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colombia tour

Just back from...Colombia

29th July 2019

Best view

From the outskirts of Guane looking out onto the green fleece of mountains and canyon that border this old adobe settlement (see above). The eye follows valleys up slopes to peaks and then back down to the snaking waters of the Rio Suarez. It is an endless panorama that soothes the senses and progressively increases one’s resolve to never leave.

Favourite dish

Colombian corn cakes or Arepas, which vary greatly according to region and are usually excellent. My favourite are Arepas Rellenos de Queso – soft, gooey and piping hot – white corn stuffed with melted white cheese.

Best night’s accommodation

Casa Terra is a six-room family-owned lodge and one of the most subtly stylish and intelligently designed hotels anywhere. It works as good as it looks. No guest will be surprised to learn the owner is an architect. It's set on a quiet, cobblestoned street in the timeless colonial town of Villa de Leyva with a view to the surrounding mountains doesn't hurt either.

Best activity/excursion

Walking the streets of Barichara with Santiago, a civil engineer specialized in dirt construction. He is the ideal person that can properly explain the inner secrets of the earthen colonial constructions of Barichara that have survived the centuries in this gorgeous colonial village.

Favourite moments

Sharing a bottle of Aguardiente (local Anis spiked fire water) with Don Mario, an ex-horseman for Pablo Escobar. In a forgotten corner of the sprawling city of Medellin, there hides an oasis of deep countryside from days gone by, complete with stables, sugar cane and serenaded by a crusty cassette player that blurts out 1940’s tango recordings. This surreal setting was all the more enjoyable thanks to barefoot Mario’s lucid memories and good cheer.

Any tips for travellers

Don’t try and see it all in one visit, focus on a single region (or two) to properly absorb its treasures.

Any regrets

Not enough time in so many beautiful places

Richard Leonardi

Raised between Chicago, New York, Denver, Boston and Los Angeles, Richard has travel in his DNA. After a degree in communications from Pepperdine in M…

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