From 16 Nov 2010 - 25 Mar 2011 TripTrumpet finds himself back in Colombia, rekindling the magic as they say. The theory is to do it a bit differently, for instance avoiding buses in favor of flights. There'll be longer stays in each spot as well. With calm thus assured, and the likelihood of being in a bus careening off a cliff sufficiently reduced, only the "wheres" merit consideration. So... commence the usual toe-tapping, let the finger-drumming ensue for a number of ponderous minutes, and..: Tap, TAP. Drum, DRUM. BING!
Yes, the mists easily clear: I'm off to the Amazon River for a spell, then it's time to finally sample those Choco Province Coasts that front both the Caribbean AND the Pacific. Not only are these new territories for me, but they'll also all have hot climates and wet waters (as opposed to the dreaded dry kind) while being in remote (enough) places! Done.
With such niggling details decided, I logically select lucky Medellín to serve as my base of operations. This comes both in spite of AND because of its poor showing the year before. Yep, here's a second chance for Colombia's #2 city - although perhaps I should warn the locals of the upcoming exam. No matter: Its die is cast, helplessly rendering it my post-Amazon hub to both spoke out to and in from the aforementioned coasts.
And that's that: the typical un-plan of my travels suddenly looks like a plan. Still more shocking - it'll be executed! How about that? Yes: Bogotá will quickly lead to Leticia, which I'll eventually abandon to put me back into Colombia proper in Medellín. From there I'll fly to Capurganá on the Caribbean Coast, returning to Medellín by a dreaded bus (fortunately speed-hobbled by crappy roads), then it'll be another flight in a puddle-jumper to get me to Nuqui on the Pacific Coast. From there I'll make my way water-wise to Bahia Solano, eventually seeing me fly again back to - you guessed it - Medellín. From there, all that will be left is finding a means to break up the bus ride back to Bogotá: stops each in Rio Claro, Hacienda Napoles (near Doradal), and Honda. Bing BONG! Done.
Now THAT's a trip off the beaten path. Hopefully no guns will be put to my head in the process, but either way I'll get to enjoy at least one area where the word "gringo" is practically unknown (in the Pacific Choco). Such a trip has no choice but to be deemed a success, I'm sure. So... off I go.
Bogotá (East Andes finger)...5 nights
Leticia (Amazon)...6 weeks
Medellín (Middle Andes finger)...5 weeks
Carribean Choco (Capurganá and Sapzurro on the Caribbean Coast)...2 weeks
Medellín (Middle Andes finger)...1 week
South Pacific Choco (Termales, Nuqui, Arusi and Guachalito on the Pacific Coast)...1 week
North Pacific Choco (El Valle and Bahia Solano on the Pacific Coast)...1 week
Medellín (Middle Andes finger)...1+ week
Rio Claro and Hacienda Napoles (east side of Middle Andes finger)...4 nights
Honda (Magdalena River)...4 nights
Bogotá and Out (East Andes finger)...4 nights
Purchasing any of the following, linked books does not add to the cost of the purchase, but they do pay the hosting landlord.
Lonely Planet Colombia Guide
Lonely Planet South America Guide
Lonely Planet Central America Guide
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