Experience the beauty and vibrancy of enigmatic Colombia

Head into the serene highlands of Colombia's famed coffee region and discover the sweeter, softer side of this much misunderstood country. Learn how to roast the perfect blend during a tour of a working coffee plantation, be beguiled by the laidback pace of charming Salento and spend some time becoming acquainted with the sophisticated air and raucous nightlife of Medellin – once the world's most dangerous city. Then trade the country's lush interior for its coastal spoils and wind the adventure up with a spell in oh-so-romantic Cartagena – the perfect end to this exceptional Colombian adventure.

Start
Bogota, Colombia
Finish
Cartagena, Colombia
Countries
Colombia
Themes
Explorer
Code
GGSS
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
361kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Become versed in Colombia's rich history in Bogota's museums and galleries
  • Learn about the coffee-making process on a plantation tour
  • Watch the world drift by in sleepy Salento
  • Delve into Medellin's steaming nightlife
  • Explore the picturesque laneways of Cartagena

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Your leader will take you on a orientation walk in downtown Bogota.
With well over seven million people living on a plateau at 2,640 m above sea level, Bogota is one of the biggest cities in the world at altitude. And with a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, the cosmopolitan streets of Colombia's capital are full of surprises.
Head up the gondola on Cerro de Monserrate, where a 17th-century church overlooks the metropolis.
Museo Nacional is a good option if you're interested in learning about life in Colombia before and after the Spanish conquest.
Make an early start and join your leader on a morning visit to Paloquemao Market and sample some local produce. Then take a short flight to Armenia and transfer to the picturesque mountain town of Salento. Take time to stroll through its quaint streets and admire 'paisa' architecture at its best. Looking for local food? Trout, prepared in several different ways, is the way to go.
Take a jeep out to the magnificent Cocora Valley, home of the wax palm, the Colombia National Tree. Spend the morning walking among the breathtaking scenery and if you're feeling active there's time to hike up to Acaime Reserve where colourful hummingbirds come to feed. The hike to Acaime is quite strenuous. Some sections are steep and slippery and will take several hours (approx. 5hrs) so it's recommended that you bring good walking shoes, as well as plenty of water and snacks. If you prefer to take it easy, you can spend as much time as you like enjoying the scenery in Cocora Valley and then take a jeep back to town.

Later, return to Salento and enjoy some of the local atmosphere while exploring this charming town.

Colombia's national sport, tejo, is a popular pastime in Salento. Think bocce with gunpowder! If you're game, you'll have the option to visit the local tejo hall and give it a go.

Enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation and processing centre, then sample some coffee at a local cafe in Salento.
Today we travel via comfortable public bus (6 hours) to Medellin.
The rapid transformation that has taken place in Colombia's second largest city is one like no other. Having spent the 1980s and 90s with an international reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities thanks to Pablo Escobar's infamous drug cartel, Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most exciting cities in South America. And with some of the country's finest museums, parks and architecture as well as a much safer and comfortable atmosphere, it's easy to see why more and more travellers have flocked to the city in the past few years.
Your leader will take you on an orientation walk in Medellin.
We have a free day to explore Medellin. Maybe take the cable car to Santa Elena or an optional day trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia.
Today we fly to Cartagena (approx 1 hour).
Founded in 1533 by Spaniard Don Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena was a major centre of early Spanish settlement in the Americas. Gold and silver left the port bound for Europe making the city a target for pirates. A walled fort was built to protect both shipping and the slave trade. Today, the beautiful walled city and fortress still were designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980.
Maybe visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the fortresses built to protect the city, or head out of town and relax in the mud bath at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo.
Our hotel in Cartagena doesn't offer heated water, which isn't a problem due to the tropical heat on the coast.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport
Plane, Local bus, Private minivan
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Bogota - Visit to Paloquemao Market
  • Salento - Cocora Valley and hike to Acaime Reserve
  • Salento - Coffee tour
  • Leader-led walking tour

Dates

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Important notes

The itinerary of this trip was updated on 18 January, 2016. The current itinerary is different to what is advertised in the 2016 brochure.

A single supplement is available on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Cafe Colombia trips score an average of 4.68 out of 5 based on 50 reviews in the last year.

Cafe Colombia , April 2016

Cafe Colombia , April 2016

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