Bustling cities, quaint coffee towns and jungles that meet the sea
Experience a luxury adventure through the vibrant cities, lush jungles and quaint towns of Colombia. Here you will be embraced by a captivating nation that has overcome hardship without ever losing its zest for life. Join our small group of like-minded of solo travellers as we get under Colombia’s skin and discover a country brimming with possibilities. We’ll hike through untouched national parks, snorkel through crystal clear waters, cook meals with locals and so much more.
7 - 19 June 2020
11 nights twin share accommodation
11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Local English-speaking tour guide
All activities from cooking classes to island-hopping included
Airport transfers on arrival and air-conditioned vehicle throughout, plus domestic flights
Maximum 14 fellow solo travellers
Day 1: Bienvenido a Colombia!
Our adventure begins in Bogotá. Colombia’s pulsating capital city is the commercial heart and cultural epicentre of the country, the perfect starting point for any Colombian adventure. Sitting at an altitude of 2,645m above sea level just north of the equator, Bogotá enjoys the protection of the northern Andes, along with its views and subtropical highland climate. This bustling metropolis has a lot to offer, with a kaleidoscopic fusion between classical architecture and contemporary culture.
Once you have arrived, you will be transferred to the hotel. Today is free to spend at leisure until we meet for our welcome dinner.
Day 2: Bustling Bogota
Today is set to be a window into Colombia’s unique history and culture, beginning with a tour of the Salt Cathedral at Zipaquirá. This tour will uncover the beauty, history and religious significance of the site while appreciating the vast engineering feat undertaken to construct this extraordinary underground cathedral.
Next up we will be exploring the vibrant neighbourhood of La Candelaria. Walking the streets of La Candelaria away from the main square, the history of Bogota and the intricacies of modern culture and daily life start to become apparent.
In the afternoon, we will visit “old” Bogota, including Plaza Bolivar, the intriguing Botero Gallery and the world-famous Gold Museum which houses one of the finest collections of Pre-Hispanic gold anywhere in the world!
Day 3: Escape to Chicaque
Today will be devoted to exploring the magnificent Chicaque National Park, located less than an hour’s drive south of Bogota. The meandering hills are mostly covered with Andean cloud forest and are home to a variety of fauna and flora. The bird life is particularly impressive, but there are also more than 20 species of mammals that find sanctuary inside the park. In total, there are some 18kms of lush walking trails.
Tonight we’ll indulge in a delicious meal at Andres D.C restaurant. We’ll kick back and reminisce about our adventure-filled day over a three-course meal and a few glasses of wine. Salud!
Day 4: A coffee-lover’s paradise
This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Pereira, Colombia’s coffee region! For many people, the coffee region is the heart and soul of Colombia. After all, coffee is an integral part of the Colombian culture and economy.
After settling into our boutique hideaway, we’ll head out on a half-day coffee plantation tour to learn about the coffee production process from seed to cup (it truly is a science!). Experience the tranquility of rural life, from the rolling hillsides of fertile coffee plantations to plunging valleys and bold elevations of this World Heritage site. Learning about the trials and tribulations that face the region’s coffee growers will provide a new perspective on that morning cup of coffee.
Tonight, we will enjoy a three-course dinner together at our hotel with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
Day 5: Quaint coffee towns
Today, we will be getting to know Filandia, Salento and the Cocora Valley. Small villages like these dot Colombia's countryside and form the backbone of agricultural life. We’ll start with a visit to the town Filandia, which has maintained its traditional, quaint character for decades. A refreshment break in one of the small local coffee shops and a stroll around the plaza is the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere.
Salento is another picturesque village boasting a traditional main square and lanes of charming houses retaining their original architectural style and colour. Salento is surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and has many charming little boutique shops and trendy coffee bars.
Next, we will head to the Cocora Valley, part of the wider Los Nevados National Park. The valley has a unique landscape of tall palms which make for an irresistible backdrop to dreamy travel photos!
Day 6: Lofty peaks and thermal springs
After a relaxing morning at leisure, we will set out to explore the founding town of the coffee region, Manizales. Its story is key to understanding the region as a whole and the coffee industry which continues to be managed from here. Manizales is set dramatically on top of a mountain crest with amazing views down to the valleys below and up to the lofty peaks of the snow-covered Los Nevados range. We will get to know the stunning vistas, unique history and traditional architecture of Manizales in-depth on an afternoon city tour.
This evening, we’ll be visiting Santa Rosa de Cabal therapeutic thermal springs for a little rest and relaxation after almost one week on the road. Once we have soaked up plenty of rejuvenating energy from the thermal springs, we will end the day with a tasty three-course meal. We’ll sleep well tonight!
Day 7: Lush jungle escape
This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Santa Marta, the homeland of Colombia’s beloved songstress, Shakira, and gateway to some of Colombia’s most enchanting national parks.
After arriving in Santa Marta, we’ll be transferred to our jungle hideaway in the heart of Tayrona National Park. Expect shockingly turquoise waters, monkeys scampering around in the jungle’s canopy and friendly locals striking up conversations on hiking trails.
Day 8: Jungle meets pristine beaches
Today we will explore Tayrona National Park on a full-day tour. We’ll hike to some of the main beaches, relax under hanging palms, watch the waves and hire some snorkelling gear. During the walk, you can look out for the Kogi tribes’ people who still live in the park, plus the array of flora and fauna. As we walk, our guide will be on hand to explain not only the culture and history of the park but also about the wildlife that we may see along the way.
Day 9: Travel back in time
Today we will depart the jungle with Cartagena in our sights. Quite rightly, Cartagena is seen by many as the jewel in South America’s colonial crown, possibly the best-kept example of what life was like in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. A time which, although tumultuous, left its mark through enchanting architecture, evocative structures and fascinating historical sites.
We’ll be introduced to this romantic city on an afternoon walking tour, visiting key sites and relishing the brightly coloured buildings as we’re transported back in time by flower-laden balconies and moody side-streets. Its history of piracy has a left a legacy of sorts, with Cartagena being famous for rum! This tour includes a rum tasting experience for the ultimate welcome!
Tonight we’ll get acquainted with Cartagena’s Caribbean flavours over a three-course meal at El Santisimo hotel.
Day 10: Caribbean flavours and street art
This morning we will set out on a half-day Caribbean Gastronomic experience including a private cooking class. This tour tantalises every sense as we delve into the exhilarating world of Colombian cuisine, a rich melting pot of flavours thanks to the country’s colourful history.
Our foodie adventure will start at the bustling Mercado Bazurto, where daily life continues far from the tourist crowds of the Old Town. Sampling as we go, time will be taken to pick the freshest ingredients for a hands on cooking experience in a local kitchen.
This afternoon we’ll work off all that food on a bike and street art tour through the Getsemani neighbourhood. Getsemani has enjoyed a recent renaissance, attracting bohemian types, artists and musicians to its quirky, colourful streets.
Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner.
Day 11: crystal waters and colourful corals
After breakfast, we'll be heading out on a full-day exploration of the magical Rosario Islands which lie just off the coast of Cartagena. There are 27 islands that make up this national park, one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in Colombia, sprawled over 120 000 sq. km of untouched natural beauty. We'll take a stroll over soft white sands, cool off in pristine waters and keep our bellies happy by tucking into a delicious island-style lunch. Don’t miss the chance to get up close to the intriguing array of rich marine life while snorkelling over the beds of colourful coral reefs below.
Although it would be nice to stay here forever, we will head back to Cartagena this afternoon and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 12: Adios, Colombia!
Today, our journey ends. So we say "see you later” to our new found friends and make our way home. Or, continue your Colombian adventure with an extension to Medellin.