Colombia is a country that continues to stay with you long after you have left its golden beaches and green mountains. That is exactly what happened to us. We told you a little while ago why it is probably the best country to live. There isn’t a single day that passes by without thinking of great friends I made there or of its wonderful sights.
But like everywhere else, it was the eccentric that we chased in Colombia. And, the country lives up to its reputation of being unique. From Cali’s love motels to the mad carnaval of Barranquilla; Colombia is a treasure trove of idiosyncratic experiences. And the good part is that the country does not shy away from showcasing its quirky side.
Here are five eccentric things we experienced in Colombia and you can too.
Meet a witch in Colombia:
When you think of the word ‘witch’, the image of a wicked woman with a broom is what comes to mind. Thankfully, witches in Colombia are not that scary(or at least the one I met was not). I wrote about my experience of meeting a witch on the website earlier. You could experience something similar if you wished to as well. Most witches are fortune tellers or astrologers, some smoke cigars to do so, others read cards. In any case, it is sure to end as an interesting experience.
It will however take some effort on your part. The best way is to ask local friends, look for advertisements or search the internet. Though meeting witches in Colombia is not yet a touristic thing to do, so scams should not be a concern. But you are better off asking a local friend about safety and how much money you should actually shell out for getting to know your fortune. Best is if you are accompanied by a local, like I was.
Try the ‘Lulo’ in Cali
Lulo is a fruit commonly found close to the Pacific coast of Colombia. Wikipedia states that in Panama and Ecuador it is known as Naranjilla. The fruit is really sour(I mean really really sour), and if you taste it on its own, you’d probably never taste it again.
But fortunately, Calenos(people from the city of Cali) make Lulado from this fruit. They transform the sour fruit into a sweet and subtly flavoured milky drink. In my two months in Cali, I could not have enough of it. So much so that I would make Lulado on my own in the Airbnb apartments I stayed in.
Ride the little witches of San Cipriano
Seems like this post is filled with witches, right? But that’s really what this next thing is called. Close to the pacific coast of Colombia is the national park of San Cirpiano. It is isolated and not connected to the rest of the country by road. However, there is a defunct railroad that connects it to the nearest town. With their ingenuity, the locals have turned the rail tracks into an interesting commute.
Meet the brujitas or the little witches of San Cipriano. Motor bikes are used to propel open air carts along the railway tracks. This ride of a few kilometers is not for the faint hearted. However, it does give the passenger an immersive feel of the forests, bridges and the river. It certainly will be one of the quirkiest rides you will ever take.
Dance with fifty partners in a single evening
If you come from a place that isn’t big on dancing as a social activity, then Colombia is going to pleasantly shock you.
They dance their heart out in all cities in Colombia, but Cali is the place if you want to experience some classic dance floor socialising. The city is called the ‘Salsa capital of the world’ for a good reason. But don’t let that reputation deter you, even with a few basic steps you can hit the dance floor. In Salsatecas in Cali like Tin Tin Deo, La Topa and others, it is possible to dance with 50 beautiful women on a single evening(if you have the motivation, energy and if you start early…haha). And in the same way, if you are a girl you can dance with same number of Colombian men on a single evening. Who knows, may be even more…
Sounds like an interesting way to spend the evening, right?
Go into the deep, dark mangroves in Ladrilleros
Have movies like ‘Into the wild’ or ‘Apocalypse now’ captured your fascination? Have you ever wanted to go through similar landscapes of deep and dark jungles? If yes, then a small village on the pacific coast of Colombia is your chance.
It is in Ladrilleros that we took a canoe ride into the mangroves and were transported into a world we knew little about. Into a place where the breeze moved cautiously and where the river acted like it hid many secrets. These mangroves are home to many unique species of animals and plants. And the intriguing boat ride ends in a trek to a fresh water pond which is perfect for a dip.
You can also have a look at the video we created to help you plan your trip to Ladrilleros here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anSPFqqUfa0
Do you have any other eccentric experiences to share from Colombia or anywhere else? Let us know. May be you can help us increase our list of eccentric experiences!