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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Discover South America's best-kept secret on this 17-day adventure through the verdant mountains and powdery beaches of Colombia. Head into the serene highlands of Colombia's famed coffee region and discover the sweeter, softer side of this misunderstood country. Fall in love with Bogota's colonial heart, laze on palm-fringed stretches of Caribbean shoreline and hang with locals that redefine hospitality. 

Countries Visited

Colombia

Cities Visited

Bogota , Medellín , Salento

  1. Day 1
    Bogota
    Bienvenidos! Welcome to Bogota! Situated at 2644 metres, Colombia's lofty capital is a charming, yet hectic, mix of old and new.. With a wealth of cosy cafes, interesting museums and old churches, cosmopolitan Bogota is full of surprises. Your adventure begins with an orientation walk of Candelaria at 1pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where your group will be meeting.    There will be a formal welcome meeting at 6pm for the whole group including those that missed the orientation walk. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After, why not go out for a group dinner? 
  2. Day 2
    Salento
    This morning, immerse your senses in the flavours and colours of Colombia on a visit the famed Paloquemao Market, home to Bogota’s biggest selection of exotic fruits, fresh vegetables and food stalls – perhaps indulge in a delicious Arepa (Colombian style tortilla). Around lunch time take a short flight (1 hour) to the coffee region and transfer (approximately 40 minutes) to the beautiful village of Salento. Take the time to stroll through its quaint streets and admire the colours of 'paisa' architecture at its best. For some local food, trout is the way to go. There are lots of ways to enjoy it, but it's most often served with a rich, garlicky cheese sauce. Colombia's national sport, tejo, is a popular pastime in Salento. Think bocce with gunpowder! This evening, try your hand at this fun activity with the group – made even better with a free beer in hand!
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Cocora Valley and Coffee Estancia
    Travel by jeep out to the magnificent Cocora Valley, home of the towering wax palm (Colombia's national tree). Spend the morning walking among the region's incredible scenery. The walk does have some steep and slippery sections, so you'll need good walking shoes as well as plenty of water. A generous boxed lunch will be provided. If you'd rather take it easy, you can explore the valley as you please, then take a jeep back to town. Later, travel deep into Colombia's coffee region for a two-night stay in a traditional coffee estancia, where you'll have a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about this wonderful bean.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Coffee Estancia
    Thanks to its tropical altitude and fertile volcanic soil, Colombia is one of the world’s largest coffee producers. You’ll get to know this addictive little bean a whole lot better on a guided tour of the coffee plantation and processing centre. Dig into the history of the plant, learning the inside story of the industry that's long buoyed the country's economy. See how the beans are grown, harvested, processed, dried, roasted and ground, and then sample firsthand what all the fuss is about. Try different types of coffee grains and get a lesson on preparing different types of coffees – finishing it all off with a steaming cup of freshly brewed joe. Afterwards, relax amid the estancia's beautiful surrounds of sloping green hills and valleys.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  5. Day 5
    Medellin
    This morning we will leave the Coffee Estancia and take a 1- hour transfer to the small town of Chinchina, where we will then board a comfortable public bus for the journey to Medellin (approximately 6-7 hours). Along the way, learn a little more about the town's interesting recent history. Having spent the 1980’s and 90’s with an international reputation as one of the world's most dangerous cities (due to Pablo Escobar's infamous drug cartel), Medellin has turned itself around to become one of the most exciting cities in South America. And with some of the country's finest museums, parks and architecture (as well as a much safer and comfortable atmosphere now) it's easy to see why its popularity is increasing. On arrival, explore this beautiful city on a an orientation walk with your leader, followed by free time this evening – why not check out some of Medellin’s famous nightlife!
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    Medellin
    Today you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Medellin and its surrounds during a cable car ride up to Santa Elena. Sail up the mountain over brick houses, watching as the corrugated metal roofs give way to vistas of green valleys and forested peaks.Thanks to the elevation, things are usually a little cooler up here. Enjoy an include tour of a Flower Farm and when back in Medellin partake in a barrio transformation tour. This evening, you might want to search out one of the city's lively salsa bars (many count Medellin's nightlife as the best in Colombia).
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Medellin
    Today is a free day. You'll have some free time to explore Medellin. Perhaps visit the Museo de Antioquia to see some of Botero's famous works or get more modern at the beautiful Museo de Arte Moderno.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Cartagena
    Cartagena is one of South America's most historic cities. The old city, particularly the inner walled town, is the main attraction – it's packed with beautiful churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. Your hotel is located in the vibrant Getsemani neighbourhood, a part of the old town with loads of colourful street art and an authentic feel. Tonight there will be a meeting at 6 pm to meet new travelers who may be joining you for this next leg. After the meeting, step out for an orientation walk with your leader to get a feel for the city (note that this may take place tomorrow morning instead).
  9. Day 9
    Cartagena
    Spend some free time getting to know the old and new of Cartagena. Wander the old city, shop for local handicrafts, head up to San Felipe de Barajas Castle (the largest of the city's fortresses) or take boat to Punta Arenas or Playa Blanca for a well-deserved swim in the Southern Caribbean. Otherwise, book yourself in a tour out of town to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo. Instead of lava, this peculiar volcano spews a cream-like mud that is said to contain many healing properties. Enter for a strange bathing experience, then wash the muddiness off in the nearby lagoon.The evening is yours to spend as you wish. Make sure to check in with your leader for great places to try some local food.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Guachaca
    In the morning, take a private van transfer (approximately 6 hours) north of Cartagena to Guachaca – your home for the next two nights. Guachaca is located in northern Colombia and is surrounded with lush jungle and mountains that collide with the sun-kissed coastline. Visit an initiative that fights to preserve the prehispanic Tayrona culture that populated this area and glimpse what the famous lost city once was. Meet with an indigenous member from one of the four communities that are still occupying La Sierra. You will even have the chance to give back to nature and the community by helping in a local project to reforest the area. Your accommodation is a simple and comfortable family-run guesthouse, nestled high in the jungle. In the evening, enjoy a cocktail or two with your fellow travellers or treat yourself to a relaxing massage.
    Meals:   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Tayrona National Park / Guachaca Region
    Head to Tayrona National Park – a series of jungle and coves surrounding the Caribbean coast on the foothills of the Santa Marta mountains. Today is all about hiking the forest trails for Tayrona’s beaches, and with a fair amount of hiking involved today, be prepared and make sure your walking shoes are on and you’ve packed some bug spray. Along the way, you’ll experience lush the green rainforest, the ambience of the jungle and all wildlife that inhabit it, and the special glimpses of coastline and beaches that peek through the canopies. The trail to stunning Cabo San Juan is well worth the effort; it's further away than some other beaches however highly recommended. The hike today is flexible and can be tailored to suit all fitness and energy levels. There can be some steep ups and downs, high humidity, and some muddy spots if it’s been raining, so your group leader can organise a route that pleases everyone. When you’ve had enough hiking, swimming and relaxing, head back to Guachaca for the evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  12. Day 12
    Giron
    Enjoy a final morning in your jungle haven. After a continental breakfast, head off for an included flight from Santa Martha to Bucaramanga (with a transit in Bogota). Arrive at Bucaramanga in the late afternoon and then head onto the peaceful town of Giron. This quintessential 'white city' is part of the Colombian Heritage Towns, thanks to the cobble street and colonial buildings well preserved to this day. Follow your leader on an orientation walk then have some free time enjoying this charming town in the evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  13. Day 13
    Barichara
    This morning, leave Giron behind and enjoy a spectacular drive through the iconic Chicamocha Canyon to Barichara (approximately 3.5 hours). On arrival, head to a local factory where you’ll learn the traditional method of making paper from the natural fibres of the Andean fique plant. This factory is the number one employer in Barichara, which began with the aim to financially support single-parent women who previously did not have any promise of work. Afterwards, set out on a 3-hour walk along the Camino Real with a local guide to the village of Guane. Declared a national monument in 1988, the ancient trail was built by the indigenous Guane people as a trade route between towns, and you’ll be hiking a small section between Barichara and Guane. The walk is stunning, full of panoramic views of the mountain ranges. It starts off with a gentle descent down the rim of a canyon before crossing a valley filled with cacti. The walking is mostly downhill, and you'll likely spot a few fossils embedded in the stones that pave the trail en route. On arrival in Guane, refresh with a cooling drink, soak up the peaceful atmosphere and perhaps check out the town’s church, before catching the local bus back to Barichara.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  14. Day 14
    Barichara
    With its quaint cobbled streets, stuccoed houses and hilly backdrop, Barichara is probably the prettiest colonial-style village in all of Colombia. With some free time, spend today however you please. Barichara means ‘resting place’ in the local indigenous language and is itself a fine place to wander around on foot, with its laidback feel and range of shops and artisanal workshops to explore. If you'd like to get more active, head over to San Gil, the thrill-seeking capital of Colombia (approximately 30 minutes' drive). Speak to your group leader for suggestions of things to do – rafting, mountain biking – it’s an adventure sport hub. The Pescaderito swimming hole on the way there is well worth a visit too; even if the water is a little chilly, it's an idyllic spot to relax for an hour or two.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  15. Day 15
    Bogota
    Today you’ll travel by local bus to Bogota via San Gil (approximately 8 hours), so kick back and enjoy the drive as the scenery rolls by. There will be only the one stop along the way, so ensure you take drinks and snacks for the journey. Your hotel in Bogota is located in the Chapinero neighbourhood, one of the most culturally diverse parts of town.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Bogota
    Time for some exploring – today, You’ll explore the oldest area in the city and understand more about the Colombian past, present and future. One is La Candelaria, the historic heart of the city. Boasting a wealth of cosy cafes and colonial churches, it's a neighbourhood full of surprises. As well as loads of museums, art and great food to try, it's also just a beautiful town to walk around, an interesting clash of the old and new. You’ll also head to the Gold Museum for a chance to learn about the wealth this country once had. Fascinating and easy to navigate, the museum has 55,000 artefacts from various eras on display. During the day, you will also learn about Colombia’s turbulent past on a ‘War and Peace’ tour, which outlines their history of war, including political assassinations and armed groups in conflict, and how the country has developed into the situation it finds itself now.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  17. Day 17
    Bogota
    After an included breakfast, there are no planned activities today and no accommodation planned at night. If you wish to spend more time in Bogota, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

  • Bogota - La Candelaria Walking Tour
  • Salento - Traditional Tejo Game
  • Bogota - Visit to Paloquemao market
  • Karatu - Coffee plantation tour & tasting
  • Medellin - Barrio Transformation Tour
  • Medellin - Flower Farm tour
  • Metrocable to Acevedo station and up to Santa Elena
  • Cartagena - Orientation walk of hotel neighbourhood
  • Tayrona National Park - Entrance fee
  • Tayrona National Park hike
  • Barichara - Visit to a local artisan paper factory
  • Barichara - Walk along Camino Real to the village 'Guane'

Meals
14 Breakfast(s) Included
3 Lunch(es) Included
4 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Hotel (14 nights), Coffee Estancia (2 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.7

Ratings based off 210 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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