For the past ten years, Colombia has been on our list of places we wanted to visit. When I saw a trip listed by Cheeseman's Ecology Safaris for a two week birding trip in Colombia, I booked us for that trip. Then we booked a trip with Glenn Bartley for two weeks of bird photography in Ecuador with two weeks between the trips. We filled that two weeks with a trip of of our own to Bogotá, Cartagena, and Cali.
Colombia was an awesome place. Except for Cartagena, we saw very few Americans or foreign tourists. Colombians were so friendly and so pleased that we visited. We usually had one or two people a day come up to take our picture. When we left the country, we were asked security questions several times--where had we been. When they found out we had visited so many places, the security emphasis ended. They were so pleased and wanted to know if we had had a good time. And we should come back and they had suggestions for other destinations.
Ironically, we were the only guests enrolled by Cheeseman's. Our leader, Christopher Cajone of Colombia Birdwatch, filled the rest of the trip with six of his own birders. Christopher has both American and Colombian citizenship. He is a really nice guy. He knows Colombia and the birds of Colombia very well. The other six members of the group were serious birders, but Chris did a very good job of accommodating us as well as the rest of the group. We highly recommend Colombia Bird Watch. Let me emphasize that Colombia is a safe country to visit. You should use the same caution you would use in any big city when visiting Colombian cities. Birding in the cloud forest, we had two lodges with no locks on the doors and there was never any issue with my photography equipment and computers. Colombia is still new to the tourism business, so we did find the accommodations and food at the ecolodges to be somewhat lacking, but that was more than made up by the enthusiasm of our hosts. In Bogotá and the other cities, our accommodations and food rivaled that of any international city.
Below are links to our different web pages from the trip. You can click any of the links or pictures below, or just click the first link and then the link at the bottom of each page to read about the whole trip.