Colombia

We can design an unforgettable adventure for your family or help you create your own!

Our Favorites Places Include: Cartagena, Northern Coast’s Islands, Medellin and Environs, Coffee Cultural Landscape, Bogotá & Amazonas

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A Colombia Heritage Journey

From her soaring Andean summits, unspoiled Caribbean coastline, lush green jungles, verdant mountains and coffee plantations to cobbled street communities, Colombia has it all.

The allure is undeniable. Political strife left the country untraveled for many years so visitors will experience a wildlife habitat that has remained largely undisturbed and much of the colonial architecture intact. Although vast, the tourist infrastructure is well-established making travel within country relatively easy. You can visit lush nature preserves, national parks, beaches, the coffee region as well as many fascinating cities all in one trip. Let us take you to the Colombia we know and love!

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Adoption Statistics:

Colombia Heritage Journey Adoption Statisticshttps://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/about-us/statistics.htmlSave

 

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Our Adoptive Family Travel Philosophy

When we plan trips to a child’s birth country we are looking for activities that accomplish specific goals. First and foremost, we want to bring adoptive families closer together. We know that adoptive families often struggle with attachment and bonding issues so we use fun adventure activities that are challenging enough to require each family member to step outside his or her comfort zone, but easy enough to be accomplished. When that happens, research tells us that several different hormones are released into your body – serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. When those hormones are released into your body, you feel good – they are your happy hormones! When you feel good, you are more likely to connect deeply with all those around you. Especially when you congratulate, hug and talk about your accomplishments. And the good news, that’s when you release oxytocin – which is the clincher! Oxytocin is the bonding hormone and we want our travelers to release it as often as possible!

We use adventure activities like a company would use team-building exercises. We want the activity to act as the catalyst for healthy communication, collaboration and ultimately, connection. When families work as a team to accomplish a goal, it helps builds a positive family culture. Team-building exercises and adventure activities (when done together) lay the foundation for mutual understanding and respect. You get to see each other’s strengths and weaknesses and encourage each other through to the meeting your desired goal. The best part, accomplishing goals and  being rewarded for your efforts, releases all the happy “connecting” hormone’s AND builds self-esteem. Research also tells us that internationally adopted children often score lower on measures of self-esteem – we want to change that. When your adopted child accomplishes his or her goal, feels great, releases those happy hormones, he or she will connect more deeply with you and  other family members – it’s that simple.

Finally, we want all adopted children to leave their birth country having had a positive cultural and family experience. We look for triggers, we understand your child, we understand your family dynamics, we understand your needs, desires and limitations when we plan your itinerary. In other words, we strive to make every experience positive. When your child has a positive in-country experience, your child will develop a positive sense of self in relationship to his or her birth country. We know that a strong cultural identity fosters a positive sense of self, higher self-esteem, more joy and with all that comes richer connections.

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Our Favorite Activities:

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá (near Bogotá) is an underground Roman Catholic Church built within the tunnels of an old salt mine. The cathedral is a functioning church receiving nearly 3,000 visitors on any given Sunday. The site is also home to Parque de la Salt (Salt Park) where there is a museum of mining, mineralogy, geology and natural resources. The cathedral itself is notable for its spectacular architecture and amazing artwork. A visit here is a show-stopper and a wonderful walk through your child’s cultural heritage. This experience will leave your family feeling connected, centered and informed.

Mount Monserrate

A trip up Mount Monserrate in Bogotá via teleferico (cable car) will be one of the highlights of your time here! The views are outstanding and you will find amazing food and quaint souvenirs in the small village at the top. Using this activity as an opportunity to connect with your family is a win for everyone. Sunset is a favorite time – it’s a must do!

Rio Claro Nature Reserve

Rio Claro Nature Reserve located approximately 100 miles east of Medellin is a unique find and a company favorite for Motherland Travel. Hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, caving, white water rafting, zip lines and a fun via ferrate make this area is a highlight of any trip to Colombia. Also, participating in these types of adventure activities gives families an opportunity to work together to accomplish goals as well as build self-esteem. When we take family members out of their comfort zone, make them stretch, cheer them on and reward their accomplishments, the happy hormones will be pulsating through everyone’s body – just the way we like it!

Coffee Cultural Landscape

The Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia is an exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that continues the tradition of coffee growing. This lush ecosystem with semitropical plants and flowers, abundant bird life and insects is crisscrossed by waterways that have been trade routes since ancient times. Some of the most beautifully preserved small towns and villages in the area are culturally rich and well preserved. Salamina and Salento are two examples of beautifully kept historic towns with a rich cultural heritage. We have heard from many travelers that the rich and significant history in this area, the flora and fauna, soft adventure activities in this area combine nicely to foster deep connections – both to each other and to your child’s culture heritage. Come with us and visit this area to see traditions that flourish!

The beaches and islands around Cartagena

The picturesque beaches and sun-drenched islands off the coast of Cartagena are more accessible than you think. Turquoise waters, virgin rain forests, fluorescent algae and abundant fish life make this part of Colombia your call to adventure and relaxation! Experiencing these types of remote places, participating in adventure activities, and taking time to relax, connect and reflect can be the beginning of significant self-growth and family transformation.

Amazonas

A trip to the Colombian Amazon is a one of a kind adventure. From pink dolphins and exotic birds to indigenous communities who preserve their rich cultural traditions. Pristine jungle, incredible wildlife and one famous river are the hallmarks of the southern third of Colombia. Canoeing and kayaking, encounters with nature, and experiencing the vast and different culture of this area offers families an opportunity to stretch themselves – which builds self-esteem. If you spend time hugging, encouraging exploration and cheering each other on, you will enjoy the added benefit of releasing oxytocin! Let us show you the Amazon we fell in love with.

Our Favorite Places:

Cartagena

Cartagena is the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast! This colorful and romantic fairy tail of a city is what legends are made of. Cartagena’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site brimming with cobbled walkways, balconies covered in bougainvillea, massive churches, people eating at quaint cafes and music bringing her centuries-old stone walls to life. Cartagena is a must for any visit to Colombia!

Northern Coast’s Islands

The northern coast’s perfectly preserved, walled city of Cartagena with a nearby national park of coral islands is loved equally by historians and snorkeling enthusiasts. Sooner rather than later is definitely the best time to experience re-discovered Colombia.

Medellin and Environs

Hip Medellin in Colombia’s coffee country is filled with sights to explore and a population that knows how to party. The Wall Street Journal named Medellin Innovative City of the Year in 2013, a deserving title. As a relatively new city, the architecture has a more modernist appeal which goes hand in hand with it’s more progressive residents. Medellin is well known for its museums, find dining, fabulous hotels and nightlife!

Coffee Cultural Landscape

Take a trip to the areas outside of Medellin and you will find a rich landscape dotted with coffee plantations and spectacular nature preserves. There is hiking, biking, white water rafting, bird watching, or just relaxing to take in the diversity and wonder of this region. Salamina and Salento are two examples of beautifully kept historic towns with a rich cultural heritage in the coffee region.

Bogotá

Stately Bogotá has been called the Athens of South America for its universities and libraries. It is a city filled with museums, art galleries, and theaters as well as fascinating sites. Bogotá sits at nearly 9,000 feet so take a jacket and prepare yourself for this spectacular high-altitude destination!

Amazonas

In the Amazonas of Colombia discovery is the name of the game. From pink dolphins and exotic birds to indigenous communities who preserve their rich cultural traditions. Pristine jungle, incredible wildlife and one famous river are the hallmarks of the southern third of Colombia. Let us show you to the Amazon we fell in love with.

Basic Traveler Information

Visa and Passport Requirements:

Colombia Travel Info

Weather and climate:

The climate on the coast and in the north is warm and tropical. Rainy season extends from May to November. Due to it’s proximity to the equator, Colombia’s temperature varies little throughout the year. It does however, vary according to altitude. It is much cooler the higher you go in elevation, and can even get below freezing in the night. Bogotá is perpetually spring-like — cool days and crisp nights, though the days can warm up nicely when the sun is out. The Amazon region generally stays warm and wet year round. December to March or July and August are the driest seasons and considered the best times of year to visit. Although visiting during major holidays like Semana Santa can be fabulous because the celebrations are so lively, bear in mind that hotels book up fast and the weather might not be ideal.

Geography:

Colombia is in South America and is bordered by the Caribbean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. Three ranges of the Andes Mountains run south to north ending in the lowlands of the Caribbean coast. The topography of the country varies tremendously depending on the region. With marshy lowlands, rugged mountains, a spectacular coastline, dense Amazonian jungle, valleys filled with coffee plantations and eastern plains. Colombia is as vast as she is beautiful!

 

What families are saying about working with Motherland Travel:

Originally, I hadn’t considered using a “travel agency” for our trip because I was used to doing all my family travel plans using tools on the web.  I am so grateful that we discovered Motherland Travel because we had only one opportunity to make a first impression of Guatemala on my son. Bambi thought of so many things that I would have missed. Our ultimate goal of the trip was to have Jack feel proud of his heritage. We knew that we had succeeded when on the last day of the trip as we were roasting cocoa beans at the chocolate factory, my son introduced himself to a stranger by saying “Hi, my name is Jack and I am from Guatemala.” Bill

Proud Father of Jack

The trip transformed all of my fears of NOT being able to do a trip like this into joy and success. The people, pacing, activities, accommodations, and scope of the trip was a perfect fit for our family.

I feel like Bambi asked insightful questions during the initial consultation, helping me articulate my goals for this trip. I appreciate the family bonding/adventure travel information she provided, as well as the general information about Guatemala. Bambi targeted our budget and made the most of every experience, given our financial restraints. The itinerary proposal and final itinerary were thorough, detailed, and very clear. I so valued the personal details about possible triggers for my son, visiting his birth country.

We are so grateful for the effort, service, time, and thought Motherland Travel put into planning this trip for us. We have been transformed by the travel. Eddy exudes a pride and joy when he talks about our trip, and talks about Guatemala. A few days after we returned, his teacher had him present to his class about how the ecosystems in Guatemala affect the culture and way of life. As I watched him present to his peers, he shared details and experiences that revealed how much this trip was profoundly imprinted on his heart and his identity. Our family benefited so much from being out of our comfort zone – we learned so much about our son’s birth country, about human resilience, and even more about our family. I can’t choose one favorite moment, or even pick out a single least favorite moment. The days were unique, yet perfectly balanced, creating a gorgeous tapestry of experiences.

The Wall Family

The Wall Family

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Learn how Motherland Travel can help you plan your intentional & purposeful Heritage Journey!

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Oh, the places you can go!

We design custom Heritage Journeys for the following countries:

What NOT to do when on a trip to your child’s birth country.

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What We Do

Motherland Travel offers customized birth country travel for families with internationally adopted children. We can design an unforgettable adventure for your family, or help you create your own.

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Contact Info

Motherland Travel

303-807-9058

travel@motherlandtravel.com

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