Mucho Gusto Colombia

What can we say about Colombia? Well, it’s a constitutional republic and home to 46 million people making it South America’s second largest population. It also has a pretty sordid past that includes guerrillas, copious amounts of cocaine, drug lords, kidnapping – overall some very heavy violence.

But before you let all the negatives ruin your perception of Colombia, know this. After almost seven full months of exploring the vast continent that is South America, we consider Colombia to be one of the friendliest, cleanest, jolliest countries we have seen so far. Not only are the people beyond jovial, they are candid. They love their country, their proud of their country and they want people to see their Colombia, which is a far cry from the violence and mayhem of the past.

Pristine and mountainous, Manizales

We first encountered Colombia’s hospitality in Leticia. And now as we move up towards the coast, we’ve gotten a real taste of what it means to be Colombian. As we were exploring the mountain city of Manzales, we met a brother and sister pair who quickly became new friends and our afternoon drinking buddies. Over a few Colombian brews, Jorge and Adrianna explained to us why Colombia is such a lovely place to be – the weather, the beautiful cities, the women (Jorge really emphasized this point).

Our new Colombian buddies, Adrianna and Jorge

Jorge, a high school social studies teacher, and the "beautiful" Canadian girls

The view from our hostel - a lovely rainbow over Manizales.

And so far, we agree wholeheartedly. Colombia, we are very pleased to meet you.

Oh, how far we have come.