Colombia Travel Agency in 2021: Can they Improve your Trip?

Colombia Travel Agency in 2021: Can they Improve your Trip?

Do you need to use a travel agency for Colombia? And if so, which one?

It is a question I frequently receive from curious travelers who want to visit Colombia.

And it’s normal to ask this very question. Colombians speak little English, Netflix blasts us with the Pablo Escobar series, and your friends probably think you’re crazy to travel there.

First of all, let me reassure you. You are right, and your friends are wrong 😀

Depending on your experience, the places you want to visit, and your level of Spanish, you can choose from different types of travel agencies.

  • If you like to travel off the beaten track, then Mathieu will be a perfect fit.
  • If you want a comfortable trip, especially for people over 50, then Bruce will be perfect.
  • You prefer planning everything on your own? Check out our experience page!

Straightforward trip

BnB Colombia Bruce & us (1)
Fruit salad with a view

👉 Check out Bruce’s profile

Off the beaten track trip

Sierra Nevada Mamo Aventure (1)
Indigenous living in the Sierra Nevada

👉 Check out Mathieu’s profile

Let’s see how they can make your trip even better (read till the end).

What are the benefits of using a local travel agency?

Before I can help you decide if you need to use the service of a local travel agency, you must understand their benefits.

They know Colombia

Colorful wall Street Cartagena
Cartagena is beautiful but there are many tourist traps!

A good travel agency will understand the country, know the culture, political situation, avoid tourist traps, etc.

Sometimes you plan for a trip but end up in a tourist area where everything is expensive and full of visitors. It’s frustrating! Hiring professionals who know the place very well can avoid this situation.

The travel agency will help you choose the best places, according to what experiences you want, such as adventure or relaxation.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Prepare you well for this adventure.
  • Tell you where you shouldn’t go.
  • Help you to understand and appreciate each destination.
  • Find the best restaurants and tours.
  • Arrange authentic experiences so that you can understand the country a little better.
  • Give you some history background.

You feel safer

It is good to know that you have the support of a travel agency in case something goes wrong, such as illness or theft. They will be there for you and help you solve your problems since they speak English and Spanish fluently.

It is practical when you lose your passport, for example. Raise your hand if it already happened to you.

In case of an accident when traveling by road, the travel agency will make a police report and accompany you to hospitals if necessary. They can also bring clothes for change, speak with your travel insurance, and cancel the rest of your trip.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • have 24/7 support to help you in case of problems.

You’ll save time

Organizing a good itinerary takes time. Can you imagine all the little decisions you have to make? Where to go, what to do, where to sleep, how to get there, etc.

If you are a busy person, it is better to let the agency do everything for you. Tell them what you like, your budget and wait for a proposal.

👉 On our website, there are more than 50 Colombia travel guidebooks!

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Recommend tours and destinations according to what interests you most.
  • Plan everything for you so that all you have to do is enjoy your trip!

You’ll get a dream Colombia vacation

Hammocks Gulupa Ecolodge (1)
Nothing better than a hammock break among trees

A travel agency will eliminate the stress of planning a trip by yourself. With them, you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about anything, because they take care of it all.

If something goes wrong during your stay in Colombia, the team is there for you and solves everything with their excellent support staff that speaks English and Spanish fluently.

Their job is to ensure that everything goes smoothly. They are like your personal assistant! You can enjoy every minute without having to worry about anything because they have already made the plan for you!

If you like, you can take a break and relax in your resort or hotel while someone else plans all the details for you.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Organize transportation from airport to hotel and vice versa if needed.
  • Check that the tour operators will arrive on time.
  • Find a solution in case of unpredictable weather, delay and so on.
  • Give you all the information for each day of the trip.

They know the best tour operators and hotels

Canoa Ecolodge Amazonas Aventure
Mathieu knows the best Colombia’s ecolodge

Sometimes it’s hard to decide if a hotel is good or not, so why risk? It may be expensive for what it offers or unsafe.

It is better to leave these worries on their shoulders! Travel agencies know precisely where to stay according to your preferences and budget.

Imagine waking up to breakfast on the beach after snorkeling through coral reefs just off the coast. In the afternoon, you take a scenic boat tour through mangroves before enjoying a traditional Colombian dinner.

This is just one example of what it’s like to travel to Cartagena de Indías with a travel agency.

In addition to personalized tours based on your interests and schedule, they can also offer a full-service luxury package.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Eliminates any doubt about where to stay.
  • Recommend the best hotels and attractions according to your budget.
  • Arrange authentic experiences that won’t disappoint you.

You don’t need to speak Spanish

Fishing in La Boquilla Aventure (1)
Mathieu will help you to share unforgettable moments with locals

It is common for travelers to have the desire to experience the country as a local. This entails conversing with the inhabitants, which can be difficult if you can’t speak Spanish.

For this reason, a good travel agency will provide bilingual guides and translators so that you can understand each other better. This way you won’t miss anything!

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Include a bilingual guide who can translate your conversations during a tour.
  • Help you communicate with locals to understand what you want and provide the best service possible.
  • Have translators available for unforeseen events like medical emergencies, legal issues, or if something goes wrong with transportation.
  • Make sure your needs are met, especially if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions.

You will visit Colombia in a more efficient way

Bruce, is it the right way?

It is complicated to know the order of the destinations to visit. Which place should you visit first and which last?

Well, if this is something that concerns you, they have the solution! Leave it all in their hands. All you have to do is choose the places that interest you most, and they will make a perfect itinerary for your trip.

If you take private transportation, you’ll be able to stop at some lovely places along the way. This is not the case with public buses since you don’t decide on the route.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Evaluate the number of days available and develop a plan according to how long you can stay in each destination.
  • Choose between different options you didn’t think of based on what you like.

You’ll visit places that (almost) nobody knows

Caño-Cristales-La-Macarena-Tom
It’s not that simple to plan a trip to Caño Cristales. Ask Mathieu.

A travel agency knows off-the-beaten-path places. Usually, these areas are hard to reach, and you won’t find a bilingual guide on-site.

If you’ve got the budget for it, they can provide private transportation so that you can visit these sites in the most comfortable way possible.

Finally, don’t forget about safety! The travel agency will know the right places to visit and those that need more caution.

A good Colombia travel agency will:

  • Include off-the-beaten-path sites in your itinerary. There are many natural beauties in Colombia.
  • Be able to give helpful advice about which areas are safe and which are not.
  • Provide private transportation to these areas without losing comfort or safety.

What are the disadvantages of using a Colombia travel agency?

Ok, we have seen the advantages of going through a travel agency in Colombia. But there are also some potential drawbacks.

It’s hard for Colombia tour companies to guess what you really want

The travel agency must understand your goals before giving you advice that will meet your expectations, so don’t forget this step!

If you are not specific about what kind of trip you want to take or what type of activities interest you, the travel agency may suggest options that would disappoint you.

The same goes if you overestimate yourself. It’s not a good idea to say yes to a 5-day trek in the Andean mountains if you’re not an experienced hiker.

To avoid this situation with your Colombian travel agency, you should:

  • Think about what kind of trip you want to enjoy.
  • Do some research on Colombia (yes, you will have to work a little).
  • Be sincere about your physical condition.

Colombia travel agencies are not cheap

Cerros Mavecure
Off the beaten path destinations are expensive but 100% worth it with Mathieu

You must realize that travel agencies make money by selling tours, so most of them will always try to add many activities to your itinerary.

They also work with hotels to get a commission if you book through the agency, so sometimes prices are higher than they would be without an agent involved. 

Don’t get me wrong – some excellent travel agencies actually care about your experience and don’t just want to sell you a tour package.

But if they push for something, ask them what the pros/cons of their suggestions are before committing yourself.

To avoid this situation with your Colombian travel agency, you should:

  • Be clear about what your budget is.
  • Ask what part of Colombia you can visit on your own.
  • Try to get an overall idea about the costs in Colombia.
  • Check for hidden costs. What’s included or not.

It’s complicated to find a good Colombia Travel agency

Anyone can create a travel agency and claim to be a Colombia specialist. How to be sure it’s true?

If the travel agents have not explored much of the country, you will have an ordinary trip that you could have organized by yourself!

The best way to find a good agency is by word of mouth – if someone has gone through a travel agency in Colombia, ask them about their experience and what they recommend!

Or you can ask me. We know many of them!

To avoid this situation with your Colombian travel agency, you should:

  • Check that the agency is based in Colombia.
  • Know the story of the founders. Why did they create this company? When?
  • Not choose an agency because they have low prices or guarantees – check their experience instead.

You will be less flexible during your trip

If you go through a travel agency, they will organize the trip for you.

Once done, you must do what they say!

Don’t worry; this is not necessarily bad – it could even be better than planning everything yourself since there are fewer things to consider, and most of them have been taken care of by experts in Colombia tourism. But if you want to have more flexibility when you are in Colombia, it’s better to book everything yourself.

To avoid this situation with your Colombian travel agency, you should:

  • Ask them not to plan every detail (if it’s what you want)

The different types of Colombia travel agencies

Nowadays, travel agencies offer different services. Which are they?

Group travel package (entire trip)

I must confess I’m not a big fan. You can’t choose the itinerary, and you share your guide with many people. 

I don’t know if it’s worth paying that much money for a guide who will bring you to all the tourist spots in Colombia, but not let you enjoy your holiday on your terms.

The only case where it is interesting is if the trip is organized around a particular theme.

For example, Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world. Bird lovers have to go to areas that are difficult to access, with private transportation and specialized guides. It is worth going with a group of people to divide the costs and meet new friends!

Same if you’re a solo traveler and want to pass through a travel agency. The costs will be high. You may have no choice but to join a group tour. In that case, try to pick a trip with people of your age!

Group travel package (for one destination in particular)

Tourists often overlook destinations off the beaten track for a good reason; they are hard to reach.

If you want to go there, you must be prepared to pay a certain amount of money (private transportation, guides, etc.).

To avoid bearing the costs alone, you can decide to book a group tour instead of a private tour.

Private travel package (entire trip)

It is the ideal solution for two types of travelers: 

  • Those who do not have the time and/or experience to organize a trip to Colombia.
  • Those who have concerns because of the bad reputation of the country.

Through this service, you will receive personalized assistance to adapt the trip to your desires (and not the opposite).

Once you have decided on your destinations, accommodation, transportation, and activities, all you have to do is make the payment. Easy and efficient.

👉 Ask Bruce for a free quote! Who is he?

Private travel package (for one destination in particular)

A private travel package may be fantastic, but there is a snag. It’s expensive.

The ideal solution is to cut the apple in half. 

Use our site to organize your stay in tourist destinations and book a multi-day tour to enjoy a place that really matters to you.

👉 Ask Mathieu for a free quote! Who is he?

Travel advice

This is becoming more and more popular. It’s not complicated to book suitable accommodation or find out what to do in a country — just time-consuming.

Travelers need to be reassured in their choices.

Did I make the right decisions? Is this itinerary doable?

Some travel companies sell this service. Here, on Tomplanmytrip, we offer it for free.

👉 The best way is to first subscribe to our newsletters (and get our free guidebook)

In return, we hope our readers will use our booking links and online forms. This allows us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to the traveler).

Which Travel agency in Colombia do you need?

Whale Watching Pacific Coast aventure (1)
Whale Watching on the Pacific Coast with Mathieu

I kept the best part for the end.

In this section, I will describe different situations of travelers wishing to explore Colombia.

  1. Planning a trip gives you goosebumps?

    You need to enjoy planning if you want to create a good itinerary. If you don't like it, you'll mess it up. I advise you to use a travel agency from A to Z.

    👉 Bruce will be a perfect fit if you're looking for a comfortable trip
    👉 Mathieu can send you to the most amazing and off the beaten path destinations.

  2. You are used to traveling, but this is your first time in South America.

    Latin culture is both similar and different. It seems chaotic, but there is a logic to it. If you plan your trip without help, focus on known destinations. 

    Read our site thoroughly and let yourself be tempted by an organized stay of 3-5 days in a remote corner of Colombia.

    👉 Mathieu can send you to the most amazing and off the beaten path destinations.

  3. Do you want to explore unique destinations?

    There are destinations that you will not be able to visit well alone, even with the best will in the world:
    San José del Guaviare, los Llanos, el Meta (Caño Cristales), el Amazon, the Lost City, multi-day trekking in the Andean mountains, and so on.

    I advise booking with a local travel specialist.

    👉 Mathieu knows the best underrated spots.

  4. Do you want a dream Colombia vacation?

    Travel agencies know how to turn a trip into a unique adventure:

    * Visit cities with the best tour guides.
    * Book the room with the best view.
    * Get a table at the most famous restaurant in Cartagena de Indias.
    * Be sure the tour operator didn't forget you.
    * Get cool surprises from the travel company

    I recommend using the service of a travel agency if you want a high-end trip.

    👉 Mathieu knows the best hotels and experiences in Colombia.

  5. You don't have time?

    Planning a trip takes time, especially if you want something unique. If you don't have time and decide to do it without the help of a travel company, you'll probably follow the same itinerary as everyone else (aka gringo trail). It's still a good itinerary, but it's not what I prefer.

    Otherwise, go with a travel operator and book a private trip.

    👉 Ask Bruce to take care of your trip!

  6. Are you scared?

    The 24/7 assistance of a travel agency will be reassuring. Also, the colonial towns of Colombia are more peaceful than the big cities. You can organize your trip according to this.

    👉 Ask Bruce to take care of your trip!

  7. Do you have a tight travel budget?

    Take the time to organize your trip yourself. If this is not possible, consider joining a group tour.

  8. Do you speak Spanish?

    You'll have to book some tours to understand the culture of the country. In Colombia, it's complicated to find a tour guide who speaks English outside of Cartagena, Bogotá, and Medellín.

    If you like to interact with locals and make cultural visits, it may be wise to go with a local travel agency.

  9. Do you love adventure tourism?

    Colombia is ideal for thrill-seeking travelers. There are many canyoning, rafting, paragliding, climbing, and trekking tours.

    If you only want to book one or two activities on your trip, you can do it yourself. On the other hand, I advise you to use an agency if adventure tourism is the only thing you are interested in.

    👉 I'm sure Mathieu can include lots of mind-blowing experiences in your trip.

  10. Are you old?

    Age must be taken into consideration. In Colombia, the roads and sidewalks are often in poor condition; few hotels have elevators; it can be VERY humid, etc.

    If you have difficulty getting around, you may want to use private transportation. Tour operators can arrange it for you.

    👉 Ask Bruce to take care of your trip!

  11. Do you plan to travel for more than 1 month?

    Travelers who plan to visit Colombia for several months should not go through a tour operator directly.
    Plans change all the time while traveling. You don't want to be tied to a specific itinerary.

    Enjoy your freedom.

The bottom line

In this article, we’ve taken a look at the main travel agency options for booking your next trip. Depending on what you want to do and how much Spanish language knowledge is necessary, there are agencies better suited than others.

Bruce’s agency is a great option for travelers who like a relaxing trip, while Mathieu’s agency will be the perfect fit for travelers who seek exciting adventures.

If you have any questions about which agency might work best for you or need help with anything else related to planning your perfect vacation in Colombia, don’t hesitate to contact us!

We’re here to ensure that all our readers can enjoy their time abroad the smartest way possible.

Straightforward trip

BnB Colombia Bruce & us (1)
Fruit salad with a view

👉 Check out Bruce’s profile

Off the beaten track trip

Sierra Nevada Mamo Aventure (1)
Indigenous living in the Sierra Nevada

👉 Check out Mathieu’s profile

Discover more Colombia travel tips

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Colombia Travel agencies

I fell in love with Colombia in 2015. Through this website, we help every month thousands of travelers to plan their trip to this beautiful country.