Local Colombia Experts
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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.
Laura was very responsive during our initial back and forth as we worked out the details of our trip. We wanted to make some adjustments. She always responded with a day.
The trip was excellent. We had a very satisfying experience. We received ample pre-trip documentation about hotels, airline flights, daily itinerary and what to expect in Colombia. There were no snags at all with any of this. Very rarely is a trip perfect. In retrospect, there were a few minor things we might have changed. But nothing that affected the overall experience. We would definitely recommend the trip.
If you want to visit Colombia contact Laura...you will never forget it.
The trip was very good. The organization and the cooperation of Camila was perfect. Everything was fine.
However, there are some points that I want to mention and where Camila had absolutely no influence on, as for example the postponing of the hour of departure for the flight to Neiva and the cancellation of the direct flight from Medellin to Cartagena so we had to fly via Bogota and arrived half a day later in Cartagena. But I think those are South-American situations.
Then there was the journey from Salento to Medellin organized by Living Trips. After a trip of 11 hours we arrived at our hotel in Medellin. Over a distance of 250 km with 2 normal stops (sanitary and lunch) but there were still several other stops, one of which was very long, for road building. There was also very busy traffic. Especially large trucks.
We understand these situations, but why couldn't there be a vehicle where 3 adults with 3 large suitcases and hand luggage could sit comfortably. We made this trip with a Renault Duster. There were even 2 hand luggage between us in the back seat. All other trips we had a luxury van with a place for 6 to 7 passengers.
Then there was Nestor our guide in Salento. He was very friendly, but his English could be much better. I think Living Trips should be aware of this.
Our other guides, such as Fabio in Bogota, Juliana in Neiva, San Agustin and Popayan, Ligia in Medellin and Caesar in Cartagena were all very good guides.
What the hotels concerned there was not one that really disappointed us. Maybe was the choice of our first hotel Casa Guadalupe in Bogota not what we had expected, as well as hotel La Herreria Colonial in Popayan. All other
hotels were quite good. Of course you can’t compare hotels like GHL Neiva, Lomas 10 in Medellin and Casa Pizarro Boutique Hotel in Cartagena with hostels as Huaka-Yo in San Agustin or The Dreamer Hostel in Palomino. But without prejudice to these two hostels. They were both very well located and the food was very good.
The best hotel on our trip, in terms of building, Interior, location, room, bathroom with hot water in the shower and the sink was still without a doubt Terrazas de Salento.
At the latest we also want to underline that any contact in the hotels, the restaurants, as with the guides, the drivers, the people of Trip.me or any other person in all of your beautiful country incredibly friendly was!
Laura did a fantastic job. Our trip to Colombia worked out perfectly. All services on time + punctual. GREAT! WELL DONE!