Best of Colombia: cities, coffee and exotic beaches

Rainforest, Caribbean Coast

Colombia is a breath-taking country, which is just being discovered by tourism and his travelers. During this journey, you will experience the beauty of Colombian nature and culture. The itinerary takes you through different climates and landscapes ranging from the green highlands to the warm Caribbean coast. And everything is complemented by authentic encounters with hospitable Co-lombians. Beside the travel programme you will always have the opportunity to take a break from everyday life.

Highlights

  • Gold Museum in Bogotá – on the path of El Dorado
  • Coffee process in a Coffee Hacienda
  • Medellin – the so-called city of eternal spring
  • Pacific coast – beach, jungle and whales
  • Tayrona National Park – the wild Caribbean beaches
  • Cartagena – Colonial architecture, pirates and the sea, UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day 1 Bogotá

    At the airport, you will be expected from our driver. It is possible to exchange your cur-rency after arrival. The most convenient would be to withdraw money from the ATM. They are located after the arrival zone in the exit area. Ask the driver to take care of your luggage an accompany you.

    Day 2 Bogotá

    Visit the traditional market Paloquemao, a huge market hall with more than 1800 stands with fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, herbs, flowers and handcrafts. Enjoy the colourful outdoor flower market and gaze at the numerous exotic fruits.
    During the walking tour of Bogotá, you will enjoy the contrast of the modern and his-torical part of the city. You will see the most important buildings from the colonial era in La Candelaria, the old town of Bogotá, as well as the government district around Plaza Bolívar with its Cathedral, Palace of Justice, Parliament and Town Hall. Visit Bogotá’s famous museum of the artist Fernando Botero, with its outstanding collection of contemporaneous art. Experience how the unique emeralds were traded. The Gold Museum is a highlight, with its unique collection of pre-Columbian gold jewelry. If the weather is nice you will drive to Monserrate where you have a spectacular view of the big city.

    Day 3 Bogotá – Armenia

    During this tour, you will learn everything about Colombian coffee, one of the world’s best. The Colombian coffee landscape, declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO has unique geographic qualities, resulting in a cup of coffee characterized by a medium-high acidity, round body, good balance and pronounced aroma. The tour in the coffee farm will follow the procedure of growing, harvesting and peeling of the beans. Learn about the particular attributes of the Colombian coffee through a delicious sensorial trip. By the end of the session you will be able to recognize coffee beans according to its characteristics and will have a guided tasting of 3 different coffee categories.

    Day 4 Armenia

    You will visit the Cocora valley, located at an altitude between 2000 and 2400m (6.500 and 7.900ft) this cloud forest is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park and the principal location of the national tree and symbol of Colombia, the Quindío wax palm. The journey is meant to be walking for about 60min but if you want to travel a longer distance your guide will arrange horses to discover the valley! On your way back from the mountains, you should have lunch in the restaurant that looks at the valley so you can enjoy the view while eating. The typical meal visitors always have is Trucha al ajillo (grilled trout in garlic sauce) but there are more options.

    Day 5 Armenia – Nuquí

    Today’s boat trip takes you along the coast to your lodge, where you’ll spend the next few days. You have the opportunity to get to know the area around the lodge, visiting the rainforest and the “waterfall of love”. Alternatively, you can take a swim in the Pacific.

    Day 6 Nuquí

    During the next few days you have the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic scenery of the Colombian Pacific coast. In consultation with the local guides you will seek out tours and activities. Choose between hikes of different length and difficulty or rent snorkel gear, kayaks or surfboards. From June to October there are excellent opportunities for whale watching. During this season humpback whales come to the bays of the Colombian Pacific coast to calve. The hikes take you deep into the rainforest, where you have the opportunity to observe poison dart frogs, monkeys and numerous bird species. Try the exquisitely prepared meals with fresh fish.

    Day 7 Nuquí

    Take a boat trip to watch the whales jumping in the ocean. You have the opportunity to marvel and observe the humpback whale in their usual living space. They come from Patagonia and appear at the bay of the Colombian Pacific coast between June and October to give birth to their kids.

    Day 8 Nuquí – Medellín

    Leave this wonderful place and get back to civilization. You drive back to Nuquí by boat and fly directly to Medellin, the city of eternal spring.
    The driver will pick you up at the International Airport and drive you to your hotel in Medellin.

    Day 9 Medellín

    The guided tour of Medellín starts at Pueblito Paisa, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the city. The next destination is the historic center of Medellín. At the Parque Berrio you can listen to local musicians playing traditional Guasca music. Then visit the Plaza Botero, where you can see an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The tour continues through the busy streets of the center of Medellín to the Parque Bolivar, one of the most beautiful places of the city. The tour continues with a cable car ride (Metrocable) into the neighborhood Santo Domingo, which was in Escobars time notorious for gangs and violence. Immerse yourself in the exciting story of the transformation of Medellín, which was once one of the most dangerous cities in the world and has transformed into an exciting cultural place.

    Day 10 Medellín – Santa Marta

    Transfer from the airport Simón Bolívar to your hotel in Santa Marta.

    Day 11 Santa Marta

    Today you will enjoy a city tour through the colonial city Santa Marta. You explore the restored historic center and walk along the sea promenade. A little bit outside of the town you will visit the Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino, the country home where Simon Bolivar spent his last days.

    Day 12 Santa Marta – Minca

    You drive along the mountain range Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and around 30 minutes later you arrive at the Tayrona National Park. There is a trail that takes you af-ter an almost 2-hour hike to Arrecifes, where you can relax and enjoy the beach. If you hiked not enough after another hour you will arrive at the famous Cabo San Juan, where you can cool off in the crystal-clear water. For active hikers, there is the possibility to take over a more extended version of the hike to the ruins of Pueblito, a city of the Tayrona indigenous people.

    Day 13 Minca

    Enjoy the nature of the quiet village Minca, in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the world´s highest coastal mountain. You will hike along rivers with crystal waters to the “Cascada del amor”, the waterfall of love. Cool down under small waterfalls and gaze the diversity of flora and flauna. Maybe you will find a transparent butterfly?

    Day 14 Minca – Cartagena

    You will drive from Minca via Barranquilla to Cartagena. You will cross the Río Magdalena in Barranquilla, where the famous Colombian singer Shakira was born. This river measures 1538m and is the longest river of the country. Enjoy the beautiful sea view during this ride along the Atlantic coast. If you fancy, you can visit one of the small fishing villages you drive through during this trip.

    Day 15 Cartagena

    To get to know the city better you start with a visit to the hill of La Popa. At this highest point of Cartagena, Augustinian monks built a monastery in the 16th century. From here, you have a perfect view of the bay of Cartagena and the most important colonial port city of the Spaniards South America. Then visit the Fort San Felipe, which was built by the Spaniards to protect the rich city of Cartagena against attacks from the mainland. Cartagena was the place, where the looted treasures of the Incas by the Spaniards and the gold and silver treasures from the mines of Peru and Bolivia were stored for shipping to Spain. Thus, the city was repeatedly the object of desire of many pirates. In the labyrinthine corridors of the fortress, you feel transferred back to the pirate’s time. From the fortress, you walk through the colonial Old Town. If desired, you can stop for a cold fruit juice drink. During a walk through the well-preserved old town, visit the important historic buildings and churches. Get an overview of the city and try to orient yourself to be able to walk through the city on your own in the after-noon, go souvenir shopping at the city wall and admire the sunset from the Café del Mar on the city walls.

    Day 16 Cartagena

    Transfer to the airport in Cartagena on time for your flight.

    Services included:

  • Transfers in private car/van/coach from/to the airport
  • Overland transfers in private car/van/coach according to the program
  • Excursions with English speaking local guides according to the program (incl. entrance fees) (other languages on request)
  • Accommodation in double room
  • On loan prepaid mobile phone

  • Services not included:

  • International flight to Colombia
  • Domestic flights
  • Tip and local taxes