Columbia Itinerary Help - 2 wks!
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2012 7:12 PM Last Post By: couthbert
Oct 14, 2012 10:53 AM
Columbia Itinerary Help - 2 wks!Hi Columbia fans.
After reading and compiling information from many threads in this forum, I've put together a basic itinerary for a 2(ish) week adventure in Columbia, the first stop on a 10-month RTW trip.
This is my first TT post, so I'm excited to get some feedback for the first time.
Here we go.
The plan is to fly into Medellin. From there, we (2 of us) plan to travel to the Eje Cafetero and visit Manizales, Pereira, Salento, and Armenia.
I have a few questions, but would also appreciate any suggestions (what to see, what to eat, where to stay, etc.).
1. How much time should I plan to spend in Medellin? Would it make sense to do 1 week Medellin, 1 week in Eje Cafetero? Is 3-4 days in Medellin enough, as I'd like to spend more time in the rural areas rather than the city?
2. Bus or plane from Medellin? I've heard mixed reviews: Quicker by plane, prettier by bus. What do you prefer?
3. Any recommendations for things to see outside of our planned itinerary? We're still very open.
Thank you in advance.
Oct 14, 2012 2:49 PM
Im flying out to Colombia this week... arriving on thursday and so have been doing some planning myself. Luckily for me my brother lives there and so has done some planning for me as I am going to do 3 weeks travelling on my own (I speak no spanish...yet) so I needed all the help and advice he could give, and I reckon he did a pretty good job, so I thought I'd share with you in case any of it helps quite a bit of local knowledge from his friends and family......
I am planning on staying just outside Manizales, then Solento.... then... well not sure yet... see who I meet and see what feels good!!
1. Parque la estrella - in one corner they have great stone baked pizza, and a lovely small church.
2. Manizales Cathedral - climb up "corredar pollacco", great views, and next to here is the Town Hall. Both old nice buildings.
3. At the bus station there is a terminal for the cablecar. Around the back of the station there is a small resto called Casa Luca and you can buy a croissant with arequipe and cheese.
4. "El cable sector" great for bars, restos, pubs...I think there is also a nice "Juan Valdez Coffee shop". opp this is a resto called "La Suiza", really nice and cheap.
5. Near "el cable" is "la Plaza", a great delicatessen, where you can buy really nice snadwiches....not common to find a deli in colombia, nor sandwiches so would go there
6. "Milan"- a sector with really beautiful houses
7. "Barcelona" is a really good bar
Outside Manzales there are the following options:
1. Chipre - a nice small town, great for sunsets and views of the area. Go to the "Mirador de Chipre". Second floor there is a pub, at the top is a history of manizales.
2. "Recinto de pensamientos" - apparently nice, take a bus or taxi to it I guess
3. NP de los Nevados (nr Termales de Otoño)...there is a locally organised tour you can d,. you can probably also go from Salento aswell.
4. "Eco parque los Jaramos", old structures, canopy ride and a tibetan style bridge...sounds different but apparently good.
I reckon from Salento you could do the following:
1. NP de los Nevados.
2. Chill in the town...great square and nice coffee and local artisan shops.
3. A trip down the road to the valle de Cocora...lovely views, great restos for trout...20 mins away
4. We went to a place called Panacca. Great for families. It is a theme park where you get to see some of the local culture, history, and the animals of the region. This is around 1 hour away
In Manizales I am staying in 'The Secret Garden Hostel'... and here is what they have said to me about the area...
There are nice walks around here,Options for day trips include a
beautiful coffee growing farm, a world-renowned reserve Rio Blanco
which has beautiful forest and an amazing diversity of birds, el
Recinto de los Pensamientos (place of the thoughts) which has lots of
hummingbirds, orchids, butterflies etc, other activities include
thermal pools and exploring the city of Manizales.
After all this I may go to pereira and fly to cartagena and Tayrona NP (via santa marta)......
When will you be there? If you are in the Manizales/ Solento area and would like someone to join you on a trek, then I will be more than happy to do so....
I hope that some of this is of use to you... If you are only arriving in Colombia after me, then feel free to contact me and I will let you know what the places I stayed in were like and what I thought was good/not so good....
Right..... I'm off to start packing!!! 3 days to go before.....3 months in Colombia! Enjoy your trip!!!
Oct 14, 2012 2:57 PM
Oct 15, 2012 7:12 PM
3AlexOnTheRoad, thanks so much for the info. My first post and I seemed to have struck gold.
I'll be in Columbia during the first half of March 2013 (at least that's the plan...).
I was reading about Tayrona NP before reading your reply, I think I'm definitely going to try to make it up there.
Maybe I'll do Medellin > Eje Cafetero > Tayrona NP
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