As the van ambled down a rocky dirt road, I took out my phone to send a quick text to Kevin that I had nearly arrived to my hostel. I stared at the upper-right corner of my phone’s screen that showed there was no cell service. Brushing my initial panic aside, I reassured myself that there would be service upon arrival.
After a month in Mexico City, I was itching to travel around Central Mexico and visit the colonial heartland. Kevin agreed to an 11-day road trip before we had to come back to Mexico City for our flight to Quito—as long as I planned everything.
Riding the Devil’s Nose train in Ecuador is consistently thrown around in conversation as one of the country’s top things to do. Locals and travelers alike have recommended it to us, and for that reason (also because I love trains), I knew we had to do it. Let’s conveniently ignore the logistics of what/how/where (as I did) for now— we’ll get into that later.
I’ve been to hot spring spas before, but none of them compare to Piedra de Agua in Cuenca (high praise, trust me). Where else can you have your own private attendant guide you through 6+ spa experiences including a blue mud pool, red mud pool, underground hot & ice-cold baths, steam boxes, Turkish baths, and many hot spring pools only for $35?
When we decide where to travel to next, one of my top considerations is whether that location has Uber. If you are a foreigner traveling in Latin America, it is hard for me to stress Uber’s advantages enough, and once you are used to it, the frustration of not having it available. Uber, while very useful in the United States or your home country, is infinitely more useful once you are a traveler in Latin America.
Using the bathroom in most Latin American countries may be different than what you are used to in the United States. I’m going to save you the trouble of having to learn the hard way (like I did) with a few helpful tips.
When you think of Mexican alcohol, what comes to mind? Maybe a very light lager made for sipping on a hot summer day. Or maybe something a little stronger, like tequila. Or maybe even mezcal, tequila’s smokier cousin. If you are a drinker, you will want to enjoy all of these things during your stay in Mexico City. But none of these are probably difficult to find, in one form or another, in your home country. If you want a truly unique central Mexican drinking experience that you are unlikely to find anywhere else, you should try pulque.
If you know anything about Colombia, it’s likely about how coffee is a huge part of Colombia’s economy. Nearly everyone visiting Colombia has, at some time in their life, enjoyed a cup (and perhaps thousands of cups) of coffee made from beans that originated from this country.
About 80 kilometers to the east of Medellin lies the town of Guatape, a small resort town frequented by paisas on weekends. Guatape sits on the edge of a giant lake that formed after the installation of a hydroelectric dam. The lake is popular for jet skiing, fishing, and boating. Guatape itself is a great weekend getaway if you are staying for an extended period in Medellin.
Although jiu jitsu is not an extremely popular sport in Colombia, it seems to be growing, and I had a great time training while I was visiting.