Casa GalavantaSierra Nevada, Colombia
Casa Galavanta was formerly a private house but now operates as a wonderfully secluded and peaceful lodge in the heart of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. Guests are met by a fluent English-speaking customer host in a private vehicle, and driven to this charming wooden lodge at the end of a long unsurfaced road, which suddenly appears in an elevated position perched in a clearing of the cloud forest.
There are just three bedrooms and a comfortable dining / sitting room area, with large glazed windows leading out on to a deck area, with magnificent views out over the coastal plain and sea. At night, the lights of Santa Marta twinkle in the distance. The chef runs a well-known and respected local restaurant and the food is exceptional. Many ingredients are grown at the lodge and guests can discuss the meals and the source of ingredients with him.
By day the cloud can roll in off the coastal plain and dramatically envelop the lodge, often receding back down the mountain in the afternoon and early evening. The cloud forest is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, and bird watching in particular is a major activity here. But it is also a great place to relax and unwind away from the coastal heat.