Classic to modern Colombia
12 days from £1,651* per person Saving you £266 per person*
Tradition and culture, with cooking lesson and a hot air balloon trip.
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Bogotá
Your guide will meet you at the airport in Bogotá and take you to your hotel for the night.
Day 2 Bogotá – Private City Tour with cooking lesson
You’re off with an expert guide to see the local markets and experience some authentic Colombian cuisine. Start at La Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao, to see stacks of local produce laid out. Taste the ingredients on offer then gather some to take to your cookery class, where you’ll craft a traditional Colombian meal for your lunch.
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.
Day 3 Bogotá – Pereira
Fly to Pereira, where you’ll be accompanied to your next hotel.
Day 4 Pereira – Cocora Valley – Pereira
You’re off to see Colombia’s national tree in the beautiful Cocora Valley. The Quindio wax palm can grow up to 60 metres tall and provides shelter for various bird species, including hummingbirds and parrots. Hike through the cloud forest with your guide and return via one of the tallest palms in the world. Stop off at a trout farm for a lunch of smoked fish and to rest your legs.
In the afternoon, you’ll be taken to Salento for a tour of the city, covering the Plaza de Bolívar and its colourful balconies, local businesses selling handicrafts and a viewing point where you can look out over the Cocora Valley. Return to Pereira for the night.
Day 5 Pereira – Hot air Balloon over the coffee estates
Soar over the coffee region in a hot air balloon early in the morning, before descending to see the plantations up close.
You’ll proceed to a half-day tour of the coffee plantations covering the hills of this region. Start at the Hacienda San Alberto estate, where you’ll walk through the plantations and learn about the climate and production process that creates the distinctive flavours of Colombian coffee.
Day 6 Pereira – Medellín
Today you’re road-tripping to Medellín where you’ll check into your next hotel.
Day 7 Medellín
Take a tour of Medellín, formerly known as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Your guide will show you around the districts previously frequented by Pablo Escobar, explaining how regeneration projects have transformed the city and dramatically changed life for its residents. You’ll see evidence of cultural projects all around you – a library, a community mural and artworks donated by Fernando Botero.
Day 8 Medellín – El Peñol & Guatapé
Travel to the town of Guatapé to marvel at the enormous Peñol Rock. If you’re feeling fit, ascend to the top via 654 steps to look out over the Guatapé reservation. Descend again to visit tranquil pastel-painted Guatapé village then get back on the road to El Peñol, enjoying the views over Antioquia on the way. After lunch, take a tour of the Guatapé reservoir, which includes an hour by boat.
Day 9 Medellín – Cartagena
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cartagena, your next stop.
Day 10 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.
After lunch, visit the city’s colonial district, including Bolívar Park, the Gold Museum, the Santo Domingo Church and the Cathedral.
Day 11 Cartagena
A treat for literature fans today, with a half-day tour of locations from the works of Gabriel García Márquez, as well as spots that were particularly significant in the writer’s life. Highlights include his university, the old Santa Clara Convent and Las Ánimas Bay.
Day 12 Time to leave
You’re off to the airport for your connecting flight.
*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