Bogota Tags and the South of Colombia

Don't yell, but speak firmly and with confidence.

Don’t yell, but speak firmly and with confidence.

Salento was amazing, but eventually we had to move on. Our next stop was the capital city of ColombiaBogota. Bogota is a massive city with around 12 million people (unofficially) who live packed together into an Andean valley.

Bogota

Bogota Graffiti

Bogota Graffiti

Due to the size, we were only able to see a small part of Bogota and we really had to pack our trip in. With only 2 nights, we set out to see the most talked about attractions of the city. Our first stop was the Botero Museum.

Chubby Fingers

Chubby Fingers

Named after, arguably, Colombia’s most well known artist, the museum is mostly filled with paintings and sculptures by Botero, however, there are works from other well known artists as well.

Some Picasso Stuff

Some Picasso Stuff

We loved this museum. Botero’s art feels so lighthearted that you can’t help but laugh. Everywhere you look, there are fat horses, fat women and fat everything.

Fat Woman in the Fat Trees

Fat Woman in the Fat Trees

The Man Liked Food

The Man Liked Food

Next we walked through the main square over to the famous Gold Museum.

Distracted

Distracted

...by this

…by this

The Gold Museum came highly recommended and we felt like we had to visit it while in Bogota. Unsurprisingly, the Gold Museum has a lot of gold. There is so much gold that, unfortunately, you can’t help but zone out on some of the exhibits. After a while, you just get sick of gold breastplates, gold hair things and gold masks.

Gold thing

Gold thing

Other Gold thing

Other Gold thing

Some gold stuff they wore or something, I don't know.

Some gold stuff they wore or something, I don’t know.

Honestly, they have so much gold that they just threw the leftovers into a weird room with funky music and people chanting. They don’t even know what to do with it all.

Leftover gold that looks exactly like all the other gold.

Leftover gold that looks exactly like all the other gold.

The next day, we decided to skip the other museums and instead try out a highly recommended graffiti tour. Our tour guide “Crisp” did not disappoint. Not only did he show off some of his and his friend’s awesome street art, but he also did a fantastic job explaining why graffiti is so common and accepted in Bogota (mainly due to the police having bigger problems to deal with than some paint). To save me a few thousand words, here are a few of the exhibits we saw:

Crisp's Work

Crisp’s Work

P1020594

P1020627

P1020616

P1020614

P1020608

P1020636

P1020638

P1020641

Everywhere you look in Bogota, there seems to be some fresh paint. There is also an interesting code of conduct that most artists abide by, which allows the art to remain untouched for up to a year. Unfortunately, once our graffiti tour ended, our time in Bogota ended as well and we were soon on our way to the Tatacoa desert.

Tatacoa Desert

It's like this.

It’s actually like this.

First off, Tatacoa isn’t actually a desert, it’s a tropical dry forest. I’m not really sure where they draw the line between the two, but thems the rules. Julia and I only spent one day and one night in Tatacoa, but we must have taken over 200 pictures. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking. The earth is bright orange-red and dotted with cacti and other flora that can handle the brutal environment. There are also a few locals that eek out a living mostly raising cattle and providing rooms for tourists.

Tatacoa Cow

Tatacoa Cow

On our tour, we even got to stop for a quick dip in a natural pool.

Beautiful natural pool

Beautiful natural pool

As the night closed in, Julia and I walked over to the observatory. Tatacoa’s observatory is run by a very enthusiastic astronomer who, unfortunately, speaks Spanish very quickly. We only caught bits and pieces of what he was saying, but he made up for it by showing us some incredible views through his telescopes.

The moon

The moon

It was too tough to pick what pictures to use, so here are some bonus pictures from our day in Tatacoa:

P1020669

P1020705

P1020781

P1020777

P1020739

P1020803

The next morning, we packed up and took the short bus ride to San Agustin.

San Agustin

Welcome to San Agustin

Welcome to San Agustin

San Agustin is mostly known for the pre-Colombian statues that are scattered around the surrounding area. The statues are pretty interesting, but (much like the Gold Museum) they start to get a little repetitive. For us, the real highlights of San Agustin were the beautiful countryside and the wonderful hostel where we stayed.

Stone figures

Stone figures

P1020842

San Agustin countryside

San Agustin countryside

While in San Agustin, we stayed at Casa de Francois. Francois, the owner, had come to Colombia from France in 1993 (I’ve heard there may have been some rough patches for Colombia between then and now) and had stumbled upon this huge coffee farm just above the city of San Agustin. He decided to purchase it and live there. At the time, the entire plot was filled with coffee plants and he lived in a small brick house. Over the last 20 years, Francois has turned his plot into a relaxing villa aimed at backpackers. Now, most of the coffee plants have been replaced with gardens with native trees and plants. The modest brick home no longer exists and now there are several structures that have a quirky elegance to them. It was like spending a few days at a millionaire’s vacation home (for less than $13 a night). Being French, Francois also made sure there was a constant supply of delicious french bread available (a hot commodity in the land of sweet soft breads). On our last night, we decided to splurge a little and try the house specialty, steak dinner and a bottle of wine.

"Goodbye San Agustin" dinner

“Goodbye San Agustin” dinner

After saying our goodbyes, we were off to Popayan where we would prepare for our ride to Quito, Ecuador.

Up Next: Popayan and Ipiales

Location:

Bogota

Tatacoa Desert

San Agustin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s