- Visit sacred Guatavita Lake, once thought to be filled with gold
- Stargaze in the clear skies of the Tatacoa Desert
- Learn about ancient pre-Columbian history in numerous archeological sites
- Hike in the Colombian Coffee Region near Medellín
|Day 1||Arrive in Bogotá||Bogotá|
|Day 2||Bogotá Fruit Tasting, Walking & Museums Tour||Bogotá|
|Day 3||Monserrate Hill Tour, Guatavita Lake||Bogotá|
|Day 4||Transfer to Neiva & Villavieja, Stargazing at Astronomical Observatory||Villavieja|
|Day 5||Day Trip Into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset Walk||Villavieja|
|Day 6||Transfer to San Agustín, Coffee Farm Tour||San Agustín|
|Day 7||Horseback Archaeology Tour, San Agustín Archaeological Park||San Agustín|
|Day 8||Jeep Tour in San Agustín, Alto de los Ídolos & Alto de las Piedras||San Agustín|
|Day 9||Free Day Around San Agustín||San Agustín|
|Day 10||Transfer to Medellín||Medellín|
|Day 11||Medellín Transformation Tour, Visit a Silletera Flower Farm||Medellín|
|Day 12||Tour of Guatapé||Medellín|
|Day 13||Hike in the Cerro Bravo Nature Reserve||Medellín|
|Day 14||Depart Medellín|
Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá
Welcome to Bogotá! Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring Colombia's capital city. You and your kids might be tired after your journey so you could opt for a relaxing walk in Parque Simón Bolívar to explore its lakes, gardens, and paths. If you're hungry, head to Paloquemao Market, where you can join locals buying fruits and vegetables and local dishes such as empanadas, ajiaco (chicken and potato soup), and crispy cheese buñuelos.
Day 2: Bogotá Fruit Tasting, Walking & Museums Tour
Get the day off to a fresh, tasty start on a fruit-focused walking tour, which is sure to please hungry kids with a sweet tooth. A private guide will walk you through some of the food stalls at the Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao while sharing the history of the market and introducing you to local vendors. Taste 15 fruits, three shots of fresh juice, and other Colombian snacks throughout the tour.
Curious minds will enjoy the next activity, a visit to two of Bogotá's best museums. Start at the Gold Museum, which has an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold from the country's Indigenous communities. Next, check out the Botero Museum, which houses a collection of over 200 works donated to the city by the renowned Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero. Kids are sure to be amused by the cartoon-like figures that Botero portrays.
Day 3: Monserrate Hill Tour, Guatavita Lake
Get ready to experience the best views of Bogotá in adventurous style when you travel up Monserrate Hill by cable car. Soar over the city to arrive at a plateau 10,341 feet (3,152 m) above sea level. Here, you can visit the Monserrate Sanctuary, a white-washed Catholic church completed in 1657.
Continue to Laguna de Guatavita in the afternoon, about 30 miles (50 km) from Bogotá. The Muisca people believed that Laguna de Guatavita was created by a crashing meteor that transported a god made of gold, who resided on the lake's floor. It's now thought volcanoes are more likely to have created the lake, but your kids might prefer the traditional story. The lake was a sacred ritual center of the Muisca people, who used to cover themselves in gold and immerse themselves while making offerings to their gods. Enjoy a walk at the lake to learn more about its ecology while appreciating its beauty and history.
Day 4: Transfer to Neiva & Villavieja, Stargazing at Astronomical Observatory
Say goodbye to the capital as you fly to Neiva today, in south-central Colombia. From there, transfer overland to Villavieja, a town that serves as the gateway to the vast Tatacoa Desert, which you'll explore in the coming days. After all this travel and activity, spend some time resting at your hotel to make sure everyone's batteries are recharged for tonight's memorable excursion.
Due to the absence of light pollution and its proximity to the equator, the sky in the Tatacoa Desert is extraordinarily clear, making it an ideal place for astronomical observation. As darkness falls, the whole family is invited to relax in the desert, lying on the floor to look up at the sky while listening to an interesting talk on astronomy. Science and space-loving kids will be fascinated by the crystal clear views of planets, galaxies, and stars they'll see from the observatory's telescopes and will have the chance to capture incredible photos as the perfect memento.
Day 5: Day Trip Into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset Walk
Embark on an adventurous guided tour in the Tatacoa Desert today, taking a tuk-tuk from Villavieja to the entrance of the desert. From there, saddle up for a two-hour horseback ride through the remarkable landscape, admiring the tropical dry forest and learning about the vegetation. Continue to a mineral water pool where the kids can enjoy a refreshing dip in the middle of this arid desert.After a break for lunch and a quick rest, set out to explore the Río Magdalena by boat, accompanied by a local who will share some of his fishing secrets. After, a guided walk will take you through some of the most colorful parts of the desert as they are set ablaze by the sunset. Your guide will point out the whimsical natural formations formed from water and wind. At the end of the day, the family can do some more stargazing from a scenic viewpoint, where parents can sip some local cactus wine while kids keep an eye out for shooting stars.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Transfer to San Agustín, Coffee Farm Tour
Continue your journey south today with a private overland transfer to San Agustín. This was once the home of a mysterious community that left its legacy in hundreds of enigmatic monoliths. It's also known for its mild subtropical climate at 5,577 feet (1,700 m) above sea level and its spectacular landscapes in the heart of the Colombian Andes, where one of the country's best coffee varieties is produced. After your arrival, you'll have time to explore San Agustín independently.You can take it easy, as you'll have a full day of touring the area tomorrow, or opt for a relaxed tour of a local organic coffee farm. Meet the farmer and follow him through the fields as you discover the bean-to-cup process. Kids can help pick the colorful coffee fruit and sip on some caffeine-free alternatives while parents can re-energize with a cup of outstanding, mountain-grown coffee.
Day 7: Horseback Archaeology Tour, San Agustín Archaeological Park
The archaeological wonders of San Agustín cover a large area, so a great way of exploring them without getting too tired is to go on horseback. An expert local guide will take you on a circuit around four ancient sites. Horses will be selected to suit the size, ages, and temperaments of your kids. Ride across rural landscapes to incredible stone carvings and archaeological mounds, and make sure to stop for plenty of great family photos. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they discover the gigantic stone idols and sacred tombs that peek out from the rainforest.
If you and your kids still have energy and are interested in learning more, check out the archaeological museum at the San Agustín Archaeological Park, where you'll find a number of pre-Columbian statues and artifacts.
Day 8: Jeep Tour in San Agustín, Alto de los Ídolos & Alto de las Piedras
Explore farther afield today on a Jeep tour, a perfect way to cross the rugged terrain. There will be many more opportunities today for kids to learn about ancient history in its original setting. Start at the Magdalena Strait, the narrowest point of Colombia's main river, the Río Magdalena, which offers views of the scenic Andean forest. Just a few miles from here is the small town of Obando, where you'll see many impressive ancient tombs, as well as a small museum that houses pieces that are even older than those found in San Agustín.Continue the journey to the Alto de Los Ídolos Park, which has the highest density of tombs and statues from the Augustinian culture after the San Agustín Archaeological Park. Then, you'll head to the Alto de las Piedras Archaeological Park to see the enigmatic warrior or guardian carved in stone, Doble Yo. On your way back to San Agustín, pass an impressive waterfall almost 656 feet (200 m) high, the Salto del Mortiño.
Day 9: Free Day Around San Agustín
Day 10: Transfer to Medellín
Transfer to the airport at nearby Pitalito and take a domestic flight north to Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up at the airport by private transportation and taken to your hotel, with your guide sharing recommendations customized to your family's ages and interests along the way.
Medellín is a city known for its innovative infrastructure and can-do spirit. Its pleasant climate gives it its nickname, the "City of Eternal Spring," and the moderate temperatures put a spring in the locals' steps at work and play. After settling in at your hotel, head out into the city for your first meal of tasty local food, such as Medellín's own bandeja paisa (a hearty meal with beans, sausages, eggs, and more) or mondongo stew.
Day 11: Medellín Transformation Tour, Visit a Silletera Flower Farm
Medellín is a vibrant, innovative, family-friendly city today, but it hasn't always been this way. Not too long ago, it was known as one of the most dangerous cities in Colombia. Today, you'll take a tour focusing on Medellín's history and current regeneration projects that have transformed some of its neighborhoods from dangerous areas to hubs for artistic expression. In Comuna 13, see how the sprawling mountainside neighborhood links the neighborhood to the city below with a giant escalator. Kids are sure to enjoy riding the unusual outdoor escalators and spotting colorful murals and works of street art.Later, learn more about a stunning part of local cultural heritage at a silletera flower farm. Silleteros are farmers who make beautiful flower arrangements that are an iconic symbol of Medellín and used in its yearly flower festival, Feria de Flores. Today the whole family can experience a visit to a silletera farm in the village of Santa Elena, where you'll learn about the history, culture, and traditions of the region. Kids will love the hands-on craft as they gather fragrant flowers to add to the silletera. The tour ends with a stop at Placita de Flórez, a market square where the farmers sell their flowers.
Day 12: Tour of Guatapé
Take a break from the city with a day trip to Guatapé. Start at Guatapé Rock, a gigantic granite monolith formed millions of years ago. Take your time with younger children as you work your way up the 708 steps, but the effort is rewarded with a panoramic view of the beautiful Guatapé-Peñol Reservoir and the fingers of the lake sprawling across the mountainous landscape.
Continue to the town of Guatapé, known for the fresco-like adornment of its traditional houses, with brightly painted bas-relief depictions of people, animals, and shapes. Kids will love exploring the candy-colored streets as your guide shares stories about the local culture. When you've worked up an appetite, treat the whole family to a typical Colombian lunch along the waterfront. After, you'll have time to explore the lake on a boat ride and let the kids burn off some energy before you return to Medellín.
Day 13: Hike in the Cerro Bravo Nature ReserveSpend your last full day in Colombia on a nature hike south of Medellín in the Cerro Bravo Nature Reserve. At the heart of this protected area lies the Cerro Bravo volcanic peak. Follow an ancient Indigenous path to enter the forest and hike through dense cloud forest up to an altitude of 8,530 feet (2,600 m). Expect to hike for around five hours, but you can take your time and go at the best pace to suit the kids, stopping for a picnic. The reward for your effort will be a sweeping view over huge parts of the southwest region of Antioquia and the UNESCO-listed Colombian Zona Cafetera ("Coffee Region").
Day 14: Depart Medellín
It's time to say goodbye to Colombia. Depending on your time of departure, there may be time for some last-minute souvenir shopping in one of Medellín's markets or a final meal. At the appointed time, your driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home or to your next destination. Safe travels!
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