Mantaraya Travel shows Colombia

As a local Colombian Tour Operator and over 7 years of experience we provide excellent travel service for trips and tours to Colombia. Here we want to share our knowledge about Colombia.
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Mention the Amazon and most people’s minds will immediately jump to Brazil or, maybe, Peru. With only two per cent of the Amazon within its borders, it is easy to see why Colombia is often overlooked in discussions about the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

However, the Colombian Amazon is no less rich in flaura and fauna than its neighbours and the secret is quickly getting out, so be sure to visit before mass tourism takes over.

The two-hour flight from Bogota to Leticia is worthy of a trip in its own right, with dense, thick rainforest stretching for miles in every direction, carefully dissected by the majestic rivers that run through. The journey gives the sensation of exploration, of visiting uncharted territory, all wrapped up in the stunning realisation that, below you, there lies hundreds of miles of land that no human being has ever set foot in, the wonders that lurk beneath totally unknown to man.

Go to our blog to check out our full post on Colombia´s Amazon

image We are terrificly excited to announce that Mantaraya Travel has broadened its horizons and is now offering tailor-made tours throughout Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile!

After 7 years of growth as a leading tour company in Colombia, Mantaraya Travel founder Camilo Gomez decided to take all that he has learned and apply it to a South American scale. Our travel advisors have been busy researching the top destinations in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and you can find all the best info on these hotspots in our new South America section on mantarayatravel.com

On each destination in this section you will find orginal info broken down into an overview, main attractions, best time to go and getting there. We´re looking forward to adding more photos and videos in time, as well as writing posts on our Colombia travel blog.

So what are you waiting for? Book a trip to South America now with Mantaraya Travel!

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Hotels our booking out fast for the Medellin Flower Festival 2012 – Colombia´s most fragrant and colourful yearly celebration. Colombia is the world´s second largest exporter of cut flowers and during this ten day celebration locals and tourists use the innocent beauty of the blossom as an excuse to celebrate life, nature and rich Paisa culture. The official event calendar is yet to be released, but the festival will take place in the beginning of August.

The fair is made up of over 140 events. The most famous of these is the flower bearer’s parade (silleteros parade), for which rural flower farmers, called silleteros, make elaborate floral arrangements on giant circular contraptions that they carry on their backs. These mobile displays can weigh up to 70 kg´s and measure up to 5 meters in diameter. As many as 70 different types of flowers are used to make a single ´silleta´, and the patterns made represent the silleteros history, land and culture.

Go to our blog to find out about the other big events at the Medellin Flower Festival 2012

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With the growing global awareness about the importance of environmental protectionecotourism in Colombia is becoming increasingly important and many travel companies who offer trips to natural places now call themselves ´sustainable´ or ´eco-tourism providers´. But the reality is that if these trips are not coordinated with care as well as local knowledge and support, they can easily be just the opposite.

At Mantaraya Travel we try to keep our ecological footprint to an absolute minimum by working withlocal guides who areSustainable tourism in Colombia. Caño Cristales trained and passionate about protecting the local ecosystem. We always try to work with small providers, such as family run boutique hotels over large multinational chains, and many of the hotels that we work with have a wide range of ecologically friendly practices, such as Palmari Resort in the Colombian Amazon, which insists that visitors do not bring harmful chemicals onto the resort such as those found in most shampoo´s and insect repellants.

Read the rest of this article on ecotourism in Colombia.

2 weeks ago I wrote a post expressing my undying love for arepa´s. Well a lovely Colombian lady called Fela, who lives in Canada (hay Colombianos hasta en la sopa), read that post, and it reminded her so much of her beloved home that she shared it throughout her facebook and twitter. Fela had shared the post enthusiastically, so we decided to say hello and thank her for sharing. We got chatting excitedly (about arepa´s of course) and then I noticed that Fela was an incredibly talented photographer. Suddenly a marvelous idea popped into my head – Fela could make a fun little video for Mantaraya Travel Blog on how to make arepa´s. I asked her if she wanted to, and the ever bubbly Fela responded with a thumbs up!

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Colombia´s turbulent past mean that it´s never been a hotspot for family travel, but as national security and safety continue to increase and the country re-invents international image, this is all beginning to change.

Colombia is in fact a perfect destination for family travel. It´s incredible diversity mean that there are activities and destinations for people of all ages to enjoy. On top of this, the Colombian culture is centralized around a strong family unit, so children are almost always welcome in all types of establishments.

See our article on Family Travel in Colombia for 5 things that the whole family can enjoy:

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Many would say that travelling to Colombia is adventurous in itself, but for those who love fresh air, gorgeous natural scenery and addictive outdoor activities, then Colombia just about has it all.

Colombia´s astounding geographical diversity creates the perfect playground for adventurous travelers.

Read the full article on Colombia adventure on our blog!

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Safety

1. Is it safe to travel in Colombia?

2. Is it safe to travel as a single female?

3. Can I travel without a guide?

Preparation

4. Do I need a visa?

5. What do I need to pack?

6. Do I need vaccinations and malaria pills?

7. How is the weather?

8. Do I need to learn Spanish?

Traveling

9. How is the public transport system?

10. How do the Taxi´s work in Colombia?

11. How are the hotel standards?

12. Do I need to leave a tip?

13. Where and when are the best festivals?

Costs

14. What is the currency and exchange rate?

15. What is the cost of traveling in Colombia?


Check out the answers to these Colombia Travel FAQs on our blog

image With such an astonishing variety of incredible things to do in Colombia, most visitors find that they simply cannot squeeze everything that they want to do into a single trip.

Colombia´s terrific diversity of landscapes, ecosystems and cultures results in a whole continents worth of activities concentrated in a single country. Here is just the top of  an endless list of the best things to do in Colombia!

Check out the full article on the best things to do in Colombia

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If there´s one thing that foreigner’s just don´t get about Colombians, it´s their love of arepa´s. In a guest post last month Irish expat and Mantaraya Travel Advisor Gordon Hanlon wrote of them: ´I cannot think of a blander or more dull thing to eat… It seems that I am doomed to be forever stuck in this endless cycle of flowery fancy & doughy disappointment.¨

These flat breads, made from toasted corn flour and water, are to Colombians and Venezuelans what tortillas are to Mexicans and baguettes are to French. They are a staple of the regions diet and have been since over 600 years ago, when indigenous tribes ground moistened maize between stones to make the first nourishing arepa´s.

So where does all the controversy come from? How is it that the humble arepa has forced so many Colombians into snack-break debate, having their patriotism probed to the point that they become culinary evangelists?


The answer is simple…