Amy

Trip to colombia, Colombia - Dec 19 - Dec 31, 2018

Traveler: Amy H. - Local specialist: Yuliana Martínez

Our trip to Colombia took me and my husband to Bogota, Salento, Cocora Valley, Tayrona National Park, and Cartagena. I think what was most striking to us was the multitude of landscapes that exist within the country - mountains, valleys, beaches, tropical forests - it was all very beautiful and steeped in a tradition of ceremony, sustainability, and conservation. We were also impressed with the knowledge of our guides and the variety of their subject matter expertise. One was a world-traveled artist (Camilo in Bogota) who was able to give us a deep, immersive lesson on the famous street graffiti, Botero, gold craftsmanship, along with a brief history on the origins and expansion of the city. Christian, an extroverted and boisterous botanist, was our guide in Salento and Cocora Valley. He knew everyone. And vice versa. We learned a lot about Willys, wax palms, coffee, and Tejo under his watch - he was an attentive guide, ensuring that we were well taken care of...and entertained! Jose was our trusty and tireless guide through the depths of the jungles of Tayrona National Park. He led us to Pueblito one day and the playas the next, providing a history of the pre-Colombus indigenous people and pointing out monkeys, caimans, and sacred rocks without breaking a sweat. In Cartagena, Rafa took us inside the minds of the engineers and architects, pointing out the strategy behind the construction of the fort and the wall. He also took us through the Old City neighborhoods, giving us a brief overview of of the plazas - and advice on where we should eat and shop. That said, our only negative experience was with the boat trip that was arranged in Cartagena. Our itinerary promised we'd be "treated to a boat around the Islas del Rosario...Aboard this boat you'll visit 3 beaches, in some top-secret locations that the day-tripper crowds have not heard about (nor are they likely to)." Instead, we were jammed onto a boat with 40 other people and taken to Bendita Beach about an hour away. The boats anchored off of the beach ensured that we sucked in gas fumes all day. Trying to redeem the day, we signed up for a snorkeling trip, which again was super crowded and the guides kept yelling at us to hurry up as we swam through the reefs. This was not a tour, nor was it 3 beaches, and it was anything but top-secret. We were very disappointed in the huge disparity between what was described and what we experienced and wonder how it happened and who benefitted off of our misfortune. We will never get that day back.

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Yuliana Martínez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Amy, I just saw the review, my apologies for the late response, this last month was full of work for us. First of all I am glad your trip with us was mostly a positive experience and you and your husband could enjoy and learn about Colombia. We love to hear those positive comments about our team and we always strive to give the best of us to our clients. About the part of Cartagena we are really sorry with you, the company in charge of that part of the tour made a change in the... read more

Hello Amy, I just saw the review, my apologies for the late response, this last month was full of work for us. First of all I am glad your trip with us was mostly a positive experience and you and your husband could enjoy and learn about Colombia. We love to hear those positive comments about our team and we always strive to give the best of us to our clients. About the part of Cartagena we are really sorry with you, the company in charge of that part of the tour made a change in the itinerary at the last moment saying that they were not offering the 3 islands anymore, and in the chaos of december we tried to select the best option to replace it; Bendita beach is one the best islands to visit, but we should have told you inmediatly we knew about this change, we are so sorry. The money that you pay for the tour as it was described was the same used for that day in Bendita Beach, we didn't keep any money for that situation, Bendita Beach was not a cheaper option. About the snorkeling trip, is something that is out of our control, it depends of the number of people who want to do it; they could be 4 people or 20, but about the treatment that you received is not right, no matter the number of people, you deserve a good service. We will talk with the person in charge about this activity and give him or her a call of atention-Thank you for you amazing review, all these comments help us to improve and to avoid future mistakes, if you want to make us know something else, we are here to hear you, have a wonderful day and again we offer our most sincere apologies.

All the best,

Yuliana.