MONTAñAS

Colombia seen by a Stones finder

AUTHOR: Sebas Guiral Vega

As a geologist, if you ask me which one is my favorite place is in Colombia, the answer is quite simple: it is the area covered from Punta Gallinas to Leticia, and from Cabo Manglares to the San José Island, that is to say the whole Colombia! That is my favorite place!

Like any “stone finder”, what I enjoy the most is traveling and going out on the field.

Tiger spider
Tiger Spider. 2014. Walking along the Mutatá River. Mutatá, Antioquia.

For me, there is nothing more enriching than walking along creeks against the current, walking along the trails that for centuries have represented the main roads for connecting municipalities, taking a look at the rocks that make up the beautiful and contrasting Colombian landscape (look for stones as people say), getting impressed with the animals and insects that one can find on each hike, to appreciate a beautiful sunset, or just to take a nap on top of a hill.

Thanks to my profession, I have had the opportunity to travel much around Colombia, and on each trip I realize how beautiful the country where I was born is.

Sunset in Prado, Tolima
Sunset in Prado, Tolima. 2013

We have a privileged country with two immense oceans, huge plains and unimaginable mountains, yet many people prefer to stay in expensive hotels on oversold beaches.

You do not have to travel very far away, or go deep into the jungle for being surrounded by the natural environment that the Colombian geography can offer. Near my homecity, Medellín, it is possible to make several hiking trails that lead to various natural wonders such as forests, moor zones (paramo) and beautiful waterfalls.

Frailejones. Paramo of Belmira. 2016. Belmira, Antioquia
Frailejones. Paramo of Belmira. 2016. Belmira, Antioquia.

I have also had the fortune to travel and work in areas that have historically been beaten and stigmatized by the violence during the recent decades. It has been awesome to be able to appreciate the secret and breathtaking beauty that is hidden in those steep and remote but amazing mountains.

If you are reading this, I invite you to leave the walls of your house, to take a look beyond typical destinations such as Cartagena or Tolú (without belittling the beauty of Cartagena or the party atmosphere in Tolú).

Chorro Campanas
Chorro Campanas. 2016. La Miel Creek, Envigado, Antioquia.

There are thousands of reasons and places to visit, thousands of carnivals to enjoy, thousands of dishes to taste.

I invite you to take your backpack and get lost in the Caribbean Sea in the bays of the Gulf of Urabá (San Pacho, El Aguacate, Triganá, Capurganá, Zapzurro).

Sapzurro
Sapzurro. 2014. Zapzurro Bay, Chocó.

Or why do not you try to climb some of the snowy peaks with your friends? maybe the Cocuy.

Nevado Santa Isabel
Geologists in the Nevado de Santa Isabel. 2014. Caldas.

I challenge you to go out and explore all the unbelievable rivers that bathe the northern zone of Colombia with the clear and cold waters that are born in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Badillo River
Badillo river. 2013. Cesar.

You will always find a landscape, a person, a river, an insect, a waterfall etc. that will cut your breath. That moment will be kept in your memory, and best of all is that nobody can steal you that. That is the sense of traveling around Colombia and realizing how amazing is our country. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to accumulate experiences instead of objects.

Chicamocha Canyon Santander.
Chicamocha Canyon. 2013. Santander.

I cannot imagine my life without traveling, without knowing other regions, other places, other cultures, meeting other people. Going out and admiring the environment is what gives meaning to life. That is the way to really feel the territory that is ours but we often ignore.

«Buscando Piedras» Villa de Leyva, Boyacá.
“Looking for rocks”. 2011. Villa de Leyva, Boyacá.

At the moment, from abroad, what I want the most is to go soon to Colombia and get lost in the green of its mountains.

Cheers and let’s travel!

YOU CAN START YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH COLOMBIA FROM ANY OF THESE DESTINATIONS

Amazonía: The End of the World

Caribe: Punta Gallinas, Tayrona Park and Mompox.

Montañas: Jericó, Monguí and Pijao

Llanos: Casanare

Pacífico: La Barra and Puracé Natural Park.

Sebas Guiral Vega

Sebas Guiral Vega

Ingeniero Geólogo
Facultad de Minas / Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Master Student in Georesources Engineering
Faculté des Sciences Appliquées / Université de Liège, Belgium.
École Nationale Supérieure de Géologie
Université de Lorraine, France.

Instagram: @sebasguiralv

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