One Week in Colombia: 5 Great Itineraries - May 14 - May 16, 2019

Traveler: Cindy D. - Local specialist: Cami Sarmiento

We had a fabulous time in Columbia. Cami did a super job in setting up
the middle part of our week, which I think was so successful because of the several conversations we had on kimkim.

We were picked up promptly by our driver, Luis. I know he was called in late, as our our original driver was unable to. My one concern was that he had driven through the night to get us and we had a 6-7 hour drive ahead of us. In spite of that, he was a very cautious driver, talked with us, stopped when we needed to, or when we had to though out the construction zone. I learned much from him about Columbia and never felt in danger.

We arrived late to Hacienda Venecia, but still took lunch and had a very informative tour of the coffee farm by Johan. Again, we learned a lot and he was most generous with his time.

We loved this place and wished we would have had more time there, if only to watch the birds! Just beautiful and the accommodations and staff very nice.

Milton and Victor picked us up promptly in the morning for our trip up to Nevada. Milton gets an A+ in my book. He has a broad and deep knowledge of the region and was eager to share that with us. The paramo was awe inspiring, but I think he felt that way about it too. I did not expect him to stay with us long when we returned to Manizales, but he did and we enjoyed our tour there as well.

The one place I had mixed feelings about was the place we had lunch at. We decided not to take in the hot springs, so enjoyed watching and feeding the hummingbirds in the garden. I also enjoyed talking to one of the employees about the hummingbirds, who obviously was quite taken by them as well.

Milton had asked if we could have lunch in the warmer room, and it seemed that they agreed to it, but when we returned they had put our food in the colder room (we had just come down from the paramo) even though there were no other guests. Two of us had also wanted the traditional soup and lunch, and our driver I think wanted something off the menu, but we were told we could only order off the menu and that Milton and our driver had to have the traditional food. It did not seem quite right, but I do not know if that is culturally accepted. If not, I feel the treatment would have been enough for me to not want to use this place (which is too bad because the hummingbirds were such a treat). By the way, the little cafe we stopped at on the way to the paramo was a treat where we had the traditional cane soup and cheese. Perfect!

After touring Manizales, we were dropped off at the Quo hotel. Very modern and nice-much more than we needed, but very comfortable.

Victor picked us up the next morning and promptly delivered us to the Pereira airport. It was fun to talk to him about the area.

Thank you SO much for putting together a package that so perfectly suited our needs. We loved Columbia! Everyone we met was so friendly, kind and helpful. I hope we get back someday, but in the meantime will highly recommend it to friends (and kimkim). We wish the country and its people well.

With much gratitude,
Cindy

Cami Sarmiento profile photo
Cami Sarmiento, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you for your review Cindy. It makes me very happy to know you enjoyed so much your short stay in the Coffee Region and that everyone took great care of you.
Thank you also for your comments about Termales del Ruiz. I will share this with them so that they realize the impact this behavior has on their visitors and don't do it again.
Thank you again for choosing to travel with us. We look forward to adventuring again with you, Tom and Laurie in the future.