Colombia – Living Good

Yes Colombia, and yes living good in Colombia. Colombia is a country that most people have excluded from their travel itineraries. That is because of all the bad rumors about the drugs and the violence associated with those drug cartels. Yes Colombia had the two largest criminal enterprises in our hemisphere. They were Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartels. But now they are gone. Pablo is dead and the bosses of the Cali Cartels are all in jail. There was also a problem with the FARC, a guerrilla group in Colombia, but that has improved markedly. In 2012 Colombia was rated number one for having the happiest citizens of all the countries of the world. There must be a reason for this happiness.

Colombia is a country that is extremely bio-diverse. Colombia has borders on two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Running from North to South through the country are the Andes Mountains where there are peaks as tall as 18,700 feet. To the southwest is the Amazon Rain Forest. Because of its different altitudes and its close proximity to the equator, Colombia has many different climates and growing seasons.

Colombia grows the best coffee in the world. The conditions for growing coffee are ideal with two growing seasons each year. There are also areas that are like spring every day, cities like Medellin. Colombia is a leading flower exporter in the world because of its ideal growing conditions. Colombia also has vast reserves in oil, emeralds, and gold. In any Colombian grocery store you can find an enormous variety of fruits and vegetables, all locally grown. The variety of the different fruits in Colombia is gigantic. And best of all Colombia has some of the friendliest people in all the world.

There are a vast variety of things to do while in Colombia. There are countless museums, river excursions, national parks, beaches, charming towns, bustling large cities, beautiful mountain terrain, and jungles to see and explore. There is also a variety of small to large cities that all have their own individuality and character. For example, there is Medellin the city of eternal spring, there is Cali with its ideal climate and its reputation for being the salsa capital of the world, and there is Cartagena the walled city on the Caribbean coast. Bogota is the capital of Colombia with a population of over ten million if you include its surrounding metropolitan areas, and it is the home for many international companies. Cartagena is a city on the Caribbean Sea that attracts people from all over the world because of its architecture and charm. Barranquilla is another city on the Caribbean Sea, and it hosts a carnaval that is very well known and popular. Popayan and Mompos are two smaller cities that are also charming cities with colonial architecture. There are countless places to see in Colombia, too many to mention in this short article.

Another very attractive aspect to living in Colombia is the reasonable cost of living. There are cities in Colombia that have a cost of living lower than anywhere in South America. One does not sacrifice much with this lower cost of living. In the larger cities there are modern and extensive mass transit systems. The homes are well constructed and dirt cheap, to rent and to buy. Food costs are very low and there is an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat. Bread is almost all made in local bakeries and is very inexpensive. Health insurance is very inexpensive and the Colombian health care system is very good. A couple in Colombia pays about $40 a month for health insurance. Furniture in Colombia is mostly handmade and costs about half of what one would pay for equivalent furniture in the United States.

Colombia has a very stable democracy and is growing annually at a rate of more than 5% a year. For an employer, the wage costs are a small fraction of what is paid in the United States. Colombia is a much more capitalistic society than the United States. The majority of the businesses in Colombia are small businesses. Also the entry into a business is inexpensive and has no red tape. One can rent a small business site for as little as $100 per month. Colombia is still a country where the brick and mortar stores dominate the market.

In short Colombia is a developed country that is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. One needs to visit Colombia to see for himself.

Carnaval, Barranquilla Colombia

The Carnaval in Barranquilla, Colombia is one of the largest carnavals in the world. It is hosted by the city of Barranquilla, Colombia on the Caribbean Sea. During this four day intensive carnaval, nothing happens in Barranquilla but the carnaval. The streets are full of people and all business comes to a halt. Aspects of this carnaval date back to the 19th century. The carnaval begins 40 days before the holy week, on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. Unesco honored this Carnaval in Barranquilla by declaring it a World Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The first day is the Battalla de Las Flores, the largest event of the carnaval. On Sunday, the second day, is The Grand Parade. On the third day is the 84th Street Parade. The fourth and last day of the carnaval is the Funeral of Joselito Carnaval. Joselito Carnaval signifies gaiety and festiveness.

During the parade there is an abundance of dancing and music. There are also a lot of people wearing costumes and parading through the streets. This is a very multicultural event that is very ethnically diverse. The costumes with the masks sporting the long noses, La Marimonda, are of a Colombian origin. The other style costumes are European or African.

There are two main types of dancing during the carnaval. They are Cumbia and Garabato. Cumbia is a courting dance and the Garabato dance depicts victory of life over death.

The Battala de Las Flores is a parade that is a giant celebration. It begins with a float, with the Queen of the Carnaval flanked by an entourage of princes and princesses. They are followed by groups of people dancing, and following them are other groups of costumed people. It is quite the colorful and diverse affair.

The Grand Parade is full of people dressed up in costumes and dancing in the streets. The 84th Street Parade is also a significant event. In this parade the queen of the carnaval is dressed in black, representing the widow of Joselito Carnaval. There is a lot of ceremony and dancing in the streets and sidewalks.

The Funeral of Joselito Carnaval is the last big event of the parade and it happens on the fourth day of the carnaval. Joselito Carnaval, who signifies festiveness, dies after 4 days of intensive partying during the carnaval. He is symbolically buried and mourned on this final day.

This carnaval attracts tourists from Colombia and all over the world. It is a beautiful multicultural event. The people of Barranquilla do an immense amount of preparation to make this carnaval possible. If you like Latin Carnavals then you should not miss this one.

To learn more about Colombia, or to see some phenomenal pictures of this carnaval, go to

Colombia – Travel to Tayrona National Park

The Tayrona National Park of Colombia is 34 km from the city of Santa Marta on the Caribbean Sea. The park was once the home of the Tayrona indigenous people. The park comprises 12,000 hectares of land and 3,000 hectares of sea. The park extends along the Caribbean Sea and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There is an amazing amount of bio-diversity within the park.

A popular way to view the park is by trekking through the park and visiting the various sites along the way. There are accommodations for sleeping and eating along the way. The main sites are Canaveral, Arrecifes, La Piscina, and El Cabo. They are all breathtakingly beautiful. To enter the park, one has to take a bus or a taxi from Santa Marta to the park entrance. The first site in the trek is La Piscina, about a one and a half hour walk.

La Piscina is a beach within the park. The water part of the beach is well protected and is relatively calm, therefore it has adopted the name La Piscina, which means the pool in English. La Piscina is a great place for the family to take a swim without the worry of currents and large waves. Therefore this is a favorite site for families to visit.

Arrecifes is another beach location. It is a particularly gorgeous beach. At Arrecifes there are dangerous currents in the sea, so swimming is not allowed, but the viewing is fantastic. That makes this site more desirable to view and take pictures.

Canaveral is a popular location to visit because it is the only site in the park that is accessible by car. At Canaveral there are some excellent costal views and there are also some archeological sites to see. Canaveral is usually not viewed on a trek through the park, but best visited by a short bus ride.

El Cabo is the most beautiful beach with its amazing rock formations, and it is the most crowded. The water currents are not too strong there, so it is safe for swimming. El Cabo is a beach that is the most photographed.

There are accommodations for sleeping and eating along the trek, including camping. The food and the drinks within the park are generally more expensive.

Colombia has many national parks that are very memorable experiences and wonderful places to visit. The Tayrona National Park has some of the most pristine beaches of the Caribbean. That makes this park a very popular attraction for Colombians and tourists alike. The national parks of Colombia are preserved and protected by the government of Colombia. If one is visiting Colombia, the Tayrona National Park is a must see attraction. To see some amazing pictures of this remarkable national park, just visit:

A Traveler’s Guide to Medellin, Colombia

Medellin is located in the beautiful country of Colombia. It’s known as “The city of the eternal spring“, a place full of things to do.

The perfect weather and astonishing landscapes make of Medellin the perfect destination for those travelers looking for something fresh, new and breathtaking. As the second city in a developing country, Medellin has many things to offer its visitors. Dozens of five stars hotels, a lot of amazing restaurants and bars, plenty of outdoor activities, and the most authentic culture of its inhabitants.

Colombia is a country where travelers can find nature and wildlife at every corner, and Medellin is close to many tourist attractions, including amazing destinations like mountain treks, water sports, camping, biking routes, extreme sports, historic places from the 1600s and the 1700s. The very well-preserved natural reservoirs and antique constructions make of Medellin a never-ending source of interesting places and scenarios to visit.

Medellin is the second biggest city in Colombia by population, and very well-known for its people hospitality and kindness.

Medellin is the center of many industrial and commercial activities that attract thousand of business people from around the world, coming to make trade relationships and in the meantime falling in love with this warm and wonderful place.

A huge number of visitors are coming every year to this city of eternal spring, looking to get some of the best of Colombia’s export products, like coffee (one of the best in the world), emeralds (worldwide famous), fruits, flowers and of course the most beautiful women in the world!

Every year, in July, Medellin hosts an international fashion fair, named Colombia Fashion, and it is the meeting point of thousands of buyers, sellers, designers and entrepreneurs from all the world. Everything that is happening in the fashion world starts in Medellin.

On Summer, every year, the entire city performs the Flower Fair, a world-wide known event displaying several flowers parades, tropical music concerts, art exhibitions, an antique and classic cars parade, a horseback riding parade and dozens of firework shows.

Medellin is an amazing city that offers many incredible tourist attractions in the middle of the wonderful Andean mountains system. For those travelers who have not been in South America, just landing in Medellin is a life time experience.

No one should miss this paradise on earth city. Unfortunately in the past was known for its high violence indexes and for its infamous connection to drug lords, but now Medellin is blossoming as one of the most spectacular and creative cities in the world!