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Locked in North Colombia's sweaty embrace

The Caribbean Coast - Santa Marta, Minca, Costeño Beach and Cartagena

sunny 37 °C
View Year of who knows what!! & North America & South America on ladiesofleisure's travel map.

Heading down from the Andes for the first time in a while, we were expecting an increase in temperature. What we got however, was levels of sweat bordering on antisocial and heat rash. We had ten days in the area and on day one, we did not think we had the goods to outwit, outplay and outlast the Caribbean Coast. But with our final overnight bus under our belt and a pool at our hostel in Santa Marta, we thought we would give it a good crack. We used Santa Marta as a base for a few excursions while here. This meant we could leave the majority of our belongings at the hostel as we did not anticipate needing our alpaca jumpers and merino leggings at any stage in the near future. This proved to be a masterstroke in decision-making as travelling with all our gear would have seen us found road-side, in a sweaty heap, melting under our packs.

Visited Kate and Harry in Taganga - supposedly a hot spot near Santa Marta but really just a creepy little town with a rubbish-strewn beach and a penchant for armed theft. Despite this it was great to see Kate and Harry!

Opting out of doing the lost city trek for some of the aforementioned reasons, we headed 600 metres up to a cooler climate, destination Minca. Up on the mountainside, we were treated to a coolish breeze which was a welcome relief from the humidity below. Although the weather makes you feel like all you should do is vegetate in a hammock, we managed to haul our sweaty selves to one of the many waterfalls dotted around the mountain. It was a pleasant stroll through lush tropical forest followed by a lovely little dip at the end, so well worth the effort. The rest of the time however was spent in said hammocks.

Not a bad hostel to spend a few days in

It is tough work getting to these waterfalls

Leopard print chook

Good dip to make it all worth while

Best meal we had in colombia at restaurant in Minca called Bururake

Stunning views from front of hostel

From here, we headed to Costeño beach surf camp, a few hours east of Santa Marta. Rather than paying to enter Tayrona national park which is typically a draw card for the area, we decided to chill at the surf camp which is just east of the park so has similar surrounds, without the hefty entrance fee. Score!

We thought we would give surfing a go while here. Turns out the waves are massive. We watched one seasoned surfer try for an hour to get out behind the waves and not really get all that far… unless you count the 200 metres or so he ended up further down the beach. We decided this was perhaps not the best environment to begin our surfing careers. We did however, have some of our best swims of the trip while at this beach. Not many girls were braving the water - the swell was rough and dumpy, so not for the faint hearted. We were up for the challenge however and were rewarded for our efforts.

Beautiful beaches to stroll along - bar the potential for burn blisters on your feet


Prior to arrival, we had booked a hammock on the beach to sleep in for three nights. The booking changed after one night in a hammock. Although the notion sounds exotic and lovely, the reality is horrid. There is no comfortable way to sleep in a hammock unless you have a bottle of rum under your belt. Soph also had to sleep in her hammock, squashed between two people and with my bum in her face. Not so enjoyable. So dorm rooms it was for the rest of the time. We had a lovely time at the camp, playing cards, finishing the Walking Dead tv series, swimming and reading. It was like a real holiday in amongst all of our travels.

Your ticket to exotic interrupted sleep all night long

Our chilling out hammocks with our new friends


Final destination in South America was our last Unesco heritage city. We have seen a few of these along the way but Cartagena has to be up there as one of the top spots. The old city was beautiful and so colourful to walk around even in the sweltering midday heat.

Doing as the (mostly male) locals do - hitching your top up, Britney style, to combat the heat

Staying in Getsemani, just outside of the centro historico, we were treated to fantastic people watching at the local plaza every night. It pulls people in from everywhere and most nights is packed out which makes for great viewing.

Still not entirely sure what this is
Enjoying the delights of street food

We had a day spare so did a little tour with some friends picked up along the way. It involved a drive out to a mound in the middle of nowhere which was full of mud. We were then submerged in said mud, massaged down by some muddy men then spent the next ten minutes floating about like beached whales. Although a really deep pit, we could not fully submerge ourselves no matter how hard we tried. It was so weird and hilarious. We were then lead down to a muddy lake whereupon ladies were waiting with buckets in hand. We were plonked unceremoniously into the water and they proceeded to wash us down. What a very unique experience indeed.

Entering the weirdness


Time for a massage

South America had to come to an end however, and it is with mixed feelings that we move onto North America.. From Cartagena we flew to Puerto Rico, but more on that soon.

All packed and ready to go

We leave you now with a video compilation of our whole time in Colombia.... Footage includes activities from this blog and the two before it.

Posted by ladiesofleisure 09:30 Archived in Colombia Tagged surf waterfall hammock unesco colombia cartagena tayrona minca humidity santa_marta getsemani costeno_beach_surf_camp colonial_city

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Great blog. And the video is so cool.

by Seth

fantastic mud bath. did your skin feel good after?
love the videos see you soon xx

by mum

Awesome video. Loved the song. Enjoy North America girls

by Johnny

Hi! Did you guys find a way to go to Las Cabezas de San Juan? I asked my friend but she hasn't answered my message yet. Email me at anatomydoc@gmail.com and let me know!It was great to talk to you on the boat. :)

by Cynthia

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