Local Colombia Experts
The trip.me way of travel
When you travel to Colombia, you will discover everything from a wealth of golden sand beaches to snow-capped peaks to bustling metropolises to Amazon rainforests to a vast array of wildlife and incredible desert landscapes. Indeed, for all that dazzles in Colombia and demands your attention, the warmth and hospitality of the locals is what makes trips to Colombia so enchanting.
The profound sense of optimism among the locals is contagious. While there are still areas of Colombia that aren't recommended for tours, there is so much of the country open for exploration that the favorite tourist routes have become increasingly refined.
Most trips to Colombia begin in the country's capital city, Bogotá, a bustling city that sizzles with salsa and electronic music at night. By day, there are 250 kilometers (155 miles) of dedicated bicycle trails to explore, a tramway or funicular ride to the peak of Mount Monserrate, and the famous Museo del Oro, or Gold Museum, containing three floors with over 55,000 pieces of gold artwork.
Medellín is perhaps the best example of Colombia's incredible transformation. Once considered the most dangerous city in the world, civic pride and innovative policies have revitalized Medellin. One of the most amazing additions is the 259 feet of outdoor escalators that connect the community. Along with installing the escalators, the local government distributed brightly colored paint and soon the residents and shop owners began to transform their homes and neighborhoods. Today, Medellin is considered one of the most interesting cities on earth for street art, with colorful murals and lively artists filling the town.
Cartagena, on the other hand, has long been regarded as one of South America's most beautiful cities and tours here have always been popular. It is the picturesque setting of several novels from Nobel winning author Gabriel García Márquez, affectionately known as Gabo, locally. Cartegena is a major port along the Caribbean since the 15th century. No visit to the city is complete without seeing the city’s fortress, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a UNESCO world heritage site.
From there, a Colombia honeymoon may explore nearby Santa Marta, a coastal town alongside neighboring fishing village Taganga, the perfect location for a taste of Colombia's legendary nightlife. Further down the picturesque Caribbean coastline is Tayrona National Park - a haven of beaches, jungles and mountain views.
Fans of their morning java will appreciate tours of Salento in the breathtaking Cocora Valley, which is characterized by coffee farms, undulating hills and lush greenery.
Colombia tours including these highlights and more are just the start of a remarkable introduction to the country's charms, beckoning many return trips in the future.
A favorable currency exchange rate provides tremendous value for the international traveler seeking a trending destination. With a Colombia holiday package, you will be guided by a local English-speaking expert who knows the best places to visit on the Colombia private tours.
A Columbia vacation is in close proximity to the equator which means an annual temperature variance of only 3-5 degrees, generally with the cooler areas being in higher elevation. From beautiful warm beaches to moderate temperatures of the mountain cities, the climate is predictably pleasant year round.
Colombia’s diverse history provides numerous opportunities for exploration during your visit. Though once a Spanish colony, the original region was populated by two highly civilized ancient native tribes, the Taironas and the Muiscas.
Both tribes were known for their metallurgy and goldsmith expertise, as well as their tenacious spirit, proving them difficult to conquer by the Conquistadors. The Taironas were settlers of the famous Ciudad Perdida, Lost City, which predates Machu Picchu by 600 years and the Musicas are responsible for the origin of the El Dorado legend, The City of Gold.
Close to Nature
Beyond the ancient history, Colombia private tours also offer visitors the chance to see several natural resources, including Los Flamingos Natural Park, home to a flamingo sanctuary on the country’s Northern coast or and the ever-charming Isla de la Micos, Monkey Island, at the tri-point border of Peru and Brazil.
In addition to the nature and archeology, if you’re an active traveler, you can explore one of the many dedicated bicycle routes through Bogotá, zip line on longest zip line in South America in Medellín, or hike 700 steps to the top of El Peñón de Guatapé.
With all the sightseeing, you are certain to work up an appetite, and the food and drink of Colombia do not disappoint. With cultural influences from around the world, the quintessential Colombian dish is Bandeja Paisa; a colorful platter of white rice, red beans, shredded meat, chicharrón (pork rind), chorizo (sausage), morcilla (black pudding), fried egg, avocado, arepa (corn bread) and plantain.
Owing to the lack of international influence in many areas of Colombia over the years, the culture of the country remains strongly intact (and fiercely guarded) throughout the various departments of the country.
Nobody on a Colombia tour could fail to notice the diversity of Colombian culture. The differences around the country at times feel so pronounced you could be forgiven for thinking you've changed countries, rather than merely crossed into a different city.
Colombia's Caribbean, for example, is characterized by its laid-back atmosphere, where locals listen to vallenato and cumbia (original styles of Colombian music) loudly on expensive speakers attached to their bicycles. This is in stark contrast to Bogota, where salsa, electronic, rock and reggaeton are far more frequently heard (although, being the capital, there is something for everyone). Locals here are far busier and are less likely to stop in the street for a quick chat.
Overall, however, Colombian culture is brought together by a passion for life and a love for music and dance. Very few Colombians stay still when the music of Carlos Vives or Joe Arroyo start playing, and these same Colombians are more than likely to extend their hand to you to welcome you to the dancefloor.
Food in Colombia typically consists of fairly simple ingredients, with spices used sparsely. Typical Colombian dishes include the monstrous Bandeja Paisa (meat, egg, avocado, rice, sausage and more), arepas (kind of a corn-based dough), lechona (slow-cooked pork with rice), ajiaco (chicken and potato broth), sancocho (another broth), mondongo (trite soup) and arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). One thing you shouldn't miss out on is the vast array of fruits - you'll find out about many you never even knew existed. On tours around the diverse regions of the country you'll find that the gastronomical makeup changes drastically - so stay hungry!
Colombia is a year-round destination, open to tourists whenever they choose to visit. While there are rain seasons along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, elsewhere these remain unpredictable and, in any case, bearable. December to March tends to be drier in the center of the country while the "wet" season along the Caribbean Coast is said to be in October and November. Take this information with a pinch of salt, however, as the weather is generally very consistent.
Everything was well planned out and she was very patient with me as we needed time to determine exactly how many days we could spend there, and when we wanted to transfer from one city to the next. She was also able to coordinate with shenanigans that we booked on our end into our itinerary.
We were able to get in a variety of tours and it was great paying a little bit extra for a translator as needed during the tours and transfers.
The only thing I didn't like was that one of the Santa Marta tours was supposed to be a two hour drive from our hotel and wound up being about 30-45min away. He didn't take us to where we were supposed to go, but we still got to see a new place. I thought it was weird buying cookies for the traditional Indians of Colombia so we could take pictures with them. We never requested to have pics with them either.
Loved the mangrove fishing tour in Cartagena that they planned out for us. Our English speaking guide was awesome too!
Karol has been very professional and also very kind when on the phone with me. She not only arranged a fantastic trip for us, but also did her best to solve problems that occurred during the journey. The problems were due to flight delays - huge delays (first in Pereira, then in Cartagena) and rebooking the missed flight to Santa Marta) - so not her fault at all.
The arrangements met our expectations and we liked the places in which she had booked our hotels as well as the excursions and driver service which was excellent.
Colombia is a very interesting country. The people are nice and pleasant. The food is great. Visiting the Amazon was a dream come true.
Karol did a great job. The hotels, their guides, the sites we visited, the drivers. Everything was excellent. Too bad that very few people in the country understand English. Everyone knew their work. It's important that drivers know English too. I highly recommend the company. And Karol in particular.
Daniel was a great tour guide for my daughter & me. We did a graffiti tour! He was considerate, gentlemanly, very funny & informative! It was our BEST tour of the trip!
Normally when we travel we do most planning on our own. Not knowing a lot about Colombia we decided to get some insight from a local agency. I goggled "Travel Agencies in Colombia" Three came back that I felt comfortable contacting.
I contacted all three and Julia with Trip.me was the first to respond. The second responded shortly there after and the third never responded. This was August of 2018 and we were planning for a February/March 2019 trip. Julia listened to all our requests and put up with literally hundreds of emails and several phone calls, over many months. She made adjustments when requested and understood our budget constraints. One of the most important reasons we went with Julia and Trip.me was the ability to book some items through Trip.me and book some items on our own.
We just returned from 32 days in Colombia and everything was perfect with one exception. We had one hotel that we had an issue with, Julia quickly took care of this for us. To me that was a true sign of a great agency, they could have simply washed their hands of the situation but instead they turned a lemon into lemonade. Julia booked multiple guides and drives, many activities, several flights, and many hotels, what are the odds that only one was below expectations and all the rest above. We had such great experiences all thanks for Julia and Trip.me. P.S. As a bonus we even go to meet Julia when we were in Bogota.