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Contrasts Of Colombia
14 days / 13 nights

Countries visited:

Tour Highlights:

Villa De Leyva
Coffee Region
Islas del Rosario
Tayrona National Park






Day 1 Bogotá, Colombia
Arrive at Bogotá Airport and have a transfer to your hotel. Settled at an altitude of over 2600m with the high ranges of the Cordillera Mountains lying to the east, Colombia’s capital is a city which boasts grand colonial churches, impressive museums, futuristic architecture and a vibrant cultural scene. Arriving today we check-in to our hotel.

Day 2 Bogotá - Monserrate Mount (cable car)
This morning start with a city tour of Bogotá and first head to the colourful colonial streets of La Candelaria. Walk through the vast Plaza de Bolivar and admire some excellent examples of colonial architecture, such as the Catedral Primada de Colombia and San Bartolome College. Visit the Gold Museum, housing the finest collection of gold from pre-Hispanic times. Taste the famous Bogotano hot chocolate in one of the many ‘chocolaterias’ in La Candelaria. In the afternoon you will go out of the town to take the cable car up to Mount Monserrate for magnificent views of the city. The mountain rises over 3000m above the sea level and it is a famous pilgrimage place with its church on the top, devoted to El Señor Caído, ‘the Fallen Christ’.

Day 3 Bogotá - Zipaquira - Villa de Leyva
Today head north to Villa de Leyva. Along the way stop for a visit of the Salt Cathedral at Zipaquira. This immense structure, carved out of solid salt, can accommodate over 8,000 people and was part of the salt mines. Later, continue through Samaca and on to Villa de Leyva which was founded in 1574 and is one of Colombia’s colonial treasures. This is a town nestled in the Andean foothills where time seems to have almost stood still. Overnight in Villa de Leyva.

Day 4 Villa de Leyva - El Fossil
Visit the old town and the main historical sights, starting with the plaza, considered for the largest town square in Colombia. In the afternoon have the chance to visit the well known geological site of El Fossil - a 13m sea reptile, the most complete example in the world, or the Muisca Observatory, both of which are located only a few kilometres from Villa de Leyva. The Muisca Observatory, El Infiernito, is another interesting site, it was used by the Muiscas, a people living in central Colombia at the time of the Spanish conquest, as an astronomical observatory and a place of worship. Return to your hotel and overnight.

Day 5 Villa de Leyva - Bogotá - Armenia (flight)
Today drive back to the outskirts of Bogotá to have a flight to Armenia. Armenia is the capital of the Quindio department and important coffee growing centre, where you will spend the next 3 nights.

Day 6 Cocora Valley and Acaime Reserve
Today take a full day tour Cocora Valley and the Acaime Reserve and spend time exploring the beautiful rainforest and creeks of the valley with the opportunity to see the wax palm, the national tree of Colombia, along with other flora and fauna. Later, visit the towns of Salento and Filandia to see their very characteristic architecture of this coffee growing region.

Day 7 Coffee farm
Be prepared for a full day travel to a local coffee farm and enjoy the scenery of one of the most attractive parts of the country. During the visit to the coffee farm you will learn about the whole process from the planting of the beans all the way through the picking and roasting process finishing off with trying the fresh coffee. Continue with a visit of the two local towns of Buenavista and Pijao, renowned for its authenticity.

Day 8 Armenia - Cartagena (flight)
This morning start with a city tour of Armenia, including a visit to the Quimbaya Indian Gold Museum. The Quimbaya were noted for their detailed and accurate gold work and most pieces found had been used as funeral offerings. Later this afternoon fly to Cartagena via Bogota, world known as one of the most fascinating colonial cities in Latin America. Located on the country’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena de Indias was one of the first cities to be founded by the Spanish in South America and today is famed both for its history and beauty. Overnight in Cartagena.

Day 9 Cartagena
Have a city tour of this fascinating city in the morning. Founded in 1533 by Spanish conquerors the city quickly became a major trading port, particularly for precious metals. Gold and silver from the mines in New Granada and Peru were loaded in Cartagena on galleons bound for Spain via Havana. It was also a slave port; Cartagena and Veracruz (in México) were the only cities authorized to trade in slaves. Today you will see colonial architecture, beautiful churches and the fortifications of the old city, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Cartagena Cathedral and finish the tour with a visit of San Felipe Castle where you will admire breathtaking views of Cartagena and the sea. Enjoy free time in the afternoon.

Day 10 Cartagena - Islas del Rosario (boat)
Today have a day at leisure in Cartagena or visit the magnificent Islas del Rosario. Located on a 1 hour cruise trip from Cartagena, these group of islands are a must see. Declared a National Park, you will be impressed by the natural flora and fauna here. Later, return to Cartagena.

Day 11 Cartagena - Totumo volcano - Barranquilla - Taganga
Today you leave Cartagena and make the short drive to Totumo volcano, unusual because it has no lava and is filled with liquid mud. You may be able to walk to the top (15m) and bathe in the mud which is supposed to have healing properties. Afterwards continue to Barranquilla to visit the cultural Museo del Caribe and then proceed to the Caribbean coast once more and arrive in Taganga, a small fishing village on the outskirts of Tayrona National Park, where you will spend the night.

Day 12 Taganga - Tayrona National Park - Taganga
Today drive to Tayrona National Park and have a full day to explore that piece of amazing coastal landscapes. See the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta as well as beautiful sandy beaches and jungle. Have a guided walk in the nature, swim in some lagoon or try snorkeling. Have a lunch and try the delicious local food and return to Taganga in the late afternoon.

Day 13 Taganga - Bogotá (flight)
Have some free time in the morning and explore by yourself charming Taganga. In the afternoon your transfer will take you to Santa Marta Airport for flight back to Bogotá.

Day 14 Bogotá
Transfer to the airport and fly back home.