The essentials of Colombia tour

Our suggestion of itinerary to discover the essentials of Colombia in 12 days

You will discover the main cities of Colombia with this itinerary of 12 days. Visit of the capital Bogota at 2600 meters above sea level and the colonial Cartagena de Indias at the end of your stay. Between these two essential regions, you will deep into the culture of the famous city of Medellin and visit Cali, the capital of salsa.

Length of stay: 12 days

Kind: Must-see

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: Colombia

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Day 1 : Bogota

Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.

Transfer to your hotel in Zona Norte district . Overnight at The Artisan hotel in City Standard room.

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Day 2 : Bogota

Full day to explore Colombia´s capital city of Bogota, known for its colonial and authentic atmosphere .

– Cerro de Monserrate is the 3152m peak flanking the city´s east. Over there, you will enjoy a stunning view over the city and its surroundings. At the top, there is a white church (accessible by cable car or by funicular railway), it is a sanctuary for pilgrimages and particularly crowded on holy days.

-The Candelaria district: Bogota’s historical centre. You will be walking through its cobblestoned streets, you will discover colorful 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 features 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 greatest buildings, including the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice, Primatial Cathedral, Congress Building…

Note 1: walking tour in the Candelaria colonial center (3 to 4 hours walking in the city). Trasnportation is included for the visit of Montserrate.

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

Note 3 : Montserrate is very popular on Sundays and you will meet a lot of other visitors.

Overnight at The Artisan hotel in City Standard room.

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Day 3 : Bogota

Free morning to enjoy Bogota as you desire.

Note : Be careful, Gold museum is closed on Mondays and Botero museum closed on Tusdays. Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight. Domestic flight to Cali . Arrival at Cali airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Movich Casa del Alferez hotel in Standard room.

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Day 4 : Cali

This day will be dedicatd to the latino rythms . With your tour guide, you will pass by the districts that pay tribute to Caleño artists, such as Obrero or Pionerio district. During the afternoon, you will visit the most famous Salsa school of Colombia. Overnight at Movich Casa del Alferez hotel in Standard room.

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Day 5 : Cali

Free morning in Cali to enjoy the city according to your desires. Arrival at Medellin and transfer to your hotel. End of the day free to enjoy the city of eternal spring . Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in Loft room.

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Day 6 : Medellin

City tour about urban transformation and urban ar t. By foot and with a vehicle, you will explore the places that have transformed the city.

Your discovery will begin with the visit of the Comuna 13 , known for having been the center of urban violence in Medellin. The arrival of the Metrocable , the building of a design library, and a hospital among others show the renewal of this neighborhood. Many graffitis are now part of the landscape and you will discover their meanings. The collective of artists Casa Kolacho will explain you how they have saved hundreds of young people from armed conflict through culture.

Note: The metocable is closed on public holidays (generally Mondays in Colombia) as well as on the Tuesday following the public holiday . Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in Loft room.

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Day 7 : Medellin

Departure for a day in the heart of the Antioquian bucolic landscapes. You will first stop at El Peñol , an impressive granite monolith on the shores of an artificial lake, created with the nearby dam. After having climbed the 659 steps of the stone, you will reach the top of the Peñol with a 360-degree view of the lake and the village.

You will then look at the colorful village of Guatapé . This is indeed renowned for its Zócalos friezes (Spanish tradition) decorations that adorn many buildings.

Note: about 3 hours drive. Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in Loft room.

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Day 8 : Medellin

Perched onto the hills of Medellin City, the owner of the finca Capilla Rosario will welcome you for a very special coffee tasting. You will be able to observe coffee trees and follow the roasting process.

This is what influences the taste of the beverage and gives the beans its brown color. What´s best than ending this tour by drinking a cup of freshly roasted coffee ? You will enjoy a nice view over the valley of Medellin. Free afternoon in Medellin. Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in Loft room.

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Day 9 : Medellin

Transfer to Medellin 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. Free afternoon to enjoy the city at your own pace. Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in Premium Oroko room.

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Day 10 : Cartagena de Indias

Half day dedicated to the visit of the historic center and the main sites of Cartagena. We invite you to a walk, to discover the past and present of Cartagena by visiting the most beautiful monuments of the city such as the Clock Tower or Don Pedro de Heredia .

During the visit, you will notice the different influences – Romanesque, Moorish, Colonial, Military, Arab, Spanish and North American – that shaped Cartagena.

You will also discover the Palace of the Inquisition , one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, or the San Pedro Claver sanctuary , formerly dedicated to Spanish priests and missionaries. Free afternoon to enjoy the city according to your desires. Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in Premium Oroko room.

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Day 11 : Cartagena de Indias

Departure for an adventure in Getsemani district , at a stone’s throw from the walled city… You will go for a walking tour in the streets of this Bohemian district to discover the foo d the “local” way , the real Colombian food that the Cartageneros love!

Whether you are looking for a snack or something more substantial, a healthy starter or a sweet dessert, the streets of Cartagena offer everything! This is one of the best ways to get insight into the daily life and culture of the local people.

The visit will allow you a more personal contact with the Authentic Cartagena , with street vendors filling your bellies with their delights and warming your hearts with their hospitality! You will taste tropical fruits, arepas, buñuelos, chicharrones, limonada and other cocadas…

Note: About 2 hours

Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in Premium Oroko room.

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Day 12 : Cartagena de Indias

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 . Arrival at Bogota El Dorado airport and connexion for your international flight.

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