After losing my phone during my very first day in Bogota, I needed an escape. Somewhere to clear my mind and get away from the madness of the big city. An island? Too expensive. A tour of the Amazon? Too much of a time commitment. The Colombian Finca Experience? Bingo!
I was told that the weekend trip from Bogota would be affordable (less than $75 USD total—with all food and drinks included), relatively close (only a few hours by bus from Bogota to Anapoima), and most importantly-FUN! In the words of Tom Cruise’s character in Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.”
The trip itself was organized by the social coordinator, Nataly, of the school I was studying Spanish at, Whee Institute. Although I declined the invitation at first, it didn’t take much coaxing on her part to convince me to join after the whirlwind of a week I had.
Honestly, I had no idea of what to expect. When I asked for details, the simple answer was:
HELLO?!? It’s a weekend at a sick house in the countryside. What more do you need???
Again…you had me at hello!
A finca, as defined by our trusty friends at Wikipedia, is “a piece of rural or agricultural land, typically with a cottage, farmhouse or estate buildings present, and often adjacent to a woodland or plantation.” And it was just that!
The road leading to our weekend home was blocked off due to recent mudslides, so the bus dropped us off and we walked through the forest about a kilometer into town before stocking up on food and drinks and catching taxis into the estate. Upon arrival, it was even more beautiful than the photographs. A full kitchen, freshwater pool, several beds and fresh fruit trees as far as the eyes could see were just a few of the amenities at our disposal.
Good company, great food and music, plus beautiful weather all combined to create a truly memorable finca experience. The highlight of the trip; however, was my decision to hitchhike, alone, back into town. I saved only $5 in doing so, but the thrill of traversing through the unknown and negotiating a ride to the bus stop with my limited Spanish is something that I will never forget.
In the comments below, share an exciting solo adventure you’ve had, either domestically or during travels.