Colombia 2005 Tour

After having visited all South American countries it was time to travel to Colombia against the advice from many friends. However, with a bit of caution the trip was one of my most exciting adventures since my students years some 35 years ago. The country and its people are simply remarkable.

I had no problem travelling anywhere I wanted to and that included a trip to the emerald mines in Muzo. However, I do not recommend to travel alone if you are not familiar with your surroundings because vast areas are controlled by individuals who have their own rules and laws. You will be fine if you accept them; as a matter of fact I was always treated professionally at government and local paramilitary checkpoints.

There are many Colombians travelling and exploring their own country; with a good command of Spanish the traveller will find good accomodation and delicious food at bargain prices.

I started in Bogota with a visit to the Gold Museum and the emerald district;  nearby the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira is amazing. After arriving in the eternal spring town of Medellin I visited various parks.

By bus I travelled to Pereira and the mineral hotsprings of San Vicente. I continued through the Cauca valley to Cali and Popayan before returning to Bogota and Chichiquira.

A visit to the emerald mines in Muzo was one of the highlights of my tour before spending the last week-end in the colonial Villa de Leyva.



Click on the images below to view the slide presentations.
Bogota, Zipaquira, Medellin, 
Rionegro, Pereira, San Vicente,
Eje Cafetero
Finca in Risaralda
Emerald Mines of Muzo
Villa de Leyva

 © 2006 J. Wolf Kuehn and Canadian Institute of Gemmology. Users may View/Download  images for their own private, non-commercial use.