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We were expecting a shock in our bookings, but we never saw it coming. Just the day before we had spoken to our team, we gathered all of our coworkers and explained to them that the effects of the pandemic should reach Costa Rica in the following days, and we would be confronted with a lack of reservations and a change from our normal.  We told them not to worry and committed to do everything in our power to keep them all in the payroll.  We assured them about our solid financial position and tried to convey to them our best vision of the days ahead.  

But we did not know what hit us.  On a single day, Friday March the 13th, we were hit with a wave of cancelations, postponements and demands for refunds that we never expected.  Even passengers that were arriving that very same day were demanding to go back immediately.  The following 2 weeks had full days of refunds and rescheduling. Fortunately, we had no ill passengers, and our clients trusted us and allowed us the time to organize refunds and claims so that within a couple of weeks we managed to return the money to everyone; even when some of the hotels are still holding our deposits to this date. Business stopped all at once, and life seemed to do so as well.

But for some strange reason, I am at ease.  While we are spending the savings of many years to get passed this pandemic, for some reason I am not in panic.  It´s as if a wave of patience and peace also came with this shock.  I think we needed to stop, a chance to reflect on life and what matters most, a time to think of family and good friends, and the best use of our time.

I am amongst the privileged ones.  First and foremost, I live in Costa Rica. We have a strong health system available to everyone, that created a good plan to protect us. In parallel, our Government implemented a series of relief measures for companies that helps a lot in staying afloat, while keeping all employees at a reasonable compensation level, until better times for our industry arrive. We have plenty of space in Costa Rica to keep our distances, our population densities are very low, we can take walks in the mountains, or visit rivers, and don´t need to be locked down in a small apartment in the city during the pandemic.  As it happens, nature right now is at its best, showing us its greatness every day.  These all helps you reflect, be grateful and find your peace!

My family is very close and serves as my support group.  We form a bubble within which we can socialize.  My niece has a special condition, so one of my sisters and her bubble has to stay separate, which is very challenging, but we understand it is for the best, and it is temporary.

I am 56.  I have worked for what I have.  I have put in the hours and have been blessed with good results.  I have done it before.  I can do it again and do it better.  I can learn from this stop.  

This should not be the end.  This is an opportunity for a new beginning!


Ana Saborío

CEO at Horizontes Nature Tours

Costa Rica

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New trekking tour to the Mirador Río Colorado viewpoint

travelArt invites you to get to know the Andean canyon Cajón del Maipo, located only 50 km southeast of Santiago, during this new trekking tour. Through this canyon flows the Maipo, one of the most important rivers of the area and the fifth longest river in Chile with its 250 km.

On this excursion you will leave Santiago in the morning, and after about a one hour drive you will reach the starting point of the trekking route. During the hike you will discover the native flora and fauna and enjoy a privileged view of the Andes.

The destination is an impressive viewpoint atop the Mirador Río Colorado cliff. From there, with a little luck, you will have the opportunity to observe magnificent condors, one of the largest birds on earth, soaring above.



TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE FUNICULAR RAILWAY AT CERRO SAN CRISTÓBAL IN SANTIAGO

The historic funicular railway, which takes visitors close to the top of San Cristóbal Hill, will be closed for one year beginning 1 June 2020 due to maintenance work that will start in the first half of 2020.

The renovation will include improvements to the almost 100-year-old cable car and the three stations along the route, so that this attraction in the capital of Chile can continue to be in service for a long time to come.

For more information and the possibility to take the gondola lift up Cerro San Cristóbal, the other transport to the top of the hill, please contact your travelArt contact person or email info@travelart.com.



NEW 2020 PRODUCT CATALOGUE NOW ONLINE

Our new product catalogue is now available online.

From a balloon ride over Atacama to a puma safari in Patagonia – look forward to some new, interesting offers across Chile that will make a trip through the country even more unforgettable. For more information, please contact us.



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Three mountain ranges, two seas, rain forests, deserts, and plains make Colombia the perfect destination for adventure. Below, we present three ideas to incorporate into your product portfolio and your clients do not miss to visit our wonderful Colombia.


Crossing from the Sabana de Bogotá to Villa de Leyva

This 7-day trip starts in the Sabana de Bogotá region renowned for being a producer of milk, green meadows, and preserve the rural culture of Cundinamarca.

The route is framed by the changes of the landscape passing through the Sabana and among horseshoe paths to climb the Andean moors, up to reaching the semi-desert area of ​​Ráquira. Those who are fortunate to do this trip are housed in colonial-style houses and will enjoy activities in the countryside.




Extreme sports

The geography of Colombian accommodates to practice many extreme sports, such as rafting, caving, rock climbing, mountain biking, and paragliding. Here, we present the regions where you can practice each of them.







Santander:

When talking about extreme sports, the province of Santander is undoubtedly one of the main destinations. The wide variety of natural settings that combine rivers, valleys surrounded by impressive mountains, waterfalls, caverns, and a prolific history make every moment full of a new and exciting adventure.


Rafting is one of the main attractions. The Fonce River is ideal for beginners, because its rapids are not so plentiful, so they are qualified as level III. On the contrary, if what you are looking for is an experience to the limit, the Suárez River, classified as level V is the best option.





Caving - Close to San Gil, epicenter of all adventure activities, you can practice caving and visit Cueva de la Vaca. For 492 meters of travel, it is possible to enter the bowels of the earth following a stream of underground water and observing stalactites and stalagmites inside. However, want to feel the adrenaline can do rappel on any of the many waterfalls of the region.


Suesca:

Suesca is the paradise for rock climbing.

Only 2 hours from Bogota, Rocas de Suesca are a formidable cliff which heights oscillate between 20 and 170m. Shelter a varied fauna and flora, lucky tourists can, in addition enjoy a beautiful view of the Bogota river. To wrap it up, eating at one of the nearby restaurants is a perfect end of the day.




For those not you are not afraid of new challenges, love walking mountain scenery, discover hidden corners in nature, cross bridges, trails and rocks, and fill themselves with adrenaline requiring the body to the maximum, mountain-biking is the answer.



Medellín:

The best paragliding flight can be enjoyed near Medellín. Nothing is more stimulating than taking that jump from the top of a mountain to fly in the company of a flock of birds. For 25 minutes, you can fly over a large canyon surrounded by mountains and waterfalls feeling the dew in the air, as you cross the area.


The rafting near Medellín is a fascinating tour over a small portion of the vast Colombian rainforest. It is a journey beyond navigating whitewater with rapids of 4 different types. It is a unique opportunity to interact with gold miners who still preserve the traditions of this trade, swim in refreshing natural pools created by waterfalls, and discover a lot of endemic flora and fauna species in the region.


Santa Marta:

Touring the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta by bike is an exciting experience for all adventure lovers. Through landscapes of dry forests or rainforests, white-sand beaches, and crystalline waters on the shores of the Caribbean Sea or natural waterfalls, you can explore and appreciate the fauna and flora of one of the most beautiful areas of Colombia.



However, exciting experiences are not limited to mountain-biking. Tubing in Don Diego River is a combination of adventure, encounter with nature, physical challenges, and moments of total relaxation. This river with its refreshing waters, which come from the Sierra Nevada is the perfect setting for a descent, which will allow you to appreciate the abundant fauna and flora of the region, and a fabulous view of the imposing Sierra until reaching the estuary.



Trekking

Off course, Colombia is a country for walking. Here, we list some of the most emblematic trekking sites of the country:


Moors.


Hiking through the moors of Colombia is a unique opportunity to respectfully enjoy these environments, which are a water factory. Shelter of endemic species of flora and fauna, many of them in danger of extinction allow the visitor to enjoy majestic landscapes and magical routes through misty forests. If you are lucky enough, you may see a spectacled bear or a condor of the Andes. While it is true that in Colombia there are lots of moors, these are some of those that are easy to incorporate in the trip of your clients: the Chingaza Natural Park, just an hour and a half from Bogota or Parque de los Nevados, around two hours away from Manizales, where you can see extraordinary panoramic views of Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado de Santa Isabel, and Nevado del Tolima


Lost City:

Located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it is one of the wonders of Colombia. This ancient indigenous village is one of the most important archaeological settlements in the country and was inhabited by the Tayrona native people. The trip to Teyuna is an adventure through the Colombian rainforest, where you can enjoy bird-watching and other species of fauna and flora, as well as the opportunity to interact with the communities in the region.

Roads of Santander: The roads of Santander are a journey through 700 years of the region history. Centuries ago, these roads were the scene of the passage of indigenous people, merchants, colonizers, and foreigners, who gradually populated the territory and transformed the economy. Today, they have been recovered, for the most part, by the peasants who inhabit the region. They have been putting old fashioned and manually brick by brick.



An extra we couldn't stop telling you:


THE EASTERN PLAINS AND SAN PABLO ESTATE


Eastern plains in Colombia are the scene of one of the best sunsets in the world. Vast plains, which are deployed far as the eye reaches, and a variety of fauna and flora only found in this region of the country are accompanied by the soundtrack of the harp, “cuatro,” and maracas.



This region of the country offers a unique experience in its kind: the safari of the prairies. By bicycle, horseback riding, or in a 4x4 truck, it is the perfect opportunity to observe the living nature in its natural environment. Colombia ranks fourth in the global inventory of mammals, and the prairies or plains are home to a great variety: tapirs, monkeys, capybaras, tapirs, jaguars, and others, as well as one great diversity of birds.


Nestled in the plains is a heavenly place: Hato San Pablo or San Pablo Estate. Here, a little piece of civilization coexists in perfect harmony with nature. Hato San Pablo is horses and tradition, nature, rivers, prairies, fauna, and flora. It is a haven of peace on the banks of Clavo Sur River that empties into the mighty Meta, few kilometers away. This is a place that will always be in your heart.


Check out how you can include this ideas in an itinerary


Amazing Colombia


Horse Riding


Active Colombia

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