Columbia – the unknown south
This Colombia trip brings you to the less known and less visited south of the country. The capital Bogotá and Medellin, the country’s second largest city, form the start and finish of the trip. In San Agustin you will find the most interesting archaeological site of Colombia. Next to Cartagena, Popayán is the most beautiful colonial city of the country. In the villages of Silvia and Misak you will meet traditional indigenous people. In Colombias coffee region you will see how coffee is grown and you will take a tour on one of the coffee farms.
Program of the Columbia trip:
Day 1: Arrival at el Dorado Internacional Airport in Bogotá and transfer to your hotel. Your Colombia trip begins in the capital of Colombia.
Day 2: Enjoy a free day in Bogotá. Visit the historic centre La Candelaria or one of the fabulous museums.
- Bike tour Bogotá: The half-day bike tour starts in the center of La Candelaria and then leads to less visited parts of the city. You will stop at the Paloquemao fruit and vegetable market and then visit a coffee roastery where you can watch the process of making the famous Colombian coffee.
- City tour Bogotá: With a guide, you will visit the center of La Candelaria, the famous Gold Museum (closed on Mondays) and the Botero Museum (closed on Tuesdays). Then you take the cable car up Monserrate Mountain. There you will enjoy a wonderful view over the city.
Day 3: You will be picked up from the hotel and drive to Villavieja in 7 to 8 hours. The village is on the edge of the Tatacoa Desert. The Tatacoa is actually not a desert, but a dry tropical forest. Here you will find rare lunar landscapes and red, gray and ocher-colored rock canyons.
Tag 4: In the early morning you will be picked up by a driver and a local guide and taken to the Tatacoa Desert. On the hike through the Cuzco Canyon, the guide will inform you about the geological features and the local fauna and flora. Afterwards you visit the surreal landscapes in the gray part of the desert. Here you can cool off in a natural pool in the middle of the landscape.
In the afternoon drive to San Agustin.
Tag 5: In the morning you will be picked up and taken to the Archaeological Park of San Agustin. There are hundreds of statues of animals, humans and monsters made from volcanic rock. It is believed that these sculptures were made between 50 and 400 AD. by a pre-Columbian people. In a half-day tour you will hike through the sculpture forest, visit the park museum and the fuente de lavapatas, in which cave drawings have been engraved.
Tag 6: Drive to Popayán (5 hours). On the way we pass the national park Puracé. Here you can enjoy the view of the moors and volcanoes of the nature reserve.
Popayán, also known as the “white city”, is next to Cartagena the most beautiful colonial city in Colombia. The city was founded by the Spaniards in 1537, is located at 1737m above sea level and, due to its mild climate, was popular with rich sugar cane planters who built many houses, churches and monasteries. Today Popayán is a university town with wonderful colonial architecture and breathtaking surroundings.
Day 7: Most of the day is at your leisure. You can explore Popayán and visit the churches and monasteries. Or you can climb the Cerro Morro del T # ulcan, from where you have a beautiful view of the city.
In the afternoon you will be brought to Silvia (one and a half hours).
Day 8: Silvia is a village at an altitude of 2600m. The place is known for its weekly market on Tuesdays. The local Guambianos come from the area to sell their products in the market. The Guambianos are one of the most traditional indigenous peoples of Colombia, with their own traditional clothing, agricultural techniques and their own language.
After visiting the market, we head to the Misak ethnic group area. You will visit the local homes of traditional craftsmen, musicians and doctors and have a cultural exchange. After a meal in a local house, we drive back to the hotel in Silvia.
Day 9: In the morning, we take a hike to traditional sites in the Misak community. The hike covers 7 kilometers at an altitude of 2800m to 3600m. You will pass ritual, ceremonial places where offerings are made for the Pachamama.
Day 10: Drive from Silvia to the coffee region (approx. 7 hours). On the drive through this region we pass endless green mountains, colorful villages with traditional Paisa architecture and many coffee plantations. Overnight in the pretty little town of Salento.
Day 11: Today you will visit the nature reserve La Carbonera, where there are many Quindío wax palms, the national tree of Colombia and the tallest palm species in the world. On the way, you will make a stop in the cloud forest, home to pumas, spectacled bears, eagles and other animals. In the nature reserve, a one and a half hour hike through the Cocora Valley is on the program. The destination is Finca La Carbonera, a farm with 200 years of history where you can drink sugar cane tea and observe several species of hummingbird. After that, we visit the Nido de las Águilas farm, where a typical lunch will be served. After lunch you decide whether you want to be brought back to Salento by jeep or whether you want to walk this route (15 km).
Tag 12: Today a visit to the Ocaso coffee farm is on the program. On a guided tour you can see how coffee is grown. You will learn about the manufacturing process from the coffee bean to the finished coffee. Of course, you can also try the delicious coffee.
Day 13: Drive to Medellin (approx. 7 hours). Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, once had a very bad reputation. Today the city is the most modern and progressive in Colombia. A sophisticated public transport system can be found here, with Colombia’s only subway and cable cars and escalators connecting the city to the surrounding hills. Medellin is located in a green valley and is nicknamed “City of Eternal Spring” due to its good climate.
Day 14: The day is free to explore Medellin. You can walk around the El Poblado district, which is full of trendy restaurants and coffee houses. If you explore the city by underground and cable cars, you will discover exciting views of the city and the surrounding area. You can admire numerous bulging sculptures by the sculptor Fernando Botero in the center of Medellin or take a stroll through the remarkable botanical garden.
Day 15: The journey ends on this day. If you want to add a beach holiday as an extension, you can fly with a small plane to Nuqui on the Pacific or to Capurgana on the Caribbean.