Paloquemao

Do you folks want to know about the Paloquemao market in Bogotá, Colombia?  It was already covered pretty well here: http://seecolombia.travel/blog/2016/06/visit-paloquemao-market-in-bogota/.  Actually I thought that blog as a whole was great for Colombia travel.  Good thing, since that’s what it’s called.

Anyway, I went there, I thought it was ok.  Here’s a photo:

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I went on a Sunday morning, via taxi.  There was pretty much no traffic so it was easy to get there and, although I was a little concerned upon the drop-off, it was no problem getting back to Candelaria.  Man, did that taxi driver on the way back like to talk though. He really wanted to get deep into politics which I was not ready for–en español–on a Sunday morning.  Nice enough guy though.

I mean, it was definitely something to see, I don’t know if I would have spent a whole day there.  In fact, I know I would not have spent a whole day there.  Or even half a day.  But an hour, hour and-a-half was cool.  If I could have taken them home I would have bought so many flowers.

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I would not have bought a lot of these things, which tasted ok but just looked so gross on the inside: IMG_9142

I was told it’s a granadilla. Very cute on the outside though, but I neglected to take a photo. My bad.  At the time I didn’t know I had a blog to report to.

PNN Tayrona

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Hey, back to my trip to Colombia.

I headed over to Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Tayrona aka Tayrona National Park.  It was pretty awesome, and has been covered well by some great blogs as you can see here:

All these blogs and many more should answer most of your questions. I was still looking for a good trail map.  The best one I found was here:

http://www.aviaturecoturismo.com/multisites/aviaturecoturismo/images/mapa-tayrona.pdf

I dutifully printed it out and brought it with me and then forgot I had it and ended up on a horse path on the way back.  Oops.  It’s not 100% correct to say that there is one trail and that you won’t get lost, but you won’t get, like, lost in the jungle lost.  It looked like most people were getting a pamphlet when they paid their admissions that had a map on it.  I didn’t get one and then I didn’t want to wait in line again to ask, but I suggest asking for that when you’re there.

DEFINITELY take the van from the entrance to the trail head. I saw most blogs suggesting this but I would say it’s a must.  Also not that it mattered but I had read we would watch a video before entering but that didn’t happen.  There was a video while we waited in a short line to pay the admission, but it’s not like you had to sit in a room and watch a movie.  I was given a wristband I was told to wear and keep the receipt with me.  The only time anyone checked this was right in the same admissions area.

BUGS/MOSQUITOS: I didn’t see any biting bugs.  Supposedly I was there in dry season (beginning of March).  The only place I saw a mosquito was back at my hotel outside of Santa Marta.  I’d nevertheless suggest covering up anyway and using bug spray and sunscreen.  I was not asked for proof of a yellow fever vaccine (March, 2018).

Is it a must-see?  Like many of life’s conundrums, I don’t think there is one right answer.  I wouldn’t call it crowded but there was no time when I was not in sight of other people.  The beaches were gorgeous, but they were kind of a project to get to.  I think it’s worth seeing but if you were short on time, had difficulty moving around, or weren’t doing anything else nearby, I think you could skip it without regrets.  On the other hand, the hike was cool and the people I did see were chill backpackers from all over.  And I saw monkeys.

 

I only did a day trip so if you were staying over you might have a totally different experience.  Agree?  Disagree?  Questions?  Does anyone have any interest in what I wore? LMK. -caro

 

More on Taxis in Bogotá, Colombia (and Uber)

I got some help with taxi-taking in Bogotá from this helpful site: How to Bogota with additional pages here and here.  However, I couldn’t get any of the suggested apps to work with my United States phone number.  

After stressing out about the transportation situation, I found some interesting news here which seemed to suggest that a new meter system was on the verge of being implemented, in which each taxi has a screen for the passengers displaying the route and rate.  

Disappointingly, I saw zero signs of this once in Bogotá.  I was still able to get around though.  

I used Uber four times.  The first time I tried to get in the front seat per the blogs I had read but the driver wasn’t expecting that and didn’t even have the front passenger door unlocked.  Edgar was very cool and got me where I was going (Chapinero to Candelaria) with friendly but not intrusive chit chat.  

Other travelers I had met mentioned the they had not had any issues with Uber except that they couldn’t get a car out of Candelaria. This turned out to be the case for me as well.  The remaining three Uber rides I took all originated in Chapinero.  Two of the drivers had me ride in the front seat and the third didn’t care. The prices for Uber seemed comparable to those for taxi rides. 

I ended up hailing taxis off the street since I couldn’t figure out the app situation.  I did see drivers using Smart Taxi but I couldn’t get that app to work.  None of the drivers had the charts visible but I don’t think any of them scammed me either.  All of them had working meters and were totally fine in my opinion. 

What are your thoughts?  Was this helpful to anyone?  Does anyone know about the supposed new system?