written by Alyson Collom
Have you been in Colombia?
A year ago today, I was boarding a plane to take me to the land of salsa dancing, coffee and beautiful beaches. My first visit to Colombia would prove to be an incredible trip full of beautiful people, vast and raw coastlines and uniquely delicious food. In honor of this anniversary, I would like to give you the top 5 reasons why Colombia should be on your list of places to go.
I am not a coffee drinker, but most lovers of the beverage know that some of the best coffee beans come from Colombia. Due to the country’s mild climate, coffee beans grown here have a strong reputation for being some of the most flavorful and well rounded beans. Currently, Colombia has over 500,000 farms dedicated to coffee bean growing. Although climate change is starting to disrupt the coffee production, for now, it is still going strong.
2. Coastline Beaches
With its borders on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Colombia has some of the most beautifully raw coastlines. Many sections are relatively unpopulated and provide a wildly serene experience coupled with tiny villages and connection with townsfolk. Other beaches have become very popular and have resorts that people can stay on for a more luxurious
experience. Either way you cut it, the beaches are definitel something not to be missed.
The Colombians I met throughout my entire trip, were easily some of the most kind-hearted, generous, happy people I have ever met. On a walk in one of the tiny villages, a woman saw us and ran out to offer us all a cup of a recently brewed batch of Chicha (a fermented corn drink). She was so delighted to be able to share her bounty with us. Everywhere we went, we came across people like this. I was floored by how happy people were, even in places where they had so little.
Among my favorites were the corn arepas (flatbread) that I had for breakfast every morning, served with fresh cheese and sometimes avocado and eggs, the empanadas served everywhere in street carts and stuffed with meats and cheeses, the many fresh fish dishes, fried plantains, and all of the amazing fruit: fresh pineapple, guava, passionfruit, lulo (my favorite!), and mango.
Colombians love to dance. It’s born into them; a part of almost every social event and gathering. Everyone seems so happy to be dancing and are delighted to teach you at whatever level you are. I had taken salsa lessons a year or two before going, but I was very nervous to dance it with people in one of its country’s of origin. But this was quickly dismissed as I realized that in Colombia, there are no excuses and no avoiding it: you WILL dance and you absolutely will have a good time.
So there you have it. Five compelling reasons to visit the place that stole my heart, home to owner Monica Farbiarz and country that grows our Tagua. I honestly never knew much about Colombia and it was not ever on any lists of places I wanted to go in my life, but once there, I was hooked and plan to return many times in my life.