While we’re still in the USA, Rob and I decided to visit one more country within South America.
Earlier this year I mentioned Colombia as one of the destinations I’m obsessing over. There’s a number of reasons that I’m itching to go:
- I chain-watched Narcos, which made me aware of the country’s (somewhat dirty) history. Seriously, there’s no better way to discover new destinations than random TV shows!
- I keep seeing awesome snaps on Instagram of other people travelling to Colombia, and I get extremely jelly. The country looks so colourful and amazing in photos. I want to take those photos.
- I know a few Americans that have lived there, and listening to them talk about Colombia makes me want to immediately jump on a plane and go. So in true Ashlea-style, that’s what I’m actually going to do.
To say I’m excited for this trip would be an understatement. I honestly can’t wait! Rob and I are in the process of moving away from New York, so we decided that after the lease expires on our Manhattan apartment, we’ll take a month off to travel.
The first half of our travels will be spent visiting South America (our second trip to the continent). Here’s my 10-day Colombia trip itinerary!
We’ll depart NYC and fly to Medellín via Fort Lauderdale with JetBlue (who currently take the title of my favourite airline!). We’ll be spending 4-5 days in the city, which should give us plenty of time to properly explore it.
You might know that I write a ton of city guides on this blog, so I’m really looking forward to exploring Medellín! I’ve been reading through this Medellín guide from The Sweetest Way as Leah is super knowledgable about Colombia. From this I’ve collected a long list of activities to do, restaurants to try, and bars to visit.
We’ve rented an AirBnB apartment near the Poblado neighbourhood, which is supposed to be a great place to hang out. We’ll also do some sightseeing including a museum or two and maybe a walking tour, but our time in Medellín will mostly be days of attempting to double our body weight.
I’ve put aside one day in Medellín for a day trip to the town of Guatapé. If you’ve seen photos of this place, you’ll understand why this place is a must for our trip to Colombia! Take a look through this guide to Guatapé by Along Dusty Roads to see it for yourself.
The colourful homes in the town center look so gorgeous that I might just squeal in excitement when I see them, and El Peñol (a giant rock with a viewing platform at the top) seems like it will be freakin’ awesome. Any place with sweet views is fine by me.
After we’ve finished exploring Medellín, we’ll take a short flight north to Cartagena to spend our remaining time in Colombia on the coast. I looked at doing an overnight bus between these two cities, but the journey would have taken 13+ hours. Luckily the flights were dirt cheap with Avianca.
It’s extremely rare for Rob and I to actually relax on our travels (usually we try to fit as many activities as possible), so in Cartagena we’re forcing ourselves to slow down and take it easy. It’s been a long, long time since we’ve taken a truly relaxing vacation, so our plan is to do pretty much nothing but get some R&R!
We’ve booked a hotel near Getsemani, which I’ve heard is a less-touristy area to stay in Cartagena with plenty of restaurants and salsa clubs. Our room has a balcony and access to a rooftop pool that I plan to use daily!
After 4-5 days of doing very little in Cartagena, we’ll board another JetBlue flight direct to New York City, before moving on to do an epic road trip through southwest USA.
Possibly the most exciting thing about this trip is the fact that we used travel hacking (accumulating airline miles, credit card points, and rewards program credits) to cover nearly the whole 10-day trip! I’ll be writing a post on exactly how we achieved this, so keep your eyes peeled for my travel hacking guide and Colombia destination guides later in the year.
Have you been to Medellín, Guatapé, or Cartagena? Share your tips and recommendations with me in the comments!
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