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“Kind, knowledgable and flexible guide”
Review of Bogota Henry Tours

Bogota Henry Tours
Ranked #19 of 123 Tours in Bogota
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: WELCOME TO BOGOTA HENRY TOURS I'm Henry Marino. I have over twenty seven years of experience in guiding foreign visitors through Colombia, our beautiful country. THIS IS THE TOURISM I OFFER: • COLOMBIA: PEACE TERRITORY: After long internal war, now an official pact confirms what we were already enjoying in this country for over twelve years ago: COLOMBIA LIVES IN PEACE! • UNDISCOVERED TERRITORY: Now, as never before, Colombia opens its borders to the world. Places that were closed to visitors, are now unexplored possibilities to the outside world. • WE ARE FREE TO EXPLORE AND SAFELY LIVE THIS ADVENTURE, in a practically virgin territory. • MAKE A LIVING AND TOURISM (DIVE): It is an experience of the senses, which runs through the territory and have direct contact with its people and their environment, how people live. Sounds, tastes, smells, landscapes, textures, traditions, legends, local histories... • PERFECT FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC TOURISM: Each photograph provided by management on TripAdvisor and all listed on my website are my own!! • PERSONAL SERVICE: In all cases, HENRY personally provide the agreed services. • PRIVATE TOUR: Exclusive for you, your family and friends, from attention to a single traveller to the size of your group. • FLEXIBLE: Tours tailored according to your preferences. • WITH A FRIEND: More than a guide, I am your friend in Colombia. • HIGH CULTURAL CONTENT: I do not dictate classes; as we travel our paths, I propose participatory dialogue on topics of interest: Culture, history, geography, folklore, music, anthropology, legends, traditions, politics, economics, Colombia today... • PROFESSIONAL ENGLISH-SPANISH TOUR GUIDE: Professional Card No. 023 issued by the Professional Council of Tourist Guides. National Registry of Tourism of Colombia No. 8392. Enjoy an experience that will leave a much greater understanding of the history, culture and values of our nation and enjoy lots of fun at the same time! I wait for you! Your friend in Colombia, Henry M.
Cologne, Germany
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Kind, knowledgable and flexible guide”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Henry is a very kind guide with an amazing knowledge about Bogotá and Colombia and their history. We had very interesting tours to different areas of Bogotá and got a very good insight into the city and its history. Henry took very well care of us and adjusted our itinerary to our needs and interests. We spend three marvellous days in and around Bogotá, felt very safe and had a most interesting time. We were impressed by his knowledg and enjoyed the time with Henry who gave us a very good insight into Bogotá's history. If I have a chance to spend more time in Bogotá I would definitely hire Henry for additional tours to explore Bogotá further.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mareile S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Knowledgeably, personable & flexible”
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We spent 2 days with Henry in Bogota. His local knowledge was invaluable, and his passion for his home city was infectious. He changed the itinerary to suit our preferences and the weather which made the trip all the more enjoyable. He took us to a great local restaurant rather than the usual tourist places which was great. We really enjoyed our time with Henry and would recommend him highly.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank amsscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
“Perfect expirience”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We spend a long weekend going from Bogota to Villa De Leyva and surroundings. It was an exciting experience, their service was excellent and very professional. We definitively will contract Henry´s service again when planning the next trip to Bogota.

Michael F.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Henry showed me the true beauty of Colombia”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

I was invited to participate in the 23rd International Poetry Festival of Medellin and on the way home I spent a few days in Bogota. As I heard so much about the beauty of Villa de Leyva, I decided to book a two-day tour with Henry Mariño to visit this beautiful ancient town. It turned out I was very lucky with my decision, because Henry showed me not only Villa de Leyva but the true beauty of the surrounding region.

Henry picked me up in his very good, reliable car and as we navigated through the crowded city, he explained to me its history and life. I quickly found Henry to be very knowledgeable, helpful and deeply passionate about his country. At the Salt Cathedral, we went down underground tunnels and I witnessed the magical beauty created by human hands and their love for God. As we journeyed through the Stations of the Cross, Henry brought alive so many incredible stories associated with the Salt Cathedral and the salt miners who used to work here.

Emerging back to earth, we continued our journey and had a quick stop at the nearby town of Zipaquirá. I was delighted to set my foot onto Zipaquirá’s charming cobblestone streets and its peaceful public square. The houses here have titled with time, looking at me with their calm eyes. As we drove through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the Boyacá region, Henry emerged me into the Colombian culture by playing many types of delightful Colombian music on his CD. My favorite music must be from the local band called Los Carrangueros de Raquira who sing such delightful songs about the humble beauty of peasants’ life. As I love salsa, I immediately felt for those songs performed by Grupo Niche. Strangly enough, these salsa songs were written from prison and relate those experiences.

We made a stop at the historic Bridge of Boyacá, where the Battle of Boyacá took place, which established the independence of Colombia from the Spanish Crown, on August 7, 1819. The air was fresh and birds threw their songs up into the air, where a group of statues took, witnessing the incredible story about the Battle which Henry was telling me.

On a misty hill at Ventaquemada, Henry happily stopped when I spotted an interesting looking food-shop by the street. The women were busy making a type of flat cakes. Henry explained they were the traditional corncakes of the region, called Arepa Boyacense. The women were delighted to serve me some of them, hot and delicious from the stove. With Henry’s help, I ordered a bowl of Cuchuco soup (the traditional Colombian soup made with pork bones, vegetables, spices and different grains). It was delicious, and even more when I enjoyed it with Agua De Panela Con Queso (hot sugar cane drink with cheese).

The distance between Bogota and Villa de Leyva is 188 km so Henry wanted to make sure we would arrive by sunset. We flowed through the rolling hills and colorful fields, and for the first time, I realized how magnificently beautiful Colombia is, with its nature, people and cultural heritage.

We arrived at Villa de Leyva when the sun was a red grapefruit above mountain tops that surrounded this old own. Henry helped me check into my hotel - Villa De Leyva. It’s quite a basic hotel but my room was large and had a million-dollar view, looking out to vast fields and rolling mountains. I even had a private balcony where hundreds of ripe little oranges were lowering from a large tree, offering me their sweet scent. I had wanted to have them for dinner or breakfast but it turned out that I never had time.

Henry hurried me down the center of Villa de Leyva because we could hear music and happy sounds of people. I was very lucky because I was there at the time of the Virgen del Carmen Festival where the Virgin Marry was honored and people’s love for her celebrated. We entered into the Cathedral to see that it was beautiful decorated with flowers and the Virgin Mary was looking down at me from a carriage adorned with even more flowers, ready to be paraded tonight. I prayed and went outside, where the sunset was spilling around us. We walked around, sharing people’s excitement, visiting the busting market where hundreds of stalls offered delightful products, food and souvenir.

For dinner, I didn’t have to insist to have Henry’s agreement: to sit by a large fire where meat was being roasted by an open-air eating place. Even the air was delicious. For a very small sum of money, we had a huge plate piled with different types of roast meat, together with boiled yam. While this sounds so wonderful, I don’t think it would have been able to do it without Henry’s help. With him being there, I felt just like a local. And I felt safe.

The fireworks started when we were about to finish dinner and I watched in amazement as young men lit up fireworks by hands and let burning flames explode into the sky. The carriage of Virgin Mary appeared and there were more fireworks and even more cars and trucks decorated with banners, flags and flowers parading behind her. The atmosphere of joy and excitement filled the air as people flocked the street, pulling us along with them to the Cathedral where we enjoyed more parade, a marching band and admiring the Virgin Mary who could turned around and around, waving at us from her carriage.

We left the crowd and I was worried that Henry would say he was tired. After all, he had been driving and working for the whole day. To my surprise, Henry suggested to have a walk around town as it was very peaceful and beautiful at night. I couldn’t agree more. We walked along cobblestoned streets where wooden houses with their flower-filled balcony delighted my eyes. It was quiet once we left the Cathedral and I felt I was going back to the past. We visited some old houses such as the house of Juan (Joan) de Castellanos - one of the most beautiful buildings in Colombia, built in the sixteenth century. I couldn’t believe that I was at the house of a poet: Juan de Castellanos arrived from Spain in one of the expeditions of conquest times. Later, he abandoned his military career, became a priest and wrote in his loneliness in the convent of Santa Clara la Real the longest poem in the Spanish language, "Elegies of Illustrious Men of the Indies", in which tells, first hand, the history of the Spanish conquest in nearly 150,000 verses in Classic Spanish. This text was hidden for centuries, until it was discovered in an ancient passage in Santa Clara la Real, in the decade of 1050 and released.

The next morning, we got up early and walked to the town center. The sun was rising and the light was beautiful, sprinkling golden color on red-roofs and walls of slanting houses. We visited the beautiful house called “El Molino de Mesopotamia”. It has been turned into a hotel but Henry knows the owners well and was able to take me for a tour around the beautiful landscaped garden, beautiful buildings, and corridors filled with colorful flowers. We visited a big room where Henry showed me a water mill – this place used to be a mill. There were water channels running around the complex, bringing music to our ears. Built in 1572, it even has a swimming pool. The owner talked with me and told me that all the tiles of the roof are original. They haven’t had to replace any.

We walked along many beautiful streets and looked into many beautiful homes – so beautiful that I didn’t want to leave. When we came to the town center, Henry took me to a delightful café packed with local people. I asked for Colombian food again and Henry suggested Caldo con Costilla, a dish typical of the Andean region. I loved the taste: beef ribs stewed with slices of potato, garlic, onion and coriander leaves. I agreed with Henry when he told me this dish is believed to have the power to raise a body from its death. It gave us lots of energy for the busy day ahead of us.

Last night at the house of Juan de Castellanos, I had met a friendly local tourist who mentioned to me about Pozos Azules, the blue pools. I didn’t dare mention to Henry because blue pools weren’t in the itinerary. Now, I was feeling sad to leave Villa de Leyva, Henry said we could spend a little more time here if I wished and I brought up the blue pools. To my surprise, once again, Henry showed that he was flexible and helpful. Henry’s car helped us find the pools straight away what an amazing site: so peaceful and beautiful, set in an area that look like a desert, surrounded by rugged mountains. There are 5 pools there for us to explore, each looking like a patch of the deep blue sky. Blue as the bluest eyes. Henry explained that the water here has lots of sulfur, which gives them this unique color. As we walk around, I realise this is a perfect place for a hike and I did see groups of tourists hiking around the ponds, enjoying themselves.

Henry had told me that we would take another road going back to Bogota and now I saw why. Along scenic roads, I could visit so many beautiful villages and towns, which included Sáchica, Sutamarchan, Tinjacá, Ráquira, and Chiquinquirá. Amongst them, Ráquira must be the most beautiful. I was so amazed at the colors and artworks that had been painted on each house. Called the city of pots, it’s like an art museum and I could wander from one house to another for hours. The people here were very friendly and they smiled whenever I go. It’s a good place to buy local souvenirs, too.

We stopped at the Colfrance Milk factory close to Fúquene lake. After enjoying Colombian cheese and local food, we drove back to Bogota. It was getting dark and my flight would depart in a few hours so Henry drove me straight to the airport. I was grateful that he helped me check in and waited to see everything was okay before we said goodbye. He surprised me with his gifts: CDs of Colombian music which he knew I would love to listen again and again once I get home.

As you could see, I was looking for a tour guide and I found a friend and travel companion in Henry. He is punctual, kind, professional, extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. I appreciate very much Henry's humor, his insights into Colombian culture and history, as well as his love and passion for his country - Colombia.

Henry was very flexible with his schedule and never hesitated to go out of his way to help me. It was a true joy and a blessing to be with Henry and I felt very lucky to be guided by him. I would recommend Henry to anyone who would like to get to know about Colombia the authentic way.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank QueMai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lenexa, Kansas
2 reviews
“I spent 2 days in Bogota with Henry's Tours”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

This was a wonderful experience. Henry made me feel like I was with an old friend. He took his time, explained everything, answered all my many questions and made changes in the program to fit my needs. Day 1 was a Corporate site visit of the city and attractions (beautiful city!), Day 2 was spent traveling to the Salt Cathedral, about 1 hour away. IT WAS BREATHTAKING!!!! I highly recommend visiting this 8th wonder -- and going with Henry. After the private tour, I asked for lunch at a local, not a tourist restaurant. Henry knew the perfect place and I enjoyed it tremendously. I would use Henry again when in Bogota.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Donna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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