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Home > Essential Colombia

Essential Colombia

An ideal route for a first travel to Colombia with essential steps: Bogotá and Villa de Leyva, a colonial town in the heart of the Andes; the coffee region with its lush landscapes and traditions; Tayrona National Park with its jungle and beautiful beaches; Cartagena and the Caribbean Coast...

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota
  • Day 3: Bogota - Zipaquira - Villa de Leyva
  • Day 4: Villa de Leyva
  • Day 5: Villa de Leyva - Bogota - Armenia
  • Day 6: Armenia - Salento - Cocora Valley - Armenia
  • Day 7: Armenia - Salento - Armenia - Bogota - Santa Marta - Tayrona National Park
  • Day 8: Tayrona National Park
  • Day 9: Tayrona National Park - Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 10: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 11: Cartagena de Indias - Rosario Archipelago - Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 12: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 13: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Bogota

Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.

Transfer to your hotel in the Candelaria district.

Free time to enjoy at your own Colombia´s capital city where modern districts and historic center, urban architecture and green parks stand alongside.



Overnight at De La Opera hotel in Standard room.


Included : transfer arrival, room & breakfast

Day 2: Bogota

Explore Colombia´s capital city of Bogota, known for its colonial and authentic atmosphere. Walking through its cobblestoned streets, you will discover colorful restored colonial mansions, splendid carved wooden balconies as well as churches built in baroque style.


- The Gold museum displays one of the most dazzling collection in South America. It brings together around 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work, considered as the world´s largest pre-Colombian collection of its kind. Those artifacts come from different civilizations : Quimbayas, Taironas, Muiscas or Tolimas.


- Botero Museum is dedicated to the most famous colombian artist, Fernando Botero. The Museum contains both his works (around a hundred of drawings, paintings and sculptures) as well as his private collection with no less than 85 masterpieces of well known artists, such as Dali, Renoir, Chagall, Picasso, Miro ...


- Bolivar Square (la Plaza Bolivar) surrounded by Bogota´s grandest buildings, including the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice, Primatial Cathedral, Congress Building...


Note 1 : the tour in La Candelaria is a walking tour (3 to 4 hours)


Note 2 : the order of visits may vary depending on the weekday (The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays. Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays).


Free afternoon to enjoy Bogota as you desire.


Overnight at De La Opera hotel in Standard room.


Included : entrance fees, excursion (private), room & breakfast

Day 3: Bogota - Zipaquira - Villa de Leyva

Let´s go to Boyaca department. On the way, you will stop at Zipaquira to visit its famous Salt Cathedral, built within the tunnels of a salt mine. The church we visit nowadays is a replica of the original cathedral which was built in 1951 dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. Situated 60 metres deeper, it covers 8500 square meters. Tranfer to your hotel and free time to enjoy the colonial atmosphere of Villa de Leyva.
Note : 5 hours drive.


Overnight at Posada San Antonio hotel in Standard room.


Included : private transport, room & breakfast

Day 4: Villa de Leyva

Departure for a day-long adventure tour through Paseo del Angel road: desert landscapes, waterfalls, natural swimming pools, canyons and walking trail used by the indigenous population.
Then, visit of the historic site of Convento Santo Ecce Homo. This beautiful monastery holds a mysterious charm with its floors paved with stones containing numerous ammonites and fossils.
In the afternoon, city tour of Villa de Leyva to discover the main sites of this preserved colonial town : Casa Antonio Nariño and Casa Antonio Ricaurte, El Carmen Church, Plaza Mayor.


Overnight at Posada San Antonio hotel in Standard room.


Included : private transport, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 5: Villa de Leyva - Bogota - Armenia

Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight.


Note: 4 hours drive.


Domestic flight to Armenia.
Welcome to « Coffee Triangle », including the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, which together make up the heart of the Zona Cafetera, also called the Eje Cafetero. This area is famous for growing and producing the majority of the Colombian coffee, considered by some as the best coffee in the world.
Transfer to your Hacienda, a large traditional landed estate.


Overnight at Hacienda Bambusa hotel in Standard room.


Included : private transport, domestic flight, transfer arrival, room & breakfast, dinner

Day 6: Armenia - Salento - Cocora Valley - Armenia

Delve deep into this Colombia´s beautiful area.
This day will be dedicated to the discovery of the scenic landscapes and small villages:
- Jeep Willys ride in the countryside
- Hiking tour past the soaring wax-palm trees in lush Cocora Valley
- Lunch break
- Visit of Salento: panoramic tour, discovery of the local architecture, the houses made of bamboo and the colourful handicraft shops.


Overnight at Hacienda Bambusa hotel in Standard room.


Included : private transport, lunch (no drinks), entrance fees, excursion (private), room & breakfast, dinner

Day 7: Armenia - Salento - Armenia - Bogota - Santa Marta - Tayrona National Park

Half day dedicated to visit a coffee plantation. Inside a typical “finca”, you will learn everything about coffee. The production is as complex and sophisticated as wine. On site you will have the opportunity to walk among the coffee trees and to be introduced to the process of harvesting and roasting, before enjoying the drink produced on site.
Transfer to Armenia airport for your domestic flight.
Domestic flight to Bogota.
Domestic flight to Santa Marta.


Overnight at Casa Barlovento hotel in Standard room.


Included : private transport, entrance fees, transfer departure, domestic flight, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 8: Tayrona National Park


Overnight at Casa Barlovento hotel in Standard room.


Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 9: Tayrona National Park - Cartagena de Indias

Free time to enjoy the beaches of Tayrona National Park before leaving for Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast.


Transfer to the hotel and end of day free to explore the unequalled charm of this beautiful colonial city, that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.


Note: 4 to 5 hours drive.


Included : private transport

Day 10: Cartagena de Indias

In the morning, you will go for a guided walking tour through the Walled City, including the visit of the most beautiful areas such as San Diego, Plaza Santo Domingo, Getsemani and other landmarks with very rich history.
Free afternoon to enjoy the city according to your desires.
Included : entrance fees, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide

Day 11: Cartagena de Indias - Rosario Archipelago - Cartagena de Indias - Port de Carthagène - Cartagena de Indias

Transfer between your hotel and the port of Cartagena.

Full day in the heart of the beautiful Rosario archipelago, also known as Coral Islands of Rosario.
Perfect day to relax on the beaches, to swim in the heart of the Caribbean, to explore the mangrove and to taste local dishes based on fish and coconut rice...
Note 1: when you arrive at Cartagena port, you must pay a harbor tax (15 500 COP at this day)
Note 2: leaving around 9:00 / return around 16:00. About 3 hours sailing total


Transfer between the port and your hotel in Cartagena.
Included : private transport, boat ticket, lunch, welcome cocktail

Day 12: Cartagena de Indias

Half Day tour to visit the main historic and cultural sites of Cartagena:

- The Convento de la Popa
- The fortifications San Felipe Barajas
- The historic center : the Palace of the Inquisition, Santa Catalina Alejandria Cathedral, Basilica Menor

Free time to immerse yourself in the tropical atmosphere of the old town.

Note : the order of visits may be modified.
Free afternoon to enjoy the city according to your desires.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide

Day 13: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota

Transfer to Cartagena airport for your flight to Bogota. Connexion to your international flight.


IMPORTANT : depending on your flight schedule, make sure you have the time for connexion. Otherwise, choose to stay overnight in Bogota the day before departure.


Domestic flight to Bogota.
Included : transfer departure, domestic flight

Night at the De La Opera hotel - Standard room   Bogota

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Welcome to De la Opera hotel located in the Candelaria district in Bogota. Come and taste the exquisite Mediterenean gastronomy in La Scala Restaurant. Sit down on the top terrace of the hotel and admire the breathtaking, endless view over the colonial roofs and the domes of San Francisco Church. Roam the most peaceful cobblestoned streets of one of the safest neighborhoods of Colombia´s capital. Admire from your balcony the facades of the Palacio San Carlos or the Museum of Colonial Art. Huge aristocratic buidlings, unexpected squares, beautiful churches, museums, universities and theaters are located just nearby the hotel.

Night at the Posada San Antonio hotel - Standard room   Villa de Leyva

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

This charming hotel is ideally located in the center of Villa de Leyva, just a step away from Plaza Mayor, in the historic district. Posada San Antonio features 26 rooms tastefully furnished.

Night at the Hacienda Bambusa hotel - Standard room   Armenia

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner

The hacienda is located south of the coffee region in a privileged place. When you enter the hacienda you cross manioc plantations, orange and pineapple, among others. Surrounded by bamboo forests, rivers and streams, the hacienda is dedicated to the breeding and the cultivation of cocoa, ginger, banana, tangerines, among others. His landscapes are breathtaking and diverse flora and fauna makes it a little paradise.

Night at the Casa Barlovento hotel - Standard room   Tayrona National Park

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

This lovely hotel, located 5 minutes from the Tayrona park entrance, is wedged between the sea and the jungle. This is the ideal place to relax and rest. With its 8 rooms and a beautiful swimming pool you will enjoy your stay there.

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