Exactly one year ago the world stopped. Or so it seemed when all sorts of plans were cancelled, travel most notably at the top of the list. For Colombians- and any Latin American for that matter- the biggest blow came when spring vacations rolled around, and, with airports still closed, we were faced with the reality of swapping our annual beach plans for an Easter week (and several subsequent weeks) indoors.

We all know how the rest of the story goes. Good days, bad days, highs and lows. Eventually we all (or most) climbed out of our rabbit holes, dusted ourselves off and took to the task of finding ways to quench our thirst for travel and discovery.

As a result, collectively, we became better acquainted with our local travel offerings, whether personally or virtually. Of the many things I started compiling during my time indoors is a list of less frequented destinations (as in, not Cartagena). Filed under “Local Travel” in my Instagram saved folders is a comprehensive compilation of picturesque boutique hotels, vacation rental homes and small towns off the beaten path to which I’d like to venture out to soon (thank you internet friends and acquaintances).

With spring break once again approaching and the virus still rampant amongst us, I decided to share a quick round up of some recent discoveries worth knowing, and perhaps considering this holiday if you’re not quite ready to brave the airport. Take note.


Where: Antioquia, between El Peñol and Guatape.

What: A quick glance at Boato Hotel, and you might not immediately guess it’s Colombia-based. With a privileged location overlooking the Represa del Peñol, this relatively new eco-hotel consists of 15 Lars, or private homes, each with its own personal deck and bonfire set up. At Boato, everything is centered around the four elements of fire, air, earth and water, from the food and design, to the experiences and excursions offered, which include kayaking, paddleboarding and hiking, or, of course, simply lounging and connecting with nature from your own personal in-room jacuzzi.

Who: Couples in need of a secret escape or friends in search of a bonding experience. Some of the Lars can fit up to six people. Note: not necessarily kid friendly due to its location on the water.


Where: Mesitas del Colegio, just two hours from Bogota.

What: This historic family coffee farm, which dates back to 1894, only recently opened its doors to visitors after over 127 years. A cozy four-room haven nestled in the Andean mountains, the farm is an idyllic weekend escape from Bogota’s boisterousness. Guests are invited to roam the farm, whether by foot or on horseback, and make it their own throughout the stay. One of the perks of its intimate set up is a tailor-made trip with activities catered entirely to your preferences.

Who: Coffee enthusiasts, from amateurs to connoisseurs, nature lovers, bird watchers, romance seekers.


Where: Manizales, Caldas

What: If one could sum up Colombian charm and hospitality in a destination, this quaint 11-room coffee lodge in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region would be it. With its sweeping panoramic views of lush green landscapes, traditional architecture and delightful decor combined with a warm ambiance, it’s an ideal choice for a first time visit to Manizales. While recognized experts in the local coffee industry, its offering goes beyond just the crop with bird watching, hiking, bike tours, yoga, cooking classes employing local techniques and workshops on things like chocolate and coffee or artisan rum. Plus, a swimming pool. The end goal here? Relaxation, however you personally define it.

Who: Coffee lovers, young and old, experienced or not. Anyone looking for some R&R with local flavor.


Where: Danta, Antioquia

What: A boutique hotel on the road between Medellin and Bogota. Situated quite literally in a jungle, and, as its name suggests, bordered by a crystalline river, the hotel prides itself in a continuous meditative soundtrack of nature’s most soothing tunes. Albeit small in size (only seven rooms), guests are provided with a complete hotel experience so that one can connect with nature without sacrificing comfort. Somewhat of a jack of all trades, they offer waterfalls, boat rides down the Río Miel, mountain biking, motocross, horseback riding, trekking and even spa treatments.

Who: The traveller who likes their adventure with a side of luxury. Also, resters, relaxers or romancers.


Where: Manizales, Caldas

What: File this under the most exclusive of local getaways. A word of mouth type of place, which is usually the best kind. Viga Vieja is essentially a family farm inhabited by its owners, so you can trust it’s well looked after. A refuge to those in need of a soul searching escape and a deep breath of the freshest air. Everything from the gastronomy to the experiences (which include massages, yoga and spiritual healing sessions) are centered on complete wellness of body and soul. The purely vegetarian menu is concocted with fresh ingredients from their personal garden and complemented by that of local farmers. Their four rooms are divided into two houses: La Casa Principal, with three rooms, and the Suite Cabaña Rústica, an independent private house with its own pool.

Who: Anyone over the age of 12, particularly catered towards those who appreciate a holistic and clean lifestyle. History and architecture aficionados might also find the property’s story intriguing– built in 1900, it’s main house was constructed in the Bahareque style, a traditional construction system in the region, which employs ecologically gentle materials.