This trip to Colombia leads to the most beautiful cities and villages of the country. The capital Bogotá offers colonial architecture and world-class museums. Cartagena has a wonderfully preserved old town with city walls. In the pretty villages of Villa de Leyva and Barichara, you can take a leisurely stroll or explore the area. In Palomino you have the atmosphere of a Caribbean coastal village.
Dates: June 7 – 21, 2020, September 13 – 27, 2020
Price: from 1490.- €
Program of the trip:
Day 1: Arrive at the El Dorado international airport in Bogotá and transfer to your hotel. Your Colombia trip begins in the capital of Colombia.
Day 2: Enjoy a day in Bogotá. Visit the historic center La Candelaria or one of the many museums.
- Bike Tour Bogotá: The half-day bike tour starts in the center of La Candelaria and then leads to less frequented neighborhoods. You stop at the Paloquemao fruit and vegetable market and visit a coffee roaster where you can watch the production process of the famous Colombian coffee.
- City Tour Bogotá: With a guide you visit the center of La Candelaria and visit the famous Gold Museum (closed on Mondays) and the Botero Museum (closed on Tuesdays). Then you take the cable car to Monserrate Mountain. There you will enjoy a beautiful view over the city.
Day 3: A driver will pick you up at your hotel and transport you to the colonial village Zipaquirá (travel time: approx. 1.5 hours). You will visit the famous Salt Cathedral (catedral de sal), one of the largest underground churches in the world. The tour lasts about an hour and shows you the Way of the Cross with its fourteen stations. The path ends 180 meters underground, where the cathedral is located. After the tour, you will have some time to explore the main square of Zipaquirá. Continue to Villa de Leyva (driving time: approx. 3 more hours). But before you reach Villa de Leyva, you will make a short stop in the colorful village of Ráquira, famous for its handicrafts.
Day 4: Enjoy a day off in Villa de Leyva. There is a lot to do in the city itself or in its beautiful surroundings. You can visit the Casa Terracota or the fossil museum.
- Tour Valle de Saquenzipa: You will visit the following places (4 places can be selected): the Casa Terracota, a house built of clay; the Paleontological Museum, which houses a gigantic fossil of a more than 110 million year old sea animal; Pozos Azules, literally the blue fountains; the astronomical observatory of the Muisca, also called “el Infiernito”; the 17th century Ecce Homo Monastery.
- Horseback riding: As in the first tour, you will visit the sights of the area – but this time you are traveling by horse.
Day 5: Transport from Villa de Leyva to Barichara. The journey takes about 5 hours and leads through the beautiful landscapes of Boyacá and Santander. Barichara, located on the ridge of the canyon of the Suarez River, is often considered one of the most beautiful villages in Colombia. Its cobbled streets, dry, mild weather and beautiful surroundings make Barichara one of the pearls of the region. Its beauty has inspired various artists and craftsmen throughout the years.
Day 6: Enjoy a day off in Barichara. This beautiful village gives you the feeling of having traveled back in time. Discover its charming streets, visit the museums or enjoy the wonderful view. There is a lot to do in the Barichara area.
Day 7: In the morning you will be picked up by the driver and guide and drive to the Mesa de los Santos for a coffee tour. On this tour you will learn about the history of the beautiful Hacienda el Roble and see the organic coffee of the “Mesa de los Santos” grown there – the brand has received several awards worldwide. You will also get to know the different types of coffees grown on the hacienda, and you will attend a coffee preparation workshop.
After the tour you will be transferred to Bucaramanga. Rest of the afternoon is free.
Day 8: Transfer to the airport and flight to Santa Marta. The town of Santa Marta is located near the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast. Before being founded by the Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas, the Tayrona, an ancient pre-Columbian culture, inhabited this region. Santa Marta is an important port city and cultural center. Transfer to Palomino, around 1 hour from Santa Marta.
Day 9: Enjoy a day in the carefree coastal village of Palomino. Take a walk along the long beach, rest on a hammock as you listen to the tide of the Caribbean Sea, sip a coconut, stroll the sandy streets of the coastal village and eat fresh fish. If you feel like it, choose from one of the day trips offered.
- Tour Taironaka & Tubing Don Diego: The Taironaka Nature Reserve offers a special blend of nature and culture of the Tayrona, the natives of this area. In the jungle of this relatively unknown nature reserve, an hour’s drive from Santa Marta, there are archaeological remains of a Tayrona village. They consist of stone terraces, paths and steps that have been built by the Tayrona. Visitors can take walks on the pre-Columbian Tayrona trails and visit the archaeological museum to learn more about their culture. The descendants of the Tayrona, the native Kogi, still live here. At the end you will take a tubing tour on the river Don Diego to a beautiful beach by the sea.
- Visit Katanzama Municipality: The indigenous people of Katanzama live in a magical place at the sea. With the indigenous community leader we take a tour of the houses and parish houses, learn about the cuisine and the customs of the Arhuacos and enter the plantations to learn about their harvests and work materials. Then we sit around a tree in a sacred space, where we have the opportunity to chat with the Mamo, the spiritual leader of the community. After a short visit of the school, we are right by the sea to enjoy a delicious picnic, where we also have the opportunity to learn how traditional backpacks are woven. Finally, we enter the communal plantation and plant together with the arhuacos an endemic tree of the region. This is the sign that we leave as guests of honor.
- Tayrona Park Day Tour: The Tayrona National Park offers a variety of ways to relax. Swim in the crystal clear sea or walk along the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean. Visit Arrecifes, one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, where unfortunately you can not swim due to the strong current. Walk for 15 minutes to Arenillas beach, where you can swim. From here you can go to the famous beach La Piscina or continue to Cabo San Juan del Guía.
Day 10: Another day in Palomino. You can relax or take another day trip.
Day 11: In the morning you will be transferred to Cartagena. Cartagena de Indias is located in the middle of the Caribbean. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a highlight of every Colombia trip. On the coast of Cartagena, you can go swimming and watch enchanting sunsets.
Day 12: A local guide will pick you up at your hotel around 9am. Together with your guide, you will make a 4-hour tour of the city. You visit different parts of the city, but especially you can see the highlights of the old town of Cartagena. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 13: Enjoy a day off in Cartagena. A walk in the historic center will give you the feeling of being transported back in time. You can also make one of the day trips offered.
- Daytrip Rosario Islands: In the morning you will be picked up and taken to the port, where you can take a fast motorboat to the Isla Grande, the largest island in the Rosario archipelago. The island is also great for water sports such as diving, snorkeling and paddle boarding. These optional activities can be arranged at the hotel on the island. A typical Colombian lunch is included in the price. In the late afternoon you will return to Cartagena with the same boat, where the driver will take you to the hotel.
- Volcano Totumo: A local guide will pick you up at your hotel to visit the Totumo volcano. The volcano is on the way to Barranquilla, about 1 hour from Cartagena. After your arrival you can climb the volcano and take a clay bath. Then you can take a refreshing dip in Manzanillo Lake. Lunch is included.
- La Boquilla & mangroves: The Pescador de Letras Foundation is a social project for disadvantaged children in the fishing village of La Boquilla, just outside Cartagena. This Colombian-Dutch foundation not only offers children a good education, it also organizes sports activities and projects for their social and psychological development that give them the prospect of a brighter future.
Day 14: Transfer to the airport and flight to Bogota. Arrival in Bogotá and transfer to the hotel.
Day 15: At the agreed time you will be transferred to the airport to take your international flight home.
Finally, you can crown your trip to Colombia with one of these two offers:
- In the beautiful 4 * Resort Punta Faro on the island of Mucura you can enjoy pure Caribbean fun for 4 days / 3 nights with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters.
- In the nature reserve Sanguaré you will find a sustainably built beach hotel in beautiful surroundings. Here you stay 4 days / 3 nights. You can swim, snorkel or dive here, but also go on hikes.