At the northern end of South America, Colombia is a lively, colorful country. Colombia boasts of vast rainforests and the Andes mountains, so there are plenty of trails to trek. If you like cities, explore the beautiful streets of Medellin or visit Bogota with its colonial-era feel. Hit the hammock on a beach in Cartagena or take a coffee tasting tour. Whether you want to enjoy hiking, discover a lost city or just relax on a beach, this Latin America journey brings all for you.
Enjoy a couple of days learning about the world's favorite bean during a stay on a traditional coffee estancia deep in Colombia's coffee region
Travel beneath the floral balconies of Cartagena, the World Heritage-listed city combining Carribean splendor and irresistible old-world beauty
wildlife-filled jungle. Relax in a hammock as dusky titi monkeys and red squirrels play in the bushes
Explore the new face of Medellin, a city offering pictorial cable-car rides, world-class cuisine, and a pulsating nightlife
This Latin America jour starts and ends in Bogota. You explore the best of Colombia from Bogota, Colombia and through other destinations in South America.
Discover South America's best-hidden secret on this tour through the flourishing mountains and powdery beaches of Colombia. Head into the tranquil highlands of Colombia's famous coffee region and discover the sweeter, softer side of this much-unknown country. Visit Bogota's colonial center, relax on palm-fringed stretches of Caribbean coastline and meet the locals whose culture make Colombia one of the world's friendliest countries.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Colombia. With a wealth of homely cafes, exciting museums and old churches, cosmopolitan Bogota is full of wonders. Your tour begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where your group meeting will be conducted. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please keep ready all the relevant documents to provide to your leader. Afterward, your leader will take you on an introduction walk around the nearby area. After that, you're free to go exploring on your own.
Today enjoy a free morning in Bogota. Around noon take a short flight of 1 hour to Armenia and travel for approximately 40 minutes to the charming village of Salento. Take the time to walk through its charming streets and admire the colors of 'paisa' architecture at its best. There are a number of ways to enjoy Colombia’s local food Trout, but it's most often served with a rich, garlicky cheese sauce. Colombia's national sport, Tejo, is a famous pastime in Salento. If you're into sports, you'll have the option to visit the local Tejo hall and enjoy the game.
Travel by jeep out to the beautiful Cocora Valley, home of the towering wax palm, Colombia's national tree. Enjoy the morning walking among the region's beautiful scenery, perhaps hiking up to Acaime Reserve where bright hummingbirds feed. The hike to Acaime for approximately 5 hours is quite strenuous, with some steep and slippery parts, so you'll need good trekking shoes, as well as plenty of water and snacks. A lavish boxed lunch will be provided. If you'd rather take it easy, you can explore the valley as you like, then board a jeep back to town. Later, travel deep into Colombia's coffee region for a two-night stay in a traditional coffee estancia, where you'll have an excellent opportunity to learn first hand about this wonderful bean.
Thanks to its tropical altitude and productive volcanic soil, Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee producers. You’ll get to experience this addictive little bean a whole lot better on a guided tour of the coffee plantation and production center. Delve into the history of the plant, learning the inside story of the industry that's long influenced the country's economy. Watch how the beans are raised and harvested, processed, dried, roasted and ground, and then taste firsthand what all the excitement is about. Taste different kinds of coffee grains and get a lesson on preparing different kinds of coffees, finishing it all off with a sip into a steaming cup of freshly brewed joe. Afterward, relax amid the estancia's serene surrounds of sloping green hills and valleys.
This morning we will leave the Coffee Estancia to start a one hour travel to the small town of Chinchilla, where we will then board a luxury public bus for the approximately 6-7 hour journey to Medellin.
Your tour leader will take you on an introduction walk of this charming city. Along the way, learn a little more about the city's interesting modern history. Having spent the 1980s and 90s with international fame as one of the world's most dangerous cities, Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most impressive cities in South America. With some of the country's finest museums, parks, and architecture as well as a much safer and comfortable environment now it's easy to understand why its popularity is increasing.
Awake early on this morning and join your join leader on a morning visit to Plaza Minorista Market. The market is divided into different areas: flowers, fruit, vegetables, and herbs, and meat and fish. Take the chance to buy some fascinating local fruits like feijoa, Araza, guanabana, Maracuya, and Lulo, many of which are rarely found outside of Colombia. After lunch, enjoy eye-catching views of Medellin and its surrounds during a cable car ride up to San Javier. Ascend up the mountain over brick houses, viewing as the folded metal roofs give way to vistas of green valleys and forested peaks. Thanks to the elevation, things are normally a little cooler up here. Back in Medellin, you might want to find out one of the city's vibrant salsa bars as many consider Medellin's nightlife as the best in Colombia.
This morning begins at approximately 8 am with a pick-up. We travel for about 17km out of Medellin to a flower farm in Santa Elena which is nestled slightly higher than Medellin at 2500mts above sea level. Here we will meet a local "Silletero" or chair maker and his family. The Silletero makes the flower "skillets" or flower display that competes every year in the Medellin "Fiesta de las Flores". A local guide will tell us about the history and the evolution of the "skillet" culture. We'll see where the flowers grow and experience how a small skillet is made.
This evening you'll have some free time to explore Medellin. Perhaps visit the Museo de Antioquia to view some of Botero's great works or get more modern at the wonderful Museo de Arte Moderno.
Today morning we fly to Cartagena. Cartagena is one of South America's most historically famous cities. The old city, especially the inner walled town, is the main attraction – it's packed with magnificent churches, monasteries, plazas, and mansions.
Spend some free time today to explore Cartagena's Old City under your own pace. Explore local handicrafts shops, visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the city's fortresses, or perhaps head out of the city to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo. Instead of lava, this naturally strange volcano erupts a cream-like mud that is said to contain many healing properties. Enter into a wallow, then clean the muddy goodness off in the nearby lagoon.
Today we travel for approximately 8 hours by public bus to Bogota via San Gil, so kick back and enjoy the silence as the view rolls by. There will be a number of stops made along the way. Your hotel in Bogota is nestled in the Chapinero neighborhood, one of the most culturally important parts of the city.
formerly known as Santa Fe de Bogota, is the capital and the biggest city in Colombia with a population of seven million. We will be visiting the Candelaria district a beautiful location within walking distance of many of the famous sights including the main square - Plaza Bolivar, the Cathedral, and Simon Bolivar's house. You may like to take the funicular to Monserrate for the excellent city views or visit the world famous gold museum. A suggested activity would be the graffiti tour where you can explore some of the popular street art that decorates the city’s walls. It is also worth touring the Botero Museum to view some of the artist’s work depicting people and objects in large formats.
Your Latin America concludes after breakfast this morning.
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