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“Henry's tour of Guatavita El Dorado lake and Zipaquira Salt Cathedral”

Tours of Colombia - Day Tours
Ranked #13 of 76 Outdoor Activities in Bogota
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tours of Colombia offers both personal tours and group excursions. We provide safe, fun and affordable half-day, full-day and two-day tours of Bogota and the surrounding towns and villages, including Zipaquira, Chiquinquira, Villa de Leyva and Paipa. You can choose one of our established itineraries or we will work with you to create your custom tour.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Henry's tour of Guatavita El Dorado lake and Zipaquira Salt Cathedral”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

I am writing to recommend to any travellers who plan on going to Bogota, a day-trip with Henry of Tours of Colombia, a personal guide that Carlos from ToC arranged for me and who I had the honour of travelling with in December 2012.

I was new to Colombia, full of questions and little idea of what to expect.

Now, three weeks later and having travelled to some of Colombia's best known tourist spots such as Ciudad Perdida, Tayrona and Cabo de la Vela, I can safely say that Henry has been the best guide I have had, not just in Colombia but throughout my extensive travels around the world.

Traveling with Henry felt less like yet another tour and more like a personal experience of discovery with a friend on a road trip.

His enthusiasm and tireless passion for storytelling sets the bar high for others in the industry. His knowledge of nearly all things Colombia (and then some) was impressive.

Never before have I met such a well educated person, willing to share every aspect of his spherical knowledge with a trove of facts at a moment's notice.

He covers a range of areas from the center of Bogota itself to the magnificent surrounding areas such as the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and the volcanic crater lake where the legend of El Dorado originated from.

I felt so comfortable and engaged with Henry that I often wished I travelled with him everywhere I went in Colombia.As a traveler, one always tends to remember every detail of their arrival the first day of their stay in a new city.I consider myself extremely fortunate that I had the luxury of spending it with Henry.

As an icing on the cake, Henry was kind enough to give me a CD full of Cumbia, thus introducing me to my soundtrack for my journeys around the country.

He'll be pleased to know that that CD entertained an entire hostel, the famous Casa de Felipe in Taganga, when people asked for some more dancy music.

Even then, Henry's help proved invaluable!

Should you be interested in having him show you around, you can get in touch with him through Tours Of Colombia by asking for Henry Mariño López.

Helpful?
Thank CMGreece
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Southampton Parish, Bermuda
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Whisked Away to a Land of Enchantment and Beauty!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2012

We have to say that Tours of Colombia is one of the best, and most professional, local tour outfits that we have come across in all our travels around the world. Our guide, Carl Meeks, has that just-right mix of knowledge, fun and devil-may-care attitude that make for a truly memorable adventure.

He arrived right on time and whisked us up into the mountains outside of Bogota for a tour of Guatavita, the sacred lake of the Muisca Indians into which their chiefs used to dive after covering themselves with honey and gold dust, and adorning themselves with gold! (much to the delight of the conquistadors who later tried to drain the lake and get the gold). After flawlessly negotiating Bogota's famous traffic we took a quick side trip to a sweet little town where we picked up some of the best pork sandwiches this family ever had and then headed up twisting roads to Guatavita. There Carl hiked us up to see the famous lake which is set like a jewel in a mysterious crater-like depression in the Andes. It was simply breathtaking. Everyone in the family enjoyed it immensely.

After the lake we had lunch and headed to some other towns and sights in the area (including the Alpina factory/store which was a lot of fun), with Carl leading the way and answering all the questions we had - as well as offering tips and ideas on what to do for the rest of our stay in Colombia.

Sadly, our day with Tours of Colombia had to end, but we intend to use them again when we return to Colombia and we give them, and Carl especially, our highest recommendation. Do not hesitate to arrange a tour with this company if you want to truly enjoy and experience Colombia, one of the world's most beautiful countries.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Alexander R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A perfect day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2012

From the time that Carl picked me up at my hotel, I felt I was in good hands. We kept a quick pace and I got to see as much of Bogota as I think one could see in a single day. it was a great overview specific to my preferences. I would highly recommend using Carl and Tours of Columbia.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Debreymac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
128 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“What a great guy - what a great country! Colombia!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2012

“What a great guy – what a great country!
Carl Meek was my guide, translator and consultant during a most important trip to Bogota, Colombia in June of 2012. He looked after my entire team of five.
I was always told that Colombia was very dangerous and scary. It was delightful to find out that this was far, far from the truth. I now believe that foreigners watch too many movies and are negatively influenced. Colombia is safe, friendly and very beautiful, with a good climate. To say that Colombia is unsafe, is like in the 1980’s when Europeans used to say that Chicago was unsafe – because their parents watched some gangster movies about Chicago - dated back to the 1950’s and 60’s.
After a most unusual itinerary with many extra demands, I found Carl to be impeccably professional. He was always very polite, helpful, cheerful and tirelessly patient, whilst making the most intelligent suggestions under difficult circumstances. He is very flexible and understanding.
Carl took us to the Salt Cathedral, to drives in the country, etc, on the tourist side of things; he also introduced us to interesting restaurants. He is knowledgeable without being overbearing, which is delightfully different from the attitude of most local guides, many of whom seem to have no idea that our ears may require a break. He does not “hype” anything up either - so no one is disappointed by unrealistic expectations.
The most important point is that Carl understands the needs of foreign visitors as he knows both the western and Colombian cultures. His professional services go beyond translation and tour guiding, as we found that we could trust him in areas such as legal matters and real estate. We could also rely on him in relation to communication problems with banking institutions; or sometimes just something as simple as which ATM machine may work for us.
Carl always keeps the client’s interests in mind and was able to adjust to stressful circumstances; without his professionalism, my stay in Bogota would have been a totally different experience.
I would not hesitate to recommend Carl’s services to any private client or groups requiring an excellent guide, translator and cultural expert – whatever your plans may be in Colombia.”

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Grace S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2012

Tours of Colombia did an airport pickup, city tour and 12-hour excursion to Villa de Leyva. Everything was perfect, and the guides were extremely knowledgeable about everything from the sites visted to safety and other issues. Everything I wanted to see in Bogota was included, and the day trip to the colonial village of Villa de Leyva was outstanding.

Carl and Henry offered the perfection of large tour operators, but the attention to my interests was what you would typically encounter with smaller companies. My short Colombia trip and experience is already calling me back for more of a fascinating and diverse country!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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