Colombia is a country of dizzying variety. This tour will introduce you to the fascinating blend of adventures offered within Colombia’s borders. You’ll see some of Colombia’s most important cites, such as bustling Bogotá and the enchanting city of Cartagena. All this and much, much more on your trip to Colombia with See Colombia Travel.
Day 1 - Aug 2. Bogota
Once you arrive in Bogota you’ll be warmly welcomed and taken to your accommodation. Your hotel will be located in Bogota’s historical center of La Candelaria which is surrounded by Bogota’s most traditional houses and important buildings. Having settled in, you’ll be able to spend some time with one of our local specialists who are always happy and excited to hear about your travel plans in Colombia and beyond – now’s the time to make the most of their many years of local know-how and ask questions until your heart’s content! Depending on the time of your arrival in Bogota, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the area near to where you’re staying. La Candelaria is a hive of activity where the charming, cobblestone streets, colonial architecture are a joy to explore. While soaking up the atmosphere of La Candelaria, stop off at one of the local street vendors for a cup of canelazo, made from agua de panela, cinnamon and aguardiente liquor that will be sure to warm you up from the Andean chill. Tonight, go to one of the many restaurants in Bogota’s trendy Zona Rosa before, discovering the liveliness of both the city and its people at the thriving bars nearby.
Included: Transfer to your accommodation in Bogota, accommodation in Bogota. Meals – None.
Day 2 - Aug 3. Bogota. City Tour
You will be picked up from your hotel to start your full day private guided tour of Bogota’s most important buildings and neighborhoods including the historical center of La Candelaria and the beautiful Monserrate Mountain. If the weather is clear, you’ll start by taking the cable car to the top of Monserrate Mountain which dominates the city center of Bogota. Before the cable car was built, thousands of pilgrims used to walk up the mountain on a poorly paved road, looking for a new light and a little bit of new hope in their lives. Rising to 10,341 ft. above sea level, upon reaching the summit you will be rewarded with stunning views over the sprawling city below and all the way to the peaks of the Andes. From this vantage point you will be able to get a feel for the different zones from the contemporary high-rise office buildings of the financial district to the terracotta-colored rooftops of Bogota’s historical center. At the white-washed church on top of the mountain you’ll be able to see a special statue of the fallen black Jesus and a charming pathway showing the Catholic journey of Jesus’ Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis). Having seen the city from above you’ll continue your tour through the lovely Candelaria, the historical city center of this metropolis. You will be taken to the Plaza Bolivar, with its historical governmental buildings and the oldest church of Bogota before continuing to El Chorro de Quevedo, where Bogota was originally founded. From La Candelaria to the impressive Gold Museum and Botero Museum, your local guide will be on hand to explain the history behind the various landmarks, buildings and areas as well as sharing the city’s many architectural influences.
Included: Private excursion with transport, guide and entrance fees, accommodation in Bogota. Meals – B.
Day 3 - Aug 4. Bogota - Zipaquira - Villa de Leyva. Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
This morning, you’ll begin your journey to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. Along the way you’ll stop off at Colombia’s First Wonder, the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral. As you go 590 ft. below ground into this former salt mine, the cavernous naves swallow you whole as the sheer size of each room and detail of the salt sculptures will leave you speechless. From outside the Salt Cathedral you’ll be able to enjoy an aerial view of the terracotta rooftops of the City of Salt, Zipaquira, which is one of Colombia’s historical and cultural heritage sites.
Depending on the time of your arrival in Villa de Leyva, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the area near to where you’re staying. Villa de Leyva is a labyrinth of cobblestone streets with local restaurants, bars and coffee shops to discover behind unassuming whitewash colonial facades. Simply meandering your way through its colonial streets is an adventure in itself. In the evening, many of the locals head to the main square which is the biggest in the Americas and is enclosed by the town’s typical colonial architecture. Here you’ll find small grocery stores called “tiendas” where friends meet to enjoy an evening beer with the most popular “tiendas” spilling out onto the steps of the church. Enjoying a beer alongside the locals on the church steps on the Plaza Mayor is one of the most authentic experiences in Villa de Leyva.
Included: Transfer from Bogota to your accommodation in Villa de Leyva, stop off at Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, entrance fee, accommodation in Villa de Leyva. Meals – B.
Day 4 - Aug 5. Villa de Leyva. Exploring town
After breakfast, you will have a private guided walking tour of the main highlights of Villa de Leyva. Interested in Museums or Artwork? Just tell your local guide who as well as taking you to the main highlights of Villa de Leyva will also be able to tailor your walking tour to meet your interests. Your guide will take you to the main Cathedral that dates back to the early 1600s, the El Carmen Church and the house of the first Congress. You’ll also visit the Antonio Nariño Museum, the Antonio Ricaurte Museum and the Royal Liquor factory. It’s worth noting that some of these places may be closed during the week meaning your private tour may take you to visit other sites of significant interest including the Prehistoric Museum, Juan de Castellanos Museum and the beautiful Mesopotamia Mill.
The rest of your afternoon and evening is free to relax in your hotel or to soak up the unique atmosphere of this traditional town. You’ll soon come to realize that Villa de Leyva is the type of place where you can spend hours strolling through its photogenic streets which have been frozen in time since its foundation in 1572. Each street is lined with a number of shops which are worth a stop in as the region of Boyaca is known for its high quality handwoven products. In the evening go to the restaurants around the main square to sit down in the terraces and listen to live music while enjoying a refreshing drink or dinner.
Included: Villa de Leyva walking tour with private guide, accommodation in Villa de Leyva. Meals – B.
Day 5 - Aug 6. Villa de Leyva - Bogota - Coffee Triangle.
It’s time to hit the road again as your transfer picks you up to take you back to Bogota for you to then continue exploring the beauty and flair of Colombia further. Once you arrive at Pereira’s airport you’ll be warmly welcomed and taken to your comfortable hacienda in Colombia’s Coffee Region. From your accommodation you’ll be a coffee bean’s throw away from some of Colombia’s most scenic landscapes and of course its world famous coffee plantations! The Coffee Triangle is Colombia’s largest coffee-producing region and is located in the center of the country surrounded by breathtaking scenery, picturesque architecture and prosperous coffee farms known as, fincas. After settling into your hotel your evening is free to enjoy relaxing at your accommodation. As one of the most diverse areas of Colombia, keep an eye out for the exotic birdlife of the region which will accompany you as you sip on your delicious cup of coffee. Colombia was recently recognized for being the happiest country in the world and the locals of Colombia’s Coffee Region are known for being some of the friendliest in the country. They will make you feel at home and make sure that you enjoy every second in the beautiful heart of Colombia.
Included: Transfer from Villa de Leyva to Bogota´s airport, transfer to your accommodation in the Coffee Region, accommodation in the Coffee Region. Meals – B.
Day 6 - Aug 7. Salento and Cocora Valley
Your private guide and transfer will pick you up from your accommodation to begin your day exploring the Cocora Valley and Salento. Arriving in the small traditional village of Salento with its colorful balconies, typical colonial architecture and handicrafts shops, enjoy strolling along the Calle Real (Royal Road). You’ll have time for a coffee at a local cafe, and whichever you choose, they’re all serving up the best Coffee in Colombia so you can’t really go wrong! Continue along the Calle Real before reaching 250 steps that lead up to the Alto de la Cruz; a viewpoint offering picture-perfect views of Salento and the Cocora Valley. With its rolling green hills and huge Quindio wax palm trees, the scenery is like something out of a magical land in a Dr. Seuss book. The Cocora Valley is home to Colombia’s national tree, the Quindío wax palm tree that can grow up to 190 ft. tall. These tall, thin trees stand like giants guarding the valley, the farmland, avocado plantations, wandering cattle and of course coffee plantations. While in the National Park, your guide will provide you with information on the surrounding flora and fauna. You’ll head back to the town of Salento where you’ll have some time to buy some souvenirs or sit down to another perfect cup of coffee. It’s then time for you to head back to your accommodation in the Coffee Region and soak up the beauty of your surroundings and traditional hacienda.
Included: Full day Salento & Cocora Valley tour with private guide, accommodation in the Coffee Region. Meals – B.
Day 7 - Aug 8. Coffee Triangle - Medellin. Coffee experience tour
Your coffee tour will introduce you to the different elements that give Colombian coffee its world-renowned taste and aroma. Learning about the secrets of planting, harvesting, washing and drying the coffee you will have a hands-on experience exploring the importance of nature and tradition in the Colombian coffee making process. Having had your behind the scenes coffee experience in the stunning Coffee Region it’s then time to hit the road again as your transfer picks you up from your accommodation and takes you to Medellin through the breathtaking Coffee Motorway. Once you arrive in Medellin, approx. 4 hours later to Colombia’s second largest city, you’ll taken to your accommodation. Without a doubt, Medellin is one of Colombia’s most exciting cities and surrounded by the high-rise jagged peaks of mountains, the city has developed into a thriving jewel in the crown of Colombia. Known as the City of Eternal Spring due to its year-round mild and pleasant climate, there’s never a bad time to soak up the sights and sounds of this magical city. Depending on the time of your arrival in Medellin, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the area near to where you’re staying. Medellin is one of biggest flower producing areas of Colombia, and every August the Flowers Festival paints the streets of the city with colorful parades, local music, traditional dances and bright costumes. The spring-like weather, modern and colonial architecture and surrounding natural beauty will keep you more than occupied. Among the main highlights that you can go to see include the Plaza Botero which is home to original Botero sculptures and the local and, the Parque de los Pies Descalzos, inspired by far-eastern philosophy complete with a small bamboo forest and tranquil water fountains. You can also visit one of the country’s most important museums, the Museo de Antioquia, which is home to pre-Columbian, colonial, independent and contemporary art exhibitions. Tonight, walk to Medellin’s Parque Lleras to sit down to a traditional meal in one of the many restaurants you will find there before, discovering the liveliness and beauty of both the city and its people at the thriving bars nearby.
Included: Half day coffee process tour with private guide, transfer from your accommodation to the airport in Pereira, transfer to your accommodation in Medellin, accommodation in Medellin. Meals: B.
Day 8 - Aug 9. Medellin. City Tour
Explore the highlights of Medellin in a different way. Today, you’ll be picked up at your hotel and taken by taxi to the metro station where you will take the metro and then climb aboard Medellin’s aerial Metro cable to soar over the city. You will continue to the city center, where you will visit Parque Berrio, Parque de las Luces and Plaza Botero, a square dedicated to the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, locally known as La Plazoleta, this eye-opening park is home of around twenty chubby Botero sculptures, making it a great spot to grab some arty photos. You’ll then continue to Paisa Town, ‘Pueblito Paisa’, a depiction of a typical village of the region, before heading back to your hotel.
Included: Private excursion with taxi, metro tickets, guide and entrance fees, accommodation in Medellin. Meals: B.
Day 9 - Aug 10. Medellin - Cartagena
Before leaving to your next destination, you can spend the morning exploring some of the extended highlights of Medellin on your own. Such highlights include the Parque de los Deseos, the stunning building of La Casa de la Cultura which is home to works of art by local artists and explore the manicured gardens of the Museo el Castillo. You can also choose to visit the local and iconic town of Pueblito Paisa that provides an insight into a traditional Antioquian town while also repaying you with a magnificent bird’s-eye view of the sprawling city below. Alternatively take in one of the city’s most significant modern structures, the Medellin cable car which climbs both sides of Medellin’s valley and has drastically improved the social-economic situation in the formerly far-flung and difficult to reach favelas (shanty towns). Once you arrive in Cartagena, Colombia’s jewel and fairy-tale city on the Caribbean coast, you’ll be warmly welcomed and taken to your accommodation. Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and demonstrates the perfect marriage between rich colonial history and the vibrancy of the Caribbean. Depending on the time of your arrival in Cartagena, the rest of the day is free to explore the area near to where you’re staying, the city’s maze of cobblestone streets and its charming buildings. The historic center of Cartagena is surrounded by an impressive 8 mile-long colonial stonewall and is the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing cocktail in the Café del Mar while watching the sunset over the Caribbean.
Included: Transfer from your accommodation to the airport in Medellin, private transfer to your hotel in Cartagena with assistance, accommodation in Cartagena. Meals – B.
Day 10 - Aug 11. Cartagena. Walking Tour
Your local guide will pick you up from your accommodation to begin your private walking tour of Cartagena’s highlights. The Caribbean weather, colonial architecture and Caribbean flair will keep you more than occupied. If that’s not enough, the city is shrouded in history and fascinating stories from when the Spanish first discovered gold in the tombs of Sinu to the five dreadful sieges on the city by pirates in the 16th century, including the most famous (or infamous) one which was led by Sir Francis Drake! Nowadays, as you’ll find out while walking through its pleasant and colorful streets Cartagena is among one of the world’s most beautiful cities. On today’s walking tour you’ll visit the Santo Domingo Square, the iconic Clock Tower, Cartagena’s Cathedral and the Palacio de la Inquisición. Walking through the cobblestone streets of the historical city center you will also be treated to the city’s most traditional buildings, enchanting squares and museums. Following your Cartagena city tour, the rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to relax and enjoy this wonderful city. If you want to explore Cartagena further, you can take the afternoon to visit the Candelaria Convent located on the top of the Popa Hill, the Old Shoes Monument, and the impressive San Felipe de Barajas Castle and Fort. Tonight, you will have time to relax and enjoy this wonderful city that vibrates with color and is refreshed by Caribbean Sea breezes.
Included: Half day Cartagena walking tour with a private guide, accommodation in Cartagena. Meals – B.
Day 11 - Aug 12. Cartagena - Santa Marta.
This morning you´ll take a shuttle, leavning behind Cartagena, towards the city of Santa Marta. Having arrived in Santa Marta, the oldest city in Colombia and one of the first cities founded in Latin America, you’ll have time to settle in to your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure, exploring the area near to where you’re staying and soaking up the city’s perfect combination of pristine beaches and history. Walk around the historical center or along the bay, and get the vibe of this quiet city before sitting down to a refreshing cocktail while watching the sunset over the Caribbean.
Included: Shuttle service from Cartagena to Santa Marta, accommodation in Santa Marta. Meals – B.
Day 12 - Aug 13. Santa Marta. City tour.
Your local guide will pick you up from your accommodation and take you on a cultural adventure through the past and present of Santa Marta. This cultural tour will introduce you to the authentic highlights of Santa Marta, starting with the center of the city where you’ll be able to admire some of its oldest colonial buildings and Cathedral. As South America’s oldest surviving city and the oldest city in Colombia, dating back to its foundation in 1525, the architectural offerings of whitewashed houses and churches are breathtaking. Situated near to Tayrona, you’ll have a chance to visit the Tayrona Gold Museum where you’ll feel like you’re on the trail seeking out El Dorado. You will also visit one of Colombia’s most significant sites at the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, which was the final home of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, before he died in 1830. In this magnificent colonial quinta, you will not only learn about Simon Bolivar’s life and death but also about daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Following your cultural tour of Santa Marta you’ll have some time to spend soaking up modern day Santa Marta in El Rodadero, which is famous for its beaches and lively atmosphere. Heading back to your accommodation in Santa Marta, tonight is free for you to relax and enjoy this historic city, walking through its charming streets while feeling the refreshing Caribbean Sea breeze.
Included: Half day private guided cultural tour of Santa Marta, accommodation in Santa Marta. Meals – B.
Day 13 - Aug 14. Santa Marta - Tayrona.
Today your transfer will take you along Colombia’s Caribbean coastline to Tayrona National Park. Arriving in Tayrona, the bus will drop you off at the main entrance of the National Park where you will pay the entrance fee ($64,000 COP), from there you can also take transport (which costs $4,000 COP) and get off at the entrance of your hotel. Tonight, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning Tayrona National Park and staying in some of the most unique eco-friendly accommodation. The Tayrona National Park is made up of verdant jungle, mountains and fronted by the azure waters of the Caribbean. This paradise is the perfect place to enjoy Colombia’s most pristine and beautiful beaches. After settling into your accommodation, you can take the local transport and get off at the Cañaveral parking lot from you will start a gentle 45-minute hike through the jungle to the area of Arrecifes. You can explore other beaches like the natural swimming pool of La Piscina and Cabo San Juan both with protected coral reefs teeming with marine life and which are both great places to go snorkeling. Make sure you only take with what you need, as you’ll be able to leave the rest of your luggage at your accommodation in Santa Marta.
Included: Private transfer from Santa Marta to Tayrona National Park, accommodation in Tayrona National Park. Meals – B.
Day 14 - Aug 15. Tayrona National Park.
Today is a free day just to relax by the beach in this stunning location.
Included: Accommodation in Tayrona National Park. Meals – B.
Day 15 - Aug 16. Tayrona - Santa Marta.
Today you will journey back to Santa Marta. Your transfer will be waiting for you back at the entrance of the park so, make sure you leave the hotel with plenty of time to take the local transport and get off at the same point where the transfer dropped you off (the main entrance) when you arrived at Tayrona. Having arrived back at your accommodation in Santa Marta, the rest of the day is free to enjoy the enchanting streets of this city. Take a walk along Bastidas Avenue to see how the city changes from the historical colonial center to the modern neighborhoods. Tonight, we recommend that you go out and enjoy a delicious and authentic Colombian Caribbean farewell dinner. If you like seafood, you’re in for a treat as the restaurant, Donde Chucho serves up some of the best seafood on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast.
Included: Private transfer from Tayrona National Park to Santa Marta, accommodation in Santa Marta. Meals – B.
Day 16 - Aug 17. Santa Marta - Home.
It’s time to hit the road again as you make your way to your next destination where if you are planning to, you can enjoy exploring the beauty and flair of Colombia further. At the chosen time, transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
Included: Transfer from your accommodation to the airport in Santa Marta. Meals – B.
Of course, if 16 days just isn’t enough time in Colombia, our tours are 100% customizable and we´d be happy to extend your stay with us. Just ask for more details.