Events

Discover Colombia - (12N/13D)

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Pax
Starts With Rs 168516 /-
Per Person
13 days 12 nights

Description

Experience

Haciendas dot coffee-covered hills, cobbled streets are flanked by colourful houses in colonial towns, and gentle waves lap beaches that meet with verdant jungles. This is Colombia, a vast country still largely undiscovered despite its amazing variety of landscapes, sights and culture. On this journey through highlands and lowlands we experience the contrast between lively and cosmopolitan Bogota and colonial Cartagena and the welcoming countryside. We amble through the rolling hills of the Zona Cafetal and Villa de Leyva and take time out to relax in hammocks and explore the Caribbean beaches of Tayrona National Park.

Itineary

Day 1 :Start Bogota

There are no included activities today and you are free to arrive any time. There will be a message waiting with information about tomorrow’s activities when the rest of the group and the leader arrive. (it is also possible to arrive in the morning of day 2).

Day 2 :Bogota - Candelaria tour

Passengers on the group flights arrive early this morning and are transferred to the hotel in the historical Candelaria district. The morning to recuperate from the overnight flight or, for those feeling more energetic, explore the colonial streets around the hotel. Whilst we will have a walking tour of La Candelaria this afternoon (see next paragraph) you may wish to visit the Botero Art Museum (which features works by Colombia’s greatest living painter/sculptor), the Casa de la Moneda (the old mint) or catch the cable car or funicular up to the top of Monseratte for spectacular views over the city and surrounding hills. It was here that the city of Bogota was first founded in 1538. We have a walking tour taking in the main buildings around the historic centre including the Plaza Bolivar, which is surrounded by the main government and judicial buildings as well as the Cathedral Primada. We will learn about the history of Bogota and the people who inhabit this amazing city, and visit the famous Gold Museum, home to the largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold in the world.

Day 3 :To Villa de Leyva, visiting Salt Cathedral en route

We leave Bogota this morning and drive for about an hour and a half to Zipaquira, where we visit the unique Salt Cathedral. This subterranean church was carved out of the salt bedrock in an old salt mine. We will have a guided tour of the cathedral, following the elaborately carved stations of the cross to reach the main part of the cathedral, which has capacity for over 8000 worshippers. We should arrive at the colonial town of Villa de Leyva, where we arrive in the late afternoon.

Day 4 :Walking tour of Villa de Leyva; free afternoon to explore the area

This morning we will have a walking tour of Villa de Leyva, taking in the main plaza and the most important and significant colonial buildings. We will also get an insight into the town's history and the local culture. The afternoon has been left free for further exploration of the town's cobbled streets and craft shops, or to simply relax in one of the laid-back cafes. Alternatively, an optional excursion is available to see El Fosil, an incredibly well preserved 12-metre long fossilised Kronosaurus discovered by a local farmer and housed in a small museum close to town, or go for a hike in the nearby hills.

Day 5 :Drive and fly to 'Coffee Zone'.

We drive back to Bogota today to catch a short flight to either Pereira or Armenia, in the heart of Colombia's 'Coffee Zone'. From here it�s a fairly short drive to the quaint town of Salento, a municipality in the north eastern part of the department of Quindï'o. It was the first settlement in Quindï'o of modern times dating back to 1850, and the first municipality founded in the department. This picturesque town boasts a number of fine houses of traditional architectural style. Rimmed by distant snow-capped mountains Salento has a real rural traditional feel. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, and the remainder of the day is free to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Day 6 :Visit Cocora Valley.

Today we visit the Cocora Valley. Part of the wider Parque Nacional Los Nevados, the Cocora Valley is located on the eastern limits of Quindío along the central Andean range, near the small town of Salento. 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 monument to protect the tree itself and the endemic species that depend on it. The valley is spectacular and great for walking. This stunning mountain scenery will not fail to impress. We will be transported by local willys – synonymous with this region these jeeps still have the same design which made them famous during WWII.

Day 7 :Coffee plantation tour.

This morning we visit a coffee plantation near our hotel, where we will find out about the whole production process from seedling to cup, as well as learning about the trials and tribulations of the plantations themselves and the many workers who rely on coffee for their livelihoods. Naturally, cups of coffee will be in plentiful supply throughout our visit! The tour will take a good portion of the day, the rest of the day is free to explore on your own.

Day 8 :Fly to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast

Today we return to Armenia or Pereira airport to board our flight via Bogota to Cartagena, where we stay in a small characterful hotel close to the historic walled city. The heat and humidity will probably be a bit of a shock to the system on arrival and flight times can be changeable, so the afternoon has been left open for us to adjust to the change in temperature.

Day 9 :Full day city tour of Cartagena.

This morning we explore the beautiful colonial centre of Cartagena on foot, wandering through its narrow streets and colourful plazas to discover some of its historical gems, including the Puerta del Reloj (clock tower gate), Plaza de los Coches, Plaza Bolivar, and the church of San Pedro Claver. After a break for lunch and an escape from the heat of the day, we resume our tour of the city this afternoon with visits to San Felipe Fortress and La Popa Monastery. San Felipe dominates the old town and is the largest Spanish fort in the Americas, and its solid construction allowed Colombian forces to successfully defend the city against frequent attacks in the 17th and 18th centuries. La Popa is a fortified monastery dramatically perched on a hilltop overlooking the city and offers fantastic views as well as an insight into Cartagena's religious and cultural life from the colonial era to the modern day.

Day 10 :Free day to explore Cartagena some more.

Today has been left free for further exploration of the city, or for some time to relax on the nearby beaches of Bocagrande. Alternatively, you may wish to take an optional cruise to Isla del Encanto (Enchanted Island) in the Rosario Islands. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, and snorkelling equipment is available to hire so that you can discover the incredibly diverse fish species which are supported by the reef. There is also an aquarium on the island, as well as opportunities to swim and kayak.

Day 11 :Drive to Tayrona N.P. via mud volcano.

We drive out of Cartagena early this morning towards Tayrona National Park, stopping en route at Totumo mud volcano, where we have the chance to bathe in therapeutic mud. We should arrive at the park gates by late afternoon and from there we have an hour's walk through the jungle to get to the pristine beaches. If you do not want to carry your own luggage for the walk to the hammocks mules can be rented locally at a small fee. We will spend the night in thatched huts sleeping in hammocks, an authentic Colombian beach experience. There is the option to upgrade to a Cabana (which you'll have to pre-book) though it is worth trying out the hammocks as it is a great experience and your leader will demonstrate how to sleep comfortably in a hammock.

Day 12 :Full day to relax on tropical beaches or hike to forest-clad ruins.

A full day in Tayrona National Park, one of the most beautiful in Colombia. You can relax or explore the park at your leisure. There are a series of beaches stretching westwards from our hammock hut, ranging from secluded coves to long stretches of tempting sand or there is the option of visiting the pre-Columbian ruins of Pueblito.

Day 13 :Return to Bogota where the trip ends.

We leave the park the same way we came and head to Santa Marta to catch our flight to Bogota arriving in time for the evening flight to London. If not travelling on the group flights please be aware that you will probably not be back in Bogota till at least 17:00. The land only portion of the trip ends upon returning in Bogota. The group flight departs this evening.

Package Includes

  • All breakfasts & 2 lunches
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

Package Excludes

  • Service Tax and / or any other taxes.
  • International or domestic flights, unless included
  • Meals other than those mentioned as included (please contact us to know details specific to your trip)
  • Optional arrival and departure transfers or transfer costs to the starting point of the vacation
  • Visa, passport, travel insurance.
  • Optional tours that can be bought on a supplement.
  • Single room supplement
  • Entrance fees to attractions not specified as included (please contact us to know details specific to your trip)

Information

Dates & Prices

Start Date End Date Price
10th FEB, 2018 22nd FEB, 2018 GBP £ 1999
09th JUN, 2018 21st JUN, 2018 GBP £ 1999
18th AUG, 2018 30th AUG, 2018 GBP £ 1999
13th OCT, 2018 25th OCT, 2018 GBP £ 1999
15th DEC, 2018 27th DEC, 2018 GBP £ 1999
09th FEB, 2019 21st FEB, 2019 GBP £ 2069
08th JUN, 2019 20th JUN, 2019 GBP £ 2069
24th AUG, 2019 05th SEP, 2019 GBP £ 2069
12th OCT, 2019 24th OCT, 2019 GBP £ 2069
  • Travel Insurance covering medical and evacuation expenses is mandatory for all travellers.
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