With a group of 30 master students of IEM, consisting of 24 participants and 6 board members, the trip officially started to Colombia. We started off in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, which is located at an altitude of 2,640 metres above sea level. We did a lot of things during our stay in this immense city: we explored Bogotá by bike, learned about the stories behind the graffiti on the walls and visited a gigantic salt mine which brought us to 60 meters below the ground. Besides many more activities, we also got to know how Chevrolet cars are made in the local factory of General Motors. During the evenings, we went out with the group to get some delicious Colombian food and learned how to perform the best salsa dance from beautiful local colombians.
On the fifth day, we moved to the most famous coffee region of Colombia. Our stay here was amazing as we had a private villa including swimming pool, tennis court and a football field. During the 3 days of our stay, we saw the highest palm trees in the world, picked our own coffee beans at a traditional coffee farm and made sure we stayed in shape by doing some horse riding through the hills of the Andes and ziplining from the top of one tree to another. A truly memorable activity was yin yang yoga.
the next five days were spent in Medellín, famous from the Netflix series called ‘narcos’. We learned a lot about the recent history of the city and the problems it faced only a few decades ago. In this light, it must be said that none of the biased expectations of this city and the country of Colombia are true. As in every country cautiousness is important, but we experienced Colombia as a completely safe country. In Medellín we visited a leather factory and saw how leather shoes, bags and belts are being made from scratch. Besides that, we went to Guatapé, a colourful little city, where we climbed a 200-metre-high rock to enjoy an amazing view.
After these first two weeks, it was time to leave the midlands for the Caribbean Sea. After a 1-hour flight we landed in Santa Marta and immediately drove to Tayrona national park, which is a jungle at the coast of Colombia. A hike of 2 hours took us to our sleeping place. After one night, we took the hike back through the jungle to depart for our last destination, Cartagena.
a, we visited the oil refinery of the last company, called Ecopetrol, which is the largest oil company of Colombia. We also tasted the delicious street food during an interesting tour from a local and went out into the sea to see some colourful fish during some diving or snorkelling. One of the best activities to do in this vivid city is the so-called chiva bus tour. Our last activity was to sleep at the Rosario islands for one night. While our tender Dutch skin could not be protected by the sunscreen, the traditional Lugus radio was organized through the 2 big speakers on the deck. An amazing closure of 3 weeks that none of the students will ever forget!
Check out the aftermovie below!
Harry Auke Veenema