Andrew Dier

Villa de Leyva’s Dinosaur Museums

During the Cretaceous period (66-145 million years ago), the area around Villa de Leyva was submerged in an inland sea. Today there are a handful of paleontological sites worth visiting, where you can view fossils of parts of massive dinosaurs to small ammonites, of which there are thousands–excavations still continue. If you have kids, don’t miss the informative park geared towards them.

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Discover Cali, Colombia

Cali’s relaxed place is evident everywhere you go in this diverse city of three million. This is not a city packed with must-see sights, yet tourists keep falling in love with the “Sultan of the Valley.” Is it that late refreshing afternoon breeze? The people? Or is it the salsa? We do know this: Discovering Cali for yourself is the best way to find out.

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Colombian Food in Villa de Leyva

If you’re looking for a taste of deliciously authentic Colombian food, Villa de Leyva and the surrounding area play host to a plentiful array. While there are upscale restaurants in the area, sticking to the same path the locals tread gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the experience, and it’s far easier on your wallet.

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Tunja’s Historic Churches

Tunja is a city of churches, with over a dozen that date to colonial times. Everything you need to see here is located in its centro histórico, and make sure you arrive during church visiting hours, as the city does not have much else to offer. And most importantly, learn about the beautiful architecture and history of each one before you see it in person; you’ll appreciate your visit so much more for it.

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Where to Eat in Cartagena’s Old City

Seafood reigns supreme in Cartagena cuisine, and though many restaurants in the Walled City sport Manhattan prices, an inexpensive meal is not impossible to find. Here are local favorites from Caribbean-influenced dishes to always-popular pizza and pasta to truly authentic fritos, all with an Old City touch and a perfectly-matched drink.

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Plan a Visit to Colombia’s Parque Nacional Natural Utría

Colombia’s Parque Nacional Natural Utría has a spectacular location on the edge of the jungle but close to some great beaches. The best way to experience the park is to stay in one of its cabins during the week, allowing you unfettered access to all the guided nature walks, kayaking, snorkeling and more, as well as immersing yourself completely in this beautiful landscape.

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A Taste of Salsa in Cali

In Cali, there are many ways you can get a taste of (and very likely get hooked on) salsa. From cabaret-style environments to open-air freebies to salsatecas—clubs where it’s all about salsa and nothing more—here are the best venues to seek out for a true salsa experience.

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Where to Eat Colombian Food in Medellín

The revitalization and resurgence of Medellín beginning in the early 2000s has also led to culinary revolution, with countless new dining options popping up throughout the city. While the best neighborhoods for dining are Provenza and El Poblado and the Zona M in Envigado, these specific restaurants do it best when it comes to excellent Colombian cuisine.

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Hiking to Laguna Verde

The hike up to Colombia’s sulfurous Laguna Verde, a dazzling, emerald green crater lake on the north side of the dormant Volcán Azufral, is easy to make from Pasto. A sacred site for the Pasto indigenous people, the volcano is part of the Nudo de los Pastos mountain range and requires some preparation and an afternoon to scale.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.