About Via Colombia
Via Colombia Travel Services is a full service travel company that specializes in providing our customers with absolute support in planning and booking throughout Colombia. We have 4 brands for day tours and activities and the travel packages we offer are a combination of selected experiences in the cities and regions plus a smart selection of hotels, restaurants and transportation between destinations included on our itineraries. We are a young and vibrant company, motivated by optimism and have complete confidence in the future of Colombia.
We have a qualified and fully experienced team of professional drivers and multilingual guides, who provide our customers with a personal and dedicated relationship in order to meet their travel needs. Furthermore, our company is accredited by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism as a Tourism Operating Agency. Our mission is to help our visitors get the most out of Bogotá. We offer several tours, activities, transportation and other touristic services provided by our staff and specialised partner companies.
All this is done offering competitive prices, a secure and easy to use booking system and exceptional customer service. With 8+ years of experience, we have witnessed positive changes in the industry; we feel proud to contribute to that change by ensuring that our visitors go home with a favorable image of Colombia. Our primary motivation is the optimism and confidence we have in the future of this amazing country, and we will continue working with passion and professionalism to drive a positive change through tourism.
- Rodrigo's work is coordinating all members of the team in order to deliver performance and high quality service. He also takes care of keeping a curated and dynamic offer full of experiences. Responsibilities include: commercial work, product development, partnerships marketing and IT.
- Education: Industrial Engineer Degree at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá. Formation in psychology, management, market research and IT. Visited more than 30 countries and speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese.
- Experience: Worked in the hospitality Industry for more than 5 years, driving successful business models and innovating in services and products.
- Why Colombia? After visiting different countries around the world he came to realize that the places where he felt the most connection and passion for, were those that reminded him of his home country. "We have everything in one place: here in Colombia!"
Diego MartinezOperations Manager
- Diego's work is to ensure that all operations and logistics in Bogotá and the central region of Colombia go according to plan. He arranges all logistics, hotels, transport, guides and other parts of our value chain.
- Education: He study Tourism and Hospitality Managementt at Universidad Exterando de Colombia, and currently he is doing a Master's Degree in sustainable tourism.
- Experience: Previously, he worked in the travel/tour industry for 2+ years. His experience has been mostly focused on customer care and logistics.
- Why Colombia? Diego believes that the potential of Colombia is about to be unleashed. The says "We have unmatched beauty and culture, our gastronomy is second to none and our people are warm, kind and hard-working."
Sebastián RodriguezTravel Consultant
- Sebastian ensures that our clients have the best experience in Bogota and in Colombia's Central Region. He will be able to answer any enquiries you have and will be attentive to organize the logistics of our activities.
- Education: Sebastian study Tourism and Hotel Management at the Universidad Externado de Colombia. He also studied Human Resources Management at WDW College and Marketing Management at Troy University.
- Experience: His first experience was working at the Capital hotel as part of the hotel marketing. After that, he worked at the Walt Disney World Company in the merchandise and service areas. Finally, he came to his home, Bogota, and now we have the opportunity to count with him in our team.
- Why Colombia? He is convinced Colombia’s tourism has potential. “Colombia is back in the international scenery, and this is the best moment to share our culture, places, fruits, experiences, and people”.
Paula DuarteTravel Consultant
- Is the newest in the Destino Bogota team, Paula takes care of customer service, answers questions from people regarding the services acquired, manages direct bookings and support any of the activities of operational management.
- Education: Paula studied Tourism and Hotel Management at the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
- Why Colombia? She believes in the potential it has to offer diverse experiences in one place. From nature tourism, adventure, sun and beach, shopping and others. "The kindness of Colombians, our food and the different attractions offered make Colombia a unique place and worth knowing. In addition, we are in a time in which the bad reputation that the country had has been left behind and it’s much easier and safer to know now."
Alejandra AcuñaAdministrative and Accounting Assistant
- Alejandra helps with all the administrative and accounting activities of the company such as: files, realization of invoices, petty cash management, scanning and recording of accounting transactions of the agency’s operations.
- Education: Alejandra studied Tourism and Hotel Management at UNITEC, right now she’s doing a post grad on Strategic Marketing in Hospitality and Tourism in the UNITEC.
- Why Colombia? She believes that in Colombia we have a diversity of culture, climate and destinations that make your journey through our country unique and unforgettable.
Melissa ShoolProject Developer
- Melissa’s job is to design products in order to captivate the variety of clients we have. Likewise, it is responsible for developing the graphic pieces we need.
- Education: Melissa studied Design at Universidad de los Andes.
- Why Colombia? She firmly believe that Colombia is a country that has a lot to offer, so much so that one trip can not see everything. "You have to go back several times. Colombia is a multicultural country with a great biodiversity and each region is very different from the other. But what they all have in common is human warmth."
- His expertise is Bogota and its political and social history. He's very keen to show the hidden spots of the city that have shaped the urban grid of Colombian society. Colombian history is quite complex, however, he will care of simplify it without losing any important detail.
- Education: Urban Planner from Rosario University in Bogota with a vast experience of living abroad, in China and France.
- Experience: When he was 19, with a couple of friends, he started his own tour company named Visit Colombia Tours. After that venture he chose to explore politics and civic engagement. He's since joined the Destino Bogota family, and he's quite pleased with that.
- Why Colombia? Because we're back. You will fall in love with our natural fruit juices, our almojabanas and specially the tamal for breakfast.You will not believe how good they are Colombians, are also willing to lend a hand in everything.. In the end, you will rediscovering a magical place - a place which has been already portrayed by our greatest national, Gabriel Garcia Márquez in his masterpiece: "One hundred years of solitude"
Yuri OliverosTour Leader
- Recently introduced to the team. she performs several duties, these will help Via Colombia grow as a leading tour operator. First and foremost, she does fieldwork as tour leader for Destino Bogota groups, but she is also responsible for the communications and networking of the brand, and helping to develop new products.
- Education: Degree in teaching of foreign languages from the Universidad de Pamplona, Colombia. Formation in translation, applied linguistics, research methodologies, pedagogy, didactics, and projects design. She has visited around 20 countries and speaks English, French and basic Portuguese.
- Experience: Worked for Celebrity Cruises for 3 years within the entertainment department, giving tours and providing translations.
- Why Colombia? "It's plural, diverse, fascinating. It's a country with so many cultural faces and plenty of natural wonders. Every trip is an opportunity to be charmed and seduced."
- Andrés expertise is showing Bogotá from the point of view of a variety of subcultures. Borne and raised in Bogotá, it is very important for him to provide an insider view into the country's society, which is reflected in his photographic work. On his tours, he likes to create spontaneous interactions with the locals, tell interesting anecdotes and show the not-so-obvious aspects of our culture.
- Education: Studied adverting at San José university in Bogotá. Right now, he is now concentrating on his audiovisual and photography work. He is currently cursing a documentary film specialization at Blackmaria Audiovisual School and he is involved into a creative literature collective with a focus on scripts.
- Experience: He joined Destino Bogotá family since 2013. Since 2011 he has worked with several government cultural projects and his photography has been in national and international expositions. Andrés Speakes Spanish, English, Portuguese and is studying German.
- Why Colombia? "I don't thing there is another country with such an amazing cultural inheritance that is being portrait into day to day life. Our roots are alive, we experience them on every meal and every face we cross in the street."
- From the point of view of a world traveler, Alejandro focuses in putting his finger on the things that make Colombia stand apart from the rest of the world. Combine this with his acute sense of humor and local knowledge and you have a tour guide that will make anyone's experience in Bogotá memorable.
- Education: Graduated from a bilingual school and subsequently completed a degree in Communication Design at Univerdidad de los Andes in Bogotá Colombia. He has complemented his formal education with self-thought skills at Portuguese and photography.
- Experience: He has been part of Destino Bogota's team since 2013, leading cultural, historical, gastronomic, adventure and outdoors tours for hundreds of visitors from all over the world. Apart from this, he works as freelancer in graphic and product design.
- Why Colombia? "Colombia is a country recently opened to tourism. Therefore it has a lot to offer although sometimes experiences are hidden from plain sight. As a Colombian who loves his country I enjoy making this experiences more accessible. The countries originality and variety, in culture, gastronomy and music are very important for me, being a first approach to Colombia's people."
Lizeth RiañoProduct Developer / Guide
- Her priority is to make our travelers feel comfortable. She finds the right time and place to offer our customers the chance to experiment new and unique things that they won't be able to find anywhere else. She uses her academic background to offer an in-depth experience and detailed explanations. Lizeth also helps us with developing our products content.
- Education: Graduated from school at the the traditional Colegio Mayor San Bartolomé, Bogotá. Afterwards she was awarded a scholarship to complete a degree in Anthropology at Universidad Javeriana and complemented her studies with a postgraduate on Audiovisual Heritage Management.
- Experience: With more than 5 years of experience at cultural research, she executes ethnography and different field work in many parts of Colombia. With a strong focus in urban and visual anthropology, she is currently working on different projects about Cultural Heritage with public and private entities. She has been part of Destino Bogotá Team since 2014.
- Why Colombia? "The most valuable asset of Colombia is its cultural diversity, the number of ethnic groups and populations with a rich ancestral knowledge and practices. This goes in harmony with the rural and urban landscapes and their unique inhabitants"
- David is great for customizing experiences according to our customer's likes and interests. His wide knowledge in history, architecture, botanic and his hidden arsenal of anecdotes and curious facts will fill anyone's expectations of a guided tour and contribute to have a complete overview of our country.
- Education: Hotel and Tourism management Graduate from Istituto professionale A. Filosi, Italy and posterior studies in Tour Guidance at SENA, Bogotá. He speaks Spanish and Italian as mother language and is fluent in English.
- Experience: He has been with Destino Bogotá since 2012 working as tour guide, tour leader and product development. Before that, he worked at the National Institute for National Heritage leading historic tours for institutional visitors. His first approach to tourism was working as adventure and outdoors group leader for school groups exploring our East Hills.
- Why Colombia? "It is impossible for me point at something that I like about Colombia particularly. It is a unique country with a difficult history but at the same time, that gives us our character. People are always doing their best to make make our visitors feel welcome and that is hard to see in other countries. The entire world is changing its perspective about this amazing country and I feel proud to be part of the transition."
- Numbers are her responsibility! She's in charge of taxes, invoices and the financial part of the business.
- Education: Graduated as a public accountant from Cooperative University of Colombia. Continued with studies in diplomatic policies focused on international business, and regulatory affairs for tourism businesses in Colombia.
- Experience: Over 8 years of experience helping small and medium firms of different sectors with their finance and accountability.
- Why Colombia? "I love our nature, lifestyle and culture. I very much identify with my roots and I feel happy to contribute to our country's progress through tourism."