We have travelled widely in South America, but this was our first trip to Colombia. We had heard great things about it, and weren't disappointed! The landscapes from the Andes to the Caribbean, the people, the food and the culture all contributed to a great experience. We would highly recommend Colombia to anyone!
Everything was handled well...always a quick response to any enquiries. They were also responsive to our suggestions for changes to the itinerary...they were a bit too quick to suggest a 4 day trek to La ciudad perdida for a couple in their late 60's.
The hotel in Bogota...the front desk was rude, avoided talking to us in English, wouldn't give us change for 50K COP...eventually sent the doorman, who was always smiling and polite! Locked us out of our room immediately after I settled the bill, even though we hadn't left! The restaurant overcharged us for tips, and senior staff were quite short and rude. The staff were helping themselves to the buffet while we ate! The room was fine, hotel well located. Visit to Raquira was a waste of time...the pottery was junk..not worthy of souvenirs. Pastor, Our driver sensed our disappointment, and took us to an artisan in another town who made jewellery out of Tagua...he actually made a piece in front of us and gave it to us...we bought some other pieces...this would make a much better stop. Then when I asked for a washroom, he took us to his family home and introduced us to his family...great fun!! Pastor didn't speak English but used Google Translate so we could communicate! Got us to the airport in time, despite heavy traffic. On checking in for flight to Armenia, I realized we did not have a Booking ID which meant we could not self-check. Would be helpful if you gave us a Booking ID ahead of time, booked our seats since we ended up at the back of the plane, and asked for our loyalty numbers. Would make this part of the trip much easier! In the Cafetera, you should warn guests to spray arms and legs, or cover up when going to the coffee plantations. I was bitten mercilessly by "no see-ems", and looked for days like I had measles, very itchy! Your description of "a stroll" up the foothills at Corcora is an understatement ...anyone with health problems would have had a hard time. We were told lunch was included...you should clarify that there is a maximum credit of COP64K...we had to pay for juice we would not have ordered if we had known. Include Raingear in "what to bring"...Salento was the place where we could have used it!! Medellin was wonderful..hotel lovely neighbourhood...would have been helpful to have better guidance for restaurants...they only recommended one, which was nice, but there was an entire area a little further on. We found it the next day by ourselves! Our stay in Tayrona and Cartagena went without a hitch! The hotel in Tayrona was lovely, but lots of climbing and steps, not recommended for anyone with mobility or health issues.
Andres Salcedo in Bogota was great...in fact he changed our half day tour and stayed with us the full day, including taking us up to Monserrate for sunset. He definitely went the extra mile! Gave great recommendations for places to eat, and helped us when we wanted to buy art in Bogota. Pastor was a great driver (see above) Jorge and Adriana were also great. Marcella gave us a great tour in Medellin and Guatape.
This itinerary was perfect. The trip to Villa de Leyva meant a lot of driving time, used up almost two days. Drive to Medellin was another day.
No single item...street art in Bogota (took a free walking tour), the gondolas and resto/bar scene in Medellin, the wax palms in Cocora, the immaculate washrooms throughout!!