While I was in Santa Marta, my Mom called me in tears asking me not to go travel to Bogotá because she just saw a segment on the news that categorized the capitol city of Colombia as one of the most dangerous travel destinations in the world. I couldn’t help but laugh (sorry Mamas), because I think I’ve felt the safest in Colombia than any other place we’ve been so far. I was also still traveling with Amelia, who started her trip with eight days in Bogotá, and she only had great things to say about this (enormous) city.
We flew into Bogotá from Cartagena and it was a weird feeling leaving Colombia’s Caribbean coast and knowing that we only had a couple more days left with Amelia (my Travel BFF), who we had been exploring with for just over three weeks now. We pulled up to Cranky Croc hostel and immediately went out to grab lunch while Amelia pointed out some of her favorite spots to us. The Cranky Croc is an unbelievable hostel with the most comfortable beds I’ve come across on my trip thus far. The hostel also has amazingly clean and hot showers with great water pressure (yes, these things become luxury while traveling), awesome staff, and it’s also an ideal place to meet other travelers.
We spent the next couple of days enjoying our last moments with Amelia, going out by night, and exploring Bogotá by day. When Amelia left, it hit me pretty hard and I was in a bit of a funk for a good 24 hours. Little did I know that a couple days later I would have one of the best surprises of all time.
A few weeks earlier in Medellin, I met someone (Andres from the Black Sheep Hostel) who I knew would be a forever friend. This is another person who I was devastated to leave. It might be a good idea not to get so attached to people from now on, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself! Andres was always hinting at coming to see me in Cartagena, but when that didn’t happen, I sort of gave up hope and stopped thinking about it. Luckily for me, my Colombian cutie took a TEN hour night bus to come surprise me at the Cranky Crock. John and I were leaving to head to breakfast and as I was walking down the stairs out of our dorm room, I look up and see Andres’ smiling face. I screamed “NO FU¢k!ng way!” and nearly knocked him down when I jumped down the stairs to hug him. I really couldn’t believe that he came all that way and the feeling of seeing him again is something that I’ll never forget.
We spent the next couple of days in Bogotá with Andres and some new friends wondering the city, taking the cable car up Mount Monserrate to catch the breathtaking view, checking out the museums, as well as exploring the streets through the seriously amazing graffiti tour with BOGOTA GRAFFITI. If you’re into street art, then Bogotá is the place for you. I’ve never seen such beautifully unique and creative street art anywhere else. Be sure to take the tour with Ray. He’s actually from the U.S. but has been living in Bogotá for a while now and he is incredibly knowledgeable about the history and culture of street art in Bogotá. He also throws some insane parties at his house which made for some great memories during our stay!
As our time in Bogotá came to an end, my heart felt wonderfully happy and full, but it was absolutely a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to friends and leave what I would say has easily become my favorite country by far. I left a huge chunk of my heart in Colombia during the six beautiful weeks I spent there, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing friends and forever memories. I was however, extremely excited to head back to Peru – where it all started almost exactly three months earlier. We had a lot to look forward to – Cusco, family time, a Machu Picchu trek, and more. While reflecting back on the past three months, I couldn’t believe all we’d done, seen, people we’d met, and all the unforgettable memories we had made along the way. This only boosted my excitement for the remainder of the trip. I can’t even begin to imagine what was in store and I couldn’t wait to find out!
P.S. After John and I left Bogota, we stayed in Lima for one night before flying to Cusco. We decided to stay at the very first hostel (Dragonfly in Lima) in the very first city where we started this trip together. Three months into the trip (bottom photo) and it blows my mind to think of all we’ve seen and done and most of all the people who we’ve come across that have touched our lives. There isn’t anyone else I’d rather have by my side through this journey. South America is absolutely spectacular and this experience is something that we will cherish forever!