Colombia’s politics may grab the headlines, but what is less well known is the incredible biodiversity of nature and wildlife that lives within its borders. On this trip you will be immersed into a world of steaming jungles, sweet-scented mountain flowers and dazzling bird life. From the capital, fly south to explore the Amazon jungle and to meet and learn from the local Mocagua community - canopy walkways, river trips and a stay in a stunning ecoretreat all help to make this a real adventure. Then head the the north coast and the sleepy cobbled streets of historic Cartagena, before finishing surrounded by nature again at Tayrona National Park, nestled between the mountains and the Caribbean Sea.
Day 1: Upon arrival into Bogota, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the evening.
Day 2: The best way to explore the historic heart of the capital city is definitely by bike. On your ride you will visit La Candelaria, the most beautiful part of this vibrant city, with streets lined with stunning old colonial buildings, the Plaza de Bolivar and some of the most beautifully constructed churches to be found in Latin America. (B)
Day 3: It's time to fly south to the frontier town of Leticia, deep in the Amazon Jungle. After you have settled into your hotel, set out on a walking tour of this fascinating town, starting with the Museo Etnográfico to learn about the indigenous cultures of the region, before enjoying the city’s parks, handicraft shops and a taste of local brew 'chuchuhuaza', an Amazonian aphrodisiac drink made from an endemic species of tree. (B/D)
Day 4: Head further into the jungle as you take a 30 minute boat trip to Calanoa Lodge, a simple yet beautiful jungle retreat. From here you can visit the nearby Mocagua community, which has a strong relationship with the lodge, where the villagers will give you a wonderful understanding of how people live and thrive in the rainforest today. After lunch embark on a hike through the forest joined by a local guide who will point out the various weird and wonderful things that call the Amazon home. Return to the lodge by canoe, coasting along the Matamata stream which marks the border with the Amacayacu Natural National Park. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Today is an unforgettable trip along the Amazon River, starting with a visit to Puerto Nariño, the second largest town in the department of Amazonas after Leticia, but also an experiment in ecological community living where no road vehicles are allowed. The afternoon is spent immersed in the natural world as you travel up river to Tarapoto Lake, where you might be lucky enough to see many interesting species including grey and pink river dolphins. (B/L/D)
Day 6: From the canopy to the Caribbean! Today will flood your senses with sights, sounds and smells as you travel from the deep Amazon jungle to the picturesque streets of old town Cartagena. After a morning exploring the lodge area you will head to the airport for your flight to Cartagena, then as you enter the old town you will feel like you have stepped into a different world. Sumptuous colonial buildings and a riot of colour fill the small streets, taking you back to a different time. (B)
Day 7: This morning travel about 20 minutes to La Boquilla, a small fishing village just outside of Cartagena where you can experience local culture not often seen by other tourists. Take a canoe trip through the mangrove ecosystem, one of the most remarkable natural environments around Cartagena due to its rich fauna and diversity of vegetation. You have the chance to explore the village before heading back to Cartagena. where the afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B/L)
Day 8: Today is free for you to meander through the stunning old town, explore Isla De Rosarios or simply spend the day relaxing, it's totally up to you. (B)
Day 9: After saying goodbye to the charms of Cartagena you will be transferred to the awe-inspiring Tayrona National Park, which covers almost 12,000 hectares of land and 3000 hectares of sea with scenery varying from sandy beaches to rainforest-covered hills. It truly is a stunning area to explore with 56 endangered species that call the park home, but most stay out of sight deep within the forest. (B)
Days 10-12: Free days for you to relax and enjoy this incredible part of Colombia. (B)
Day 13: Sadly it's time to say goodbye to this wonderful country as you are driven back to Santa Marta Airport for your return flight to Bogota. (B)
Prices from: £1500 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!