martes, 1 de diciembre de 2009


A journey to the South oft the Antioquia departement. Cradle of several industries of coffee and coal deposits. Protagonist of the colonization Antioquia’s and the hearth of the famous, traditional muleteers. We visit the mysterious mountains of the western mountain range of this warm Andean region and discover its hidden secrets. We offer you the opportunity to discover a region Colombia’s mostly unknown to international tourism. A paradise with a spectacular scenery, indigenous communities, archaeological legacies, local villages with a unique architecture of Antioquia.The region offers ecological trekking, adventure sports, petroglyphes – witnesses of indigenous cultures. The countless rivers, creeks, waterfalls and the mountainous area offer to lovers of adventure sports a big variety of activities like kayaking, white-water rafting, paragliding and abseiling from one of the highest waterfalls Colombias.

Finally we could to this trip, because we were looking for a special region where we may offer a compact excursion-programm wich reflects culture, history, nature and architecture of the colombian departement Antioquia. South Antioquia is still not known in the international tourism industry, despite his favorable caracteristiques; spectacular mountainous landscapes, indigenous comunities, adventure sports and lots more. So we took our car and drived from Rionegro to Medellin and headed from there down south. After a 3 hour trip we arrived in the village Valparaiso.

We met with the head of the indian comunity and visited the near embrera chami-reserve. We enjoyed a walk through the reserve with members of the community, and they showed us the place where they practise traditional dance ceremonies and crafts workshops. We were shown the plants and herbs they traditionally use. Its amazing to see how the indians adapted to western life but still conserve their traditions. In the afternoon we visited of the indigenous museum in the village center of Valparaiso.

Next day after the breakfast we traveled to the Coffee farm la Elisa, 2 km from the Village Valparaiso. After a welcome drink we enjoyed a guided Trip through the coffee and cardamomo cultivation, creeks and forest reserve of the farm. We learn how the coffee grains get processed to the famous and excellent colombian coffee. Coffee here has export quality and is certified by the Rainforest alliance for the ecologial production. The farm counts on a small herd of dairy cattle for the subsistence of his inhabitants.

Various products are obtained of the milk, among them the Antioquia cheese, you can even learn how to prepare it.

This was a great day and we could'nt wait to do next day one of the highest waterfall abseiling (rappel) in Antioquia, even Colombia. You may descend from 105 meters, but we did the shorter version, 65 meters. Takes about 2 hours walking and climbing to get up the waterfall, but the incredible view you get over the valley is already worth it. We get a proper instruccion and than start in couples roping us down the waterfall... What a experience! Going down on a waterfall with an amazing scenery on your side.

The other day we started to the trekking “The route of petroglifics” a route of archaeological and historical interest. It is a trip of average difficulty grade in which about 12 representative rocks to be visited. The rock engravings show different occupational chronological periods. In the same trip readings of the scenery and certain interpretation of the motives are beeing realized. Surely unique to observe and something absolutely special to see worldwide.ay early in the morning we start to the trekking “The route of petroglifics” a route of archaeological and historical interest. It is a trip of average difficulty grade in which about 12 representative rocks. On the way, we walked through the largest citric cultivation of Colombia. We end our trekking with a refreshing bath in the river. Aaaah, just great after 7 hours trekking!

After visiting the village of Tamesis we were tired but happy. Time to relax and the country house hotel Guacari in Tamesis, its is the perfect place. Just relax or enjoy the excellent Spa Treatments.

Next day was time to leave. We had to say good bye to this amazing region and headed home to Rionegro. Passing the Cauca River we could observe the Goldseeker doing paciently there consuming work.

The trip exceeded widely our expectations and we hope soon to take visitors to Valparaiso and Tamesis and show them one of plenty of attractions Colombia has to offer.

lunes, 31 de agosto de 2009


had the great opportunity to guide a group of 7 Swiss-German travellers through the Nationalpark Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. We did a trekking around the beautiful, majestic mountains and were enchanted to be witness of one of the most beautiful lanscapes Colombias.

This place holds 300 lagoons with the freshesd best quality drinking water, 22 snowcovered mountain summits with a maximum altitud of 5700 meters, and you find forests of alien-like frailejones plants. During the trip we never crossed any other traveller, we just were completely alone surrounded by a breathtaking scenery.

Day 1: Start trekking in Kanwara - Laguna Grande le los Verdes

Our professional mountain guide team has arrived with the mules. The animals get loaded and the Trek can start! We have to get used to the thin air, some of use have it easyer, others more difficulties. But the view is just great. The snow mountains Ritacubas with more than 5.000 meter Altitude, San Agustín and the Pan de Azúcar mountain may be observed. We hike uphill to the pass at 4.390 m. The following descent leads us to the Laguna Grande de los Verdes (4.100 m) our first Camp. We set up our tents on the shore of the lagoon.

Trekking 4 - 5 hours; Ascent 5.000m; Descent 3.000m; Overnight stay in tents

Day 2: Laguna Grande de los Verdes - Cueva Larga

After the breakfast we follow first the Lagoon shore and hike up the Paso de los Frailes up to 4.200 m. Then we have a long downhill along red-green colored small lagoons followed a slight ascending route. Few hours later we arrive at the Laguna de La Isla (4.455 m). From here its just one hour more to the Boquerón de la Sierra (4.650 m). Thats a tough piece, but worth it, because you get rewarded with a unique panorama, all the 3 Ritacubas to the right, deep below us the Laguna del Avellanal, to the left the rockwalls of Manaba and the pointy rock formations of La Aguja. After lunch wie descent to the Laguna del Avellanal (4.398m), above us the shiny glaciers. Following a creek we finally arrive at a long overhang (half open cave) the Cueva Larga (4.240 m). Here we establish our camp.

Trekking 6 - 7 hours; Ascent 900m; Descent 700m; Overnight stay in tents

Day 3: Cueva Larga - Laguna del Panuelo

From this day one we can not use the mules anymore and have to carry all our personal baggage. First we walk down on a small path to the Valley of the Cojines

(Valle de los Cojines, 4.130m) and have to pass a creek. Its an amazing valley with a great view on a large canyon with a river in the center, leading to Venezuela. We are sourrounded by espectacular Rock and Ice summits.After the hike through the valley we have to assault the Passo de El Castillo (4.530 m). A terrain full of big rocks and at some parts without any indication of a road. Arriving on the top we get an amazing panoramic view. We finish our trek with a downhill walk to the Laguna del Panuelo our Camp at 4.300 m.

Trekking 7 - 8 hours; Ascent 700m; Descent 500m; Overnight stay in tents

Day 4: Laguna del Panuelo - Laguna de La Plaza

Lots of rocks on the way to one of the most beautiful places in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, the Laguna de la Plaza. (ca. 4.150m). We establish our camp on the foot of the mountains Toti and Portales. Forests of Frailejones complet the beautiful scenery.

Trekking 7 - 8 hours; Ascent 400m; Descent 550m; Overnight stay in tents

Day 5: Trekking Laguna de La Plaza - Laguna Grande de la Sierra

From the camp we may already see the strongly inclined east side ascent route. We start eary in the morning to a trail through a bunch of stones and rocks. We will reach the pass at 4.800 meters and descent afterwards to the Laguna de la Sierra (ca. 4.250 m) where we spent the night in a beautiful basecamp at the shores of the Lagoon. From here we have a great view on the sourrounding mountains Cóncavo, Pan de Azúcar, Púlpito del Diablo, Toti and the glacier.

Trekking 5 - 6 hours; Ascent 700m; Descent 600m; Overnight stay in tents

Day 6: Trekking Laguna Grande de La Sierra - End of trekking in La Esperanza

Our last Trekking day in the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy. We walk through a Lagoon and Swamp landscape in the Valley of the frailejones following a creek until the Country house.

Trekking 4 - 5 hours; Descent 650m; Overnight stay in multiple rooms

martes, 27 de enero de 2009



On the Amazon Fam Trip I met Cesar Isaza, the owner of the Almejal Lodge in Bahia Solano/Choco on the Northern Colombian Pacific coast.
In Bahia Solano we find the same ecosystem and characteristics like in Nuqui (see previous Travel Report). Its very humide and it 
rains daily. Currently the Choco is considered the most humide place on earth, in some parts rainfall gets up to 9000mm per year. 
Average temperature is about 25 degree celsius.

How to get there: International flight to Medellin Jose Maria Cordoba and connection flight with Satena Airlines from Medellins National Airport Olaya Herrera to Bahia Solano Airport.

Its just amazing, 1 hour flight and you get to a part of Colombia that seems like a mix of Amazon Rainforest and Africa. The ethnics are black and indians. In the village they live peacefully together and with the kayaks you may get to indigenous tribes deeper in the forest.

It might not be the perfect place lay down in the sun, but it is a really great place for ecoturism.

Every day there is another activity:

- hiking with expert guides, explaining you the wonders of the rainforest, the thousand ways plants and animals adapt to the special conditions of the different environments
-kayaking through the manglar rivers
-excursion to the Utria Nationalpark with posibility of an amazing 
4 hours walk throught the rainforest
-vistit to waterfalls with clean water
-canopy, you are on the top of the forest, what a view!    
El Almejal was the first place we visited providing real ecoturism. Scientific information, turtle protection 
programs, comunity integration etc.
The guides are well trained and cesar is an absolut crack in birdspecies.

On the hiking from Utria to the Lodge,  I could observe poisened dart 
frogs, tucans, parrots, sloth, mantis and orchideas.

Its interesting to visit the local villages and comunities. They live with few resources and soustaina
ble tourism is very important to provide other income sources than hunting turtles and cutting the trees.

So I just  can recomend Bahia Solano for everybody loving Nature and searching for unspoiled places on this planet.

martes, 30 de diciembre de 2008

Diving in Malpelo Island, Colombian Pacific June 2008

Hi divers!
I am sure you heared about the spectacular diving of Cocos Island in Costa Rica or Galapagos in Ecuador. 
But did you hear about Malpelo in Colombia?
We all know that there are so many "best dive sites on the world" and it depends always what we like to see, but Malpelo is defenetly
a paradise for the SHARK FREAKS between us.

I went with my wife Luz on a 7 day Trip Buenaventura-Gorgona Island-Malpelo Island-Buenaventura. Buenaventura is a harbour town one the pacificoast. Its habitated by the followers of african slaves and you feel like back in time. Despite of the poverty, Buenaventura is Colombians main harbour on the pacific and has a crucial importance for transports overseas.

On the evening we shipped in on the "Maria Patricia" a quite old lady but still (after 20 years) travelling to Malpelo. We had a 
great group together, mainly colombian diving instructors and their groups.
The sea was nice not to many waves and sunny weather. After navigating the night we arrived the other day in Gorgona Island. 

This tropical island has a long story, spanish invaders died in big numbers on the snake bites.
It was in the past a prison-island and these days its a nationalpark, rich on fauna and flora.
We made a short trip on the island and a briefing about the environment and protection from an official of the environmental department of the Colombian Government.

Finally we went for the first dives. We dove on a pinnacle with a
medium current and got lucky at the first time. 2 whitetipreefsharks and 2 Whalesharks!!!
We were kind of freaking out!!
It was a good start and and we continued to Malpelo. 24 hours later we arrived early in the Morning the Islands. Its amazing, 500km from the coast in the middle of the Pacific. Huge Rocks coming out of the water, covered by thousands and thousands of birds... 

What might be under the water?
We were all so unpatient, it was not easy to keep it organized and a few minutes later we were all distributed on 3 zodiaks driving to the dive spot.
The diving in Malpelo is not for beginners. Deep drop offs 
with sometimes strong currents and a heavy surge. 
But once we were down, who cares? I dived for 2 minutes and the first hammerheadshark passed by. Eagle rays, huge groups of barracudas, groupers, whitetipreefsharks, jackfish and plenty more.
We got really high a few day later, when I was with my buddy  
Sylvain performing a safety stop as suddenly we watched hundreds
of hammerheadsharks emerging from the deep.
We pulled inmediatley down and fitted perfectly into this "shark soup". It was a great emotion, we where the happiest people on earth!
The other highlight was a 7 meter whaleshark drifting on the surface. Our entire group was smimming with him for half an hour in apnea...

We visited the Colombian Navy Base on the island. They are there to protect the Colombian autonomie and the island from the big sharkfinning fleets waiting outside for their oportunity.
The island is covered with different, some of them endemic, species like birds, lizards and crabs.
After 4 days diving in Malpelo we had to say goodbye and took our way home.
It was a shaky experience to be back on Land but we all where full of amazing new experiences and impressions.
Its a spot I defenetly recommend.
I would be happy to know about your experience in Malpelo.

Viaje a Nuqui/Pacifico Colombiano August 2008

Our buddies from Spain, Mayte and Marcos went with us exploring the Choco/Colombia.

I want to share with you impressions of our 5 day trip to an unspoiled place.
The Choco Colombiano is called the region on the Colombian Pacific coast. Some sources say its the most humide place on
the world others say the second, I am not really sure, but 
our clothes did'nt dry at all. 

The region is one of the richest in biodiversity worldwide, birds, frogs, orchideas, butterflies etc.

The Humboldt stream brings food for the big fish, so its a great place for diving. You may discover banks of sardines, marlines, groupers, wahoos, even whalesharks and humpack whales can be observed. Lots of rocks underwater, some are covered with softcorals. Watertemperature, when we went 28 degree Celsius,
just perfect!

We stayed in the Eco Lodge, owner Gonzalo Trujilo, he received 
an ecoturism excellence Award in the year 2000. He is producing hidroelectric energy from the creek. Its a beautiful, relaxing place, full of tropical plants and directly on the beach. The food was amazing, lucy the "chef" a black woman from the choco, is a real
expert on seafood
We did some hiking through the riverbed, and the liana took us up to the skies, finally we knew how 
tarzan must have felt.

One of the highlights was a 2 hours walk was a 2 hours walk (continously uphill!) to observe an endemic poison dart frog (I guess it was dentrobates lehmanni), and a natural termal bath in the middel of the jungel...
It was worth it!

One the way home from Nuqui to Medellin we fly more than one hour over pure dense rainforest, it 
doesn' seem ending. we feel a profound respect of Natur and hope
mankind will learn to apreciate it before its to late.

lunes, 29 de diciembre de 2008

Trip Amazonas Colombia 21.-24. November 2009

I went to a 4 day trip with a group of Colombian Travel agencies. Our starting point was Leticia, Capital of the Colombian Amazonas, bordering with Peru and Brasil. After a briefing about the area and itinerary we went already to our first 1 hour boat ride on the Amazon River.
Day 1: First site we visited was the Javary Tucano Lodge in Peru where we met plenty of squirrel monkey (you may remember them from the story Pippi Longstocking-Pippi Langstrumpf) and Ara Parrots.
Unfortunately the Parrots were domesticated, but still nice to look at.
At night we went with traditional wooden tail boats to a night trip. Was good fun, especially the water continously entering in our boat, but that kept us busy. Finaly we found one baby caiman on the river shore.

Day 2:  We continued our trip to the natural Reserve de Maharsha in Puerto Alegria wich is located in the rivermouth from the Rio Javari to the Amazona River.
Just an incredible place! There is a still lake surrounded by primary Amazon Rainforest.
We explored it of course by kanus and we found again a group of squirrel monkey. They were very curious and grapped quickly the bananas we brought with us.
Impressive the giant water lilys with their beautiful white flower, they say the big floating leaf is able to carry a baby.
After we walked one hour back to the Amazon River through the Rainforest. We could observe plenty of frogs (dentrobates, hyla) and butterflies. Back to the jetty appeared suddenly some indigenous people with an adult Ozelot and offered this huge cat for huging.
We were not really sure about but we could'nt resist to take him in our arms. While we were huging pussycat, the indians gave him milk to deviate his attention.
They did'not ask us for money, but neverthless it might not be a recomendable tourist attraction. 
The same night we moved by boat to Puerto Nariño, a very clean and nice village with 7200 habitants consisting in 21 indigenous comunities belonging to the ethnics Ticuna, Cocama en Yagua. At nightime we went with motorboat and torches following the river. It was amazing, millions of diferent sounds in the air.

Day 3: The higlight was the Tarapoto Lake where we could witness the pink river dolphins. 
Now we headed to the Amayacu National Park.
On the way we made a short visit "en la casa de los micos", the house of squirrel monkey, wich is a monkey protection program leaded by an North American woman.
After we continued to the Amayacu, one of Colombias numerous national parks ( We used it as a base for a 2 hour walk called Sendero de Capinurus leaded by an indigenous guide. Again we observed plenty of butterflies and received interesting informacion about flora and fauna.
Unfortunatley we had already to move back to Leticia, the capital of the Colombian Amazon Department Leticia.
Back to Leticia we went to a certified farmacie only using Amazon plants, there is a drug for almost any problem you may suffer. We also had time to crosse the boarder to Brasil and went shopping for the Capiriña ingredients.

Day 4: Flight back to Medellin

It was a very interesting trip. I learned the the Colomiban Amazonas area is mainly untouched and we hope that increasing tourism will help to protect this amazing Paradise, wich is an essential part of stabilizing our climate and providing oxygen to all of us. 
Its value as a natural provider of medicin is enourmous and still not entirely researched.