Epperly Travel Advisor, Carey Dreyer, recently explored Colombia and was pleasantly surprised by what she discovered in this remote region of the world. Our founder, Lindsey, sat down with Carey to get the inside scoop on her trip in efforts to learn more about this unique destination and the types of travelers that should seek Colombia out for their next vacation.
- You recently got back from Colombia and it appeared, from your stories and your photos, that it was a surprising favorite for you. What about the destination exceeded your expectations and in what ways did it differ from how you imagined it?
CD: It exceeded my expectations because, honestly, I didn’t know what to expect because I had mixed reviews. Some people really loved Colombia, some people didn’t have the best experience, so I went in open minded. What really blew me away was the people and the service. To be honest, the partners I worked with on the ground made everything so seamless that I was never concerned about anything really, they had it all taken care of. We were never concerned for our safety and a lot people still think of Colombia as being this dangerous place and I never, ever, once felt that.
It went from the moment I landed at the airport we’d arranged not only a driver, but also a logistics person, who went and met my dad separately and took him to the hotel, got him settled, walked him around and showed him where he could go while he waited for me, then they picked me up. While in country, we had them on WhatsApp so we were able to stay in touch, they would ask us how our days were going and made us feel more comfortable.
Now that I’ve been and experienced the country, based on our clients needs, I can better suggest which areas will be the best fit for certain clients. Colombia is so diverse and much larger than people think. It does involve a lot of logistics, so my knowledge can help bring exactly what you’re looking for to life.
2) You invited your father along on this trip – and he looks like a lot of fun. What made him your ideal travel companion for this trip? Were there any specific memories that you two made that you use to encourage travelers to take a similar trip?
CD: For me, traveling is my lifestyle, and my family has always been a part of that. They incorporated family vacations growing up, which always inspired me to go out and see new places. Every year we took a vacation somewhere new. Now that my parents are getting older and I realize as I’m starting my own family, I want to give back to my parents because they’ve done so much for me in being able to live the life that I have, so I wanted to involve them by doing separate trips, like a mother/daughter and father/daughter trip.
Unfortunately, in our family, we suffered the recent loss of a family member and that happening really opened my eyes to prioritizing spending more time with my family to create memories together. Choosing my dad was a no-brainer.
My favorite memory was that we bought matching hats and thought, “We will definitely rock these,” so we walked around in these matching hats. My dad loves history, so I knew Colombia would be such a great choice for him. When we were in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains, that area was where the guerrillas had been 15 years ago and to think that was such a recent occurrence was really interesting. I was really proud of him because we did this hike that was downhill, which can be just as hard because of the slope. We were walking through the jungles, pointing out different flowers, and it wound up being 6 miles and I was so impressed and so proud that he was able to do that and we had that time together.
3) What types of travelers do you feel are the best fit for exploring Colombia? Any favorite tips that you now tell travelers?
CD: Colombia travelers need to be very open minded and a little more on the adventurous side. Be ready to explore.