Explore the communities, people and culture that make this country so special. From ancient colonial towns to indigenous communities and Colombia's modern cities, this holiday will allow you to experience the meeting place between the ancient and the new, where Colombia's rich traditional past blends seamlessly with its vibrant modern outlook for the future. You will witness communities that have not changed in centuries and cities that have been in a constant state of transformation over the past 3 decades. All of this will be done against a stunning backdrop, from the coffee covered slopes of the Andes to the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean.
Day 1: Upon arrival into Bogota airport you will be met my one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel for the evening.
Day 2: Today is all about exploring Bogotá. You will first visit the Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao, one of the biggest and most recognized local markets in Bogotá, where all traditional produce and ingredients of Colombian cuisine can be found. You will be guided through the exquisite flower market, overflowing with sweet scents & vibrant colours before hitting the popular food stalls for a real local experience. After this you will hope on a bike and stretch those legs as you explore the La Candelaria, the historical hear of Bogota. You will ride down streets lined with stunning old colonial buildings, though the famous Plaza be Bolivar and pass by some of the most beautifully constructed churches to be found in Latin America. (B)
Day 3: Only 1 hour form Bogota you will find the town of Sesquilé where you will start the 40 minute walk to the to the home of the Mhuysqa Community. Upon arrival, the Community will chat about their traditions, daily activities and beliefs. You will sit with the village elders gathered around a wood fire in the "The Cusmuy" (smoky hut) before continuing on a short walk around the forest where you will see their small school and the grand-father’s temple.In the afternoon participate in a special local experience as you cook up a storm with the community, learning traditional cooking methods with local ingredients. (B/L)
Day 4: Today you will experience two unmissable and very different spectacles in the surrounding countryside. About 1.5hrs outside of the city, travelling passed fields of flower farms you will reach the incredible Salt Cathedral, a staggering feat of engineering. Here you will explore the underground cathedral built into the rich salt mines common to this area.
Once you have emerged back onto the light of day to is on to the stunning town of Villa de Leyva. This is one of the most beautiful towns in the Andes, a well-preserved colonial jewel with an enormous plaza surrounded by Spanish style houses, small alleys, cobblestone streets and the XVII century parochial church. You will stay in this beautiful town for the evening. (B)
Day 5: You will head back to the airport in Bogota for hour short flight to Medellin where you will be met and taken to your hotel to relax for the afternoon.(B)
Day 6: Medellin epitomises the change that Colombia has seen over the last few decades. Led by your local guide this tour will show the symbolic areas of Medellín from the 1980's, when the city was one of the most dangerous in the world, up to the present day and some of the many projects that fostered the city’s change. You will visit the areas that Pablo Escobar called home ad learn how he bought the local communities with lavish donations and housing projects. However to understand the history of Medellin you also have to visit to the Comuna 13, famous for its graffiti art that depicts the history and transformations of the city. Guided by local artists this will give you an fascinating insight into the importance of street art for social communication and identity.(B)
Day 7: Experience Colombia's coffee culture by visiting the farm of Don Octavio Acevedo and his family for the day. Amazingly they produce their own coffee brand on less than three hectares of land and will guide you through the whole coffee making process from plant cup. Before lunch you will stroll through the beautiful coffee fields learning about growing and collecting the precious beans. After a traditional lunch you will see the roasting process and their own unique way to prepare the coffee. (B)
Day 8: Every year Medellin hosts the incredible Flower Fair, a riot of colour, sounds and smells with flowers grown in the surrounding area adoring houses, floats and any other spare space to be found! The growers and masters of these floral creations are called Silleteros and you will be visiting one of their plantations today. These plantations are found covering the lush green hills of the Andes surrounding Medellin and on the way you will stop for a traditional lunch to take in the sheer beauty of this area. It is then on to the home of the local farmers and connoisseurs of the Silleteros art. The rest of the afternoon will be spent with these farmers learning form them and discovering this incredible art form.
After such a great day you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Cartagena (B)
Day 9: Cartagena may be one of the most special towns in Latin America and today you have the chance to explore. With the turquoise waters of the Carribean lapping at its feet, the old town holds the secrets to a quite incredible history. You will find ancient Churches nestled amongst cobbled streets, lined by beautiful colonial buildings and adorned with flowers of every colour. You will explore fortresses with the most incredible views and originally built to withstand Pirate attacks with its underground tunnels, galleries and passageways, monasteries holding secrets of the ages and the markets that help modern day Cartagenians make a living. (B/L)
Day 10: Today you will travel about 20 minutes to ¨La Boquilla¨, a small fishing village where you will experience the local culture of Cartagena not often seen by other tourists. Take a canoe trip through the mangrove ecosystem which is one of the most remarkable natural environments around Cartagena due to its rich fauna and diversity of vegetation. You will then have a chance to explore the little village of La Boquilla before heading back to Cartagena where you will have the afternoon free to explore on your own. (B/L)
Day 11: Time to say goodbye to Colombia as you are transferred to the airport in time for your return flight home (B)
Prices from: £1750 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
Best Time To Travel
Best time to visit: Dec - Mar
Colombia’s proximity to the equator keeps regional temperatures stable throughout the year, around 24°C (75°F) along the coast and 7–17°C (45–63°F) as you move higher inland. However, rainfall does vary with the seasons. In the Andean region there are two dry and two wet seasons per year, and the driest months, being from December to March and July to August. In low-lying areas, especially southern Colombia, rainfall is more constant but showers never last very long