May 25, 2011
By , Marietta, GA
Sun and salsa? You must be talking about Colombia. It is the country where the weather is never disappointing and music is marvelous. One hop from the Miami Airport and you’ve arrived to paradise. Imagine yourself standing at the base of the Andes Mountains, the sun is drifting over the horizon and a warm breeze is brushing your face as you take in the view. You aren’t in the United States; you’ve finally made it to Colombia.

Columbia has a rich culture including wonderful weather and sensational salsa. But, it also has friendly people, nature that ranges from mountains to the sea, and a culture that is firmly immersed in coffee and bullfighting.

If you are tired of winter, Colombia is the place for you. With a year round climate that consist of summer, summer and more summer, its climate allows you to do what you want because the weather is always perfect and provides plenty of opportunity for fun in the sun.
Did you know that Cali, Colombia is the Salsa Capital of the World? Dance and colorful costumes with flamboyant and lightening fast feet are common in ages. They range 8 to 80 blind crippled and crazy. These people love to dance matter what is going on. They have an annual 8 hour parade of nothing but dancing. Whenever a salsa song comes on in the in homes they expect you to dance.

The people of Colombia speak fluent Spanish but understand tourists from all over the world. They appreciate you trying to connect with them using their language. They look past your errors and try to capture the meaning of what you are saying, so practice, practice, practice! In return, they love to practice their English with you. Be patient and encourage them and you will have wonderful conversation. Colombians will to expect you to try all the wonderful things of their country ranging from food to dancing. They are proud of their food and traditions. Food and fun go together. Wherever you look there are fruit trees growing. Every meal is colorful and the food is plentiful. Also, time has no concept. Colombians don’t value a schedule and they enjoy the moment. It is “tiempo de fiesta” or party time, all the time. It is common to take naps so you can recharge and keep going. There is always more fun to have in Colombia.

Can you imagine palm trees growing at 8,000 feet? Only at the foot of the Andes will you find this unusual occurrence of palm trees growing in the mountains. Tourists worldwide flock to see these extraordinary trees. These trees are all over the mountain.

Coffee is such an important part of Colombia’s culture that they have the National Coffee Park, similar to our amusement park. The park is dedicated to Juan Valdez and the supreme coffee bean seller. People of all ages drink coffee in Colombia. The bean has many uses besides drinking; Colombians make jewelry and art out of the beans as well. If you are lucky you can catch the dance honoring the tradition of coffee growing at the National Coffee Park in the Coffee Triangle of the Andes Mountains.

Not for the faint of heart, bullfighting occurs only 1 week a year with multiple fights per day. If you have a weak stomach don’t attend. Some tourists don’t appreciate the skill involved in dodging a 1,200 pound bull or how imbedded the sport is in the country’s culture.
So pack a small bag because the weather is great and head off to Colombia. On the plane think of all the fun you will have drinking Juan Valdez Coffee, dancing salsa in the streets, to taking in your first bull fight. It all awaits you in Colombia. Vive de Colombia!

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