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iodeac

Colombia

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Planning on doing an immersion program in Medellín for a week in February with a group of about 15 people, organized by the creators of a podcast I listen to. They did one earlier this year and it looks like a great opportunity. Is there a go-to website for aggregating prices, and when is the best time to book international travel? So far flights from Charlotte through Miami are around 800 round trip.

 

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4 hours ago, iodeac said:

 

Planning on doing an immersion program in Medellín for a week in February with a group of about 15 people, organized by the creators of a podcast I listen to. They did one earlier this year and it looks like a great opportunity. Is there a go-to website for aggregating prices, and when is the best time to book international travel? So far flights from Charlotte through Miami are around 800 round trip.

 

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What's the podcast?

Kayak has a price trend feature but it only really works for popular routes with lots of data.

Kayak also has a notification feature - they'll email you when prices drop. Another site that does this is farecompare.

I recommend searching at least 3 sites to check fares including a direct book with the airline of your choice. For example I was looking for a flight for my wife to Italy the other day. American's lowest offer price on their site was over $2500 but skyscanner found one with an AA code share on Iberia for about a thousand less.

If there's another airport near you that's close enough that you don't mind traveling from you might check fares from that airport, as well.

Also there's this advice from skyscanner

Quote
  • For international flights, booking as far ahead as possible usually gets you the best price. For domestic flights, the sweet spot is between 3 and 6 weeks ahead. Prices either side of that time period just aren’t as good.

https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/why-flight-prices-change-every-minute

 

Edited by Chopper

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1 minute ago, iodeac said:

It's called Españolistos. It's actually a really good podcast and they cover a lot of interesting topics. They went to Medellin in February and it looked like a lot of fun.
 

do they do these trips for longer than a week?  I’ve wanted to go to colombia for a while now but I’d like to stay for a couple months. 

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do they do these trips for longer than a week?  I’ve wanted to go to colombia for a while now but I’d like to stay for a couple months. 
I think the podcast is pretty new so this is the first year. Next year there are actually two different options in February but they each are about a week. No doubt there are other immersion programs through other schools for longer periods of time though

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On 11/30/2019 at 6:29 AM, iodeac said:

 

Planning on doing an immersion program in Medellín for a week in February with a group of about 15 people, organized by the creators of a podcast I listen to. They did one earlier this year and it looks like a great opportunity. Is there a go-to website for aggregating prices, and when is the best time to book international travel? So far flights from Charlotte through Miami are around 800 round trip.

 

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I went last year. Flew into Bogotá from Houston then Miami for 450 round trip. Once in Bogotá you can find a flight to Medellín for about 40-50 USD.

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Beautiful country and extremely friendly people. Seriously, arguably the nicest group of people I’ve ever met. What cities do you plan to visit? I can get more specific, if I have an idea of where you are going. 

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Beautiful country and extremely friendly people. Seriously, arguably the nicest group of people I’ve ever met. What cities do you plan to visit? I can get more specific, if I have an idea of where you are going. 
Mostly around Medellin, I think the second day we'll go up El Peñol. We're also visiting a coffee plantation at some point too. There's also a pueblo we'll visit called Gautapé.

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5 minutes ago, iodeac said:

Mostly around Medellin, I think the second day we'll go up El Peñol. We're also visiting a coffee plantation at some point too. There's also a pueblo we'll visit called Gautapé.

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Good decision. My favorite city was Medellin. We were (friends I traveled with) also fortunate enough to have our hostel owner show us around the city, experienced the local places I otherwise wouldn't have known about. Spent a day in Gautapé, I enjoyed it, but you can tell it is getting touristy. 

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There's a commercial market in Medellin that is worth checking out. Seriously, it functioned as a place to purchase produce, meat, clothing, appliances, a barbershop, massage parlor, etc. I was absolutely floored. It is called Minorista. 

Edited by ramblin’ man
adding more information

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Can't recommend Colombia highly enough.  I've spent time in Bogota, Bucaramanga/Santander, and Medellin.  Right outside Medellin, there's a suburb called Envigado, which is known for bad-ass bandeja paisa. 

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I'm planning a three-week trip to Colombia and Peru for February and early March. My very rough itinerary right now: 

  • Texas to Cartagena for 4 nights
  • flight to Medellin for 3 nights
  • bus or flight to Salento/coffee region for 3 nights
  • bus or flight to Bogota for 4 nights
  • flight to Lima for 3 nights
  • flight to Cusco for 4 nights including a day in Machu Pichu by train
  • flight back to Lima for one night then back to U.S.

For those that have been, does this look like a reasonable allocation of days per city and order of travel? In terms of travel style/priorities, I enjoy seeing natural beauty sights for short side trips, but I'm more into urban cultural exploration. 

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6 minutes ago, midtown said:

Do not take busses and skip Cartegena or reduce to 2 nights. Also 4 in Bogota sounds like a a day too many

 

 

Fair enough. What don't you like about Cartagena? It seems to be near the top of most "best of Colombia" lists I've seen online. 

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26 minutes ago, midtown said:

Do not take busses and skip Cartegena or reduce to 2 nights. Also 4 in Bogota sounds like a a day too many

 

 

Cartagena is fantastic, imo. I've never spent time to other parts of Colombia, but been to Cartagena multiple times. Great old, walled, city. Great seafood. Several things to do around the area. There are also a lot more areas of Peru so I might cut one or two days from Colombia and add them to Peru. 

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I just found Cartagena kind of boring and it's touristy as hell. Yes the walled city is nice for a day and there are good restaurants. It just felt like a little like new Orleans in the Caribbean to be honest. The beaches are generally terrible. Perhaps it was because it was my last stop and I was kind of over being a tourist and I had come from Medellin and Manizales which are uniquely Colombian. If I could do it over I would go Santa Marta.

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I did like the two hotels I stayed at on Cartagena . I stayed two nights in Getsemani at the Ameria Real. It's a much less touristy area and if your are a Vegas/cancun type traveler the neighborhood might not appeal to you but I loved it. And based on the construction in that area its gentrifying rapidly.

 

Then we moved into the walled area and stayed at the Bastion which was really swanky and nice. Not my normal type but if you like high end boutique hotels this is the place for you.

 

For the coffee region this is where we stayed. Amazing people.

 

http://www.haciendavenecia.com/

 

 

 

 

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