Hammocks | Costeno Beach Surf Camp Ecolodge, Colombia

Two Scots Abroad Monthly Travel Round Up #3 Colombia

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Today is a bank holiday Monday in Bogota, Colombia. Which is great for the Rolos (people from Bogota) but not for us Two Scots! We are in Bogota early to sort out our travel cards for Cuba and these Rolos appear to take their holidays seriously, nothing is open! Craig has spent the morning searching for an open travel agent but has had no luck. He has managed to change COP to Euros and Canadian dollars (Helen, your gift came in handy! Thanks) which we have been told to take (avoid American dollars) to change to Cuban currency when we arrive. It’s not like a Monday holiday in the UK where everyone takes the opportunity to drink or shop more than usual!  So we may have another three weeks in Colombia as of tomorrow if we cannot get the travel card through Avianca at the airport (Cuban Embassy site says we can buy at the check-inn desk), watch this space! I really hope I don’t have to write in the next Monthly Travel Round Up that we wasted £700. Ouch.

Countries Visited: 1 – Stunning Colombia
Flights: 1 (I wish we had made that two, bus from Armenia to Bogota was horrendous) and 1 wasted (we went to the wrong gate as instructed by Viva Colombia staff, shocking customer service).

Accommodation

Definitely some of the coolest accommodation options so far – a plush hotel in Santa Marta; two eco-lodges (Costeño Beach and Minca); a tent at Tayrona; a ranch just outside Salento and our regular hostel dwellings.

Total: £127.50

Travel Monthly Round Up Food

I can’t say I’m going to miss the fried food of Colombia. Even when I request a ‘grilled’ chicken it came coated in grease. I swear if you cut Craig open this month his veins would be swimming in empanada juice! I think four in one day was his record, it was a travel day and to be fair we had skipped dinner.

I enjoyed the return of the carne con papa – meat in a deep fat fried potato. I say in jest.

We’ve consumed a lot of porridge and pasta in hostels and Craig has enjoyed the free highs of the Colombian coffee!

Total: £467.50

Travel Monthly Round Up Socialising

We ended our time in Colombia the way we should have started it – at an electro club in Bogota! I wish that was true. Everything was closed when we arrived. So no electro dancing for us. At the start of our Colombian adventure, we followed the crowd and ended up at a terrible gay club called Theatron. So epic fails on the clubbing front.

A few ron/rum and cokes have been purchased this month and the sangria went down well in the sunshine of Medellin.

Most of the drink has been self-bought contraband from Exito, the slowest shopping experience you’s will ever suffer from.

Total: 179.00

Travel Monthly Round Up

Transport

Too many overnight buses! I have a burning desire to flashpack and not backpack when I think back to those awful times. I can usually sleep anywhere but really struggle on the overnight roller coasters. Don’t get me wrong they are equipped with semi-recline seats and curtains so technically you should be able to sleep.

Quite a few cheap local buses between Santa Marta and the coast such as Palomino.

A flight to Cuba blew our budget obviously! We had to get there before Pizza Hut though so its money well spent….provided they let us in!

I’m still gutted we didn’t get to go on the horse and cart in Cartagena!

And then there was the failed flight to Santa Marta – £75 down the drain.

Total: £303 (not including Cuba flights – £660)

Travel Monthly Round Up

Trips

The whole three and a half weeks have felt like a trip! We spent a lot of time in the north-west, using Santa Marta as our base for trips to the beaches.

In Cartagena, we took a bike tour, bathed in mud and got burnt in the crystal blue sea of Playa Blanca!

I feel tours need a mention here – two outstanding ones were The Graffiti Tour in Bogota and The Real City Walking Tour in Medellin. Not to be missed.

Total: £109.00

Travel Monthly Round Up Luxuries

I bought myself a ‘holiday’ bracelet for 50p and we’ve enjoyed daily ice creams. Craig purchased a few items on eBay (Go Pro accessories; a book for me and a replacement music splitter) for my parents to bring over to Canada in July. And my piña colada in a pineapple was a whacking 20 COP – about a fiver.

Total: £7 (Craig has renamed this section ‘presents’ this month)

Two Scots Partnerships

Fulano Backpackers, Bogota – one night stay in dorms
La Calzada del Santo – two nights stay private room
Consteño Beach – two nights stay private room
Casa Loma, Minca – one night stay private room
The Wandering Paisa, Medellin – two nights stay
El Mocambo, Salento – three nights stay
Colombia Eco Travel, Cartagena – trip to El Totumo Volcano
Cartegena Bike Tours, Cartagena – does what it says on the tin!
Mamallena (tour), Cartagena – shuttle bus to Playa Blanca

We’ve nearly doubled our monthly views –
massive thanks to you.
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Two Scots Abroad Newsletter

Gemma and Craig are full-time workers with a life-long travel habit. Flirting with 30 and let loose on the world! Gemma writes, Craig looks good in the photos.

Comments 4

  1. I love these round up posts where you include what you’ve spent, they’re awesome for getting an idea about how expensive/ cheap a place is. We wanted to do these posts as well, but always end up forgetting how much we spent haha. Do you guys write everything down just when you bought it/ paid for it or do you just have a super good memory? Happy travels 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Craig is the money man Laura! He notes down everything we spend in categories on his phone (in notes, I’m sure there are apps to help you with that though) and once a week adds it all up. I’m going to cheat and do the next monthly round up this week but just make it for the 23 days in Cuba so you can get an idea how expensive the three weeks were!

  2. Can you please confirm if you could get the Cuban Travel Card through Avianca at Bogota Airport, and what the exact process is to get it? Will be doing the same thing in a month!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hell Michelle, Thanks for commenting. We did successfully get our Cuba Travel Cards through Avianca at Bogota airport. We checked in, used our boarding cards, paid the assistant and within seconds had a card. They didn’t even bother filling it out for us.

      Be sure to check out our advice articles – currency; WiFi and we’ll be posting about scams this week. We also have lots of location articles depending on where you are going. Have a blast!

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