I'm the Co-Founder at The Colombian Project where we design and deliver unique and stunning experiences here in Colombia, whether that be an opportunity to make some new friends with the locals in the Amazon, to a full-service trekking expedition, to a national archaeological expert giving a private seminar, we always take our time with the small details, whilst at the same time, and even more importantly, give back where possible. We always try to establish strong relationships built on respect, trust and reciprocal benefits with the communities that we interact with.
We do a lot of tailor made travel and our clients are insightful and normally very discerning travellers. We really relish being given specific and unique requests by these clients, and I think the way we deal with these requests makes us stand out from the rest. It's great fun employing our niche-specific expertise to give people an amazing and profound journey here in Colombia, no matter what their interests are.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"I started off as a trekker (and still trek all the time), which quickly split into avid birdwatching and wildlife watching. Photography has also become a strong passion. However, after meeting with so many diverse cultures in Colombia, I've become highly interested in providing true cultural experiences and interchange. I also love history so a bit of an all-rounder!"
How did you get involved in travel?
"I've always loved to travel and spent time travelling in Europe and also all around South America. I'm from London and of Colombian descent. When I first came to Colombia in 1999 and had the first glimpse of this wonderful country I knew that I had to come back. I spent a number of months travelling around South America before returning to Colombia in 2008 and it was here, whilst trekking through Colombia's paramos, where I saw a beautiful and unknown world, did I realise that this (and experiences like this) needed to be showcased in Colombia. From that first seed of thought I delved into the travel industry and after 5 years set up The Colombian Project with the great help of our other co-founder Brian Murphy. We haven't looked back since!"
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"Like anyone who's travelled a bit I have quite a few! One that sticks out is when I went to Guaviare in Colombia a few years ago on an investigation trip. The place was unlike anything I had ever seen before with rock formations that are older than the Andes, tracts of jungle and vast savannas, it blew my mind. What really hit me was a trek that we did through this array of ecosystems, sights and sounds to a little-known place where we found ancient rock art, with paintings that have now been declared to be among some of the oldest archaeological finds in Latin America. Real Indiana Jones stuff. "
Featured trips & expertise
This 12-day adventure will take you through the best of Colombia. You'll travel from Bogotá to the Amazon, the rolling hills of the Zona Cafetera (coffee region), the beaches of Tayrona National Park, and the colonial fortress city of Cartagena. The most exciting part of your trip? A visit to the little-known region of Guaviare, with its mixture of jungle, indigenous communities, red rivers, and ancient rock art that dates back 20,000 years.
Begin your adventure in Colombia's Zona Cafetera coffee region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Cocorá Valley and its towering wax palms await. Then make your way to the Caribbean coast and the beaches of Parque Nacional Tayrona and learn about the Kogi people, who have lived in harmony with their environment for four centuries.
Colombia is an incredible country for birdwatchers. It boasts a list of 77 endemics (birds found in no other country) and is home to well over 1930 bird species — around 20 percent of the world's total bird count. This 16-day adventure is designed to showcase the best birding sites in the country. You'll experience Colombian culture, excellent food, and vibrant cities as you travel between incredible birding habitats.
This 14-day itinerary is perfect for serious bird watchers who dream of visiting some of the best bird watching sites in the Colombia. The journey includes excursions in the Choco-Western Andes transition, where nearly all the birds are endemic or near-endemic and the mystical and biologically unique Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – an evolutionary island of biodiversity where you have the chance to view over 20 endemic birds. In addition to excellent birding sites, you'll experience life in rural Colombia and travel across stunning landscapes from the sea to the soaring Andes mountains.
This tour takes you off the beaten path and truly epitomizes the diversity that runs through Colombia and its people. Colombia's mountains, jungles, Caribbean beaches, Spanish colonial architecture, rural and indigenous cultures combine to offer a quite unforgettable tour in one of the world's great (and yet uncharted) destinations.
This tour takes you through three of Colombia's most diverse and interesting cities — Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. You'll begin in Bogota, with its high-Andean look but altogether bohemian feel. You'll visit world-class museums, learn about a rich and eventful history, and experience a complex urban scene with stunning graffiti murals, topped off with a varied culinary offering and some great nightlife.
Recent trip reviews for Juan
Colombia birding tour excluding santa marta, Colombia - Jul 15 - Jul 30, 2018
The trip was fabulous. the guide (Alejandro Pinto) was superb. He has excellent knowledge of the local birds and was happy and helpful throughout despite being ill. The most memorable part was staying in Tatama. An excellent place. Good food and great hospitality.
Group departure - birdwatching in colombia's andean ranges & magdalena valley - 16 days, Colombia - Jul 14 - Jul 30, 2018
The Colombian Project’s Eastern, Central, and Western Andean Ranges and Valleys 16-day tour exceeded my expectations! We visited a variety of birding areas, so the tour was a great introduction and sampling of the birds and birding in Colombia. Our bird guide, Alejandro, was energetic, enthusiastic, and located many hard to find birds.
I enjoyed dining at a variety of establishments, many of which included local fare, and staying in a variety of accommodation types, all of which were... read more
Colombia birding tour excluding santa marta, Colombia - Jul 15 - Jul 30, 2018
Overall a great experience with very sociable and helpful guide, Aljandro really knows his birds.
I would have preferred to see more owls, nightjars and raptors but the forrest birds made for a superb trip.
Tx again KimKim
Planning your trip to colombia, Colombia - Jun 16 - Jun 20, 2018
I had a great time in Colombia. Angel was a remarkable guide who was able to cater to our group in an expert way. Each driver was skilled and they were fun to talk with. The Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta was beautiful and all of the hotels that Juan recommended were great.
Trip to colombia, Colombia - May 17 - May 24, 2018
Please update the rating scale. Only having five stars from poor to great does not allow me to rate how I genuinely want to. And my words do not provide justice to my overall experience in planning and booking my trip with the services I received from my local specialist.
In the past few years, I faced many tragedies. The first one was dealing with my oldest brother's suicide. Then I encountered looking after my grandfather for six years and witnessing him die with his... read more
Colombia andes, amazon & caribbean, Colombia - Aug 14 - Aug 25, 2017
The quality of the tours was amazing. Everywhere we went, we had dedicated drivers. The only thing I would change is the hotel in Cartagena. It felt a little run down and dirty. Otherwise, everything else was perfect! My favorite stay was in La Jorara.
Juan & his team made themselves available 24 hours a day, even when we had a flight delay.