After two weeks as intern with Andes Ecotours, I’ve started to think about the positive aspects of working here in Bogotá. Here are my conclusions:
1. Having the opportunity to visit pure nature near Bogotá
One of the best things of working in a travel agency is without a doubt travelling. Bogotá, with its historical and artistic sites is a fascinating city, but it can be hard to find a peaceful place free from traffic and chaos when approximately 8 millions habitants live here. It’s incredible to discover that just about 25 minutes from the city you can immerse yourself in still, pure nature. For example, in a place near to the town of Choachí, you can hike amazing clouds forests, see many waterfalls and also learn about rock art made by the Muisca indigenous people. A very adventurous trip!
2. Learning about local flora and fauna
Before coming to Bogotá I had no idea that Colombia has the largest bird and orchid diversity in the word. This shows the incredible natural heritage of this unique country. If you’re interested in birdwatching, I suggest you to visit the Chicaque Natural Park, situated between Soacha and San Antonio del Tequendama. Here, there are more than 100 bird species! It’s very easy to find hummingbirds, like this one in the picture below.
3. Being part of the process of community development
Tourism can be an important resource for local development in terms of economic growth, especially in poorer areas. Organizing tours in such places can definitely help local people to improve their economic situation. For example, we’ve created a historical coffee tour near Silvania in collaboration with a local community association. The organization is formed by 15 families, who in addition to producing their own coffee, strive to preserve both their natural and cultural heritage through new and innovative means. A good way to drink excelent coffee while supporting the local community!
4. Interacting with ‘los Bogotanos’
In Bogotá it’s very easy to talk to anyone. Bogotanos are quite chatty! Many people come into the office and start to talk about their lives and I believe it’s a good way to get used to the Colombian and local culture. I think that life here is more relaxed than it is Europe, so there’s more time that can be spent on human interaction which is something that I personally really love!