bogotá

We have wanted to go to Colombia for some time. A country that has long since been labeled as “no-go” because of violent circumstances. However, there has been a positive change, making Colombia more open to tourism.

 

We started our adventure in the Colombian capital of Bogota. It is not an easily discoverable city, and we spent a bunch of our time searing to feel at home.

 

We soon met Mariana who took us in and showed us the ropes, which showed us the good side of the people and the city.

COLOMBIA

bogotá - santa marta - honda

publicatie in KLM's  Holland Herald magazine

Simón Vélez 

 

We thought it was very special to have the opportunity to meet Simon Velez. An architect who became famous for his works made from bamboo.

 

He lives in a fairy tale house with his three adult daughters, and two grand children. It is a group of several buildings in a jungle like walled garden located in the oldest part of the city.

 

More pictures of the house can be found here

Click Clack hotel

Is one of the newest and coolest hotels in the city. It is a strikingly narrow building, nine storeys high. The hotel has a remarkable facade with a few glass bay windows.

 

It is owned by childhood friends Juan Felipe Cruz and Tomas Beltran. They both studied abroad but when they returned home, they discovered that they both had the same ambitious dream. A hotel, now a small bed and breakfast, but something big and sparkling.

 

A hotel for business people and tourists, but also a place that adds to the nightlife of the Colombian capital.

www.clickclackhotel.com

Cra. 11 #93-77, Bogotá, Cundinamarca,

publication in theItalian ELLE DECOR

BOG hotel

 

 

Gabriel Sierra and Delcy Morelos

Gabriel and Delcy live in downtown Bogota. We were immediately charmed by their house, fully furnished and very personal, and in our opinion, very photogenic. A few days later we went back to photograph it. 

 

More pictures of the house can be found here

COLOMBIA

bogotá - santa marta - honda

 

Mariana Shuk is a jewelry designer who lives and works in Bogota. We met through a mutual friend. We met up with her for breakfast near her studio the day after we arrived. 

 

Mariana had lived in Europe for a while and quickly realized what we were looking to report on.

That same afternoon she introduced us to her friends, Delcy and Gabriel, a couple who collect art, who live in the old city center.

 

The next day they introduced us to the architects Guillermo Arias and Luis Cuartas and they brought us to the famous architect Simon Velez’s home. 

 

www.marianashuk.com

La Candelaria neighborhood

We sat in a small hotel in Candelaria, the oldest neighbourhood in Bogota. This is very clearly reflected by the old colonial style.

Ten years ago this neighbourhood was seen as dangerous, but that is no longer the case. During the day it is bustling with students and all kinds of fun little restaurants. However, in the evening it feels a little abandoned, and a little bit difficult to find something fun to do.

 

Hotel Casa Guadelupe

Cundinamarca #1

Botero Museum

The most famous museum is the Gold Museum. It was interesting, but we thought it was a little old-fashioned. It was by chance that we came across the Botero Museum. 

 

The museum was free and showed the work of Colombia’s most famous painted Botero in combination with a wide selection of works by other artists that Botero as a collector acquired together.

 

www.banrepcultural.org

Calle 11 # 4-41

Apache bar

Located on the top floor of the Click Clack hotel

Cundinamarca 

 

Bogota has several districts all with special features. Cundinamarca is the neighbourhood where the Click Clack hotel is located. 

 

An upscale neighbourhood with modern high-rise buildings and lots of green. We found that it felt a bit sterile, but there are plenty of good places to have lunch and in the evening to go out to eat. An absolute recommend is “WOK”, an asian-inspired restaurant chain with very tasty organic food for a reasonable price.

Escuela de Artes y Oficios Santodomingo

 

In the old town you will find this academy where you can take courses at a high level in crafts that are threatened with extinction.

 

You can get a tour of the academy. Do not forget to visit the store. We bought a few beautiful handmade objects and textiles for a good price.

 

www.eaosd.org

bogotá - santa marta - honda

COLOMBIA

 

Luis Fernando Gomez 

Luis and his wife are the owners of Barlovento. Within the first 10 minutes of meeting Luis he was already sharing stories, and got to hear all about the place and the way of life here.

santa marta

BARLOVENTO

We received a tip to go here. It is the former holiday home of a family from Bogota, created in the 60’s by architect Simon Velez. 

 

For years it was actually too dangerous to go on holiday here because of the violent circumstances in the country.

 

Fortunately, the tide has turned and the family now regularly go to this paradise. Over time the idea arose to create a small hotel.

www.fincabarloventosantamarta.com

publication in the Dutch Harpers Bazaar

 

 

The old family house is located on the sea, which looks very appealing but be careful, especially with swimming.

 

uitzicht vanuit de Maloka

 

maloka

 

Next to the old family home, is the expansion which was turned into the hotel. The Maloka is more luxurious but is further from the sea with views over the mouth of the river.

Luis built a small hut for himself at the mouth of the river. It is very simple and very idyllic. We found thought it was nice and would make a good (last) story for our book “At the Ocean”.

Luis laughed and was honored that we were shooting his cabin.

More pictures of Luis cabin can be found here

The market in Riohacha, the most northern tip of Colombia on the Caribbean Sea

Santa Marta

From Barlovento we went to Santa Marta, a colorful harbor town, and the lesser known sister town of Cartagena. 

An enjoyable holiday destination especially for the Colombians themselves.

Ika Tribe

 

When travelling there are always things that you would like to do, but simply do not have time for.

 

For example, go into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We were curious about the high peaks in the distance and the Indians of the Ika tribe from the mountains with their white clothes.

 

  

bogotá - santa marta - honda

COLOMBIA

honda

A three hour scenic drive from Bogota through the mountains gets you to Honda, an old colonial town. Honda is located on the Magdalena River, and in the past was an important “transfer” town where all goods from the Caribbean Sea going to Bogota were unloaded to be transported further across land to the capital in the mountains. 

 

These times are gone, but the old town is still very lively.

 

There still are not many tourists that go to Colombia, but adventurous and creative types from Bogota are travelling to Honda to buy and renovate a second home outside of the city.

Architect Guillermo Arias, realised a great project here and now often travels here for the weekend.

  

The house has a closed facade on the street side and is completely open to the garden.

 

Trees, plants and even moss growing on the walls are important elements in the architecture.

The best way to get gas is to fill up along the side of the road

 

Guillermo Arias

Together with Luis Cuartas, Guillermo Arias owns Octubre architects. They rebuilt three old houses into one large house. The house is a combination of old and new. 

www.octubre.com.co

Some walls and roofs have been demolished and other pieces of the old buildings were spared in the design. Inside and outside were a whole.

Market

Guillermo took us to the indoor market in the center of the village. It is as if time has stood still here. It is active and quiet at the same time. Here life is not determined by the clock.

  

 We were very fond of the rocking chairs with colorful seats. All slightly different shape and color combinations.

  

© 2016 by Mirjam Bleeker and Frank Visser / all rights reserved