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Archive for colombia

Flower of the Ocean

By Linda Tancs

The Colombian island of Providencia is affectionately known as “the flower of the ocean.” It’s an appropriate nickname, considering that it lies entirely within UNESCO’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, an oceanic archipelago with coral banks, small islands and islets forming part of atolls. Those are rare systems in the Caribbean, where this getaway rests between Central and South America. It was once a haven for pirates like Captain Morgan, whose memory is invoked by landmarks like Morgan’s Cave and and Morgan’s Head. The unspoiled island also became one of England’s first colonies, established in the 1600s by English Puritans. Now its Spanish heritage is infused with Creole and a distinct African-Caribbean vibe. You’ll get there via a flight from sister island San Andrés.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Salt and Light in Colombia

By Linda Tancs

A popular day trip from Bogotá, Colombia, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground church—literally. It’s carved out of an abandoned salt mine, illuminated by colorful lights. Among the statues and sculptures you’ll find naves with pew seating, a dome and the Stations of the Cross. The tourist train departs Bogotá on weekends; otherwise you can take a bus.

On the Rocks in Colombia

By Linda Tancs

It’s not unusual for a mansion to be converted into a museum, but they don’t all command jaw-dropping, cliffside views like Tequendama Falls Museum in San Antonio del Tequendama, Colombia. Originally built as the opulent home for a successful architect in the Roaring ’20s, the French-style mansion later became a luxury hotel for a number of years until its abandonment in the ’90s. It reopened in 2013 as a museum celebrating biodiversity and culture, a fitting tribute given the beauty of its natural surroundings.

Where Spring is Eternal

By Linda Tancs

Medellín is Colombia’s second city. Set in the Aburrá Valley, it’s surrounded by green mountains and enjoys springlike weather year round, earning it the moniker “City of Eternal Spring.” The city has come a long way since its darker days as the center of Pablo Escobar’s drug operation and related violence. In fact, in 2013, it was named the most innovative city in the world in The Wall Street Journal’s City of the Year Contest. Call it a model of industrial chic, with sleek new buildings housing cultural centers as well as an airborne gondola system and escalators hugging the hillside, both leading to inspiring views. The view is equally inspiring on the ground this time of year, when the flower festival ends with a parade of flower farmers. They transport beautiful floral arrangements, many weighing up to 150 pounds and measuring 15 feet in diameter.

Lilies of the Amazon

By Linda Tancs

Close to seven feet. That’s how large the water lily gets in the Amazon at Victoria Regia Nature Reserve. It’s just a 15-minute boat ride from Leticia, Colombia’s southernmost city located on the banks of the Amazon on the Colombia—Brazil border. Once you’ve ogled your fair share of flora, take in the tourist boardwalk in Leticia where you can enjoy the breeze from the Amazon and admire fiery sunsets amidst many stores and food courts.

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