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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

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.

Choose this tour because…

Join us on a fantastic tour of Colombia. Discover the country’s contrasts and diversity with a visit to the capital Bogotá, the green and lush coffee region, Medellín, the city of the eternal spring and round off the holiday on the Caribbean coast, where Cartagena’s beautiful historic district awaits you.
You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on the Caribbean coast.

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 Armenia (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
  • Departure guarantee – the tour goes ahead regardless of the number of participants
  • You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on Colombia’s Caribbean coast

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
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Bogotá

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

You have the morning to yourself. As an optional extra, a bike ride is a wonderful experience, especially on Sundays and public holidays. Nearly 200 km of roads are closed to cars in Bogotá city centre, and from 7 am to 2 pm, they are reserved for cyclists and other people enjoying exercise. This event is called Ciclovia, which translated means cycle path.

In the afternoon, you go on a guided tour of the city’s main highlights. 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).

Please note: Mount Monserrate is a destination popular with the locals – especially on Sundays. So you should reckon on it taking longer to get up and down the mountain.

Day 3: Bogotá on your own

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.

Day 4: Flights from Bogotá to Armenia in the Coffee Region – Visit a coffee farm

It’s time to say goodbye Bogotá. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport before flying to Armenia (a 1-hour flight). Visiting Colombia’s Coffee Region is like coming to a completely different country. There is a stark contrast between the hectic metropolis and the idyllic country life of the Coffee Region. Here, the landscape 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. The area offers abundant flora and fauna, including colourful parrots and hummingbirds, which you might be lucky enough to see.

You will be picked up from the airport and driven to a traditional coffee farm, where you gain a fascinating insight into the laborious process of producing good coffee, from the hand-picked beans to the finished product. It goes without saying that the tour ends with a tasting of the amazing coffee, and you also have the opportunity to buy some coffee to take home with you.

After the tour, you will be driven to the place where you are staying. You will spend the night at a traditional Finca, which means “farm” in Spanish. Several of these Fincas have been renovated and converted into small bed and breakfasts.

Day 5: The Coffee Region on your own

You can spend the day at the cosy Finca with a good book and a walk in its large garden, where you can look for parrots, hummingbirds and other interesting birds.

You can also choose to purchase an excursion and see more of this beautiful region.

Day 6: The Coffee Region – Medellín

You are picked up from your hotel and driven to the bus station in Armenia. The drive to Medellín takes around 7 hours, so lean back in your seat and enjoy the mountainous landscape as it zips by. A lunch and toilet stop is made on the way.

Please note: There are currently roadworks on the road between the Coffee Region and Medellín. During certain periods, the bus trip may take longer, so we reserve the right to change the bus trip to a flight in 2018.
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 in Medellín, you will be picked up from the bus station and driven to your hotel, which is centrally located in the popular El Poblado area. 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

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.

Extend your tour

Beach Holiday Extension on the island of Mucura, 3 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £760
Per child u/12 years: + £440
Single room supplement: + £660

Off the Caribbean coast lies the idyllic little coral island of Mucura. The island is part of the San Bernardo archipelago, which became part of the Rosario Islands National Park in 1996 to protect the unique marine life and coral reefs in the area. The name of the national park was changed to Rosario and San Bernardo National Park and it covers an area of around 1,200 km2.

It takes around 2 hours to sail out to the island from Cartagena, and you will be warmly welcomed by the staff at the cosy little hotel, Punta Faro.

Punta Faro is quite unlike other hotels. There are no keys to the rooms and there is no music or entertainment, just the sound of the waves and the breeze.

This hotel is for those wishing to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings above and under the water.

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

Please note: The prices do not apply in the period from 26 December – 15 January, or during Easter. Inquire with us regarding the price if you are travelling in this period.

Beach Holiday Extension at Barú, 2 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £450
Per child u/12 years: + £220
Single room supplement: + £360

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.

Please note: The prices do not apply in the period from 26 December – 12 January, or during Easter. Inquire with us regarding the price if you are travelling in this period.

Single supplement (when two or more travelers) £430
Single supplement (when single traveler) £750
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