Because of its wealth of natural beauty, any highlight tour of Colombia will be jam-packed with activities. Luckily, you have two weeks to experience the best, starting with museum and architecture tours in Bogotá, plus gourmet dining in the city's best restaurants. Continue to the famous Coffee Triangle for hikes and horseback riding in green valleys, then finish on the cobbled streets of coastal Cartagena to participate in dance and cooking classes, rum tastings, music workshops, and more.


  • Experience historic museums, street art, and the finest restaurants in Bogotá
  • Tour natural and human-made wonders like salt cathedrals and Guatavita Lake
  • Explore the mountains, valleys, and coffee fields of the famous Zona Cafetera
  • Get to know colorful Cartagena through its music, food, dance, and architecture

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour & Cerro Monserrate, Dinner at El Chato Bogotá
Day 2 Day Trip to the Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake, Dinner at LEO Bogotá
Day 3 Visit Usaquén, Bogotá Street Art Tour, Dinner at Harry Sasson Bogotá
Day 4 Day Trip to Chingaza Natural National Park, Dinner at Elcielo Bogotá
Day 5 Fly to Armenia, Transfer to Hacienda & Cacao Tour Armenia
Day 6 Day Trip to Valle de Cocora, Salento & Filandia Armenia
Day 7 Nature Reserve Hike & Horseback Riding in the Coffee Region Armenia
Day 8 Day Trip to the Botanical Garden, Butterfly Sanctuary & Coffee Farm Armenia
Day 9 Fly to Cartagena, Walking Tour, Dinner at Candé Cartagena
Day 10 Mangrove Fishing Tour, Rum & Chocolate Tasting, Dinner at Alma Cartagena
Day 11 Dance Class, Private Cooking Workshop, Dinner at Mistura Cartagena
Day 12 Day Trip to Tierra Bomba & Beach Club, Dinner at Carmen Cartagena
Day 13 Day Trip to Palenque, Percussion Workshop Cartagena
Day 14 Depart Cartagena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour & Cerro Monserrate, Dinner at El Chato

Start your trip in Colombia's capital with a private guide

Welcome to Colombia! Once plagued by civil unrest and avoided by travelers, this beautiful South American nation is experiencing a renaissance, with travelers flocking from around the world to discover its many virtues. Your luxury two-week adventure begins in the capital of Bogotá, a metropolis nestled high in the Andes at 8,660 feet (2,640 m).

The good life begins immediately, as your driver will meet you at the terminal and transfer you to the financial district and the posh Hotel Casa Medina. Another stellar 5-star option in the Four Seasons suite of luxury hotels, Casa Medina occupies a historic (and culturally protected) building dating to 1946. You'll feel the classiness in the air as you settle into a suite with high-beamed ceilings and hand-carved wooden furniture. If you like, you can visit the spa for a luxury body treatment or pampering manicure/pedicure to unwind after the long flight.

Later, meet a guide and tour the city's historic La Candelaria neighborhood. A highlight is the Museo d'Oro (Gold Museum), home to a collection of over 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Next up is the Museo de Botero, which features over 200 works by renowned Colombian sculptor/painter Fernando Botero. Finish the day with a cable car ride up Cerro Monserrate. From the 2,690-foot (820 m) summit, you'll enjoy magnificent sunset views over the city. Dinner will be at El Chato. Located in the trendy Chapinero neighborhood, chef Alvaro Clavijo serves a gourmet menu celebrating locally sourced produce.

Day 2: Day Trip to the Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake, Dinner at LEO

After your day trip, return to your hotel for some rest before dinner (photo courtesy of Hotel Casa Medina)

While Bogotá is filled with incredible landmarks, there are also dazzling wonders outside the city. This morning, you'll leave on a full-day tour to visit a couple of the best. First, transfer north of Bogotá to Zipaquirá, a town famous for its Salt Cathedral. This unique Roman Catholic church (literally made out of salt) was built by miners in the mid-20th century. Spread over multiple levels, you'll tour its various chambers. These include the Narthex Labyrinth, a winding pathway adorned with religious sculptures and artwork carved into the salt rock.

Afterward, you'll transfer a short way east to the mythical Guatavita Lake. This almost perfectly circular crater lake was sacred to the ancient Muisca people who inhabited the region in pre-Hispanic times. The lake was a ceremonial center where they would anoint a new zipa (ruler), throwing gold items into the water as offerings to the gods. It was rituals like this, and the Muisca's mastery at goldwork, that convinced the Spanish that Colombia was El Dorado, the legendary Lost City of Gold.

At the end of the afternoon, you'll transfer back to Bogotá. Later, treat yourself to dinner at LEO. Discover why this eatery is ranked one of the world's best restaurants by enjoying an inspired tasting menu celebrating ingredients across Colombia's diverse ecosystems.

Day 3: Visit Usaquén, Bogotá Street Art Tour, Dinner at Harry Sasson

Hit the colorful streets in La Candelaria and check out Bogotá's street art

After breakfast, transfer to the northern outskirts of the city and Usaquén. This historic neighborhood was once a township (later incorporated into Bogotá) and is filled with well-preserved colonial churches and plazas. If you're here on a Sunday, you can browse the famous flea market for curios; otherwise, stop in at one of the neighborhood's many fine cafés for a coffee.

Upon returning to Bogotá, you'll meet up with a different guide for a walking tour of the city's colorful street art. Focusing mostly on the bohemian La Candelaria neighborhood, you'll witness some of the finest street art on the continent—seemingly around every corner. The scene here is distinct in that, besides local artists, people come from around the world to paint beautiful murals and images on La Candelaria's historic buildings.

In the evening, you'll grab a table at the exclusive Harry Sasson. This world-class eatery bears the name of the eponymous chef-owner, who is one of the most famous restaurateurs in the country. The local and international menu features seasonal ingredients and does imaginative takes on grilled meats, fresh seafood, and pasta dishes. 

Day 4: Day Trip to Chingaza Natural National Park, Dinner at Elcielo

On a hike through Chingaza, you'll spot highland flora, like frailejones plants

Lace up your hiking boots for a full day of trekking through Chingaza National Park. At nearly 19,000 acres (76,600 ha), this is one of the largest nature reserves in the country. To arrive there, meet your guide/driver early in the morning for the transfer two hours northeast of Bogotá to the park entrance. The park has an extensive network of hiking trails, lush natural vegetation, and more than 180 species of birds. Guatavita Lake also sits within the borders of the park. 

From the entrance, you'll start hiking along the trails, walking through highland forests amid alpine and tundra ecosystems. The trek takes around six hours, and there will be plenty of rest breaks, including a stop for a picnic lunch in the mountains. As you continue to the shores of Guatavita Lake, your expert guide will point out the exotic flora and fauna and reveal local legends passed down over generations by the Indigenous inhabitants of the region.

Back in Bogotá, reward the day's efforts with dinner at Elcielo. This famous restaurant, which is the brainchild of a wunderkind chef from Medellín, made its mark with a molecular gastronomy approach to transforming local ingredients into creative and playful dishes that engage all five senses. The evening's culinary journey involves a tasting menu featuring different themes for each course.

Day 5: Fly to Armenia, Transfer to Hacienda & Cacao Tour

Check into a peaceful hacienda in the Coffee Triangle (photo courtesy of Hacienda Bambusa)
Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Transfer to the airport this morning and catch a one-hour flight west to Armenia. One of the three main cities of the famous Zona Cafetera (Coffee Triangle), Armenia is nestled in the green Andes and enjoys a milder climate than Bogotá due to its lower altitude. In fact, it's just that elevation that makes this ecosystem ideal for growing Colombia's famous Arabica beans.

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up for the transfer just south of the city to Hacienda Bambusa. Located on the slopes of the Andes amid centenary trees and farmland, Bambusa is an oasis of peace amid the verdant countryside. This intimate hacienda (it features a mere eight rooms) is designed in the style of a traditional coffee finca yet it offers modern touches like a shimmering front swimming pool where you can enjoy a refreshing dip after a countryside tour.

After dropping off your bags, you'll meet a guide for a tour of cacao (cocoa) fields right on the hacienda property. This 45-minute experience will take you deep into the origins of decadent chocolate, which derives from the cacao fruit. Colombia is a major producer of cacao and exports high-quality beans worldwide. You'll learn all about it while sampling some of the finest artisanal chocolates in the region.

Day 6: Day Trip to Valle de Cocora, Salento & Filandia

Hike amid the towering wax palms of the Valle de Cocora

After breakfast, meet your guide for the hour's drive north of Armenia to the famous Valle de Cocora. Here, you'll hike under towering wax palms—an icon of the region—as you ascend into misty cloud forests. There will be plenty of time for breaks and snap photos before hiking back down to the trailhead.

Later, transfer to nearby Salento. Founded in 1850, this colorful town is a shining example of traditional colonial architecture denoted by whitewashed, one-story buildings with red-tiled roofs and wooden balconies. Nowadays, locals find any reason to add bright splashes of paint wherever possible. You can admire its architecture, visit its busy plaza, and stop at a café or restaurant before returning to your hotel.

Finally, you'll visit Filandia. Even more colorful than Salento, no corner of this well-preserved Spanish-colonial marvel lacks splashes of bright paint. While here, you can visit Plaza de Bolívar (the main square) and stroll the cobbled streets up to viewpoints affording wide panoramas of Filandia and the surrounding countryside. You can also stop at a basket-weaving workshop and grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant.

Day 7: Nature Reserve Hike & Horseback Riding in the Coffee Region

Spot howler monkeys and other exotic animals in Barbas Bremen

It's another day to immerse yourself in Colombia's natural splendor. In the morning, you'll transfer to the Barbas Bremen Nature Reserve, located a couple of miles north of Filandia. It's an unspoiled mountain wonderland filled with lush forests, gently running rivers, cascading waterfalls, and exotic animals like monkeys and tropical birds. You'll have a few hours to hike around this oasis, enjoying the scenery as your expert guide points out the local flora and fauna.

Later, you'll get to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Coffee Triangle on horseback. Near to Armenia is the El Palomar Nature Reserve, where you'll meet your guide and hop in the saddle. Then, embark on a half-day ride around the mountains, with sweeping views of the Maravelez Valley below. During the experience, you'll trot along coffee fields, cross rivers, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the countryside. In the early afternoon, return to your hotel. 

Day 8: Day Trip to the Botanical Garden, Butterfly Sanctuary & Coffee Farm

See colorful flora and fauna, like hummingbirds, at the Quindío Botanical Garden

Indulge your inner naturalist this morning as you embark on a full day of activities to discover the coffee region's wondrous flora and fauna. First, your driver/guide will take you to the Quindío Botanical Garden. Here you'll find 600 species of plants and trees aged up to 200 years old.

This half-day tour of the garden includes a visit to the Insect Zoo, a seven-floor balcony where you can witness the many layers of vegetation. Spend time at the height of the treetops, which are home to countless birds of more than 70 species. Afterward, head over to a butterfly garden, filled with 1,500 butterflies of 50 different species and hundreds of flowers lining the walkways.

Later, transfer to a real working coffee finca (farm) to see how locals cultivate one of Colombia's most popular crops. It's a memorable experience that takes place at a family-owned farm, which opens its doors for an authentic glimpse of their operation. On this half-day tour, you'll learn about each stage of the coffee-making process, from handpicking the coffee, roasting the beans, and brewing the final cup (free samples included). Afterward, you'll transfer back to the hacienda.

Day 9: Fly to Cartagena, Walking Tour, Dinner at Candé

See why Cartagena is considered one of the most well-preserved colonial cities in the Americas

Say goodbye to coffee country, as this morning, you'll transfer to the airport in Armenia and board a connecting flight to Cartagena. Situated on Colombia's Caribbean coast, it's one of the most well-preserved fortress cities in the Americas. Many landmarks from the Spanish colonial era remain, including Cartagena's famous battlements and ancient city walls.

Upon arrival, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the heart of the Walled City (historic center) and Casa San Agustín. This 5-star boutique hotel is set in a colonial-era mansion that doesn't skimp on luxury. Its many amenities include a shimmering courtyard pool, a swank bar and restaurant, and personalized concierge services. After checking in, you can visit the hotel's Arum Spa for a body scrub, Moroccan hammam treatment, or "luxury love" experience with Jacuzzi, Champagne, and chocolate strawberries.

Shortly after arriving, meet a guide for a walking tour around Cartagena's Walled City. Highlights include Convento de la Popa, a convent founded in 1607, and San Pedro de Claver, a 15th-century church and convent. The latter was named after Saint Peter Claver, who lived in Cartagena and spent his life advocating for the rights and welfare of slaves. Next, visit the bohemian Getsemani neighborhood, where you can snap photos of impressive street art. In the evening, snag a table at Candé, which features a menu of Caribbean classics and fresh seafood accompanied by live music and dancing.

Day 10: Mangrove Fishing Tour, Rum & Chocolate Tasting, Dinner at Alma

Sample some of Colombia's best rums paired with decadent chocolate

The coast around Cartagena is dotted with colorful fishing villages home to locals who earn their living in the nearby mangrove ecosystems. After breakfast, you'll transfer by private car to one such village, La Boquilla. During a two-hour stop, you'll meet friendly locals and hop in a boat to join them in their daily work. Learn some traditional fishing techniques as you marvel at the diversity of flora and fauna on display, which includes waterbirds like herons, frigatebirds, and ospreys.

Back in Cartagena, walk over to the colorful neighborhood of Getsemani. There, another local expert will lead you on a tasting tour of some of the best Caribbean rums—all paired with decadent chocolate to enhance the sensory experience. In the evening, the culinary adventure comes full circle with dinner at Candé, which features a menu of Caribbean classics and fresh seafood accompanied by live music and dancing.

In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner at Alma. Translating to "soul," that's exactly what this restaurant puts into every dish, which includes regional classics like seafood casserole and ceviche. After the meal, perhaps enjoy a self-guided stroll down the cobbled streets of Cartagena's historic center before retiring to your hotel.

Day 11: Dance Class, Private Cooking Workshop, Dinner at Mistura

Give yourself over to the music as you learn some of Colombia's famous dances

Don't skip breakfast, as you'll need fuel for today's activity. In the morning, you'll visit a local studio and participate in a dance class—because in Colombia, music and dancing are never separate. It's a brisk one-hour immersion during which you'll learn the fundamentals of Colombia's most popular dance styles, including salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and bachata. 

Later, the theme of the day changes from music to cuisine as you meet an instructor in a private kitchen for a hands-on cooking class. First, you'll meet your local guide, who will take you outside the historic center to Bazurto, a popular local market, to buy ingredients for lunch. Then head back to the Walled City and the kitchen, where you'll learn to make some classic Caribbean dishes. After a two-hour cooking demonstration, you'll sit down and feast on the three-course meal you've prepared.

In the evening, the culinary adventure comes full circle with dinner at Mistura. Located in the Walled City, this restaurant's globe-trotting menu features fusion plates that range from seafood cazuelas (stews) and ceviches to tacos and fried rice dishes.

Day 12: Day Trip to Tierra Bomba & Beach Club, Dinner at Carmen

Grab a lounger and spend the day relaxing with the sand in your toes

You've seen the city; now it's time to enjoy Cartagena's fine beaches. Leave around 9 am from your hotel and transfer to the port. There, you'll board a water taxi for the brisk 15-minute ride to Tierra Bomba. During the colonial era, this island served as a strategic location for defense against pirate attacks and was equipped with forts and military installations. Several well-preserved forts remain, including the San Fernando and Bateria del Ángel San Rafael. The latter dates all the way back to the 16th century.

Besides the history, travelers flock here to enjoy the island's unspoiled beaches, which is exactly what you'll be doing. Specifically, you'll head right to the Makani Beach Club, where a sunbed awaits with your name on it. Spend the day in total relaxation, swimming (in the pool and/or the ocean), sunbathing, soaking in the Jacuzzi, and having a nibble at the on-site restaurant. You can also take advantage of the club's spa facilities with a relaxing treatment. 

At the end of the day, you'll transfer back to Cartagena in time to enjoy dinner at Carmen. This renowned eatery is consistently ranked one of the best restaurants in Colombia, serving contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on Colombian flavors (think coconut rice risotto and pasta with plantains and coffee). These creative plates are a celebration of the country's rich biodiversity.

Day 13: Day Trip to Palenque, Percussion Workshop

Meet Palenqueras, descendants of the first formerly enslaved people in the Americas

Meet your driver in the morning for the one-hour transfer south of Cartagena to San Basilio de Palenque. This was the first free African town in the Americas, symbolizing resistance against oppression and slavery. There, you'll see where ancient forts once stood guard against anyone looking to reclaim its formerly enslaved residents. The Afro-Colombian inhabitants here have preserved many customs of their African ancestors, and a local guide will lead you on a cultural journey. During the tour, you'll learn about the residents through their history, music, and, of course, food.

Upon returning to Cartagena, take a journey into the lifeblood of Colombia: music. The nation is home to dozens of distinct genres, but what they all have in common is the uniquely Latin American thrum of percussion instruments. Discover these rhythms firsthand when you participate in a music workshop at a local drum school led by a group of local young people. This one-hour experience is a great way to connect with the rhythms of Afro-Colombian folk music, and there's no need to be shy—as locals say: "Play even if you don't know how; dance even if you don't move at all."

Day 14: Depart Cartagena

Say goodbye to the ancient ramparts in Cartagena
Unfortunately, today marks the end of the line for this particular luxury adventure. No doubt there will be more time in the future. For now, you'll meet your driver in the morning and transfer to Cartagena's airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Hasta pronto! 

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Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Colombia? Check out these other Colombia itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Colombia in luxury, or discover the best time to visit Colombia.


Map of Best of Colombia in Luxury: Bogotá, the Coffee Triangle & Cartagena - 14 Days
Map of Best of Colombia in Luxury: Bogotá, the Coffee Triangle & Cartagena - 14 Days