Explore some of the best destinations along Colombia's northern coast on this 7-day adventure that combines a fast-paced urban adventure with the relaxing allure of a tropical island retreat. Tour the colorful Caribbean jewel of Cartegena, then head to a personalized island escape where you can recharge. For travelers who can't choose between an active trip and a secluded getaway, this itinerary offers the best of both worlds.

Highlights

  • Explore Cartagena's romantic neighborhoods
  • Take a cooking class with Latin America's best chefs
  • Shop in Colombia's best markets
  • Relax on an island getaway
  • Bathe in an active volcano

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cartagena Cartagena
Day 2 Walking Tour of Cartagena Cartagena
Day 3 Market Trip & Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 4 Day-Trip to Volcano & Private Dance Lesson Cartagena
Day 5 Arrive in the islands Isla Baru
Day 6 Explore the islands Isla Baru
Day 7 Depart Cartagena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cartagena

Welcome to Cartagena!
Welcome to Cartagena!

Welcome to Cartagena! This romantic colonial city, with its colorful architecture, magical sunsets, and vibrant Caribbean culture, is Colombia's most popular destination. Your driver will pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your hotel where you can drop off your luggage and rest or head out and start enjoying what the city has to offer. 

Be sure to plan on having dinner out as Cartagena boasts restaurants that are owned by some of Latin America's most famous chefs. Your local guides will be happy to offer helpful suggestions or assist you in booking reservations.

Day 2: Walking Tour of Cartagena

The jewel of the Caribbean!
The city of Cartagena, known as the jewel of the Caribbean

A private bilingual guide will pick you up in the morning directly from your hotel for a four-hour tour of Cartagena. You will see beautiful colonial homes, La Popa Monastery, the Walled City, San Pedro Claver Church, and more of the historic district before heading to the modern district and the island of Tierra Bomba

After having lunch inside the Old City, you'll head out for a guided coffee tasting. You will learn about the particular attributes of specialty coffee through a delicious sensorial experience at one of the best and most specialized coffee shops in the country. Let your specialist know if you'd like to enhance this experience by adding in a pairing of different varieties of Colombian honey or rum. 

The evening is free for you to make your own dinner reservations and sample some of the city's legendary nightlife.

Day 3: Market Trip & Cooking Class

Sample the local cuisine in Cartagena's famous market

Today, you'll start the day with a trip to Cartagena's buzzing fruit and vegetable market. A private driver will take you to meet your bilingual guide, who will take you on a tour through Cartagena's emblematic meeting place where farmers and merchants offer produce and products from all corners of the country. After you explore the market, you'll begin your cooking class where local chefs will teach you about the ingredients and local flavors behind some delicious Colombian dishes. You will then enjoy a three-course lunch prepared by you and the group.

In the afternoon, you will have time to rest and relax, or walk around the walled city and enjoy Cartagena on your own. You can end the day with an optional private cruise to watch the sunset, which travelers say is not to be missed!

Day 4: Private Dance Lesson

Salsa and dance lesson!
A salsa lesson in Cartagena

Today, a driver will take you just a few kilometers outside of Cartagena to see the Totumo Mud Volcano, where volcanic mud is constantly flowing inside. The locals claim that the mud has medicinal properties, but it's definitely great for your skin. Climb a wooden staircase to the summit and dive into the mud (make sure you take an old bathing suit that you don't mind getting dirty!) before receiving a relaxing massage. After you're done, you can rinse off in Totumo Lake. Not interested in a full-body mud treatment? Skip the volcano and take a mangrove tour with local fishermen instead.

Your driver will take you back to your hotel where you can clean up and change for your private dance lesson in Cartagena. You'll learn how to dance the local favorites like Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, and Bachata before you're left to your own devices during the fun and boisterous practice segment.

You'll have the rest of the night free, but consider going out to some local dance clubs to test your newfound dance skills!

Day 5: Arrive in the Islands

On your way to the Cartagena islands!
Hop on a boat and head to Cartagena's nearby islands

Today, you will leave your hotel in Cartagena and take a boat to the beautiful islands of Cartagena. Depending on your choice, you'll head to a luxury eco-resort in Baru, a private island with a boutique hotel, or Isla Mucura with its stunning and secluded beach. After you check in at your island hotel, you'll have the rest of the day free to relax and walk along the beach.

Day 6: Explore the Islands

The view of Las Islas Baru
The beach at Las Islas Baru

Today, the day is free for you to take on as many or as few activities as you'd like! You will can snorkel or dive, swim, sunbathe, go kayaking, take a short hike, join a cooking class, or simply relax on the beach. If you'd like to learn more about the area's natural wonders, you can take a tour of the mangroves with some local fishermen or learn about bioluminescent plankton on an evening excursion.

Day 7: Depart Cartagena

Cartagena's Old Town
A view of Cartagena's Old Town

It's time to say goodbye to Colombia! Enjoy your last morning in the islands and have a leisurely breakfast on the beach. A representative will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport in Cartagena so that you can catch your flight home.

Map

Map of Cartagena and Colombia's Islands - 7 Days
Map of Cartagena and Colombia's Islands - 7 Days