Panama and Colombia - Winter 2010 travel blog

Panama and Colombia - Winter 2010

Marie-France travel blog
Welcome to my latest trip journal! This winter I'll be visiting Panama and Colombia. Both have coastal areas (on two oceans) and mountains. I love mountain weather in the tropics! And they both grow coffee. :)

I'm landing in Panama City on January 28, and flying out of Bogota (Colombia) on April 6.

My main goals for this trip are:
1. Improve my Spanish
2. Get away from the Canadian winter :)

Just like New Zealand was the centre of interest for last year's trip, this time it's Colombia that mostly piques my curiosity. Several areas are now safe for travellers but tourists haven't yet started arriving en masse, which is part of the appeal for me. I've also heard that this is possibly the most beautiful country in South America.

On this trip I'm looking forward to mountain hikes, wildlife, visits to coffee plantations, lots of beaches, quaint Spanish colonial towns, and of course the Panama canal!

For learning Spanish I first considered Guatemala (cheapest, with the most schools in Latin America) but I felt uncomfortable with the security situation (lots of violent crimes against tourists, inefficient police) so I ultimately settled on Panama.

Interestingly, Panama and Colombia share a border, but there is no road connecting them. The border area, called the Darien Gap, is covered in a thick jungle roamed by bandits and guerillas. It is the only area where the road breaks between Alaska and the southern tip of Argentina!

Happy New Year everyone!

Order: oldest at top ( reverse )

Panama City
Settling down in Boquete
Coffee and beach
Extending my stay
French connection
Bocas del Toro
Another day in Panama City
Sailing in the San Blas
Last day in Cartagena
Medellin and Guatape
Salento and the zona cafetera
Villa de Leyva
Lazing around
San Gil and Barichara
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