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12 days

Highlights of Colombia

Embark on a fantastic tour of Colombia. Discover the capital Bogotá, the lush, green Coffee Region, innovative Medellín and round it all off on the Caribbean coast in historic Cartagena.

Highlights of Colombia
Highlights of Colombia
12 days
HomeLatin AmericaColombiaHighlights of Colombia

Highlights of Colombia

Embark on a fantastic tour of Colombia. Discover the capital Bogotá, the lush, green Coffee Region, innovative Medellín and round it all off on the Caribbean coast in historic Cartagena.

HomeLatin AmericaColombiaHighlights of Colombia
What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flights from the UK to Bogotá and return from Cartagena
  • 2 domestic flights between Bogotá – Armenia (the Coffee Region) and Medellín – Cartagena
  • Transfers to and from airports (in small international groups)
  • Bus between Salento (the Coffee Region) and Medellín
  • 10 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • ATOL certificate included
  • You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on Colombia’s Caribbean coast
  • Departure guarantee – The price is valid when at least 2 people travelling. Please ask for a price if you are travelling alone

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Guided tour of Bogotá, including a visit to the Gold Museum and a trip to Mount Monserrate
  • Visit a coffee plantation in the coffee region
  • Guided tour of Medellin focusing on the transformation of the city
  • Street food tour in Cartagena

THE TOUR IN SHORT

Join us on a fantastic tour of adventure-filled Colombia and experience the beauty and diversity of the country.

The tour starts in the country’s capital Bogotá, which is beautifully situated in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of around 2,600 metres. You will go on an exciting guided tour of the city and, among other things, visit the impressive Plaza Bolívar, see the art of Colombia’s famous artist Fernando Botero, and learn about the country’s history at the breathtaking Gold Museum.

From hectic city to rural idyll – the next stop on the tour is the lush coffee region, where sprawling green fields of bananas, avocados, mangoes and, of course, coffee adorn the landscape. You will visit a coffee farm and gain a fascinating insight into the whole process, from the hand-picked beans to the finished coffee.

Experience Medellín’s transformation from a dangerous city in the 80s and 90s to the most innovative city in the country today, with progress and results – even for the poorest. Learn about this transformation on a guided tour of the colourful Comuna 13 district, where some of Colombia’s finest graffiti is also found.

The tour rounds off in the pleasant temperatures of stunning Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The city is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and you can look forward to tasting the array of local specialities. Go exploring behind the thick city wall which once protected the city from pirate attacks, and allow yourself to get lost in the cobbled streets lined with colourful colonial buildings and impressive cathedrals.

You also have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on the Caribbean coast.

Why choose this tour

  • Experience Colombia’s capital, with its unique location in the majestic Andes Mountains from the top of Mt. Monserrate at 3152 metres above sea level
  • Taste Colombia’s renowned coffee on a coffee farm in the country’s lush and idyllic coffee region
  • Head to the Comuna 13 area in the country’s most innovative town, Medellín, and get an exciting look into the city’s history, warts and all, as well as its path to a brighter future
  • Look forward to encountering the colonial pearl of Cartagena, which seduces with its wonderful climate, painterly old district, colourful houses, beautiful churches and lovely plazas

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Bogotá (2,625 metres)

Upon your arrival in Bogotá, you will be met by our local partner. You will be driven to your hotel in La Candelaria, which is the historic district of Bogotá. Depending on the traffic, the drive from the airport takes around 30-45 minutes.
Once at the hotel, you will be given a little practical information about Colombia in general and about your own tour, and the guide will answer any questions you may have.
In the evening, you can explore the La Candelaria district with its beautiful colonial buildings at your leisure. Remember to take it easy, Bogotá is located at an altitude of 2,600 metres.

Day 2: Guided tour of Bogotá (2,625 – 3,152 metres)

After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel by a guide who will take you on a walk around to the highlights of the old town.

The first stop is the Gold Museum, which houses an impressive collection of gold from all over the country. Gain an exciting insight into Colombia’s indigenous people and their interaction with the new colonial power, Spain.

You will also visit the impressive square, Plaza Bolívar and Boteros Museum, which houses a large collection of Botero’s own works as well as foreign works. Fernando Botero is Colombia’s most famous artist.

The tour ends with a stunning panoramic view over Bogotá and the city’s 8+ million inhabitants from the top of Mount Monserrate (3,152 m).

The rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

Day 3: Bogotá on your own (2,625 metres)

You have the day to yourself in Bogotá. Perhaps there’s more you’d like to see in La Candelaria with all its beautiful buildings and churches. You could also go to the Paloquemao market, one of Bogotá’s oldest markets, where you will find exotic fruit, vegetables, flowers and much more besides.

You could also take a taxi to Simón Bolívar Park, a large green area with lakes, cycle paths and playgrounds where the locals go to relax or exercise. It’s a wonderful oasis in the heart of the city. West of the park is a botanical garden.

We highly recommend purchasing a bike ride, which is a great way to experience the capital, or an excursion to Zipaquirá, the underground salt cathedral located just north of Bogotá.

Day 4: Flight from Bogotá to the Coffee Region – Visit a coffee farm – Salento (1,895 metres)

It’s time to say goodbye Bogotá. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport. The next stop is Colombia’s famous coffee region. And although the flight only takes about 1 hour, it’s like coming to a whole new land. There’s a huge contrast between the busy capital and the idyllic, quiet life that greets you in the coffee region. The landscape here is green and lush and, in addition to the coffee, which the region is best known for, all manner of fruit is grown, including papayas, mangos and pineapples. You’ll be greeted by abundant flora and fauna, and the area is particularly known for its many birds, including colourful parrots and hummingbirds.

In 2011, the entire Colombian coffee region became a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique cultural, environmental, and historical value. It is the combination of the fascinating human adaptation to the challenging geographical area and climate as well as the preservation of architecture, traditions as well as agricultural and production methods that has earned the area this well-deserved title. Most aspects of the way of life here are just as they were more than 100 years ago.

On your arrival at the airport, you’ll be driven to your hotel in the charming village of Salento, where you can drop off your luggage and freshen up before a visit to a traditional coffee farm awaits you. Look forward to gaining a fascinating insight into the laborious process of producing good coffee, from the hand-picked beans to the finished product, which is exported all over the world. It goes without saying that the tour ends with a tasting of the amazing coffee, and you also have the opportunity to buy some of it to take home with you. We recommend that you bring long trousers, a shirt and mosquito spray for this excursion.

You have the evening to yourself to explore Salento’s pleasant streets.

Accommodation:
Day 5: Salento on your own (1,895 metres)

You have the day to yourself to explore Salento. The town is of a doable size and easy to find your way around. We recommend a walk down the town’s main street, Calle Real, where the doorways, balconies and flowers create a palette of beautiful colours. At the end of the street, a steep staircase leads you up to the town’s vantage point, Mirador del Salento, where you can enjoy both a beautiful view of both the town and the lush green backdrop that surrounds it.

Everything in this town is colourful – even the taxis, the charming Willys Jeeps parked around the central square, Plaza Bolívar. This is also where you’ll find cosy cafés, restaurants and shops selling beautifully locally made souvenirs.

The absolute highlight of the area is the beautiful Cocora Valley, located just 11 km from the town. Go on a hike in the fairy-tale surroundings and see Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, palma de cera, which can grow up to a height of 60 metres!

Day 6: Bus from the Coffee Region to Medellín (1,495 metres)

You’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the bus station in Salento. The drive to Medellín takes around 7 hours, so lean back in your seat and enjoy the mountainous landscape as it zips past the window. There is a toilet on the bus, but a stop will also be made for lunch and the toilet at a service station along the way.

Medellín is the second largest city in Colombia, scenically located in a narrow valley where, due to its growing size, it is spreading up the mountain slopes on either side. Look forward to experiencing Medellín, which is renowned for its mild climate, hence its nickname “the city of eternal spring”.

On your arrival at the bus station in Medellín, you’ll need to take a taxi to your hotel, located in the popular area of El Poblado. This area attracts locals and tourists alike due to its wide selection of good restaurants, trendy cafés, and bars.

Day 7: Guided tour of Medellín (1,495 metres)

Most people associate Medellín with drug cartels and Pablo Escobar, and the 80s and 90s were violent years in the city’s history. However, since 2002, local politicians have invested in both infrastructure and education – with some impressive results. Your visit to Medellín will be a pleasant surprise. In 2013, the city was named the most innovative city in the world. It is a modern metropolis, and is, among other things, the only city in Colombia with a metro that runs from north to south. There are also escalators and cable cars out the different districts (called comunas), so that everyone, the rich and poor alike, has easy, cheap access to the city and thus work.

Today, you will go on a guided tour of the city that focuses on its transformation from one of the most dangerous places in the world to one of the most innovative. You will visit the area known as Comuna 13, which is a good example of how things have changed. Your guide will give you an exciting insight into the city’s history. On the tour, you will see many beautiful and colourful graffiti walls. This graffiti is the local artists’ version of Colombia’s, Medellín’s and Comuna 13’s history.

The tour takes place by public transport so you can see and experience the city just as the locals do.

Day 8: Flights from Medellín to Cartagena – street food tour

You will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the airport. Depending on the traffic, the drive takes about 1–1.5 hours. The flight to Cartagena takes around 1 hour.

You can really look forward to visiting Cartagena! The city will definitely take your breath away. It has everything the heart desires: stunning, well-preserved Spanish architecture behind the solid city wall of the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a cultural melting pot of cultures – Colombia’s indigenous people as well as the Spanish and Africans. The city offers fabulous restaurants – and an average temperature of 30 degrees all year.

After arriving at the hotel, you have time to relax a little before going on a 2-hour street food tour. Your guide takes you around the city and introduces you to exciting local specialities such as arepas, homemade ice cream and sweets.

Day 9: Cartagena on your own

You have the day to yourself in Cartagena. You can wander to your heart’s content in the quaint streets of the old town or just relax in the shade on a bench in Bolívar Park, overlooking the beautiful Santa Catalina Cathedral.

Cartagena receives a lot of visitors every year, and you can be sure that wherever you go, there will always be a smiling Colombian ready to sell you a much-needed sun hat, a bracelet, fresh fruit or a chilled bottle of water.

You also have the opportunity to visit the small, UNESCO-listed town of Palenque de San Basilio, which is interesting because it was the first town founded by the African slaves that managed to escape from the Spanish colonial power.

In the afternoon, you can go on a guided tour and discover even more of Cartagena.

Day 10: Cartagena on your own

The day is your own today, too. If you have not yet had your fill of beautiful buildings, a walk in the Getsemani neighbourhood is warmly recommended. 15-20 years ago, this area of Cartagena was the poor part, attracting whores and pickpockets. Today, Getsemani is the hip district with numerous hostels, cosy little hotels, trendy cafés and bars, and a great atmosphere on Plaza Trinidad.

Local artists have settled down here, and you will see a lot of wonderful graffiti on the walls, and you can perhaps buy some beautiful pictures.

The sunset can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or a cold beer from the western side of the city wall. When the sun goes down, the old town really comes alive. Enjoy your last night in this beautiful city.

Day 11: Departure from Cartagena

The time has come to say goodbye to Cartagena and fantastic Colombia. If you have yet to buy some souvenirs to take home with you, there is ample opportunity to do so here.

Depending on the time of your international flight, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport. The drive to the airport takes around 30 minutes.

Day 12: Arrival in the UK

You arrive in the UK after an eventful tour of Colombia.

Combine with
Choose from the options below
Beach holiday extension at Barú
2 nights

After travelling around Colombia and all the exciting things you have seen and done, we recommend rounding off the tour with a relaxing beach holiday. The beaches outside Cartagena are not particularly good, but a mere 1.5-hour drive south of Cartagena on the Barú peninsula, you will find fabulous Caribbean beaches where you can relax and take a dip in the warm turquoise waters.

Decameron is a fabulous all-inclusive resort offering lots of activities for children and adults alike. The resort is set on its own with a private beach and is surrounded by unspoilt nature.

It is possible to purchase extra nights at the resort if you wish to enjoy more days of relaxation.

 

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All prices shown are per person
Please note that the price of a single room only applies when for at least two people. Please contact us if you’re travelling alone.
Special offers for groups of 6 or more. Request a quote today for more info.
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Latin America
Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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