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active 23 mins ago

Michael Gold

Since I was little, I have been fascinated by getting to know the great wide world. The exchange with other cultures has always been my focus. Therefore, I have made my interest my profession. In Germany, I studied tourism management and specialized in sustainable tourism. During my travels, I found a country where I feel most comfortable: Colombia! The Colombian advertising slogan: "The only risk is wanting to stay" has proven true for me. In San Agustín, I have found my second home and from here I am happy to share the magic of the country with tourists from all over the world.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Responsible and sustainable tourism is my focus. For me it is important that travel has a positive impact - for the visitors, as well as for the hosts. Therefore, I have specialized in sustainable tourism. It is important to achieve a good cultural exchange, to protect nature, and at the same time to combine one's own interests. Nature and adventure tourism is my main area of expertise. "

How did you get involved in travel?

"Travel broadens your horizons! The world has so much to offer and so many exciting places and stories to discover. That's why I've loved traveling all my life - alone, with my family, together with friends. It's great to share experiences and impressions. Through my travel experience in about 40 different countries so far, I have made friends all over the world. My university has shown me the theoretical background of tourism, jobs in hotels and with tour operators helped me with the practical component."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"After graduating from school, I packed my travel backpack and set off on a long journey through Central and South America. During this period I fell in love with this continent! Hiking tours, boat trips, diving, fishing, jungle tours, visits to deserts, and above all many special life stories and open-minded people. These experiences as a whole package describe for me the most amazing travel experiences - thanks to this trip I decided to live in Colombia. And I am extremely happy about that."

Michael is part of the following groups: Colombia Travel Agents
Colombia in October: Travel Tips, Weather, and More
Colombia in October: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

Colombia in October is a relatively tranquil time, as the summer crowds are gone and the rainy season in Bogotá is coming to an end. It's a good time to hop over to this country and enjoy it without having to contest with the tourist hordes. Let this guide clue you in as how to best enjoy Colombia during October.

Beautiful Cartagena
Best of Colombia: Bogotá, Medellín & Cartagena - 9 Days

Explore three of Colombia's most exciting cities on this 9-day adventure. Start in Bogotá, the sprawling cosmopolitan capital. Tour the colonial streets of the historic center, taste local cuisine, and visit museums. Then, transfer to Medellín to see street art and communal projects, and learn about Colombian coffee culture. The adventure ends in tropical Cartagena, where you'll appreciate Spanish forts and architecture, enjoy fresh seafood, and swim in the Caribbean.

Colombia Honeymoon
Great Honeymoon Ideas for Colombia

The romantic city of Cartagena, white-sand Caribbean beaches, beautiful Coffee Country and sizzling salsa dancing combine to make Colombia a wonderful honeymoon destination. This list covers some of the top destinations to consider when making plans for your post-nuptial getaway.  

Families enjoy the beach at Parque Nacional Tayrona
Planning Your Family Trip To Colombia: Best Tips & Advice

Colombia offers exciting sights and activities that can be enjoyed by parents and kids alike. From fascinating museums such as the Museo de Oro in Bogotá, to parks, city tours, horse riding and snorkeling, there is always something for your little ones to enjoy. This article covers the best sights and activities for families.

Street scene in the historic old city of Cartagena
How Many Days Should You Spend in Colombia?

A great trip to Colombia requires at least five days to get a taste of one big city and its surrounding areas. The more days you can add the more opportunities to explore different pockets of the country - eight or nine days is enough for two or three regions. With two weeks you could tour the walled city of Cartagena, visit the capital Bogotá, explore the Amazon and do some activities along the way, including scuba diving or mountain biking. This article breaks down the possible itineraries, ranging from three to 14 days.

Boat on Palomino Beach
2 Weeks in Colombia - 4 Unique Itineraries

Planning to spend two weeks in Colombia? This amount of time opens up a wide range of possibilities to explore multiple areas of Colombia at a leisurely pace. You can visit a number of the highlights including Cartagena’s glorious Old Town, the stunning museums of Bogotá and quaint towns in the Coffee Country, plus a few off-the-beaten-path and adventure destinations.

Favorite experiences

Tour of Tayrona National Park

Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (Tayrona National Park) is one of about 58 national parks in Colombia, and this protected area is known for having some of the most virgin coastal landscapes in the entire country. Indeed, it's home to one of the most iconic "postcard" destinations in Colombia: the...

Guatapé Day Trip

The town of Guatapé is one of the crown jewels of central Colombia's Antioquia region. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is El Peñol, a 7,000-foot (2,135-meter) granite rock that rises out of the ground like a giant silver bullet. A private eight-hour tour of the town...

Zipaquirá & Nemecón Salt Mines Day-Trip

A mere 50 minutes north of Bogotá lies the town of Zipaquirá, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. While certainly a charming colonial town, Zipaquirá is a must-visit Colombian destination for one single landmark: the Salt Cathedral, located just outside of town. This is indeed a...

Coffee Finca - Hiking - Explore Salento

It's fitting that Salento, one of the most beautiful colonial towns in Colombia, is surrounded by the Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley), which happens to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Colombia. This fertile region, denoted by rolling green hills, abounds with various coffee estates that...

La Guajira: Punta Gallinas & Taroa Dunes

La Guajira is almost a world apart from the green and tropical Colombia most travelers know. The arid desert landscapes in this region are foreboding yet beautiful, with the sun-scorched earth and steep red dunes tapering off into the azure waters of the Caribbean. The most epic landscapes here...

Horseback Riding in Salento

Salento is a gem of a Spanish-colonial town and a popular tourist destination in Colombia's coffee region. However, the town isn't the only highlight; just beyond Salento's borders lies an expanse of unspoiled country known as the Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley). Green for days and boasting...

Recent trip reviews for Michael

Our trip experience in Colombia was amazing. ...
Colombia | Sep 17 - Sep 24, 2022

amny
amny g.
Vineland, NJ | Reviewed on Sep 25, 2022

Our trip experience in Colombia was amazing. Michael created literally the perfect itinerary. Alex our tour guide in bogota was so knowledgeable, caring, and very helpful. Our tour in Cartagena Aumerio was so passion on teaching ys all about the history in cartagena, we were able to learn so much from the city thanks to him. Rosario island was beautiful, the staff were so attending to our needs, food was delicious, we met so many great people. Our drivers were also on time. My family had an... read more

Our trip experience in Colombia was amazing. Michael created literally the perfect itinerary. Alex our tour guide in bogota was so knowledgeable, caring, and very helpful. Our tour in Cartagena Aumerio was so passion on teaching ys all about the history in cartagena, we were able to learn so much from the city thanks to him. Rosario island was beautiful, the staff were so attending to our needs, food was delicious, we met so many great people. Our drivers were also on time. My family had an incredible time in Colombia. I definitely recommend chaska team.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Casa de La Vega
La Candelaria, Bogotá

I love the uniqueness of this place and the great service.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Close to everything
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Casa Mara
Cartagena

We love the location, we were close to everything.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Islabela

We love hotel isabela. We stood in the cabin called pachera and it was absolutely perfect.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Staff is amazing and caring
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Grand Park
Bogotá
Authenticity & Character
Location
I
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Canoe through the Mangroves of Boquilla
Cartagena
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Bogota's Essentials (City Tour & Monserrate)
Bogotá

We love this tour, we learned do much about bogota. Our highlight in this tour was going to monserrat and seeing beautiful bogota from very high

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
I definitely recommend Alex as a tour guide
Transport
Visit of the Botanical Garden and Guatavita
Bogotá
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour by Bike
Cartagena

The bike tour in Cartagena was perfect to learn about the city.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Beach Time, Snorkeling & Plancton Bioluminiscente
Rosario Islands
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Sep 25, 2022

Dear Family Garcia ☺️,
it was a pleasure for our whole team to accompany you through the country.
Thank you very much for the nice conversations.
We were also very happy to see you so happy on all the pictures.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Colombia soon.
Best regards from the whole Chaska Tours Team

Top country
Colombia | Aug 18 - Aug 31, 2022

L
lorenzo d.
Italy | Reviewed on Sep 01, 2022

Great Experience,
Best guides in Bogotà at the market (Alejandro?) and in tayrona, Aruen
Need experience Ely in bogota
All places remarkable except for Santa Marta, nothing really to see and remember
Also the trip to playa tranquilla was far from expectation, too far, too crowdy read more

Great Experience,
Best guides in Bogotà at the market (Alejandro?) and in tayrona, Aruen
Need experience Ely in bogota
All places remarkable except for Santa Marta, nothing really to see and remember
Also the trip to playa tranquilla was far from expectation, too far, too crowdy

Hotel Review
Villa Playa
Magdalena

Great position and wonderful room, try the spa

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Sep 01, 2022

Dear Lorenzo, Federica and Michela,

It was a great pleasure for all of us to accompany you on your journey through Colombia. It was very nice with you and I was very happy to see that you were able to enjoy the country to the fullest.

The beaches in and around Cartagena are always very crowded, you are right. Nevertheless, I hope you were able to enjoy the last beach day. :)

We are looking forward to your next visit!

The Chaska Tours Team

Michael was very helpful with any small or bi...
Colombia | Aug 14 - Aug 24, 2022

R
Rita S.
Manhattan, NY | Reviewed on Aug 25, 2022

Michael was very helpful with any small or big issue. He was available on whatsup within minutes and found a solution to every problem very effectively. We liked all guides but the most helpful and knowledgeable was Alex. We loved our trip and the only thing we wish was is to stay few more days in Colombia. We would also probably choose a different hotel in Cartagena. read more

Michael was very helpful with any small or big issue. He was available on whatsup within minutes and found a solution to every problem very effectively. We liked all guides but the most helpful and knowledgeable was Alex. We loved our trip and the only thing we wish was is to stay few more days in Colombia. We would also probably choose a different hotel in Cartagena.

Hotel Review
Hotel Casa Tere
Cartagena

Location is great but rooms are tiny and breakfast was not good

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Aug 25, 2022

Hello Rita, Rostislav, Susanna & Semyon :)

How nice that you enjoyed the trip in Colombia so much! It was a pleasure to help you at any time with your questions and concerns!

Thank you also for the tip with the hotel Casa Tere in Cartagena. So far, our guests have always been very enthusiastic about the hotel. But after your comment about it, I can of course understand that you were not completely satisfied with it. This information always helps me to make future trips even better. Thank... read more

Hello Rita, Rostislav, Susanna & Semyon :)

How nice that you enjoyed the trip in Colombia so much! It was a pleasure to help you at any time with your questions and concerns!

Thank you also for the tip with the hotel Casa Tere in Cartagena. So far, our guests have always been very enthusiastic about the hotel. But after your comment about it, I can of course understand that you were not completely satisfied with it. This information always helps me to make future trips even better. Thank you very much for that.

We wish you all the best and will pass on the credit to Alex.

Best regards from San Agustín,
Michael

COLOMBIA is a MUST!!!
Colombia | Jul 10 - Jul 19, 2022

Sandra
Sandra B.
Brushy Creek, TX | Reviewed on Sep 04, 2022

Cesar who went on several trips with me was amazing and passionate about his country and the culture, and mostly the history as to what makes Colombia what it is today. Harem was equally amazing whilst visiting Tayrona Park and the Sierra Nevada, This is such a beautiful place and I enjoyed hiking in the mountains to get to the beach. The views and water are spectacular! I had a guide to match in Jaruem😁. Emerson was the best driver and I was lucky to have him navigate between several... read more

Cesar who went on several trips with me was amazing and passionate about his country and the culture, and mostly the history as to what makes Colombia what it is today. Harem was equally amazing whilst visiting Tayrona Park and the Sierra Nevada, This is such a beautiful place and I enjoyed hiking in the mountains to get to the beach. The views and water are spectacular! I had a guide to match in Jaruem😁. Emerson was the best driver and I was lucky to have him navigate between several destinations. The perfect, most patient and caring driver I have come across. Cartagena was a blast! Loved the mud bath at Volcan Totumo!!!!I went to Rosario Island on my own and it was amazing!
I loved Colombia so much that I extended my flight and went to MEDELLÍN and that was the best decision ever!

Hotel Review
Villa Playa
Magdalena

Room was spacious and clean, keyless entry. The bathroom was gorgeous! The balcony was used for me to take salsa lessons. Cannot comment on food since I did not eat there. My shower door did not close. I also had an issue with the safe several times, but staff was extremely courteous and helpful. Did not have an opportunity to indulge in spa services. Room service is limited and the chicken closed by 6pm

Authenticity & Character
Wonderful guides
Location
I’m the middle of squares, shops and nightlife
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Excursion to Tayrona National Park - Relax on Gairaca Beach
Tayrona National Park

The beauty of the beaches of Tayrona are compared to Seychelles. There is a lot of walking, but that’s perfect for me.I had the best guide in Jaruem!

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour
Cartagena
Tour to Totumo Volcano
Cartagena
Tour to San Basilio de Palenque
Cartagena

Definitely another one of my favorites. To learn about the people from Palenque was a special treat. I feel blessed to have seen where Graciela was from and to see where Afreneto’s beats began and the famous boxer Pambele and how he gave back to his home town . This is the place for roper who truly appreciates history and culture. By far one of my favorite experiences!!!!

Quality of Experience
Taught words and phrases in Palenque language, made famous candy, and danced at the museum.
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Best guide in Cesar, and Emerson is the best and most courteous driver I have come across in all my travels around the world. These gentlemen made my trip. Love them!
Transport
Driver is second to none. Helpful, courteous, patient and he even drove me from Cartagena to Tayrona which is quite a distance, but he made stops as necessary and explained more about the areas who drove through on the way there( such as Barranquilla and the Venezuelan communities
Dancing Class in Cartagena
Cartagena

I had a personal salsa lesson with Anyerson and boy was it fun, a bit challenging toward the end, but with a patient instructor well versed in dancing and having an easygoing personality all went well and I am a better salsa dancer than I ever thought possible.

Quality of Experience
Dancing
Guides, drivers and staff
Personality
Excursion in Tayrona National Park - Arrecifes Area
Tayrona National Park

Best two days withJaruem. We had a blast and he took the best photos of me in the nicest parts of the park. I am beyond pleased with my entire experience. Passionate about animals and pointed out cotton top monkeys to me. Bought coonut water from Indigenous people and even took a photo. I couldn’t have dreamt of a nicer person. He went above and beyond for me and I am forever grateful.

Quality of Experience
My guide. I lucked out during my entire trip with guides.
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
My driver back to Cartagena was really sweet, but she had some issues finding my hotel in Cartagena( understandably because streets in Getsemani are narrow) and the ride was just mediocre. There was an issue with her trunk not opening both in Yayrona and upon arrival in Cartagena, but it all worked out. Nothing bad and nothing special.
Cartagena Street-Food Tour
Cartagena
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Sep 04, 2022

Dear Sandra,

it was a pleasure for us to organize your trip through Colombia. We are very happy that you had such a great time here and were so satisfied with all the excursions, transfers and hotels!

We would also like to send you warm greetings from our partners.

Best regards from San Agustín,
the Chaska Tours Team

Best Colombian experience
Colombia | Aug 6 - Aug 14, 2022

B
Blesilda D.
Walnut Creek, CA | Reviewed on Aug 22, 2022

Trip selections were excellent. Felt like I saw and experienced the best of Colombia. People were nice and friendly. Guides and drivers were knowledgeable and made us comfortable and safe. Special mention to David in Perreria and Sol in Medellin. Now I understand why we had to take 3 plane rides inside the country. So we can see the best places at such a limited time. Most notable experience and sights for mr include Gold museum, Monserrat Hill, Horse back ride, Cofee plantation, Climbing the... read more

Trip selections were excellent. Felt like I saw and experienced the best of Colombia. People were nice and friendly. Guides and drivers were knowledgeable and made us comfortable and safe. Special mention to David in Perreria and Sol in Medellin. Now I understand why we had to take 3 plane rides inside the country. So we can see the best places at such a limited time. Most notable experience and sights for mr include Gold museum, Monserrat Hill, Horse back ride, Cofee plantation, Climbing the rock in Guatape, Communal 13 walking tour, Islabela beach tour, the Cartagena walled town and its plazas and dancers, the gourmet meals we tasted suggested by our guides, seeing Botero paintings and Sculptures, Food tour, and many more . And Thank you Michael for being accommodating and flexible to our schedule as well as David who subbed for you while you were away. KimKim is one of the best tour org. I have seen. Very organized and detail oriented. Thank you Chaska team for a wonderful experience.

Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Aug 22, 2022

Dear Blesilda and Grace,
how nice that you could get to know this great country so well in this short time! I am glad to hear that you had such a good experience with the guides and drivers. Also glad to hear that we as the Chaska team were always able to help! :)
If you want to visit this fabulous country again, we will be happy to show you the other beautiful corners of the country!

Best regards! :)

Go to Colombia and experience its wonders!
Colombia | Jul 15 - Jul 21, 2022

Jessica
Jessica A.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Jul 25, 2022

What an incredible experience!

Michael was attentive and listened to my needs on the trip. Each guide, Jose and Roberto, were kind, accommodating, and knowledgeable. Each excursion and outing brought my spouse and I a little closer to the amazing spirit of the people of Colombia. Each accommodation was comfortable and sustainably minded. I cannot say enough great things about this trip and I cannot recommend this once-in-a-lifetime experience enough. Go to Colombia and experience its wonders! read more

What an incredible experience!

Michael was attentive and listened to my needs on the trip. Each guide, Jose and Roberto, were kind, accommodating, and knowledgeable. Each excursion and outing brought my spouse and I a little closer to the amazing spirit of the people of Colombia. Each accommodation was comfortable and sustainably minded. I cannot say enough great things about this trip and I cannot recommend this once-in-a-lifetime experience enough. Go to Colombia and experience its wonders!

Hotel Reviews
La Campana Hotel Boutique
Medellín

Delicious breakfast options and a really unique experience. I felt like I was part of a family! Rooms and beds were so comfortable. Bathrooms were a bit small, but that's the American in me.

Authenticity & Character
Location
About a ten minute walk from tons
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Don Pedro De Heredia
Cartagena de Indias

What a cool building and the staff was so kind. The room had lots of old world charm, including a tiny bathroom and gaps in window frames just small enough for mosquitoes. Would have loved a mosquito net in my room for the stay, but other than that, it was a wonderful place AND really close to everything.

Authenticity & Character
Location
You could not beat this location.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Mosquito nets, please!
Activity Reviews
Coffee-Culture Tour
Medellín

Wow! What a fun experience. This was my husband's favorite stop. We learned a lot, interacted with the landscape, and had great coffee/juice.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Daytrip: Silletera Culture in Santa Elena & La Piedra de Guatapé
Medellín

Wow! I loved every minute of this day! The drive was beautiful, the monolith was such an adventure, Guatape was SO BEAUTIFUL, lunch was DELICIOUS, and the floral farm was such a fun cultural experience. This was my favorite day of the trip!

Quality of Experience
Food
Oh wow! I will think about that lunch a lot!
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Tour to Totumo Volcano
Cartagena

What a fun experience, but too many tourist traps. I ended up tipping so many people and while we were somewhat warned about it, it was still a lot.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Medellín City Tour - History of Transformation
Medellín

An incredible experience! I wish it wasn't fresh off a flight and I had more energy. It went so quickly.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Our guide was INCREDIBLE. I learned so much
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour by Bike
Cartagena

I would have loved this more had I not been so tired and had it not been so hot.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jul 25, 2022

Dear Jessica,
We are happy to hear that you were able to collect such great impressions in Colombia. It is wonderful that you were able to get to know the magic and special energy of this marvelous country and that you were able to gather such great experiences in all destinations.
We are very happy that you enjoyed the trip so much!
Thanks a lot and
Best regards from the whole Chaska Team,
Michael

We LOVED our time in Cartagena and really app...
Colombia | Jul 10 - Jul 14, 2022

E
Elizabeth Z.
Aspen Hill, MD | Reviewed on Jul 18, 2022

We LOVED our time in Cartagena and really appreciated the care Michael took to make sure each detail was thought out. The Armeria Real hotel suited our family well and the sleeping loft gave our daughter somewhere to hide away when she wanted a moment alone.

We particularly enjoyed the chocolate workshop at ChocoMuseo with Cindy. Our active 9-year-old was involved in every step. The owner, Abe, stopped by and gave us a bit of a taste of the rum experience from his other property Rumbox... read more

We LOVED our time in Cartagena and really appreciated the care Michael took to make sure each detail was thought out. The Armeria Real hotel suited our family well and the sleeping loft gave our daughter somewhere to hide away when she wanted a moment alone.

We particularly enjoyed the chocolate workshop at ChocoMuseo with Cindy. Our active 9-year-old was involved in every step. The owner, Abe, stopped by and gave us a bit of a taste of the rum experience from his other property Rumbox across the street. We went there later for dinner. That was a highlight but the workshop with Cindy was a wonderful, intimate, personalized way to kick off our adventure in Cartagena. She was knowledgeable and patient. We bought rum and chocolate to bring home to share with others.

We also loved the bike tour with Oscar. What a GREAT tour guide! So warm and a great story teller. We were not the steadiest on our bikes but he matched our pace and was reassuring. He sought out a great little coffee shop, which was a highlight for my husband. He helped our daughter make connections between Colombian history and what she'd already learned of US history. And he knew everyone all over town. I felt like we were rolling along with a local celebrity.

The dance lesson was a bit less successful - we learned how to dance but using the dining room at our hotel wasn't really the ambiance we were looking for. The instructor was great but it would have been nice to go out somewhere more lively. I suppose that's too much to ask at that time of day. Dance culture doesn't likely pick up until later at night. I did see Oscar took a video of us dancing - perhaps you could ask him for a copy and send it on to us?

The trip to the islands was lovely and I really liked IslaBela. It was not overrun like many of the reviews I'd read of other Rosario Island destinations.

Overall, a wonderful trip and using KimKim and Chaska helped us find the right balance between independent travel and expert on-the-ground guidance and support. Very satisfied!

Hotel Review
GHL Hotel Armería Real
Cartagena

The location in Getsemani was perfect and the rooftop pool is a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing. Take in the view of the city walls and the skyscrapers on the peninsula beyond as you lounge with a mojito from the bar. The room smelled a bit musty but the air conditioning was effective and the sheets were clean. They really need to boost the lighting in the interiors. The decor is charming and authentic to the neighborhood. For our family it was really perfect to have the two beds split into separate spaces, with a living room bedroom, and bathroom on the first floor, and another bedroom and bathroom in a sleeping loft above. This provided a little getaway for our daughter to decompress within shouting distance.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Right in the heart of Getsemani. Walkable to so many destinations.
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Chocolate Workshop
Cartagena

This was amazing. Cindy was a wonderful tour guide through the process of making chocolate. She let us be hands-on for several steps of the process, handling the cocoa beans, shelling them, mashing them and finally pouring them into molds. She even customized our mixture so that it would not contain milk since I had an allergy. We learned so much and were inspired to eat dinner that night at their restaurant across the street - Rumbox - where they have a lovely rum-tasting experience that is also infused with chocoloate. This experience was everything we could hope for - personalized, sensory, informative and fun!

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
We walked - so not much to say about that.
Rosario Islands Daytrip - Islabela
Cartagena

Lovely trip to the islands. It's so nice you get your own little cabana/bed upon arrival. The food was tasty. The vibe was relaxed. The snorkeling was a little bit of a disappointment in that the water was a bit rough. Not much they can do about that as tour operators, though. And there were lots of pretty fish.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour by Bike
Cartagena

Oscar was a wonderful guide. Knowledgeable and friendly. He was greeting folks all over the city. He customized the tour to our interests. He worked with the bike rental place to make sure we got a tandem bike that suited our family. He scouted out a great coffee shop where my husband got to sample tasty coffee.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Dancing Class in Cartagena
Cartagena

The instructor was great. We learned how to dance. I somehow thought we'd do so at a more lively venue where we'd then be able to continue dancing. Doing the dancing in the empty dining room of our hotel was not an ideal location - especially since we were such a small group.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jul 18, 2022

Hello dear Zitelli Familiy,

Thank you very much for your detailed travel report! It seems like you were able to get to know the beautiful side of Colombia! How great also that you could have such a great experience at the chocolate workshop and the city tour! I have already requested the video of your dance class and will send it to you as soon as Oscar forwards it to me.

You are always welcome back here in Colombia. The next time maybe in Medellín or the coffee zone? :)

With best regards from the whole Chaska Team!
Michael

Remarkable family trip!
Colombia | Jun 24 - Jul 3, 2022

Sangini
Sangini S.
Hybla Valley, VA | Reviewed on Jul 05, 2022

We had a remarkable family trip to Colombia recently. Michael from Chaska Travel was incredibly flexible, attentive to details, and prompt in getting us information and making adjustments to the itinerary to match our interests and needs as a family with 3 kids ages 4-10. Very much appreciated arrangements for all internal travel as well. With Michael's help, we had a seemless trip that started in Medellin, including a day trip to Guatape and Penol Piedra with our wonderful guide Will and... read more

We had a remarkable family trip to Colombia recently. Michael from Chaska Travel was incredibly flexible, attentive to details, and prompt in getting us information and making adjustments to the itinerary to match our interests and needs as a family with 3 kids ages 4-10. Very much appreciated arrangements for all internal travel as well. With Michael's help, we had a seemless trip that started in Medellin, including a day trip to Guatape and Penol Piedra with our wonderful guide Will and continued in the coffee region. Will even provided us a list of recommendations for vegetarian-friendly restaurants for later in our trip in Cartegena; we went to several and all were delicious! Our guide Jose was terrific and knowledgeable as was our driver Mario who knew so much about birds! Jose even checking in with us after we had left his company to make sure we we had reached Cartegena and were continuing to enjoy our trip. The coffee region was beautiful and lush and we enjoyed our hike to the waterfall with a nature guide. Cartegena is beautiful and our hotel was perfectly located. A bike tour was the perfect way to get around and learn the layout of the old city and much better for the kids than walking! We are thankful to Michael for finding a way to get us to Hotel Las Islas which was a truly wonderful experience in terms of service, activities, food, and the setting. A truly memorable trip that was a pleasure to plan and take with the help of KimKim and Chaska tours!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Las Islas
Barú
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Park 10
Medellin

Great breakfast, very friendly staff! Rooms are large, clean and comfortable.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Finca Hotel del Cafe
Santa Rosa de Cabal

Beautiful setting on a coffee farm surrounded by lush vegetation, the hotel has a lovely central courtyard and friendly staff.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Salento Real Eje Cafetero
Salento
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Nacar Hotel Cartagena, Curio Collection by Hilton
Cartagena

Excellent location in the Old City of Cartagena with clean and comfortable rooms and friendly staff, great morning breakfast on rooftop.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Tour to Peñol & Guatapé
Medellín
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Relaxing in Santa Rosa Hot Springs
Pereira

The Santa Rosa Hot Springs are an impressive setting and the hot springs were fun, although crowded when we went as it was a holiday. Getting in at first was confusing due to the crowds but once in, all was straightfoward. We had some issues with dinner as almost no vegetarian items on their menu were available and arrangements had to be made for our driver to stop at a restaurant in town with us so we could eat. Worth considering in determining the timing of when to go to hot springs.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Tour to Frailes Waterfall & Salento & the Cocora Valley
Salento

Great hike -- thank goodness for the rain boots provided by the nature guide!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour by Bike
Cartagena

Great way to get a sense of the old city and see the main historical sites before exploring further by foot although a little hard to navigate on bikes with traffic and narrow streets. Guide was a little nervous with our kids but they were fine. The vendor for the bikes would benefit from improving their helmets which did not adjust/fit well.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Night Time Bioluminescence Tour
Isla Baru
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Visit of the National Aviary of Colombia
Colombia

The aviary is impressive but it was just too hot and humid to fully enjoy on the day we went. The educational show at the two set times is okay but not a huge loss if missed (especially if not fluent in Spanish). We rushed through the last several exhibits before the arena to get to show in time.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jul 05, 2022

Hi Sangini,

thank you very much for the detailed travel report. It's nice to see that you liked the activities and hotels so much and that you could get a super good impression of this great country! Thanks to your whole family, for the uncomplicated realisation of the trip and the nice communication during the travel planning and during the trip.

Sunny greetings from San Agustín,
Michael and the Chaska Tours Team

Overall we had an amazing experience
Colombia | Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2022

Amber
Amber A.
Los Angeles, CA | Reviewed on Jul 05, 2022

Overall we had an amazing experience on our trip. Everything was well organized and planned with detail which was a relief. I was surprised to have the same guide for all the days we’d stay in each city but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fabiola, Jose and Oscar were knowledgeable and fun. A few improvements with choice of hotel and preparation for tours could be made but nothing extreme. We will definitely be using Kim Kim for our next adventure. read more

Overall we had an amazing experience on our trip. Everything was well organized and planned with detail which was a relief. I was surprised to have the same guide for all the days we’d stay in each city but it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Fabiola, Jose and Oscar were knowledgeable and fun. A few improvements with choice of hotel and preparation for tours could be made but nothing extreme. We will definitely be using Kim Kim for our next adventure.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Casa Deco
Bogotá

Great food and clean rooms. Location has pros because it’s walking distance to everything but loud at night if you want sleep.

Tips for future travelers

Take ears plugs for the noise

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
GHL Hotel Armería Real
Cartagena

Overall very pretty, our experience may have been bad luck but we could not sleep at night because there was very loud music next to our room coming from another building. Police had to be called twice to address the issue at 4am. Breakfast is sufficient but a bit bland, location is close to many touristy areas.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
La Campana Hotel Boutique
Medellín

Great location, clean and good breakfast.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Punta Faro
Isla Mucura

Beautiful grounds, very clean rooms. Environment is relaxing. Only con would be overall size and amenities offered. Beach is not very big but not many guests stay at the hotel in general. Only one restaurant but offers tasty buffet. More than two days might start to seem repetitive.

Tips for future travelers

The location prohibits music

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Visit to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
Colombia
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
The car was a bit small in the back, not much leg room for long trips. Driving was also a little choppy for those who get motion sickness.
Chingaza National Park Day Hike
Bogotá
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Ecological Walk - "La Miel" Waterfall
Medellín
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Tour to Peñol & Guatapé
Medellín
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Tour to Totumo Volcano
Cartagena
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jul 05, 2022

Dear Amber,

thank you very much for your comments about the hotels, guides and activities! We are glad to hear that you had a great time in Colombia! Too bad that it was a bit louder in the hotels - In Colombia, people like to party a lot and listen to loud music :P. Would be great if we could welcome you soon again in Colombia.

Kind regards from Colombia,
Michael and the Chaska Tours Team

Excellent service
Colombia | Jun 15 - Jun 26, 2022

E
Erika B.
Charlotte, NC | Reviewed on Jul 01, 2022

Mike did a superb job regarding the coordination of transportation, guides, several trips and accommodations!!

I greatly recommend Mike to help navigate a trip to Colombia. The service Mike provided was astounding!

Colombia is a beautiful country with abundance of natural beauty. Foreigners will benefit from the assistance of guides and a reputable tour agency.

read more

Mike did a superb job regarding the coordination of transportation, guides, several trips and accommodations!!

I greatly recommend Mike to help navigate a trip to Colombia. The service Mike provided was astounding!

Colombia is a beautiful country with abundance of natural beauty. Foreigners will benefit from the assistance of guides and a reputable tour agency.

Hotel Reviews
Casa Tayrona Los Naranjos

Beautiful views! Staff was friendly. Definitely would go back!

Reserva Guadalajara- Cocora Valley
Salento

Highly recommend the “hacienda”. Great views. Felt like being “home”. The owner of the hotel was so friendly. I would go back again!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Trekking to Ciudad Perdida
Santa Marta

This was an amazing trek if you love the jungle. The guide was knowledgeable. Learned about the indigenous and the overall history of the region. This is a difficult hike.

Visit of Cocora Valley, Coffee Farm & Salento
Salento

The guide was very knowledgeable regarding the palms of the area. It was interesting to learn about the adaptation of the palm tree and glad to observe conservation of the trees. Beautiful area in Colombia!

Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jul 01, 2022

Dear Erika,

thank you very much for your kind words! I'm glad to see that you liked the hotels and tours so much! We will continue to suggest these to our guests!

Greetings also to Kathryn - thank you for the nice communication during the planning together!

- The Chaska Tours Team

A great trip! Highly recommend for families
Colombia | May 16 - May 23, 2022

S
Stacey S.
Canada | Reviewed on Jun 21, 2022

Thank you Michael for planning an amazing trip for our family. We packed so much fun and adventure into each day and everyone had a blast. We really appreciated the help with a last minute request for horse back riding. It ended up being one of the highlights of the trip.

The accommodations recommended were all really lovely. Especially the eco hotels. Great service and kind people everywhere we stayed.

We really enjoyed the company and skills of our drivers and a special thank... read more

Thank you Michael for planning an amazing trip for our family. We packed so much fun and adventure into each day and everyone had a blast. We really appreciated the help with a last minute request for horse back riding. It ended up being one of the highlights of the trip.

The accommodations recommended were all really lovely. Especially the eco hotels. Great service and kind people everywhere we stayed.

We really enjoyed the company and skills of our drivers and a special thank you to Andreas for being so kind and helpful with our daughters. Our guides Jose, Carlos, and Edgar are very knowledgeable about Colombia and were happy to chat and answer all our questions. Having them with us not only made the trip easy, but also we learned so much and had a lot of laughs.

Activity Review
Horseback-Riding Tour
Pereira

A great family experience. The horses were gentle and calm which was great for my inexperienced kids and I. The scenery was beautiful. A very kind host who allowed us to relax on the veranda and wait for the rain to let up before heading out for our ride. My kids also loved meeting all the dogs at the property. Our guide Jose spoke perfect English, was knowledgeable about the area and was also an experienced horse rider which was so helpful. He was so kind and helpful, helping to get the kids on and off their horses and keeping everyone moving along the path. The road to get to the property is a bit rough, our driver did a great job navigating the muddy bumpy road.

Quality of Experience
Horses are well cared for. Beautiful scenery
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Jun 21, 2022

Dear Stacey,

thank you very much for the kind words and your travel report. How nice that you enjoyed the horseback riding tour and that you had such a good experience with our guides and drivers.

Hopefully we can welcome you again soon on a next trip to the other exciting destinations here in Colombia.

Best regards from the whole Chaska team.
Michael

10 days - Colombia Essentials
Colombia | Apr 23 - May 2, 2022

B
Beatriz V.
Jersey City, NJ | Reviewed on May 25, 2022

This has been my first experience with Kim Kim and it has been excellent through and through.
Michael and the team were super attentive and diligent from the start, when curating an itinerary according to my preferences and time available. Every request to change things I had, they were very responsive and gave me options right away.
Then, during the trip the communication was excellent, checking in with me through WhatsApp regularly and adjusting flights and timing as needed, on the go.... read more

This has been my first experience with Kim Kim and it has been excellent through and through.
Michael and the team were super attentive and diligent from the start, when curating an itinerary according to my preferences and time available. Every request to change things I had, they were very responsive and gave me options right away.
Then, during the trip the communication was excellent, checking in with me through WhatsApp regularly and adjusting flights and timing as needed, on the go. Never had a question or a request not answered within the hour (thank you Zaira and Cristina as well). Traveling solo this was a tremendous support.
Also big thank you to all my local guides and drivers (more than 10!). Thank you for making me feel super welcome, for sharing their knowledge, tips, anecdotes and personal experiences of places with me. There’s nothing like getting to know a place and its people through the eyes of somebody really passionate about it.
All-in-all I rate my experience 9.5 (tip: when traveling from the mountains to the Caribbean coast, give yourself a couple of hours to adjust to the heat + humidity; I didn’t, jump into the streets immediately to explore Santa Marta and had to go back to the hotel because I was not feeling that well, lesson learnt for next time, because I hope to visit Colombia again, too many things to see!)

Hotel Reviews
BH Bicentenario
Bogotá

Standard city hotel, very clean and well located

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
BH Bicentenario
Bogotá

Standard city hotel, very clean and well located

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Terrazas de Salento
Terrazas de Salento, Colombia

Beautiful, charming hotel, with super attentive staff, willing to help. 10 out of 10 of service. They even served me breakfast out of hours because my transfer was too early.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
14 Urban Hotel
Medellin

Small, boutique-style hotel. Location excellent as far as your room does not face street directly, since it’s a bar/restaurant area, can be a bit noisy at nights. Breakfast can be improved.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Villa Maria Tayrona, a Kali Hotels
Los Naranjos

Very charming accommodation in the middle of nature. It truly fits the trekking experience at Tayrona. Being cottages, you will need help to carry anything that is not a backpack! - but staff is super helpful. Be ready to deal with some serious bugs at dinner time if you choose to eat at the open dining terrace!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
La Passion Hotel Boutique
Cartagena de Indias

Boutique hotel , very well located. The hotel in itself is beautiful. Decor is exceptional. However, I had a couple of issues with the room (it may have been just my luck on the room I was given): no windows and the bathroom design with the shower and the sink basically in the same space made it not that practical.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Casa de Isabella, a Kali Hotel
Santa Marta

Beautiful boutique hotel. Location is very good. Staff may have not been as responsive as what I experienced during the rest of the trip. When asked about the city and how to get to some places I was told to find my way to the tourist office three blocks away (not in these words, of course, but that was a bit how I felt it)

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Big Bogotá City Tour
Bogotá
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Visit of Cocora Valley, Coffee Farm & Salento
Salento
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
City Tour Medellín
Medellín
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Tour Peñol & Guatapé
Medellín

Must-do if you are in the area

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Excursion in Tayrona National Park - Arrecifes Area
Tayrona National Park
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
City Tour Santa Marta
Colombia
Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Cartagena City-Tour by Bike
Cartagena

It’s a nice tour but a bit to rush. You don’t really stop that much into places.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
San Alberto Coffee Tasting
Cartagena

It was ok - but not that memorable after having visited a coffee farm. The experience maybe different if your trip does not include a visit to the Eje cafetero.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 25, 2022

Hi Beatriz! :)
How nice to hear from you! Zaira, Cris, Me and the rest of the team were very happy to hear your kind words and see your photos! You really have a talent for photography - very nice shots of the different places in Colombia! Thanks also for your detailed comments about the hotels and excursions - it helps us immensely to suggest more suitable options for the upcoming trips.
Great that you want to come back soon. We look forward to welcoming you back here.

Best regards from the whole Chaska team!
Michael

What a fantastic way to experience Colombia!
Colombia | Mar 28 - Apr 9, 2022

Ross
Ross V.
Australia | Reviewed on May 18, 2022

This was my first experience with Kimkim. I was honestly blown away by the level of detail in the planning of the itinerary and the level of customisation available. Michael and his team went above and beyond to maintain a channel of communication and provide constant updates and information, at every stage of the trip. If I had any questions or issues, Michael was more than happy to assist- he even checked the entry requirements for the USA before I left Colombia and organised a nurse to... read more

This was my first experience with Kimkim. I was honestly blown away by the level of detail in the planning of the itinerary and the level of customisation available. Michael and his team went above and beyond to maintain a channel of communication and provide constant updates and information, at every stage of the trip. If I had any questions or issues, Michael was more than happy to assist- he even checked the entry requirements for the USA before I left Colombia and organised a nurse to come to my hotel to collect a PCR swab.
The highlights of my trip were visiting an organic Coffee farm in Medellin (Observatorio Agroecologico El Cafetal), hiking through Tayrona National park with a very knowledgeable guide and staying at Villa Maria and doing a historical biking tour in Cartagena with Tavo Reyes. I couldn't fault even fault the drivers - everybody was very friendly and accommodating and helped make this trip a memorable experience. Thank you so much :)

Hotel Review
Villa Maria Tayrona, a Kali Hotels
Los Naranjos

This is a beautiful, secluded hotel in the Tayrona National Park area. The staff were extremely friendly and went above and beyond to help with any issues or questions. I had difficulty booking a flight on my iPad and reception staff went out of their way to let me use their computer. It's little things like this that make a huge difference. The cabin itself was beautiful and clean, nestled within the jungle. The hammock was a nice touch! The food from the restaurant was also very tasty. I also loved seeing the resident Macaw interact with the guests. The hotel grounds were also beautifully maintained and there was a private beach located a short walk from the main area.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Secluded
Staff
Extremely friendly and welcoming
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Coffee-Culture Tour
Medellín

This was an awesome experience. The coffee farm was a small, organic, family run farm on the outskirts of Medellin (around the Envigado area). The owner himself conducted the tour and greeted us with cake and freshly brewed cups of locally grown coffee. It was very interesting hearing about the coffee production process, as well as the impact of covid and recent weather events on global production. As a consumer of coffee from a Western country, we often don't consider or understand all of the hard work that goes into growing the trees, harvesting the fruit and processing the beans. We even had the opportunity to plant our own coffee plant seedlings. A very educational experience!

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 18, 2022

Hi Ross,

these are fabulous words from you! The whole Chaska Tours team was very happy to hear that you had such a great experience in the magical country of Colombia. It was our pleasure to accompany you on your trip and support you through everything! I'm glad you enjoyed the coffee farm in Medellín and had such a good experience with the hotels, guides and drivers.

Thank you very much for all your comments.

Sunny greetings from San Agustín,
Michael

P.S. Super cool photos by the way!

3 cities Colombia
Colombia | May 2 - May 9, 2022

S
Sam H.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on May 17, 2022

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, everything was planned perfectly and Michael was more then accommodating for any last minute alterations that we had. read more

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, everything was planned perfectly and Michael was more then accommodating for any last minute alterations that we had.

Hotel Review
BH Bicentenario
Bogotá
Authenticity & Character
No
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Big Bogotá City Tour
Bogotá

Our tour guide luis was awesome

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 17, 2022

Hi Sam,
thanks for your travel report.

It was a pleasure to be able to customize your trip even on short notice during the trip.
We hope you have great memories of the beautiful country and we are looking forward to your next visit!

Best,
Michael

Dream Vacation
Colombia | Apr 2 - Apr 12, 2022

Saabirah
Saabirah C.
Henrietta, NY | Reviewed on May 09, 2022

This was our first time leaving the country since the pandemic and we were very nervous about travel restrictions. There were a number of things that did not go as planned with flight cancelations and delays that affected our vacation. All things out of Kim Kim's control. Michael sprung into action and made adjustments to extend our vacation, reorganized our activities and contacted the hotels and vendors. His help was priceless. Michael worked to ensure we had a wonderful, stress-free, dream... read more

This was our first time leaving the country since the pandemic and we were very nervous about travel restrictions. There were a number of things that did not go as planned with flight cancelations and delays that affected our vacation. All things out of Kim Kim's control. Michael sprung into action and made adjustments to extend our vacation, reorganized our activities and contacted the hotels and vendors. His help was priceless. Michael worked to ensure we had a wonderful, stress-free, dream vacation.

Cartagena is a vibrate city with beautiful art and delicious foods. Having the guide and driver made getting around easy and gave us insights into the city that we would not have known.

Picturing ourselves at Punta Faro in our Bungalow or on the private beach sipping a margarita is now our mental escape. I cannot describe how relaxing this experience was, I can still hear the waves, feel the sun, and smell the sea salt water.

Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 09, 2022

Hi Saabi!
Good to hear from you! :)
That does sound great. We are very happy that we could make your dream vacation possible! Fortunately, it worked out to rearrange everything flexibly and therefore to give you an informative and relaxing trip.

If you're ever looking for some relaxation again, we'd be happy to organize some Magarita time for you on the Colombian Islands! :)

Best regards
The Chaska Tours Team

Colombia ladies' trip
Colombia | Apr 25 - May 2, 2022

S
Sonia D.
Canada | Reviewed on May 06, 2022

Went with some girlfriends to visit another friend in Columbia. I was unsure about an online travel agency but KimKim and Michael had very good service. Our 2 main guides and all the transfers were also good.

We had some changes with another person being added after to our original plan. We also had to change the last hotel on our itinerary on the fly but I realize this was our fault as we told Michael that our friend was in Santa Marta while she was really was in Minca. So we changed on... read more

Went with some girlfriends to visit another friend in Columbia. I was unsure about an online travel agency but KimKim and Michael had very good service. Our 2 main guides and all the transfers were also good.

We had some changes with another person being added after to our original plan. We also had to change the last hotel on our itinerary on the fly but I realize this was our fault as we told Michael that our friend was in Santa Marta while she was really was in Minca. So we changed on the fly to spend an extra night in Tayrona instead of Santa Marta and have a relaxing day, but of course it was too late for a refund on our last hotel.

I don't think we were quite prepared for the "night bug" situation in the Colombian jungle (i.e. you must go to bed early and turn off all the lights if you don't like giant insects!) and if I knew I would have gone for hotels with both A/C (better sealed rooms) and mosquito netting. Strangely by coincidence, our hotel in Minca was down the road from our friend ... but the "night bug" situation was rather terrifying even with the mosquito netting (although I don't think there are any fancier hotels in Minca). I think our original hotel in Tayrona had AC + netting but we had to change once we added another person to our trip. Our plans were not done far in advance so I would advise any people with similar insect fears to get the nicest hotels possible with A/C + mosquito nets. If you have no compelling reason to stay in Minca I would stay in Santa Marta and do the day trips to Minca instead, and enjoy the bug free nights and hot water in Santa Marta :)

Tayrona National Park was beautiful but we weren't prepared for the exertion of hiking 14 km total in searing heat. We really enjoyed the bird-watching and coffee farm in Minca.

In Santa Marta, I could have skipped the city tour and spent the day at one of the nicer beaches outside the city ... we still managed a half day at the beach which was lovely.

Based on the experience I would definitely use KimKim again.

Hotel Reviews
Casa de Isabella, a Kali Hotel
Santa Marta

Very close to tourist / restaurant area downtown. Has a nice little lounge and tiny pool area. Breakfast is okay although not amazing. Rooms are fine, good hot water.

Tips for future travelers

It's noisy downtown so bring earplugs.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Sweet Harmony by Xarm Hotels
Minca, Magdalena

We mainly stayed here because our friend lives in Minca very close to this hotel. However, we were terrified of the bugs at night and went to bed early with the lights off to keep them away. Room was very stuffy with the doors closed. No hot water or lukewarm water depending on which room. Some room's had no frosted glass on bathroom and was totally visible to hotel guys who were digging a trench in the morning (so she couldn't take a shower in the morning).

CASA BAMBÚ
Los Naranjos

Only 8 huts so you may get the pool to yourself. Good food although portions too large. Very nice staff. When we went - end of April - loads of beetles come out and are attracted to light once it got dark. Makes sitting outside impossible after about 7:30 pm (unless you have no bug phobia). Light in room may also attract beetles so we all went to bed early and stayed in bed in the dark, looking at our phones. Would give hotel 5-stars if there was mosquito netting in room and a screened area outside where we could hang out without being attacked by beetles.

Activity Reviews
Excursion in Tayrona National Park - Arrecifes Area
Tayrona National Park

Very difficult on a hot, humid day. We didn't realize it involved such a long hike to get to a swimmable beach. Beach did not have much shade. Would be more enjoyable on a cooler day. Long wait for entrance tickets (although tour guide did that and we got to wait in van).

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Birdwatching in Minca
Minca

Nice quiet area, our guide found lots of birds including Toucans. They give you binoculars if you don't have any.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 06, 2022

Dear Sonia,

thank you very much for your detailed travel report. Your comments help us a lot to provide our guests with more information during the trips. Also, thank you for your feedback on the hotels - it's a pity that the insects didn't stop bothering you. Nevertheless, it sounds like you enjoyed your time in Colombia - also glad you were able to visit your friend :)

A good coming home to you.
Thank you very much,
Michael and the Chaska Tours Team

Amazing experience!
Colombia | Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2022

Lauren
Lauren G.
Canada | Reviewed on May 04, 2022

We had a wonderful trip to Colombia, and working with KimKim/Chaska Tours made the planning very easy. Michael listened to all my requests, and his expertise ensured we had some really interesting experiences that I would never have known to look for when planning the trip myself. I still feel like I played a part in the planning of the trip, but I didn't have to worry about making sure everything was booked as it was all done for us. KimKim also has a wealth of resources which helped with... read more

We had a wonderful trip to Colombia, and working with KimKim/Chaska Tours made the planning very easy. Michael listened to all my requests, and his expertise ensured we had some really interesting experiences that I would never have known to look for when planning the trip myself. I still feel like I played a part in the planning of the trip, but I didn't have to worry about making sure everything was booked as it was all done for us. KimKim also has a wealth of resources which helped with the planning process. Overall, I feel we got a really good feel for Colombia, and learned a lot about the country and it's history from our amazing guides.

Hotel Review
Villa Maria Tayrona, a Kali Hotels
Los Naranjos

Really enjoyed our stay here. Very comfortable, and a cool experience. Our hut was isolated off in the trees, so it felt very secluded and peaceful, and we really loved the hammock. The food and drink options were good. Overall, one of our favourite hotels of the trip because it was different and a unique experience.

Tips for future travelers

I would give yourself a day to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the pool/spa/beach.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Tour to Peñol & Guatapé
Medellín

Really beautiful area to visit, and Guatape is a neat little town to walk around. Would definitely recommend this excursion if you're visiting Medellin.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on May 04, 2022

Hello :)
Thank you very much for the kind words and your trip report. We are glad that you could enjoy the magical Colombia and had a great time! Glad you liked the hotels and tours so much.
We thank you for your trust and hope to see you again soon in Colombia.
Thanks a lot and
All the best,
Michael

Unforgettable!
Colombia | Apr 6 - Apr 10, 2022

S
Sarah D.
Santa Monica, CA | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

I had such an amazing time! Everything was so well organized, I didn’t have to think about anything other than showing up. Our guides were so sweet and made every effort to make sure we were okay. Michael planned an awesome trip, one I will never forget! read more

I had such an amazing time! Everything was so well organized, I didn’t have to think about anything other than showing up. Our guides were so sweet and made every effort to make sure we were okay. Michael planned an awesome trip, one I will never forget!

Hotel Review
Selina Cartagena
Cartagena
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

Dear Sarah. Thank you for your kind words. Great that you had a relaxing trip with your friends. Hope you collected a lot of nice moments. Thank you for the uncomplicated communication! See you hopefully very soon again here in Colombia! :)

Colombia with kimkim tours
Colombia | Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2022

J
Jonea M.
Canada | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

Booking my tour through kimkim, made my travel to Colombia worry free. I just told them what my interest were, and they came up with a plan the suited my requests. read more

Booking my tour through kimkim, made my travel to Colombia worry free. I just told them what my interest were, and they came up with a plan the suited my requests.

Hotel Review
Hotel Kartaxa Cartagena
Cartagena

Loved the hotel and the location. Friendly and helpful staff

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Visit of Cocora Valley, Coffee Farm & Salento
Salento

Hiking in the cloud forest was the highlight of my trip.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

Super Jonea! We're glad you had a stress-free trip. Chaska Tours is happy that we could accompany your vacation here in Colombia. It was a pleasure to organize your activities. Thank you also in the name of your guides and drivers - everyone was happy to welcome you as our guest!

Our first trip to Colombia but not our last
Colombia | Mar 23 - Apr 4, 2022

J
James K.
Canada | Reviewed on Apr 11, 2022

We made a last minute decision to go on a trip to Colombia. We had very specific interests and goals and Michael's service made it easy to customize our itinerary. Communicating through WhatsApp was quick and efficient and all our questions and changes were answered promptly. The pre-trip information was detailed and organized. It would have been nice to see a breakdown of expenses as opposed to a lump sum payment. We have travelled extensively through Central and South America and feel... read more

We made a last minute decision to go on a trip to Colombia. We had very specific interests and goals and Michael's service made it easy to customize our itinerary. Communicating through WhatsApp was quick and efficient and all our questions and changes were answered promptly. The pre-trip information was detailed and organized. It would have been nice to see a breakdown of expenses as opposed to a lump sum payment. We have travelled extensively through Central and South America and feel the prices were reasonable. The accommodations, guides, and transportation chosen for us were of top notch quality and the professionalism and expertise of our leaders were evident. We never felt unsafe and would definitely use and recommend KimKim for future trips.

Hotel Review
Mundo Nuevo Eco Lodge
Santa Marta

This location is just so unique. SUBLIME. It is called an EcoLodge and it does try to live up to this image--the delicious vegetarian meals, the connection to the local indigenous community, and the ambiance and proximity to the natural environment. The interactive social setting in the dining area added to the travel experience. Though it is very remote, we still had access to modern conveniences such as Wifi, warm showers, and filtered water. In fact, it was the only lodge that we stayed at that had potable water in our rooms.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Constant cleaning and maintenance was evident
Activity Review
Birdwatching-Tour in Minca
Minca

Our bird guides were extremely knowledgeable about the local endemic birds of the Santa Marta area. They were able to find, identify, and communicate the various bird sightings with us during the hikes. We appreciate the ethical way in which the outing was conducted and didn't feel like nature was being impacted for the sake of the tourists.

Quality of Experience
Guides, drivers and staff
Transport
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Apr 11, 2022

Dear Lynda & James,

thank you for the detailed feedback!
We will pass this on to our guides. I'm sure they will be as happy about the kind words as we are!
It always makes us happy to hear that our guests had a great time here.

See you soon hopefully :)

Michael

Amazing trip, great planning
Colombia | Mar 1 - Mar 8, 2022

A
Albert T.
West Chester, PA | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

My husband and I had an amazing trip to Colombia through Chaska Tours this past month! We knew that going on our honeymoon right after the wedding would be a lot of planning stress, but Micheal took care of all the logistics. We were able to coordinate with the team to ensure that we fit everything important to us on our trip and made requests for hotels we really wanted to check out, and then they took care of all the logistics. Every drive from the airport pickup to transfers across the... read more

My husband and I had an amazing trip to Colombia through Chaska Tours this past month! We knew that going on our honeymoon right after the wedding would be a lot of planning stress, but Micheal took care of all the logistics. We were able to coordinate with the team to ensure that we fit everything important to us on our trip and made requests for hotels we really wanted to check out, and then they took care of all the logistics. Every drive from the airport pickup to transfers across the northern coast was taken care of and every driver was punctual, if not early, but flexible to our needs. We also had three different tours that Chaska organized for and every guide was so incredibly knowledgeable, whether it was identifying Cartagena landmarks, explaining the medicinal and traditional uses of various forest growths, or identifying and calling to the endemic birds of the region. We felt the tours that were lined up through Chaska all enriched our trip and left plenty of time for solo exploring/beachside relaxation. We are so glad we booked our trip this way and would recommend to anybody planning a big trap.

Hotel Review
Hotel Casa San Agustin
Cartagena de Indias
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Apr 18, 2022

Dear Emily and Albert,
thank you for your kind words!
It was a pleasure to accompany you on your trip to Colombia.
Glad you had such a great honeymoon. We welcome you with open arms on your next trip through Colombia!

Only the best for your time together!

Sunny greetings
Michael on behalf of the whole Chaska Team :)

Use Michael, but consider using someone other than Chaska Tours
Colombia | Mar 16 - Mar 25, 2022

Joseph
Joseph L.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Mar 29, 2022

Overall, Michael was very responsive, with a diverse and exciting itinerary, and would use him again!

The company, Chaska Tours, that they used for the actual services in Colombia I would give 3.5 stars. For the money that was paid, I would have expected fewer problems.
1. Driver was not ready for pickup at first airport
2. Wrong and worse hotel during one part of the trip
3. One not so good tour guide and one average one. One excellent one and one good one.
4. Missed a flight bc of... read more

Overall, Michael was very responsive, with a diverse and exciting itinerary, and would use him again!

The company, Chaska Tours, that they used for the actual services in Colombia I would give 3.5 stars. For the money that was paid, I would have expected fewer problems.
1. Driver was not ready for pickup at first airport
2. Wrong and worse hotel during one part of the trip
3. One not so good tour guide and one average one. One excellent one and one good one.
4. Missed a flight bc of traffic (not their fault, but made the rest of the itinerary very difficult)

Hotel Review
Hotel Casa Deco
Bogotá

You got what you paid for. Next to busy street, so somewhat noisy.

Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Mar 29, 2022

Dear Joseph and Ethel,
thank you very much for your evaluation.

I am glad that you enjoyed the trip in general!

We are sorry for the inconvenient issues. Thank you for the feedback regarding the guides and (transfer) service providers. We have a high standard for choosing our local partners and rely on this information from our travelers, so we will consider this in the future when planning trips.
Unfortunately, we have no control over unforeseen events such as the strike and flight... read more

Dear Joseph and Ethel,
thank you very much for your evaluation.

I am glad that you enjoyed the trip in general!

We are sorry for the inconvenient issues. Thank you for the feedback regarding the guides and (transfer) service providers. We have a high standard for choosing our local partners and rely on this information from our travelers, so we will consider this in the future when planning trips.
Unfortunately, we have no control over unforeseen events such as the strike and flight cancellation, but are glad that we were able to resolve this at short notice.

We are looking forward to welcoming you hopefully soon again in Colombia!

Best regards from San Agustín,
Michael on behalf of Chaska Tours.

What an amazing trip! I found kimkim through ...
Colombia | Feb 9 - Feb 18, 2022

T
trisa o.
Belmont, CA | Reviewed on Mar 16, 2022

What an amazing trip! I found kimkim through a random google search and their tour options interested me-but especially the customization. After figuring out the details with the representative I had an exciting trip to look forward to.

I visited Bogota, Pereira region, a nice hike around Corcora along with a visit to Salento, Medellin, Guatape Day trip to hike up la Piedra rock for beautiful views, Cartagena, Minca and finally Palomino over a two week period. The accommodations selected... read more

What an amazing trip! I found kimkim through a random google search and their tour options interested me-but especially the customization. After figuring out the details with the representative I had an exciting trip to look forward to.

I visited Bogota, Pereira region, a nice hike around Corcora along with a visit to Salento, Medellin, Guatape Day trip to hike up la Piedra rock for beautiful views, Cartagena, Minca and finally Palomino over a two week period. The accommodations selected for my budget were nice and in the large cities, centrally located. Every driver was professional and Michael booked knowledgeable and friendly guides as necessary. Luis in Bogota was wonderful and told me more than I could possibly remember about the city, the gold museum, etc. Tito was very friendly and helpful at my stay in the coffee region, Jose in Medellin was helpful despite my late arrival (he stayed until I got to the hotel and since it was too late for the planned city tour he recommended me places to visit and restaurants to eat at), Cristian found some wonderful toucans in Minca, my guide in Cartagena was wonderful but his name escapes me, and then Palomino was relaxed beach time on my own. The driver's were also great with Diego in Pereira, Emerson around the Cartagena (plus transport to Minca) and the others I can't recall.

Colombia is a beautiful country you need to see for yourself to believe! Gorgeous scenery, delicious food, friendly people, there is so much to see and do. I almost wish I could keep it a secret so it does not become overrun with even more tourists :).

My only suggestion is maybe offer different vendors for the Guatape trip. A boat trip is pretty unnecessary as all you do is sit on the boat for an hour. I would have preferred to have that extra hour in Guatape because it is such a beautiful little town. Aside from that, no complaints!

Thank you for such a wonderful trip!

Hotel Review
Hotel Casa Deco
Bogotá

They provide comfortable rooms in a centrally located place in Candelaria. The staff is very friendly, the breakfast is hearty and good, and it has a lovely terrace to enjoy the sunset from.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Michael Gold
Michael
Michael Gold
Local specialist in Bogotá | Reviewed on Mar 16, 2022

Hi Trisa,

Thank you very much for your comment, we are very happy to know that you enjoyed the experience in Colombia that we prepared together.

We will share your good comments with the guides and drivers that assisted you and we will take note of your suggestion for Guatapé's tour.

I also wanted to thank you for being such a kind traveler. It has been a pleasure for our entire team to be your hosts here. Come back soon! :)