Bogota to Tayrona - 10 days
From Bogota - Colombia's capital city, travel north to the spectacular beauty and white sand beaches of Tayrona National Park. Stop off en route at the unusual salt-hewn temple of Zipaquira and artisan town of Raquira, explore colonial Villa de Leyva, discover lush coffee plantations and stunning Cocora Valley, and wander around colourful Cartagena.
Bogota City Tour
Today a guided sightseeing tour introduces you to some of the city’s culture and history. Your first stop will be an early morning visit to the colourful Paloquemao Market, one of the largest and important in the country. Here you can witness the interactions between seller and buyer, as you browse the variety of fruit, vegetables, cheeses and medicinal herbs on offer. You’ll also get to enjoy a sampling of exotic fruits and small snack.
Continuing on, your guided tour takes you to the famous and well-preserved historical colonial quarter of La Candelaria. If you fancy yourself a bit of whizz behind the lens, these picturesque streets make the perfect subject for stunning travel photos. As you stroll through the streets you’ll pass such sights as the library of Luis Nagel Arango and the prominent Plaza de Bolivar, the heart of Bogota. Surrounding the square are remarkable historical buildings, including the Cathedral, Congress Palace, Independence House, Palace of Justice and City Hall.
Your next stop will be Monserrate Hill, referred to locally as the Cerro de Monserrate. This forested mountain has a charming white catholic church sitting upon its summit, where on a clear day you can enjoy a stunning view over the city below. Continue on to the Museo del Oro - where you can learn about the history of gold in Colombia, followed by Museo de Botero - displaying a selection of artwork from a variety of world-renowned artists.
Overnight: Bogota | Breakfast, Lunch
Bogota – Villa de Leyva. Leaving Bogota behind your journey continues to the small town of Zipaquira, famed for its extraordinary salt-hewn Stations of the Cross. Crafted from the salt mine tunnels under the Halite Mountains, this impressive architectural feat boasts three naves, numerous sculptures and cavernous pools and is a popular local pilgrimage site. From here you’ll travel to the small town of Satatausa where you’ll explore its quaint colonial church, which displays a selection of 17th century paintings by anonymous artists.
A break for lunch will be followed by a visit to the artisan town of Raquira, renowned for its pottery and colourful architecture. Your first stop here will be to one of the many factories on the outskirts of town where members of the local community produce clay pots and decorations. Here you’ll have the chance to observe the process of creating these handicrafts. Later you’ll head into the town centre for some free time to wander around its quaint and colourful streets. Nearby is the Monasterio La Candelaria, which dates back to 1604 and was the first convent to be built in Latin America. Enjoy a short tour of this convent before continuing to Villa de Leyva in the late afternoon.
Overnight: Villa de Leyva | Breakfast
Villa de Leyva – Zona Cafetera. Get acquainted with Villa de Leyva today with a morning walking tour. Originally founded in 1572 Villa de Leyva is brimming with remnants from its colonial era, with its wooden balconies, decorative arches and wooden and brass laden doors. This quiet town has an easy going ambience that is quick to charm. After a break for lunch, drive to Bogota airport for your flight to the Zona Cafetera.
Overnight: Villa de Leyva | Breakfast
This morning embark on a full day guided excursion to some of Colombia’s most charming villages and small towns, plus the truly spectacular Cocora Valley. Your first port of call will be the traditional village of Filandia, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the small town centre with its colourful Plaza de Bolivar, quaint colonial streets and typical fondas, or restaurant-bars, where you can sample the local liquor. Just outside of town is the Colina Iluminada viewpoint where you can enjoy views of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle.
Departing Filandia, continue your journey to the majestic Cocora Valley home to the wax palm – the tallest variety of palm tree in the world and Colombia’s national tree. Prepare to be amazed by the natural beauty and diversity of flora and fauna here before enjoying a warming local cocktail called canelazo, a popular tipple across most of South America. Later a guided tour will take you through the forest landscape to learn about the importance of conservation in the area. You can even do your part in protecting the environment by planting your very own wax palm with the Ritual de la Palma. Enjoy a traditional lunch of smoked trout before continuing to your next stop, Salento.
Dating back to 1842, Salento is one of the area’s first settlements and is today home to centuries-old buildings housing restaurants, bars, handicraft shops and souvenir stores. There’s free time to explore this charming town before journeying back to the Zona Cafetera and your hotel for the evening.
Overnight: Zona Cafetera | Breakfast, Lunch
Coffee tour & Butterfly Garden
Zona Cafetera – Cartagena. As you wake in the heart of Colombia’s Zona Cafetera, what better way to spend the day than by learning about the country’s production of this aromatic bean? Start the day with a visit to the Hacienda Combia coffee farm where you’ll embark on a unique nine stop interactive tour that recreates the essential elements, environmental conditions and technical processes required to grow Colombia’s high quality coffee.
After a break for lunch continue on to a Botanical and Butterfly Garden. Stretching across ten hectares of Andean forest, this garden is home to 180 species of butterfly along with 850 varieties of local flora and 126 species of bird. Enjoy a walking tour here before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Cartagena.
Overnight: Cartagena | Breakfast, Lunch
Spend today getting familiar with the colourful city of Cartagena, where the cobble-stone streets are lined with beautiful colonial architecture and artisans ply their trade to the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages. Begin today with a walking tour of the city starting with the Convento de la Popa, a 17th century convent nestled on a hilltop overlooking the city below, followed by a visit to the Castillo de San Felope – a once-powerful fortress built in the 1600s under Spanish colonisation.
Your tour continues with a walk through La Bovedas, a series of vaults that were first built for military purposes in the 18th century and today house colourful craft market stalls. Your walking tour ends with a stroll through the cobbled streets of this charming city, so that you can admire its many colonial houses, flower-adorned balconies, pretty squares and bustling plazas.
This afternoon a different kind of tour awaits, one that that is bound to get your taste buds tingling. Join a gastronomic walking tour of Cartagena led by a local guide, where you’ll have the opportunity to get a real taste of Colombian cuisine as you make stops at seven authentic food vendors, each with a different delicious tasting.
Overnight: Cartagena | Breakfast
Cartagena – Tayrona National Park. On the morning of day 8 you’ll be transferred to your next and final port of call – the impressive Tayrona National Park. With a spectacular coastline, beautiful beaches, mangrove swamps, green forest and verdant mountain peaks, it is no wonder why Tayrona is considered one of Colombia’s most precious natural treasures. The variety of flora and fauna is extraordinary here, as is the presence of several indigenous communities. Spend the remainder of today and tomorrow enjoying the history, activities and nature this national park has to offer.
Overnight: Tayrona National Park | Breakfast x 2
Tayrona National Park
Today your touring arrangements in Colombia come to an end. After breakfast and hotel check-out you will be transferred to Santa Marta airport for your onward travel.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are ‘per person’ based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults in twin/double occupancy. The single supplement price needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.Read More