Colombia’s pulse beats strong with a red-hot culture steeped in history, art, and tradition. Thriving cities, remote jungles, and warm, welcoming people await you in this multi-faceted jewel of South America.
Bogotá – Coffee Region – Cocora Valley – Medellín – Cartagena
• Transportation while on tour
• 9 nights at 4-star accommodations
• Breakfast daily
• 1 Lunches
• 4 Dinners
• Explorations LEAD (Liasion to Experiences, Adventure, & Discovery)
• Local Guides
• Visa or travel documents that may be needed
• Meals that are not shown
• Items of a personal nature
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Day 1: Bogotá, Colombia - Tour Begins
The allure of a red-hot culture steeped in history, art, and tradition sweeps across stunning Caribbean landscapes drawing you to Colombia – South America’s Andean oasis. In the cradle of the Andean peaks, discover a Technicolour amalgam of culture, history, and romance in Bogotá – Colombia’s elevated capital city.
Day 2: Bogotá
Colombia’s heart beats in Bogotá. Discover why on a walking tour along the calles, the plazas, past painted brick and around emerald parks. Get lost in a mélange of colour and spice with a visit to Paloquemao Market. In here it’s a sensory feast – a happy overload of exotic fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, herbs, and flowers. Embark on a tasting journey through the market’s rainbow displays while your guide dishes out some favourite samples. All that glitters is indeed gold at the Museo del Oro, where 55,000 pieces of gold from pre-Hispanic cultures are exhibited across the rooms. Board a funicular and ascend 3,000 metres above sea level to Monserrate. Watch a city fill the sky and get an up-close-and-personal view of the dominative mountain that reigns over Bogotá. Tonight, Colombian fare and friendship are on the menu for a welcome dinner at one of Bogotá’s best restaurants.
Day 3: Bogotá - Coffee Region
Fly over mystical valleys and rolling jade hills, over terracotta-roofed farm houses, spindly wax palm trees and verdant coffee plantations. In this section of Colombia’s coffee zone, learn about the coffee-making process and sample the perks of the region, bean to cup. Retreat tonight to your lodge overlooking the incredible countryside, an oasis in and of itself.
Day 4: Coffee Region - Cocora Valley
At the foot of the Andes, under clouds that swim between vivid green mountains and towering wax palms, experience the majesty of the Cocora Valley aboard equipped 4x4 jeeps known as “Willys.” Then, it’s your choice! Set out to hike the valley and look up at the slender poles of wax palms -OR- travel on horseback to see the valley through the eyes of a Colombian farmer. In the magical surround of the Andes, enjoy a locally-sourced picnic lunch before hitting the road to colourful Salento. In this small town, along quaint streets and paisa architecture, encounter local artisans and their unique crafts as you explore independently.
Day 5: Coffee Region – Medellín
Marvel at the natural wonders of the vast Aburra Valley on a scenic drive to Medellín, the “City of Eternal Spring.” Dine with the locals and indulge in a specially cultivated tasting menu that highlights traditional ingredients with a modern flare.
Day 6: Medellín
Medellín is a cosmopolitan hub deeply rooted in tradition, yet decidedly modern. In Comuna 13, a walking tour of the neighbourhood that clings to the mountainside is a journey that looks into Colombia’s past with a focus on the future. Walk wide-eyed with a neighbourhood resident and curiously pass the chromatic murals and stunning graffiti art.
Day 7: Medellín – Cartagena
Spend this morning in the village of Santa Elena, nestled inside the Andes Mountains. The pastoral idyll of this traditional flower farm enchants upon the very moment of approach. Lush arrangements that serve as Medellín’s cultural symbol are painstakingly crafted here for the Feria de Flores, Colombia’s national flower festival. Meet with a true silletero and learn of the rich tradition and history of flower farming in Medellín as you discover firsthand what a “day in the life” of a flower farmer is like. Afterward, board a flight across a short strait to the tropical port city of Cartagena. From the vantage point of a horse-drawn carriage, pass through the city’s colourful streets. In Bolivar Plaza, downtown’s historic nucleus, see traditional musicians and dancers perform and women in dresses the colours of the Colombian flag selling fruit from the tops of turbaned heads.
Day 8: Cartagena
Join local apprentices as they develop their skills to become future jewelers, and learn the art of jewellery-making yourself – using Colombian emeralds! Later, learn the seductive art of Salsa from some of the art form's best dancers. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own and dive head-first into the local culture.
Day 9: Cartagena
Take in more of Cartagena’s special energy today independently. Stroll the city, explore the iconic fortress of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, or just have a seat at the bar, order a mojito, some ceviche, and do some serious people-watching. Perhaps you’ll choose to take a day trip to the unspoiled Rosario Islands. Tonight, learn native recipes at a culinary class with local Colombian chefs at one of the city’s famed restaurants, and toast the end to a fantastic journey in Colombia.
Day 10: Cartagena - Tour Ends
Your Colombian experience comes to an end this morning in Cartagena.
Tour operated with Explorations by Collette
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