- Take a walking tour of Bogotá's historic center
- Travel down the Amazon River in southern Colombia
- Visit secluded Caribbean beaches in Tayrona National Park
- See the highlights of Cartagena and take a yacht cruise
|Day 1||Arrive in Bogotá, Optional Activities||Bogotá|
|Day 2||Bogotá Highlights Tour||Bogotá|
|Day 3||Fly to Leticia, City Tour||Leticia|
|Day 4||Transfer to Puerto Nariño, Micos Island & Jungle Hike||Puerto Nariño|
|Day 5||Day Trip to Cacao Island & Tarapoto Lakes||Puerto Nariño|
|Day 6||Fly to Santa Marta, Transfer to Tayrona National Park||Tayrona National Park|
|Day 7||Day Trip to Tayrona Beaches||Tayrona National Park|
|Day 8||Transfer to Cartagena, Mangrove Canoe Tour||Cartagena|
|Days 9-10||Transfer to Rosario Islands, Snorkeling & Bioluminescence||Rosario Islands|
|Day 11||Transfer to Cartagena, Street Food Tour||Cartagena|
|Day 12||Cartagena City Tour & Dinner Cruise||Cartagena|
|Day 13||Depart Cartagena|
Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, Optional Activities
Welcome to Bogotá, the capital of Colombia! This metropolis high in the Andes (8,661 ft/2,640 m) has been inhabited by Indigenous groups for thousands of years and was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century. Today it's a modern city home to over seven million people, yet many of its colonial-era landmarks remain remarkably well-preserved. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
After taking some time to relax and unwind, feel free to head out on a self-guided tour. Colombia's largest city abounds with culture and historical landmarks, and its regional gastronomy has made it a global foodie destination. Start with the cobblestone streets of the La Candelaria neighborhood, which is brimming with trendy restaurants and landmarks dating back centuries. You'll also find excellent museums, shopping, and street food ranging from arepas to exotic fruit salads.
Day 2: Bogotá Highlights TourThis full-day tour of Bogotá's highlights begins after breakfast in La Candelaria, the historic center. Here, you'll visit Plaza de Bolívar, the city's main square and seat of government. Along it sit the Congress, Justice Hall, and the 19th-century Catedral Primada. Nearby is the Gold Museum, which boasts over 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts—the largest such collection in the world. Finish this leg of the tour at the Museo de Botero, home to an impressive art collection donated by the renowned Colombian painter/sculptor Fernando Botero.
Afterward, stop at one of the largest and most popular municipal markets in the city: Paloquemao. It covers an entire city block, and within it are around 750 vendors selling everything from fresh produce and flowers to meats and cheeses. As your guide leads you down the labyrinthine aisles, you'll mingle with local Bogotanos doing their weekly shopping, plus chat with vendors about their products. Take a break for a snack at one of the restaurant stalls, then sample exotic tropical fruits like papaya, mango, guava, carambola, passion fruit, dragon fruit, lulo, and others.
Days 3: Fly to Leticia, City TourIn the morning, your driver will pick you up for the ride to the airport, where you'll catch a two-hour flight south to Leticia. This small city is located at the southernmost end of the country right on the Amazon River. It also sits on the tri-borders with Peru and Brazil. Upon arrival at the airport, a representative will be waiting to welcome you and transfer you to your nearby hotel. This kicks off four days of adventure in Colombia's Amazonas region.
After check-in, head out for a city tour. During the excursion, you'll visit highlights like the municipal market and a pharmacist specializing in local medicinal plants. You'll also stop by Santander Park. This central plaza is famous for its daily spectacle of thousands of green parrots returning to the park's trees in the early evening. You'll also get to hop the border to the adjacent Brazilian town of Tabatinga, where you'll see the language and culture change in an instant. Afterward, return to your hotel in Leticia.
Day 4: Transfer to Puerto Nariño, Micos Island & Night Jungle Hike
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Day Trip to Cacao Island & Tarapoto Lakes
Day 6: Fly to Santa Marta, Transfer to Tayrona National ParkAfter an early breakfast, you'll transfer by boat to Leticia and take a connecting flight to the Caribbean coast and Santa Marta, Colombia's oldest city. Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up for the approximately one-hour drive to Tayrona National Park. This 1,614-square-mile (4,180 sq km) region protects the unspoiled coast, mountains, and archeological sites in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region. The park is overseen by descendants of the Tayrona people, who have lived here since at least the first century CE. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel and will have the rest of the day free.
Day 7: Day Trip to Tayrona Beaches
In the morning, you'll head out on a day trip to some of the most secluded and scenic parts of Tayrona. 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 8: Transfer to Cartagena, Mangrove Canoe Tour
Your personal driver will pick you up early at your hotel for the ride west along the coast to Cartagena. The drive there takes around four hours, but you'll break it up with a stop at Boquilla. This humble fishing village is popular with nature lovers due to the mangrove forests along its shores. You'll see them up close on a guided canoe tour around the coast and interior lagoon. It's a great opportunity to spot exotic birds like green parrots, egrets, and the scarlet ibis, among others.
After the canoe tour, you'll enjoy a refreshing drink from a cold coconut as you tour the village. Boquilla has Afro-Caribbean roots, which you'll learn about as you chat with locals about the fishing trade and other aspects of daily life. Afterward, hop back in the car and continue another 30 minutes or so to Cartagena. Founded in 1533 as Spain's main shipping port in the New World, Cartagena is the largest colonial fortress city in the Americas. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel.
Days 9-10: Transfer to Rosario Islands, Snorkeling & BioluminescenceIn the morning, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to the city port. Here, you'll board a shared boat for the 45-minute ride to Islas Rosario, an island archipelago offshore of Cartagena. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and will then have the next two days to enjoy pure relaxation and aquatic activities in this island paradise. Feel free to spend the remainder of the first afternoon sunbathing on the beach.
Day 11: Transfer to Cartagena, Street Food TourAfter a leisurely breakfast, you'll take a boat from Rosario back to Cartagena and transfer to your hotel. When lunchtime rolls around, head out on a two-hour food tour to experience the city's culinary heritage like a true Cartagenero. During this guided excursion, you'll try it all, from savory street food to sweet desserts. Enjoy staple dishes like arepas (fried corncakes), empanadas, papas rellenas (stuffed potato croquettes), caribañolas (yuca fritters), bollos de mazorca (steamed corn rolls), and others.
Day 12: Cartagena City Tour & Dinner Cruise
Today's tour of Cartagena's highlights begins with a transfer just outside the city center to Convento de la Popa. This convent dates to 1606, and its position atop a hill affords panoramic views of the whole city. From there, you'll proceed to nearby San Felipe de Barajas. This hilltop castle was built by the Spanish in 1536 to defend the coast, and to this day it remains the largest colonial fortress in the Americas. A tour of San Felipe includes walking along its ramparts as well as exploring its tunnels.
Afterward, you'll return to Cartagena's historic center and visit the city's important landmarks on a guided tour. These include the entrance to the Walled City and the Plaza de Reloj, where the iconic clock tower stands. Explore colonial neighborhoods like San Diego and Santo Domingo, then visit the Palace of the Inquisition in Plaza de Bolívar. This was once the seat of the Holy Office of the Inquisition and is now a macabre museum. During the tour, your guide will share fascinating stories about the founding of Cartagena as well as tales of pirate attacks.
When the sun goes down, walk to the pier located right in the historic center. Here, you'll board a yacht for an evening dinner cruise around the bay. Enjoy a three-course meal with wine as you chat with guests amid beautiful views while the lights of downtown Cartagena dance on the waters of the Caribbean.
Day 13: Depart Cartagena
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel. If your schedule allows, take one final walk around Cartagena's colorful neighborhoods, stop at a café, or do a bit of last-minute souvenir shopping. Then, at the appropriate time, your driver will transfer you to the airport where you'll catch your flight home. Until next time!