If you are a fan of something, you are likely to travel to have unique experiences with that thing, should you have the funds. Nowadays, cocaine lovers can participate in “cocaturisma,” defined by VICE as “the pursuit of the drug as a tourist attraction.” The place to go for such tourist activities is Colombia. Though the nation was ousted from it’s position as the world’s top cocaine producer by Peru, Colombia’s infamous history with the drug is an alluring draw for coke enthusiasts around the world. The top cocaturisma activity are “classes” where participants observe the cocaine making process and get some blow to take home.
To partake in these classes, tourists have to be down for a 10-hour, overnight bus ride from Bogota through the mountains to the town of San Agustin. There, with police sometimes watching, for about $60, they are taken to the family home of a cocaine maker. Much of the time, the host was involved in Colombia’s cocaine underworld. Meeting the coke man’s family is commonplace in accounts of the experience. While there, participants watch and get to help out with cutting the wet, high quality Colombian coca leaves with a machete; mixing them with chemicals (sulphate, ammonia, cement, gasoline, sodium bicarbonate and bleach) in a bucket during the alkaloid extraction process; and placing the remains under a light bulb. The tourists are then gifted with a gram to three grams of disco shit to snort.
However, these tours are being watched by the cops and participating tourists get arrested. “Tourists get caught because they are so obvious,” a cocaturisma entrepreneur named Alberto told VICE. “They are arrested after stepping off the buses. Other tour guides used to take people to factories and then informed police once they returned to their hostel. The police get a big cut. It’s more dangerous now, so I’m doing my classes here. I don’t work with the police, so the prices are less.”
These classes can also be dangerous. The toxic fumes pose a threat yo one’s health and it is also presumable that some of the well-off European tourists who attend these classes could be kidnapped.
Nevertheless, the cocaturisma industry is the in-thing to do for blow buffs.