Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I’m Laura, a specialist partner in the Colombian autotour. I have been in Colombia for two years now and I currently live in the city of Medellín.
Why did you choose to come and live in Colombia?
Before arriving in Colombia, I lived for two years in Australia and I lived roommates with Colombians. They made me want to travel to Colombia. So I went to travel for two months in South America and all the people I met who had been travelling for a long time told me that Colombia was really a coup de coeur and a very beautiful country. It made me want to. I came to Colombia two years ago.
What types of circuits do you offer to the Planet riders?
The circuits I propose are slightly different from those offered by Planet Ride in general. They are made by car or 4×4 but with a driver. At the moment, Colombia is not suitable enough for riders to be able to drive the vehicle themselves. We adapt the size of the vehicle according to the number of passengers.
Tell us about the proposed itineraries
The first circuit in Colombia called “a unique trip to the country of El Dorado” passes through the indispensable places for a successful trip to Colombia. Of course we start in Bogota, the capital. You will have a day to discover the museums of Bogota as well as the district of La Candelaria, the historic centre which is very colorful. Then we go to the Andes north of Bogota passing by Villa de Leyva, a colonial village with its main square which the largest of Colombia and one of the most beautiful. It’s a village with small white houses, cobblestone streets, it’s really pretty.
Then we go to the region of coffee, a must in Colombia with very green landscapes and especially the valley of cocoa with the palms of wax that are the highest palms of the world. It’s quite rare to see any. It is a very peculiar landscape that before was a forest but now only the palm trees remain. It’s really beautiful. You can visit Salento, the typical village of the coffee region with very colorful houses and wooden facades. There are also coffee fincas in the area where you can discover the whole process of making coffee, from culture to tasting.
Then in this circuit, we head towards the Tayrona Park which is the largest national park in Colombia. It is a park between jungle and Caribbean Sea, with many animals like monkeys. Then we go to Cartagena which is the most beautiful colonial city of South America with a beautiful historical centre well preserved. There is also a day on the Rosary archipelago, islands in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
With regard to the circuit “the Authentic Treasures of Colombia”, we do not pass by Salento but we go to salaminata passing by tracks off the beaten path towards the region of coffee. We can also see wax palms. It is a more authentic area, with fewer tourists. We also pass by the city of Medellin as well as the incredible desert of the Guajira.
Immersion au cœur de la région du café colombien
Découverte de la faune et la flore du parc Tayrona
Contemplez les sites historiques de Carthagène
The last circuit in Colombia “A voyage unpublished in the heart of Colombia” allows us to travel a larger loop of the Andes. It passes through Barichara, recognized as one of the most beautiful villages of Colombia located in the Andean region. You will also pass through Mompox, a very little tourist city where it feels like time has stopped.
Escapade dans le canyon de Chicamocha
Immersion au cœur du parc national de Tayrona
Découvrez les spécialités culinaires colombiennes
Tell us about the culture of Colombia
It is a bit complicated as a matter of fact that there are a lot of them. It really depends on the regions. When you change regions, you feel like you are changing countries. If you are in Medellin, you can fly to the Pacific Coast and 45 min After you feel like you are in Africa. The atmosphere of the cities is also very different.
What is the essential of your country?
For me the essential for a trip to Colombia is the area of coffee. It is a very beautiful area, very green because there is more rain than in the rest of the country. I have never seen a landscape with so many gradients of green. There are the small villages typical of the coffee area to visit, with a lot of walking or even horseback riding to do. There are also some very good restaurants in the coffee area.
What are the culinary specialties of Colombia?
The typical dish, the one you find in restaurants every lunchtime, is a dish with rice, plantain, meat and “frijoles”, the Spanish name for red beans. As soon as you go to the coast, you’re not going to have food with rice and coconut. You’ll also find a lot more fish, fried fish, shrimp ceviches. In Medellin, the typical dish is the parent paisa, based on rice, avocado, egg, beans, minced meat, fried pork bacon and chorizo. Each region has its own speciality. There are some very good restaurants in the area. Tourists can have access to very good restaurants at a reasonable price for their tour in Colombia.
What do you like about your job?
I love the fact of speaking every day of holiday, from Colombia which is a country that I love very much. It’s nice to do projects that are close to the heart of the riders. My job is quite varied.
A quick note for our future Planet riders?
Come and take a tour of Colombia. It is really a country that has different facets, which pleases everyone. We can satisfy all the desires of travel in this country depending on the regions and the activities that we do.
Découvrez Bogota, la capitale aux mille couleurs
Contemplez les îles paradisiaques du Rosaire
Explorez la jungle du parc national Tayrona