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  • The colourful colonial buildings of Cartagena, Colombia
  • An ancient, flute playing statue in San Agustin, Colombia
  • The beautiful coastline of Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Route:
Bogota to Cartagena
Days:
14
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: CCC
From:

US$1,810

A feisty country with some of the most stunning landscapes, adventurers have been drawn to Colombia for many years. This two week tour will take you to some of the country’s highlights as we wander through colonial cities, roam through wildlife-rich national parks which hide sun-kissed beaches and uncover the fascinating ancient stone monuments of San Agustín.

About this tour

  • Type of Travel: Public Transport
  • Group Size: Average 10-14. Maximum 16.
  • Recommended Age: 18-65
  • Physical Rating: South America3
  • Country: Colombia

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • We travel on multiple domestic flights on this tour to ensure you can see as much of this beautiful country in a short time.
  • In Colombia, the weather is very changeable so make sure to pack a variety of clothes in preparation for all climates.
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tour Leader at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Bogotá

We begin our tour in Bogotá, formerly called Santa Fe de Bogotá. It is the capital and the largest city of Colombia with a population of seven million. We will be staying in the Candelaria district an excellent location within walking distance of many of the main sights including the main square - Plaza Bolívar, the Cathedral and Simón Bolívar's house. You may like to take the funicular to Monserrate for the incredible city views, or visit the world famous gold museum. A recommended activity would be the graffiti tour where you can explore some of the famous street art that adorns the city’s walls. It is also worth visiting the Botero Museum to see some of the artist’s work depicting people and objects in large formats.

Optional Excursions

Gold Museum – US$2 • Cerro de Monserrat, the cable car to Monserrat for views of the city – US$9 • Botero Museum- Free • Graffiti Tour- Free but donations welcomed

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Casa Platypus or similar

Day 2 to 3 - Villa de Leyva

Leaving Bogotá we drive to Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, a wonderful cathedral built underground within the tunnels of a salt mine. It is often a place of pilgrimage and on Sundays can attact 3000 people to worship. After exploring these unique church we will continue our journey, driving to the quaint town, Villa de Leyva. This attractive town was founded in 1572 which has been preserved, with virtually no modern architectural influences at all, as a National Monument by the Colombian Government. You'll have time to enjoy its chaming colonial plaza, exploring the narrow streets and private courtyards. Get talking to some of the locals, Colombians are some of the friendliest people in South America and are always happy to show you their way of life. This is also a popular area for hiking and mountain biking options.

Included Excursions

Zapiquira Salt Cathedral

Optional Excursions

Day tour (6-7 hours) to locations surrounding Villa de Leyva – US$80

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Sol de la Villa or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 4 to 4 - Villavieja

Leaving Villa de Leyva, we drive back to Bogotá where we catch a short flight to Neiva. From here we will have an hour's drive to Villavieja, a small town which is the gateway for visiting the Tatacoa Desert.

We visit the desert, which boasts spectacular rock formations and surreal red sand. Villavieja itself is a lovely authentic Colombian town which you have the evening to explore after you have seen the sun go down in the desert.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 5 to 6 - San Agustin

We have a scenic journey, travelling for approximately seven hours to San Agustín, an area known for the pre-Columbian sites with many fascinating statues. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, little is known about the communities that carved these statues apart from the few traces of their existence that they left behind. The following day we will have a guided tour through the San Agustín Archaeological Park. There are hundreds of these statues to see spread over a huge area as well as many ancient burial sites. The pre-Columbian community was eventually replaced by a new group of people who arrived possibly from the Amazon region in the late eighth century bringing in more complex agriculture practises. The parks also have some amazing views of the valley.

When you are not exploring the archaeological site, you can enjoy the stunning green landscape, hike through the hills or take a jeep tour.

Included Excursions

Guided tour of San Agustin Archaeological Park

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Anacaona or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 7 to 7 - Tierradentro

We have a long drive to Tierradentro, a remote and otherworldly place surrounded by misty hills . With its name literally translating to ‘land within’ it is little wonder this area is most famous for its elaborate painted underground burial chambers carved out of the soft volcanic rock that makes up the landscape. We will have an included visit to the Archaeological Park where you can visit these vast underground tombs are shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Please note: The Tierradentro Burial Chambers can be a bit challenging to climb in and out of. Make sure you pack comfortable footwear.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in a guesthouse

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 8 to 9 - Cali

Welcome to Cali, a vibrant city with a large Afro-Colombian culture and a passion for salsa music. Admire La Ermita, a church famous for its Gothic style architecture before soaking up the lively atmosphere in the Barrio de San Antonio area. Here you can get great views of the city from the top of the hill as well as having a host of restaurants and bars.

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Puerta de San Antonio or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 10 to 11 - Santa Marta

Flying via Bogotá, we arrive at the oldest city in Colombia and the first one settled by the Spanish, Santa Marta. The city has an important historical centre and a beautiful old town, and is a popular destination for Colombian tourists. It is also our base for a day trip to Tayrona National Park

With some of the best coastline on the whole continent, Tayrona National Park is a chance to escape from the towns and cities and relax. It is a few hours of gentle hiking to reach the secluded beaches where roads and cars have no access. You can hire a guide to take you to some of the local villages in the nearby mountains or hike through the dense rainforest, stumbling across ancient Pre-Columbian ruins reclaimed by the jungle and its many residents from the animal and bug kingdom. You can snorkel in the reefs with magnificent tropical fish and marine life or enjoy fresh food from the local food stalls. Tayrona National Park is a chance to recharge your batteries.

Please note:To enter Tayrona National Park you must have a valid yellow fever certificate.

Included Excursions

Tayrona National Park

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Park Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Basic Breakfast(s)

Day 12 to 13 - Cartagena

Cartagena is one of the most interesting colonial towns on the continent and where the film Romancing the Stone was based. You have time to wander the fascinating narrow streets adorned with wooden balconies and hanging plants. There are several interesting sites to see such as a visit to Castillo San Felipe and the fortress on San Lazaro hill. Beneath this fortress is a maze of tunnels and there are still cannons in place along the battlements. Also worthwhile is a trip up La Popa hill to visit the colourful convent with great views over the city. The Boca Grande area of Cartagena is where Colombians come for their beach holidays and it is full of shops, nightclubs and bars. Near Cartagena is the Volcán de Lodo El Totumo, a mud volcano where you can relax and wallow in the mud, which is believed to be a good treatment for the skin.

Included Excursions

Orientation tour of Cartagena

Optional Excursions

City tour – US$50 including entrance fees to San Felipe Castle, La Popa and the Gold Museum • Totumo Volcano – US$26 • Chiva party (3 hours), includes drinks on the bus – US$20

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Villa Colonial or similar

Meals

1 Basic Breakfast(s), 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 14 to 14 - Depart Cartagena

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

What's Included

Excursions & Activities

  • Zapiquira Salt Cathedral
  • Guided tour of San Agustin Archaeological Park
  • Tayrona National Park
  • Orientation tour of Cartagena

Accommodation

12 night(s) in hotels, 1 night(s) in a guesthouse

Transportation

Travel by 4 flight(s), Public Bus

Meals

11 Breakfast(s), 2 Basic Breakfast(s)

Other

Tucan Travel tour leader

What's Not Included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes  
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.  
  • Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

Group

Group Size: Maximum 16. Average 8-12.

Tour Suitability: This tour is recommended for people aged 18-65. For more information on what to expect, click here.

Group Size: Maximum 16. Average 8-12

Tour Suitability: This tour is recommended for people aged 18-65. For more information on what to expect, click here.

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