This journey begins in Bogotá, a melting pot of people from around the country. You'll then head to a nearby small town to witness a spectacular salt cathedral, one of Colombia's most visited attractions. Afterward, head east to the Coffee Region where you'll tour small towns, visit a coffee farm, and see the tallest wax palm trees in the world. The adventure continues in Medellín, Tayrona National Park, and Cartagena.

Highlights

  • Visit an underground salt cathedral in Zipaquirá
  • See the tallest wax palm trees in the world
  • Learn first-hand about the coffee-making process
  • Climb to the top of a giant monolith rock for amazing views
  • Enjoy an immersive Afro-Colombian cultural experience

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá Bogotá
Day 2 La Candelaria, Monserrate & Salt Cathedral Bogotá
Day 3 Local Market Visit - Transfer to the Coffee Region Pereira
Day 4 Cocora Valley, Filandia & Salento Pereira
Day 5 Adventure on a Coffee Farm - Transfer to Medellín Medellín
Day 6 Medellín, City of Eternal Spring Medellín
Day 7 Guatapé & El Peñol Day-Trip Medellín
Day 8 Transfer to Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 9 Enjoy Tayrona National Park Tayrona Park
Day 10 Transfer to Cartagena - Local Cuisine Party Cartagena
Day 11 Cartagena is Magical Realism Cartagena
Day 12 Day-Trip to San Basilio de Palenque Cartagena
Day 13 Day-Trip to Rosario Islands Cartagena
Day 14 Depart from Cartagena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá

Bogotá Cathedral
Bogotá Cathedral

Welcome to Bogotá! Our prepared private service will pick you up and take you to your hotel. 

On the way, your English-speaking guide will give you all the recommendations you need to get the most out of your stay in Colombia.

Bogotá is a diverse and multicultural city, with a blend of modern and colonial architecture. Depending on your time of arrival, you can enjoy a free afternoon exploring the city.

Day 2: La Candelaria, Monserrate & Salt Cathedral

Plaza Bolívar, Bogotá
Plaza Bolívar, Bogotá

This morning you'll tour Bogotá. Your first stop is the historic neighborhood of La Candelaria, where you'll find the iconic Plaza de Bolivar. Then, you'll walk a couple of blocks to the famous Gold Museum, home to the most extensive collection of gold artifacts in the entire world. There might be time after your tour to ascend Monserrate mountain. The top of this 3,152-meter (10,341-foot) peak has the city's most iconic sanctuary and affords the best views of Bogotá. 

It will then be time to leave Bogotá for a visit to the town of Zipaquirá. On the way, catch panoramic views of the Sabana countryside. Upon arrival, you will have preferential entrance to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, considered the first wonder of Colombia. After visiting the mine, enjoy a short city tour around the pretty colonial town before returning to Bogotá.

Day 3: Local Market Visit - Transfer to the Coffee Region

Paloquemao Market
Paloquemao Market

Begin your day with a walking tour of Bogotá's largest food market, the Mercado de Paloquemao. Open daily, Paloquemao supplies fresh ingredients for the majority of the city's best restaurants. Wander the aisles, marvel at the sheer number of flowers for sale, and sample local dishes served up by the market's vendors and restaurant stalls. The variety of colors and tastes you will find here will astonish you. You will also find a variety of endemic fruits like granadilla, lulo, and curuba.

In the afternoon, you will take a flight from Bogotá to the astonishing Coffee Region.

Day 4: Cocora Valley, Filandia & Salento

Cócora Valley
Cocora Valley

Today, your day will start through the colonial streets of Finlandia, considered one of Colombia's most beautiful towns.  Visit the Quindío viewpoint for breathtaking views, stop in a basketry workshop, and enjoy a regional meal at a local restaurant.

After the gastronomic experience, you'll head to the gorgeous Cocora Valley, home of the tallest wax palm trees in the world. A professional guide will take you through this natural reserve so you can truly enjoy its wonder and biodiversity. You will be able to participate in the planting of palms, as a way to contribute to the preservation of this endangered ecosystem. 

From here, you will transfer to the town of Salento, where you'll do a walking tour of its colonial streets, craft workshops, and viewpoint.

Finally, you will head to Pereira for an overnight stay.

Day 5: Adventure on a Coffee Farm - Transfer to Medellín

Views at the coffee farm
Views at the coffee farm

After you’ve had some time to enjoy breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head out for a cultural experience on an authentic organic coffee finca (farm). 

The Hacienda is located in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by sloping Andean mountains coated in green coffee fields. You will be able to appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of the coffee plantations of the department of Quindio.

This hands-on experience brings you through the step-by-step process of making coffee. Your hard work will be rewarded with frequent tastings of high-quality coffee that has been internationally awarded in countries like Russia, South Korea, and Belgium. Finally, you will prepare your own delicious cup of the softest Speciality Coffee on the farm. 

In the afternoon, you will fly to Medellín, the “City of Eternal Spring.” You’ll be greeted by a representative who will escort you through a beautiful mountain pass and 1,000 feet down into the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado.

Day 6: Medellín, City of Eternal Spring

Plaza Botero, Medellín
Plaza Botero, Medellín

Once one of the most notoriously violent cities in the world, Medellín has left its turbulent past behind and has become internationally known for its innovation. The hub of Colombia’s medical and tech sectors, the city is nestled within the Valle de Aburrá and offers breathtaking views in almost every direction.

After breakfast, start your tour with a visit to “Comuna 13” (commune 13). This neighborhood was riddled with crime but has reinvented itself in recent years as a cultural hub that capitalizes on its rebirth. Street artists from the area will take you on a historical, aesthetic, and political tour. These tours are part of grassroots efforts to inspire hope and better living conditions through creative expressions like street art and hip hop. After, you'll ride the Metrocable, from where you can see an unparalleled panoramic view of the city. Then, you will enjoy some traditional food from the Antioquia department.

After lunch, get ready to hit some of the highlights of the city. These include the Nutibara Hill—at the top of which is a replica of a typical Antioquia village—the Botanical Gardens, the Explora Park, the Park of Desires, the Barefoot Park, and the Ruta N Innovation and Technology Center. Lastly, we will visit the Antioquia Museum, one of the region's most important cultural institutions, and Botero Square, where 23 outdoor bronze sculptures by Colombian Master Fernando Botero are exhibited.

Day 7: Guatapé & El Peñol Day-Trip

View from atop the Peñol de Guatapé
View from atop the Peñol de Guatapé

After breakfast, you'll begin a full-day excursion to one of the crown jewels of Colombia's Antioquia region: the lakeside town of Guatapé. This private tour includes a guided walk through the village and a mini-history lesson, where you'll learn about the symbolic meaning of the zócalos, or colorful paintings that decorate houses. 

Your guide will then transfer you to El Peñol, a natural granite landmark whose magnificent summit view is available to those willing to climb 740 steps.

Return to the town of Guatapé to explore more of its streets and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the late afternoon, you'll transfer back to Medellín for some free time in the city.

Day 8: Transfer to Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park

Enjoy your last morning in Medellín before taking a flight to Santa Marta.
 
Once you land in the coastal city, you will be taken to Tayrona National Park, one of the most stunning places in the entire country.

You'll have to trek through the jungle first, but you will be rewarded for your hard work once you arrive at the beautiful beach of Canaveral. Take a walk along the coast to admire the contrast of the turquoise water against the backdrop of green mountains, learn about organic farming, relax in a hammock, or take a nature tour of the park.

Day 9: Enjoy Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park
Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park is a sanctuary of nature and archaeological remains that invite self-reflection and appreciation of the natural world. Mangrove swamps, corals, algae prairies, thorny scrubland, and magical dry, humid, and cloud forests proliferate and are home to surprising biodiversity.

Flora and fauna observation are of particular interest. The park is home to over 100 mammal species, among them howling monkeys, pumas, deer, and several species of bats. Over 300 bird species coexist with them, including Andean condors, and lone and white eagles.

The park is also home to 31 species of reptiles, 15 amphibians, 202 sponges, 471 crustaceans, and more than 1,000 other marine species, including dolphins and marine turtles.

Aside from its natural and archaeological attractions, Tayrona National Park is an excellent site for eco-tourism, thanks to its wide range of diving sites. Tourists particularly love the Chairama archaeological site known as Pueblito and the stone paths that lead to it.

Day 10: Transfer to Cartagena - Local Cuisine Party

Cartagena
Cartagena

Enjoy your last morning at the Tayrona National Park before starting a 4-5 hour drive to Cartagena. 

This walled city is designed like a fortress because it was once the principal shipping port of gold from the "New World" back to Spain. The stone ramparts helped protect it from countless pirate attacks, including from the most famous of all: Sir Francis Drake.

Today, Cartagena is Colombia's most visited destination, drawing in tourists from all over the world with its colorful colonial charm and ocean views. You will visit a myriad of plazas, the monastery of San Pedro Claver and the Basilica Minor cathedral, as well as stroll along narrow cobbled streets lined with colonial houses featuring bougainvilia-draped balconies. 

Authentic Local Cuisine Party

For this experience, put on your apron and join local families in their homes and kitchens as you learn how to prepare some authentic Cartagenian dishes.

Skip mainstream tours and connect with Cartagena and its gastronomic culture. The experience includes:

  • A refreshing welcome drink
  • Step by step cooking class of the recipe/menu of your choice with a traditional cook
  • Local fruit drinks
  • Table service

All experiences, food, and beverages are included. Fruit juices can be replaced with alcoholic beverages upon request.

Day 11: Cartagena is Magical Realism

Palenquera in Cartagena
Palenquera in Cartagena

Today, you will do a grand tour of Cartagena through the residential quarters of Bocagrande, Castillo Grande, and the republican neighborhood of Manga, home to the big mansions of colonial times.

Continue with a visit to the Popa Convent, where you will have a magnificent view of the city. Do a walking tour in San Felipe de Barajas Fortress, a Spanish military fortress whose underground galleries and tunnels you can explore. Then, roam the Walled City as you stroll around its main squares, streets, and churches, before going into the Inquisition Palace.

In the afternoon, head back to Getsemaní and enjoy a refreshment at one of the patio cafés or restaurants around the bustling Plaza de la Trinidad. 

You will also have the opportunity to visit some typical markets and workshops where you will learn about trades like shoe-making and tailoring. Take this opportunity to interact with local artisans and learn a bit about their trades.

Subsequently, you'll do a quick street-art tour of the area.

Day 12: Day-Trip to San Basilio de Palenque

Palenquera women
Palenquera women

Today, you'll leave the city on a day trip to visit the town of San Basilio de Palenque. Centuries ago, Cartagena was Colombia’s main port of entry for slaves abducted from Africa. During the 17th century, escaped slaves built isolated forts in the jungles surrounding the city. Palenque, located just over an hour from Cartagena, is the only last surviving of these forts. 

Today, the Afro-Colombian inhabitants of San Basilio de Palenque have preserved many of the customs of their African ancestors. You see it in the traditional dress of the palenqueras—women who sell fresh fruit and other goods out of baskets that they often carry on their heads. You'll speak with palenquera leaders and take a tour through the town's highlights.

A specialized Food Concierge will take you to a private farm, where local chefs will prepare a 3-course menu based on their best-selling cookbook, "Palenquera Cuisine for the world." Enjoy this wonderfully unique meal as you discuss with the chefs, learn more about the town's history, and listen to traditional music played by live musicians.

Day 13: Day-Trip to Rosario Islands

Islas del Rosario
Islas del Rosario

Today, take the day to indulge in the warm, crystal waters of the Caribbean.

You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the pier, where you will catch a boat to the Natural Park of Islas del Rosario. This archipelago—around 45 minutes from Cartagena—is made up of 27 islands. San Pedro de Majagua is located on Isla Grande and owes its name to Pierre Daguet, a French painter who built his house and studio here in 1955. 

Have fresh seafood lunch, lounge on the beach, and dive into the Caribbean to enjoy snorkeling in the aqua blue sea. You can also visit the local oceanarium.

Day 14: Depart from Cartagena

Sunset in Cartagena
Sunset in Cartagena

It's time to say goodbye to Colombia! After breakfast, enjoy your last moments in Cartagena.

A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Colombia Highlights: Bogotá, Coffee Region, Medellín & Cartagena - 14 Days
Map of Colombia Highlights: Bogotá, Coffee Region, Medellín & Cartagena - 14 Days