Remember when I said every weekend was a long weekend (puente/festivo) in Colombia? I wasn’t kidding. It has more bank holiday’s than Colombian’s know what to do with! In June there are THREE (out of four… 😉 ) festivos! Because a majority of Colombian’s live in the major cities, it is very common for people to leave for more rural/less hectic parts of the country on these weekends and get away. During a puente, Bogotá empties out with people leaving for their farm, or a friend’s farm, or perhaps the coast to soak up some sun.
Last weekend, I headed to Raquira in Boyacá with my family.
The department of Boyacá, Colombia has quickly become one of my favorite parts of Colombia. I first mentioned it HERE when the first part of my grandpa’s birthday cabalgata passed through it. It’s less than three hours from Bogotá and is rich in Colombian history. It’s known for beautiful climates and landscapes, as well as its famous artisans and clay pottery.
Life in Raquira is very relaxed and tranquil. The weather is much like that of Los Angeles: warm and sunny during the day, cool and crisp at night. Unlike other climates in Colombia (which are humid and hot all day long), Raquira is very dry and lacks rain (something that worries the local farmers at times, but that they enjoy because of the beautiful blue skies it provides).
This weather leads to leisurely days swinging in hammocks, horseback riding, sipping crisp beverages, and playing in the sun.
After spending two lazy days eating and relaxing on the farm, my family decided to explore the town of Raquira for the afternoon. Like many pueblos in Colombia, there is a plaza with a church and many shops and corner stores and people bustling around selling food and artisanal goods.
There were food stalls selling every kind (and color) of chorizo, potatoes, corn, and morcilla. Other’s selling candies and guava paste or trinkets for the tourists. I felt very Anthony Bourdain wandering around the market that afternoon. You think he’d join me one weekend out here!?
My cousin’s and I walked around the shops and ate ice creams until it was time to head home.
On the way back to the farm we stopped for a quick hike to one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen.
Tucked below some trees and rocks and houses were these emerald cascades that poured into a lagoon. It was completely empty and peaceful, with just the rushing sound of the waterfall splashing. There’s a reason why Colombia is described as “magical realism”. This is why:
It’s the perfect place to hide away from everyone with a bathing suit, a bottle of wine and a picnic. I’d tell you where it is, but it’s so desolate that I don’t want to give away it away! 😉 You’ll just have to come with me next time!