Guatapé, Colombia

One of the most colorful places in very colorful country, Guatapé is a delight, well worth a day trip from Medellin. Every building in the town is decorated, with bas relief panels running along the bottoms of the walls, and fancy wooden railings or window bars, all picked out in a wonderful rainbow of colors.

The wall panels in Guatape are as quirky as the owners of the homes and shops they adorn. Most are geometric designs, but some are small scenes—people, animals, local attractions, the exotic, the banal. One recurring theme that completely transcended my understanding of the local culture was a man speaking of sheep—my best guess is that he is a politician, but maybe he’s a pastor or a livestock auctioneer. My favorite was the second image below, a portrait of the little princess that lives in the house.