Tag Archives: Colombia

Hotel Sochagota – Paipa, Colombia

socha-001Sochagota Lake as seen from room

Hotel Sochagota

57 (1) 623 4992
57 (8) 785 0011
Km 2 via  Las Pisinas
Paipa, Boyaca , Colombia


The Hotel Sochagota in Paipa, Boyoca (just 2.5 hours outside of Bogota), is a piece of 70’s architecture that feels lifted from one of the Sean Connery era Bond films.  It’s long, low ceilinged structure cries out for a renovation (and super villains), but you don’t come to Paipa for the architecture – You come for the stunning landscape and the healing mineral thermal waters.

The Hotel Sochagota is situated on the edge of the Sochagota lake.  A large, conspicuously round body of water surrounded by rolling green hills dotted with trees.  The department of Boyaca can be quite deceiving at times- often times tricking your mind that you are in the Swiss Alps, when in fact you are still in Colombia!




The Hotel offers a Standard Room which hasa balcony with lake and garden views.  Or, as we recommend, you can opt for a private cabin which has 2 sleeping rooms, terrace, fire place (as for wood at the front desk) and, most importantly, a private thermal bath! This is quite convenient as the main pool closes early, and … it’s private 🙂

The key to Paipa is the water.  It is heated by deep underground volcanic vents which infuse it with minerals.  This makes for a highly rejuvenating bath that soothes away pain and ache.  Being devotees of bath culture from Budapest to Japan, we say that Paipa offers some of the best water to be found.  We highly recommend the private cabin and a day and night of solid soaking!

foto0004Hotel Sochagota natural hot thermal water pool

Hotel Sochagota can organize a horse back riding tour of the surrounding area; or you can relax at the spa treatments or take a lovely walk in the forest.  We didn’t look into it, but we saw people sailing, water and jet-skiing, etc on the lake and I’m sure you could do any of those.

The menu, like the architecture,  is also stuck in the 70s; only eat at the hotel in a pinch.  There are a bunch of local restaurants on the road to town.  We frequented the little roadside gem, Frutilandia! They saved us from our hunger with addicting Almohabanas (a pastry typical from the region); Changua (milk soup with poached eggs cilantro cheese and scallions- see photo below) and Cuajada, a soft white cheese similar in flavour to cottage cheese and usually served with caramel on top (you can order it plain and it is very good with olive oil and salt).


Socha-000(above photo ©Matthew Shewfelt) Sochagota Lake


(above left photo ©Patton) “Monument to “Los Lanceros”, created by Rodrigo Arenas Betancur conmemorating the Pantano de Vargas Battle in July 25th 1819, which was decicive for Colombia’s Independence.  You can visit this monument on the road to the hotel

socha(above photo ©Amelia Mendez) Changua – Traditional Colombian Milk Soup




foto0014Hotel Sochagota view from the room’s terrace

Los Girasoles – Cartagena, Colombia


Los Girasoles

Reataurant – Healthfood Store
(57) 5 – 664 5239
(57) 5 – 660 2625
Calle de los Puntales No 37-01, San Diego
Cartagena,  Colombia

7:00 am – 6:30 pm   Everyday

Girasoles is a moderately priced vegetarian Restaurant and health food store.

Girasoles offers complete lunch specials, but you have to arrive early as they run out of  food starting about 1:30 PM.

It is also a good place to buy groceries, including free range eggs, whole wheat bread and the must delicious sesame seed horchata! If you bring an empty bottle,  they will fill it with the horchata, with or without sugar, and the same goes for the daily juice.


los-Girasoles-011Horchatas and carrot Juice


los-Girasoles-010Vegetarian Empanadas, whole wheat pizza and cakes



Crepes & Waffles – Cartagena, Colombia


Crepes & Waffles

(57) 5 – 664 6062
Calle Baloco Edificio Piñeres,
Cartagena,  Colombia

Calle San Pedro Claver con esquina Calle de la Amargura
Cra 4 # 31-24  Cartagena,  Colombia

10:00 – 23:00   Daily

Featuring an extensive menu of soups, salads,  pancakes, sweet and savory crepes, waffles, Ice cream, shakes, Crepes is a Colombian staple.  Good food at a good price.

The Newer San Pedro Claver location is larger and has a lovely roof top lounge with an amazing view of the old city

There are also plenty vegetarian and vegan options.

Serves Breakfast daily until 11:00 am.


creps-001 Calle Baloco Edificio Piñeres Location
 Crepes-1Calle San Pedro Claver Location
Crepes-2Calle Baloco Edificio Piñeres Location