Colombian Highlights Tour
From wax palms to the sun of Cartagena
The ideal itinerary to discover the highlights of Colombia. Travel from Colombia’s capital of Bogota to the heart of the Andes. Visit the famous coffee region. Surround yourself with nature in the jungles of Taryona National Park. Experience the Colonial city of Cartegena de Indias on the Caribbean coast.
Length of stay: 10 days
Kind: Must-see Colombia
Countries visited: Colombia
Tayrona National Park
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 enjoy some free time to explore Colombia´s capital city at your own pace. Here you’ll find modern districts, the historic center, lush green parks and urban architecture.
Overnight at De La Opera hotel in a standard room.
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 De La Opera hotel in a Standard room.
Day 3 : Bogota
Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight. Domestic flight to Armenia. Transfer to Salento village. Overnight at Bio Habitat Hotel in the Aviarios room.
Day 4 : Armenia
Welcome to the Coffee Triangle made up of the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, which together make up the heart of the Zona Cafetera, or the Eje Cafetero. This area is famous for growing and producing the majority of Colombia’s coffeee, considered by many to be the best coffee in the world.
Transfer to your hotel in Salento Village. Today is dedicated to discovering the villages and the landscapes of the coffee region.
Start the day with a Jeep ride through the green valley of Cocora, then hike among the wax palm trees (Colombia’s national tree).
Note: The hike lasts approximately 2 hours. You can also choose a shorter walk of around 15 minutes.
Lunch break in a beautiful traditional hacienda in the heart of Cocora Valley.
Coffee plantation visit. Discover a typical “finca”, where you’ll learn all about about coffee. The coffee production process is as complex and sophisticated as wine! Walk among the coffee trees and learn about the process of harvesting and roasting, before enjoying the a coffee produced on site.
Visit the Salento village where you’ll discover the local architecture and traditional buildings made of bamboo (guadua). Overnight at Bio Habitat Hotel in Aviarios room.
Day 5 : Armenia
Private transport to Pereira. Domestic flight to Santa Marta. Arrival at Santa Marta airport.
Transfer to your hotel near Tayrona National Park, nestled between the jungle and the beaches of the Caribbean sea. Free time for the remainder of the day.
Overnight at Villa Maria hotel in a Standard room with sea view.
Day 6 : Tayrona National Park
In the morning, your driver will take you to a pier located at the entrance of Tayrona Park where a small coffee break awaits you on this picturesque fishing beach.
Embark on a small lancha (motor boat) that will take you to one of the park’s beautiful beaches. You’ll cross a wild bay where turtles like to congregate: with a little luck you’ll catch a glimpse of them!
Spend the day in Playa del Amor, a white sand beach with turquoise waters. You’ll find beach chairs, snorkeling equipment and a cooler filled with refreshments at your disposal.
A guided walk along the trails surrounding the bay is possible. And the view is spectacular!
A traditional lunch on the beach: catch of the day, coconut rice and plantains.
Afternoon on the beach. Arrive back at the hotel at the end of the day.
Note 1 : Your passport is required to enter the National Park.
Note 2 : Recommended equipment: walking shoes, tropical friendly clothing, swim suit and towel, sun screen, insect repellent and a backpack to carry your food and water
Note 3 : Dending on your hotel’s location, transportation (vehicle + boat) can take between 1 hour and 1 hour 15. Overnight at Villa Maria hotel in a Standard room with sea view.
Day 7 : Tayrona surroundings
Departure for the Sierra Nevada.
Tayronaka is the lost city of the Tayrona indigenous people. A mythical city, it is here Robert de Niro filmed the movie The Mission. Accompanied by a guide, you will retrace the history of this ancient civilization.
Then you will board a lancha, a small motorboat, to travel down the Don Diego river until you reach the Caribbean Sea. On the way, you will have the chance to see many monkeys and colorful birds.
Return to the reserve and have lunch in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. Overnight at Villa Maria hotel in a Standard room with sea view.
Day 8 : Tayrona surroundings
Free morning to enjoy the Tayrona area between the Sierra Nevada and the Caribbean sea: hiking in the jungle or relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
Note: Swimming can be hazardous at some beaches due to strong currents and undertows. We strongly discourage it.
In the morning, departure to Cartagena de Indias on the Caribbean Coast. Transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy the end of the day blending in with the locals and soaking up the atmosphere of this exquisite colonial city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Note : 4 to 5 hours ride.
Overnight at Casa Canabal hotel in a Deluxe double room.
Day 9 : 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 Casa Canabal hotel in a Deluxe double room.