Sustainable Tourism Bogotá
In 2010, the idea for Andes EcoTours was born. This was at a time when destinations like Cartagena were already positioned on the tourist map and the city of Bogotá was being largely ignored. Travelers were quick to fly in and out of our capital city without paying much attention to the nature that surrounded them, while the conflict of previous decades had prevented locals from exploring its mountains. We realized that there was an opportunity to develop a responsible tourism offering that would allow both international visitors and local residents to experience the diversity of ecosystems in and around our beloved region.
It was two years later that we led our first ever tour, and a few months after that, that we opened our first office. We wanted to show local bogotanos what they had been missing out on all those years, while at the same time generating an interest from international visitors. Thus we focused on developing top quality ecotourism options that were also accessible to the average traveler.
Our first attempts at partnering with hotels to offer nature trips were mostly ignored because we were pioneering an industry that didn't yet exist. We persevered nonetheless, and today, not only is Bogotá the first stop for millions of visitors each year, but more and more travelers are choosing us as their home base for exploring the rich diversity of natural and cultural treasures that make Colombia a truly magical destination.
Hiking up Monserrate on our first tour,
Born and raised in the thriving metropolis of Bogotá, Andrés developed an early curiosity for the natural world that took him across the ocean to the US to pursue his degree in Natural Sciences. Years later he felt the need for a change and flew back home to complete his Masters in Environmental Management from Los Andes University. Nowadays he is the director of Andes Ecotours and his passion is to share with visitors why his native Colombia is the most fantastic and biologically diverse place in the world!
Chantelle was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and was trained to locate wildlife from a young age (skills that come in handy when you want to spot wildlife on the tours). When she was older, she moved to the United States where she fell in love with photography, salsa dancing and Colombian culture. Chantelle has a B.Sc. in Hospitality Management from the University of Houston and an M.A. in International Development from Eastern University. In addition to working with Andes EcoTours, she is also the Executive Director of NGO Interchange Colombia and owner of CdP Photography.
The ultimate goal of Andes EcoTours is to become an agent of conservation for Colombia's ecological heritage, and we understand that in order to preserve nature, we need healthy, vibrant local communities that can afford to protect it. Throughout our numerous tours, not only are thousands of visitors discovering the hidden side of Colombia´s magical realism, they are also providing much needed income for the farming families we work with.
"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught" Baba Dioum, Senegal