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Contrasts Of Colombia BCO

Visiting: Colombia
Trip Duration 14 Days

Reviews for Contrasts Of Colombia

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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Contrasts Of Colombia reviews verified by reevooReevoo

19 reviews

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Contrasts Of ColombiaScores 8.7 out of 10 based on 19 reviews
(8 out of 10)


A relaxed itinery covering an interesting variety of Colombian areas.
Confirmed traveller: 12 November 2016
Published on: 17 November 2016
(8 out of 10)


Great variety in a beautiful country. John is a great tour leader.
Confirmed traveller: 28 February 2016
Published on: 02 March 2016
(9 out of 10)


Excellent trip, giving a really good overview of Colombia. I travelled in February and needed a light fleece in the evening in Bogota, but otherwise the weather was warm to hot - although the waterproof came in useful a couple of times! Particular highlights for me were the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá and the Cocora Valley.
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 13 March 2016
(7 out of 10)


Only book this tour if you are very happy to find your own way around (no problem as most towns are laid out on a grid system) and preferably speak a bit of Spanish, especially to decipher menus. There was an awful lot of free time, particularly towards the end (especially if you didn’t go on the expensive optional trips). Most of our time was spent in the beautiful towns, we didn't see much of the famed birdlife. There were no early starts and hardly any long journeys (although some were extremely bumpy - take your travel sickness remedies).

I travelled alone and arrived in the early hours but felt quite safe throughout. Colombians are incredibly polite and welcoming and very pleased to counter negative past publicity. The whole zika issue was also a non-event, as we hardly saw a mozzie from first to last. My GP had recommended anti-malarials, but I don't feel this was essential at all. Many layers is the key to clothing as temperature varied from distinctly chilly (up Monserrat) to absolutely baking in Cartagena, with some downpours at times. There are a couple of walks, but both are optional and ordinary trainers are fine.

All the hotels were of a very good standard and two had pools. Bogota hotel is well out of town (in the financial district). I tacked on a couple of extra days in Bogota at the beginning and can really recommend the Hotel Augusta – very near the Gold Museum and other attractions and very welcoming and safe. The museums and art galleries in Bogota are world class. The museums in Popayan may also be of this standard, but they are closed on Sunday pm and all day Monday - which is when we were there. Churches are also stunning throughout Colombia and religion clearly plays a big part in daily life.

The food was fine throughout, although vegetarians don't get much choice at all. The main meal is lunchtime, but you can just wander off for an hour or so and explore the local area. Colombia was much more first world than I was anticipating.

It is best to take currency in US Dollars or use ATMs. £ get a poorer exchange rate, although there was never any problem in changing money. Prices were generally cheaper than I was expecting, but Cartagena is significantly more expensive than elsewhere.

Our tour leader - John - was professional, friendly and charming throughout. He dealt particularly well with a theft during our trip and was always on top of his game - a credit to Explore.

Colombia is stunningly beautiful, its people are charming and friendly and its history fascinating. Adding a bit more "wow" to the itinerary would bring this up to one of the very best trips (my personal highlights were the salt cathedral, roaming around alone in Popayan and the museums of Bogota).
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 12 March 2016
(8 out of 10)


Aptly named -- such a wide variety of experiences in one trip. Almost everything was a highlight, and our guide, John, brought sunny enthusiasm and interesting facts to everything we saw and did.
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 09 March 2016
(9 out of 10)


Perth Australia
A great tour,a beautiful & safe country (from our experiences anyway) tour leader John was superb.
Itinerary was great some accommodation a little ordinary but normal Explore standard some very good exceeds Explores normal standard
Confirmed traveller: 26 February 2016
Published on: 18 March 2016
(6 out of 10)


The tour lived up to it's name of 'Contrasts of Colombia'. The regions visited are all very different. Excellent tour leader.
The highlights: Bogota, Salt Cathedral at Zipaquira, coffee farm, and Cartagena.
Tips: Allow some extra time to explore Bogota (include a visit to Museo Iglesia Santa Clara, Museo Historico de la Policia Nacional (an English speaking guide will take you around), and Museo Botero. Cartagena is a lot more touristy than the other areas and is also a lot more expensive. Check the status of National Parks / optionals - some were closed / not available.
Confirmed traveller: 13 February 2016
Published on: 20 February 2016
(9 out of 10)


Great knowledgable tour leader, lots of extra little trips in the tour.
Confirmed traveller: 12 February 2016
Published on: 17 February 2016
(9 out of 10)


The Tour Leader - Juan was excellent.

Down to earth, knowledgable and passionate about the country / history / culture. He cared individually and collectively about everyone in the group.

The local guides on the other hand were bordering on pointless - poor language and communication skills.

Quite a lot of free days especially at the end and if took up the offer of additional activities - money would quickly mount up.

Colombia is an amazing country.
Confirmed traveller: 30 January 2016
Published on: 18 February 2016
(8 out of 10)


This is a great trip. Colombia is fantastic and feels completely safe, although you need to be a little careful but no more than on any trip. I really enjoyed the coffee region and seeing the coffee farm. I also enjoyed the visit to a panella factory which I had thought might feel a bit condescending on our part. It wasn't.
We also played Tejo, a fantastic game involving a heap of clay, an iron ring, explosives and iron pucks, with beer! What's not to love?
Cartagena is a great place to end on.
My only gripe with the tour was the amount of time set aside for optional trips. They were very expensive, in my opinion, and, in fact, I couldn't do the ones I wanted because there weren't enough people wanting to join me. There was enough to do but it meant that the days which had planned activities seemed very full on. I would have preferred a better balance, particularly in Armenia where it would have been nice to have some time to use the pool and spend some time in the grounds of the hotel looking at the birds.
Juanito Camacho is a great guide. He went out of his way to make sure we saw the best of Colombia and had a good time.
Confirmed traveller: 30 January 2016
Published on: 17 February 2016