Adventures in Colombia: Cocaine! And Hey, ‘The FARC Are Nearby? Cool!’
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 04.01.08 | 11:35 AM ET
We’ve been writing for some time about the resurgence of tourism in Colombia, thanks largely to a drop in drug-related violence and crime. Even the New York Times jumped on the cheerleading bandwagon. This week, while acknowledging the trend, the Guardian reports on the small but “growing minority” of backpackers and travelers who are more interested in sampling the other Colombia. Namely, the Colombia made infamous by its cocaine trade and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas.
“It’s hardly shocking that some travellers in Colombia can’t resist trying the country’s most famous product, but it seems the drug is becoming a tourist attraction in itself,” reports the Guardian. “Just as you try steak in Argentina and caipirinhas in Brazil; in Colombia, you sample the coke.”
Reports the Guardian:
Most visits to Colombia are, as the Foreign Office says, trouble-free. Most are drug-free, too, except perhaps for the caffeine in the spectacular Zona Cafetera region, or perhaps a shot of local firewater, Aguardiente, in the hip bars and restaurants of Bogota or Medellin.
However, for a growing minority, it’s the country’s dangerous reputation that has become the attraction, with these travellers seeming intent on pushing boundaries to get good stories to email home. (“The FARC are nearby? Cool!” I heard an Irish backpacker say.)
Ridiculous. I’d still like to see Colombia become the new New Zealand.
Related on World Hum:
* Medellín, Colombia Gets Thumbs Up From Gray Lady