I’m baaaaaaack!!! Please excuse any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, as I am way too excited to write this post!
We had an AMAZING time on our trip to Colombia!
Getting to Colombia was easy. We flew out of Austin, TX to Houston, TX. Then from Houston, TX to Bogota, Colombia. When we left Austin, the heat was unbearable so, naturally, we were wearing shorts and lightweight shirts. When we arrived at the airport in Bogota we were freezing! If you plan on going into Bogota during the US summer months, pack a sweater and jeans! Everyone at the terminal was prepared and wearing jeans, boots, and sweaters. We had to wait 4 hours in Bogota for our flight to Armenia, Colombia.
The best part of the travel TO Colombia was that our luggage was checked-in in Austin and sent straight through to Armenia. There was no need for us to collect out bags at any other point of our trip, as is the case sometimes on international flights. I was so scared our bags wouldn’t make it, but thank God that they did.
We finally arrived in Armenia the morning of July 26th. We went to visit Julian’s aunt as soon as we arrived, She is the sweetest older women I have ever encountered. She hadn’t seen Julian in over 8 years. Being Mexican, I really take for granted how easy it is for me to visit family and loved ones. Other Latin Americans have to save up and really plan their trips as they can’t just drive across the border like those who have families in Mexico can.
Armenia was beautiful and really has a city feel to it. From Armenia we drove about 15 minutes to Julian’s family’s hometown of Circasia. There are motorcycles, motorcycles everywhere in Colombia!! It is the preferred transportation for the majority of the population. This was really prevalent in Armenia. The landscape is BEAUTIFUL in Colombia. It really reminded me a lot like Mexico, except more green and more of a “jungle” feel to it. Julian’s family lives right across from the town square or plaza. We were right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. They live right above a bar, so there is always something going on.
We decided to stay there the whole week instead of going to the resort house or chalet. I really wanted to get a feel for Colombia and not be stuck at a resort the whole time. I am sure glad we decided to stay in Circasia, since it was at the middle of everything we wanted to do.
There is SOOOOOO much to do in Colombia and a week was definitely not enough to actually enjoy everything Colombia has to offer. We visited Aremenia, Montenegro, Salento, and Cocora. We went to El Parque Del Cafe (The Coffee Park), rode horses in Salento and Cocora, and relaxed at the Termales de Santa Rosa (Santa Rosa Hot Springs). Of course, we also did A LOT of shopping in all the various cities and towns we traveled to and stopped at along our trips.
The food was AMAZING! And super cheap. The conversion while we were there was $1 US = $2,800 Colombian Pesos (Or $2.80). We ate like royalty the whole time were there. Not only was the food cheap, but they also serve HUGE portions. I have found this to be true in Mexico as well, that the level of service is SO MUCH BETTER than it is in the US. People in Colombia are continually trying to see how you are and really trying to accommodate to you. Every place we ate at, we were treated like VIPs and that is something that I feel is lost sometimes in the United States.
The trip back was exhausting!! Going through immigration in Colombia is intense. They unpack your whole suitcase right in front of you. I felt so silly since I spent that morning organizing my suitcase, when they were just going to take it apart. They let you reorganize it when they are finished inspecting it. Once checked-in in Colombia, they tell you that you will have to collect your bags once you reach the US and then re-check them in for your final destination.
We flew into Houston and, let me tell you, WOW! Immigration is INTENSE at this airport. I have flown international out of and into San Antonio, and it was never as hectic as it was in Houston. We arrived at about 5:00 AM to Houston and so did many, many other international flights. The lines were long and the airport staff not very helpful and a tad bit rude. Once we got through immigration, we had to collect our bags and go through another checkpoint. Then we had to check-in our bags, which was pretty fast, and last go through one final inspection. I get the urgency and the security measures that have to be taken, but they could have a more efficient system if they wanted. It was way too early for most of the people coming into the airport and none of us wanted to deal with that much trouble at the time.
Things I missed?
- LTE Cell Phone Service
- My Own Bed
- Tacos (It was weird being in a Spanish speaking country and not seeing tacos at every corner or at every restaurant)
- Hot Water (Obviously, since we were staying at his family’s house, they didn’t always have hot water and sometimes had no water at all. This was an ADVENTURE for me, to say the least)
- My Family (It was the first time I took a big trip like this without my family, or at least my mom. I wish I could have shared my trip with them because I know they would have loved it.)
Overall, it was an amazing trip! I will definitely be going again. I hope that if and when Julian and I have kids that we can take them to Colombia and Mexico to show them where our families came from and then take them around the US to show them who we are today. I am so proud of my background and my heritage. I hope our kids will be too.
I loved my trip to Colombia and can’t wait for my next trip in October! (Cancun 2015!!)
Now it’s back to reality!
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip! And if you want to see ALL the pictures from our trip, you can see them HERE! Enjoy!
P.S. STAY TUNED!!! I will be doing a giveaway next week for some goodies from Colombia and a Forever 21 gift card! Keep a look out!
Stay in love,