Colombia’s Colonial Jewels & The Coffee Triangle Review – Overseas Adventure Travel
Date of Travel: December 2019
This was our 10th trip with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). Tour dates December 2019. As you’ll see from the review (and tips) below, it was one of our favorite tours and we highly recommend it.
Watch a video of our tour (link below).
$100 FIRST TIME TRAVELER DISCOUNT
If you are considering the Colombia Tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), feel free to take advantage of this special savings. When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price. This works just one time on any first OAT (or Grand Circle Travel) trip. No catch and it’s just for your first trip.
Let’s be honest. We were concerned about visiting Colombia (we binge watched Narcos) and many folks asked us what on earth made us choose Colombia. BUT, after 2 weeks, I can honestly say, that the greatest risk you’ll face is wanting to stay and see more.
We NEVER felt unsafe (we were cautious of course) but the people were friendly. We were even there during national protests and walked right through the demonstrations which were more like ‘peace ins’ of the ’60s.
WHY THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME TO GO TO COLOMBIA?
This is clearly a country undergoing transition and if you like being somewhere that’s NOT overrun by tourists (we saw 20 or fewer other Americans over our 2 weeks) … if you like really meeting with people before they get jaded by tourism … then NOW is the time to go. Because that’s what made this trip one of our favorites.
OAT always goes out of it’s way to combine visiting the tourist spots with interacting with locals. But, they really went above and beyond on this trip. Our trip director (Diego Parra) was excellent (one of the best we’ve had). In addition, OAT hired local guides in each city – young folks who were knowledgeable and passionate. The tour was perfectly paced – never slow or boring – and yet never felt rushed.
The day-in-the-life takes place in the coffee region and the folks you meet with are also real (still not jaded by hosting a tour every three days).
Food was decent to good (in one case, outstanding). I’m not a big lover of this type of food but there’s a lot of stuff to try from Colombian donuts to some excellent seafood. You will likely stay at Estrella del Monte Hotel in the coffee region and the chef there was incredible. If you like pancakes, have them for breakfast, you’ll thank me.
Bottom line: You will really get to understand Colombia’s past (it was not pretty), it’s present and I think you’ll leave as I did saying if they can stay peaceful, they have an incredible future. Oh, it’s also an incredibly pretty place. The hills are greener in the coffee region than they are in Ireland and Scotland.
Scroll down to read 6 TIPS for the Colombia Overseas Adventure Travel Tour.
Six Tips (OAT Colombia Trip):
1. We skipped the optional tour and went on our own up Monte Monserrate. Frankly, $95-per-person to visit a market and see street art … (I posted a link below to the tour video which shows much of the street are I suspect).
2. If you plan to go up Monte Monserrate go early (like at 9:00 AM) otherwise it gets very crowded and you’ll wait for a cable car. Take a taxi to the cable car (cheap, like 8000 pesos which is $3). You can walk back down from the cable car to the hotel.
3. Each of the hotels serves plain (carafe) coffee. But, if you ask, they’ll make you a cappuccino or latte (free as an OAT traveler). Took us a couple of days to figure that out.
4. You don’t need a ton of cash. There isn’t all that much to buy and the restaurants and shops all accepted credit cards. I think we brought $300 in cash.
5. Bring rain gear. We were fortunate in that we only got caught in the rain once. But chances are you’ll get wet (which is why it’s so green).
6. Frequent Flyer Numbers: You’ll take a couple of internal flights. Most likely Avianca which is part of One World (United Airlines). Bring your code so you can get miles.
GREAT VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY
I think everyone on our tour (we had 11 people) clearly felt that Overseas Adventure Travel provided great value for the money. So many things were included and offered. If you decide to go, I am confident you’ll enjoy Colombia. And don’t forget that if this is your first trip, use our referral discount code to save $100 per-person (simply say “referred by Jesse Slome, #932019”). Thanks for reading.
I wish you a wonderful trip.
Watch A Video of Our OAT Colombia Tour
IF YOU DO USE MY REFERRAL CODE TO SAVE $100 – why not send me a quick note to say hello. I always like to hear from folks who love travel as much as we do. Or, feel free to write to me with any questions.
Email me: jslome @ aaltci.org