Juan Valdez Cafe!

So what is the most popular cafe in Columbia and in South America?

Juan Valdez! Way cheaper than Starbucks and quality is even better.

It’s a famous Colombian product and is spread across South America in replacement of all the starbucks we see around the world.

It used to be my favourite place to go to in Columbia to chill and read.

Usually coffees range from $1~$3 USD. Their cakes are really good too. For a cheap poor traveller like me it’s a sweet indulgence.

Many of the Juan Valdez cafes all sell their products such as t-shirts, bags and their premium coffee beans and powder.

DSC02307

Juan Valdez Bag

One side of the wall of the cafe.

DSC02312

Juan Valdez Cafe in Bogota, Colombia

The cafe itself. Yes it’s fancy. The next starbucks.

DSC02309

Juan Valdez Cafe

I don’t know if Juan Valdez has stretched its legs to other parts of the world yet.

Advertisements

Monserrate in Bogota

There aren’t many things to do in Bogota except go to the Salt Cathedral, Botero Museum (artist famous for drawing plump people) and Monserrate.

Monserrate is the highest point in Bogota where you can look down the whole city.

It’s around 3152 meters. You can either take a cable car (teleferico) or the train which is the same price. Both are for 14,000 pesos (around 8 USD).

You can also just choose to walk which I heard was a bit more dangerous. But hey everyone needs more exercise.

I was too lazy so I decided to take the cable car.

If you live in the La Candelaria region, it’s easy to walk to the base of the mountain to take the train or the cable car.

We saw the cables on the mountains from afar from our hostel so decided to walk to it which turned out to be a red carpet walk.

We lost sight of the cables on the mountain and there was a huge group of middle school students waiting to get into a museum.

We tried asking how to get to the base of the mountain using our VERY VERY limited Spanish and the kids all just goggled at us.

They took pictures of us and with us and started saying random words like sushi and such. hahaha. I realized the effect of Korean drama when some girls came up to me and start saying some actress names. Yey! Korean drama!

That continued until the teacher came to goggle at us as well and finally decided to disperse the crowd around us.

We got no information though but we decided to keep walking.

Still walking…

DSC02263

Finally!!

DSC02268

Going up the teleferico!

DSC02269

Still going up. Actually only takes 4 minutes 🙂

DSC02270

Once you get up you see a big church. Behind the big church is a little way for vendors selling food and religious products. We decided to keep moving until we found this empty lot in the back!

Looks like a scene from a old Western movie!

IDSC02272DSC02273  

Next to the church is the 14 Stations of the Cross.

DSC02287

IMG_0585

DSC02292

The view from the top. Oh why oh why!!!! The weather was very cloudy the whole week. Usual for Bogota this time of the year. Damn you September!

IMG_0583

DSC02276

View of Bogota! Still good 🙂

DSC02278 DSC02282

Going back to the teleferico to get back down.

DSC02294

Coming up! Best cafe in South America? Starbucks,,,,,NOT.

Bogota! Hola!

First week in Columbia woohoo!!!

I was so tired from our 7 hour lay over in Florida and when we finally reached Bogota all I wanted to do

was to find a guesthouse and sleep non-stop for 3 days. Zzzzzzz….

I wasn’t able to take any pictures because I was so afraid something will happen to my camera after the horror stories I heard.

But rest assured I feel like it’s really safe here in Bogota. As long as you don’t roam around during the night it’s really perfectly fine.

So the story begins when we were so lost in the airport and we went to the information desk and they said they had no

tourist information desk WHAT?! I needed a map ahh

Anyways we were looking so lost at the exit and two men came up and asked where we were going

They said they were going to show us some places

I really thought it was something sketchy and the guy taking us showed us his ID

On his ID it said representative of tourismo or something but hey that id can also be fake. But we just decided to risk it

and thankfully he got us to a safer part of Bogota: La Candelaria!

It’s a really nice part of Bogota where most of the guest houses are and where there is a lot of universities!

The view from our guesthouse!

DSC02258 DSC02257

Just walking around La Candelaria

DSC02243

Bolivar Square

DSC02242 DSC02240

Look at how HUGE these avocados are! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

DSC02246

You can see mountains from all angles. Bogota is surrounded by mountains everywhere!

DSC02256

On the way to Juan Valerez Cafe 😀 Really good coffee! It’s a chain…in Columbia??

DSC02251

I need to find out what those are. It’s really creamy, has a lot of fruits in it and topped with cheese with strawberry syrup and one piece

of fresh strawberry. It’s actually not too sweet and good!!

DSC02247

What I have realized about Bogota so far. Groceries are not that cheap. BUT if you go to nearby markets it does get a lot cheaper. Everything seems to close early around 6-7pm. Maybe even the locals think it’s sketchy at night.

It’s so much cheaper to travel on a long term basis because you’re not restrained by time. So we can book hostels for longer and actually buy groceries to cook (which reduces travel costs by a LOT). A lot of the hostels in Bogota have kitchens.

I’ll be back!

Finally Happening!!

It’s finally happening!!

After two months and a half I am finally going to South America!!

I don’t know whether I will have enough money but I worked as hard as I can switching between three part time jobs so no regrets! Actually I’m pretty sure this isn’t enough but maybe that would make me more open to opportunities out there as I will be travelling so broke. Haha. Maybe begging on the streets with a borrowed guitar. Who knows?

The most important thing is I’m finally going! Next week and I’ll be at my first destination.

Bogota. Columbia.

So keep tuned! I’ll be posting shortly about why I feel like I threw away half of my stuff and my bag still feels so big and heavy!