Colombia Tailor-made Holidays
South America's rising phoenix awaits you in 2019
Explore Colombia your way with a tailor-made holiday designed specially for you. Whether you want to discover the colourful Caribbean cities and beautifully preserved colonial towns, or head into the jungle for mysterious archaeological ruins, our team of tailor-made experts are here to create your dream itinerary. Just let us know where you want to go, what you want to see and any activities you want to include and we'll do the rest with your choice of accommodation and departure.
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When planning your holiday we go a step beyond and include some special and unique experiences.Read more about our approach to designing your tailor-made holiday.
Must-see destinations on a tailor-made holiday to Colombia
Thanks to Colombia's rich cultural heritage of Afro-Caribbean and Spanish influences, its cities are are a top attraction with bright, attractive buildings and historic monuments. Colonial towns have remained incredibly well-preserved while wild jungles hide evocative ruins that tell stories of ancient cultures. Here are a selection of such destinations to get you started with your holiday planning.
Useful tips for planning your tailor-made holiday to Colombia
How long would you like to holiday in Colombia for?
You can cover Colombia's best known attractions in eight days. To save on travel the most efficient route is to start in Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Then fly to the impressive city of Medellin before travelling by road to the scenic coffee region. It's then a short fly to Bogota where you can pick up your international departure flight.
If you want to get off the beaten track and head further south to the mysterious archaeological site of San Agustin, or include a few days in the gorgeous colonial town of Villa de Leyva just north of Bogota, allow anything from two weeks to 18 days.
What sort of accommodation would you prefer?
While Colombia continues to develop as a world-class tourism destination, accommodation options fall on either end of the spectrum - budget or high-end. There's plenty of hostels, guesthouses and 3 star hotels that are good value for money but sail closer to the rustic side, especially in places like Tayrona National Park where the jungle lodges put you right in the heart of the wilderness, and the Coffee Zone where you can stay in attractive haciendas.
Mid-range options are few and far between. If you want anything resembling luxury then you will have to go for pricey boutique properties or 5 star hotels and pay accordingly.
Would you like to be accompanied by a guide throughout your trip?
We always include the services of qualified English speaking local guides from Colombia at each of the places you visit. These guides know their cities and towns inside and out and are best placed to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. We can also arrange for a national guide/escort to accompany you throughout your holiday, so if you would prefer this option, please ask us for associated prices.
What internal transport options would you prefer?
With the Andes mountains running through the centre of the country, road travel is slow. Highways are generally undeveloped and the winding mountain roads add hours onto journeys that aren't too great a distance. In most cases, the best way to get around is by air. There are plenty of domestic airports in Colombia connecting towns and cities with a healthy number of airlines keeping prices competitive. Fuel is expensive in Colombia, which can sometimes mean that a domestic flight is much better value for money than a private transfer by car.
Some journeys will only allow for road transfers, like the trip from Bogota to Villa de Leyva. Others are best suited to flying and our team will recommend the best transport methods for your particular itinerary.
What pace of travel would you be comfortable with?
As Colombia's top destinations are quite spread out, there will be a fair amount of travel involved in any holiday itinerary. Generally speaking a half day of travel is required to get from one spot to the next, whether you're flying or being transferred by road. You can then spend the second half of that day on a guided tour of the city or town you're in. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, allow yourself more time in each place so you can enjoy a day at leisure. This is particularly recommended in places like Cartagena and Tayrona National Park where there's so much to discover and enjoy.
If you can't resist visiting the Caribbean without including a bit of downtime on the beach, the best option near Cartagena is Providencia Island. It's a 2hr flight away via San Andres Island. On this island you'll find white sand beaches and lovely boutique hotels. Another good option is Isla Mucura, which has a minimum two night stay so you won't find any day trippers here. Secluded and small, it's perfect for a spot of relaxation after your touring of Colombia.
Are there aspects of Colombia that you are particularly interested in?
Whether you want to give a salsa dance class a go or refine your coffee tasting skills, just let our team know of any activities you want to include in your holiday. In Cartagena you can visit the local markets and then try your hand at cooking a typical Colombian dish. If you're including San Gil - the adventure capital, on your itinerary then you can also choose from thrilling activities like white water rafting, mountain biking and paragliding.
How you can make the most of your budget
Colombia is not the cheapest travel destination in South America but it's certainly not the most expensive. To make your money go further, opt for 3 star hotels and guesthouses. If your itinerary includes a number of flights then book as early as possible to get the cheaper fares. Colombia is a year-round destination but December to April is peak season thanks to Christmas and Holy Week so travel outside of these months for better availability and prices. To keep costs down you can also opt for a driver/guide in the Bogota and Medellin region rather than having a driver accompanied by an English-speaking guide. Ask us for more info.
Inspirations for a tailor-made holiday to Colombia
If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary to make your trip to Colombia one you'll never forget, check out these suggestions of unique experiences to add to your itinerary.
Learn to salsa in Cali
Situated in the southwest of Colombia, the city of Cali is synonymous with salsa and there's a plethora of dancing schools offering everything from drop-in classes for beginners to week-long workshops for enthusiasts. It's a reasonably priced activity and once the day of lessons draws to an end you can head out and put those new moves to practice in the pulsating nightclubs.
Stay on a coffee farm
As one of the world's largest producers of coffee, it's little wonder that Colombia is known for the quality of beans, especially the arabica and robusta. To really get to grips with Colombia and its coffee legacy, spend a night or two on a traditional coffee farm, known as 'finca' in Spanish. The verdant Zona Cafetera has many quaint homestays where you can base yourself.
Join the party in Barranquilla
Everyone's heard of Rio's famous Carnival but if you want to combine your trip to Colombia with a colourful street party then head to the city of Barranquilla located on the Caribbean coast. Each year the city becomes a riot of fun costumes, vibrant floats, wild dancing and intoxicating beats for the Carnaval de Barranquilla. Book early to secure accommodation.
Head into the Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest accounts for almost a third of Colombia's landmass yet it remains largely undeveloped, which means far fewer visitors than the share of the jungle that neighbouring Peru receives. Fly to the frontier town of Leticia in the far southeast before heading off into the rainforest for wildlife viewing and nature walks.
Suggested Tailor-made Holiday itineraries for Colombia:
Whether it's your first time visiting Colombia and want to cover the main highlights or if you have your heart set on the country's verdant coffee region or a memorable trek into the jungle, we've got a selection of touring itineraries to get you inspired.
Trek to Colombia's Lost City
If your perfect holiday involves a bit of adventure then consider trekking to the enigmatic Ciudad Perdida in Colombia. The five-day return trek takes you through wild jungle dotted with small villages ignored by modern living. Crossing rivers and cable bridges, you'll feel like Indiana Jones as you make your way to the ancient ruins that still remain something of a mystery to archaeologists. Once completed, you can spend time relaxing by the beach in Tayrona National Park.