the natural world

When You Go to the Tatacoa Desert

July 20, 2014 Colombia
Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – When you go to Colombia’s Tatacoa Desert, no one is going to go with you. Among travelers, it’s one of those “Why are you […]

Continue reading →

Photo Essay: Sunset to Sunrise in the Tatacoa Desert

June 14, 2014 captured on memory card
Tatacoa Desert, Colombia

When I think of Colombia, the first scenes that come to my mind are long drives through unbelievable shades of green that seemed to stretch on infinitely. But Colombia is a place of many landscapes, including a thirsty and barren place called the Tatacoa Desert. I spent a night in this lonely desert surrounded by […]

Continue reading →

The Case for Being Rained In in the Middle of Nowhere with Little to No Internet Access

May 11, 2014 Colombia
La Casa de Francois in San Agustin, Colombia

You plan a trip to do this and see that, but often the best travel moments come unexpectedly between this and that. I go to San Agustin solely to visit an archaeological site, but when I arrive, the weather delays my plans and the setting, characters, and atmosphere align to replace them with subtle magic. […]

Continue reading →

5 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Hiking in Colombia’s Valle de Cocora

March 3, 2014 Colombia
Tips for Exploring the Valle de Cocora, Colombia

While the mysteriousness of the Valle de Cocora is part of its charm, it’s a good idea to get some background knowledge before visiting, especially if you plan on hiking independently as I did. As popular as the valley is among travelers, it’s still a rugged experience with little information available once you arrive and […]

Continue reading →

Photo Essay: Scenes from Salento and Its Emerald Surroundings

February 12, 2014 captured on memory card
Town square in Salento, Colombia

Salento is more than just a base for the Valle de Cocora. It’s a town of colorful buildings that line imperfectly charming little streets that lead to the mountains. It’s a town where dogs laze about on the sidewalks and car drivers share the roads with horseback riders. It’s a town where Colombian city folk […]

Continue reading →

Photo Essay: The Formidable Beauty of the Valle de Cocora

February 1, 2014 captured on memory card
DSCN8944

It’s 6am when I go to Salento’s main square to catch a jeep to the Valle de Cocora. I’m surprised to see that they’re already full… or so I think. Once all the seats inside the jeeps are taken, there is still space. You can stand on the back ledge and hang on. I’d rather […]

Continue reading →

Photo Essay: Finding Paradise in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

October 14, 2013 captured on memory card
DSCN8518

I can’t believe this is the path I’m on. Walking through the jungle, I’d heard waves pounding against the shore in the distance, thundering and echoing like a promise of magnificence to come. Now I’ve reached a clearing where I see the jagged edges of the mountainous jungle reaching into the ocean. The transition between […]

Continue reading →

Photo Essay: Hiking from One Little Colombian Village to Another on the Camino Real

September 12, 2013 captured on memory card
DSCN8414

About 40 minutes away from San Gil is the picturesque Barichara, the epitome of a sleepy village. With its whitewashed buildings, cobblestone roads, and orangey-red tiled roofs, it has similar features to those of Villa de Leyva. The two towns are continuously up against each other for the title of Colombia’s prettiest pueblo, but their […]

Continue reading →