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Colombia

 
 
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Author Solivagant
Partaker
#31 | Posted: 17 Dec 2019 06:06 | Edited by: Solivagant 
San Agustin
Have just noticed that the coordinates of the 2 locations around Isnos are incorrect on our map
Alto de los Piedras 1.970916, -76.200742
Alto de los Idolos 1.917062, -76.243202

Author Colvin
Partaker
#32 | Posted: 17 Dec 2019 07:59 
Thanks for the reviews of Colombia, Solivagant! It sounds like quite a place to visit (though it's a bit disappointing to hear there isn't much of Marquez's "Macondo" country left to see).

Author elsslots
Admin
#33 | Posted: 17 Dec 2019 12:28 | Edited by: elsslots 
Colvin:
Thanks for the reviews of Colombia, Solivagant!

Thanks from me too, although I am a bit worried that he "stole my thunder". (Is there anything to write about left when I visit the same places 3 weeks later?)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#34 | Posted: 18 Dec 2019 03:04 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Solivagant:
Have just noticed that the coordinates of the 2 locations around Isnos are incorrect on our map

And that at the main site of San Agustin too! Should be
San Agustin 1.887113, -76.295678

elsslots:
I am a bit worried that he "stole my thunder". (Is there anything to write about left when I visit the same places 3 weeks later?)

Well - in addition to your own experiences and insights, what about
a. Why were Calarca and Salento left out of the inscribed areas of CCL when so much else was inscribed - and should they have been? Do locals have any idea about what was and was not inscribed r do those big road signs make them think that everything was.
b. What do locals say about the burning of the "Temple" at Pisimbala?
c. Was your guide at Nemocon as bad as ours? Or maybe I have put you off visiting it altogether! Is there anything of value in Nemocon beyond the mine re the "Cultural Landscape"?
d. Can you get into San Francisco at Mompox?
e. And there is the whole of Cartagena - where I decided not to even do a review rather than just say the same things as others!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#35 | Posted: 18 Dec 2019 11:51 
Solivagant:
Mompox?

The picture accompanying your review reminded me of Luang Prabang!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#36 | Posted: 18 Dec 2019 12:19 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
The picture accompanying your review reminded me of Luang Prabang!

It isn't the typical Mompox architecture - which don't have the covered walkways. But it shows the river whereas many of my photos of the other streets do not.
It was the entrance to our hotel (Portal de la Marquesa) and Booking.com has a better photo but we never found the sun like that !

Author Zoe
Partaker
#37 | Posted: 18 Dec 2019 20:52 
To visit all sites but Malpelo (only one operator goes there and I don't know if they are any good) I organized my trip as such:

Half day Bogota for tentative sites, then 1½ for the rock art (I wasn't aware of the flight trip at the time). Totally worth checking this out.
Road trip 8 days to Medellin. For the coffee, which isn't my cup of tea (pun intended), I checked out the towns and visited Parque del Café. Roads can often be a problem in the mountains. Insurance is highly recommended.
2 days Los Katios only for a lousy raft boat which I doubt is even in the core zone. Don't visit unless you just want the tick.
Flew to Cartagena and 4 days road trip not bothering with Santa Marta or anything touristy nearby (Tayrona). Going to Mompox is taxing enough.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#38 | Posted: 19 Dec 2019 02:09 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Zoe:
To visit all sites but Malpelo (only one operator goes there and I don't know if they are any good) I organized my trip as such:

Thanks for that Zoe.
You resumee raises a number of questions, the answers to which might be of interest to others who are thinking of doing a trip to Colombia in much the same way and can benefit from "on the ground" experience!

a. Your route implies a one way car hire from Bogota with drop off in Medellin, Your review of Tatacoa and elsewhere says that you hired a 4 x 4. We looked into such car hire. To us it was rather pricey in "world terms" even if one returned to Bogota and even more so with 1 way charges. All our budgets are different of course and what 1 person might regard as expensive another might regard as a "snip" - but it might be of interest to others to know which company you rented from and at what cost. For anyone thinking of renting for a similar route I would warn that the roads around Tierradentro and San Agustin are pretty bad (and we have experience with roads in most countries around the World - including self-drive)- locals used sedans but I am not sure I would! For us THE initial and core question to answer when planning a visit to Colombia is what the main mode of transport should be - public transport or rented car. .Both have their problems/downsides - public transport is slow and logistically awkward. Car rental is expensive and one has to cope with bad roads and some long journeys. So it is a fundamental issue to get right when planning for Colombia.

b. You mentioned that "insurance is highly recommended". Which insurance are you referring to PAI and or LDW - or some other? We personally never travel without LDW and usually prefer to cover the excess as well (you imply that you don't normally take it?). In some countries certain roads are excluded for any insurance (NZ !!!) - I assume you were fully covered for all your roads in Colombia?

c. 8 days from Bogota to Medellin via Tatacoa, San Agustin, Tierradentro and CCL would seem to divide out as
1. Bog - Tat (by the way, we too did the "tunnel" and "Temple of Doom" bridge route. Great!!)
2. Tat - SA
3. SA - TD
4. TD - CCL
5. CCL to Med
leaving 3 days to "see" the WHS - 1 each for TD, SA and CCL? I could imagine from your review that you didn't feel TD needed a lot of time and SA can certainly be done in a day - even though the "standard" route gives both longer (as did we). And what does CCL "need"? Well my current review is addressing this. I guess you could get by with merely a "pass through" if you chose the right route up from TD to around Armenia before going to Medellin?

d. Re the CCL - Where did you pick up your "Core area" visit? We discarded any visit to the "Parque del Cafe" right from the start. It has nothing to do with the WHS. It isn't within the CCL boundaries and is basically a commercial "theme park" - did your experience differ? Nb However - The URBAN area of nearby Montenegro is, uniquely in the Department of Quindio, INSIDE the core zone and represents an "easy" pick up for anyone travelling between Armenia and Medellin. (Though I suspect that direct public transport doesn't go through it). From what I have read however it is not a particulrly attractive town with much in the way of tangible heritage remaining. It does give that "tick" however!c

e. How did you fill a 4 day "road trip" from Cart without Sta Marta? 1 day each way Cart -Mompox plus 1 in Mompox at max. So - 3 not 4 surely? Indeed, given your normal "rate" of travel I am surprised you didn't do it in 2 (1 day Cart - Mom, 2nd day - am in Mom and pm back to Cart?)!! You, possibly jokingly, said that reaching Mompox was "taxing". I would have thought it a "doddle" after you had coped with Tierradentro etc!! Any particular reason why??

f. You didn't mention the Museo de Oro in Bogota but do mention a half day on its 2 WHS. You have stated that museums are not that important to you unless in a WHS or very significant - we are very similar and rarely visit what I call "commercial" or "niche" musea. Maybe you did visit the Gold Museum but just didn't mention it or maybe it doesn't grab you. I would suggest to anyone visiting Bogota that the Gold museum is unmissable - both because of the quality of what is on show, because of the relevance of it to what you are going to see later and because it is a very well presented museum! We gave it 2 visits of 3 hours each - that may be overkill but it deserves 2 hours of anyone's time.

Author Zoe
Partaker
#39 | Posted: 19 Dec 2019 09:41 
Euro Car Rental in Bogota would agree to one-way but it was pricey. The insurance was called "Full" in this case and they didn't mention any excluded roads. After seeing all the roads money suddenly didn't feel important vs safety. 4x4 rental is always kinda steep.

Salamina is a good choice for the coffee culture. Small town and plenty of coffee shops. Seems authentic.

The northern trip can take quite long. The stilt houses required a boat trip and most of the day was gone. The fruit company doesn't take long but by the time you reach Mompox the second day was done. 3rd day in Mompox (laundry day!), fourth driving back to Cartagena with the canal on the way.

In Bogota I went to the library, the University area and to Claro for my SIM card :) probably should have gone to the gold museum, i would prefer to go with someone to see something like that.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#40 | Posted: 19 Dec 2019 10:17 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Zoe:
Salamina is a good choice for the coffee culture. Small town and plenty of coffee shops. Seems authentic.

So - did you go there? We did and I agree that it is a VERY good destination in the CCL with real value on show- review tomorrow.

Author Zoe
Partaker
#41 | Posted: 20 Dec 2019 18:52 
Yes it was recommended by Jarek so I felt better than needlessly driving around the area to find something. Until this year he had the only review amd now look at it. Interesting is also that the rating ranges from 5 stars to 1½ although without checking maybe 2 of the top votes are Colombians? ;)

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#42 | Posted: 21 Dec 2019 04:04 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Zoe:
Interesting is also that the rating ranges from 5 stars to 1½ although without checking maybe 2 of the top votes are Colombians?

They don't identify their Nationality - but I don't think so. 1 from Mexico and 1 from Spain - but there is nothing untoward about their ratings even if one's own don't exactly coincide.

I haven't done my Ratings for Colombia yet - prefer to think about it and do my "reflections"!!
I like to compare my/the Community ratings for similar sites and find the "Category" useful. We introduced this many many years ago before the start of "Connections" and it has perhaps been forgotten as a useful comparator (@ELS/@NAN - I notice that, unlike other "table" lists it isn't possible to sort on the Category page - https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Continuing - would that be difficult??)
I have just done a sort on Average Community ratings for "Continuing CLs" - Here are the "Top 10"! (CCL is currently 18th out of 45 at 3.05)
Loire Valley 4.21 
Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras 4.07 
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands 3.95 
Costiera Amalfitana 3.79 
Pyrénées - Mont Perdu 3.61 
Upper Middle Rhine Valley 3.61 
Trang An 3.52 
Viñales Valley 3.47 
Hallstatt-Dachstein 3.44 
Lake District 3.41 

Most I think are definitely and correctly positioned "above" CCL. (but I haven't visited Vinales or Trang An and I feel that Mont Perdu is a bit too highly rated as a CL, albeit that it has fine scenery). I think a rating of 4 or 5 for CCL, as 3 travellers have given it, is just too high and doesn't leave "room" to differentiate the "really special"/"World Class CLs - which CCL clearly isn't
However - there IS more to the CCL than might appear at first sight. But it is a very badly defined WHS which includes lots of dross - I guess I am going to give it around 2.0/2.5 - possibly a bit higher than your 2 but not significantly so! If it had been more tightly defined and limited to the "best of the best" it would have justified 2.5/3.0.

Author elsslots
Admin
#43 | Posted: 21 Dec 2019 04:24 
Solivagant:
(@ELS/@NAN - I notice that, unlike other "table" lists it isn't possible to sort on the Category page - https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/category/Continuing - would that be difficult??)

Fixed!

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#44 | Posted: 21 Dec 2019 05:12 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
Fixed!

elsslots:
Fixed!

Wow - thanks.

Whilst the thought is there - another suggestion. It would be nice/interesting to be able to see one's own ratings by category - How do I rate/which do I consider the best/worst etc - Cathedrals, Cities, Cultural Landscapes, Roman ruins etc. Also how do my ratings by category compare with the average? More useful than the full list of ratings for all WHS which is a bit too unwieldy?
Would need an extra column to the above table if one was logged in .

Author elsslots
Admin
#45 | Posted: 21 Dec 2019 05:52 
Solivagant
I'll move it to our Backlog topic, it's not something I can do quickly. Maybe Nan can keep it in mind while designing the new and improved pages.

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