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© 2020 by TALIA WOOLDRIDGE. 

Sample copy from forthcoming Latin Excursions new website:

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Enchanting Cartagena + The Caribbean Coast

 

 

Cartagena de Indias is indisputably the jewel of the Caribbean. Known as Colombia’s fortified UNESCO port-city, Cartagena is romantic, enchanting and magical.

 

At any hour of the day be swept away by the Old Town’s maze of cobble-stoned streets filled with vibrant 400-year old houses drenched in cascading bougainvillea’s. Around the corner, be mesmerized by sparkling emerald-encrusted jewelry and sleek leather goods.

 

Escape to the New Town (Ciudad Nueva) where luxury condominiums are overtaken by blaring cumbia and salsa bands until the wee hours of the morning in Castillogrande, Lagito and Bocagrande, Cartagena’s Miami Beach. Window-shop and sip fresh Colombian coffee among the chic hip cartagenos in trendy open-air cafes by day and return for exquisite five-star dining at night.

 

Then be whisked away on a private one-hour boat ride to the clear waters of Islas del Rosario, where coral reefs sway and delight, or Isla de Barú, where white-sand beaches and palm trees encourage the perfect getaway and recharge after an entrancing visit in Cartagena. 

 

 

Colombia's Lush Coffee Region

 

Verdant green mountains, towering 70-meter wax palm trees, bright red Arabica coffee beans and dazzling array of tropical flowers are a small taste of what makes Colombia’s sumptuous Coffee Region so special. Here you can drink in the comforts of boutique fincas (farms) and eco-luxury haciendas amidst cooler temperatures and a higher altitude. This exquisitely vast 350,000-hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site is marked by the three main cities: Pereira, Armenia and Manizales.

 

In Periera, take in the luxurious Botanical Gardens, enjoy a thrilling water-based sport along the Rio Barragan, saunter by horseback through Santa Emilia’s lush national park and nature reserve, and relax in the thermal baths at Santa Rosa de Cabal.  At night, enjoy the region’s best nightlife.

 

Wonder at the Quimbaya tribe’s archaeological artifacts in Armenia’s award-winning architectural museum masterpiece before idling in the surrounding beautiful gardens. Discover the highly bio-diverse Otun-Quimbaya reserve, which spans 489 hectares and is home to howler monkeys and over 300 species of birds!

 

Manizales boasts exquisite baroque-style architecture of the stunning Governor’s Palace, the towering Bolivar Condor monument and majestic Basilica de Manizales Cathedral located in the heart of Manizales, the central Bolivar Square. Feast on dizzying panoramic views, a restored railway station and the stunning Los Yaruma ecological park.

 

 

Medellin - A Cultural Gem + Renaissance

 

Medellín is hailed as the most innovative city of the world. Since shedding it’s heavy and outdated nickname as “the most dangerous city in the world,” the City of Eternal Spring has flourished into a much wealthier, safer and hip city.

 

Medellín is Colombia’s liveliest and most creative city centre! Float through Colombia’s second largest city’s dramatic skyline of rugged Andean peaks, tall skyscrapers, and ancient cathedrals on the modern metro-rail or new cable-car network. Take in Medellín’s fashion-forward boutiques and try on original apparel from the city’s annual fashion show, Colombiamoda. Marvel at the city’s colorful array of gorgeous fresh cut flowers, dizzying textiles, and Botero sculptures dotting the dazzling city plazas and award-winning art galleries of this Antioquian city. Walk barefoot in the Zen Parque de los Pies Descalzos (Barefoot Park). Enjoy the stylish middle-class neighborhood of El Poblado. Partake in a mesmerizing tour of Comuna 13, a historical neighborhood that was the original recruiting grounds for Pablo Escobar.

 

Bask in Medellín’s year-round summery climate, nearby forests and bird reserves. Enjoy less pollution, thanks to the novel eco-árbol, a tall, hi-tech tree-like structure that purifies 22,000 cubic metres of air every hour by removing carbon dioxide and traffic toxins. Attend one of the many festivals and understand firsthand why this valley-nestled city is a more desirable destination for upscale travel. Don’t delay. Experience Medellín’s magic today!