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For the love of Petronio Alvarez…

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Every August, the city of Cali celebrates the Pacific music festival (Petronio Alvarez Festival) for 5 days. Here, they bring in various musicians from all region of the Pacific coast of Colombia. Since I started visiting Colombia in 2009, I’ve always missed this magnificent festival but this year I made it!!!

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The festival was all I expected it to be – great music and pure happiness. I’m glad I was there. Even the rain did not stop the dancing on the third day of the festival. To cap it up, I had the opportunity of meeting 2 of the 3 members of ChoquibTown – Colombia’s most celebrated Hip-Hop group.

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Before making it to Cali, I went to San Agustin to see the archaeological site (since I’m an archaeological junkie) and Popayan. I was really disappointed with both San Agustin & Popayan. San Agustin is a very ugly town and the archaeological site was equally depressing. The only good thing was the hostel I stayed – Hotel . It was up in the mountain, had very hot water for shower, Wi-Fi, and it was very clean. For Popayan, I only enjoyed meeting up with my friend Rudy. We meet up with other friends of Rudy and we cooked – I made the Nigerian Fried Rice & she made a delicious coconut milk soup from the Pacific coast of Colombia.

 col2   After Cali, I went back to Bogota and briefly visited Santa Marta. Although I have traveled a lot in Colombia, most of my travels have been within the Pacific & Andean region of the country so it was great returning to the Caribbean coast. Santa Marta is what you expect of a Caribbean town – hot climate, beautiful beach, great food (especially sea food), not fast paced and beautiful people. I enjoyed Santa Martha but was happy to return to Bogota. Visited Taganga while in Santa Martha, again I was disappointed and didn’t get the hype of the place. Taganga is supposed to be the party beach town of the Caribbean coast.
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If you ever find yourself in Colombia in the month of August – make sure to go to Cali for the Pacific Music Festival (Petronio Alvarez Festival). Search the internet for specific date as it changes every time. http://www.festivalpetronioalvarez.com/petronio/