Gyde & Seek Opens for Tours in Colombia: Introducing Bogotá & Medellín
Bogotá has always been a vital cultural hub. Temperate, rich in resources, surrounded by natural beauty, with galleries and museums to spare, and flourishing food, music, and fashion scenes, Colombia’s capital is abundant in every way. Deeply regional yet also thick with hefty universal themes, the city's narrative is truly gripping, from the political twists and turns of recent decades to centuries of pre-Hispanic history. If it's your first time on the ground, make sure to spend a few hours getting oriented with a Colombian culture savant like Ana or Juliana; you'll get much more out of Bogotá once you know your way around its key landmarks, historic watersheds, and modern social geography.
After you've seen the views from Monserrate and downed an inaugural bowl of ajiaco, we suggest setting out on a custom Colombian art adventure with an insider like Daniela or Felipe. Bogotá's visual culture will blow you away, whether you're contemplating Botero’s voluptuous satire, ancient auric artifacts, or a brand new installation in edgy San Felipe. Fancy a locavore shopping spree? A cosmopolitan design hub home to one of South America's most evolved fashion industries, Bogotá can entertain visiting trend-hunters for days; Isabel and María will introduce you to the city's breakout indie labels and established names. And if you're wondering why you keep hearing the word rumba? There's only one way to find out. Once you've visited an underground salsa club with Mónica or Gustavo, you'll understand what all the fuss is about.
Impeccably clean and ensconced in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, Medellín is an oasis of social urbanism, art, music, flowers, food, coffee, chocolate, and peaceful activism. Over the last 15 years, the city's infrastructure has enjoyed a transformational, innovative overhaul, designed to promote social inclusion and unity. Should you learn about the narco-violence that once held the city hostage? Absolutely. It will deepen your appreciation for the safe, polished metropolis you experience today. Our advice? Spend your first day with a local history expert like Santi, who can do justice to Medellín's nuanced story. You might examine the conflict years at the city's moving Casa de la Memoria—then hop a metro-cable car to Comuna 13, a once perilous hillside community now home to inspiring street art, stylish outdoor escalators, and an architecturally eye-catching library-park.
Bogotá may have the semi-clandestine supper clubs and new-wave tasting menus, but Medellín is where to go all in on delicious, comforting regional eats. Laura can lead the way to the city's fluffiest sweet corn arepas, and Santiago can show you how to whip them up with skill and flair. Ready for a premium Colombian caffeine spree? Reach out to Andrés or José. They will whisk you deep into coffee country for a day of high-altitude, family-owned plantation visits. The warmth and beauty of rural Antioquia will fill your spirit with delight and optimism, so whether you love hiking, riding, or bird-watching, be sure to let a local gyde help you dream up the perfect Paisa field trip.
With indigenous culture, colonial architecture, and natural beauty in spades, Colombia is South America at its most arresting—and accessible. While close enough for a long weekend, Bogotá and Medellín make for a serious one-two punch; if you can stay for a week, there's that much to do, see, and taste!