SINCE GROWING UP in the flatlands of southern Minnesota, I’ve gravitated to mountains. Now I live in the Colombian Andes, where clouds envelop my house. On vacation, I prefer a snow-capped peak to a sun-dappled beach. Even my recent excursion to the Colombian rainforest turned into a high-altitude adventure.
The destination was Los Cerros de Mavecure, three massive rock formations that incongruously heave up from the jungle floor of eastern Colombia. The buttes, the largest of which rises 2,360 feet above sea level, are spiritual totems for the region’s Puinave and Curipaco Indians, and for visitors, they can seem as majestic as Machu Picchu. But unlike the crowds that clamber up that Incan citadel in the Peruvian Andes, not many tourists make their way to Mavecure.