Thinking of travelling in Colombia? From our experience, South America can be an expensive beast to tackle, especially when it comes to activities and getting around. We budgeted £50 for two people per day, but did we manage to stick to that? Here’s a breakdown of how much our seven-week trip to Colombia cost, from food and accommodation prices to activities and transport.
It’s been five years since we visited Australia and we barely scratched the surface during our five-week adventure. So where would we visit on a return trip? Top of the list would be one of our favourite cities, Melbourne, followed by Queensland highlights. The Sunshine State has so much to offer, from Five World Natural Heritage Areas including the Great Barrier Reef, to bushwalking in the outback and whale watching. Combine that with 7,000 kilometres of idyllic coastline and an average nine hours of sunshine a day and what’s not to love?
The Galapagos Islands is undoubtedly one of South America’s top natural highlights, but also one of its most expensive, so what if you don’t have thousands of pounds to spare for the trip? Well, head to Paracas National Reserve in Peru instead. We took a boat trip from Paracas to the Ballestas Islands, known as ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’, for a fraction of the price and saw incredible flocks of birds, sea lions, penguins and rock formations.
Meat, fried meat and more meat, including guinea pigs and llamas. That’s been our experience of the South American diet so far. We definitely haven’t been living the vegan dream while travelling through Colombia, Peru and Bolivia this year, so how exactly have we been coping? From renting apartments with kitchens to stuffing our faces with avocados and surviving travel days on Ritz crackers, here’s how we’re managing vegan South America travel.
“I don't really feel safe continuing...” says our guide, Cheo, lowering his machete. He is chopping through a patch of dense Amazon rainforest, looking for an elusive trail leading back to our boat. I stop and look around the small clearing, which way had we just come from? Everything is a mass of tall trees and snaking vines, branches and leaves, and I'm totally disorientated. For the first time on our three-day Amazon adventure, I appreciate the full, epic power of the rainforest.
Last week we celebrated five years of travel, can you believe that? I still vividly remember waving goodbye to our families at Heathrow in 2013, clutching our brand-new backpacks and one-way tickets to New Zealand, heading off on what we thought would be a two-year trip around the world. Yet, here we are in Colombia five years later, reflecting on both the amazing and tough aspects of this nomadic lifestyle we’ve managed to carve for ourselves.
Picture a town nestled amongst forested peaks, with dusty trails leading to icy waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints. Welcome to Minca, our favourite place in Colombia. This tiny oasis in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a haven for trekkers and nature lovers, full of diverse wildlife such as hummingbirds and toucans. From touring coffee and cacao farms to bathing in waterfalls, here are our top things to do in Minca, how to get there and where to stay.
There are two bird statues in San Antonio Square in Medellin Colombia. One is discoloured and gnarled, destroyed by a bomb in 1995 that killed 22 people who were enjoying a music concert. The second bird is identical save for the fact that it’s shiny and whole. These Pajaros de Paz, Birds of Peace, are a stark reminder of Medellin's troubled past, but also of its transformation from the most dangerous to the most innovative city in the world.
This week has been all about the tiny town of Minca, set in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia. Here the forests are dotted with icy waterfalls and the skies filled with the calls of tropical birds. Despite a bout of food poisoning and being covered in itchy bug bites, we’ve hiked, toured cacao farms and hung out in a rustic retreat where a scorpion lived in our open-air bathroom.