December 4 – 14, 2021
Experience the sites and sounds of the incredible Latin American culture in one of the most dynamic countries in South America!
Day 1: Saturday, December 4, 2021│ Arrival in Bogota
You will have a private transfer (please look for the sign) from the airport to the Four Seasons Casa Medina inBogota.
Day 2: Sunday, December 5, 2021│Bogota
Bogota is a big city with over 8 million people that has 2 different faces for tourism. The old Candelaria Historic District is blessed with colonial houses and very close to government buildings and the modern Bogota to the north where tourists will find all sort of shops, restaurant and bars surrounded by brick constructions all over. You will be met by one of our local guides, who will take you on a private tour 6 hours walking tour in downtown Bogota. One of the highlights is Bogota’s historical center called “La Candelaria” and its impressive churches, such as the Governmental palace and the main square “Plaza de Bolivar”. Furthermore, you will have the option to visit different museums in the city center: The world famous Gold museum “Museo del Oro”, the Emerald museum and the museum of the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero. Bogota is an inspiring city which has something newto explore every single day. Experience a city with various offers in art, culture, recreation, sport and science. The Botero Museum is located in the historical centre of Bogota in La Candelaria and houses 208 specimens of species donated by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. 123 of these pieces are of his own creation and the remaining 85 by international artists from all over the world. Enjoy the tour through this unique art collection. The Gold Museum in Bogota has the exhibition of jewelry and pottery from the indigenous cultures of the pre-Columbian period of present-day Colombia. It has more than34,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stone objects, ceramics, precious stones and textiles that belong to, among others, Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Zenu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena culture.
The mountain of Cerro de Monserrate rises over downtown Bogota, dominating the skyline of Colombia‘s capital. A church high up on the mountain is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, while taking in the view from the summit is a must-do tourist activity. You can either go up via panoramic aerial tramway or via funicular. Many people of Bogota enjoy every Saturday or Sunday a two hour hike from the city to the top of the mountain to stay active and healthy. This afternoon we will also be paying a visit to the local People to People chapter in Bogota.
Tonight you will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Monday, December 6, 2021 │ Bogota – Zipaquira – Pereira
You will be taken by private transport from Bogota to the small town of Zipaquira, which is about 2 hours away. The Salt Cathedral was built in a quiet part of a still active salt mine. On entering the salt mine you can still admire the salt crystals that have formed on the walls. The tour is divided into two parts, the first part is based on the story of Jesus Christ. The second part of the tour takes you to the impressive part of the salt mine where the actual cathedral was built. Marvel at how the huge galleries were converted and now form a capelin. After your visit to the Salt Cathedral you will be taken back to your hotel in Bogota for lunch. You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Bogota to then board your flight to Pereira. We will have a private transfer from Pereira airport to the Hotel Sazagua. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
Day 4: Tuesday, December 7, 2021 │ Pereira – Salento
Salento is the oldest municipality in the department of Quindio, therefore its traditional architecture and craft workshops make it an unforgettable place. There you can see colonial houses painted in colors, balconies full of flowers and even better, you will enjoy the warmth of its people that will make your visit a great experience. We will also enjoy a hike in the Cocora Valley, where the national tree of Colombia, the Wax Palm, is located. Surely the palms will attract your attention, since their height is up to 70 meters, being one of the highest palms in the world. Let yourself be amazed by all the beauty of the landscape in the walk through the trails of the valley. The hike in the valley lasts around 2 hours. We will finish the afternoon enjoying a delicious lunch and playing traditional games such as the “Tejo” or the “Rana”, accompanied by a Colombian beer. Transportation, hydration during the hike, typical lunch and traditional games with a beer are included, as well as an English speaking guide. This tour lasts approximately 7 hours. A brief introduction into the topic of Colombian coffee will be given during a walk of about one and a half hours. In this coffee experience you will have a general immersion about the coffee activity, the production process, the traditions around the coffee culture as well as the importance of coffee in the economy of the region and the country.
Day 5: Wednesday, December 8, 2021 │ Pereira – Medellin
18 km from Manizales, travelers will walk on nature trails, in native forests, and cross farm waters. A place situated between fruit trees and mountains with different green areas in the north, where you can listen to different birds that we can find with a small stop next to the specialized guides.
At the end of the tour through these paths, the most striking part of the tour begins: the guided tour through the kindergartens and the main house. It has one of the largest and most varied private collections in the country, with around 200 genera and 400 species, of which the most important are native orchids. A rich collection of orchids which, thanks to their explanations, enable us to appreciate not only their beauty but also their care. You will have a private transfer to the Pereira airport for your domestic flight from Pereira to Medellin and then to the Hotel Click Clack in Medellin.
Day 6: Thursday, December 9, 2021 │ Medellin
20 years ago, Medellin was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Back in the early 90s, when the hunt for Pablo Escobar took place, the head of Medellin’s drug cartel was at its peak. Thus the reign of “El Patron” came to its end. Until the turn of the millennium the struggle about Escobar’s successor continued, but since2002 Medellin began to change. Local politicians started to invest heavily in infrastructure and public education. Today the “City of Eternal Spring” is one of the most innovative metropolises in the world. You will go through the history and present of Medellin and learn more about the transformation of this fascinating metropolis.
Learn more about the city’s transformation while using the innovative transport- system in the poorer neighborhoods, explore Medellin’s newest invention: the escalators of Comuna 13, and experience how people of Medellin think about the history of the city. Your private guide will take you to the small village of Santa Elena, located less than an hour outside of Medellin in the mountains of Antioquia. It is home to a great variety of traditional flower farmers. The flower arrangements of the Flower Festival (“Feria de Flores”), called “silletas”, have an impressive history and are today a cultural symbol of Medellin. On this tour we visit an organic flower farm and experience the traditional peasant culture of Santa Elena.
You will visit the idyllic town Santa Elena and meet a traditional “Silletero”, enjoy breathtaking views of the valley of Medellin, visit an organic flower farm, and meet local farmers and get to know their way of life in balance with nature. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant in Medellin.
Day 7: Friday, December 10, 2021 │ Medellin
The Penol Boulder is one of the most spectacular destinations in the area surrounding Medellin. The 200mhigh monolith can be climbed through a staircase of 740 steps. Enjoy breathtaking views over the stunning surroundings full of green mountains and blue lakes. The village of Guatape is famous for its church and its beautiful, colorful paintings that decorate the houses of the village. In Guatape we will climb the boulder, explore the lake on a boat ride, enjoy the laid-back village lifestyle, and have a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia. After returning to Medellin, we will enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant before spending the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 8: Saturday, December 11, 2021 │ Medellin – Cartagena
You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the Jose Maria Cordova airport in Medellin to board your domestic flight to Cartagena. Upon arrival, we will have a private transfer to the Hotel Cappelin de Getsemani, followed by lunch. Visit the NGO Fundacion Pescador de Letras. Its purpose is to provide equality education to the children of La Boquilla, which is a fishing village outside of the city of Cartagena. The main objective is to impulse education and nursing for children. Additional to regular education, the foundation tries to develop different skills of the children, which allows them to improve their quality of life, physical and intellectual development, the conditions in which they relate to their environment as well as the way to face life after school. As they have observed certain difficulties in the learning process because their hunger, a feeding plan was developed which covers most of their daily nutrition needs. The children are between 3 and 12 years old and they study between the preschool and elementary courses. At the moment there are 126 children assisting 7 courses which will be organized in 5 classrooms.
Day 9: Sunday, December 12, 2021 │ Cartagena
This tour of Cartagena is for those travelers who want to experience the culture in an authentic and not touristy way. Culture is the most important thing with this tour, you will get to know the social reality of the city, by tasting fruit and typical food, learning about traditions and beliefs of the natives. Alex, the local bilingual guide, has a foundation to his name and is responsible for teaching English to children in slums. We start in Gethsemane, an old and picturesque neighborhood where the locals know how to enjoy life. Then we go to the Bazurto market, the heart of the city, a place where the feast of food and work go together to create an atmosphere full of life and flavors with countless exotic fruits and typical dishes of the city. From there we will leave for the district of La Boquilla, a fishing village by the sea where we will go by canoe through the mangrove tunnels and swamps with local fishermen. Finally, we will have a traditional lunch with a local family.
Bring your appetite and an adventurous attitude as we hit the streets to experience food the way Cartageneros do on a street food tour of Cartagena. Whether you are searching for a stopover snack or something more substantial, a healthy platter or a sweet dessert, Cartagena’s streets provide everything! One of the very best ways to gain an insight into the daily lives and culture of the locals is to experience their culinary culture. This 2-hour tour will get you up close and personal with the real Cartagena as the street sellers fill our bellies with their delicacies and warm our hearts with their hospitality. It is recommended to take the tour in the afternoon.
Day 10: Monday, December 13, 2021│Cartagena – Rosario Islands
Your day will begin with a private transfer from your hotel in Cartagena to the harbor and a visit to the Rosario Islands. The Rosario Islands are located approximately 40km (approx. 1 hour by boat), south-west of Cartagena. They consist of 27 islands with 20 hectares of coral reefs. Explore the impressive, beautiful landscapes of the Rosario Islands with their clear waters, gentle breezes, and maritime life such as dolphins. Today, the entire surrounding area, including the Islas de Baru and the Islas de San Bernardo, are officially protected sites During this day trip on Majagua Island you will have enough time to explore the beautiful nature and relax on the beach. There you will also be served a typical lunch. In the afternoon you will return to Cartagena. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Day 11: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 │ Depart Cartagena
Enjoy your final breakfast at the hotel before heading to the airport by private transfer and saying adios to Colombia!