Essential Colombia Tour

Essential Colombia in 12 Days: Our Suggested Itinerary

Explore the main cities of Colombia with this 12 day itinerary. Visit the capital of Bogota at 2600 meters above sea level and discover the Colonial city Cartagena de Indias. Dive deep into the culture of the famous city of Medellin and experience Cali, the capital of salsa.

Length of stay: 12 days

Kind: Must-see Colombia

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 a City Standard room.

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Day 2 : Bogota

Full day to explore the capital city of Bogota, known for its colonial architecture and authentic atmosphere.

– Take in panoramic views of the city and it’s surroundings at Cerro de Monserrate, the 3152m high peak that flanks the eastern side of the city. At the top, there is a white church (accessible by cable car or by funicular railway), a sanctuary for pilgrimages and particularly crowded on holy days.

-The Candelaria district: Bogota’s historical center. You’ll take a walk along cobblestoned streets, discover colorful colonial mansions, carved wooden balconies as well and baroque style churches.

– The Gold museum displays one of the most dazzling collections in South America, bringing together around 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work and considered the world’s largest pre-Colombian collection of its kind. The artifacts come from different civilizations: Quimbayas, Taironas, Muiscas and Tolimas.

– Botero Museum dedicated to 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 which includes 85 masterpieces from well known artists such as Dali, Renoir, Chagall, Picasso, Miro and more.

– Bolivar Square (la Plaza Bolivar) surrounded by Bogota’s most impressive 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 hour walk). Transporation 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. The Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays).*

*Note 3 : Montserrate is a very popular destination on Sundays.*

Overnight at The Artisan hotel in a City Standard room.

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Day 3 : Bogota

Free morning to enjoy Bogota at your own pace.

Note: The Gold museum is closed on Mondays and The Botero museum is closed on Tusdays.

Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight. Domestic flight to Cali . Arrival at the Cali airport and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Movich Casa del Alferez hotel in a Standard room.

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Day 4 : Cali

Today is dedicated to the rhythm of Latin music. Accompanied by a guide, wind your way through the districts that pay tribute to Caleño artists, such as the Obrero and Pionerio districts. In the afternoon, visit the most famous Salsa school of Colombia. Overnight at Movich Casa del Alferez hotel in a Standard room.

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Day 5 : Cali

Free morning in Cali to enjoy the city at your own pace. Arrive in Medellin and transfer to your hotel. End of the day free to enjoy Medellin: the city of eternal spring. Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in a Loft room.

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Day 6 : Medellin

City tour focused on urban transformation and urban art. On foot and by car, you’ll explore the places that have transformed the city.

Your discovery will begin with the visit of the Comuna 13, formally known for as a center of urban violence in Medellin. You’ll see examples of urban renewal throughout the neighborhood: the construction of the Metrocable, a newly designed library, and a hospital, among others. You’ll find out the stories behind the colorful graffiti that dots the landscape of Comuna 13. At Casa Kolacho, an art collective, you’ll learn how young people are saved from armed conflict through art and culture.

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

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Day 7 : Medellin

Departure for a day in the heart of the Antioquian region. You’re first stop is 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, reach the top of the Peñol for a 360-degree view of the lake and the village.

Then wander through the colorful village of Guatapé, renowned for its Zócalos friezes (a Spanish tradition) that adorn many buildings.

Note: About a 3 hour drive. Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in Loft room.

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Day 8 : Medellin

Perched onto the hills of Medellin, the owner of the finca Capilla Rosario will welcome you for a incredibly special coffee tasting. You’ll observe coffee trees and discover the roasting process.

Learn what influences the taste of this world famous beverage and what gives the beans their brown color…and what’s better than ending your tour with a cup of freshly roasted coffese? Enjoy the view overlooking the valley of Medellin. Free afternoon to enjoy Medellin at your own pace. Overnight at hotel Sites 45 in a Loft room.

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Day 9 : Medellin

Transfer to Medellin airport for your 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 at your own pace. Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in a Premium Oroko room.

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Day 10 : Cartagena de Indias

Half day dedicated to visiting the historic center and the main sites of Cartagena. Walk along the cobbled streets and 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.

Notice the different architectural influences – Romanesque, Moorish, Colonial, Military, Arab, Spanish and North American – that have shaped Cartagena.

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 at your own pace. Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in Premium Oroko room.

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Day 11 : Cartagena de Indias

Depart for an adventure in the Getsemani district, a stone’s throw from the walled city… You’ll take walking tour of the streets of this Bohemian district to discover local Colombian food… authentic dishes that Cartageneros love!

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

Experience the hospitality of Colombia’s street vendors as you get in touch with authentic Cartagena. Sample tropical fruits, arepas, buñuelos, chicharrones, limonada and more. Note: About 2 hours.

Overnight at the Bantu Hotel in a 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 to make your connecting flight. Otherwise, choose to stay overnight in Bogota the day before departure. Domestic flight to Bogota. Arrival at Bogota El Dorado airport and connextion for your international flight.

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