What a wonderful experience you’ll have when you visit Columbia. From Cartagena, a gorgeous fishing village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast to Cali, the site of the 2013 World Games you gather lasting memories. And you’ll spend many mornings sipping an aromatic cup of famous Colombian coffee that will entice you to stay.
The richness and variety of the Columbian people will intrigue you since most are of mixed ethnicity; about 20 percent claim European ancestry. Native Indians, about one percent of the population, live in the eastern jungles.
Before you go, you’ll gain a deeper understanding and relationship with this complex and exciting South American country when you pick up these novels by Columbian authors.
100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabo’s 100 Years of Solitude is set in the sleepy town of Macondo, which is said to be based on the town Marquez was born in, Aracataca. The book sees the growth and fall of the town through the eyes of a family and it reflects on the political struggles, civil war, love and lust, revolution, myths and corruption of the town which also reign true for Colombia and all of South America.
Delirium – Laura Restrepo
This novel by Laura Restrepo is a wonderful book, told using multiple perspectives, and set in Bogota in the 1980s against a backdrop of violence and the drug trade. The narrative is beautifully constructed, and Restrepo’s writing is stunning. The depiction of Colombian society at the time might not always be the most flattering, but the truth is certainly there, and this novel sheds some light on a hard time in Colombia’s past. Hopefully this will help visitors to appreciate the many changes that have happened since the period depicted in Delirium.
Short Walks from Bogota – Tom Feiling
An author of an excellent history of cocaine, Tom Feiling came back to Colombia in order to write the book that would inform new visitors of the countries past, present and future, and he certainly succeeds. Feiling pulls no punches in this informative account of the impact of violence on the country, but his passion and empathy for Colombia and it’s people is what shines brightest.
One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rainforest – Wade Davis
One River serves as both a biography of Davis’ former professor Richard Evans Shultes and his time spent exploring botany and biology in the Colombian Amazon region, and an account of the author’s own explorations in the area. Shedding some light on the massive changes Colombia has experienced in less than a century, as well as offering a wealth of anthropological and scientific information on Colombian indigenous groups, biology and botany, One River is invaluable reading for anyone with an interest in science or exploration. Parts of this book inspired the wonderful new Colombian film, the award-winning The Embrace of the Serpent
The Sound of Things Falling – Juan Gabriel Vasquez
This multi-award winning novel explores the impact of the Colombian drug trade and it’s early development through the connected narratives and histories of Antonio Yammara, a professor in 1990s Bogota, and Antonio Laverde and his wife Elena Fritts, some 20 years earlier. Not only offering an excellent plot, and well-written story, the novel also sheds some light on both the early years of the notorious Colombian drug trade, and the exceptionally violent 1990s. Perfect for anyone who loves a good story but also wants to learn more about how Colombia once was.
The island Islas del Rosario
Old town, Cartagena
Musicians in Bogotá
National Park Tayrona
And my final reminder for you…