My trip to Colombia with Modo Travel had many wonderful elements, but they were overshadowed by my extreme dissatisfaction because Modo failed to provide several services that they promised, and have been ignoring all of my repeated efforts to seek an explanation. For example, I signed up for an expensive dinner and provided full payment, but Modo Travel booked me on a Medellin to Cartagena flight scheduled to arrive ONE HOUR AFTER the dinner was supposed to begin (this is not even including transit time from the airport!). As a result, I was unable to attend this dinner, which I unfortunately I had to pay $75 dollars for. When I tried reaching out to them for a refund, they stonewalled me and I have not heard A SINGLE RESPONSE from them since. I generally don't like to post negative comments but I do not appreciate lack of transparency, lack of honesty, and lack of open communication. On a positive note, I did appreciate the genuine efforts put on by Sebastian Numa and a few members of his team to be good hosts whenever I would interact with them. I am just sorely disappointed by their ability to manage operations, communicate effectively, or being reliable/keeping their word when it comes to actually DELIVERING on their promised trip. P.S. I also signed up for a $60 tour which also did not happen because of Modo mismanagement, also with no reply to my request for refund. Sincerely, Jireh Pua.
By Jireh Pua for Ross #theTrek Colombia on 18 Mar, 19
While we had a fun time, there was a lot that could've been improved upon logistically and in terms of managing expectations. Every excursion left late and bus rides were consistently longer than was stated. Furthermore, events were often branded as 'exclusive' and 'VIP access' which was often not the case or underwhelming. We did have a weather cancellation one day and the team pivoted and created an awesome beach day instead. That was by far the most fun day. Lastly, the photo hashtag contest seemed to be a way to garner awareness for the company which seemed slightly inappropriate. Overall, very nice people but some work to do until they can handle trips of this scale (100+ people).
Pros - The tour is geared towards the specific wants of MBA students on spring break, which makes it a really good choice despite the cons below. Hotels were upscale and transfers went smoothly. Loved the coach buses with reggaeton videos and never been on a party bus. The many transfers were handled very well. One or two recommendations for food and nightlife were given in each city which all turned out to be excellent - best meal of my year was at Botanico in Medellin, Movida and Andres Carne de Res were great, etc. Our guide Cata was very fun, friendly and organized. Cons - We are tired MBA students escaping a grind, so please err towards even more upscale experiences: private boats, real yachts, and facilitate VIP/bottle service reservations (just let us pay if necessary). Many found Guatape mildly interesting but not worth a full day, and the lake barge had nice views but was a little lowbrow. Guide did not know Bogota Estelar was overbooked until we arrived, causing a serious mess that the guide could have handled much better by not blindly allowing the hotel to try to relocate them to one of their far-off, rundown hotels (we are the customers, not Estelar). There was no wine and no juice mixers on the Cartagena boat trip or the party bus, so I personally could not really drink. There was some confusion about what meals and beverages were covered. One solid food and entertainment recommendation sent to the chat for each time of day (lunch/dinner/drinks/nightlife) would have been appreciated. Overall I really enjoyed myself immensely, despite the cons. It was an unforgettable experience.
To start off, I really enjoyed Colombia. Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena were all beautiful and the day trips to Guatape and Barú were so fun. However, there were so many logistical issues that could have been improved throughout the trip. First, we had to explicitly ask Modo travel for the next days itinerary and crucial details like the meeting time for the next days flight or meeting locations for scheduled tours. Additionally, we had some real problems setting realistic expectations for things like total time for day trips or the length of the bus ride from A to B. We had one day where we were told it would be a 1 hour bus ride and it ended up being 3 hours one way. Another issue was with the VIP bar access that was listed on the itinerary - it was literally a wrist band and nothing else for the majority of the bars. The last night in Cartagena Modo took us to a bar that was already so crowded that we couldn't even get our entire group in the door and the majority of us left within 5 minutes with some of the Modo staff staying there to drink. While I appreciate coordinating a trip for 100+ people is REALLY difficult it seems like some of the issues we experienced could have been solved pretty easily but were not really addressed throughout the duration of our time in Colombia.
By Sarah Levi for Ross #theTrek Colombia on 18 Mar, 19
While the tour organizers on the ground meant well, the tour was poorly organized to say the least. Especially in Cartagena, the leaders did not do an adequate job of setting expectations for room set up (2 to a bed) and transportation to houses was poorly organized. For a group this big (110 people), the logistics need to be pristine and that wasn't the case.
It was a great trip because we got to explore a lot of the country. There were plenty of activities so we definitely felt we got our money's worth and we were never bored! It was just frustrating a lot of the time because we never knew how long we would be in the bus for, when the next bathroom break was, or when we'd be able to eat again. Modo would say one hour bus, it was almost 3 hours to get to the coffee farm bc of waiting times, and then we didn't eat lunch until 4 more hours. Not having water or food available for 7 hours is ridiculous. The beach day was super fun b/c we had our own space and there was plenty of beer. however, it's pretty gross to just have hard liquor with no soda or chasers (and besides, which lunch being hours late then people were getting hammered with straight liquor which isn't good). The first night is Bogota was a disaster b/c there was NO FOOD. We expected a club and a private space. Instead, we were amongst hundreds of dressed up locals (was anyone going to explain Carnival to us? no). We didn't get the steak until well after midnight. I wanted to go to sleep yet I was stuck waiting until the 2 am bus. Forcing folks to not get home until 3 am I thought was not nice. the rest of the nights were great b/c we had the power to make our own decisions as to stay or leave at whatever time we needed.
By Erin Kelley for Ross #theTrek Colombia on 13 Mar, 19
Colombia was AMAZING but ModoTravel has a lot of work to do regarding logistics and communication. As mentioned by my classmates, there were many times when we did not know important logistics such as when to meet for transportation to the airport and the expectations for the day. Also, I (and many others) paid for a $75 add on rooftop dinner in Cartagena. However, upon entering the space, it was easy to see that the money requested did NOT meet expectations. Specifically, (1) we only got ONE cocktail (Mohito) and (2) had to SHARE appetizers as the main course. Given the meals that my peers and I had been having, and the lower cost to eat at top rated restaurants (e.g., I spent at most $50-60 on a full course meal, bottle of wine, and appetizers at highly rated restaurants in Bogota and Medellin), I was highly disappointed with my $75 "dinner". To "makeup" for this, we were offered shots; however, my friend and I left to eat pizza because our meals was unsatisfactory. I'm unsure how ModoTravel is able to accommodate 400 people when it could barely lead 115 students from Michigan Ross.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely had fun on this trip, but it would've been impossible not to with hundreds of your friends and fun parties. Trips to Guatape and Andres were truly incredible and a ton of fun. However, this trip could've been so much better, especially towards the end. First off, Modo really needs to work on communicating. Expectations were rarely set with the schedule for the next day, where to meet, or what to do when we arrived at a location (like the airport). One day, we didn't even know what time we had bus transfer to the airport the next day until 2 to 3 in the morning. The second thing is that the Cartagena lodging sucks. Everyone was expecting to share a room with their roommate for the trip, but in many cases four people had to share one room. This was in a house with dirty-ish bathrooms and only 3 bathrooms total for 13 people. We then visited another villa that students were in and it was beautifully remodeled with new fixtures and a roof top pool. This may have been fine if we paid different prices or expectations were set that we would've had to share a room, but instead we were just given something that hardly anyone consented to. Regardless, we made the most of it and still had a wonderful time, but that had more to do with our ability to move on.
Great trip! I think the organizers/outfitter for this trip could have been better: - provided a more detailed itinerary/plan at the beginning of the trip - daily communication as to where/what/when details - early communications about next day plans in advance so we can plan/pack appropriately - being more punctual/on time - if we say leave at 2:30pm then we should stick to that time - the side/add on that we paid for either (1) were not worth the extra money (2) did not occur - housing for the group in Cartagena varied greatly per group - the organizers should have double checked the houses prior to our arrival
While transportation and access to sightseeing essentials were taken care of, the immense pressure to drink made this tour uncomfortable. Often, we were pressured to take shots, and rarely was "no" respected. On one occasion, at 10am, we were on a boat with eight bottles of vodka and no water provided. That is irresponsible and dangerous. The tour guides would do well to prioritize the safety of the group, by limiting alcohol when necessary and having water available any time there is an "open bar".
Great opportunity to visit Colombia! Loved Cartagena, and I loved the Montserrate experience in Bogota. Trip was well organized too.
Everthing is good except last dinner. The last night of boat cruising is not good.
The trip was amazing. We experienced history, culture and nature of the country.
Amazing time. Great accommodations, very flexible company, and superb customer service.
By Amadou Sow for UNC Trip to Colombia on 30 Oct, 18
This was amazing!!! From day one, we had such a great time, and to have everything organized for us, made it even better. Everyone from staff was super responsive, so I would totally recommend Modo Travel!
Our amazing trip was perfectly arranged and organized to give us the most incredible experience! The organizers managed every detail, from transportation to a private stay in an island, and were extremely knowledgeable about the best places to see. It completely exceeded our expectations, and I highly recommend all MBA students to take this trip of a lifetime. Thank you again for everything!!
By Colleen Parra for UNC Trip to Colombia on 27 Oct, 18
It was beyond expectations, the trip tours, accommodations and transportation were terrific! I recommend to everyone that want to have a unique experience.