From Quito I went to explore Colombia. I entered the country at the border crossing of Tulcán (Ecuador) and Ipiales (Colombia) and continued by bus to Popayán and then further to Cali. See the following map for an approximation of the route.


The south of Colombia is not the safest place to travel. The FARC and other guerilla groups are still present and active in this area of South America, so I was especially careful. But besides the threat of attacks by the aforementioned guerilla movements it's a beautiful part of the world, which is almost undiscovered by tourists and backpackers. You will find friendly people, lots of nature (amazing mountain ranges), small cities like Ipiales (with the famous Las Lajas Sanctuary as the main attraction) or Popayán (with its beautiful colonial architecture, lots of students and a gastronomy which is also noted by the UNESCO) and huge cities like Cali (which is loud and dirty but has this distinct Colombia charm which is very difficult to put into words). Here are some of the pictures I took.