Colombia


Country Information

Colombia

Colombia Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Colombia


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel

,

Family Travel


(Tour Length)

13 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $5,510
  • Discover the historic heart of Bogotá with its fascinating Gold Museum, and visit the nearby Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, an amazing underground cathedral built into a rock salt mine, with 14 small chapels representing the stations of the cross
  • Explore the famed coffee region of Colombia to see the complete process of coffee growing and production
  • Learn about the famous Artist Botero visiting his original city, Medellin and enjoying the sculptures he donated to the Botero Park
  • Take in Cartagena’s ancient walled city, listed as both “Mankind’s Heritage” and “Colombian National Heritage” site by UNESCO
  • Enjoy a two-day getaway in Tayrona National Park, on Colombia’s Atlantic coast, with its abundance of hidden bays, secluded beaches, mangrove swamps and coral reefs

 

 

Day 1:  Arrive Bogotá, Colombia
Welcome to Colombia’s lively capital city, Bogotá, where a representative from Big Five will be waiting to escort you to your hotel.  Tonight, you will enjoy a delightful welcome dinner with Colombian cuisine and music.  Hotel Sofitel Victoria Regia (D)

Day 2:  Bogotá
Bogotá is the country’s economic and political hub.  The city’s attractions include historical sites including historic colonial churches, Spanish-influenced architecture, lovely parks and more than 40 museums, shopping malls, restaurants and night clubs.  Your half-day sightseeing includes the historic center of the city, La Candelaria.  The fascinating Gold Museum houses an extraordinary selection of pre-Columbian gold work – the largest such collection in the world.  It includes the legendary Musica raft of El Dorado in gold.  The Botero Museum houses work by Colombia’s famous Fernando Botero as well as other legendary artists such as Picasso, Miró, Degas and Monet.  Hotel Sofitel Victoria Regia (B)

Day 3:  Bogotá / Armenia
This morning, enjoy a tour of the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, an underground cathedral built into a rock salt mine.  The Roman Catholic Church has 14 small chapels representing the stations of the cross.  Each station has a cross and several kneeling platforms carved into the salt structure.  The temple at the bottom has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus.  This afternoon, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Armenia, the capital of the Quindío department.  Founded in 1889, it combines its contemporary development with the traditions of its forefathers' heritage, such as the historic Liberator Pathway, the trail used by Colombia's 19th-century liberator Simon Bolívar to move his army between the west of the country and Santa Fe de Bogotá during his successful independence campaign from Spain.  Armenia’s cultural wealth can be seen in its pre-Columbian legacy.  It is worth visiting the Quimbaya Gold Museum, awarded the National Prize for Architecture, which houses a gold artifacts made by pre-Hispanic communities dating back to 500BC.  In the historic center of the city, walk the Plaza Simón Bolívar, see the statue of the great Liberator, the government building and the cathedral.  Calle 14 features handicrafts stores and shops that offer you a taste of some of Colombia’s famed, locally produced coffee.  Casa Hacienda Bambusa (B)

Day 4:  Armenia
Today’s focus will be the famous coffee region of Colombia, where you will see the complete process of coffee growing and production, from the planting of the seed to the end product – a steaming cup of the finest Colombian coffee!  Later, you depart for the Valley of the Cocora, a wildlife sanctuary in the central Andean mountains that is also a sanctuary for the country’s national symbol, the wax palm tree.  Here, you can opt for activities such as hiking, bird watching, game fishing, mountain biking, horse riding, rafting and more.  Return to your elegant hotel to relax and enjoy its secluded location.  It epitomizes the concept of a boutique hotel with its combination of expression in design, attention to detail and exceptional service.  Casa Hacienda Bambusa (B,L)

Day 5:  Armenia / Pereira / Medellín
The morning is at leisure.  Later, you are privately transferred by road to Medellín, a five-hour drive.  Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia and was founded in 1616.  It is a rapidly growing metropolis.  Even during the 19th century, this was a dynamic commercial center with the exportation of gold and later coffee.  The city is also known as a center for arts, literature and education.  Hotel Park 10 (B)

Day 6:  Medellín
This morning, your half-day city tour explores Pueblito Paisa on the Nutibara Hill.  This replica of a typical Paisa village of Antioquia has colorful houses, church, courtyards, patios and a fountain in the middle of the village.  Small souvenir shops offer local crafts for sale, and open-air cafes are perfect for people watching.  Visit the sculpture garden park of one of Colombia’s most noted artists – Fernando Botero Angulo (born here on April 19, 1932).   Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, Park of the Desires, Antioquia Museum and other city parks.  The afternoon is at leisure.  You may wish to take an optional shopping tour or your guide can suggest outdoor activities from kayaking to mountain climbing that are available.  Hotel Park 10 (B)

Day 7:  Medellín / Cartagena
After breakfast, you fly to Cartagena, endowed with the title of “The Heroic City.”  You are welcomed on arrival and transferred to your hotel.  During your half-day private guided tour this afternoon, you venture outside the wall.  Discover the most important monuments from the colonial city such as St. Philip’s Castle and La Popa Monastery.  This evening, your horse-drawn carriage delivers you to one of the city’s noted restaurants to savor a wonderful dinner.  Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara (B)

Day 8:  Cartagena
Today’s half-day exploration of Cartagena takes in the historic area inside the wall.  The ancient walled city is listed as both “Mankind’s Heritage” and “Colombian National Heritage” site by UNESCO.  Its narrow streets are adorned with antique doorways and flower-filled balconies.  Enjoy a leisurely three-hour walking tour of the historic center and its colonial streets and the Cathedral of Cartagena.  Continue to the Plaza de Bolivar and the Temple of Santo Domingo.  The afternoon is at leisure.  Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara (B)

Day 9:  Cartagena
This morning, you will be taken on a different kind of exploration of Cartagena.  You will go with the owner of La Cevicheria Restaurant to visit the food market of Basurto, where you get an authentic taste of Colombia.  Take part in an interactive cooking class at the relaxing beachfront home of Jorge Escandon, owner of Bazurto Social Club.  Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara (B)

Day 10:  Cartagena / Tayrona National Park
Today your guide will pick you up for a five-hour private transfer to Tayrona National Park on the Colombian Atlantic Coast.  Check-in to your Ecohab (native indigenous house), where the balance of the day is at leisure.  Ecohab (B,D)

Days 11- 12:  Tayrona National Park
These two days offer you a perfect opportunity to completely relax.  Enjoy the abundance of natural attributes such as hidden bays, secluded beaches, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs.  The area is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, 50 species of fire and moose horn coral, over 100 species of algae, and abundant and colorful invertebrate species.  The more characteristic animals are the black howler, the oncilla, the deer and more than 70 species of bats.  The park also allows visitors to see the archaeological ruins of the Tairona civilization, one of the most interesting pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia, although much remains unknown about them.  There are limited archaeological findings and a few written references from the Spanish colonial era that mention this ancient civilization.  Ecohab (B,D)

Day 13:  Tayrona National Park / Depart
Today you take a three-hour transfer to Barranquilla for your flight home; or, transfer to Santa Marta for the flight to Bogotá and connect with your homebound flight.  (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $5510

Internal Airfare (subject to change until ticketed):  $620

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