Colombia - History, Nature and Beaches
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Food, culture, historic sites... and pirate's treasure? It's possible! Enjoy the beaches, interesting historic sites, amazing culture and culinary aspects, coffee, and more of this wonderful country.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Rate based on double occupancy. Single supplement: $1071.00 We offer pairing with same sex travellers! Avoid the single supplement and ask us about sharing a room. 5% GST not included. International flights not included.
Day 1: Arrive BogotaBogota, Colombia
Your international flight will arrive into Bogota today. Dependent on your flight time you may have time to have a late dinner in the hotel or nearby. Ask us for suggested international flights. Your tour leader will be waiting at the airport to welcome you to Columbia and transfer you to the hotel.
Day 2: Bogota City Tour And Evening Culinary TourBogota, Colombia
You can have a bit of a sleep in this morning if you like, before enjoying breakfast in the hotel. We will be picked up by private transport to journey to the start point of our historical walking tour this morning. Alongside our local guide, we’ll stroll the cobbled streets of La Candelaria – the historical heart of Bogotá – and absorb the vibrant atmosphere of Plaza de Bolivar. We gain unique insight into Bogotá’s culture and heritage as we explore El Chorro de Quevedo downtown district and browse exhibits in XIX Century Museum and the Museum of July 20th. We will enjoy a lunch stop somewhere along the way.
We return to the hotel where you can have a bit of free time before our evening activity.
This evening, at approximately 7:30 pm, we'll be picked up at the hotel and head to Bogotá's bohemian and artistic neighborhood of La Macarena. La Macarena is famous for being one of the most important gastronomic spots in the city, where you can find charming little restaurants, serving food from all over the world. Here we are going to visit three of the best restaurants in the neighborhood, enjoying different types of cuisine. At each restaurant we'll try a tasting dish, choosing from several options and a beverage. In most of the restaurants you'll get the chance to try different dishes, so you can experience different flavors, while a culinary expert explains the dishes. Pair the food with your favorite beverage, you'll be able to choose from fresh natural juices, handcrafted beers, wines or cocktails. After finishing the gastronomic experience we'll be driven back to our hotel. Please note that dress for this particular tour is smart casual, so please pack something appropriate!
Day 3: Bogota To Medellin, City Tour And Tango ShowMedellin, Colombia
Breakfast can be enjoyed in the hotel before we depart for the airport and our short one-hour flight from Bogota to the city of Medellin. Here we will be met by our private transport and head off to drop our luggage at the hotel. We can enjoy an early lunch before we have our afternoon activity.
At approximately 2:00 pm we will head off with our transport and local guide to become entranced as we are plunged into a captivating commentary of Pablo Escobar; as one of the world’s richest men, worth over $25 billion dollars. Escobar owned luxurious residences, expensive cars and private airplanes because of the illegal drug operations he orchestrated. Gain insight into the millions of dollars he spent improving the poor community in Medellin, when he ran for Congress and how he was responsible for the violent destruction of the city. We visit three significant historical sites during our intriguing tour; beginning with the Monaco Building, a stolid structure that was bombed by the Cali cartel in an attempt to assassinate Escobar’s family; next, we venture to the unassuming house where, on December 2nd upon the roof, Escobar was assassinated by Colombian special forces; and conclude with a visit to Escobar’s unassuming gravestone in a local cemetery.
We return to the hotel to have a moment to accommodate ourselves and change before we head out for our evening activity. Tonight we explore the famous tango culture of Medellín and visit the tango hot spots of the city. We follow the footprints of Carlos Gardel who turned Medellín into the biggest tango metropolis outside of Argentina. We have a chance to visit the Tango Museum (Casa Gardel), Gardel Square, as well as other Gardel Monuments and memorials before entering a tango bar and enjoying a tango live show. You will be impressed by that little known part of Colombian dance and music culture. We enjoy this perfect combination of culture and live, dance and experience Medellín in a different way.
Day 4: Waterfall Hiking Tour And El Castillo MuseumMedellin, Colombia
This morning, after breakfast, we set off to discover the beautiful Andean cloud forest outside Medellín on our hiking trip to the gorgeous ‘La Miel’ waterfall. We escape the city for a few hours as we hike 90 minutes to this soaring waterfall, reaching heights of more than 65 feet (20 meters). We can cool off with a swim in the crystal clear pools, taking time to spot some of the local plant and animal life.
We return in the early afternoon to have lunch before visiting a unique site here in Medellin. We head off in our private transport to El Castillo Museum (The Castle). Behind heavy iron, Gothic gates and amid trees covered in Spanish moss, there’s a 17th-century castle in the style of those in France’s Loire Valley. This is where we are spending the rest of the afternoon. We can enjoy a guided tour of the site and free time in the gardens before returning to the hotel.
Built in 1930, the Castle was later bought by Diego Echavarria and his wife. This wealthy family’s passion for art and culture is obvious in their home, where French and Spanish artwork lines the walls. But the story behind the castle is even more interesting than the building itself. On the tour you will learn about the family’s history, including the death of their daughter and the kidnapping and death of Echavarria himself shortly after.
After these tragic events, the house and possessions were donated to the city of Medellin, and the castle was opened to the public as a museum in 1971. Everything has been preserved just as the family left it, and tours include glimpses of the bedrooms, the dining area with a 10-seat dining table and porcelain dishes, the library with all of the family’s books and many other personal items.
Outside, the immense garden has fountains, exotic plants and wildlife, and a view of the city of eternal spring with its mountainous backdrop. The museum also serves as a cultural center for dance, music, crafts and arts.
We return to the hotel late in the day and you have the evening free to enjoy the city. Ask your tour leader for suggestions of restaurants for dinner.
Day 5: Medellin To Cartagena / SightseeingCartagena, Colombia
We have an early departure today as we return to the airport for another short flight, this time to the coastal city of Cartagena, where we will be spending the next few days.
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Cartagena. Our transport and local guide take us through the suburbs of Bocagrande, Castillo Grande and Manga en route to the Cerro de la Popa, the city’s highest hill. You’ll appreciate fantastic panoramic views of Cartagena and Colombia’s Caribbean coast from this location, which is topped by a convent and chapel. We will visit the 17th-century Convento de la Candelaria, dedicated to Cartagena's patron saint. We re-board our vehicle to visit the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a Spanish castle fortified from pirate attacks. We learn about this military marvel of engineering from our guide before stopping at the nearby monument of Los Zapatos Viejos (The Old Shoes). These enormous bronze boots — a tribute to a poem by the city’s great poet Luis Carlos López — offer a popular backdrop for fun photo ops.
We continue to Cartagena’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, passing the monument of La India Catalina and reaching the clock tower, where our walking tour inside the walled historical center begins. We follow our guide to numerous bastions, colonial buildings and public squares, including Plaza de la Aduana and Plaza de los Coches. We will also visit San Pedro Church, reconstructed in the 18th century, and admire the high altar made of Italian marble. Our guide will tell us the history of this impressive cathedral and the Spanish-born priest for which it was named. Our last stop is the craft market Las Bóvedas, before heading to our hotel.
Day 6: Cartagena Old Town And Food!Cartagena, Colombia
We enjoy an early breakfast (but don’t fill up too much) in the hotel before departing for this unique tour at 9:00 am. We will enjoy about 5 hours with our knowledgeable local guide today. We start in the historic city center before heading to the neighborhood of Getsemaní to take in a street food pit-stop at the pulsating Bazurto market. This Bazurto market tour and exotic food tasting includes some wonderful local delicacies and lovely fresh fruit. The tour proceeds with a canoe ride through the lush mangroves in La Boquilla where you will enjoy a traditional sea platter on the beach. This will be followed by visiting an inspiring social project in the heart of the unpretentious San Francisco district. This tour is perfect for those of us who want to stay away from the traditional tourist areas and to truly get under the skin of this complex, yet beautiful city.
We return to the hotel and the rest of the day is free to enjoy the city, the beach and area. Ask your tour leader what you can do!
Day 7: Sea And BeachesRosario Islands National Park, Cartagena, Colombia
This morning we enjoy breakfast before departing for the marina, where we board our stylish sea vessel. We set sail over the shimmering sea to the idyllic Rosario Islands, an attractive archipelago favored by Colombian locals and tourists alike. Declared a protected national park in 1977, the protected waters teem with troves of tropical fish. We continue to cruise over the water, stopping at a selection of islands, one of which is completely private. Jump from the boat into the crystal clear Caribbean waters below, swimming and splashing in some of the clearest and cleanest water in the world. Sink your toes into the silken sands as you enjoy the refreshing shade of a palm tree, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves.
Later we enjoy a freshly-prepared lunch and a stop at an aquarium to observe the aquatic wonders of the wildlife; watch the playful performances of dolphins and seals, and observe the fascinating flora and fauna of the exhibitions before returning to our boat for the sail back to Cartagena. We watch the sun sink into the shimmering sea before finishing our tour with magical memories.
This evening is free for you to enjoy on your own. Ask your tour leader where you should have dinner!
Day 8: Free DayCartagena, Colombia
There is much to do, explore and enjoy in Cartagena. Perhaps spend your day on the beach, or wander the Old Town, shop, eat or visit sites. Ask your tour leader for suggestions on how to fill your day, or join her on hers!
Day 9: Cartagena To Bogota, Free TimeBogota, Colombia
Enjoy a sleep-in and breakfast in the hotel before we head off to the airport and our return flight to Bogota. We arrive in just after noon and are transferred to the hotel. You have the rest of the day free to enjoy the city. Ask your tour leader for suggestions on how you can spend your time!
Day 10: Coffee PlantationBogota, Colombia
We can’t visit Columbia and not have a coffee tour! The country is famous for the fabulous coffee, and today, our last full day in the country, is our day to experience it.
Our private transport picks us up from the hotel for the 1.5-hour trip to the small town of Fusagasugá, just southwest of the capital. Soon we arrive at the Hacienda, situated in a picturesque location among the verdant hills of the Colombian countryside. We take a tour of the Hacienda with our local guide, who will provide details of the coffee-making process and the origins of this remarkable drink. We’ll also have the opportunity to see the coffee trees up close and sample of few varieties of the plantation’s own crop. At the end of our visit to the plantation, we continue on to a nearby market square for lunch, where we can sample a number of exotic fruits, before returning to Bogotá for drop-off at our hotel.
Tonight we are going to enjoy our last dinner as a group. Your tour leader will provide you with the details!
Day 11: Departure From ColombiaBogota, Colombia
Your international flight departs today. Your tour leader will accompany you to the airport for your transfer and to say goodbye! Dependent on your flight time, you may have free time today to enjoy the area on your own.
This tour is limited to 8 travellers.
35% deposit upon reservation, final payment due 60 days before departure date. OR Payment plans available for this tour: $250.00 deposit and equal monthly payments.
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