For the past couple of years (thanks, Narcos!) you guys have been asking us more and more about Colombia as a destination. We found it high time to go and check it out firsthand and are ready to report with our feedback for planning your next trip to this up and coming tourism destination!
WHO TRAVELS TO COLOMBIA?
The travelers most likely to enjoy Colombia are those who are looking for a slightly more off-the-beaten path experience. If you consider yourself intrepid and enjoy a destination that not everyone has been to, this is your spot. Colombia is so untouched to the Western audience that you’ll find surprisingly few English speakers, even in comparison to other South American destinations, which have been receiving American travelers for much longer than Colombia. It’s a great place to hone your Spanish skills and simply feel like you’re exploring a more untrodden country.
WHAT’S IN AN ITINERARY?
Just like each of our travel destinations, exploring Colombia is all about working with your Epperly Travel advisor to customize an itinerary that fits your needs. Travel should never be one-size-fits-all and Colombia is no exception.
For my time and tastes, I visited Bogota, the coffee region and Cartagena. Coming from ATL, the itinerary ran much more efficiently by flying into Bogota & out of Cartagena. This pairing played out especially well for mine and my husband’s priorities of checking off the most notable regions and focusing on cuisine. Our trip would not have been complete without our fabulous rum tasting experience in Cartagena (thanks for arranging, Colombia Activa & El Arsenal!). However, when our team has crafted itineraries for our clients in the past, we’ve been known to suggest other regions depending on travel style. For example, we recently had super adventurous honeymooners who participated in a more active exploration of Northern Colombia.
Even the choice on beach destination in your Colombia itinerary should be left up to experts who get to know your preferences. While Cartagena is the most talked about seaside city in Colombia, there are a number of coastal villages and islands that are well worth exploring.
HOW ARE THE HOTELS + RESTAURANTS IN COLOMBIA?
Despite the fact that Colombia is still up-and-coming in many ways, there are a number of notable hotel brands in the country. From my personal experience, we started our stay in Bogota and checked out both of the Four Seasons properties (one appeals to a more business travel style, whereas the other is better for a more residential experience), as well as the boutique charmer, Casa Legado. Must eat’s? Don’t miss dinner at Criterion and afternoon coffee at Amor Perfecto.
From Bogota, we were fortunate enough to call Hacienda Bambusa our home base for our time in the coffee region. This property, located about 30 minutes away from the Armenia airport, feels like it’s worlds away from the rest of civilization. Situated on a working farm (avocados, cacao, plantains – oh my!), Hacienda Bambusa prides itself in a wonderful dining experience, paired with sweeping views of the rolling hills of the surrounding region. From the property, guests can anticipate a number of unique activities that go well beyond coffee tasting: everything from rafting to paragliding to hot air ballooning.
We ended our stay in Cartagena at the beautiful Casa San Augustin, the perfect blend of history and luxury with its tucked-away scene in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the vibrant, colonial city. Must do’s? Dinner at Alma, on property, and lunch (blueberry grilled cheese?!) and coffee at Epoca, right down the street.
To wind down our time in Cartagena, we decided to end on the highest note possible: with an evening at the beautiful Hotel Las Islas. For luxury and experience seekers, this property is a must-do for at least a 2-3 night stay after your time in Cartagena. You’ll get to choose between a seafront or treetop bungalow and, with only 55 on property, the resort manages to stay intimate and romantic without feeling too on top of one another.
We opted for a seafront bungalow which, with the location, felt about as close as one could get to an overwater bungalow in Colombia – a total find, in my book!
Ready to start planning your getaway to Colombia? Let us know and we’ll match you with a travel advisor who will bring your dream trip to life!