Colombia – Archaeology & history tour
12 days from £1,921* per person Saving you £476 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival in Bogotá
Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for the night.
Day 2 Bogotá
Enjoy a city tour of La Candelaria, the historic centre of Bogotá. Visit Plaza de Bolívar to see Simón Bolívar’s statue and the collection of artworks housed in the cathedral here. You’ll also tour the political hub of the Capitol, where you can see busts of the country’s former presidents, and take in the surrounding buildings, such as the Palace of Justice. The tour takes an arty turn next, stopping at a museum featuring Fernando Botero’s artworks, as well as pieces by Monet, Picasso and others. You’ll continue to the Gold Museum to see gold artefacts, precious stones, textiles and ceramics left over from ancient civilisations.
You’ve got the afternoon to yourself to spend however you like.
Day 3 Bogotá – Zipaquirá – Guatavita
Depart for the city of Zipaquirá, journeying through the Bogotá Savannah and its flower crops on the way. You’re heading toward the Salt Cathedral, an incredible underground edifice accessed by tunnel and complete with a giant cross carved into the salt.
After your lunch stop, visit Lake Guatavita. The lake and surrounding forest provide the perfect place to view local animal and plant life. You’ll also hear about ancient Muisca rituals performed at this lake, which is where the legend of El Dorado was born. Move on to visit the town of Guatavita then the lake at Tomine, before returning to Bogotá for the night.
Day 4 Bogotá – Neiva – Tatacoa Desert – San Agustín
Board your plane to Neiva, from where you’ll be taken directly to Villavieja to visit the Museo Paleontológico. Then set off for a long drive across the surrounding landscape of the Tatacoa Desert, taking in fantastic views of the plains of the Magdalena River Valley. Check in to your hotel in San Agustín for dinner and a rest before tomorrow’s adventures.
Day 5 San Agustín Archaeological Park
Spend the morning at the UNESCO-rated San Agustín Archaeological Park and marvel at the huge stone statues here. Continue to the Lavapatas spring, where water pours over hand-carved rocks, before climbing up to the terrace above for more exceptional countryside views.
After lunch, see the mountains of the Colombian Massif and watch the Magadalena River curling through the rocky gorge. Stop off in the town of San Agustín on the way back to your hotel for dinner.
Day 6 San Agustin – Neiva – Cartagena
Fly from Neiva to Cartagena (via Bogotá), then check in to your next hotel.
Day 7 Cartagena
Start your day with a panoramic view of Cartagena from the 15th-century Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa.
Next up is the hilltop San Felipe Fortress, where you can explore the various tunnels and passageways, before moving on to the old city (Ciudad Vieja). Continue to the Bovedos, a series of archways of previous military use and now a buzzing artisan quarter. Take the afternoon to browse the local handicrafts.
Day 8 Cartagena Street Food
During this walking tour, there will be 10 different stops in the historic centre and you will learn about Cartagena’s typical food by tasting 15 different types of food, all prepared by local cooks in different places along the streets. You will also have a go at preparing a selection of typical food with the local vendors.
Day 9 Cartagena to Tayrona Park
After breakfast, transfer by road to Tayrona National Park
Day 10 Tayrona National Park
Take a zigzagging trek along the hilly trails to Pueblito. Here you’ll see the remains of ancient Tayrona buildings, stone bridges and an aqueduct. You can learn more about the area and Tayrona culture by speaking to some of the indigenous people who live locally, before heading off to the Cabo San Juan de Guía beach for a swim. Trek a bit further, appreciating the coastal views, before heading back for the night.
Day 11 Tayrona National Park
Spend the day exactly how you want to: relaxing on the beach, snorkelling, horse-riding – or anything else you fancy.
Day 12 Homeward bound
You’re off to Santa Marta airport to catch your flight home.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included