Experience South America's best kept secret on this tour of Colombia

Discover South America's best-kept secret on this adventure through the verdant mountains, aromatic coffee plantations and powdery beaches of Colombia. Discover Bogota's colonial heart, laze on palm-fringed stretches of Caribbean shoreline and meet the locals that make Colombia one of the world's friendliest countries. If you're looking for an adventure full of rhythm, music, colour and life, then jump onboard this trip and experience the best that Colombia has to offer.


Start
Cartagena, Colombia
Finish
Bogota, Colombia
Country
Colombia
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
GGSM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Wander beneath the floral balconies of Cartagena, the World Heritage-listed town combining Carribean splendour and irresistable old-world charm

  • Tayrona National Park seems to have it all, from perfect beaches and mountain backdrops to wildlife-filled jungle. Laze in a hammock as dusky titi monkeys and red squirrels play in the treetops

  • Step back in time in the cobbled alleyways of Villa de Leyva. This village is quite possibly Colombia's finest arena of perfectly intact colonial architecture

  • Bogota is the treasure trove of Colombia's rich history – the ideal place to end your adventure. Stay on and explore its museums, galleries and excellent Paloquemao Market at your leisure

Is this trip right for you?

  • There's one night of camping – in the awesome Tayrona National Park. Be prepared for basic conditions in this jungle location. Sleeping in a hammock among the buzzing South American wild is sure to be well worth the lack of creature comforts.

  • Colombia enjoys a stable year-round climate, but it can get particularly hot and humid on the coast. Be sure to drink plenty of water and wear adequate sun protection.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia. Cartagena is one of South America's most historic cities. The old town area, particularly the inner walled town, is the main attraction – it's packed with beautiful churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. 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 an orientation walk in Cartagena after the meeting.

Notes: Your hotel in Cartagena doesn't provide hot water. Thankfully, this isn't much of a problem in the tropical heat on the coast.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cartagena - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Bogota Ciclovía Urban Adventure - USD32
  • Breakfast Food Tour in Bogota Urban Adventrue - USD62
  • Private Custom Bogota Urban Adventure - USD35
  • Sunday in Usaquen Urban Adventure - USD27
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Cartagena. Wander the old city, enjoy Caribbean views from the impressive city walls, or perhaps enjoy a drink in one of the many bars and cafes. Visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the fortresses built to protect the city. Alternatively, venture out of town to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo. This strange volcano emits a cream-like mud instead of lava, and you can take a bath in it. The mud is said to contain many healing properties. There's a lagoon nearby you can take a dip in afterwards to wash.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cartagena - San Felipe de Barajas - COP20000
  • Cartagena - Day Trip to Playa Blanca - COP50000
  • Cartagena - Volcan de Lodo El Totumo - COP50000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a shared van to Tayrona National Park. Discover its unreal landscapes, with the massive Santa Maria mountain range plunging dramatically down to the Caribbean Sea. Wild and untouched beaches are scattered along the coastline, bound by sea-sculptured boulders and reachable only by jungle trails. On arrival, you will walk (approximately 1 hour) to the camping area, where you will sleep in hammocks. Small lockers are available for the safe storage of valuables. Spend some time spotting monkeys and squirrels and relaxing on the nice white sands. It will get quite cold here at night, so be sure to wear layers and bring a blanket or sleep liner. You'll also need a towel, insect repellent, a torch and a small backpack to carry your things. Your main luggage can be left at the park entrance.
Accommodation
  • Hammock (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tayrona National Park - Entrance fee
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend the day exploring the national park or relaxing on the beach before travelling the short distance to your base in the Guachaca region. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a small family-run hotel in a quiet location. Here a variety of decent walking trails are on offer. The main attraction, however, is the beach, so take the opportunity to relax. It's just a short walk to the shoreline from your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Family posada (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a nice continental breakfast at the hotel, then spend the day relaxing. With the beach just a short walk away, you can come and go from the hotel quite conveniently. If you're feeling active, perhaps try some kayaking, rafting, surfing or trekking. While the white sands and lovely clear waters of the beach are hard to beat, the hotel itself is also a nice place to spend some time in, especially if the weather turns. You can take to one of the hammocks in the garden with a good book.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a long travel day as you head back to Santa Marta for a flight to Bogota (approximately 1.5 hours). From Bogota you will travel by minvan to the charming town of Villa de Leyva (approximately 4–5 hours). This old village has some gorgeous colonial architecture which, unlike in many other Colombian towns, has been well preserved over the years. Stroll around at your own pace, chat to the locals, and make the most of the many photo opportunities.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a full day of free time in Villa de Leyva. Be sure to visit the mercado municipal, where a traditional farmers market offers a wide array of excellent fresh produce and some tasty local snacks. If you're feeling active, make the short hike to the 'sagrado corazon' lookout for some nice views over the village – it's a Jesus statue up in the hills on the east side of the town. It takes about an hour to get to the top, and there are some steep parts, so bring your walking shoes. Another good option is to visit the Pozos Azules just outside of town. Here you can take a short circular walk around some luminous blue sulfuric pools.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head to Bogota by private minivan (approximately 4–5 hours). With a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, cosmopolitan Bogota is full of surprises. It's also one of the largest 'at altitude' cities in the world (at 2,640 metres above sea level and with a population of 7 miliion). While you're here, be sure to visit the Paloquemao Market, where you'll find exotic local fruits like feijoa, araza, guanabana, maracuya and lulo – many of which are seldom found outside of Colombia. The Gold Museum is also highly recommended.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bogota - Gold Museum - COP3000
  • Bogota - Montserrate cable car - COP17000
  • Bogota - Museo Nacional - COP20000
  • Bogota - Bike tour - COP25000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take an orientation walk in Bogota with your leader, after which the day is yours. Your trip comes to an end here. If you're departing, make sure not to book your flight for any earlier than 4 pm.
Included Activities
  • Bogota - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, private minivan, local bus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Hammock (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Cartagena - Orientation walk
  • Tayrona National Park - Entrance fee
  • Bogota - Orientation walk

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 3 (Tayrona National Park) and 4 & 5 (Guachaca Region) where you will be in shared accommodation.

PASSPORT:
We require passport information at time of booking to purchase domestic flights which are included in this trip.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our Colonial Colombia trips score an average of 4.45 out of 5 based on 22 reviews in the last year.

Colonial Colombia, November 2016

Miriam Kancha Guerra

Colonial Colombia, October 2016

GERALDINE ROBLES