LIFE ON PINE

gitana del mar [colombia]

Kate ParrishComment
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T A Y R O N A


only 4 hours by car from cartagena is tayrona national park, where a coastal jungle meets some of the most raw and beautiful coastline i've seen. the park is diverse and feels alive [and sounds like jurassic park with all the howler monkeys]. one of our favorite days here was hiking to one of the many beaches [although it was quite hot]. 

in a 26 mile stretch towards the coast, the terrain goes from 19,000 foot lush jungle mountains to the tropical carribean sea. it is a very special place and the energy here is captivating. we built our visit to this region around staying at a resort that a friend highly recommended, gitana del mar

G I T A N A 


gitana del mar almost feels like it's own private island when you arrive. away from the bustling streets and small town, it is quiet, serene and calming. this is a place i know i will dream of going back to, and i could not recommend it more. scroll for our photo journal of some favorite memories. 

 

hiking the valle de cocora: salento, colombia

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this place is like nothing i've ever seen


for a quick adventure after relaxing at hacienda bambusa, we found ourselves on a bus to salento, a tiny town that is part of the los nevados national park. it is the principal location of the national tree,  the quindío wax palm –– and when we saw photos of the palm forest i knew it was not to be missed. the town itself is pretty tiny and filled with small hostels/restaurants to support the heavy tourism that rolls through for adventure like the valle de cocora hike. we stayed at the coffee tree boutique hostel and had our own little private room that was pretty perfect for us. it was walking distance to the town square and had a cozy communal feel to it. 

interested in doing this hike? here are a few things to know:


  1. catch a shared jeep (or a "willy" as they call them) to the valle de cocora from the main square in salento.
  2. the cost is 4,000 COP ($1.50 USD) / person. the jeeps leave six times per day: 6:10am, 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm. they then return to salento an hour later.
  3. bring a lunch! the hike takes most of the day 
  4. we stopped and ate our sandwiches at the acaime hummingbird sanctuary where they also serve coffee/hot chocolate * stopping here adds about an hour to the hike, but it's fun to see if you have time
  5. bring a rain jacket –– the weather changes quickly when you get to higher elevations 
  6. do the counterclockwise loop, it is a great work out and ends at the palm forest which is the perfect reward. your hostel/hotel can give you more details on the different ways to do the trail (or you can check out this blog –– they have a lot of great information about the trail)
     


S C E N E S  F R O M  S A L E N T O 


 

Y O U  M I G H T  A L S O  L I K E:


day trip from cartagena: isla baru photo journal

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cartagena is really hot in the summer


and walking the streets was really fun, but also really difficult to do for the entire day because we would get exhausted by the sun. we kept hearing that there were islands nearby that many people take day trips to (and saw TONS of men trying to sell us a boat ride) and we finally decided that it might actually be really fun and refreshing. 

we ended up pricing out a few of the offered tours before we realized they all actually work together and it really didn't matter. we boarded a cute little boat and rode for about an hour before arriving to isla baru –– here, we got off and spent the entire day lounging/swimming/drinking coconuts. you can also take separate snorkeling trips/etc. –– but we were more interested in relaxing and catching up on our books. 

the beach bars were adorable, the water was refreshing, and there was plenty of shade to hide under when it got too hot. if you're heading to cartagena for a few days, i'd definitely recommend this day-trip! we were back in the city by 4pm, just in time for sunset happy hour. some favorite photos below...
 

 

O T H E R  P O S T S  Y O U  M I G H T  L I K E:


northern colombia: 4 nights in cartagena

Kate ParrishComment
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a quick flight from medellin and we were in this colorful little city


people told us cartagena would be way more touristy than other cities in colombia which is definitely true, but i loved it all the same. the cobblestoned streets, seaside restaurants and incredibly kind locals made for a romantic and welcomed escape (albeit a HOT escape -- it is frickin hot and humid in colombia in june). 

this walled city is famous for its colonial architecture, street art, colorful buildings, castles, culture, and rich history (dating back to 1533) being colombia's largest port city (as it still is today). cartagena has played a major part in the country's history,  not only protecting them from a number of invasions, but also in battling pirates who desired the city’s treasure and riches.
 

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if you're visiting cartagena, here are a few things we loved:


  1. our airbnb in getsemani (bunch of cute hotels near here too) –– we loved staying in this neighborhood because of it's proximity to the center park and nightly hangout
  2. burgers in the square (from the food carts ... also loved the "patacon con todo")
  3. cocktails on the rooftop at alquimico 
  4. a night at the cafe havana club (touristy, but honesly a must do)
  5. bazurto social club (arrive around 11pm or it will be dead!)
  6. popsicles from la paletteria
  7. breakfast bites from la esquina del pan de bono
  8. some of the city's best ceviche at la laguna azul (literally in a strip mall, but trust us)
  9. gathering at cafe del mar with tourists and locals for sunset at the wall (i'd recommend BYOBing)
  10. grab lunch at la mulata, delicious food and great vibes. many people recommended la cevicheria, which is definitely *good*, but we found it a little over priced and too touristy. 
     
 

Y O U  M I G H T  A L S O  L I K E


a long weekend in medellin, colombia

Kate ParrishComment
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hello! when we returned to the US this summer, i made the decision to take a break from blogging and just live in the moment for a bit. now somehow we're all the way after christmas and i find myself missing this little creative outlet of mine –so, i'm back and will start with finishing up about our time spent in colombia ;)

with eternal springtime weather (almost reminded me of SF) and a more "town"ish feel than bogota, are a few reasons why so many gringo expats end up gravitating to this cool city. it's also known as one of the most organized and "developed" of the colombian cities, getting a lot of attention because of their green-living initiatives. it's a friendly, vibrant and scenically unique city to spend a couple nights in. i'd also look into taking classes (we almost did a few weeks here but ran out of time) ... if you end up making the trip, here are some of our favorites:

DO

EAT DRINK

  • criminal taqueria tasty tacos and beer with only street seating. loved this place
  • clandestino awesome cocktails in a small cozy space, next door to criminal taqueria 
  • lo exquisito del mar authentic neighborhood seafood spot
  • bigote's head here less for the food, but more to hang with the locals - students and transplants in the streets with drum beats and the best of vibes
  • pergamino for hipster high end coffee shop experience - pretty cool though
  • OCI.mde go here for dinner
  • burdo another fun spot for festive drinks and good food in poblado
  • bar atlenal og bar, far south but for soccer games and history looks so rad - 
  • restaurante herbario for one of the best high end dining experiences (at a fraction of the cost)

 

 

Y O U  M I G H T  A L S O  L I K E