On the Road with Bill: Colombia, part 1

July 23, 2013

As International Expeditions searches for the next great nature travel adventure, Bill Robison, IE Director of Program Development, often has the “difficult” task of scouting a county for the best naturalist guides, hotels and to uncover extraordinary experiences for our guests. This week he is researching a Colombia tour. How do you feel about travel to places like Colombia - let us know.

Day 1

“Colombia is off to a great start. What a beautiful country and sweet people! The Andes are gorgeous, and Bogota is quite the cosmopolitan capital. I explored Bogota with a wonderful guide — very proud of her country and culture...and her orchids and roses for which Colombia is famous. We had great views of the Volcano Ruiz from Los Nevados National Park and a brilliant visit to a coffee plantation. Hummingbirds are everywhere and my guide here in the coffee triangle is superb.


Yesterday was Colombia's Independence Day so the blue, red and yellow were everywhere. Tomorrow we'll explore Otun Quimbaya National Park and the Cocura Valley, home of the wax palm (world's tallest and highest growing species) and the endemic parrots that live amongst them. I have been so pleasantly — no, wonderfully — surprised by Colombia.”

Day 2

“Spent the entire day at the other end of Colombia’s coffee triangle. I got to experience the magnificent Valley of Cocura and Otun Quimbaya National Park...scenery like I have never seen and yet more sweet people. In all the times I have traveled in Latin America, I cannot recall hearing "bienvenido" (welcome) so many times....and "con much gusto" (it was a pleasure). Saw falcons, endemic parrots that live only in the wax palms but both were too far for my camera — I need a longer lens! Hummingbirds were everywhere today...too many to name. I saw the sun set over the coffee region and Los Nevados National Park. This area is simply spectacular...photos cannot capture it. Off to Tayrona National Park tomorrow to explore the Caribbean coast and discover new species. I was sad to say goodbye to Juan, my superb guide and now great friend. If you travel with Juan on IE’s upcoming Colombia tour, be sure to ask him about his time biking in Connecticut.”

Who is Bill?
After studying biology at the University of Missouri, Bill Robison has spent the past 14 years involved in tour planning, research, operations and tour leadership around the world. In the past six years he has traveled throughout Africa, South America, Europe and Asia for program research, and has served on the National Geographic’s Destination Stewardship panel.