Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Escape From Cartagena, Colombia

The peep-hole in the door of our
hotel room wasn't especially useful
After 7 days cooped up in our air-conditioned hotel room, eating homemade microwave quiche for dinner and drinking way too much aguardiente, we finally got the truck from the port and headed to the highlands. If you read our last post, you know that we were pretty much dying to get out of the city of Cartagena and the intense heat. Many people drive northwest from Cartagena to enjoy the beautiful Caribbean beaches, including a very popular and reportedly stunning national park (Parque Tayrona). We did in fact drive northwest, but we wanted nothing to do with the heat of the coast, beauty be damned.

We headed straight for the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. This mountain range is completely isolated from the Andes and really close to the Caribbean coast. In fact, it's the world's highest coastal mountain range, reaching an altitude of 18,700 ft only 26 miles from the coast! We headed to the small highland town of Minca where you can see the coast from an altitude of about 2300 ft.

The air was refreshing. We were so excited to put on some pants, socks, and jackets, and fill our lungs with clean air. We spent a few days biking around the jungly highlands, never getting a great view of the Sierras. We were not willing to get up early enough to see them before a blanket of clouds rolled in. Therefore, the picture is not ours.

Sierra Nevada courtesy of

The hostel we parked at (Hostal San Souci) was a cool little place - views, jungle, swimming pool, hammocks, and 2 cats! The parking situation was treacherous and we really should NOT have squeezed into their driveway. When we left, it took us an hour to back out of the driveway and navigate the steep, angled drop-off at the bottom. Seriously sketchy and one of our biggest parking mistakes to date.
Coffee and internet with a view of the jungle straight out to the sea. "Mouse" the cat was more interested in the head scritches.

Biking through the clouds - no mountain views today

Rated PG - I promise

Sunset view over the pool at Sans Souci 


Cesar said...

We thought Tyrona was overrated. Be sure you hit Hacienda Venecia down in the coffee region. One of our favorite spots on the trip. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

That is such an amazing view.