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Bienvenidos a Colombia: A Renaissance in South America

Program Number: 20099RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/10/2013 - 1/22/2013; 1/29/2015 - 2/10/2015; 2/12/2015 - 2/24/2015; 10/15/2015 - 10/27/2015; 11/12/2015 - 11/24/2015; 12/3/2015 - 12/15/2015;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Colombia (South America), Colombia
Price starting at: $3,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 29; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the many faces of Colombia, a country transitioning from a place of turmoil to a thriving modern nation. Journey to the bustling capital of Bogotá with its glimmering skyscrapers and Botero masterpieces; the rolling hills and traditional villages of the coffee lands; Medellín, a city whose cosmopolitan outlook is no longer overshadowed by infamy; and walled Cartagena, home of and inspiration to Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez.




Highlights

• Learn about Cartagena’s role in the life and works of famed Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez.
• Go behind the scenes at a Colombian coffee plantation and meet with the owner.
• Explore the world-famous Gold Museum and learn about the gold on display, its shamanic significance and how the collection was formed.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles at a time, often on dirt paths, cobblestones or other uneven terrain. Elevations up to 9,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

1-10-2013, 1-29-2015, 2-12-2015, 10-15-2015, 11-12-2015, 12-3-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Bogotá, 4 nights; flight to Armenia, coach to Manizales, 3 nights; coach to Medellín, 2 nights; flight to Cartagena, 3 nights; departure.



Flight from the U.S.A.
Arrival Bogotá
4 nights

Examine paintings by Fernando Botero, one of Colombia’s national treasures, at the Botero Museum. Enjoy the famous sunset view at Monserrate. Marvel at the largest collection of pre-Columbian gold in the world at the Gold Museum.



Flight to Armenia
Coach to Manizales
3 nights

Journey through the Colombian countryside en route to Manizales, stopping at villages to learn what daily life is like and try local delicacies like trout in garlic sauce. Spend a morning with the workers of Fundacion Nutrir, joining them as they provide nutritious meals to poor Colombian children. Explore the charming city of Manizales, whose rise is tied closely to the growth of the coffee industry. Discover the inner workings of a coffee plantation.



Coach to Medellín
2 nights

An expert lecture delves into the miraculous transformation of Medellín from the infamous home of Pablo Escobar’s cartel to one of South America’s safest and most promising cities. Visit the lakes of Guatape.



Flight to Cartagena
3 nights
Departure

Discover the colonial walled city and fortress of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A literary expert shows you the Cartagena of famed author Gabriel García Márquez and brings to life scenes from “Love in the Time of Cholera.”




Colombia (South America)

Named for Christopher Columbus after his discovery of the “New World,” Colombia boasts the second-largest population in South America. It is considered one of the world’s megadiverse countries due to its rich rainforests, dramatic coastlines and tropical grasslands.



Accommodations
Bogota: Hotel in historic center. Manizales: Centrally located hotel. Medellin: Centrally located hotel. Cartagena: Boutique hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Augusta Bogota
  Bogota, Colombia 4 nights
   Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel
  Manizales, Colombia 3 nights
   Hotel Florencia Plaza
  Medellin, Colombia 2 nights
   Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
  Cartagena, Colombia 3 nights
 Hotel Augusta Bogota
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Augusta is located in the Candelaria area of Bogota. Just a few steps away are the most charming in the capital such as the Candelaria, the jet of Quevedo, the Cerro de Monserrate, Gold Museum, Quinta de Bolivar, Plaza Bolivar, the Church of San Francisco. This just 45 minutes from El Dorado International Airport, 30 minutes from Bus Terminal and 10 minutes from the train station of the Savannah. The Augusta hotel features 101 warm and comfortable Standard Rooms and Executive Suites offering relaxation, satisfaction, comfort and convenience. The hotel is located in a historically significant building and is part of the architectural heritage of the city.
  Contact info: Av Jiminez No 4 - 77
Bogota, DC,  11001 Colombia
phone: +57 1 283 8300
web: www.hotelaugusta.com.co/index.php
  Room amenities: 1 or 2 beds, wireless internet access, desk, LCD television, safe box, individual bathroom, desk, phone.
  Facility amenities: Bar/Lounge, business center with internet access, free high-speed internet access, room service, reception desk, restaurant, spa, laundry service, fitness center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Additional nights are available on request. Please contract Road Scholar Travel Services after you enroll.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Small, but beautiful boutique hotel located outside of the town of Manizales in a lovely park spanning 20 acres in the heart of the Coffee Triangle. In this location rich with natural beauty, enjoy strolling through the park nature trails and visiting the enchanting butterfly farm.
  Contact info: 11 Via al Magdalena
Manizales,   Colombia
phone: +57 6874 7494
web: hotel-estelar-recinto.hotelsone.com/
  Room amenities: Mini-bar, espresso maker, memory-foam mattresses, signature bedding, private bathrooms with shower and bathtub, makeup and shaving mirrors, hairdryer, scales and complimentary toiletries, high-speed and wireless internet access (complimentary), newspaper, desk, telephones for national and international calls, flat panel TV with cable channels, safe box, windows that open, turndown service available, wakeup calls available, housekeeping available daily, all rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Facility dining amenities include a restaurant, a coffee shop, and a lounge. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas. Meeting rooms include banquet facilities, conference rooms, a ballroom, and exhibit space. Assistance booking tours and ticket, and translation services are available. Other property amenities at this Art Deco property include a concierge desk and laundry facilities. This is a smoke-free property.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Florencia Plaza
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Tuscan city of Florence, with its artistic tradition and unmistakable timeless beauty was the inspiration at the heart of creating this lovely, 21 room, boutique hotel. From this inspiration came a tasteful attention to detail and an unmatchable warmth in service that make each day here a comfortable, relaxing and highly personalized experience. Located in El Poblado - one of the most exclusive areas of Medellin - the Hotel Florencia Plaza offers easy access to some of the most interesting and exciting parts of the city.
  Contact info: Carrera 41A 41
Medellín, Antioquia, 0574,   Colombia
phone: +57 4 266 2526
web: www.hotelflorenciaplaza.com/
  Room amenities: Luxury bedding and furnishings, desk, 24hr room service, 24hr emergency service, safe box, LCD TV with cable channels, phone for national and international calls (first 3 minutes of local calls complimentary), minibar, WiFi internet access.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant serving breakfast and reserved meals, solarium offering a beautiful view of Medellin while you relax in the Jacuzzi or Turkish baths, spa with massage and body and facial cleansing services, exercise facility, 24-hour room service, 24-hour emergency service, meeting rooms, and aid in reserving tours and taxis.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Originally built as a monastery in 1621, the Sofitel Santa Clara Hotel is a reference point in the heart of Cartagena de Indias, where its walls, which acted as a shield in ancient times, combine with colonial balconies and republican structures to evokethe splendor of days gone by. In recognition of its great cultural and architectural wealth, the walled city, with its castles and bastions, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Center in 1984. An architectonic jewel from the 17th Century with luxury service and human warmth. Our main purpose: To generate the excitement of living an unforgettable experience in a place where the charm of history magically blends with luxury.
  Contact info: Calle Del Torno 39-29
Barrio San Diego
Cartagena,   Colombia
phone: +011 57 (5) 650-4700
web: www.sofitel.com/gb/home/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Audible smoke alarms, Dead bolt in rooms, 110/120 V AC, Airconditioning, Safe deposit box in room, Minibar, Satellite/cable colour TV, Wi-Fi in your room, High speed transmission line, Security peephole, Smoke alarm in room, Bathtub, Hair dryer in bathroom, Make-up/magnifying mirror, Shower.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, spa and fitness center, 24-hr room service, Wi-Fi access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: $360/room/night inc bb taxes $360/room/night inc bb taxes Contact coordinator for most current rates.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program Starts with an overnight at the hotel in Bogotá. You will be staying at Hotel Augusta Bogota that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with breakfast at the hotel in Cartagena. You will be staying at Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A passport with 6 months of validity is required for US and Canadian passport holders. Others must inquire with Colombian Authorities in their country of citizenship.
  Parking availability:
Not Applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bogota
  Nearest airport:  BOG
  Transportation to site: We do not recommend public transportation. Private transfers can be arranged. Contact the Program Provider for details and cost as they are subject to yearly changes. Taxis from BOG to the city center are secure and can be pre-paid at the airport taxi stand. A taxi takes about 30 minutes and cost between $12 and $15 USD. Avoid using unlicensed cabs that approach you outside of the arrival hall.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Cartagena
  Nearest airport:  CTG
  Transportation from site: We do not recommend public transportation. Private transfers can be arranged. Contact the Program Provider for details and cost as they are subject to yearly changes. Taxis from the hotel to the airport can also be arranged with the hotel prior to departure.
Elevation Note: Bogotá is located at 8,612 ft., Manizales at 7,054 ft. and Medellín is located at 4,905 ft.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: US Departures / Arrival in Bogotá, Colombia
(Thursday, January 10)
   
 Arrive To: Evening arrivals at Bogotá Airport. Coach transfer from the airport to the hotel.
 Evening: Snacks will be served in each room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Augusta Bogota

Day 2: Bogota by Coach/ Monserrate
(Friday, January 11)

Note: Bogota's altitude is over 8,000 feet. Limited walking will allow for acclimitazation.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Meet your Study Leader and fellow travelers for a welcome and orientation to the program. Introductions, currency and other housekeeping issues will be discussed. Following your orientation, enjoy an introductory lecture detailing the history and geography of Colombia.
 Lunch: Light lunch at the hotel
 Afternoon: Field Trip "Coach through Bogota": See the significant historical sights of Bogota in a relaxed coach tour of the city. See sights such as the trendy and fashionable Zona T, the Park 93, and Usaquen. Usaquen is a small village that used to be outside of Bogota. In the 1950, this little town was swallowed up in the immense growth the city experienced, but managed to keep its "small town" feel. Today's program will end at sunset in beautiful Monserrate, a place of religious pilgrimage and rich history.
 Dinner: Dinner at Monserrate
   
Accommodations: Hotel Augusta Bogota
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Botero Museum and Plaza Bolivar
(Saturday, January 12)

Note: Museum visit will require some walking and does have places to stop and rest. Some walking on uneven/bumpy streets in the afternoon. Hotel will be nearby within 15 minutes walking distance at any point in the afternoon.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Learn about figurative Colombian artist Fernando Botero, one of the country's most famous and prolific artists in a morning lecture. Then enjoy a guided tour of the museum, featuring many of Botero's works and providing more insight into his characteristic "oversize" style. Works of Picasso, Dali, Monet and other iconic artists are also on display at the museum. The rich artistic history of Colombia will be the focus of the tour, followed by lunch at the museum restaurant. Then enjoy a true Colombian coffee from the now world famous "Juan Valdez" coffee shop.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a short tour of Bogota's historic Plaza Bolivar - the city's main square - home of Colombia's Congress, the Palace of Justice and the Cathedral Primada. Walk back to the hotel to relax, enjoy some free time for shopping, or join your study leader for a visit to the presidential palace where lucky viewers might see the changing of the guards.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Augusta Bogota
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mercado Plaza/ Gold Museum
(Sunday, January 13)

Note: Short walking in the morning on uneven surfaces at Plaza Mercado. It can be bustling with wet surfaces. Walking required at the Gold Museum, and steps required to access the upper level. Opportunity to rest and see the exhibit at own pace throughout the afternoon.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart after breakfast for Bogota's Mercado Plaza, the site of an authentic daily market filled with fruits, plants, meats and other necessities. Talk with a local trader about the market and learn how local vendors run their businesses in this busy market.
 Lunch: Early lunch at the Gold Museum
 Afternoon: After lunch enjoy an organized tour of the impressive collection housed in the Gold Museum. This museum is a must-see in any trip to Colombia. It houses the largest collection of Pre-Hispanic gold anywhere in the world. The sheer diversity of the collection is staggering. The museum's centerpiece is the musical "Offering Boat", and is just one of many examples of Pre-Hispanic goldwork craftmanship. Enjoy the museum on your own after the tour.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Hotel Augusta Bogota
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Fly to Armenia/Villages and Valle Cocora of the Coffee Region
(Monday, January 14)

Note: Please note that internal flights allow one carry-on of up to 10kg (22 lbs) and one checked bag of up to 20kg (44 lbs) without additional charges. Please consult the carrier for the most up-to-date weight restrictions



   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Depart early for the flight to Armenia, and begin the journey North to Manizales. This is a full day out in the countryside visiting some of the many "pueblitos" or local villages in the region. It is in these villages that you will get a real feel for the region, its history, and its culture. Take a coffee break at a local "tienda" or shop and stroll through the main plaza with your guide to learn more about the architecture, history, and culture of the region. This part of Colombia is unique, yet at the same time forms part of the foundation of Colombia's rich history. There will also be plenty of time to view - and photograph! - the amazing landscapes of the region, with rolling hills carpeted with coffee trees and guava plantations. The morning part of the trip will finish in the village of Salento.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant featuring a local trout specialty.
 Afternoon: Continue North after lunch ending the day in Manizales. Arrive in Manizales in the late afternoon to check in to the hotel and to enjoy a short time to refresh for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Education in the Coffee Region and Discovering Manizales
(Tuesday, January 15)

Note: Manizales tour will be by coach, with short portions of the plaza by foot. Some uneven ground and crowds of people but minimal distances (300 feet or less) at each point during the day.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: In the morning, learn about the important work of a local charity. Fundacion Nutrir works with local communities to improve nutrition and education and to support the health and well-being of disadvantaged Colombian children. They provide over 4,000 meals a day at their food centers. Visit one of their centers and witness the project firsthand, then take a trip to the Nutrir Headquarters to learn more about their important work.
 Lunch: Lunch in town
 Afternoon: Manizales is one of the oldest cities in the coffee region and has a wealth of history, ranging from the expansion of colonists from Medellin in the North to the indigenous cultures that existed here even before the European discovery of the "New World". Explore this city by coach and learn more about its expansion as it is linked to the coffee trade.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
   
Accommodations: Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Art and Science of Coffee
(Wednesday, January 16)

Note: Walking in the plantation on rough terrain for up to 2 hours and standing for periods of 30 minutes at a time. Bathroom facilities are rustic and may be located up to ten minutes walk from the program activities.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: The morning starts with a trip out to a local coffee plantation where we walk around the farm's coffee fields and explore the processing location. See the whole process from planting to picking to testing and tasting! Learn about the background of the humble bean that keeps the entire world energized. Following this intimate encounter, enjoy a short talk by the owner of the plantation about the trials and tribulations of the coffee business and the lifestyle and issues faced by the coffee plantation workers.
 Lunch: Traditional lunch at the plantation
 Afternoon: Learn about the science of coffee and the correct way to brew the perfect cup of Joe. Return to Manizales in the late afternoon and enjoy free time to explore.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own at a restaurant near the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Rural Colombia/ Discovering Medellin
(Thursday, January 17)

Note: Long morning drive, rustic bathroom accomodations along the way. Short walking in the evening.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: After breakfast travel by land through the mountains to the famous city of Medellin. The drive takes about six hours with ample opportunity for photo stops along the way.
 Lunch: Lunch at a traditional restaurant on the way to Medellin.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Medellin in the mid afternoon and check into hotel. In the later part of the afternoon, a local historian/journalist will give a talk about the city of Medellin and its amazing transformation from a city with one of the world's highest murder rates to one of the safest cities in South America. This transformation has brought about socioeconomic change to the city that has permeated through all levels of the city and its inhabitants.
 Dinner: Dinner near the hotel at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Florencia Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Guatape
(Friday, January 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning trip to Guatape. Located two hours south of Medellin, the stunning lakes of Guatape are dwarfed by the monolithic rock of Penol, a 150 foot high geologic marvel looming over the water's edge. It is possible to climb to the top on a series of wooden staircases, but most prefer to take in the view from below.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue the visit to Guatape. Around the lake see the homes of some of Medellin's rich and famous. If time allows, enjoy a short boat trip out on the lake.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own in Medellin.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Florencia Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Medellin City and Art/ Fly to Cartegena
(Saturday, January 19)

Note: Walking in the city up to a half mile at a time, rest stops available in some places.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Led by your Study Leader, take some time to explore Parque Berrio, home of some of Botero's oversized sculptures. The visit will give you an opportunity to enjoy a bit of Colombian art and to experience firsthand the hustle and bustle of downtown Medellin. There may be time to take a short cable car ride on the city's famous Metro Cable. Not only are you greeted with amazing views, but you experience an important part of Medellin's history. The cable car network was one of the most significant factors influencing the regeneration of this city. It enabled thousands of Medellin's poorer citizens easier and quicker access to the city and its jobs allowing for socioeconomic growth in a time it was badly needed. Later this afternoon, transfer to Medellin Airport for the group flight to Cartagena.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at airport.
 Afternoon: Fly from Medellin to Cartegena. Before dinner, gather to enjoy a presentation all about Cartegena, a city that has played a considerable role in the history of the Americas.
 Dinner: Enjoy a local folkloric performance over dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Introduction to Cartegena
(Sunday, January 20)

Note: Up to four hours of slow walking with some rest opportunities available. Uneven and cobbled surfaces. Simple bathroom services available. Note Cartegena is very warm and humid.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Take a walking tour of Cartegena with a local expert. Carved from a colorful history rife with piracy, sultry Caribbean heat, and fusions of African, indigenous and European culture, Cartagena is truly a living and breathing museum. Walk through the old town under the symbol of Cartagena - the Puerta Del Reloj or "Clock Tower Gate" - into the Plaza de los Coches. Listen as your local expert divulges the legends and histories of Cartagena from ancient times right up to the present. Come to know the real Cartagena as you travel from the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning church, on through Cartagena's own Plaza Bolivar.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Discover the hilltop area of La Popa and continue on to Castillo de San Felibe, which was created in 1536 and expanded by African slave labor over the following two centuries. Continue by private vehicle to the Convento La Popa in the highest point of the city. Enjoy the views of the bay and old town from the flower filled patio and have the chance to explore the historic convent.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local flavors
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Gabriel Garcia Marquez/ Farewell dinner
(Monday, January 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning attend a lecture introducing the life and history of Colombia's most notable writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Our lecturer will point out the inspirations for many of his works found in Cartagena, and also give an insight into the author's often overlooked works of journalism.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Full afternoon free in Cartagena to discover the city on your own.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Departures for the US
(Tuesday, January 22)
   
 Breakfast: Light breakfast at the hotel before leaving for the airport.
 Morning: Transfer to the Cartagena Airport. Flights depart for the US in the AM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


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Culture Smart! Colombia


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Latin America in Colonial Times


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Description: Garcia's celebrated memoir, as captivating, warm and spirited as any of his fictional tales, covering his youth in Aracataca, memorably recast as fictional Macondo on Colombia's Caribbean coast.



Lonely Planet Colombia


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Description: A practical guide to Colombia featuring maps and detailed information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. With a few color photographs and excellent travel information.



Looking For History, Dispatches From Latin America


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Description: A beautifully written, incisive collection of essays on contemporary Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Mexico.



Love in the Time of Cholera


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Description: A glorious tale of great love consummated after 50 years, nine months and four days, memorably set in a dusty 19th-century town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.



Miracle in the Land of Coffee


Author: Julian Rodriguez (Director)


Description: Set in the 30’s, in the picturesque Colombian countryside, in a time of violence between neighboring towns over local resources. Felipe, a young man of the Franciscan order, has to choose between his faith and calling, or surrender his heart to the woman he loves.



My Colombian War, A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind


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Description: Now a journalist living in New York, Paternostro travels back to her homeland in a search for the roots of Colombia's bloody civil war.



News of a Kidnapping


Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Description: In 1990, fearing extradition to the United States, Pablo Escobar -- head of the Medellin drug cartel --kidnapped ten notable Colombians to use as bargaining chips. With the eye of a poet, Garcia Marquez describes the survivors' perilous ordeal, depicting through this story the keening ache of Colombia after nearly forty years of turmoil.



One Hundred Years of Solitude


Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Description: The breathtaking, life-altering, much-celebrated tale of life and love on most everyone's list of the greatest books of all time, ours included.



Our Lady of the Assassins


Author: Fernando Vallejo, Paul Hammond (Translator)


Description: A vivid, cynical portrait of Medellin, Colombia's second largest city and the stronghold of ruthless drug lord Pablo Escobar. The narrator returns to the town after a long absence to find it beset by horrific violence and a chilling indifference to death.



The Andes


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The Conquistadors, A Very Short Introduction


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The Making of Modern Colombia, A Nation in Spite of Itself


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Description: A leading historian of the region, Bushnell traces the political history of Colombia from before the arrival of the Spaniards through independence and reform in the 19th century, then through to the 1980s in this thoroughly enjoyable, incisive portrait of a nation.



Tropical Nature


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