Best of Colombia
Colombia is a country at the northern tip of South America. It's landscape is marked by rainforests, Andes mountains and numerous coffee plantations. In the high-altitude capital, Bogotá, the Zona Rosa district is known for its restaurants and shops. Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, has a walled colonial Old Town, a 16th-century castle and nearby coral reefs.
DAY 1: BOGOTA - City Tour
Welcome to Colombia! Arrival at the international airport and transfer to your Hotel in Bogotá!
Bogotá is the capital district of Colombia and the country's most populated city. It is the most important political, financial, educational, cultural city in the country. It is located at an altitude of 2640masl on a plateau known as the Savanna of Bogotá on the eastern range of the Andean Mountains. It was founded on August 6, 1538 originally named Santa Fe by the 'Conquistador' Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada who arrived in pursuit of 'El Dorado' gold legend and defeated the native Chibcha in Bacatá, which meant capital of the Zipa confederation. In 1717 the kingdom of New Granada was established here, and in 1819 Simon Bolivar chose it as the capital of the Grand Colombia. Today, Bogotá is a modern city with a bubbling cultural scene and vibrant social life.
In the afternoon you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Visit the Historical down town, La candelaria, historical neighborhood of city. Discover the Gold Museum (Closed on Mondays), with more than 53,000 pieces of pre-and goldsmith, in addition to the panoramic First Cathedral, La Casa de Narino, Lievano Palace, the Palace of Justic. After the tour, return to your hotel.
DAY 2: BOGOTA - Guatavita and Zipaquirá
“El Dorado” legend comes to life in Guatavita lagoon, an ancestral place that fascinates all visitors. During approximately an hour and a half you will be enjoying the beautiful landscapes of the highways outside the city up to the very last minute when you arrive to “Guatavita la nueva”, a picturesque town with colonial architecture located next to Tominé dam. From there you will follow your way to the sacred lagoon of Guatavita, where you will learn the popular legend of El Dorado; based in a worship Muisca ritual where gold was the main element.
Get to know all the mysteries from this place where the indigenous magic lives, from the beginning of the tour you will enjoy viewpoints strategically located.
Continue to Zipaquirá, a well-known town and famous worldwide for hosting one of Colombia’s Marvels. There, lies a majestic salt-mine Cathedral buried 180mts underground.This amazing place is famous for its religious, cultural and architectural value. The mine’s interior is decorated with lights in the tunnels lighting up the fourteen stages of the Way of the Cross. Enjoy attractions like the Miner’s route, Water Mirror, Convention Center and the Coffee bar, to have a delicious Colombian coffee 180mts underground. (not included). Afterwards, see "San Antonio" Cathedral, and a panoramic view of colonial architecture in Zipaquira’s heart. At the end of the tour, return to hotel in Bogotá.
DAY 3: BOGOTA - Villa de Leyva
Breakfast at the hotel. Around 8:00 am, our guide will meet you at the hotel for your tour to Villa de Leyva. Discover the charming colonial architecture and cobblestone streets of Villa De Leyva, one of Colombia’s magical villages. You will hardly find a place in Colombia that takes architectonic preservation as serious as Villa de Leyva. This small village located in the department of Boyacá and it’s a 3-hour drive from Bogotá. Spanish colonizers founded the village in 1572, visiting it gives the sensation of going back in time and in 1954 it was declared a national monument. Visit the Musem Acuña with featuring works by one of Colombia's most influential painters, sculptors, writers and historians, who was inspired by sources ranging from Muisca mythology to contemporary art. This museum has been set up in the mansion where Acuña (1904–93) lived for the last 15 years of his life and is Colombia's most comprehensive collection of his work.
On the way back to Bogotá, enjoy of a historical stop at the Boyacá Bridge, where the battle of Boyacá took place in the 19th century which helped secure Colombia’s independence from the Spaniards. Return to your hotel in Bogotá.
DAY 4: BOGOTA - TRIANGULO DEL CAFE
Today you will be transferred from your hotel with you guide to the airport to board your flight to the Coffee Zone Armenia or Pereira. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Then you will visit the coffee plantations, view the coffee plants that spread out as far as the horizon, interrupted only by "fincas" –small farms- and heliconia flowers. The harvest in Colombia takes around a year, although the main period is in October and May/June. Most plantations in Colombia produce Arabica beans which produce a delicate and light tasting coffee which is widely recognized and consumed. Once the fruit is picked, the pulp is stripped away and the bean is cleaned and dried in the sun, the beans are exported or dried in preparation for sale, before being ground and made ready for human consumption. In this tour you will take a walk in which you can interact with the coffee, soils, flora and fauna, all exalted by the immeasurable beauty of the coffee cultural landscape. This coffee process will teach you all about the coffee process from planting, harvesting, collecting, sorting, aroma, color and production, and the importance of elements such as land, water, sun and shade. In addition, you will learn to make your own coffee basket, to taste coffee and prepare a delicious cup of coffee. Return to hotel.
DAY 5: CULTURAL LANDSCAPE CAFETERO
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the typical village of Pijao in the department of Quindío. Immerse yourself in Colombia's coffee culture during this tour from Pijao. The Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage, and this tour aims to authentically connect visitors to the day-to-day life on a coffee farm. Your guides, coffee farmers themselves, will introduce you to the process of coffee production from plant cultivation to pouring the perfect cup.
Embark on a walking tour through the town, viewing traditional Colombian architecture and learning the role of the town in the area's coffee production history. Stop at several landmarks that are important in the trade and culture of coffee production.
At noon, enjoy a delicious gastronomic experience having lunch (Includes: entrance, fort, dessert, drink and coffee) and the time to enjoy this particular place interacting with its owners and cooks. Then walk along its colonial streets, craft workshops, typical architecture, visit the viewpoint of Quindío. Return to Hotel.
DAY 6: PAISAJE CULTURAL CAFETERO - Valle del Cocora & Salento Tour
Early-morning leave for Cocora Valley, located in National Park "Los Nevados", admire the “Quindian wax-palm”, Colombia’s national tree, reaching an amazing 60mts-height. Hummingbirds and endemic yellow-eared parrot live here.Upon arrival, either hiking or horseback-riding, head into cloud-forest; enjoy biodiversity of flora and fauna. Cross Quindio River walking-along an ecological pathway through the tallest wax-palms in the world. Stop at a trout farm and enjoy a traditional smoked-trout meal.Continue 10km towards traditional Salento; enjoy city-tour through "Bolivar Square" with its colorful balconies, "calle real", handicrafts shops and Cocora viewpoint. Spend some time soaking-up regional atmosphere. Then you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Cartagena. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Cartagena.
Colombia’s most popular city Cartagena de Indias was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site because of its colonial walled city; and just walking through to its cozy narrow streets is enough to understand why. It is divided into three sightseeing zones: the Historic Centre with Clock Gate, Carriage Square, San Peter Square, Palace of the Inquisition, The Cathedral, dating back to the 16th century, Santo Domingo Square, the Heredia Theatre and masterpiece San Felipe de Barajas Castle, built between 1639 and 1762 which is the greatest fortress ever built by the Spanish. The San Diego zone, with its enchanting Hotel Santa Clara, formerly Convent of the Saint Claire Order and Las BóvedasThe Vaults by the Santa Catalina Fortress and Getsemaní; the zone used to be a slave neighborhood and now hosts Cartagena’s Convention Center and popular nightlife clubs. The real joy of Cartagena is exploring it’s exhilarating narrow streets by foot or on a horse-carriage, an experience that awakens all senses with the flavors and warm breeze of its sunset, making it an incredibly romantic destination and the most fascinating Caribbean hidden treasure.
DAY 7: CARTAGENA - City Tour
Breakfast at Hotel. Today you will go on a exciting sightseeing Shuttle Tour. Start at the principal neighborhood of the city: Bocagrande, Castillo Grande, Manga, visit to Popa convent, visit the San Felipe Castle, arrival to “walled center”, Panoramic visit India Catalina, vaults. Tour begins with panoramic view from 'La Popa' Monastery and Church. Continue to "San Felipe" castle-fortress built on "San Lázaro" hill to defend the city from pirate attacks. Walk-around the fortress and see the castle tunnels, underground galleries and passageways. Continue to Walled City, go to 'the Vaults', archways built within the walled-city used until late 1700s to store armament and later as prison in the XIX century. Nowadays, it's an artisans' center to appreciate local handcrafts.At noon, enjoy a delicious gastronomic experience having lunch (Includes: entrance, fort, dessert, drink and coffee) and the time to enjoy this particular place interacting with its owners and cooks. Then walk along its colonial streets, craft workshops, typical architecture, visit the viewpoint of Quindío. Return to Hotel.
DAY 8: CARTAGENA
Breakfast at Hotel. Arrive to the traditional fishing village of La Boquilla. To start, enjoy a delicious coconut ice water a canoe. Afterwards meet an artisanal fisherman who will take you in his canoe across the Juan Polo swamp to start fishing. During the tour the fisherman will teach you to open and throw a cast net, to select the baitfish and to prepare the fish trop while sharing stories about his profession and some others that reflect the cultural elements of his community.
We also learn about the cuisine of Cartagena and enjoy a traditional food (seafood, rice with coconut, Patacona and drink). In the afternoon, return to your hotel.
DAY 9: CARTAGENA
Today is a free day to explore the city on your own and to do different activites.
DAY 10: CARTAGENA – back home
Today is a free day to explore the city on your own and to do different activites. Breakfast at the Hotel. Transfer to the Airport for your flight back home!
End of Program
- Daily breakfast
- Airport / Hotel / Airport in each destiny
- Tours described in the itinerary
- Air tickets
- Services not mentioned in the itinerary