To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
8

Mixing Fantasy and Reality in Aracataca, Colombia

For more on life in Aracataca and Gabriel García Márquez, explore the Aracataca location page.

Aracataca, Colombia, is a place where reality and fantasy seem to blend. Nobel Prize-winning writer Gabriel García Márquez was born here, and it was the inspiration of Macondo, the fictional town in his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

“It’s a small town submerged in its own history. People still live from old traditions,” says Wilfrido Mercado (@wilfridomercado), a local resident who says every time he travels and feels nostalgic, he opens one of García Márquez’s novels. “Reading his books, I can remember the smell of wet soil in Aracataca on any April’s afternoon.”

Life in Aracataca runs at a different pace. People bathe in the river and take a long nap after lunch to withstand the severe heat. “In Aracataca anything can happen, any lie can become a truth,” says Wilfrido.