Villa de Leyva is a quaint Colombian town 3 – 1/2 hours from Bogota. The drive to Villa de Leyva was spectacular, as I meandered through smaller towns and in and out of the mountains to reach the destination. The fresh fruit and veggies, bakeries, artist shops, restaurants, desert excursions in search of fossils, the stone streets, clay tile roofs and white washed stucco exteriors is just enough to say: “I want to visit again and again.”
For two days, I was the only gringo in site. On the 2nd day, the Colombian Army was on patrol. Their mission: To put an end to kidnapping, terrorism and extortion in the Country of Colombia. The military encountered were very friendly and as they walked away, I just stood there-wow. Now, although their presence may fear some, this a normal practice in Colombia. The local police are also a big part of giving people a sense of “protection” in Colombia. As we drove for days on end throughout this beautiful and passionate country, there were many police and military just standing on the sides of the roads with their weapons and waving as we passed them by.
On to another Colombian city…
The food in Colombia is just hard to beat. During this visit to Villa de Leyva, there were several bakeries serving fresh-baked goods that contained chocolate and again – I did not want to leave.
Colombia is a beautiful country occupied by some of the most passionate people on the planet. And, they love to eat and party! Passion runs through their veins like water in just about everything they do. Colombians – aim to please.
Monseratte was one of my first adventures in Colombia. Situated in the mountains overlooking Bogotá, the view is breathtaking as an alpine train makes its way to Monseratte for a spectacular lunch Colombian style!
Their food is similar to other Central and South American countries with rice and beans as the staple, fried yucca, avocado and array of fresh grilled meats that brings everything together like a giant happy family.
An ice-cold Club Columbian beer (my favorite) is recommended. Monseratte is a special place. There’s a church, gardens, restaurants and street vendors. The most interesting street vendor sold Coca products.
The coca tea is sold to relieve altitude sickness and the 8,200 foot elevation really hits hard if you’re not use to being that high up from sea level, so I drank a cup of that tasty tea and BAM – felt soooo….much better!
To top off an absolutely fantastic experience in Monseratte, the ride down the mountain in a Swiss gondola through clouds of steam for as far as the eye could see…