Our journey began in Cartagena, a fortified port town built in the 16th century. Colourful, lively and bursting with joy, it somehow felt familiar and you can't help but be charmed by the people's infectious lust for life. We spent a several days there, exploring, dancing, eating and drinking well before setting off for Santa Marta.
It was from there that we began a trek deep into La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to La Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City. After four long, hot days of sweaty hiking through rugged terrain we were rewarded with a place every bit as magical as Machu Picchu - but with a fraction of the visitors. We didn't bump into anyone else for hours, and cooled off each day with dips in rivers and waterfalls, spending the evenings sharing stories by candlelight. We also met some indigenous Kogi ("jaguar") people who taught us the importance of respecting the Earth and restoring its natural balance. Travelling that deep into the jungle was a truly humbling experience - I lost count of how many times we simply stopped to stare at our surroundings in silent awe.
Following that, we hit up the coast to spend a few days relaxing before heading to mountainous Minca in the southeast. The region was once used a hideout by the FARC (a guerrilla group) but is now a popular spot for travellers in search of tranquillity. We spent hazy days lounging in hammocks, looking out over verdant coffee plantations with Santa Marta on the distant coastline and tropical birds soaring overhead. Thick clouds would drift in at the same time every day, casting a spell over the landscape and reducing the infinite view to blanket white. We'd take cold Aguila beers and sit on the edge of the mountain to wait for the epic reveal as the clouds passed and the sun warmed our faces again.
Coast, mountains, jungle, ruins, food, people. Colombia has it all.