Ahhh, Colombia, what have you done to me? I’m sitting here dreaming of you, wishing I could taste you, see you, be there…..

It’s the kind of rhapsodical overtures you might want a man to say to you. For us, writing about the tropical, delightful Colombia (a rescue mission for Costa Rica and an unexpected gem of a country) in soggy London is akin to missing a lover…for something is missing.


We arrived in Bogota, hell-bent to escape Costa Rica, expecting a dodgy excuse of a country that has, for decades past, been marred by its drug wars. Bogota is, in fact, a delight. Long, wide boulevards with high-rise buildings flanking the streets and highways reveal a sophisticated aesthetic; buildings are modern and quirky in design. Against a backdrop of mountains that bring in a clean breeze, the city enjoys the best of both worlds. This is definitely a forward-thinking city and there is a can-do attitude reverberating throughout.

Bogota is a spread-out city and it takes a long time to get from A to B. Although not quite legal, Uber is invaluable. You do have to sit next to the driver, however, to avoid the perception of being a passenger.

Our first night was spent at the Exe Santafe Hotel. You can read about it here. It’s location in the financial district (the North of the city) made it quite safe and allowed us to meander and visit various local boutiques and bars. We visited El Corral Gourmet, right opposite our hotel, on our first night for lack of energy. Boy, were we in for a surprise! It’s here that we discovered the oh-so delicious Michelladas, which are local beers with lime and salt – a sort of soft version of tequila but one that is incredibly addictive. We also chose a meat platter that had been marinated in beer; the meat was freshy and lean, something that is often amiss in big cities.


Our second night was spent at the Four Seasons. Read our review here.

The next two days were filled with wandering around the designer-filled parts, and less salubrious streets of Bogota. We recommend the following:

Touch Restaurante: Whilst we didn’t sample the food, we did try numerous of their fresh juices and smoothies. This is not a misnomer: the juices are, in fact, super fresh, to the point where you regret having had one anywhere else. We sample several from the sweet strawberry to the refreshing and slightly bitter vegetable based ones. Be sure to visit!

Selina Cafe: Two steps from the Bogota Museum, this is a quirky, industrial-inspired cafe-cum-gallery (there is a massive contemporary fresco outside) with awesome tapas. We had our standard micheladas, along with a spin on the classic guacamole; this, accompanied with almost-cheesy salsa and tango music against a swanky backdrop, made for one of the most relaxed evenings we’ve experienced.



Botero Sculptures

It would be amiss not to recommend the Botero museum. Simply put, this is the most beautiful museum we have visited. It houses the most comprehensive collection of homegrown Colombian artist Botero’s works, as well as several modern artists. It is an experience, and on that you would be missing out on if you were to skip it.
The Museo Del Oro is another cultural-must, outlining the birth of Colombia, its former indigenous culture and the etymology of El Dorado. For all you history buffs, go.


The Botero Museum


This is the weekend escape of the (smart) Bogotans, as well as the Monte Carlo of the South Americas. The old city is a marvellous tourist hot-spot and worth the experience. By day, the streets are magical and by night, a fiesta. The new port is the modern Cartagena. It is lined with yachts that have already discovered the beauty of this area, as well, perhaps, as surrounding, unexplored ones. We spent a night in Cartagena, with a vow to return.


We stayed at Casa Bustamante and you can read our review here.


It’s a city we never thought we’d visit. Until not so long ago, it had the highest crime (and by that we principally mean death) rate in the world thanks to Pablo Escobar. However the city and its inhabitants are past that. ‘This was 40 years ago’ they say, and they are right.

We didn’t venture into downtown due to lack of time – although we were tempted to experience the ‘real’ Medellin – and stayed in the manicured quarter called El Poblado. El Poblado is the Chelesea of Medellin – only more exciting.

There are boutique shops galore, experimental bars and restaurants – everything is there. We loved this part of Medellin not just for its pristineness. Here you get to see that the city has actually been carved out of the jungle, a fact as impressive as it is beautiful.


We stayed at Hotel Diez Medellin, and you can read about it here.

The highlight of Medellin, however, was a restaurant we stumbled on….it was almost our last choice. Appropriately named Delirio Exquisito, the food here is exquisite. Michelladas aside, we started off with two starters: guacamole and marinated beef tataki.

If you’re an avocado glutton, you’ll probably fly out to Medellin based on this: the bowl of guacamole (mashed avocados with a hint of citrus and salt) was so big, we could not finish it. Avocado heaven!!! The raw beef, in a mouth-wateringly delicious marinade peppered with sesame seeds, was also outstanding. Our only regret was that we could not indulge in more. We have vowed, though, that we will return.IMG_4857

The next day we flew to Panama to catch our long-haul flight to London. Colombia has intoxicated us and with a vow to return, we hope to bring more reviews and recommendations to you soon!

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