Bogota to Cartagena
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.
Fancy a hike?
Combine this tour with our seven day Ciudad Perdida Trek, starting and finishing in Cartagena. Search for tour code RCCP.
- Guided tour of San Agustin Archaeological Park
- Tayrona National Park
- Orientation tour of Cartagena
13 night(s) in hotels
Travel by 3 flight(s), Public Bus
Staff & Experts
Tucan Travel tour leader
What's Not Included
- 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 - Please see the optional excursions on the Tour Notes for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.
- Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation
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.
Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Bogotá
The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.
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.
Day 2 to 3 - San Agustin
The area around San Agustin is 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. 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.
While not exploring the archaeological site, explore the area on horseback, the traditional means of transport. You can enjoy the stunning green landscape, hike through the hills or take a jeep tour.
Day 4 to 4 - Popayán
We visit the old city of Popayán. Commonly referred to as the 'white city', due to the colonial architecture distinctly painted white, Popoyán has one of the best preserved colonial town centres in all of Latin America. There are numerous cathedrals to peruse and the colossal Puracé volcano can be seen in the distance with the best views from Belen at the top of a hill overlooking the town. If you are here over Easter, the town's Semana Santa celebrations are the second largest in the world with processions and parades in the streets.
Day 5 to 5 - 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.
Day 6 to 7 - Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva is an attractive colonial town founded in 1572 which has been preserved, with virtually no modern architectural influences at all, as a National Monument by the Colombian Government. From Cali we will fly to Bogotá then drive to this delightful town. 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.
Day 8 to 9 - San Gil
Officially named Colombia's adventure sport capital, there is a plethora of activities to do in and around San Gil to kick start the adrenaline. In the evenings, sit in the Parque la Libertad, the town's main square and enjoy the local nightlife. Alternatively, you can visit the beautiful and quaint village of Barichara with its colonial feel, whitewashed houses, red tiles and beautiful balconies or explore Chicamocha National Park along the Chicamocha Canyon. Here there are plenty of things to keep you entertained including the cable car over the Canyon of Chicamocha. This is the longest in South America and offers spectacular views.
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.
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.
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.
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