Literary fans will now easily be able to visit Aracataca, the birthplace of 1982 Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the fictional town of Macondo is modeled after Aracataca, where the author was born in 1927 and where grew up with his grand-parents.
Visitors can board a chiva bus, a folkloric party bus, in Barranquilla, for $42 dollars, or Santa Marta, for $39 dollars, that will take them on the one-hour ride to Aracataca. Or visitors can take a five-hour train ride along the Caribbean Sea with panoramic views of banana plantations.
Once in Aracataca, they will be taken to a reconstructed version of Garcia Marquez’s childhood home, which cost $600 million pesos (about $35,000 dollars) to rebuild, as well as places where he spent his childhood and teen-age years which are believed to have influenced his writing.
This is a fantastic idea for bringing tourism to northern Colombia. However, I would rather store in my imagination my version of the Buendía family’s home, and not have it influenced by the tourism office’s version.