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Contrasts Of Colombia BCO

Visiting: Colombia
Trip Duration 13 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

23 reviews

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Contrasts Of ColombiaScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 23 reviews
(9 out of 10)


A wonderful country full of happy people. Bogota was good for museums and churches. The stops in between and on the way to Cartegena were diverse and interesting. Cartegena was vibrant with a wealth of colonial architecture and lovely people.

We were fortunate to have the best tour leader in Colombia, a young lady with personality to spare. The love she has for her country simply bursts from her.

Leaving Cartegena to return to Bogota was definitely an anti-climax.
Confirmed traveller: 28 January 2017
Published on: 01 February 2017
(9 out of 10)


Leeds, W. Yorkshire.
Really enjoyed this trip. Our tour leader,Karen was excellent and a real asset to Explore. She shared her vast knowledge and enthusiasm for her country,enabling us all to gain a good insight into Colombia. If there is anyone out there,who is undecided about this trip,I would say to them to just go ahead and book it. You will definitely not be disappointed.The people of Colombia were very friendly,polite and welcoming. They were pleased that we were visiting their country and many welcomed us personally. It felt safe to be there and the places that we visited had a calm and unhurried atmosphere.

There were so many highlights of the trip,too many to mention individually,but Villa de Levya, Cocora Valley, the coffee farm and sugar cane processing plant,the Botero and gold museums, we're among my favourites.

The accommodation was on the whole,of a good standard and the majority of breakfasts were varied and plentiful, providing a good start to to a busy day. Of course,there were some early starts and late evenings,but I did not find them too tiring. Our group of eight were transported in the main ,by minibus. There were some bumpy and bendy roads and it might be a good idea to take travel sickness pills along with you,just in case.

We did have rain,though that did not spoil things at all.Itwas not too hot and we had plenty of sunshine. Cartagena,in contrast was very hot and humid,so take some light clothing which can be easily washed out.A pair of comfortable sandals is a must.
Confirmed traveller: 09 December 2016
Published on: 20 December 2016
(9 out of 10)


Overall an excellent trip, with an exceptional leader, Karen. Colombia is a beautiful and varied country leaving a violent past behind it. This trip showcases some of its most interesting areas with the highlight being Cartagena. Accommodation is comfortable and well located. I was unable do do the optional day trip to Purace National Park from Popayan because of an indigenous ceremony. This is likely an unusual event but we also weren't able to get a minimum of three interested from our group. If this is a consistent problem, I might tweak the itinerary a little by spending less time in Popayan and adding a night near the archaeological site with cave paintings.

Lastly I want to reiterate what an outstanding guide we had in Karen. She was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, genuinely loves her job and enjoys the people she guides.
Confirmed traveller: 09 December 2016
Published on: 18 December 2016
(9 out of 10)


Bristol UK
Karen Zuniga was an excellent tour leader: informative, considerate, helpful, excellent understanding of both language and cultural aspects. A definite keeper!
Trip highlights: Museo del Oro, Ville de Leyva, Lago Guatavita, Armenia coffee plantation, Salento & Filandia, Cartagena plus canoeing mangroves option.
Downsides: Popayan for 36 hrs over weekend when all museums closed and optional extras unavailable was waste of time on this trip. Suggest spending less time there and/or reconfiguration with Armenia later and flight direct to Cartagena from Perreira.
Confirmed traveller: 09 December 2016
Published on: 10 December 2016
(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