Discover one of South America’s best kept secrets

No doubt about it, Colombia is one of the world’s friendliest countries. Never been there before? Let us paint the picture for you. Beaches, mountains, coffee plantations, grand old Spanish buildings, salsa clubs, exotic fruits, flower bouquets, hummingbirds, and smiles the size of your arm. Throw in a volcanic mud bath, and you've got yourself a holiday.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Bogota, Colombia
Finish
Cartagena, Colombia
Destination
Colombia
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
GGYS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get under the skin of what was once the most notorious neighbourhood in Colombia on a guided tour through Medellin’s Comuna 13

  • Lose yourself in the colonial gem of Cartagena, wander through the cobbled streets, packed with beautiful churches, monasteries, and mansions.

  • Take a hike through the lush Cocora Valley, home to colourful hummingbirds and the world's tallest palm trees

  • Go behind the scenes of the beans during a stay on a traditional coffee estancia located deep in Colombia's coffee country

  • Explore Colombia’s Caribbean coast with two free days in Palomino. Chill-out on the beach, hike through the jungle, or dine on delicious seafood – the choice is yours!

Is this trip right for you?

  • The Cocora Valley hike is pretty rigorous, so you'll need to be fit and have sturdy walking shoes. If you'd rather relax instead, you're free to opt out of this activity.

  • Colombia enjoys a stable climate all year round, but it can get pretty darn hot and humid in the north. Be sure to drink plenty of water and wear adequate sun protection, especially in Cartagena on the coast.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2018 itinerary
Bienvenidos a Colombia! Welcome to Colombia. Settle into your accommodation in Bogota, then meet your Tour Leader and fellow travellers for an orientation walk around this good-looking town at 1 pm. Check out the colonial-era buildings (not to mention the mountains on the skyline). For those arriving later there will be a second group meeting at 6 pm. Afterwards, why not head out for dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Enjoy a free morning in Bogota. Around midday, take a short flight (approximately 1 hour) to Armenia and transfer (approximately 40 minutes) to Salento. This is one beautiful village. Take the time to stroll through its quaint streets and admire the colours of the 'paisa' architecture. For some tasty local food, trout is the way to go. There are lots of different ways to enjoy it, but mostly it's served with a rich, garlicky cheese sauce. Colombia's national sport, tejo, is a popular pastime in Salento. Think bocce with gunpowder! Try it out for yourself with the rest of the group this evening, followed by a refreshing beer.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salento - Tejo game
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by jeep out to the Cocora Valley, home of the tall wax palm (Colombia's national tree). Spend the morning checking out the region's awesome scenery on foot, maybe hiking up to Acaime Reserve where the hummingbirds feed. The hike to Acaime (approximately 5 hours) isn't easy, it has some steep and slippery sections, so you'll need good walking shoes, plus plenty of water and snacks. Please note lunch isn't included during the hike, so if you're someone who gets super hangry you may want to pack your own snacks too. If you'd rather take it easy, you can explore the valley on your own, then cruise back to town in a jeep. Later, travel deep into Colombia's coffee region for a two-night stay in an old-school coffee estancia.

Accommodation
  • Coffee Estancia (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Coffee Region - Cocora Valley visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Thanks to its tropical altitude and fertile volcanic soil, Colombia is one of the world’s biggest coffee producers. You’ll get to know this addictive little bean a whole lot better on a guided tour of the coffee plantation and processing centre. Dig into the history of the plant, learning the inside story of the industry that's long buoyed the country's economy. See how the beans are grown and harvested, processed, dried, roasted and ground, and then sample first-hand what all the fuss is about. Try different types of coffee grains and get a lesson on preparing different types of coffees, finishing it all off with a steaming cup of freshly brewed joe. Afterwards, relax amid the estancia's beautiful surrounds of sloping green hills and valleys.
Accommodation
  • Coffee Estancia (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Jump aboard a comfortable public bus and head (approximately 6 hours) to Medellin. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk of this beautiful city. Having spent the 1980s and 90s with an international reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities (no thanks to Pablo Escobar's notorious 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 now) it's easy to see why it's getting more popular.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, embark on a Barrio Transformation Tour. Witness the transformation of Medellin's most populated Barrio (neighbourhood), explore its history, the struggle of its people, their outstanding achievements as a local guide takes you into the heart of the community – socialise with the locals, hear stories of the citys notorious past. After lunch, take in awesome views of Medellin and the surrounding areas on a cable car ride up to Santa Elena, a pretty town up in the mountains just east of the city. Sail up the mountain over brick houses, watching as the corrugated metal roofs give way to valleys and mountains (it may get a little chilly up here because of the elevation). Santa Elena is also known for its extravagant arrangements of colourful flowers, called silletas, which the local farmers are fond of strapping to their backs and parading through the city come August's annual flower festival. Back in Medellin, you might want to search out one of the city's pumping salsa bars (Medellin's nightlife may well be the best in Colombia).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Barrio Transformation Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
***Please note, the Barrio Transformation tour is new for late 2019/2020 and is not affiliated with the Communa 13 Graffiti Tour which we no longer offer due to safety concerns.
Get out and about in Medellin. You might want to visit the Museo de Antioquia to see some of Botero's famous works or get more modern at the beautiful Museo de Arte Moderno. Or go further afield on an optional day trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia. This 16th-century township has kept a lot of its colonial-era pizazz. The Bridge of the West, Metropolitan Cathedral and House of Two Palms are sure to provide nice photo-ops, and the plaza is also home to a daily market where vendors sell varieties of locally grown Tamarind product (you can try a few samples). One of the best things to do here is just moseying through the cobblestone streets and taking in the local scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Medellin - Museo de Antioquia entrance fee - USD6
  • Medellin - Day trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia - USD6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, take a short flight to Cartagena (approximately 1 hour) and continue by private transfer (approximately 5 hours) north to Palomino, a small town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia in the Guajira region. On arrival, join your leader for an orientation walk around Palomino town, which lies about 40 minutes away from Tayrona National Park. For dinner, why not head to Sua with the group and take the chance to feast on some fresh seafood like lion fish or prawns – delicious!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This next two days are free for you to explore the stunning Caribbean coast of Colombia. With no scheduled activities, maybe take the opportunity to head to Tayrona National park, with its stretches of pristine sandy beaches, coconut palms, and lush, thick rainforest. Perhaps spend a day lazing on the coast or take a dip in the warm, azure waters (be cautious of strong currents!). Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might like to take a hike through the dense jungle and explore the beautiful flora and fauna that make up this tropical paradise.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Palomino – Tayrona National Park visit - USD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
Today you’ll travel to the stunning city of Cartagena, one of South America's most historic cities. On arrival, your leader will take you on a short orientation walk around the hotel before enjoying free time to head out and explore the Old City as you please. The inner walled town is the main attraction – it's packed with beautiful churches, monasteries, and mansions. Maybe visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the biggest of the fortresses, or head out of town for a mud bath at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo. Visit Playa Blanca (White Beach) and the coral islands, or people-watch in Getsemani, Plaza de la Trinidad, where kids play football and singers strum their guitars. This evening, if you're feeling like an authentic Colombian meal and supporting a great cause in your free time, why not do both by dining at one of Cartagena's fashionable restaurants, Restaurante Interno.
Housed in a women's prison, the restaurant opened in December 2016 with the aim of giving inmates nearing the end of their sentences a second chance and job-ready skills to have a better chance of reintegrating into society on their release. It has since become one of the hottest spots in town (graced by local celebrities and even the Colombian President), with rave reviews for their food and service (the inmates were trained initially by a local Michelin-starred chef). This training doesn't just apply to the kitchen either, others in the programme are trained across all aspects of Hospitality, from service skills to business management. The restaurant offers the inmates the opportunity to interact with the outside World again, giving them the self-esteem and skills to find work upon release and a chance at a new start, and all money made by the restaurant goes back into the programme.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
It's all over. Adios! Your trip finishes in Cartagena this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights), Coffee Estancia (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Salento - Tejo game
  • Coffee Region - Cocora Valley visit
  • Barrio Transformation Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Essential trip information

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