Uncovering Colombia, small group tours

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22 Dec 2017
US $ 2450
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29 Dec 2017
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12 Jan 2018
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26 Jan 2018
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09 Feb 2018
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16 Feb 2018
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09 Mar 2018
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16 Mar 2018
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13 Apr 2018
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27 Apr 2018
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11 May 2018
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25 May 2018
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08 Jun 2018
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22 Jun 2018
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06 Jul 2018
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20 Jul 2018
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03 Aug 2018
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17 Aug 2018
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31 Aug 2018
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14 Sep 2018
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28 Sep 2018
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Uncovering Colombia, small group tours

Environment

Our commitment to responsible travel is endorsed by being a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
We provide our travelers with information on how they can reduce their negative impact and make positive contributions to the communities they will visit in Colombia.

Animal welfare
The issue of animals in captivity is a sensitive one our travelers and for our company. The situation for domestic animals in Colombia is often appalling which is why we have taken it on as our main cause.
Our guides are not permitted to take clients to places where animals are used as entertainment or are kept in poor conditions.

Waste management
In Colombia, solid waste pollution is a problem all over the country and in particular in the cities and towns. Waste disposal systems are just not adequate on the country and with a rapid increase in tourism this year alone, the problem could get worse. We suggestion the following to our travelers.
Say no to plastic bags, instead canvas bags for carry items. We suggest bringing canvas carrier bags so that you can use them for when you purchase water or souvenirs rather than the oneuse plastic bags. Also, remove packaging from items before you leave home. Drinking bottle water is a must when in Colombia only in some places, our guides will advise you on what to do.
However, as you can imagine this exacerbates an already over taxed and inadequate waste disposable system. There is an alternate to bottle water which is both good for the environment and good for your budget and that is water filtration bottles that have purification systems so you are able to refill them with tap water and you have safe water to drink.
Cigarette buts should not be dropped on streets or behind bushes but put in a trash bin or in a pocket until a trash bin is available. We recommend smokers carry a receptacle to collect their butts. Plastic film cases are excellent for this and reduce the smell!

Water
Try be aware of your water usage and take steps to minimize it when possible.
We also suggest, eco friendly toiletries especially coral safe sunscreen. A common ingredient found in chemical sunscreen is toxic to coral. We recommend mineral based sunscreen, with titanium oxide or zinc oxide which has been found not to harm reefs. Not only are these types of sunscreens better for the marine environment but they are better for your skin! Let’s help keep Colombia's coral reefs healthy.

Tourism has a great impact all over the world, our commitment and that of our travelers is to make that impact a positive one.

Community

We are passionate about Colombia, and as it is natural we want to help to maximize the benefits that tourism can bring to Colombians. Our tours help and promote the small but growing entrepreneurial activity. That is why we almost exclusively work with privately owned businesses. Our biggest challenge is to offer real experiences that some hotels could never provide.
In addition, we only work with local guides, so that the wealth our tourism brings to the island stays with hard working Colombians and the travelers are able to experience the true soul of Colombia and discover all its secrets. This is a way of traveling that helps the local communities grow and the visitors understand the real Colombian way of life.

Accommodation
We only use locally owned accommodations for our programs. In Santa Marta and Tayrona Park we use EcoHabs, which have been built using natural and local materials. In the Pacific Region and Amazon, we use community based lodging.
All the accommodations we use either have a Responsible Travel certification (country or internationally recognized certification scheme) or have a policy in place for responsible environmental practices.

Suppliers
We use one inbound operator and he is a Travelife partner

Friends & neighbours
All our excursions are booked direct with local guides for day trips. For example, the bike tour in Bogotá is locally owned and the guide’s wife offers cooking classes which we offer to our travelers. Tourists are taken to a real coffee farm, meaning a working coffee farm, not one that has been turned into tourist attraction.
We provide a list of recommended local (non chain) restaurants for each location. Other than the big cities, Bogota´, Medelli´n and Cali, the majority of the restaurants are locally owned.

Volunteering & charity
Each one of our tours and custom programs support reforestation projects throughout the country.

Local crafts and culture
Our tours offer visits to local markets and indigenous communities. We take our travelers for example to a wool workshop where local craftsmen make their products. We offer tours to the only winery in Colombia. We offer an optional food tour in Cartagena, as well as 100% community based excursion to the mangroves completed with lunch with the fisherman.

Traveling with respect
In our departure documents, we provide information about the country itself, giving a real portrait of the country and its people. This way, tourists arrive with an understanding of the culture they are going to encounter and what subjects might not be appropriate to discuss. In the case of Colombia, we advise travelers not to discuss anything having to do with Pablo Escobar or the drug trade. This is a very sore point for Colombia and they want to move beyond this image.

Our trips:
Work almost exclusively with privately owned businesses and small shops in addition to working with independent licensed guides.
Provide employment and leadership opportunities for our guides and tour leaders.
Are safe, fun and enjoyable for our travelers and the opportunity to interact with local people.
Limit the negative impacts to daily lifestyles of local people.
Actively discourage the participation of our groups in activities which exploit animals – wild or domestic. This includes zoos, aquariums, breeding farms (i.e. crocodile farm) as well as horse taxis and carriage rides. We strongly recommend alternatives, such as pedal taxis.
Do not promote visits to any dolphinariums or swim with dolphins.
Educate travelers about responsible tourism.
Help us to donate to the charity that we support.
Provide travelers with water filtration bottles in order to reduce the quantity of bottled water that must be purchased.

We want you have the best possible vacation while at the same time making a positive difference in the local communities.

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