Lainie Liberti, 44, is a single mom from California who has been backpacking through Central and South America with her 12-year-old son Miro since 2009. She calls their travel/learning trip "worldschooling" and documents their adventures on the blog Raising Miro on the Road of Life. Earlier this year, the pair spent three months in Colombia. Liberti shares this report.
Best moment (above): Mom and son smiling just as we embark on our six and a half hour hike through the Valle de Cocora, or the valley of the giant wax palms.
Best meal: A sampling of all of the wonderful fruits available all over Colombia. They blend the fruits into juices either with milk or water, depending on the fruit. My favorite was the nispero, which tastes like a cross between a pear and a date. When blended with milk, it's the richest milkshake you'll ever have.
Most fun: It's a toss-up between our hike through the valley of the giant wax palms and our hike into the Los Nevados mountains. They both were challenging in their own ways, but that translated into a fun adventure for both of us.
Don't miss: Having a fresh-brewed cup of coffee deep in the heart of Colombia's coffee region.
Best tip: Give yourself enough time to travel. Colombia is a large country, and each region has something very special to offer. Colombia's people are very friendly and helpful. Enjoy.
More trip highlights:
Above: Miro playing with the local kids in Taganga, Colombia.
Above: Enjoying the mud at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (mud volcano). I got in first, then had to convince the not-so-sure Miro to join me. But in the end he did, opting for not getting his face muddy as the only stipulation. The mud was thick and buoyant. We floated across the top, as our bodies glided straight across the surface of the mud.
Above: Outside the walled city of Cartagena lie the warm Caribbean waters. This shot was taken at sunset.