For those of you who have followed my previous posts might have noticed that I am a bit obsessed with Colombia. Beside being an absolutely amazing travel destination that I highly recommend, it has also been my last trip before the pandemic that has managed to lock down an entire Planet.
Today I am decided to forget the horrific 3 months spent at home, without being able to do what I love the most (travel around the world) and I am going to indulge myself with the frenzy of colors that Colombia has left behind.
Color therapy and the best coffee in the world…
When Carlos, our tour guide, proposed a visit to the most colorful town of Colombia, Guatape and a stop over to a local coffee plantation I was absolutely delighted. As a coffee addict I do not skip any opportunity of having a good cup of the magic black potion but little did I know that this time I will have to work hard to obtain it.
The owner of the plantation greated us with the famous “Hola, bienvenidos”, two large baskets and an accomplice smile knowing what is about to come next. After a complete briefing about the process that transforms a tiny white flower in a strong cup of coffee, she hunged the two baskets around our waist and invited us to follow her in the plantation.
Being my first time on a real coffee plantation I enjoyed every moment, listen carefully to all the details shared by my host. That’s how I found out that the orange trees surrounding the plantation are responsible for the magnificent taste of my favorite beverage and that only red, healthy beans are used for a high quality product. But enough gossip, it’s time to work and win the competition against the boys team.
It took us more than 30 minutes of hard work under the torrid sun of the afternoon, few scratches made by the tick vegetation plus a long process of washing, drying, roasting and blending the coffee beans in order to obtain the well deserved cup of coffee. Uff what a relief! I can finally take my dose of caffeine.
With a bag full of memories and few others of high quality colombian coffee we continue our journey towards Guatape, considered the most colorful place in the country and probably in the entire world.
Guatape-The art of living a joyful life
In an effort to revive a town that was often hit by flooding, the community of Guatape decided to cover every building in bright colors and decorate it with miniatural frescoes called “zocalos”. Some zocalos are just cute figures of plants and animals while others tell a story about the house owner or the business.
Guatape is extremely photogenic, reason why you will spend hours wandering the streets of the little town, stopping for a picture in every corner of the street.
Beside the incredible coffee shops around the town, you will be able to taste the Coca tea (if you haven’t had the chance before), an indigenous beverage made of coca leaves (yes the same one used to produce cocaine). One leaf used for the tea, it’s one leaf less for the narco traficants, the coca tea being completely harmless.
Even though coca leaves are legal in South America, the law doesn’t apply for other countries and you may want to check twice before getting a souvenir that might put you in trouble.
We are ending our visit to the colorful town with a delicious dinner in one of the local restaurants facing the harbor, greatful for another day doing what I love the most: traveling the world.