Arrival at Bogotá airport. When leaving, look for a sign with your names. Transfer to your hotel.
Hotel Casa de la Vega is located in a restored 19th century colonial house in the La Candelaria neighborhood, within walking distance of museums, restaurants and the main square of Bolívar. The hotel’s 15 rooms are classically decorated with wooden furniture and floors, and have windows to the courtyard or street side. It also has a terrace garden and restaurant.
In the Andes, at 2600 metres altitude, we find Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, with an estimated 9 million inhabitants. With residents from all around the globe and a thriving cultural scene, Bogotá is a city that a lot to offer. The metropolis has several museums, such as the Gold Museum, the National Museum and the Botero Museum, where you can immerse yourself in Colombian history and culture. In addition, Bogotá is known for its graffiti street art. Amazing murals that often portray a political or historical message can be found throughout the city. Bogotá is also a popular city among cycling enthusiasts: nowhere else in Latin America will you find more bike paths in the city, and consequently the bicycle is a frequently seen means of transport. Most travellers go to the Candelaria district, the beautiful colonial centre of Bogota where it is enjoyable to stroll around the sloping streets with their colourful colonial houses. To the north, there are more posh, modern neighbourhoods, with world-class restaurants, as well as cocktail bars and cafés.
A local guide will pick you up at the hotel for a bike tour through Bogotá—the most enjoyable way to explore this bustling metropolis. The tour starts with a short ride through La Candelaria, Bogotá’s colonial center. Then, you will go to Paloquemao, a huge indoor market with fruit from all over Colombia, food stalls with tamales, lechona and other Colombian specialties, and many more things to explore. You will also visit a local coffee roasting house, where you can see how the famous Colombian coffee is roasted. Of course you will have time to taste the coffee. In the afternoon you will return to the hotel.
Day 3 : Flight Bogotá – Armenia – Salento
You will be picked up from your hotel to be taken to Bogotá airport (+/- 35 min.).
A driver will pick you up at the airport to take you to the coffee town of Salento, a journey of +/- 1 hour through the green mountain landscapes of the Coffee Region. When leaving the airport, look for a person holding a sign with your names.
Salento Real is a colonial-style hotel in the coffee town of Salento, just a few minutes from the main square. The hotel has comfortable en suite rooms that open onto the patio or a balcony. The patio has a fountain and there is also a rooftop terrace with nice views over the village and the green surroundings. Its Quindú restaurant serves traditional cuisine.
Colorful bumpy streets with brightly colored houses and tiled roofs against the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains, a village square with palm trees, paisas wearing ponchos, reviewing the news of the day: that’s Salento. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this is a popular destination among visitors to the Coffee Region. This coffee village that was founded in 1842 is the perfect starting point for a hike in the nearby Cocora Valley, a beautiful green valley in the mountains where the iconic Quindío wax palm grows.
Endless green mountains, colorful villages with traditional Paisa architecture, a mild and pleasant climate and many coffee plantations where the best coffee in Colombia is produced? This must be the Colombian Coffee Region. This region is located in the heart of Colombia and extends over the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. The area was colonized in the second half of the 19th century by the Paisas of the neighboring department Antioquia, and the architecture, culture and cuisine are, therefore, very similar to those of the Antioquia people. Think of the white houses with tile roofs and colorful wooden terraces decorated with hanging plants, and cafés where farmers in white hats and shirts drink small cups of tinto, as the coffee is also called here. In many places in the green mountains you can see coffee plantations, and in many of these coffee farms it is possible to take a look and taste the delicious product. And if that is not enough, the nature of the Coffee Region is also beautiful, thanks to the iconic Quindío wax palms, an extremely tall species of palm that only exists in Colombia. In the area you will find several natural parks where you can go hiking and birdwatching, and where you can cool off in a river or waterfall. It is not without reason that UNESCO declared this entire region a World Heritage Site in 2011.
Day 4 : Tour Salento, Valle de Cocora & coffee tour
A driver and local guide will pick you up from the hotel in a traditional Willys jeep for your trip to the Cocora Valley. On the way, you will stop at the Salento viewpoint, where you will have a view of the Cocora Valley and the mountains that surround it. In good weather, you can even see the peaks of Los Nevados National Park in the distance. You will also learn more about nature in this area and see avocado crops and cattle farms. Then, you will continue to the Cocora Valley, 30 minutes by car. In this green valley you will walk among the iconic wax palms, a species of palm trees that can grow up to 60 meters in height and is officially the national tree of Colombia. The walk between the wax palm trees and the waves of fog that give the valley a mystical feeling, is a unique experience. The trail can be quite muddy, so please wear comfortable shoes. After the walk you can enjoy a natural juice of one of the typical fruits of Colombia. You will continue to Salento by jeep for a visit to the historic center and to learn about the traditional architecture of the municipality of Salento and the Camino Real, which is part of the road that passes through South America and ends in Venezuela. Salento plays an important role in a big part of Colombian history. After lunch, you will continue to the El Ocaso coffee farm for a coffee and a tour of the coffee plantations to learn more about the production of this emblematic drink.
Day 5 : Flight Armenia – Medellín
You will be picked up at the hotel for your transfer to Armenia airport (+/- 1 hour).
Arrival at Olaya Herrera national airport in Medellín. When leaving the airport, look for the person holding a sign with your name. Transfer to your hotel in Medellín (15 to 30-minute drive).
Hotel Dix is located in the El Poblado district, just 10 minutes from Parque Lleras. It has a virtual area, a wet area that includes a jacuzzi, steam room, mini gym and solarium, and the hotel also has a souvenir shop.
Colombia’s second city, Medellín, used to have a bad reputation as the city of drug trafficker Escobar. But from those dark pages in its history, the city has undergone a remarkable transformation, and now Medellín is one of the most progressive and entertaining metropolises in Latin America. An ingenious public transport system with cable cars and even escalators was introduced, which connect the ´barrios´ with the rest of the city. Parks and cultural facilities were also built throughout the city. And then there are its residents, the proud Paisas, who always have fun and are always chatting on the streets. The city is located in a green valley, and thanks to its good climate, it has the nickname “The City of Eternal Spring”. Most tourists stay in the El Poblado neighborhood, an area with many gourmet restaurants, designer shops, and cafés. Of course, there are also plenty of places worth visiting outside of El Poblado, such as the museums, city parks, Envigado’s working-class district, the bustling Laureles district and the cable cars that allow you to see the city from a great height. It is not without reason that the Paisas are so proud of their Medellín.
Day 6 : Tour Guatapé & Piedra del Peñol
An English-speaking guide will pick you up at the hotel for your journey by public transport to Guatapé, which is at a
two-hour drive from Medellín. Once there, you will have time to explore the 19th-century colonial village, with its houses painted in all colors of the rainbow and narrow cobblestone streets. After the visit to Guatapé you will continue to the nearby Piedra de Peñol, a 220-meter-high, ancient rock formation that you can climb by taking the 740 stairs. It is a big climb, but the stunning view from the top over the huge Peñol-Guatapé reservoir definitely makes up for it. In the afternoon you will travel back to Medellín.
The town of Guatapé, from the 19th century, two hours from the city of Medellín, is one of the most colorful towns in Antioquia with houses painted in all colors along the narrow cobbled streets. The town is also known for the nearby Peñol-Guatapé reservoir and the million-year-old rock formation, the Piedra de Peñol, which can be climbed to get the best view ver the lake and town.
Day 7 : Free day Medellin
Enjoy a day off in Medellín. Explore the El Poblado and Laureles neighborhoods, where you will stumble upon many trendy cafés that serve the best coffee in Colombia, or walk through the Envigado neighborhood, where the old Paisas seemnto be drinking tinto forever and where you will find the best Bandeja Paisa of the city; the high-calorie signature dish of the Antioqueños. Be sure to take the metro to the city center, where you can admire the chubby sculptures of local artist Botero and wander through the Botanical Garden, at just a short metroride from the center. Pay a visit to the Casa de la Memoria museum where you will learn about the troubled past of Colombia, and take the cable car to the Santo Domingo neighborhood, which used to be a dangerous slum but is now very popular because it offers one of the best views over the city. There are indeed too many activities to choose from. Medellín is one of those cities where you will stay longer than expected.
Day 8 : Flight to Santa marta
A driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to José María Córdova airport in Rionegro (+/- 1 hour).
You will be picked up at Santa Marta airport and taken to Tayrona National Park, a 1.5-hour drive. When leaving the airport, look for a sign with your names. During the drive along the coast, you will have a pleasant view of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and you will notice the surroundings become more and more tropical.
Tayrona National Park is undoubtedly one of the most important natural reserves in Colombia. Its small, pristine, clear blue beaches in the Caribbean Sea, lined with palm trees and rocks that resemble huge bird eggs, are impressive. Plus, at sunset, you can hear the sounds of howler monkeys from the nearby rain forest. The natural reserve, just 35 kilometers from the city of Santa Marta, has 29,640 acres of jungle and the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. For thousands of years, the area has been inhabited by the Tayrona, whose descendants still live in the park.
Please note: the yellow fever vaccination is mandatory in this area. There are no ATMs or Wi-Fi in this area.
Ecohabs Los Naranjos is a hotel surrounded by nature, a 2-minute walk from the beach and just a 5-minute drive from the entrance to Tayrona National Park. The hotel has eight bamboo huts and palm leaf roofs, all with airconditioning and a private terrace. It also has an outdoor pool and a gourmet restaurant that uses fresh local ingredients.
Day 9 : Free day Tayrone
Enjoy a day off in the beautiful nature of the Tayrona National Park. Swim in the turquoise blue sea and rest on one of the many beaches. Explore the coral reefs with a snorkel, and spot three different species of monkeys and colorful birds with a walk through the jungle. The village of Arrecifes is located at a 45 to 90-minute walk from the park entrance. It has a wonderful beach but unfortunately, swimming is prohibited due to the high waves and strong currents. From there, it’s only a 15-minute walk to the next village, La Piscina, where you can swim in natural pools and where the many coral reefs provide perfect scenery for snorkeling. Another 15 minutes away you will find the beach of Cabo San Juan, where you can also swim and snorkel, and eat fresh fish in one of the restaurants.
You will be picked up by a driver and will travel in shared transport from Tayrona Park to Cartagena (+/- 6 hours). This is a scenic drive along the Caribbean coast with views of the ocean and the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the towns of Santa Marta and Barranquilla are also on this route.
Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful cities in the Caribbean. Its centuries-old walled city, that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, seems to have been made for people to wander around for hours. It’s maze of colorful colonial houses on narrow streets and alleys ending in shadowy squares where, in the afternoon, street musicians and dancers show the best of the swinging Caribbean culture. But there is also plenty to do outside the city walls. The archipelago of Islas del Rosario is an hour’s boat ride from the city. Of course they have the pearl white beaches and turquoise-colored sea that the Caribbean is famous for. Even closer are the beaches of Cartagena, where you can end the day with a swim in the sea and watching the enchanting sunset.
Casa Curato is an elegant hotel in the San Diego district in the historic center of Cartagena. The hotel is a renovated 18th century colonial mansion, with spacious air- conditioned rooms, an outdoor pool, rooftop terrace, and a patio with greenery.
Day 11 : Cartagena Isla Rosario
A driver will pick you up and take you to the harbor, a short drive of +/- 20 minutes. After registering your name and passport, you then take the boat to the island.
In the morning you will be picked up from the hotel to be taken to the port from where you will depart to the Rosario islands by boat. Once there, you can relax on the private beach. There are several optional activities, such as snorkeling, which can be organized on site. The typical Colombian lunch is included as well as towel service. In the afternoon,you will return in the same boat to the harbor of Cartagena where the driver will be waiting to take you to the hotel.
Please note: You will go to hotel San Pedro de Majagua. You have to be present at the port of La Bodeguita at 8:00 am. From the port to the island by boat it will take about 45 minutes.
You will be picked up at the port and brought to your hotel, a short drive of +/- 20 minutes.
Day 12 : Free day cartagena
Enjoy a day off in Cartagena. Both in the old, walled-in city center and in Getsemaní, the city district just outside, there is always something new to discover. Marvel at the remarkable murals in the streets, drink a fruit juice prepared by the Palenqueras in their African dresses, eat coconut rice with fresh fish in one of Cartagena’s many good restaurants, dance salsa and drink a cocktail overlooking the sunset. The beach is also pretty close by, for those who prefer to rest.
You will be picked up at the port and brought to your hotel, a short drive of +/- 20 minutes.