Annerys and Sophie from the Tailor-made Holidays department, share their experiences of their recent visit to Colombia.
What country/countries did you visit?
How did you get there?
We both flew on different airlines, Annerys with Avianca via Bogotá and Sophie with Air France via Paris.
Whereabouts did you go?
We visited Colombia's best sites, including Bogotá, Villa de Leyva, Tatacoa Desert, San Agustin, Popayán, the coffee region, Cartagena and Santa Marta/Palomino (near Tayrona National park)
Had you been before?
No, neither of us had been before, so we were excited to discover the country.
Which was your favourite…
Place: Cartagena. This inviting UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets and alleys and has the most colourful 16th century buildings, large plazas and 11km of colonial protective walls available to explore.
Hotel: Casa San Carlos lodge in the Coffee Region. It's a brand new property with breathtaking views of the coffee country. The hotel rooms are beautifully decorated with bamboo featuring prominently and services are first class. An excellent option in the area.
Excursion: A day trip to the Rosario Islands. It's an easy journey from Cartagena and there are plenty of activities to undertake, including snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking trips and a visit to the aquarium which features an incredible open-water display of the marine bio-diversity.
What was your most memorable moment?
A visit to the Rosario Islands from Cartagena. It was great to escape the heat of the nearby city Cartagena and spend some time relaxing, with water sports available and the chance to explore the ecological trails, these islands are a real find.
Were there any surprises along the way?
There were not many surprise to be honest, but a top tip we found was that it was much better value to exchange pounds with the Peso Colombiano as opposed to US dollars.
What tips do you have for travellers wanting to visit the same destinations?
Colombia’s reputation precedes it with stories of drug cartels and the media focussing on the country’s past rather than looking at the present – Colombia is a safe destination to travel in and has so much to offer that it really is highly recommended! The country retains its authenticity; the people are friendly and the countryside stunning. All this combined with archaeological sites, jungle and beach makes Colombia a fascinating holiday choice.
Any local snacks, dishes or drinks that should be sampled?
Canelazo, a hot alcoholic drink usually made of sugar, water boiled with cinnamon and fruit juice - it's delicious.
Sum up your trip in a sentence?
Colombia is an amazing country with beautiful people, stunning scenery throughout, colourful towns, fresh and delicious fruits everywhere. We can't wait to go back.