Ignacio Carrillo spent much of his life travelling through northern Colombia singing vallenato, a popular form of folk music. He accompanied himself on his legendary accordion, said to be cursed by the devil. Eventually Ignacio got married and gave up his itinerant ways, settling in a small town. When years later his wife suddenly dies, Ignacio decides to make a trek to the coast, to return his accordion to its previous owner, his former teacher and mentor.
Accompanying Ignacio is Fermin, a boy with romantic notions of becoming a juglar—a wandering musician—as Ignacio once was. Ignacio tries to discourage Fermin, as the life of a juglar brings only solitude and sadness. As they travel the awesome landscape—through savannah, desert and forest, and over mist-wreathed mountains—man and boy share a series of almost mystical adventures. These adventures not only bring them closer together, but also closer to their journey’s haunting, unexpected end.