These days, it can feel like the magic of travel — isolation, connection, new places and fresh vantage points — has been wholesale supplanted by Instagram influencers setting up photoshoots on the rim of the Grand Canyon.
What's a spectacular vista if it hasn't been monetized?
That makes it all the better when word comes of somewhere special: the kind of place you have to work to get to, and, that work completed, you're rewarded for the effort. Fitting that bill is this "hammock in the sky" in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia — one of the amenities of a $14-a-night hostel run by a man with a fondness for elevated relaxation.
For awhile, his creation qualified as the biggest hammock in the world; it's since been challenged by newscomers from the Netherlands and New York, and has been reclassified as the world's biggest "permanent" hammock. That said, we're pretty sure the Dutch/NYC versions lack the cliff aspect, which seems pretty key.
Interested in checking it out? Here's a description of the trip you'll need to take to get there: “[We drove] along treacherously cracked roads for two hours, inhaling hard at every pothole, while my friend at the wheel swore under her breath” — and that's before the road deteriorates to the point where it's only accessible by motorbike. Once you get there, don't expect a wifi connection, but there are other rewards: "It’s large, sprawling, and framed by avocado trees and brightly colored toucans."
Seems like a pretty OK trade to us.