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Viva Colombia: A Photographic Discovery

Thurs Sept 25th – Sun Oct 5th 2014 – COLOMBIA WORKSHOP

6-9 participants $3650 each based on double occupancy; 10-12 participants $3350 each.

Note: $725 for a Single Supplement; $250 discount for Registration’s received prior to June 25th, 2014. 

Instructor:  Adam L. Weintraub

 

INTRO:

A la Ordén! “At your Service” defines this special country. Isolated for decades through its back-and-forth paramilitary problems, Colombia is now exploding with charisma, foreign investment and hospitality, showing the world what we missed. Better late than never! Colombians themselves claim, the only risk is that you’ll want to stay!

 

Full of enthusiasm, passion and pride, Colombians relish in showing a humble foreigner the pleasures of their country: the lush verdant mountains frolic towards the warm Caribbean coast. The fertile Andean plains thrive with old-world fincas and classic colonial villages, complete with cobblestone streets, charming plazas and – again – humble and passionate folks anxious to invite you to get to know their place a little better.

 

In this photographic tour of Colombia, we’ll work with welcoming locals in small, highland villages, outgoing Caribbean coastal natives as well as the unique UNESCO-protected site of Cartagena, truly a photographer’s paradise; we’ll top it off with an unforgettable experience in the lap of luxury on a small Caribbean island.

 

Daily Itinerary (see further descriptions below):

 

Day 1 – Thursday, Sept 25th – Arrival Bogota

Group inaugural dinner

Hotel B3; D.

 

Day 2 – Bogota

Cool Candelaria; Montserrat; Museo del Oro, Botero Museum  and the old town around.

Hotel B3; B, L.

 

Day 3 – Bogota – Boyoca

We’ll leave the hustle of the capital and head to the fertile farmlands and quaint villages of the not-too-remote Colombian countryside. The verdant rolling hills and the distant villages pock-mark the landscape, famous for its prehistoric dinosaur past. We’ll nestle into our post-colonial agro-turistic hacienda for the night – a true relic with picturesque views and sweeping grounds.

Hotel Finca Suescun; B, L, D.

 

Day 4 – Sept 28th – Boyoca, Villa de Leyva

We’ll continue exploring this unique region, taking a short but scenic drive to the famous town of Villa de Leyva. We’ll explore this village, bask in the evening glow of the surrounding light.

Hospederia el Marques San Jorge; B, L, D.

 

Day 5 – Boyoca Villa de Leyva

We’ll stop at the famous market town of Raquira and a few other local villages, getting to know the local hot spots for ceramics and weaving, among other craft villages.

Hospederia el Marques San Jorge; B, L, D.

 

Day 6 – Leyva-Bogota-Cartagena

An early morning departure for the Bogota airport, on our way to transcendent Cartagena. After lunch, we’ll embark on a casual walking tour of Barrio Getsemeni – maybe a bit like Venice without the water…

Evening free to wander, make images or shop.

Hotel Las Carretas; B, L.

 

Day 7 – Oct 1st – Cartagena

Up early for the local’s extraordinary Basturo Market (no foreigners here!) and back for a late breakfast.  A locally-guided walk through historic Cartagena, taking in the famous walled fortress and now top-notch tourist destination.

Hotel Las Carretas; B, L.

 

Day 8 – Cartagena – Punta Faro on Isla Mucura

Parque National Natural Los Corales del Rosario y de San Bernardo and a private guided tour of the small village on other side of island. Enjoy drinks and the Caribbean sunset on our own private island.

Hotel Punta Faro; B, L D.

 

Day 9 – Punta Faro – Islota Sana Cruz – Punta Faro

A short 15 minute boat ride over to the unique island-village of Santa Cruz. Compact streets remind you of a small Italian village while the Caribbean coral surrounding the place provides near unlimited natural resources that the inhabitants seem to gather in a most harmonious water-world like way. If only Kevin Kostner were with us…

Hotel Punta Faro; B, L D.

 

Day 10 – October 4th – Punta Faro – Cartagena

We return from our private get away to the romantic color-scapes of Cartagena for our last afternoon, free to explore. Group farewell dinner.

Hotel Las Carretas; B, L.

 

 

 

Bogota

The capital city of Colombia, Bogota mixes peoples from all over the country and abroad. It is a thriving and cultured city, with long boulevards, trees and delicious dining if you know where to look. It’s nestled into the surrounding mountains with the church of Montserrat perched above, visible from every street. We’ll take the 100 year-old funicular up the hillside and gather perspective on the geography below. As we descend back into the throes of the capital, we’ll head over to the Candelaria neighborhood to see the formal and stately capital buildings intertwined with contemporary commercial structures.  The narrow streets, distant mountains and city chaos make it a wonderful context in which to work.

 

Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is a destination unto itself. A religious and historical town, it feels more like an Italian or Spanish village rather than a new-world colonial holdout. It lingers in time on the rich farming soils of the region of Boyoca, about three hours from the capital, Bogota. The indigenous people, Muisca, long-since extinguished, still impart flavor in the handicrafts, traditions and food. We’ll work on the town’s outskirts prior to coming and spending a full two days investigating one of the real gems in this country.

The fertile valleys and towns that dot the countryside surrounding Villa de Leyva bring charm and context to this area. Ranches – known as fincas here in Colombia – are relics from the Western past that continue to operate much as they used to.  Each village has its principle plaza and surrounding portico or balcony façade.  Surrounding each village are the working fincas of the land barons and wool farmers of the past; only they still operate much as they did.

 

Cartagena de las Indias

The most important tourist hub in South America, Cartagena is a gem. Old world colonial façades mask modern boutique hotels and restaurants on the inside. Narrow streets with horse-drawn carriages prance past and the Caribbean evening light reflects ambers and lavenders overhead. Shopping, eating and walking throughout the center of this spectacular walled fort are certain distractions. We’ll not only get a private tour of the historical components but will wander through the evolving Getsemeni residential district as well. This tucked-away neighborhood, ten minutes walk from the center, gets us a little closer to every-day reality for the locals.

 

Islote Santa Cruz, Mucura and Punta Faro

Great images are hard to make and sometimes you gotta work hard to find that amazing moment, suffering under severe conditions. Not here! On Punta Faro, we’re treated to luxury resort service and comforts – an exclamation point to our journey after a week of image-making. But we’re not done – Punta Faro gives us something else that few others get to experience: direct and local access to one of the little-known places in Colombia, Islote Santa Cruz. This is the world’s most densely populated island, about 4000sqft of space, with hundreds of descendants from just a few original families. Compact streets remind you of a small Italian village while the Caribbean coral surrounding the place provides near unlimited natural resources that the inhabitants seem to gather in a most harmonious water-world like way.  Local crab, fish, turtle, shark and stone are abundant and are seen constantly; evening light brings out the dominoes, the children and the fresh-cooked fish. Foreigners are seen as a positive influence and we’re given almost complete and honest access to one of the more unique experiences in Colombia.