Adventures in Colombia: Cocaine! And Hey, ‘The FARC Are Nearby? Cool!’

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  04.01.08 | 11:35 AM ET

imageWe’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.”

Among the places mentioned in Colombia is Ciudad Perdida, with its tourist-friendly “cocaine factory.” (Last year, we noted writer Emily Maloney’s account of her visit to the place.)

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

Photo by ho visto nina volare via Flickr, (Creative Commons).



2 Comments for Adventures in Colombia: Cocaine! And Hey, ‘The FARC Are Nearby? Cool!’

Colombia Travel Guide 04.15.08 | 12:41 AM ET

Idiotic tourists like these should stay away from Colombia - they won’t be welcome by the vast majority. Snorting coke is for complex-ridden losers - and by taking the drug, users help fund terrorists who kidnap, murder and bomb innocent civilians, recruit child soildiers and displace indigenous tribes.  Get a life - and get a conscience.

RM 06.26.08 | 8:00 PM ET

I agree, clowns like you should stay home in your mid-west hole with your roommates taking care of your basement pot plantation. Hypocrit people like you are not welcome in Colombia, but if you do sneak in, at least you should visit a hospital or a cemetery where the victims of your hunger for coke reside. Look at your self in the mirror.

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