Category Archives: Friday Fotos

(Friday Fotos) Barranquilla’s Wildlife

What’s that you say? When you think of Barranquilla, “wildlife” is not the first thing that pops to mind? The association is a little bizarre. Barranquilla is the proverbial “concrete jungle,” but guess what? This particular concrete jungle does in fact have a few truly jungle-y inhabitants. Check out the below and you’ll see what I mean. And no, I did not take these pictures at the zoo – although the zoo here is pretty good. More on that later…. Happy Friday!

Mango? What mango?

"Look at that body... Ah... I work out...."

“Look at that body… Ah… I work out….”

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(Friday Fotos) House Hunters International Take Two!

I knew it! You’ve been sitting around moping for the last three months because you missed our June debut on HGTV’s House Hunters International, Reconnecting family ties in Barranquilla, Colombia. Well, chin up, my friends because we’re back! Yep, we are officially a rerun. If you missed the show the first time, you can catch it this Saturday, August 24th at 10:30 PM and 1:30 AM Eastern/Pacific (click the above link for details).

To whet your appetite, below are a few screen shots of our TV during the June 10th airing. Apologies to all who were expecting some real, if amateurish, photography. I promise to do better next Friday. In the meantime, you can also check out these cool behind-the-scenes photos by Milena Thinkan, a member of the crew. If you watch on Saturday, you’ll get a pretty good sense of what Barranquilla is like these days. Thanks for tuning in, and happy Friday!

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(Friday Fotos) Minca: A Tiny Treasure in the Sierra Nevada

Minca – a tiny town perched in the highest coastal range in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – is one of my favorite places to visit on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. Minca has an artsy, communal spirit and a culture grounded strongly in the area’s indigenous roots. Minca is also a bird watchers’ paradise. True birders (think The Big Year) can take multi-day tours to scout out rare varieties; the rest of us can see some fairly spectacular feathered friends while enjoying lunch at Hotel Minca.

Coffee lovers, too, will find their home here. La Victoria – an organic coffee plantation dating back to the mid-1800’s – will show you how they grow, harvest, and process coffee through environmentally friendly, organic, and sustainable methods that use much of the original equipment. After you get your caffeine fill, you can take a hike or four-wheel-drive ride to a nearby waterfall for a swim. Finish it off with a frozen limonada or some Spanish tapas at a restaurant overlooking the lights of Santa Marta far below. If you’d like to make a night of it, rent a mountain cabin, or even just a hammock. You’ll have memories that will stick with you for years to come.

Logistics: Minca is about 30 minutes by taxi or 1 hour by bus from Santa Marta’s city center. Fidel Travels helped arrange our visit and got us to places that most 2 year-olds have never been. I highly recommend them! The folks at the Casa Loma Hostal were also incredibly helpful.

(Friday Fotos) Deliciousness: Colombia’s Eje Cafetero

If I try to describe my trip last weekend to the Eje Cafetero – Colombia’s “Coffee Axis” – using words like “enchanting” and “magical”, you’re going to groan.

Cocora Valley, as seen from just outside Salento.

Cocora Valley, as seen from Salento.

You’ll think that I’m just one of those tired travel writers who can’t be bothered to come up more descriptive words, or who wants you to believe that I am having amazing experiences no matter how mediocre the reality. Or worse, you may think I’m the realtor trying to entice you with a “charming and quaint” (read: terribly cramped and lacking any renovation since the turn of the century) apartment. Normally – my being a terrifically (read that adverb as you see fit) skeptical person – I would agree with you. But in this case, you’d be wrong. Continue reading