When talking about Colombia, most likely the first things coming up in your mind will be: drug, narcotraffic, the TV series NARCOS, coffee, salsa, etc.
When I decided to travel around the country for three months by myself, everyone thought I was crazy and in the end I was going to be kidnapped and killed. But I wanted to go beyond the stereotype: I was sure that Colombia would have had something special and I had the firm intention to find it out. And Colombia has something special indeed.
The slogan of the official Colombian tourism website is: “Colombia is magic realism”. It is so real, so genuine, so authentic, so natural. Bizarre is continuously mixing with inexplicable, its thrilling atmosphere is the secret ingredient, the magic realism that really makes every single traveller willing to stay and never leave this country .
When in Colombia, you will discover that in the place where lots of people have been killed, now there are plenty of Botero’s statues, gardens and places that you can fully enjoy. You will find out that what the one which once was considered the main Narcotraffic route, now it is a touristic route, where you can take the most amazing pictures of your journey.
You will see that people are so great that sometimes you doubt they are real and they are the only once that really contributes in making their country so special. You will realize that there is no way to ask for a mojito or cuba libre, you have to drink alcohol in shots. You will find out that salsa is not the only music they have: Colombian rhythm is made up of cumbia, Pacific coast music, vallenato, gaita.
Colombia is such an extraordinary country and you will never be disappointed: hot and cold, sea and mountains, cities and forest, coffee and salsa, fish and meat, fried food and more fried food.
Furthermore, you will confirm that drugs exist, but European people and gringos use them as well. You will say that “el amor latino” is funny and melodramatic at the same time, that a European woman is a sort of goddess for a Colombian manwhile a European guy is the Prince of Charming for a Colombian girl. You will meet so many people, everyone with a catching story to tell you about his/her country and all you can do is listen to each of them with genuine enthusiasm.
Colombia is always a surprise and will leave you different feelings and emotions like being in love, happy, relaxed, satisfied, excited, touched. Nobody expects it but it happens. The atmosphere is something that it cannot be described, it has to be experienced.
I fell in love with this country, I have been travelled every corner of Colombia for months and I came back home to Italy with a huge “Colombia sickness”. I packed everything back again and decided to go back: now I run a small hostel in a paradisiacal island of the Colombian Caribbean sea, in front of the city of Cartagena. This is realism. And magic, too.
So, are you ready to go to Colombia and let the country win your heart?