Also known as the Piedras del Tunjo in Facatativá, Cundinamarca, 36 km from Bogotá, this park of 29 hectares features huge metamorphic rocks, once at the edge of a lake, now part of the savanna of Bogotá. Sixty pictograph murals, estimated to be 10,000 years old, may be seen throughout the park. Unfortunately many have been damaged by modern grafitti and vandalism. Muisca rulers fled here at the time of the Spanish conquest, but soldiers of Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada killed their chief, Zipa Tisquesusa, in 1537. Visitors may also picnic and rent boats to take out on the lake. Buses from the Bogota/ Cundinarmarca line on the Bogota River, on Calle 80 and Calle 17 will take you to a shuttle up to the park. See a map on the website below.
Animal and plant sanctuary in Boyacá, 230km to the north of Bogota, near Tunja. The national park includes Iguaque Lake, considered by the ancient Muisca Indians to be the birthplace of mankind, descended from the offspring of the goddess Bachué. The lake is one among eight on this cloud-enshrouded páramo - a region of tropical high-elevation, above-timberline montane vegetation. The hiking path to the lake has signs describing natural featues of the area along the way. Leave early as the weather can frequently be changeable, with temperatures descending to the point of risking hypothermia. The estimated round-trip travel time is 6 hours, and the least rain falls during the months of February, March, September, and December. In rainy months the trail can become slippery, and those with difficulty breathing might find the journey too hard, with 3,200 meter altitudes.
Paisas, as people from Colombia’s second most important city are called, are known as friendly, outgoing, hardworking and hospitable. Medellin rises from the center of a valley to cover parts of the surrounding mountains; rugged and beautiful country with tropical rainforest spring-like weather year-round, and landscapes of flowers. A Festival of the Flowers takes place each year from July to early August. The city is a hub for business, industry and technological development, with regional leadership in finance, banking, services, politics, art, culture, communications, fashion, and entertainment. At the end of the 1980s the city was known as the most violent in the world as urban warfare broke out between rival drug cartels, including Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel. After his death crime rates began to decrease.
Cultural centers include the Pablo Tobón Uribe Theatre, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Theatre, and the Museum of Antioquia. Plaza Mayor is the epicenter for large events, and the Arví Ecotourism Park covers most of the village of Santa Elena, with trails, lakes, forests and streams and many sports opportunities, between the towns of Bello, Copacabana, and Envigado. Medellín Metro, the only metro system in Colombia, connects the city center with most areas of the metropolitan district. The Jose Maria Cordova Airport, in Rionegro to the east of the city, serves domestic and international flights. For general tourism information, see the official Medellín Tourist Guide website. The drive from Bogota to Medellin takes about eight hours through two mountain ranges, but most Colombians would fly. Avianca and LAN are the two most often used airlines.
While not as big as that of Bogota, the gay scene here is dynamic and diverse. The Nemesis Times has LGBT listings for Medellín, including 28 bars, cafes and nightclubs at the center, another 25 in surrounding districts, and 23 gay saunas and video sex clubs around town. GuiaGay Colombia also has listings for Medellin. In the year 2000 film by Barbet Schroeder, La virgen de los sicarios (Our Lady of the Assassins, adapted from the Fernando Vallejo novel), the Medellín drug cartel warfare features in this cinematic exploration of relationships between an author Fernando and his lovers Alexis and Wilmar, two young assassins on opposite sides in that war.
A museum collection of 55,000 pieces, of which 6,000 are on display, gift shop and a cafe/restaurant. The Main Room, People and Gold in pre-Hispanic Colombia, displays the work of goldsmiths in the various cultures of what is now Colombia before the Spanish conquest. Each culture has a hall: Calima, Quimbaya, Muisca, Zenu, Tierradentro, San Augustín, Tolima, Tayrona and Uraba, plus another for the years following the arrival of the Spanish. Third floor rooms, The Flying Chamanic and The Offering, are rooms devoted to religious artifacts, the latter divided into three parts: the Offering Room, the Offering Boat, and the Lake. The Profunditation Room features videos about the most important items among the museum's gold pieces.
The Working of Metals gallery describes the mining, smelting and metalworking processes behind every metal object seen in the Gold Museum. Pottery, wood, stone, shell and textile objects are also on display.