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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

Each departure date has its own dedicated trip note, detailing all you need to know about that trip. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Contrasts Of Colombia trip available at present.

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Contrasts Of Colombia reviews verified by reevooReevoo

31 reviews

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Contrasts Of ColombiaScores 8.7 out of 10 based on 31 reviews
(8 out of 10)


A good itinerary covering most of the highlights of the country (although there is much more to see too!), from the capital in the Andean foothills to colonial towns, coffee country and finally the atmospheric walled city of Cartagena set on the sweltering Caribbean coast. Personal highlights were Villa de Leyva, our visit to the coffee plantation and undoubtedly Cartagena.
Our time getting to/from and in Popoyan could perhaps have better spent in and around the likes of Medellin or Cali.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2017
Published on: 17 March 2017
(9 out of 10)


It was a great tour covering many aspects of Colombia from old Spanish colonial towns to coffee plantations and of course the beautiful city of Cartagena. Our tour leader, Karen, was exceptional. She looked after us so well - greeting all of us at the airport and seeing that we all got checked in safely for our flights home although the tour had ended well over 12 hours before. She was also extremely knowledgeable about Colombia and very informative.
Confirmed traveller: 25 February 2017
Published on: 01 April 2017
(7 out of 10)


The Contrasts of Colombia benefited from the most superb tour guide I have had the pleasure to travel with. Karen had the most delightful engaging temprament. She grew up in Bogota where she was university educated in modern languages in Bogota. She interacted well with everyone and gave the right level of detail in her explanations of history. Outside of Bogota, local guides were used. Victoria was of particular note in Cartagena because she was great fun and spoke well. The other local guides in other cities in my opinion detracted from the experience and I believe Karen would have done a better job and was better informed than the locals were. Karen would make an excellent tour guide in any part of the world.

There were some hits and misses on the itinerary. Of particular interest were the Musee Botero in Bogota which showed off tremendously the whimsical art of Botero, Colombia's best know artist. Cartagena was the overall gem of the trip and it was sensible from an itinerary perspective to save it until last. In the coffee region, I enjoyed the two walks (though would have preferred them to be longer) and the towns of Salento and Filandia. The items in the itinerary which in my opinion could have been missed were the first days trip to Lake Guadavita, which may have been historically important for Colombians, but for all else, it was just a small uninteresting lake with a not particularly interesting walk or drive. There was also too much time in Popayan and the optional trips were both overpriced and not worth the additional day in the town.

I found the trip slower than I am accustomed too. However, I am 43 years old, the average age on the trip was in late 60s, therefore please consider that in reviewing my feedback.

I enjoyed the trip sufficiently to book my next trip with Explore to Madagascar whilst on route.
Confirmed traveller: 25 February 2017
Published on: 27 February 2017

Thanks for your feedback Michael, I’m so pleased with your feedback about Karen and we will definitely pass this on to her. You’ll be glad to hear that we have amended the itinerary from August 2017 onwards, in order to include more excursions in Popayan, and also to remove Lake Guatavita in favour of visiting Medellin. We think that this will improve the itinerary, and it’s good to see that this is born out in your feedback as well as others’.

(9 out of 10)


Karen is one of the best tour leaders I have encountered. She loves telling people about her beloved country, Colombia. She is exceptionally well organised, helpful and informative. Colombia is a lovely country with friendly people and fantastic scenery.
Each location was good in its own way. However, there was not much to do in Popayan on a Sunday if you didn't do any of the optionals. The optionals were all expensive for what they were.
The accommodation at the hacienda in Armenia was of a lower standard than the rest. My room had an electricity socket hanging off the wall, very shaky plumbing and very poor lighting, especially in the bathroom.
Overall, though, a great trip.
Confirmed traveller: 25 February 2017
Published on: 27 February 2017
(9 out of 10)


Highlight of our tour in February was Karen, one of the finest Explore tour leaders we have ever had the pleasure of meeting: she was incredibly enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful.
The itinerary was varied and interesting: Cartagena and Armenia were outstanding, but Popayan was not really worth the 8-hour drive.
Confirmed traveller: 24 February 2017
Published on: 02 April 2017
(10 out of 10)


Woking, UK
It would be good to include Medellin and St Augustin and Cali in future. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral could be an option from Bogota for those interested. Also the Gautaba Lagoon / Lake trip could have been an optional. We didn't do any optional trips as too expensive and needed some time to ourselves. Our guide Karen was excellent and Vicky in Cartagena was a lovely treat!
Confirmed traveller: 24 February 2017
Published on: 02 March 2017
(8 out of 10)


Cartagena was highlight, also coffee plantation area. Found the optionals from Poyayna expensive for what they were ...both disappointing, but the optional from Cartagena was good.
Confirmed traveller: 24 February 2017
Published on: 26 February 2017
(9 out of 10)


The tour as implied provides an interesting contrast between different aspects of Colombia.
Bogota is an interesting town with the Museum of Gold ( a must see) and the Botero gallery, a real surprise.
The trip continues with a switch to the small towns of the coffee country with trips to Filandia, Buenavista and Salento. A very different experience with lots of flora and fawn. The hacienda you stay in has many avian visitors. Especially interesting are the humming birds at breakfast.
In the same vain you visit the white washed university town of Popayan. With its colonial architecture and numerous church.
Finally a few days in Cartagena. Beautiful but can be heaving with tourist if the large cruise ships are in.
Throughout the trip always felt safe. The people were all friendly. Very different from the images you see in the media.

Explore leader, Vicky is one of the best Explore employees in my experience.
Knowledgeable, enthusiastic and hard working. Always prepared to go the extra mile. Brilliant.

Only downside is the optionals are incredible expensive. The Purace National Parks trip and National Aviary are massively overpriced. National Aviary at $150 is ridiculous whereas if you hire it locally there is a trip offer for 30,000 COP (approx £10). Really wanted to see the Aviary but not at these crazy prices.
Confirmed traveller: 28 January 2017
Published on: 17 May 2017
(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