Bring your best sense of adventure for this 15-day itinerary, which centers on an immersive four-day Colombian Amazon experience—including a night in a jungle treehouse—and a four-day trek to the remarkable Lost City. Travel from the far south to the far north of the country via historical cities, sleepy mountain towns, and secluded sandy beaches, spotting rare dolphins and brightly colored birdlife along the way.


  • Get immersed in local life in the Colombian Amazon
  • Go bird-watching in Minca to spot colorful native species 
  • Complete the four-day trek to the incredible Lost City 
  • Explore Tayrona's secluded sandy beaches & wildlife-rich national park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, Walking Tour Bogotá
Day 2 Transfer to Leticia, Overnight Stay in an Amazon Jungle Treehouse Amazon Jungle
Day 3 Colombian Amazon: Mocagua & Puerto Nariño Puerto Nariño
Day 4 Colombian Amazon: Natutama Walking Tour & Tarapoto Lakes Puerto Nariño
Day 5 Colombian Amazon: Marasha/Natamú & Leticia Leticia
Day 6 Transfer to Santa Marta, City Tour Santa Marta
Day 7 Transfer to Minca, Coffee Farm & Village Tour Minca
Day 8 Bird-Watching Tour in Minca Minca
Day 9 Lost City Trek: Day 1 of 4 On Trek
Day 10 Lost City Trek: Day 2 of 4 On Trek
Day 11 Lost City Trek: Day 3 of 4 On Trek
Day 12 Lost City Trek: Day 4 of 4 Tayrona 
Day 13 Day Trip to Tayrona's Beaches Tayrona 
Day 14 Bird-Watching in Tayrona National Park Tayrona
Day 15 Tubing on the Río Don Diego, Transfer to Santa Marta Airport & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, Walking Tour

Explore Bogotá's city center on foot
Explore Bogotá's city center on foot
Welcome to Colombia! Upon arrival in Bogotá, your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to relax, before exploring Bogotá's historic center with an English-speaking guide. Start in the main square of Plaza de Bolívarthe, in the La Candelaria neighborhood. La Candelaria is the city's colonial-era heart and the site of many key buildings, such as the government headquarters, Justice Hall, and neoclassical Catedral Primada—Bogotá's largest cathedral.

Next, visit the Gold Museum and its impressive collection of pre-Columbian goldsmiths from native communities. Finish your tour at Museo de Botero, one of Latin America's most important art collections, with over 200 works donated to the city by Colombian painter Fernando Botero. The evening is at leisure to get some rest ahead of tomorrow's adventure. 

Day 2: Transfer to Leticia, Overnight Stay in an Amazon Jungle Treehouse

Monkey sightings in Colombia's Amazon region
Spot playful monkeys in Colombia's Amazon region
Today, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport to catch your flight to Leticia, the country's southernmost city bordering Peru and Brazil, and the gateway to the Colombian Amazon. Visit an Indigenous Huitoto Maloca village to learn a little bit about their lifestyle and views, before traveling through miles of Amazon jungle to spend the night in a treehouse. From the canopy, watch and listen to the nocturnal fauna and enjoy the thrill of sleeping in the middle of the jungle in complete safety. 

Day 3: Colombian Amazon: Mocagua & Puerto Nariño

The eco-friendly village of Puerto Nariño
Spend two nights at the eco-friendly village of Puerto Nariño, which can only be reached by boat
After breakfast, hop on a vehicle and travel to the pier, where you'll take a speedboat along the Amazon River to the community of Mocagua (a Tikuna ethnic group). On arrival, tour the township and take an environmental walk toward the Maikuchiga Foundation, set up for the rehabilitation and conservation of primates—in particular the churuco (a brown woolly monkey).
Enjoy lunch with an Indigenous family, then set off on a short boat trip to the peaceful eco-friendly village of Puerto Nariño, which lies 47 miles (75 km) upriver from Leticia and can only be reached by boat. The impressive efforts in ecological living here have made ecotourism a vital source of income for the Indigenous residents. Check in to your accommodation, then go canoeing on the Río Loretoyacu and appreciate the sounds of the jungle, before dinner and a good night's sleep. 

Day 4: Colombian Amazon: Natutama Walking Tour & Tarapoto Lakes

Lush jungle on the Amazon riverbanks
Pass by lush jungle on the Amazon riverbanks

Take a morning walking tour to visit the Natutama Interpretive Center, where you can learn about underwater life in the Amazon region and how to protect this valuable ecosystem. You'll get to explore Puerto Nariño in more depth, ahead of a local lunch and a trip to the Tarapoto Lakes, where you can hope to spot pink and gray dolphins, before returning to Puerto Nariño for dinner and a second night. 

Day 5: Colombian Amazon: Marasha/Natamú & Leticia

Beautiful pink dolphins found only in the Amazon
If you're lucky you'll spot pink dolphins, which can only be seen in the Amazon

After an early breakfast, take a boat ride to the Marasha or Natamú Nature Reserves, where you'll walk through the jungle's towering trees for around an hour and a half. If the water levels are high, you'll arrive by canoe. There's time for nature activities in the protected reserve, such as kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching, before lunch. Then take the boat back to Leticia, where your hotel is just a short walk from the dock.

Day 6: Transfer to Santa Marta, City Tour

An old white cathedral against a blue sky
Catedral de Santa Marta is one of the oldest on the continent
Explore Leticia's highlights today, visiting Orellana Park, the medicinal plant pharmacy, artisan shops, and the market square. Next, you'll transfer to the airport and fly via Bogotá to Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast in the far north of the country. Santa Marta is the oldest city in Colombia, and you'll discover its historical attractions on a guided walking tour.
Catedral de Santa Marta is one of the oldest cathedrals on the continent, with foundations dating to 1531. You'll visit other major landmarks like Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the hacienda where the great Libertador and Venezuelan president, Simón Bolívar, spent his last days. Other stops include Santa Marta's historic center and the coastal viewpoint in the adjacent fishing village of Taganga.
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Day 7: Transfer to Minca, Coffee Farm & Village Tour

An elevated view over greenery
The area around Minca offers incredible views 

Travel around 50 minutes inland from Santa Marta to Minca, a chilled-out little mountain town surrounded by lush jungle and coffee plantations. Take a half-day 4WD tour to explore the region, starting at one of the working coffee farms. After learning about the production process (and enjoying complimentary tastings), you'll visit the natural swimming hole of Pozo Azul for a refreshing dip, so bring your bathing suit! 

Enjoy some free time and have lunch on your own before you embark on an afternoon walking tour of Minca's town center. Alternatively, visit the hummingbird balcony at Hotel Minca, where you can relax and observe the hundreds of hummingbirds that feed there. If you prefer, there's also the chance today to take a full-day excursion that includes a trip to the stunning waterfall of Marinka, as well as a driving tour of the area with beautiful views back over Santa Marta.

Day 8: Bird-Watching Tour in Minca

Biodiverse Minca known for its many hummingbirds
Biodiverse Minca is known for its many hummingbirds
Get up with the birds this morning—quite literally. Rise early, as your bird-watching tour begins at 5:30 am when you'll head into the forest to find the native military macaw (so-called for its green plumage that resembles a military parade uniform) and other dry forest species. Then, climb up to almost 5,000 feet (1,500 m) to the Bella Vista trail to see some endemic birds of the rainforest and cloud forest. As well as the military macaw, keep an eye—and ear—out for the white-bearded manakin, blue-headed parrot, keel bill toucan, crested oropendola, whooping motmot, and many more.

Day 9: Lost City Trek: Day 1 of 4

The path to the Lost City
Follow the path to the Lost City
Today is the first day of an unforgettable journey through Ciudad Perdida, meaning "The Lost City," located deep in the Sierra Nevadas. This ancient complex and former center of the Tayrona empire comprises more than 250 terraces and dates to around 700 CE. That means it pre-dates the Inca Machu Picchu by about 800 years. In total, the four-day journey covers 26 miles (42 km) roundtrip, most of which involves trekking through the jungle.
The day starts early with a three-hour transfer by vehicle from your hotel to the small town of Machete Pelao. After a break for lunch, you'll hike about 4.7 miles (7.6 km) to Adán's Cabanas, the first base camp on the route to Ciudad Perdida. You'll overnight here in shared accommodation (beds, tents, or hammocks).

Day 10: Lost City Trek: Day 2 of 4

A river deep in the jungle
A trek to the Lost City is challenging but rewarding 
After an early breakfast, you'll depart Adán's Cabanas on the second leg of the hike, which covers 9 miles (14.6 km), ascends 2,952 feet (900 m) above sea level, and takes about eight hours to complete. No doubt this is a difficult trek, but you'll break up the march with some fun and interesting stops.

For example, you'll visit the Indigenous village of Mutanyi. Here, your guide will share fascinating info about the history, culture, and daily life of the village's 3,000 residents. They're all descendants of the Tayrona people and belong to the Arhuaco, Kogui, Wiwa, and Kakuamo communities that inhabit the area. After lunch, take a refreshing dip in the Río Buritaca then enjoy a leisurely cup of local coffee amid the gorgeous mountain scenery before getting back on the trail.

As you continue hiking through the tropical forests, there will be ample opportunity to observe native animals in their natural habitat. Count on seeing monkeys, hummingbirds, and plenty of butterflies. Eventually, you'll arrive at your overnight accommodation at Rumualdo's Camp, where you'll have dinner.

Day 11: Lost City Trek: Day 3 of 4

 see the ancient terraces of the Lost City hidden within the mountains
See the ancient terraces of the Lost City hidden within the mountains. 
Leave around daybreak from Rumualdo's Camp and embark on the final leg to Ciudad Perdida, which takes about one hour. Upon arrival at the site, you'll ascend 1,200 steps to see the ancient terraces of the Lost City hidden within the mountains. The views here are incredible and look out not only to Ciudad Perdida but over the surrounding forests as well.
After a three-hour guided tour of the archaeological site, during which you can snap plenty of photos, you'll return to Rumualdo's Camp for lunch. Then continue on to Gabriel's Camp, which is near the Río Buritaca, where you'll overnight. The total distance you'll cover today is 5 miles (8 km) with an ascent up to 3,937 feet (1,200 m) above sea level.

Day 12: Lost City Trek: Day 4 of 4

Elevated jungle view from the Lost City trek
Begin the descent back down to Machete Pelao
It's another early start today, as you leave Gabriel's Camp on the route back to Machete Pelao. The hike covers 9.7 miles (15.6 km), mostly downhill, and takes about seven hours. Upon arrival in town, you'll have lunch, and then transfer by vehicle to Tayrona for a restful evening. 

Day 13: Day Trip to Tayrona's Beaches

A stunning sandy cove backed by palms
Tayrona brims with beautiful secluded beaches 
Waking up in Tayrona, you'll head out on a day trip to some of the area's most secluded beaches. First up is Playa Gairaca, an almost hidden beach little visited by tourists, meaning you'll have it mostly to yourself. Then stop at Mirador Siete Olas. This lookout point offers incredible views over an idyllic bay with fierce waves crashing on the beach.

Afterward, take a rest on the wide and inviting sands at Neguanje, the largest bay in Tayrona. The waters here are serene and the environment is so tranquil that Indigenous residents come here to perform rituals. Another highlight of the tour is a boat ride from Neguanje Bay to Playa Cristal, a beach that earned its name due to its crystalline waters. Here you can do some snorkeling along the offshore coral reefs. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel. 

Day 14: Bird-Watching in Tayrona National Park

A coastal beach path near Tayrona Park
Explore coastal beach paths near Tayrona National Park
Today, take a hike along nature trails, crossing gigantic stones through the forest, admiring breathtaking views over the sea, and enjoying the beaches of one of South America's most iconic natural parks. Birdlife is abundant in Tayrona National Park, and you can hope to spot fascinating species including the crane hawk, boat-billed heron, white-necked puffbird, lineated woodpecker, streaked flycatcher, and crimson-backed tanager—all as wonderful as their names suggest.

Day 15: Tubing on the Río Don Diego, Transfer to Santa Marta Airport & Depart

A bright toucan perched on a food table
Hope to meet Colombia's friendly toucans
On today's excursion, you will have the opportunity to take a gentle tube ride down the Río Don Diego. The tour starts with a short walk through the forest, where you'll start your float down the river. As you glide along, you're likely to see howler monkeys, a great variety of birds, butterflies, and even the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. Upon arrival at the mouth of the river, you will find a scenic, untouched beach where you can relax before heading back upstream in a boat.

After some final wildlife watching, it's time to leave Tayrona National Park and transfer to Santa Marta Airport to catch your flight home. Safe onward travels!

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Map of Colombia Jungle Adventures: The Amazon, Lost City & Tayrona - 15 Days
Map of Colombia Jungle Adventures: The Amazon, Lost City & Tayrona - 15 Days