Monday, November 26, 2012

Off the Beaten Track - La Vega, Colombia

The Lagoon Park, La Vega
Written by Karen.
After making our way from the small town of San Francisco (Enchanted Garden) and grabbing a bit to eat on the way, we drove further south to the small town of La Vega. 

The road to La Vega is narrow and rutted, and the scenery is overwhelmingly green, lush and tropical.  The outside air is warm, moist and deeply scented.  I try and identify the smells - they vary between vanilla, peat moss, and a variety of ripe fruit.  

Hibiscus plants grab my attention with their vivid colors amidst the dark green foliage.  Plants that I am used to seeing as house plants grow wild here and are super-sized. Banana trees, drooping vines, moss, fruit trees, green fronds and bamboo-like trees abound as we make our way into La Vega.

We were here to visit the lagoon on the outskirts of town. The lagoon is a beautiful and out-of-the way park with cicada-like crickets in the background, the sticky heat of the tropics, and the smells and sights of the jungle to take in.  

Our friend, Carolina, told us that just 8 years ago, this place wouldn't be safe to visit because of the guerrillas.  On this day, however, the park was full of families relaxing at the entrance of the lagoon eating ice cream, or feeding the fish in the lagoon and taking hikes.  Cost: 3,000 COP (approximately $1.67 USD each).  

As Adam and I hiked around the lagoon ourselves, there were many times when we were completely alone.  When we stopped to catch our breath, we could see, feel and hear the beauty of the jungle that completely surrounded us:  Tropical flowers, rippling fronds, moist rocks and ferns, mossy greens, multi-colored lichen, cicada-like cricket sounds, huge red ants marching across the trail, birds singing, fruit trees and the rustling of the breeze with spears of light filtering through the greenery.  

Entrance to the park

Fish feeding frenzy

Jungle views

Hiking to the top of the mountain surrounding the lagoon.

Small island in the lagoon
You can see the fish in the background.

Jungle views from the top of the mountain surrounding the lagoon.
View of the lagoon from the top of the mountain.
View of the lagoon as we hiked back down towards the park entrance.


David in SF said...

It looks really beautiful- a nice change after last week's explosive experience! Looks very serene and with all those flowers one can almost smell the clean air- geeze, living in the middle of SF makes me want to breathe that into my lungs right now! That San Francisco and *this* San Francisco in which I live are very different in terms of air quality, not to mention the amount of flowers!

Observers of Life said...

Hi David!

The lagoon was really beautiful and off the beaten track. It was nice to chill in such a calm and restful place. I think the San Francisco that you're describing is similar to Bogota!