La Sierra Nevada – High On Clouds And Colors


Just a couple of days before I was supposed to fly to Bogota, my cousin Joe came up with a last minute plan to visit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s highest mountain coastal range. It turns out he recently bought some land there. He has already started to grow some fruits and vegetables, and he will also build a small house in the future. Since I had just been resting for the last couple of weeks due to my surgery, I jumped at the opportunity and changed my flights to accommodate this little trip.

We set out early in the morning in Joe’s truck, a huge Toyota 4WD that felt more like we were riding in a tank. After a quick stop to buy groceries and have a small breakfast consisting of coffee and pan de bono, we finally left Barranquilla behind. It was just a couple of hours until we reached the Sierra Nevada and arrived to Minca, a tiny town lost in the vegetation of the sierra. There, we had a nice lunch in a terrace overlooking a river and enjoyed the view of the hummingbirds flying all over the place.

Sunset at the Sierra Nevada

From Minca to the house we were staying was another 40 minutes by truck on the toughest road I have ever seen. It felt like we were inside a blender, and you needed to use every muscle on your back and neck to keep your balance and not smash your head against the windows. But it was fun, really. It gave me butterflies in my stomach. Finally, we arrived to our destination, settled down and went for a short walk. The nature there is really beautiful with all the exotic birds and plants. The time we spent in that house on top of the mountain and surrounded by clouds was full of contemplation, both inwards and outwards.

The next day we had a nice breakfast (arepas with scrambled eggs and lulo juice) before going to check out my cousin’s property. We got a full tour of the place and it looks very promising. There is even a waterfall! We also got some goodies to bring back into the city with us. From there, we went to another waterfall to enjoy a nice and cold swim before getting rubbed and massaged with red clay, which leaves your skin soft as a baby’s. After lunch in Minca, we finally said good bye to the Sierra and got going on to our next stop: shopping for mochilas wayuu in a tiny town nearby. I was quite happy to find the place and bought 2 bags.

Our last stop for this trip was the hot springs. I had never been to one of these places before. It was a nice contrast to get into the hot water after swimming in the cold river not that long before, even if it was a bit smelly. All in all, this little trip was a nice way to finish my days in Barranquilla. It was great to finally enjoy a bit of the nature that this part of Colombia has to offer.

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