Colombia holiday, cities and coast
Description of Colombia holiday, cities and coast
Colombia may have had a difficult reputation in the past but this holiday to the country’s cities and coast will put any preconceptions that you have firmly to rest. Here you’ll meet dynamic urban centres, a welcoming population and incredible natural beauty, both in the interior and along the coast. You’ll travel along with a small group and expert guides, staying in comfortable local hotels and travelling by road and by air.
Highlights of the trip include exploring the fascinating colonial heritage and vibrant cultural life in the photogenic cities of Cartagena and Villa de Leyva; hiking and visiting farms and villages in the lush hills of the Coffee Zone; and exploring the beautiful beaches and wild rainforest tracks of Tayrona National Park. After two weeks spent in this diverse, beautiful and friendly country, you’re sure to return home singing its praises.
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PlanetOn this tour we visit Tayrona National Park. The fees that we pay for entering contribute to maintaining vital conservation efforts to preserve local wildlife.
We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted.
PeopleOur philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.