This trip starts in the capital, where you'll discover colorful neighborhoods and museums on a walking tour, along with famous restaurants and nightlife. Then, fly into the heart of the Zona Cafetera and spend the night at a working coffee farm. Visit nearby Salento, a colonial town that wears its exuberance on its sleeve. While here, hike the unspoiled green mountains of the Cocora Valley, dotted with towering wax palms.

Highlights

  • See the world's biggest collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts in Bogotá
  • Stay on a working coffee farm in Colombia's coffee region
  • Explore the colorful town of Salento and hike its countryside

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá - Explore the City Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá City Tour Bogotá
Day 3 Flight to Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca Pereira
Day 4 Hiking in Valle de Cocora - Explore Salento Pereira
Day 5 Driving Tour of Zona Cafetera Pereira
Day 6 Flight to Bogotá - Depart Colombia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá - Explore the City

Plaza Bolívar, in La Candelaria, Bogotá
Plaza Bolívar, in La Candelaria, Bogotá

Welcome to Bogotá! A driver will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel.

Colombia's biggest city has culture to spare, and its regional gastronomy has made it a global foodie destination. You'll have ample free time to explore this Andean capital on foot. Start with the cobblestone streets of the La Candelaria neighborhood, where trendy restaurants and colonial-era landmarks are located. You'll also find excellent museums, shopping, and street food ranging from empanadas to exotic fruit salads. 

Depending on what time you arrive, you can experience Bogotá's local history and culture by taking a tour with an English-speaking guide.

Day 2: Bogotá City Tour

Sunset in La Candelaria
Sunset in La Candelaria

After breakfast, it's time to hit the streets and explore! A local guide will pick you up and accompany you on a half-day walking tour of the city. You'll begin in colorful La Candelaria—the heart of Bogota's historic center. Amble along its narrow streets, visiting cultural landmarks and local shops selling artisanal goods. Eventually, you'll reach Plaza Bolívar, the city's main square dating back to 1539. There's a grand cathedral here as well as many important government buildings, such as the Capitolio Nacional (Colombia's congress building). 

To spend a full day with your guide, take the aforementioned walk through La Candelaria and then explore two of Bogotá's best museums in the afternoon: the Gold Museum (closed on Mondays), which features the largest collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts in the world, and the Botero Museum (closed on Tuesdays), which houses a collection of masterpieces from renowned Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero.

If you are an early riser, start the morning sunrise tour of Bogotá by visiting its best and biggest food market—Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao—which supplies produce for many of the city’s best restaurants. Return to La Candelaria and downtown, strolling the streets and stopping to photograph walled graffiti art.

Day 3: Flight to Zona Cafetera - Coffee Finca

The coffee fields of Colombia's Zona Cafetera
The coffee fields of Colombia's Zona Cafetera

Today you'll take a flight to either Armenia or Pereira, cities in Colombia's Zona Cafetera (coffee region). 

Upon arrival, you'll transfer to an organic coffee finca (farm) in the beautiful countryside of this region, surrounded by sloping Andean mountains coated in green coffee fields. Be sure to keep your camera within easy reach. Upon arrival to the finca, you'll learn every step of the coffee production process. Furthering this authentic experience, you'll stay overnight and learn even more about Colombia's famous export (the country is the world's third largest producer of coffee). Of course, there will be frequent tastings. 

Day 4: Hiking in Valle de Cocora - Explore Salento

Colorful houses in Salento
Colorful houses in Salento

Wake up with a hearty breakfast. From here, a car will pick you up and drive you to a trail in the Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley), outside the historic town of Salento. As you make your way to the trail, you’ll find yourself in view of the distinctive Quindío wax palms, which can reach an impressive height of up to 70 meters (230 feet). This protected cloud forest in the Andes is peppered with these soaring palms, which just happens to be Colombia's national tree.

The Valle de Cocora offers hiking opportunities second to none. The route here takes you along dirt tracks through tropical forests and streams and up to lookouts providing some sweeping views. After the hike, head back to the colorful streets of Salento and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Despite Salento's rise in tourism (mostly backpackers) over the past decade, it retains an old-world charm with colorful Paisa (Antioquian) architecture, street musicians, and an impressive range of handicrafts. 

In the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your accommodations. 

Day 5: Driving Tour of Zona Cafetera

Quaint street in Salento
Quaint street in Salento

After breakfast, you'll be picked up by a local guide for a full-day excursion.

This tour, by private car, explores the Zona Cafetera (coffee region), where you'll get to know lovely little villages like Montenegro, Circasia, and Cordoba. Experience the authentic charm, beautiful landscapes, and friendly, tight-knit communities. Your guide will stop by fruit stands for tastings and splendid viewpoints looking over coffee, pineapple, and banana plantations.

When you return to your accommodations in the afternoon, enjoy the rest of the day on your own.

Day 6: Flight to Bogotá - Depart Colombia

The view of Bogotá from atop Cerro Monserrate
The view of Bogotá from atop Cerro Monserrate

It's time to say goodbye to Colombia! Today you will fly back to Bogotá to connect with your international flight home.

Map

Map of Colombian Coffee & Colonial Towns: Bogotá & Zona Cafetera - 6 Days
Map of Colombian Coffee & Colonial Towns: Bogotá & Zona Cafetera - 6 Days