Colombia: A Country of Different Tales

Photo by Colombian Film Commission

Reading and searching in different travel blogs and publications I came across two very interesting, but very different, articles about Colombia. Yes, Colombia in South America, the country that all the world has something to say and not always very positive comments. Although I wasn't expecting something nice, I found something brilliant. In the article 3 Misconceptions About Colombia (And Why You Should Go) written by Adam Seper and published on the Huffington Post, the author explains all the fantastic places and wonderful experiences he and his wife had during their visit to Colombia. Adam goes on to clarifying some misconceptions about the country as they are explained by its own people. A wonderful article to read especially if you're from Colombia living for more than one decade in USA. Doing more searching and reading I came across another very interesting article, not so wonderful though.
In the article Colombia: travel books to read before you go published on Lonely Planet, the author gives a recommendation of 9 books that people should read before going to visit Colombia. Here some of the titles: More Terrible Than Death: Violence, Drugs, and America’s War in Colombia (2003) by Robin Kirk. Killing Peace: Colombia’s Conflict and the Failure of US Intervention (2002), by Garry Leech. America’s Other War: Terrorizing Colombia (2005) by Doug Stokes. Colombia and the United States: War, Terrorism, and Destabilization (2003) by Mario Murillo. And it doesn't make sense to name the rest because they all have the word terror or war in them so you can imagine what they are about. This article should be renamed maybe to something like, If You Want to go to Colombia, We Wont Let You, or, Are You Sure You Want to Visit Colombia? With these reading recommendations who wants to visit the country? I'm glad to have found Adam Seper's article so I don't start having misconceptions about americans and the way they discredit us.
In order to change a bit the bittersweet feeling left by this last encounter, I have decided to make my own reading recommendations so you will visit Colombia. First of all, if you like literature and want to know a country first hand, read one of its authors. In this case what else can I recommend than to read Colombian Nobel Prize Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Pick one of his books, they are all fantastic.

Love in the Time of Cholera, one of my favorites. A real description of an era, a country and its people.

Michelin Green Guide Colombia - a simple guide that gives real touristic recommendations. Places to visit, temperatures for a tropical country, something a bit confusing fot those who only understand seasons. I'd recommend something like this, simple but helpful.

If you're really interested in knowing the history of the country with a no so much biased perspective, this book will give you an insight and real facts.

For the rest, I can only recommend a good word of mouth of friends and people that have visited the country. Tripatini is one of the biggest social networks for tourists. Here you can ask real people, real travelers!

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