April 14th, 2008
05:09 PM ET

Anderson's view: A week in Colombia

So I’m back, and yes I actually did take a whole week off. I can't remember the last time I did that. As I’ve said before, I don't relax all that easily and since most of my vacation days are used up shooting stories for 60 Minutes, I rarely take a whole week off. I spent last week in Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia.

Many of you will say to yourselves, "why in the world would anyone go there for vacation?" But the truth is, it's a great place to go. Cartagena is an old colonial city that, even during the worst years of violence in Colombia, was a safe spot. Bogota is a vibrant, chaotic place, that hums with life. It's got great food and music. There are huge problems with violence in Colombia, narco=traffickers and armed groups are still out of control, but the violence is way down, and at no time did I feel unsafe.

Everywhere I went in Colombia, complete strangers, who didn’t recognize me from television, asked me if I was enjoying my trip, and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to make it better. Anyway, it was nice to discover a new place, and I will definitely be going back.

Campbell Brown and Erica Hill did a great job while I was away, and I want to thank them for holding down the fort.

Tonight we focus on the race in Pennsylvania. The ongoing back and forth about bitterness, and how it is playing on the trail. We also go in depth on the ongoing drama in Texas over the polygamist compound, and the repercussions last weeks raid is having on polygamist communities across the country and in Canada.

I will be broadcasting from Miami tonight, and back in New York tomorrow. It's good to be home, and I will see you later tonight.
– Anderson Cooper

Filed under: Anderson Cooper
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. David R. Atlanta, GA

    Good you enjoyed your time in Colombia, and THANK YOU for talking good about my country.
    It's been almost a decade since I was last able to go there...
    Really like the podcast. I found it and looked for the CNN channel... but unfortunately I changed satellite provider recently and no longer have CNN... Still, good podcasts.

    -To the 12 people that spelled Colombia wrong.
    Anderson went to South America, colOmbia.
    Not colUmbia (MO, TN, MD, KY, MS, LA, IL, PA). Nor did he go to colUmbia city, IN.

    April 15, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  2. Amira, from Mexico

    Hey Anderson!

    It's nice to know you finally took some time off. Lucky Colombians! I'm not surprised they treated you well, that's the way we are in Latin America. Next time consider coming to Mexico, you' ll be more than welcome. There are a lot of beautiful places here, not only the beaches and the big cities, but the small towns too! If you enjoyed Colombian food, you wil love Mexican food (I mean the REAL Mexican food, not Taco Bell)

    Take care,.


    April 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  3. Chérie

    Welcome back Anderson. Lucky you to get away from all the non sense of Billhary even for a week.

    April 14, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  4. Ramone Diaz, Venezuela

    Welcome back Anderson. Hi Erica 🙂
    Colombia is indeed a nice vacation spot mostly prefered by intelectual people 🙂 I knew you weren't the kind of man who would spent vacations on a casino in Las Vegas. Good for you!

    April 14, 2008 at 11:09 pm |
  5. ariston I miami beach, FL

    Good job on your speech in Miami tonight. I've heard you speak before, and I thought in the past you've taken too many excerpts from your book.
    This was a great speech, you had the crowded going, and it's so amazing how you can connect with college students as well as seniors that attended the event.

    Take care,


    April 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  6. Anthony

    Hey Anderson,
    Your speech tonight at the University of Miami was awesome, really insightful and interesting. And it was really cool getting to meet you afterwards. Though as a political science major I have to admit, I'm much less confident about my degree then I was before your speech began. lol.

    Take care

    April 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm |
  7. Suzanne P.

    Welcome back Anderson! Sounds like a great vacation. I'm glad you got to get some rest and relax and recharge the batteries so to speak.

    Glad you are back though. We all missed you although Erica and Campbell did wonderful jobs substituting.

    Suzanne P
    Knoxville TN

    April 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  8. Michelle Fischer- Lafayette IN

    Hi Anderson,

    Your vacation in Colombia sounded like a wonderful, mesh of cultures, sights, and a "recharge your batteries" kind of vacation, so happy that you could get away after working so hard this last couple of months!!

    I know you probably didn't want to come back to work and be recognized for who you are(I don't blame you, its hard to be known all the time) but it is good to have you back relaxed and refreshed!
    Have a great show!
    Michelle (-:

    April 14, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  9. Tara Michelle Irani

    Thank you for speaking at the University of Miami tonight!!!
    You are wonderful and were such a great speaker.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm |
  10. mona

    Hi Anderson,
    Welcome back, hi Erica.

    It is amazing to hear Cathy view on the community. Will this make it hard for this case to be tried. Anderson, I think you are right, it seems like she was given talking points.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  11. Kristin Sorianosos

    Welcome back! Have you considered traveling around Peru?
    I'm Filipino & Peruvian, so I think it be interesting if you reported from Peru.

    Just a thought 🙂

    Sunny San Diego, California

    April 14, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  12. debbie new york

    Hi Anderson

    Welcome back. I hope you really have a good week vacation. Now my Question to you .Are you taking Couric anchor chair. If you do I will missed seeing you on cnn.
    Thanks Welcome back looking forward to your broadcast tonight.

    April 14, 2008 at 10:06 pm |
  13. Rhiannon

    Little Rock

    April 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm |
  14. Jocelyne

    hello Anderson,
    welcome back...very nice to read about yr wk off... and yes, you were missed... see you later. bye, Jocelyne

    April 14, 2008 at 9:53 pm |
  15. lpfoong, Malaysia

    Wow! You took a week off and really didn't do any work? Good for you man.
    We had the ladies for a week, nice, but it's always great to have you back.

    April 14, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  16. Michele, Douglaston NY

    I am glad that you 've found the unique vacation. I really enjoy the "run away" vacations. My family can't understand me why am I so different than anyone else. I enjoy something different plus that I have a hearing impaired that doe not effect my ability to go anywhere. Last year I went to Portugal, Spain and Morocco and loved it every minutes. So, I recommend that you should go to Portugal, just for few days or so. Portugal was my second visits. It is a beautiful country, but it has some odd history.

    Welcome Back!!!

    April 14, 2008 at 9:42 pm |
  17. Carla Ontario Canada

    Hi AC glad your back, we all miss you! The ladies did a good job too.
    You will have to let us know when your story on 60mins aires so we can see it. What was it about.
    Looking forward to your show tonight, Maybe CNN should consider expanding the show to 2 hours as 1 hour and blogging and webcam goes by too fast.
    I think Obama is in hot water with his recent comments and Hillary is going to win in the end. That's my take on it.

    April 14, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  18. araseli

    It sounds like you had a lot of fun in colombia. I'll put that one on my vacation spots. Its great to have you back!!

    April 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  19. Diane

    WELCOME BACK ANDERSON & Good Grief - you actually stayed on a vacation for an entire week without going stir-crazy - is that a 1st? You were sorely missed, but knowing that you were actually enjoying yourself & relaxing - well, you are forgiven. Knowing that you are back tonight though, I'm looking forward to 360 with much renewed enthusiasm. Now, stick around for awhile, OK!

    Diane in Tustin, CA

    April 14, 2008 at 8:54 pm |
  20. Jane, Los Angeles

    Ooh. My boyfriend recently went on the same trip and he loved it. Felt safe, loved the people and the sights. I'm glad you had a good time and I hope you got to genuinely relax. If you would like another unusual destination with an exotic edge, allow me to recommend Tobago. Gorgeous, friendly, beautiful people, beautiful fish in beautiful lagoons. Welcome home!

    April 14, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    Hi Anderson

    Glad you took a week of vacation and got some rest and had a good time.. It sounds like a great trip too although I would have never thought of those places as vacation spots.

    Looking forward to the show tonight and your discussion on the race and Obama's latest remark as well as the polygamy issue.

    Erica and Campbell did a fantastic job last week but we still missed you. Welcome back.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 14, 2008 at 8:31 pm |
  22. Julie San Diego, CA

    Couldn't go to Disneyland like everyone else?

    Anderson Cooper, International Man of Mystery...

    Very good Cooper. A whole week off. You're well on your way to getting a life 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your vacation.

    April 14, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  23. Zenta, New York, NY

    I'm really glad that you're finally back, Anderson!

    April 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  24. Karen

    Hey Anderson,

    Good for you – glad you had a good va-k. Do more fun things like that for yourself – you work hard.

    Thanx for the tip about Escape – love it.

    I'm still into Hillary.

    What's up with the prices of everything going up? And now that they are up what are the chances of them ever coming back down? They go up and everyone freaks. Shouldn't we be doing things to prevent prices from rising to eliminate the freak? Put on the agenda – brainstorm ways to prevent inflation.

    Thanx again.


    April 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm |
  25. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Anderson, I'm glad you made it home safe! We missed you but you know Erica has your back. It's good to know u had a good trip, it's a shame that everything from Mexico down south is so violent because it is full of culture. see u tonight!

    April 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  26. Sahira

    Hey Anderson,

    Thanks for blogging and sharing your vacation story with us. Columbia sounds like a nice place to visit, I am glad you had fun but it's nice to have you back, you were missed!

    Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

    April 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  27. Jacqueline

    Vacation my foot! In Columbia one week and Miami the next. And you want us to believe you were on vacation. Ha! You're chasing after drug barons for a story aren't ya? LOL!
    Jacqueline, NY

    April 14, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  28. allexandra

    I'm glad you had a great trip. Cooper is back in action.

    April 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm |
  29. Brandi down the bayou.

    Welcome back, I envy you being able to travel the world and see all of its beauty. It's good that you can see the normalcy, even if only on occasion, with as much time as you spend in the trenches.

    Only one question, why no visit to NOLA? One of my friends/classmates said you are there quite often, keeps up my hope for that signature getting in my book since I was unavailable for all the signings you did. lol

    Hope you didnt forget the sunscreen. 🙂

    April 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  30. Tara, Canada


    I am glad that you had a gret vacation. It's nice to have vacations... And Colombia ... Must have been really beautiful

    Have a great Show tonight

    April 14, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  31. Alma Sheykhani Fairfield, Ca


    I am so glad your back. We missed you. You know its funny. I was thinking about where you could have gone for vacation, and I told my mom a few days ago that he likes south America, so he probably went there lol. I was right. I am glad you had a great time. I lived in Argentina for 4 years as a child. South America is beautiful. Erica did a great job on Friday. I really enjoyed her hosting for you. Have fun in Miami. Its warm like California. I can't believe its almost April 22nd, and time for Pennsylvania to vote. That went by fast. Looking forward to the coverage on that.

    See you tonight.

    April 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
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