Colombia highlights tour, 12 days
Description of Colombia highlights tour, 12 days
Caribbean coastlines, scenic mountain views, colourful cities and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee all await in this 12 day tour of the highlights of Colombia. Tailor made to meet your travel plans, this is the perfect holiday for your first visit to this beautiful South American country.
Trip highlights include a private tour of Bogoda, the cosmopolitan capital of Colombia best known for La Candelaria, its cultural and historical centre, and a private tour of Medellin with a local guide. Once considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and former home of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, Medellin is now an up and coming city with the nickname 'City of Eternal Spring', better known for its flower festivals and public artwork. You'll also visit the beautiful old town and colonial architecture in the coastal city of Cartagena, and visit Armenia, in the heart of coffee country.
You will, of course, have time to taste some of the locally grown and processed coffee, with an interactive tour of Hacienda San Alberto, where there are panoramic views of the mountains and coffee plantations. You'll see more of Colombia's stunning scenery during a day trip to Valle de Cocora, where you can hike among the wax palms that grow in the valley, and in Tayrona National Park, where the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains meet the rainforest and lagoon-dotted coast.
You'll be staying in picturesque hotels and haciendas (country homes) throughout the tour, with all private transport and English speaking guides.
1 Reviews of Colombia highlights tour, 12 days
Reviewed on 03 Apr 2018 by Anne Maertz
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The horseback ride over boulders and wobbly "bridges" and up and down steep ravines into Tayrona, with my friend screaming all the way. It is already turning from a nightmare into a great story. :-)
On the positive side, the guides were wonderful--especially the one in Bogota. The food was fantastic (especially if you love seafood and fish!). We loved all the pubic art and the bicycle culture. The heat and humidity and sun were wonderful.
I am blogging about the trip, if you're interested in reading. The series of posts starts here: https://wp.me/s55ljm-back
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Getting in and out of Tayrona is really for people who are extremely fit and know something (anything) about riding a horse. The cabin was lovely, but Tayrona is still definitely a backpackers' destination because of how hard it is to access.
You should definitely love heat and humidity and be prepared for the altitude in Bogota.
Learn some Spanish before you go. I was really grateful at certain points that I could communicate. If you didn't know any Spanish, you could have really been stuck, trying to tell a taxi driver where to go, etc.
Be sure to enter Responsible Travel's number into What's App. There were a couple points where we weren't sure what to do. They were super responsive.
(And as very experienced travelers, we understood that "things happen.")
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I hope so. We appreciated the small hotels and local guides. We also appreciated the 5-hour drive from Tayrona to Cartagena because it gave us a glimpse into every type of life in Colombia--the slums, the big industrial city, the pretty coastline, the flat swamp lands, etc.
You could promote the locations in Cartagena that reveal stories about the slave trade more--like the church of St. Pedro Claver.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was a great introduction to the country. We wanted--and got--a whirlwind tour. We knew going in it would be tiring, but it was worth it. Ideally I would go
back and spend an extended period of time in one place.
PlanetWaste: We do not contaminate the land, sea, and waterways from rubbish and pollution. In our Colombia tours, it is very important for us to have an attitude of not contaminating the places that we visit with our passengers. We understand that every person that sings into one of our tours is essentially going to also produce contamination. That is why we have trained our guides so that we produce less waste and also that we handle waste in the most appropriate way. We strongly encourage people not to throw rubbish away and we explain why is important to have a respectful attitude to the environment that we are going to visit. Many of the places that we visit are also national parks and protected areas so we are in line with the laws and restrictions that they have and we respect them.
Suppliers: We choose suppliers that match our environmental values. Our suppliers that help us with transportation and other arrangements are people that have experience and match our beliefs on how we have to protect the environment. In the end, if we do not take care of the sites that people visit, then there cannot be a future for these places and for the tourism industry. That is the main reason why the people that work with us are very concerned on how to preserve and sustain the environment. Before approving any supplier that is going to work with us, we always follow a procedure in which we carefully consider many aspects such as price, quality of service but one of the most important aspects is that they match our principles and ideals.
PeopleFriends & Neighbors: That people that work together with us in Colombia are local people that know how and where to find all things local. We strongly support and promote the use of local restaurants and hiring local people to the hotels that we use as well as for the activities of our tours. We believe that it is essential to stimulate the Colombian economy and therefore in this tour we use the services from local people that are very well trained on how to treat our guests. In this way, tourism becomes one of the main sources of development in the country and that is how with every traveler can make his/her own contribution.
Local crafts and culture We sustain jobs and cultural diversity by supporting local craft makers and artisans and promoting cultural attractions. Our tour to Colombia is essentially focused on supporting local products and explaining what this means to the people. For example, we visit a place where local coffee is brewed and it is given to the guests. together with an interesting explanation and a taste of the product, we try to stimulate people to buy these products and support the local crafts. The handicrafts and souvenirs also serve as the instruments to demonstrate this support. Our guides and the people that meet our passengers always encourage them to support the community by purchasing something. Colombia is a country that lives of their services and their products such as coffee and other handicrafts so it is the best way to promote development in such environment.