Travelling around Colombia’s varied terrain is the geographic equivalent of four seasons in one day. The number of different landscapes is something that always imprints itself on a visitor’s memory. In the Sierra Nevada you can float down crystalline mountain rivers, drifting past trees filled with packs of howler monkeys, towards the ocean. Where they join, the waves of the Caribbean come crashing along a sandy beach no more than a few metres wide separating the ocean from the river, until the freshwater rushes forth from the mouth to unite with its bigger, saltier cousin. In the north are the deserts of La Guajira, a flat barren land sparsely populated by the Wayuu people who preserve their way of life here.
However the children have cottoned on to at least one modern day concept – as you drive the desert trails they pop out of the bush to levy their toll charge, a threadbare rope barring your way, the price to pass a pack of biscuits or a handful of sweets!
At the continent’s most northerly point a perfect golden sand dune falls precipitously into the sea, a fitting end to the South American landmass, an untouched, gorgeous yet wild and lonely place that few people venture to see but for those who do the rewards are spectacular. If you want to see a techni-coloured river then Caño Cristales is for you, the algae living in the river vibrant with almost every colour in the rainbow. Providencia is Colombia’s Caribbean island experience for those who prefer white sand beaches, turquoise seas, scuba diving and barefoot living. Whatever you might imagine of Colombia just be prepared to see variety in everything – the birds, the fruits, the flowers, the terrain. The only constant you’ll find here is the people – the warmest, happiest and most welcoming you could hope to meet anywhere.