Juan Pablo Says Blog Posts

This page contains all content written by Juan Pablo

La Boquilla: ecotours of life at the edge

One of our days in Cartagena was spent in La Boquilla, a fisherman’s town, though really now a marginal neighborhood in the outskirts of Cartagena. Before heading to Colombia Laura did some research and found an eco-tour of La Boquilla’s mangroves offered by a local...

Cartagena: New Memories in the Old City

To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it, but is in it. Indeed, happiness is nothing other than being encompassed, an after-image of the original shelter within the mother. But for this reason no-one who is happy can know that he is so. To see...

Quindío: Heart of Colombian Coffee Country

All the coffee we bought in Quindío has long run out—which is another reason to return to Colombia soon.  Yet months after our visit we greeted many mornings by taking a deep whiff of that glorious ground substance. Like a chain reaction that earthy, piquant scent set...

Anaime: Adventures in Crossing the Line

To get from Ibagué to coffee country in Quindio you have to cross what is known as “la linea,” or “the line”: a narrow, two way, winding road that leads up one side of the Central Andean Range from the Valle de Magdalena and down into the Valle del Cauca. With no...

Crossing the River of Time in Ambalema, Tolima

“José Arcadio Buendia, who was the most entrepreneurial man ever to be seen in the village, had disposed the placement of the houses in such a way that from all of them the river could be reached and water collected with equal effort, and he traced the streets with...

City of Eternal Spring: Visiting Ibagué, Colombia

Over time I have lost any inclination to feel definitely rooted, to be able to say “I come from such and such a place.” This isn’t just the factor of some postmodern nomadic state, as if I had come unmoored of any sense of direction, of where I come from or where I am...

Bogotá Day-Tripping: Guatavita

After a week in Bogotá, Laura and I were ready to escape the noisy, crowded, polluted metropolis and get a whiff of fresh mountain air. Our host, my cousin Julio Alejandro and his wife Jimena, suggested that we take a day trip out to Lagoon of the Cacique of...

5 Tips for Getting Around Bogotá

  First thing to keep in mind is the physical layout of the city. Bogotá sits at high altitude on a large plain in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. The city was founded by the Spanish in 1538 at the foot of the mountains that form a natural barrier...

A week in Bogotá I

Known in the past as the Athens of South America, this city high up in a large plain (the Altiplano Cundiboyacense) of the Andes was home in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to a small cadre of bookish elites. Antonio José Caro, who served as...

5 Great Novel-Travel Guides

Literature and travel have intertwined histories. The great epics of antiquity were chronicles of war (The Iliad) and of travel (The Odyssey). Don Quijote is about the adventures of a madman and his squire and their adventures away from home. Some of the standard...

Riding Colorado Through Ride the Rockies

The bicycle is one of human kind’s greatest inventions. It is a symbol of modernity: you can’t have bicycles without industry. Although nowadays one can ride in the dirt hills and mountains, in paved country roads, the bicycle is originally an urban phenomenon; it...

Zion National Park: A Short Adventure

Zion; promised land. On a warm June morning we once again packed up Laura’s life into a truck and drove from Tucson up through the desert into Las Vegas, city of sin. Coming in through Henderson we saw the bacchanalia of the Vegas strip in the low horizon, opening up...