the fish into small pieces, not too small… you need to taste the fish when you will bite it! Normally dice it in pieces up to 1-inch square. One rule: the larger you cut the pieces, the longer it will take to marinate.

Add salt, then cover it with all the juices you prepared! You can do it in a glass or plastic container with a lid. After one minute, add the sliced onions and the chili.

Leave the fish mixture in the fridge for at least 2,5 hours, better 3-4 hours (very large pieces of fish can take longer to fully marinate). Depends on how you feel about the freshness of the fish you bought, it is OK if the centers of the pieces are still raw-looking.​

To serve, put the mixture on a plate or in a bowl and put on the top the cilantro.

NOTES

Normally as whitefish you can choose among albacore, sole, snapper, halibut, or anything else you can find also in a sushi menu.  The High-quality of the fish is really important, for your healthy and for the best ceviche you can prepare!

Please, remember to remove the skin and bones from the fish, as well as the bloodline before cutting it up. You have also to cut all the bloodline, the dark red portion of the fillet to have a real ceviche.

Wit ceviche please take a cold beer and tortilla chips as an accompaniment. In Peru, you will most often find this ceviche dish served with potatoes, either sweet or white.

You can prepare the ceviche also with other types of fish, e.g. shrimps or atun… whatever you want!

read my other recipes!!

LA CIUDAD PERDIDA: TREKKING IN THE HEART OF SIERRA NEVADA

In the heart of the dense tropical jungle in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, is located "La Ciudad Perdida" (The Lost City). This is an ancient sanctuary, Teyuna that goes back to the VIII Century A.D. and it was rediscovered only in 1972 by a body of explorers.

La ciudad Perdida today is the most known archaeological site of Colombia, and considered a sacred place by the 3 ethnic groups that still live in the Sierra Nevada: the Kogi, the Wiwa and the Arhuaco.

The area is an indigenous jurisdiction, so the natives manage the visitors flow. The only way to visit La Ciudad Perdida is a trekking of 4/5 days that cost around 200 - 250 Euros depending on the selected packet.

 

The packages includes the breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the days, the guide and the transportation to and from there (you can ask to bring you in Santa Marta, Palomino or all the places between the 2 locations). The path starts from a height of about 800 meters to arrive at 1200 meters. The journey is not so simple especially if you find raining days. The best way to deal with it should be prepared and equipped.

The local agencies where you can book your trekking will pick you up early in the morning at the hostel where you are staying, and bring you up to the base camp of “El Mamey”, real starting point, where you will meet your guide (mandatory). The transfer takes place in jeep 4×4 and lasts about 3 hours.

It would be dishonest if I told you that the journey is simple, , you will meet some long ascents steep and the great warmth will affect your strength, so it is good to know this that in order to reach the Ciudad Perdida. Better to have a decent physical preparation. An advice is to not do the trekking during the era of the rains (March, April, May, September, October, November) precisely because it often rains and the ground becomes inevitably muddy and slippery.

Day 1: You can have lunch at “El Mamey”, and there the guide will do a briefing introduction on the trekking. The first day, you walk 7 km (3-4 hours depending on the step that brought) to reach the first camp, where you will spend the night in hammocks. You will pass some ascents, waterfalls and rushing brooks that characterize the landscape.

Furthermore, along the path, you will stop in small kiosks and the guide will offer you water and fruit.

Day 2: the second day starts at dawn, since you must walk for about 8 hours to reach the second camp, at the foot of the Ciudad Perdida, Teyuna or as they call the natives. During the walk you will meet even the indigenous community of Mutanzhi. At the end of a long day you can relax in the fresh water of the river that flows to the side of the camp.

Day 3: The great day. It starts at 5.30 a.m., and after breakfast, is the time of the Ciudad Perdida. Before you will start better for you because you will have more time alone on the top. To arrive at the top of the Sacred City, you will have to climb 1.200 stone steps, built by the ancients and the only way of access to the site. The climb is hard, and puts a strain on your psycho-physical skills, but once on the view is unbelievable and the effort is worth it.

After a thorough visit of the site on the late morning, you will start your way back. It will take at least 5-6 hours to reach the camp (Mumake). Remember to not charge you more than what is needed because you will do the trekking with all your equipment. You need clothes to change all the days especially if it rains…. Chocolate and few other things.

Day 4: the Fourth day will be in descent in the same path you did for arriving to the Ciudad Perdida. After you wet in the waters of fresh streams, you will reach the starting point, El Mamey. Here await you already transfers that late afternoon will lead you to your hostel.

For other articles on Colombia, click here!

PLAYA BLANCA: THE CARIBBEAN CORNER OF CARTAGENA

Playa Blanca is the closest beach on which to spend some days far from the noise of the normal life. It is on in Baru, closed to Cartagena. It was originally a peninsula, but it was separated from the city during the construction of the Canal del Dique, and is now an island.

The life in Baru is easy, about 20,000 native people live there who make their living from fishing, tourism, and the sale of handicrafts on the beach. In recent years, the growth of hotels, eco hotels, and hostels has continued to increase, as has the demand from visitors in search of one of the best beaches near Cartagena.

Baru has many beautiful beaches, but only a few of them are open to the public, including Playa Blanca (the most popular. Other playas are Playa Bobo, Punta Iguana, Puerto Naito). The others, sadly, are either private beaches, or they belong to hotel complexes. Playa Blanca is perfect if you want a simple experience. For what I saw, no big hotel buildings till now, just small huts and a lot of hammocks … For me a paradise!

HOW TO GET TO PLAYA BLANCA BY LAND

You can arrive to playa Blanca easily, There are many ways to reach this land. You can go on your own by taking a bus that leaves from the statue of the India Catalina in the centre of Cartagena and goes to the town of Pasacaballos. From here, you can take a motorcycle taxi that will take you directly to Playa Blanca for about COP$10.000 (3 Euros). If you are only planning to stay at Playa Blanca for the day, you can coordinate your return trip back to Cartagena with the drivers that brought you in.

Another option can be to go by a shuttle bus. You can book it and it will picks you up in your accommodation in Cartagena and takes you to Playa Blanca.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT PLAYA BLANCA

Before Playa Blanca was connected by a bridge to the Pasacaballos small town it was an undiscovered place of pristine, untouched beaches (5 years ago). Now, the area has turned into a very popular destination in Cartagena with a wide variety of accommodation with prices that start at just 4 Euros a night. The place is still really nice and not full of huge hotel buildings.

One of the negative aspects of Playa Blanca are the beach vendors. They will continue to address tourists trying to sell stuff. But it depends on how much effort you will put in find the right place for you. I walked over all the beach to find a good hut without a lot of people, at a good price and with free beach in front of it, so no lots of people that wanted to sell things!

The truth is that those people are only looking to make money for their families and they see visitors as an opportunity to bring food into their homes by doing honest work. I’m not justifying their behaviour, as in some cases they really are annoying, but I believe that saying a simple and convincing “No Thank-you” is enough to keep them away. Or sometimes you can just speak bit with them and they will appreciate it even if you will not buy anything.

A very practical advice is to ignore the oyster vendors. The vendors will come over to you saying that the first one is free, however, this is a lie. Nothing is free, and if you actually want to eat them, you should establish a price for how many you want to eat first. If not, you’re likely to return to Cartagena with empty pockets.

The local women are usually responsible for giving massages on the beach, and they will also try to persuade you and charge you excessive prices. Some treatment as for the oysters. They tell you that they will give you a “free trial” of their work. Again, this is a way to trick you.

In Playa Blanca you could buy lots of Tours, to reach the others iland, to go snorkeling or other activities you preferred. The prices are not high and you can also bargain, so all on you!!

Playa Blanca was perfect for me. The white sand and warm, sky blue sea provide the perfect Caribbean image that that I had the previous year in Cuba.

MEDELLIN: STREET ART OF COLOMBIA

In Medellin one of the most impressive thing you will see is street art. Street art has a trans-formative power that always amazed me. It is magic; it is a powerful tool that can change the mind and the history of a city, or maybe a country. It has the potentiality to modify and invigorate the urban environment and at the same time be the speaker of a significant political and social change.

Street art can be considered as a form of social media, which existed before the internet, era and that can represent a particular message across, offering insight into a protest that you can live in the streets – a warning wind before an explosion of protests will come.

 

As already mentioned before you can see the immense power of street art in Medellin’s Comuna 13 – previously one of Colombia’s most dangerous neighborhoods! Comuna 13 was the battleground among gangs, narcos, paramilitaries and the government. Today it is different! It is one of the top area to visit in Medellin.

In the past, the residents that lived here thought that it was impossible to live a normal life there. They suffered a lot, terror and unimaginable hardships. The history did not help them in living a quiet life. They lived in a cycle of poverty and gang from which there was no way out.

Today, the law is back in the neighborhood andmany new projects and initiatives started in Comuna 13. Street art was the weapon used by young people to demonstrate their opinion in a time where it was difficult to express themselves freely“Ev

 

ery day, in every way, things are getting better and better”

 

If you go to Medellin you have to visit comuna 13 and feel the energy of street art that is really one of the best things to do in Medellin. The art’s has the potential to re-imagine and re-energize an urban space that was otherwise lacking is on full display. Street Art is still very much ‘art’ and no style, rules or conventions seems to be the rule of street art. It can be define as figurative, abstractionist, text-based – you name it. Anyway or whatever you will think about this one common denominator becomes obvious after you have spent any time here: color! Everywhere you gaze the generic red bricks and grey walls, which dominate Medellín, are transformed into a color explosion. You feel the transformation of a city, of a reality that decided something had to change.

I will write another article on Medellin but this one is a gift to street art of protest, street art of a meaning!

And if you want to read another article on street art, see Barcelona article!

WHERE MY COLOMBIA TRIP STARTED: CARTAGENA!

Colombia, maybe the best travel I did so far in my life. Go back in my memories is really a nice way to think again what I did there and what I visited. First, My thoughts went back to Cartagena.

Although I knew nothing about the city before arriving there, I had such an amazing experience exploring and going on a new adventure each day.

I sincerely believe that what I saw is only a small piece of all that the city has to offer. So many other things I want to experience in my next trip to Colombia, because of course I will go back in this beautiful country! Feel free to drop a comment with your recommendations!

The Walled City

Cartagena was founded in the 16th century, and is a port city located on Colombia's Caribbean coast known for its plentiful colonial architecture, its cobblestone streets, and its effortless lifestyle. In the past, Gold and emeralds brought people to Cartagena, today the jewels of the city are the contemporary riches - a vibrant culinary scene, and beautiful beaches are the main attractions.

In the center of Cartagena, you can visit the old city surrounded by ancient stone walls and full of vibrant culture. Beautiful buildings and potent colors all around… what’s better than this to relax? The old city is so bright and I thought definitely to plan on staying inside the walls next time I will visit Cartagena.

Have a walk during the morning and after sit down in a small restaurant enjoying the city life and his flow.

The food is amazing. You can choose meat or fish, equally delicious! If you want to close your lunch with a sweet try the coconut pie that still haunts my dreams.

Another advice… If you want to eat fresh fish you need to search a “cevicheria”. For a nice dinner, after getting semi-lost in the old city, just take a good decision, choose a cevicheria with seats on the sidewalk and enjoy all of the evening activities happening around you! Sometimes you find amazing guitarists playing or small shows around the streets…

Other attractions

Out of the old city you can walk on the city's historic walls. Better during the sunset for the hot weather during the day.

The Colonial wall was built to keep the pirates (of the Caribbean!) out in the 16th century.

I started my walk at Cafe del Mar, then walked south along the wall to Santa Teresa Square and I ended close to the Castillo de San Felipe.

From the top you can see the “Castillo San Felipe”, the 16th century fortress overlooking the city and coast. You can visit it or just take some pictures going below it.

I love to shop. As with most cities abroad, flea markets are a major tourist attraction but I really love it. Cartagena had local vendors selling little things throughout the streets in the walled city but if you want a real market there is a little flea market in an old courtyard. Unlike most of the vendors that carried the same set of items (fedoras, ankle bracelets, etc.), this flea market in particular has a ton of cool  things that I would have loved to bring home with me. It is fun to explore the city’s culture through the local lens and check out some of the things they cherish on a day-to-day.

Getsemani for nightlife

Cartagena is full of square where you can pass a really nice evening/night with live music. You don’t need to be into clubs and partying to enjoy the nightlife, just go to the Getsemani neighborhood.  This area is well known for its lively atmosphere during the hot nights in Cartagena.

There are great bars in the area where you can drink something or you can take a beer and drink it chilling a the Getsemani square, Holy Trinity Square, where I passed my nights enjoying local people and artists playing guitar, singing or just talking each other. I remember a guy that was amazing… He did the imitation of Michael Jackson but wow, He was incredible!! I saw also a dance class for women and some teen’s break dancing. It’s really a nice place to hang out and people-watch.

You can also go to a salsa club if you want to dance, such as Cafe Havana or Bazurto Social Club. You should expect a cover charge and that the salsa dancing starts late.

Last info, if you search for the streetart Getsemani is the perfect corner to visit to search it!

Cartagena surrounding

The one common thing you kept hearing before leaving was that the beaches in the city were not great but if you go a little bit outside you can find beautiful ones. Islas del Rosarios or Playa Blanca (Isla Baru)  are not so far and there you see crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. A paradise where there is almost anything, you will really enjoy the peace you find in this quite place. I passed 3 days in playa Blanca after Cartagena and I prepared myself for the “Ciudad perdida” trekking.

 

GUATAPE’: SHINING COLORS AND A BEAUTIFUL VIEW FROM THE TOP!

Close to Medellin, there is a small village called Guatapè, famous for two reasons: the story of the village and the “Penol” stone. Here we are in the subregion of Eastern Antioquia.

I arrived in Guatape very early in the morning catching the first bus from Medellin. The ticket costs 12000$COP p/p (2,5€) and if I well remember it took more than two hours to reach the village. The view from the bus more closely you will go to Guatape more beautiful it becomes.

Sweet mountains, not too pronounced until reaching the view of Penol.. you will see it from afar.

Guatapè is a famous holiday resort for Colombians that lies on the shores of an artificial lake, l' Embalse Guatapè. The particular mark of the village are the traditional houses that are covered by painting similar to the Italian frescos.

Bienvenido

You can see them in the bottom part of the houses and lots of them have also low reliefs that represent people, animals and scenes of normal life.

The village was founded in 1811, nicknamed “El Pueblo de los Zócalos,”. For what they told me the painting could represent the job of the owner or other things connected to Him/Her.

Traditional Painting in Guatapè

Fountain in Guatapè

Traditional Painting in Guatapè

Traditional street in Guatapè

Traditional Painting in Guatapè

I decided to stay there two days alone, far from the city noise and nightlife.  It is a quiet place where you can have relax on the Lake Rivers, walking along them and go for a ferry trip. During the weekends there are more people but not so much to be crowded.

Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets that climb the hill makes you appreciate the tranquility of this town. If you want to admire the lake from nearby, you can stroll in the malecon, full of restaurants and shops.

More recently there was the addition to the town the Plaza de Zocalos, where artists are used to play for the tourists that drink a good cup of coffee. You feel like it is a more overt attempt to capitalise on tourists flocking to see the colourful buildings, but it is a nice way to pass some hours.

Traditional House in Guatapè

We are also close tio the coffee area, another beatiful place where to go, I will write an article about it!

Talking about the artificial lake, we need to go back to 70’. The whole area was flooded to make way for a huge hydro-electric dam. This resulted in the formation of several small villages or group of houses and tourism started to have a much bigger role in the location economy. In contrast with the tourism, all the fields were submerged. Before that it was a farming area almost forgotten by the world.

sunset at Guatapè Lake

sunset at Guatapè Lake

sunset at Guatapè Lake

The “Piedra del Penol”

The Peñol is an old rock formation, formed 70 million years ago. With 2/3 of its height below ground, the exposed vertical face is over 200 meters high and visible from throughout the surrounding countryside.

It is possible to see the stairs to be done for reaching the top

view from the top of the stone

view from the top of the stone

view from the top of the stone

view from the top of the stone

view from the top of the stone

 

Visitors can scale the rock via a staircase built into one side, a path of 740 steps to the top. On the top you find food vendors and outdoor tables overlooking vistas that stretch to the horizon in every direction. You can stay there enjoying the open-air view and admire the spectacular scenery. I pass 3 hours there stop to thinking about my life and the time I passed in Colombia till that moment.The lake of a shining blue is in contrast with the green of the hills and it seems almost a painting.

Of course Italian can say that this is a  normal view of an Italian lake, but please leave home the prejudices we have, and live and read every place you go, as something new, different and beautiful.

You don’t have to think only to the view but to the story of the place and this was one of the most genuine village I was close to Medellin. If you stay a bit more  (not only a day) you can have a talk with locals and youl understand more about this area and about Colombia.

PALOMINO: WHERE THE TIME STOPS HIS FLOW

The first imagine I remember of Palomino is the picture below:

My first thought: yes it is! The paint was on a wall, close to the point where the bus stop. It is not a real bus stop, there is an old bus station, and you leave the bus there when you heard: “Palomino!”

When you watch around you at the beginning, you see only a long road that divides the small village in two parts. From there, you cannot immediately understand the soul of the place.
I have to say that I stopped in Palomino just because some days before in the “Ciudad perdida” trekking I met a Colombian guy, really beautiful and gentle, a guide for the 5 days trekking.
During the long walk in the middle of the Sierra Nevada, we had a lot of time to know each other deeper and deeper. One of the long talks we had was on the places I did not have to loose on my journey discovering Colombia.
So, He told me to go to Cabo de la Vela and before that He suggested to stop some days in his “finca” outside Palomino, just chilling under the pilework He built, drinking rum, sleeping on the hammocks, enjoy the view and going to the beach passing through the cocoa palm forest He had to take care of.

Before going ahead, I would like to introduce the Sierra Nevada, called the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is the birthplace of the Tayrona, an indigenous civilization of the north Colombia. The descendants of the Tayrona still live there. Currently there are almost 70,000 indigenous people, belonging to the Kogui, Arhuaco, Kankuamo and Wiwa ethnicities. This mountain formation contains an area of particular beauty and mystery with a great cultural heritage. The area is a sacred sight for the four indigenous groups that inhabit the Sierra and it is called Teyuna Archeological Park also known as the “Ciudad Perdida”. This Park start from the mountains and slide down till the Caribbean see where you find Palomino.

Coming back to my story, I decided to meet this guy, because He seems a really great person and as Italian I couldn’t say no. In Italy when somebody invite you to his home, it is good habit to go and pass time there cooking for  an Italian dishes to thank for the invitation. I did it of course!

So stopped in Palomino. I searched a moto taxi asking to bring me to my friend and the drivers knew him and the place where he lived. He was not born in this area, so all the locals called him the foreigner.

After 10 minutes, we arrived and I was surprised! Such a beautiful and peaceful place… To let you understand the best thing I can do, is show you pictures, as my words can tell you what my eyes saw but better let you dream on my pictures, hoping you will enjoy them!

As you can see, I felt myself totally free and full of happiness. I was there and the time stopped for two days let me the time to steal the energy and the good vibrations of this place.

We spent the day drinking coffee, Colombian one. Locals love to pass all the day with a cup of good coffee in their hands smelling his flavor and enjoy a talk with a friend in front of it.
However, when the sun was going down we moved to cross the cocoa palm forecast and we went to watch the sunset from the beach.

Another surprise. We were at the end of the land where the river became part of the sea. You can take a bath in the fresh water or decided for the salt water.
We were almost alone because from Palomino village, it is a walk long 5 Km and not all the people love to walk so long.

After 2 hours, we decided to go back to my new temporary home because we were hungry. My friend asked what we would like to eat and I said fish! We called an angler of Palomino that arrived with this big fish ( many beers and a bottle of rum):

I had the honor to cook it! Wonderful! However, I can say that one of the amazing things of Palomino is the fresh fish you can find.

The second day I was with another guy, hosted by my friend to buy fish and after half an hour of searching and asking to local people we found some good, rural fish shops! Yes in Palomino you need to talk with locals to find the best food and activities to do.

We spent a good night there forgot by everyone, talking and drinking all together. Anyway, you can pass the night in the village, that did not have a crazy nightlife, but there were plenty of bars where friendly travelers chat, enjoying tropical cocktails and cheap beers.

The day after I decided to go for a rafting, a typical activity to do in Palomino as there are many rivers and one of that is perfect for an easy rafting. You rent inner tubes, ride with them on the back of a moto taxi up into the jungle, hike a bit further, and then float back down to the beach on a river. Everywhere you go in town there are booths offering to rent tubes. You pay around 5 Euro.

In conclusion, I can say Palomino was unexpectedly a nice place to pass 2 days and after restart with my journey!

CABO DE LA VELA, A JUMP IN THE UNKNOWN DESERT OF COLOMBIA!

Colombia, one of the best Country I was in my life. Cabo de la Vela a dream, a place where relax is not an option, is a must. I’m trying to remember exactly the feeling and the sensation I had in that place because it was a unique moment in my 2017 summer…..

This photo was taken in Cabo de La Vela during the first morning I was there in August 2017. The place is so beautiful and peaceful, perfect to relax yourself!!

Cabo de la Vela is definitely one of the most beautiful and less popular destinations in the country. Yes, because Cabo de la Vela is something indefinite and fairy tale that makes you completely lose the conception of time and space and the desire to return to reality. It is a nowhere place, desert in the extreme north Colombia.

Cabo de la Vela is a mirage that comes unexpectedly. I remained positively surprised in front of such a prodigy of nature. The colors, blue and yellow of the sand are the dominant colors that reveal their indisputable complementary in the three natural elements that you feel alive in this peninsula: air, water and earth. A mystical place, where the connection with nature is so strong to regenerate any of your cells, animal or vegetable that here you will meet.

 

Cabo de la vela is populated by a tribe of fishermen, the wayuu who live in this land forgotten by many. They are lands never occupied by foreign peoples because of the very harsh climate, the average temperatures are 35-Celsius degrees. These spaces belong to an unknown dimension, one of those places where time takes a breath and slows down its rhythm.

One road where the village comes to life around the bamboo huts where the locals live. Electronic devices are used only for communications between locals that organize the jeeps and accommodations to meet the few requests of the people who come here. Furthermore, the electricity arrives to this place only few hours after 5 o clock in the afternoon and you are seduced by all those things that are typical of the western world.

The hours run very slow marked by the sweetness of the sun that marks the time. The inebriation of the breeze that raises from the see to the sand is always with you in your hair. After the sun goes down, you will leave that world and sleep until the next morning.

But let me tell you my trip!

You arrive there after a long road. I left Palomino with a friend in the morning, where I stayed in a “finca” of a new friend met during the trekking to the “Ciudad Perdida”. If you want to know, more about this exiting experience read my article on it! (Link to be added)

After the bus that was almost 8 Euro for going from Palomino to Rioacha, we had a lunch in the small city and we went to change money in an mall. Remember to change money because from Rioacha in the entire Guajira peninsula, you cannot withdraw money.

Many people normally prefer to take an organized travel to visit Cabo, Punta Gallinas and say: “Yes, I was in the northeast point of South America!” The price is around 120 Euro for 2 and half day.

I decided to go on my own as I love freedom and if I love a place, I can stay more…..

So after the break we took another bus (for 5 Euro) to the “4 vias”, a crossroad where you find drivers that will bring you with an off road vehicle finally to Cabo de La vela.

    

For my friend and me, it was such an adventure because to say the truth…. I did not take a bus but a Jeep with other Colombian people that normally transport goods… Good experience to tell….

Anyway we waited there for 2 hours, because the driver were waiting for somebody else, make more money and convince more people to take the tour they organize.

 We paid 20 Euro for the transportation. The road is like a movie, there is only sand around you and the rails walk at your right side as they are telling you where to go. Sometimes during this, hour and half you see some local people chilling under a curtain that try to sell water bottles or juices. Unfortunately, as there are always 35 degrees all the liquids are not cold!

One tip: Before going there buy the natural water, you think you will need there. You can buy some water in the small shops but it cost a lot!

We arrived to Cabo de la Vela during the sunset and we had to search a place for sleeping. No problem, in Cabo the locals have huts and hammocks everywhere. Therefore, it is not difficult to find a place to stay. What you have to decide is how much you want to pay, what you want to do! Yes, they normally sell the beds and the mini tour you can do in the area.

After bargaining for one hour, I found what I desired… A place in front of the beach where to sleep first for one night (we remained 2 nights finally) and the tours for the day after plus Punta Gallinas for 2 days (Accommodation and food included with the transportation around the peninsula). All this for 60 Euro.

Among the place to visit there is the “Pilar de Azúcar”, which according to the tradition wayuu would be the sacred place where the souls of the dead people take refuge to rest and take care of the village and secure their dreams of peace and tranquility.

amazing view from the pick closed to Cabo de La vela village

amazing view from the pick closed to Cabo de La vela village

amazing view from the pick closed to Cabo de La vela village

To recap the total price:  for transportation from Palomino plus 2 nights in Cabo de la vela and one in Punta Gallinas, the tours to visit the areas and the transportation to go back to Rioacha was: 90 Euro but with 1 day and half more than the organized travel.

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