I am a resident of Colombia since April, but I have been going back and forth between Panama and Colombia for the past year. Next month will be my 1 year anniversary of life in Colombia!
I haven't lived in this part of the world (Latin America) since 2004, and for the next little while this will be home for us. Being here is exciting because there is so much to be done (it can also be frustrating, don't be fooled by the fairy tales of the expat abroad), and there is so much beauty.
Today I want to show you the salt cathedral of Zipaquira, which is located 49 km from Bogota. It is an easy drive, though I am quite lazy when it comes to driving in foreign cities so that day we scheduled a car and a driver to take us there (hotels in Bogota usually offer this so you don't have to book a tour).
I had never been inside a mine, so this was very unique. I found the place so beautiful and relaxing that I went ahead of the crowd to be able to take photos, so I missed some of the explanations from our tour guide! It is amazing to imagine the work and ingenuity that went behind this creation, whether or not you are religious (or Catholic).
This is an excellent day trip to do from Bogota and a nice, easy walk. There is a section where there are steps and the path can be a bit slippery so I suggest you wear shoes with good grip just to be on the safe side (I am currently planning a trip in Colombia with my grandmother and I am hyper vigilant about normal things like these).
I was reading the reviews on Trip Advisor and while some complained that the shopping stalls inside the cathedral were tacky, I did not even see them. They are not IN YOUR FACE like in other tourist places. I don't even remember walking past the stands, so I think that you can do the tour and skip that section altogether. I am surprised that no one talked about the "mining experience". For an extra fee, you can "explore" life as a miner. I really don't know what they do there because I am not about to pay anyone to pretend to work (LOL).
On this trip, I wore a pencil skirt that I bought a couple of years ago in Canada, a tank top from my "honeymoon" metal festival 70,000 Tons of Metal and a striped blazer that I have owned for years (I think we are hitting the 10 year mark soon). The leather choker was a purchase from a little artisan shop (wish I could remember the name) in Victoria, BC.
The shoes are from the brand MDMA shoes, and here's why they are sustainable:
The shoes are made from leftover fabric and discarded clothing (extra bonus: limited edition shoes! The ones I am wearing are 1 out of the 12 pairs that were made)
The sole is made from Bolflex and I did a little bit of digging to understand why this is environmentally friendly...Bolflex is made in Portugal, and the company puts a lot of emphasis on innovation and sustainability. They have products made from natural products (made of rice husks, natural and recycled rubber) and other soles have up to 45% recycled rubber content.
After the tour, we went for lunch at the restaurant El Llano. Colombia's idea of a personal meal is different from what I am used to. Here's what I had for lunch, I tried the Capybara.
It would be perfect if the drinks were as big as the plates lol.
Hope you enjoyed my first travel feature!