Archeaological & historical tour in Colombia
Discover the Colombian history and archaeology with our 12-day customized trip
A journey to the deepest heart of Colombia, its incredible History, with its many pre-Hispanic cultures and its European footprints. After discovering the colonial architecture in the regions of the Boyaca and Santander, you will then explore the regions of Huila and Cauca, rich in mystical pre-Columbian statues and tombs. You will then head to the Coffee region for a blast of fresh air and nature and end up your trip on the Caribbean coast to discover the architectural gem of Cartagena de Indias.
Length of stay: 12 days
Fix: For all public
Countries visited: Colombia
Villa de Leyva
Cartagena de Indias
Your customized trip
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Day 1 : Bogota
Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.
Transfer to your hotel in the Candelaria district and free time to enjoy at your own pace Colombia´s capital city where modern districts and historic center, urban architecture and green parks stand alongside. Overnight at Casa Deco hotel in Standard room.
Day 2 : Bogota
Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight. Domestic flight to Bucaramanga . Transfer betweeen Bucaramanga airport and your hotel.
Installation into your hotel. Overnight at Casa Oniri hotel in Doble Deluxe room.
Day 3 : Barichara
You will start by the visit of Barichara , one of the most beautiful village in Colombia . You will discover the colonial architecture, recognized as national heritage. Visit of the Imaculada Conception cathedral, Santa Barbara and Santa Lucia Church.
Lunch in a typical restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to discover the city under an artistic eye. The city is well-known for its art where many artists live. You will prinipally discover the weaving , the speciality of Barichara. Overnight at Casa Oniri hotel in Doble Deluxe room.
Day 4 : Barichara
Transfer to Villa de Leyva , a charming colonial town in the Boyaca department.
Note: about 5 hours drive.
Visit by foot of the historical and cultural center of Villa de Leyva. Along the cobbled streets, you will discover the following sites:
– The living places of the heroes of the Independence of Colombia (Casa Antonio Nariño and Casa Antonio Ricaurte)
– El Carmen Church, which houses a small (but remarkable) museum of religious art with beautiful goldsmiths’ work from the colonial era.
– The Plaza Mayor, with an area of 14,000m2, is one of the largest paved squares in America.
– Later, in the surroundings of Villa de Leyva, you will visit the Convent of Santo Ecce Homo, founded in 1620 by Dominican monks. The buildings of this monastery display many fossils dotted in stone. The original chapel has an impressive golden altar, while religious objects and works of art from the 16th to the 19th century are displayed.
Note 1: 2 hours walk.
Note 2: list not exhaustive, some sites may be closed on the day of the visit. Overnight at Casa Terra hotel in Standard room.
Day 5 : Villa de Leyva
In the morning, departure for Bogota . On the way you will stop at Raquira , a small village famous for its ceramic workshops. Nearby, visit the Covento del Desierto de la Candelaria , an Augustinian monastery built in 1661.
Transfer to the hotel in Bogota and end of the day free.
Note 1 : 5 to 6 hours drive during the day
Note 2 : Free visit of the sites, guide is not included.
Note 3 : Raquira has become very touristic, it is possible to ask your driver not to stop there. Domestic flight to Pitalito.
Note : flight with a low-cost company that only allows a 15 kg suitcase. Any extra kilo must be paid at the company counter at the airport. Arrival at Pitaito airport. You will take the road to San Agustin. After the check-in at your hotel, you will visit Estrecho del Rio Magdalena, a rocky gorge of 2.20 meters wide in which Colombia’s longest river clears itself a way with an unimaginable strength. French speaking guide. Overnight at Akawanka Hotel in Standard room.
Day 6 : San Agustin
Overnight at Akawanka Hotel in Standard room. This day will be dedicated to the visit of San Agustin Archaeological Park , listed as World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. You will go through the main sites:
– Las Mesitas , housing crypts, figurines and funerary dolmens;
– El Bosque de las Estatuas , numerous statues representing mostly male anthropomorphic figures, sometimes with feline features;
– El Fuente de Lavapatas”, a religious monument engraved in the riverbed, considered as a sacred site by the indigenous people;
– Alto Lavapatas , the oldest site of San Agustin (3300 BC), guarded by impressive statues and offering a unique view over the valley and the various archaeological sites;
– Horseback riding (optional) to reach El Chaquira and El Tablon sites while enjoying the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes.
Note: 3 hours walk.
Optional: 3 hours’ horse riding. If you are interested, please contact us.
Day 7 : Popayan
Overnight at Dann Monasterio hotel in Standard room. Departure to Popayán, nicknamed the White City because of its buildings in lime and wrought iron balconies. Check-in at your hotel and end of the day free to discover the city.
Note: 4 to 5 hours’ drive.
Day 8 : Popayan
Transfer to Pereira . On the way, you will make a stop at Silvia . This village is known for its colorful weekly market and for its inhabitants, the Guambianos native of the Ecuador.
You will visit the village and discover the aboriginal culture (traditions, craft…).
Note: 5 hours drive. Overnight at Sazagua hotel in Standard room.
Day 9 : Pereira
Transport between your hotel and Salento. This day will be dedicated to the discovery of typical villages and landscapes of the coffee region.
You will start with a ride in a traditional “jeep Willy” within the green valley of Cocora , and then you will hike among the wax palm trees (Colombian national tree).
Let’s go for a walk among the avocado trees ! You will have the opportunity to learn more about the cultivation of this very trendy fruit and to taste different types of avocado from their best batches.
Lunch break in a beautiful traditional hacienda in the heart of Cocora Valley.
In the afternoon, visit of Salento village : discovering of the local architecture and traditional constructions made of bamboo (guadua). Overnight at Sazagua hotel in Standard room.
Day 10 : Pereira
Transport between Pereira and Finca la Mina. Lilia, Gabriel, Karen and Gelen open the doors of their small traditional finca , perched on the coffee hills between Manizales and Pereira,
On site, you will have the opportunity to walk among the coffee trees, to be introduced to harvesting and roasting processes, before enjoying the drink produced on site.
An authentic and friendly experience shared with a family of local farmers, passionate about their job and their history.
A typical lunch will be served after the tour. Transfer to Pereira airport for your domestic flight. Domestic flight to Cartagena . Arrival in Cartagena de Indias , the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast , a city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena’s old town is a Unesco World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across the plazas.
Transfer to your hotel in the historical center. Free time to enjoy the rest of the day. Overnight at Alfiz Hotel in Standard room.
Day 11 : Cartagena de Indias
Morning dedicated to the visit of the main historic and cultural sites of Cartagena :
– The Convent of the Popa : perched on a hill that embraces the whole bay, this monastery houses a beautiful patio, a colonial museum and a chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Candelaria.
– Panoramic View from the Castle of San Felipe Barajas : at the doors of the colonial city, it is one of the greatest strongholds ever built by the Spanish Army. The view of the city is impressive.
– Direction Fuerte San Sebastian del Pastelillo now listed Historical and Cultural Humanity Heritage by UNESCO . This is the first fort built in Cartagena, in 1741. It was there that took place the famous attack of British Pirate Sir Francis Drake. The fort was restored in the 1970s and is home to the famous restaurant Club de Pesca .
In the afternoon, 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.
Note 1: lunch at Club de Pesca, contact us if you are interested.
Note 2: the Convent of the Popa limits access to 15 people due to the decay of the site. If you are a group of 15 people or more, your guide will suggest an alternative for this visit. Overnight at Alfiz Hotel in Standard room.