"ABOUT US, making the difference!"
Who, What, and Why…
MANAKIN NATURE TOURS is the company of Luis Eduardo Urueña and Johana Andrea Borras, a couple committed to the conservation of nature and to birding tours of the highest quality. Both biologists, Luis and Andrea are 100% Colombian, they have the top talent and boost the work of the people of their country. MANAKIN NATURE TOURS uses only Colombian resources because they want to enhance the growth of the country by hiring Colombian professionals, its hotelier, transport, and catering services and by supporting community projects. If you want to enjoy and travel safely in Colombia - MANAKIN NATURE TOURS is the best choice!
Why choose Manakin Nature Tours Colombia?
Simply, because we are a completely Colombian company that knows the whole country very well. Also we are 100% committed to our customers’ safety. Our main goal is to offer the best quality service in Colombia and to make the experience of watching birds and nature in the most bio-diverse country in the world thoroughly enjoyable, memorable, and successful for you.
We have a wide variety of set itineraries, but we always try to carry out our trips in a completely customized way depending on the needs and scope of each client. We offer the highest quality transportation, lodging and food that you can find in Colombia. We have professional Colombian guides. All of them are young, kind, funny and very passionate about birds and nature. Also, they know all the places we visit and have excellent relationships with local people. We don’t think of you just as our customers but hopefully as our future great friends.
Our commitment to Colombia!
We use high quality local resources and strongly support community tourism. We are aware that in Colombia wages are low, so we always try to reward and pay well to the people who work with us on the long days that a nature tour implies. We appreciate that these people do their best in order to make the tour a success. Keeping in mind that this is a necessary factor for having an excellent tour. People who work with us are also our close friends. They know a lot about the nature tourism business. They are happy about working with us and they are trustworthy persons. We are sure that you will want your money to benefit local communities in Colombia by promoting the development of the country.
We want you to be convinced that Colombia is a great country, completely safe, and that Colombian people are friendly and committed to good service. We want you to know that here you can find high-quality tourism, so we always use the best available according to your budget in all the logistical details. Nothing is left unchecked. Being with us you can be absolutely sure you will have a successful trip in Colombia.
Our Tour Leaders!
All our leaders are young Latin American professionals highly trained and very passionate about birds and nature.They are kind, organized, painstaking, fun, able to solve any problem, and they use the best possible logistics on any tour. They know all the sites we visit, including the safety aspects, and they have very good relations with local people. All of them have a large network of contacts to help our customers enjoy the maximum from staying in Colombia on their nature or birding tour.
The Best Logistics for Our Tours!
We carefully select all the hotels where we stay in order to assure your comfort. We always use high quality hotels, an essential part of our trip, because we want our customers to have the best impression of Colombia. Our accommodations include private bathrooms and showers in each room unless otherwise stated. In remote places sometimes it is difficult to have these amenities. Commonly, our itineraries offer two choices of accommodation, one VIP class where we use luxury hotels, many with a pool and other services, the other tourism hotels, very nice but without luxury elements as a gym or pool. Both choices are excellent, and you will be really comfortable.
We always use vehicles in perfect mechanical, visual and comfort condition. During our long drives, we have air conditioning and reclining seats with enough space between them. Likewise, we hire drivers with extensive experience in Colombia. They are very friendly and helpful, comply with all regulations, and are familiar with our customers’ demands in terms of mobility. Usually, we use four-wheel drive vehicles or jeeps for short journeys to remote locations where we can watch birds or nature. Even if these vehicles do not conform with all the expectations of comfort, we assure you we always choose the best possible in each location in order to promote the improvement of services within communities. For long journeys, more than 10 or 12 hours of driving we prefer air services. Fortunately, Colombia has airports in almost all the major cities. Most important is that we employ very professional drivers who respect the rules of the road and always are thinking about our security; some of our drivers are part of our staff because they have worked with us for many years as is the case with Jovani Florez, Antonio Sanguino and Angel Calentura. We have long trusted in our staff.
We have a wide range of options for people with special diets. So if you are vegetarian, we can arrange meals according to your needs. We always ask our clients if they have any special requirements regarding food, such as not tolerating dairy foods or not eating beef. This is very important for us.
Itineraries and Information
We always follow a schedule and we plan daily activities for you. There will always be a common interest among our clients, either the general observation of nature or birdwatching. We do not improvise anything on our trips unless circumstances arise that are beyond our control. We report accurate pre-trip details about each route, places, health issues, safety, climate, clothes to wear, activities, journey times and a complete package about what you need to know for having a successful tour in Colombia.
Group size and Clients
We have a maximum group size; it is 10 clients plus the MANAKIN guide and an additional guide if it is a tour in association with another birdwatching company. We believe that it is essential for carrying out a good trip. In this way we offer you more personalized attention, and our guide will be able to respond to each of our clients’ needs without neglecting any.
If you are wondering who the customers who travel with us are, we can say that in general terms they are very passionate people about nature and birds. Moreover they are friendly and willing to put in some extra effort in order to watch what they want. Our clients are always attentive to every detail and assess the quality of the trip all the time. They gently advise us about issues for improvement and put all their trust in us. These people have a good understanding of Latin manners, and they always want to learn more about where they visit. In sum they are very good people.
The Rhythm of Our Travel
The rhythm of our tours is relatively easy and suitable for guests of all ages. You do not have to be an expert nature traveller to travel with us, but note that Colombia is a mountainous country with a variety of climates and habitats throughout its territory. There are usually outstanding roads in some of the sites we visit, whether very cold places or ones with high temperatures. We generally do not have to walk long distances to find a bird or a special place; however some places are more difficult than others. Our customers will be informed ahead of time and in great detail about such sites. For road trips you should know that remote places in Colombia usually do not have good roads, and for that reason certain trips take more time in some sections. But do not worry; transportation is always very comfortable, with air conditioning, comfortable seats and space between them so that you can stretch your legs. We will notify when needed if we have to be on poor roads or if we have to switch vehicles to four-wheel drive or jeeps for the wildest places.
If you are a passionate bird watcher you should know that we strongly emphasize finding the birds you need to increase your list. Our trips’ pace will depend on this case on how many specialties you need and on your physical condition. However, we have to confess that we are very determined at the time to find your target species, so we offer in our travels the possibility of observing more than 67 endemic bird species and over one hundred specialties.
Generally and based on our experience we are in a place long enough for you to see all the birds found there, since we know how frustrating it is to leave a place without seeing all the birds due to lack of time. You should not worry that we might have to leave soon and hurry; the itineraries are planned always thinking about your satisfaction.
We usually have some field breakfasts or lunches, which our customers do not have to carry. You only carry personal water bottles and snacks. Usually, we come to the hotel or lodge before dinner and we never sleep in camps or hammocks. At the end of each day we do a compilation of all the species we saw using a detailed and current checklist provided by us.
All activities on the tour are optional, so long as this does not affect the normal development of the tour. Our permanent goal is that our clients achieve the objectives for which they chose this trip. We will be always willing to encourage and support you. If this is the first time you’re making a nature or birdwatching trip in a foreign country or in Colombia and you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be completely pleased to give you as much detail as possible and the best advice for you to have a enjoyable and memorable trip.
The Cost – Quality relationship
Our prices include all fees set for the trip from the very moment you set foot in Colombia, so that no additional fees will be charged. What is included?
All hotels and lodges
All transportation (except for international tickets)
All meals, snacks, and open menu in restaurants
All entrances to natural parks, reserves, wildlife sanctuaries
All personnel including professional guides, cooks, porters, etc.
Travel insurance for every day of the tour, which is mandatory in Colombia.
Our prices imply a high quality on your tour. Keep in mind that if you find a company in Colombia with lower prices, it may not offer you a complete package of so high a quality as we do. Compared with foreign companies our prices are considerably lower, since as a Colombian company, we operate only with Colombian people. Our prices can compete without neglecting the tour’s quality, which is comparable to major nature or birding tourism companies in the world.
We are one of the few tourism companies specialized in nature and birdwatching in Colombia. Also we have available electronic payments with the best and safest online payment portal of Colombia (www.pagosonline.net), so you can pay for your trip with any of your credit cards or by transfers to Citibank from virtually anywhere in the world.