Chasing Dreams Colombia ~ Is Magical Realism Destination Travel Rambles

Fond Memories: Things We Did in Calarca, Quindio

In the past couple of weeks, two (noteworthy) things happened. First, I finally finished reading “The Robber of Memories” by Michael Jacobs. (It was very well-written!) Second, I attended an event celebrating Colombia’s Independence Day, which was hosted by the Embassy of Colombia in Singapore. The link between these two happenings is Gabo and his emphasis on memories.

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” ― Gabriel García Márquez

I have been missing Colombia. It has been a year since I first set foot on this Latin American land, so rich but beset by misfortunes. Undoubtedly, Colombia has created an impact on my life. What exactly? I do not know, and have no desire to dig too deeply. My memories are getting sketchy as time stretches, but nothing seems to dull my affection for this land of natural treasures. So I continue struggling to write about Colombia and hope that more people will visit to see the good in this nature rich land, help the good people and spread the good word.

Following the words of Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I have been trying to share all that I can recall, starting with memories of our first excursion to Calarca from Armenia.

Upon arrival at Calarca (about 20 minutes by bus from Armenia), we hopped onto the local favourite mode of vehicle: Yipao. Jeeps. It was our first yipao ride. The music was loud. With giddy laughters and the wind in our hair, those of us standing at the back of the open trunk hung on for our dear lives every time the yipao bounced over a pothole. We danced and laughed to a rhythm of our own. 11 crazy Asian students with one crazier professor. Well, a yipao can sit 6 – 12 or more people (excluding the driver). The more, the merrier cheaper. 

It is interesting how memories surface when one least expects. I thought I have forgotten, but random images and conversations came into mind as I tried to write. There’s jubilance within, and funny incidents brought on wry smiles, even now. Amongst the sentimentalism and joy, there’s also a great sense of gratitude.

With that in mind, here’s sharing my Trip101 article on the various things that we did (last autumn) in Calarca and things you can consider to do in Calarca if you happen to be travelling around Colombia. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions too. 🙂

Coffee, Yipao And Nature: Things To Do In Calarca, Quindio, Colombia


[As published on] From butterfly house to local farms and coffee plantations, Calarca is a lovely, charming town in the Colombian coffee region of Quindio. Neighbour to the capital city of Armenia, its namesake traces to a legendary leader (cacique) of the Pijao tribe predating the present municipality that was founded only in 1886. But, do not be mistaken. The town is young, but the land is old and full of treasures. So, pay attention.

“The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” — Julia Cameron

Here is where one experiences the life of a coffee picker in traditional wear, savours the best chicken on a cart, and possibly befriend the beautiful female mayor of Calarca! Nature promises adventures for the thrill-seekers and rejuvenation for laid-back travellers. Whenever you are ready … … [Read more]

Being an advocate of “good things are meant to be shared”, I will be writing a series of articles on Colombia and Ecuador based on my experiences. These will be featured either here on Travelbeckons or Trip101. Feel free to leave me a message if you have any queries.


3 comments on “Fond Memories: Things We Did in Calarca, Quindio

  1. Looks like a great adventure! And well written post

  2. Hannah Valverde

    Amazing! I love Colombia too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: