Family trip-travelers looking to really experience Colombia - meet locals, understand culture, venture off the beaten path vs. generic tourist experience - Dec 29 - Jan 3, 2019

Traveler: Marlene A. - Local specialist: Brian Schon

Working with Brian and his colleagues was truly a great experience. Brian was very responsive from the start and provided great input. After my initial contact, Brian suggested a call to learn more about what we were looking for and to share with us what his company was about. We travel quite a bit and have used local guides for tours, but this was the first time that someone suggested a call to better understand the travel experience we were looking for. We wanted a more cultural experience vs just the usual tourist sites and we are so grateful for the experience we had with Brian and his colleagues. Brian and his team handled the logistics from start to finish.
We were a family of 11, including 4 children, traveling on a family vacation. We couldn't get enough of the delicious fruits at the local market with our lovely guide Ana and her husband Freddy. We then cooked dinner with Brian and his fiance at their place...what a treat. Added bonus was Freddy playing his cello after dinner. We were lucky enough to visit a couple of private homes and meet the amazing owner and her family in Santa Fe de Antioquia and visit a coffee farm that does not do public tours and can only be visited with Brian and his team. On our last day, we visited communa 1, which was led by the local artists in the neighborhood and had lunch at one of the local artist's home cooked by his mom. It was truly a special moment to have met these amazing people with their inspiring stories. We very much enjoyed talking to our guide Diego as well as his story started off in a neighborhood similar to communa 1 and his journey that took him from Medellin to US and now back to Medellin.

From reading the review, one would think our trip went without any glitches. However, on our 2nd day in Medellin, the glass shower door broke while my niece was in the shower and cut her right foot deep enough to cut a couple of tendons requiring an emergency surgery in Medellin. As unfortunate as this situation was, we were very grateful that if it had to happen, it happened in Medellin where there was good medical care and Brian and his team along with the staff at the hotel were just amazing in the care they gave us. The hotel had someone Spanish/English speaking with my niece and brother-in-law the whole time at the hospital and must have pulled some strings as they were able to operate on my niece's foot the same day.

Overall, we feel very lucky to have visited this very special place and very lucky to have found Brian and his team for our journey.