On this highlights tour of Colombia, experience a great sample of everything this Caribbean treasure has to offer. From lively Bogota, to fascinating coffee country, and finally to beach-side Cartagena, this itinerary shows what there is to love about Colombia at a relaxed, yet active pace.
In the evening, you will be picked up at the airport in Bogota and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
When you try to dream up the perfect city, you think of crisp moderate weather, Andean mountain peaks, vibrant colors, beautiful architecture, incredible people, rich South American food, and a nightlife that will not quit. It doesn't take long for travelers to realize that Bogota is the urban playground they've been seeking their whole lives.
La Candelaria is the cultural center of the city, where colonial architecture now houses museums, bars, restaurants and hotels. Locals are rightfully proud to call Bogota their home, and celebrate this fact nightly as drum beats, delicious gastronomy and generous drinks take over the streets. Life is a party, and Bogota is the host.
Today your bilingual guide will meet you at your hotel lobby and take you south where you will commence your walking tour through the streets of La Candelaria Bogota. The Square is the focal point of this historic part of the city and surrounding the square are several important Colonial and Republican style buildings including the Palace of Justice and Colombian Congress. The Plaza is also home to the Mayor’s office and the Primary Cathedral of Bogota, which dominates an entire corner. Standing proud in the plazas center is a statue of Simon Bolivar (Founder of Colombian independence) the first public monument to be erected in the city. As you wander the streets of La Candelaria away from the main square, your guide will not only explain the history of Bogota but also the intricacies of current Colombian culture and daily life. There will be time for a refreshment stop in one of the city's coffee houses.
After this short break you will head on to the Botero Museum. This is a permanent exhibition of works of art by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist who’s "oversized” art is instantly recognizable. There are several rooms with displays of his work both on canvas and sculpture. The museum not only houses work by Botero but also other world famous artists such as Dali, Monet and Van Gogh.
Enjoy lunch at Son de los Grillos. (This service is on a private basis.)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Bogota and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Pereira. Upon arrival in Pereira, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today’s tour will take you from the far northeast of Quindío to the beautiful Valle Cocora where the magnificent Wax palm grows, in one of its few natural habitats, then onto the first settlement in Quindío of the modern era.
Part of the wider Parque Nacional Los Nevados, the valley is located on the eastern limits of Quindío along the central Andean range. The valley has a unique landscape like a lush version of a Swiss valley. It has been regarded by Colombia as a sanctuary for its national symbol; the Wax Palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense). The Palms cover the Mountain range, which is now protected and declared a monument to protect the tree itself and the endemic species that depend on it. The valley is spectacular and great for walking or horseback rides, either way this stunning mountain scenery will not fail to impress.
Welcome to Coffee Country. Quindio is the region in Colombia most well known for mass coffee bean growth, so whether you're staying in Armenia, its capital, or a countryside hacienda, activities here are likely to involve the popular cash crop. Rolling green hills, perpetually tropical green, are continuously worked by a plantation community of locals who are only too happy to feed the coffee drinkers of the world. Locals are very proud of the culture they've worked hard for, and the region's few towns are lined with small cafes serving the goods.
We will visit one of the most attractive coffee estates to witness the daily activity on this traditional hacienda. Coffee cupping with an expert will bring our senses to a higher level. This excursion has been specially designed for those who want to dive deep into the cup, while enjoying one of the best views over the Quindio Valley and probably the best coffee as well.
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Pereira and transferred to your accommodations in Medellin. (This service is on a private basis.)
Contained in a bowl-shaped valley between two mountain skylines, Medellin's crowded urban sprawl reaches up into the skies around you. What was once the setting for the drug violence of the 80's and 90's is now home to a population moving proudly into a peaceful and prosperous new century. A powerful economy is helping them reach that admirable goal, and with it comes public arts projects and neighborhood beautification.
Locals here hold themselves a little apart from the rest of Colombia. It may be the moderate temperatures, or the Andean culture, but Medellin holds itself to a more European ideal. You'll hear less Caribbean drums here, and more western music. The people are definitely still Colombian though, so expect bars packed with beautiful people, restaurants overflowing with good food and a hopeful energy difficult to find anywhere else in the world.
Today, you will embark on a half day city tour of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, regarded as one of the most important in business, politics, fashion and nightlife!
For years, Medellin had a tarnished reputation, but in a truly remarkable turnaround has now risen above this and is now one of most exciting cities in South America. This is a city where business is taken seriously but its inhabitants are equally famous for their sense of pride and jovial nature. The music of Tango spills out from the numerous bars and dance halls competing with the sensuality of salsa! (This service is on a private basis.)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Medellin and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Cartagena. Upon arrival in Cartagena, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
One can certainly take a tour of Cartagena's historic sites, and we encourage our travelers to partake in such a tour. But Cartagena is about slowing down to a Caribbean pace. The city will seduce you, and slowly, it will ask you to stay longer, and wandering its maze-like streets, you may be tempted.
Rivaling Cusco, Peru for its colonial atmosphere, Cartagena is a beautifully preserved time capsule with a marimba and drum-based soundtrack. Open air cafes offer cooling respite from the humid heat, and beaches laced with tanned locals encourage you to join. Everyone in Cartagena seems to be celebrating something, and it takes one a few days to realize: they're simply celebrating life, and this is the norm here. How could you not want to stay?
Embark on a half day tour of Cartagena visiting the Cathedral and Gold Museum.
Carved from a colorful history rife of piracy, sultry Caribbean heat, with fusions of African, indigenous and European culture, Cartagena is Colombia’s living, breathing and pulsating museum. Absurdly photogenic La Heroica (Heroic city) awards even the laziest of travelers. Color splashes every corner, balconies overflow with blossom, and energy seeps beneath the ancient wooden doors of hotels, restaurants and Casa Privadas. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today you will go on a private, half day tour of Cartagena. Visit Castillo San Felipe, named in honor of King Philip IV of Spain. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, the castle has since served Colombia as a location for social and cultural events in honor of foreign delegations and presidential summits. Make a stop at Convento La Popa, about 2km beyond Castillo San Felipe. This convent, originally built in 1607, sits on the highest point of the city, and offers magnificent views of the surrounding area. After, you will explore the nearby Manga district. Whereas most of the city is built in a Spanish colonial style, this area features a hodge podge of early 20th century buildings, from Islamic to avant garde. (This service is on a private basis.)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Cartagena and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
The top spot to stay in La Candelaria, de La Opera is on a lovely cobblestone street adjacent to the Teatro Colón. Enjoy live-music shows on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as complimentary use of the pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna. The hotel is two restored colonial homes, and the results are impressive. The restorations give the buildings their original, colonial glory. All guest rooms are decorated Italian style. The spacious, beautifully decorated suites are well worth a splurge. The terrace restaurant, El Mirador, offers great views of La Candelaria, as do most of the hotel's rooms.
The hotel prides itself in creating an atmosphere dedicated to ecotourism in Salento, Quindio, an area that is part of the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. This region was recognized in 2011 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which is a testament to the outstanding example of sustainable production and cultural landscape of Salento. The lodge is set in a beautiful coffee house that is more than 100 years old, surrounded by 100 acres of amazing landscape. It is located three kilometers away from the town of Salento on the road to the Cocora Valley.
Enjoy the charm of Medellín, its spring weather, the kindness of its people and the splendor of its green mountains. At Hotel Park 10, take a rest in one of the luxurious rooms or relax at the SPA with a massage or a soak in a Turkish Bath. This exclusive "All Suite Hotel" was Medellín’s first ISO certified Hotel.
Featuring 23 beautifully designed luxury guest rooms and a perfect central location, Anandá Hotel Boutique offers an intimate retreat in the heart of the city. Located in the historic center of Cartagena de Indias, just a few blocks from Santo Domingo Square, this beautifully restored colonial house is the perfect destination for romantic vacations and honeymoons or a relaxing corporate gathering. Designed to instill a deep sense of peace and tranquility, the accommodation at Anandá exudes charm with every detail, from two-story suites with private balconies to smaller rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and private terraces. Onsite amenities include a pool, two terraces, and a third with a Jacuzzi, day beds, a gym and a Grand Salon. Carmen Restaurant offers contemporary cuisine with a fusion of ingredients and preparations from all over the world. The menu is inspired by fresh products and modern cooking techniques, providing a variety of options from local grouper, octopus and artisan cheeses, to duck, steak and the best pork belly you’ve ever tasted.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.