• Colombia,  Featured

    Transcending Stereotypes: A New View of Colombia

    Written by: Miguel Reyes, travel journalist Translated by: Jason Najum Colombia is often an enigma to foreigners. Some talk about the natural wonders and kindness of the people; while others can’t help to focus on the chapters of drugs and violence. This mixed image leaves potential visitors wondering what the country is really like today. Inspired to see the new Colombia, more than 300 students from Wharton – the prestigious business school of the University of Pennsylvania – came to explore the country with Vaová. In words of its founder Juan Pablo Toro, the “goal is to show the Colombia we Colombians love”. The first stop was Medellín, the “City…

  • Colombia

    Trying out exotic fruits in Colombia: A must do!

    “Experiencing places through its local food is one of the best ways to travel.” One of the most remarkable features about Colombia is its unbelievable array of exotic fruits, many of which you have probably never tasted, seen or even heard of before.   Colombian fresh markets bursts with flavors, textures and scents. That’s why when people come to Colombia, we always take them to Paloquemao, the biggest local market in our capital. It’s definitely one of the best places to taste some of the most unique fruits of our country. Whether you decide to come with us or go explore the market by yourself, here’s a list of fruits…

  • Colombia

    Colombia´s most beautiful towns

    Colombia has large cities, known around the world, that attract thousands of tourists each year such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena. However, only a few know that our country also features hundreds of small hidden treasures, many of them a legacy of our colonial past. Here are our 5 favorite Colombian towns: places frozen in time, lost among our vast landscapes and waiting for you to make a long-lasting print on your memory. 1. Santa Cruz de Mompox, Bolívar On Margarita Island – Colombia´s largest river island– and surrounded by the calm waters of the Magdalena River, stands a magical colonial town: Santa Cruz de Mompox, 150 mi from Cartagena.…

  • Colombia

    National Natural Parks of Colombia

    If you have read our previous posts, you know that our rich culture and our multiethnic past has resulted in a varied and almost endless cultural legacy. Today, however, we would like to address our natural heritage, just as magical and amazing as the cultural one and to which, in fact, it is inevitably tied.   Colombia is one of the few members that make up that elite group of mega-diverse countries on the planet. This makes us proudly hold some records on biodiversity: we are the country with the largest number of birds and butterflies, for example. This great biodiversity is mainly preserved in 59 protected natural areas that represent…

  • Colombia

    BENEFITS OF TRAVELING WITH FRIENDS DURING YOUR MASTER YEAR

    Yes, we know it –there’s a bright side to traveling alone. It thickens your skin, sharpens your sense of survival and you experience a kind of complete freedom you rarely get in other circumstances. But, what about when you travel with more than 300 people at the same time? Here, you’ll get 3 reasons why we believe traveling with friends ultimately beats traveling alone. 1.    Exclusivity everywhere. Be it a private dinner at the best restaurant of the city, a conference with a recognized leader of the country or a paradise local party, the bigger the group the better the experience (at a lower price!) 2.  You get to…

  • Colombia

    A Feathered Paradise

    Colombia is part of a very exclusive group made up of 18 megadiverse countries –those that house the majority of the planet’s animal and plant species. This megadiversity has ranked us first in number of bird species, with more than 1,900 having been officially registered by the scientific community (this equals 20% of all the world’s bird species!), making our country a true paradise for ornithologists and any bird-watching enthusiast. Variety is such, that newer species have been discovered in recent years. Given such diversity and considering there are 76 bird species that are only found in Colombia, we should take a peek at some of the rarest and most…

  • Colombia

    Whatchamacallit in Colombian Spanish?

    At Vaova, we believe that the best way to experience a place is living it like a true local, and that includes speaking like one. So, find below some of the typical phrases you’ll hear in Colombia, which not only attest to our creativity but are funny as hell. Dar papaya Literal translation: ‘To give papaya’ Meaning: To unnecessarily give the opportunity for something to happen This is probably the first Colombian phrase you’ll learn upon arrival. Most likely, you would hear it coming in the negative form, i.e. No dar papaya, meaning: 1) don’t make it too easy for evildoers to harm you, make smart decisions and stay always…

  • Colombia

    Living Colombia like a Pro

    Gone are the days when drug cartels and guerrilla ran rampant across Colombia and when only a few wanted to visit. You probably know that already and that’s why you want to come. Trust us, there has not been a better time to visit our country than today. Yet, we totally understand that you may want to know how the place you are planning to go is like. That’s why we’ve made this useful list with some great local tips, spanning from safety and transportation to partying like a purebred Colombian. On Being Colombian: We know it, you hear South America and you think of sun, shorts and flip-flops. And,…

  • Colombia

    Colombia through its Festivals

    Colombia is a country of continuous celebration. Regardless of the time of the year, there’s always a reason to party and pay tribute to our culture. Throughout the year, our cities make room for unique and marvelous fairs and festivals which attest to Colombian authenticity. Some of such events treasure our legacy and traditions in such a way, that they have been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Here are the most important: January Manizales Fair Manizales, Caldas The Manizales Fair , is without a doubt, one of the country’s biggest and most important events. In the first week of January, Manizales becomes the capital of Spain in Latin America. Inspired…

  • Colombia

    Made in Colombia: Our most iconic figures

    When it comes to Colombian talent, we can certainly state that the “Made in Colombia” label has been proudly worn by outstanding Colombians. These legends have managed to establish themselves as masters of their crafts and have made our country reach new heights. Here are some of those consummate Colombians, who we proudly call fellow citizens. Gabriel García Márquez When asked who we admire the most, it’s very likely that Colombians answer García Márquez without hesitation. And it’s not surprising. He was the first Colombian –and fourth Latin-American– to be awarded a Nobel Prize –in this case, the nobel of literature– and became one of the first main voices to…

  • Colombia,  Featured

    Art Festivals in Bogotá

    Along with Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Bogotá has always stood out among Latin American capitals due to its intellectual and cultural spirit. Many art fairs and festivals are held throughout the year, crossing the borders and becoming significant world-class events, with guests and visitors from across the globe. In fact, some of the following festivals have been responsible for increasing Bogotá’s reputation as one of Latin America’s main cultural hubs. Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá: Created in 1988 by Fanny Mickey –an Argentinian actress who stands out as one of the greatest in our country’s cultural legacy–, the Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá is the most important cultural events…

  • Colombia

    Our intention is to transform and rebuild Colombia’s image through a different kind of tourism.

    We have worked with groups as large as 350 students, offering them a fully organized trip from beginning to end, yet allowing every traveler to decide what kind of experience they want to have. We offer a schedule comprising both academic and cultural activities, as well as a wide selection of entertainment options. Every student is free to decide where they want to go and what they want to do based on their own personal interest. This way, travelers get to know others that think alike. Our schedules are so versatile that our clients say that each traveler is able to experience the trip in their own way, even when…