Colombia rivals (and dare I say beats) California as one of the most geographically diverse countries on the planet. Don’t want to choose between beaches, snow capped mountains, surf, tropics, and mountains? No worries, Colombia has it all. Not to mention ass kicking coffee, incredible & inexpensive food, as well as a passionate and embracing people who will keep you out dancing until the late hours of the night.
Kidnapping & drugs may be what you‘ve historically known Colombia before, but the country is shedding it’s Narcos vibes as the new hot spot to visit in South America. That said, the effects of a decades long drug war that killed over 200,000 people are still evident, especially in Medellin. Here, Pablo Escobar was king. His cartel controlled 80% of the global drug trade, bringing in $240 Million in USD per WEEK. In 1989 he was the 7th richest man in the world. That didn’t come without expenses though. 10% of his revenue was written off to account for the rats that would eat his buried dough. Oh and he also had to pay $2,500 for rubber bands to count his cash each month.
Pablo’s Escobar’s empire owned houses all across Colombia but few as famous as La Manuela Ranch. Resting on Guatape Lake, the estate has swimming pool, horse stables, soccer fields, & its own discotech. Eight months before Pablo was killed by the DEA & Colombian forces, this house was bombed with 200kg of TNT by a rival group Los Pepes (“People persecuted by Pablo Escobar”). Today, you can tour the property and have your own “shootout” through Escobar Paintball Company. Your day starts in Medellin where you’ll jeep & boat to the compound through the same hills where Pablo’s 200 person private security once roamed. Come game time, prepare for an all out shoot out between team Los Pepes & team Pablo. Word to the wise, if you volunteer to be Pablo, expect a rough ending to your day...
Our Pablo tour was badass & informative, but Colombia gave us so much more in the weeks that followed. Some of our other Colombian Highlights.
Penol Rock- Hike to the top for great views of Lake Guatape. Great place to send it and do some skydiving or hang gliding.
Coffee plantations near Salento- Colombia's second most favorite export, coffee, is as good as it gets.
Tayrona National Park- And book a hammock here for the night.
The Walled City of Cartagena- Check out Colombia's Caribbean side
Day trip to Cholon- Where else could you drink 10 coco loco’s?
Lost City- Hike 4 to 6 days through the Sierras to a city that predates Machu Pichu
Don’t let your mom scare you, Colombia is totally safe. As long as you’re not the target in Pablo paintball.Heading to Colombia? Email us know for more travel tips (and so we can have you bring us back coffee).