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How to escape the ‘big smoke’ – ecotours in Bogota

If you’re planning to stay more than a few days in Bogotá, you will quickly find that you run out of obvious things to do and see. You can ‘do’ the Candelaria in half a day, walking around and visiting the museums there. Then you might want to visit the National Museum on carrera 7 – another half-day. The Zona T is excellent for high-class shopping malls, eating out and night-life, but this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So what else is there to do in and around Bogota?

Go on an eco-tour! Bogota itself is a vast urban metropolis with very little obvious greenery to provide a breath of fresh air, so to speak. You could visit the Botanical Gardens and Simon Bolivar park in the Salitre district, but if you want to escape the city for a day and visit some of the stunning areas which are just a short car-trip out of town, why not check out the eco-tours offered by Andes Ecotours, a sustainable tourism company which works with, and thereby supports rural communities by partnering with them to offer a unique perspective of Bogota’s beautiful surrounding areas.

Coffee tour

On a coffee tour in Tibacuy (2 hours out of Bogotá)

Click on ‘Tour Options‘ to see what’s on offer. These include hiking tours of ‘cloud forests’, agro-tourism (visiting coffee plantations), birdwatching, canoeing, horse-riding and bike tours. I personally have been on the coffee tour, which offers coffee-tasting, a hike with the owner through his vast and beautiful coffee plantation which stretches across a mountain, a lunch with the plantation-owner’s family, and another hike to appreciate the stunning views across the Tibacuy valley.

I particularly recommend Andes Ecotours for several reasons:

  • The guide. Andrés, your guide, is extremely knowledgeable about the regions where the tours take place, and during the journey there he will share with you all kinds of interesting facts about the areas you pass through and the history of the regions, and why the tours where set up in this particular region. He speaks English and Spanish and is friendly and helpful.
  • Sustainable community tourism. These tours work with the local communities to integrate tourism in a way which is beneficial to them, and which highlights the importance of protecting these rural areas.
  • Prices. I have compared the prices of the tours offered by Andes Ecotours with other agencies, and these are extremely competitive – that is to say, they are cheaper than any other similar tours that I was able to find, and I found that the quality of the tour was very high. It’s therefore excellent value for money.
  • Flexible group-size. There is no minimum number of people which have to be booked onto a tour in order for a tour to take place. Obviously the larger the group-size (usually no more than 7 people), the cheaper the price is per person.

So get in touch with Andes Eco-tours via the website, or check out their Facebook page, where you’ll find photo albums of all of the tours to whet your appetite!

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