Will the real Juan Valdez please stand up?

I’m really not trying to be all evasive and secretive by not writing anything about what I’ve been doing since…October? I’ve just been BUSY. School, rugby, prepping for visitors, socializing and weekend adventures have been sucking my time and brain cells – mostly in a good way.

For the second half of our October break, Natalie and I (Professional Vacationers Anonymous, in case you forgot) took about 20 hours’ worth of buses to get from San Gil (northeast of Bogotá) to Salento, in the coffee region (southwest of Bogotá.) Salento is a sleepy little vacation town with hostels, restaurants, craft vendors and not much else. Luckily, we didn’t need much else. A handful of WorldTeachers converged there by chance so we were able to catch up and lay our eyes on the finish line.

Salento’s main attraction is that it’s located a few kilometers away from the Valle de Corcora, one of the top five most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The valley consists of bright green hills crawling up to mountains and heavily strewn with the Colombian national tree: the wax palm. Wax palms are literal Truffula trees, impossibly tall and thin with a leafy tuft at the top.

We hiked through the back of the valley, up to a hummingbird headquarters nature reserve, then sweated and strained our way up the mountain and descended through the wax palm mist. It’s really unbelievable how many extraordinary landscapes this country has within its borders.

Being exceptionally good friends, we willingly sacrificed another 3-day weekend to return to Salento with Kate, whose flight problems didn’t let her do the valley hike the first round.