Posted on September 7, 2018
By Maria Paula Gutierrez, Pure! Colombia
A while ago, my colleagues at Pure! Colombia and I were invited by one of our local operators to explore the southern part of the country. This trip gave us the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with our provider and gain extra insights into our products and destinations, which makes the service we can offer our partners even greater. This has been one of my favorite trips so far. Not only was it very educational, I also got the opportunity to visit many different places within my country. There are so many beautiful places to discover in this extraordinary country, it would take a long time for me to mention all of it!
The tour itself was a very enriching experience for me. This, because it was full of good energy and beautiful landscapes. Throughout the tour, we visited places like Neiva, Villa Vieja (Tatacoa Desert), San Augustín, and Popayan. Out of this great selection, it would be almost impossible for me to choose a favorite. However, there are some places that I would love to highlight.
For me, one of the highlights was San Agustín with its interesting monuments and sculptures. Walking there and taking it all in, really gave me a feeling of wonder of all the stories behind this magical and unknown culture. Sculptures of Gods and other mythical figures are scattered throughout this UNESCO World Heritage Site, displaying the rich imagination of the northern Andean people from the 1st to the 8th century.
The beautiful Tatacoa Desert was also a sight to behold. What is very interesting is that even though it may look like a desert, it is actually a dried out tropical forest! A breathtaking landscape surrounded us as far as we could see, and it made us wonder what it used to look like, when there was still a tropical forest at the place where there is now nothing but rocks and sand.
Another one of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the Silvia-Indian community, living in Paramo. I was intrigued by their stories of their historic culture and by the sight of their old and traditional farms. The inhabitants were kind enough to invite us into their homes and share traditional drinks with us. We were truly transported back in time and it was a true form of soul healing!
Lastly, I loved our visit to the city of Popayan. The people were so warm and inviting, which made us feel welcome right away. The colonial architecture was breathtaking, and the city totally lived up to its nickname ‘the White City’, because of its whitewash on most of those colonial buildings near the city center. Some of my favorite places to visit in the center were Caldas Park and the Calibio – a town house where a battle was fought for Colombia´s independence in 1814.
At the end of the trip I was very sad that it was over, it was such an amazing experience! I cannot wait for the next trip!