You don't need to choose between Colombia's mountains and coasts on this chilled-out 10-day family vacation. Start in the famous Zona Cafetera to see how coffee and cacao are grown and produced, hike through the glorious Valle de Cocora among sky-high wax palms, and experience rural Colombian life. Continue to the Caribbean coast, where you'll enjoy the cultural and culinary riches of Cartagena before ending with some quality family time on the white-sand beaches of Isla Barú.


  • See where chocolate comes from on a cacao farm tour in the Zona Cafetera
  • Stand beneath some of the tallest palms in the world in the Valle de Cocora
  • Treat sweet tooths to a chocolate tasting in Cartagena
  • Catch the rhythm during a Caribbean drumming workshop 
  • Unwind or enjoy water sports on the white sands of Isla Barú

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, Transfer to Armenia Armenia
Day 2 Valle de Cocora & Salento, Coffee Farm Tour Armenia
Day 3 Cacao Tour, Free Afternoon at Hacienda Bambusa  Armenia
Day 4 Transfer to Cartagena Cartagena
Day 5 City Tour, Chocolate & Cacao Tasting Cartagena
Day 6 Drums & Music Workshop, Cooking Class Cartagena
Day 7 Free Time in Cartagena Cartagena
Day 8 Bird Sanctuary, Transfer to Isla Barú Isla Barú
Day 9 Beach Day on the Island Isla Barú
Day 10 Transfer to Cartagena, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, Transfer to Armenia

Towering wax palms in Colombia's Zona Cafetera

Welcome to Colombia! After arriving in Bogotá, transfer to a domestic flight to Armenia. Here, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel, where you and your kids can rest after your long journey. Armenia, west of the capital, is in the heart of Colombia's UNESCO-listed Zona Cafetera ("Coffee Zone"), where the majority of Colombian coffee is produced. There are lots of things for travelers of all ages to enjoy here, from coffee tasting (for the grown-ups) to stunning walks and hikes, seeing the tallest palm trees in the world, and eating delicious, fresh food made with local ingredients.

Day 2: Valle de Cocora & Salento, Coffee Farm Tour

Curious minds will love today's nature hike 

Enjoy an immersive introduction to Colombian nature today with a visit to the Valle de Cocora, home to the tallest palm trees in the world. From the entrance of the valley, walk as far as you like on a custom excursion that suits your kids' needs and energy levels. A walk of around an hour is usually sufficient for seeing the beauty of the valley and taking pictures of the wax palms, which can grow to a whopping 200 feet (60 m). You and your kids will be amazed by these incredible trees and the verdant landscape in which they grow.

Continue on to Salento, a coffee-producing town where there's an amazing view from an observatory at the top of a hill. Then, head to a traditional coffee farm for a tour and a coffee tasting. Adults and teens can indulge in the world-class brews while younger ages will have fun exploring the rural setting of the family-owned farm.  

Day 3: Cacao Tour, Free Afternoon at Hacienda Bambusa 

Kids will love seeing where chocolate comes from on today's tour

While your kids might have skipped the coffee-tasting experience yesterday, they're sure to enjoy a visit to a cacao farm today to see another crop produced in this region. Take a one-hour walk through a plantation, learning more about the process from cacao pod to chocolate treats.

In the afternoon, spend some free time exploring the beautiful working farm on which you're staying at the Hotel Hacienda Bambusa. The hotel has bikes that you can use to get around the farm, or you can opt to walk. If your kids (or you!) need a break, you could just stay around the pool and relax. The hacienda is an oasis of peace and nature, surrounded by the towering Andes mountains.

Day 4: Transfer to Cartagena

Enjoy the warmth, color, and sea breezes of Cartagena

Leave the mountains behind today and fly north to Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast. You'll be amazed at the diversity of the country as you travel from the cool, damp mountains to the steamy, colorful city on the Caribbean Sea. Your private driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. Drop off your luggage and waste no time getting out to explore this vibrant city.

Bathed in sunshine and rich in culture and cuisine, Cartagena is often considered one of the world's most romantic cities. With vibrant sunsets, magnificent architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine, it's the perfect place to experience authentic Colombian culture, and there's plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained. Take a stroll around the city to get your bearings among its historic streets. In the evening, discover Cartagena's thriving culinary scene. Choose between casual cafés frequented by locals or upscale restaurants created by some of Latin America's most famous chefs. 
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Day 5: City Tour, Chocolate & Cacao Tasting

Look for street art in Cartagena's Old City area

Get to know Cartagena better today, starting with a half-day tour. Start with a visit to the hilltop La Popa Monastery, where you can appreciate some of the best views in the city. From there, head to the 16th-century Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, whose fortress walls once protected the city from pirate attacks. Your next stop will be the Walled City to see the Bóvedas (vaults), where you'll learn about their fascinating history and browse local arts and crafts from skilled artisans.

Continue the tour by walking through the Old City, where you'll pass beautiful houses, plazas, and churches, then check out the trendy area of Getsemaní to see its colorful graffiti art. Afterward, treat the kids to a delicious, educational chocolate experience. Sweet or a little bit bitter, hot chocolate is drunk in almost every Colombian household, for breakfast or as a morning or afternoon snack. The warm climate and the freshness of what comes out of the earth are imprinted on Colombian chocolate. Learn how to better appreciate its distinct flavor as you sample different varieties and a selection of sweet treats.

Day 6: Drums & Music Workshop, Cooking Class

Drums and Music Workshop
Enjoy a lively drumming and music workshop

Kids love to make music and (let's face it) a bit of noise, and they'll get to do both this morning during a fun drumming and music workshop with the Batambora Drum Workshop School. Led by a group of young people from the seaside suburb of La Boquilla's Afro community, the activity starts with some musical theory, followed by a drum performance. All ages will have fun connecting with the rhythms of Afro-Colombian folk music, such as cumbia, mapalé, and champeta, as they follow their own beats on the traditional drums. 

After the music workshop, get involved in a different kind of creative expression: a family cooking class inspired by the diversity of flavors and cultures on the Caribbean coast. You'll have the chance to interact with the chef and learn about the aromas, recipes, ingredients, and local flavors that create delicious Colombian dishes. Kids will love getting their hands dirty and be proud of the tasty dishes they help create. Following the class, sit down to enjoy a three-course lunch prepared by you.

Day 7: Free Time in Cartagena

Sweet shop heaven at Cartagena's "Candy Hall"

Today you can explore Cartagena on your own, doing exactly what you want. Take your pick of numerous ways to experience the city, from a fun city cycling tour to a day at the beach with Old City views. Spots that will be of particular interest to kids include the Plaza de los Dulces (Candy Hall), where you can find food stands selling traditional sweets. Also, for delicious pastries, coffee, and drinks, Mila Pasteleria inside the Old City is the place to go.

If you want to check out some museums, the small Gold Museum is located in a beautiful colonial house, the Museo de Arte Moderno contains nice exhibitions of modern art, usually featuring Colombian artists, and the tiny Emerald Museum within the Walled City contains interesting information about Colombian emeralds.

Day 8: Bird Sanctuary, Transfer to Isla Barú

See rare and resplendent Colombian birds

Get out of the city today and head to Isla Barú, about one hour's drive from Cartagena. Your first stop is the wonderful National Colombian Aviary, one of the best bird sanctuaries in the region, with hundreds of bird species that you will only see in Colombia. Everyone in the family will love the colorful, quirky inhabitants of the aviary, from iridescent hummingbirds to giant toucans.

Continue to your accommodation on Isla Barú, a resort designed to seamlessly blend into nature. Relax on the white sands surrounded by turquoise sea or at the resort's freshwater pool. Extra activities can also be booked at the resort, such as snorkeling or kayaking.

Day 9: Beach Day on the Island

Relax and play on the beaches of Isla Barú

Today you can make the most of the sea and beaches of Isla Barú. You can snorkel or dive, go swimming, enjoy the sea and the waves, go kayaking, or just relax and spend time in nature. Parents who need a break can be pampered at the spa while the kids join one of the resort activities. At dusk, grab some cocktails and fresh fruit juices to watch the sun go down on your last full day in Colombia. 

Day 10: Transfer to Cartagena, Depart

It's time to leave Isla Barú and Colombia

It's time to leave Isla Barú and Colombia. Depending on your flight departure time, there may be the chance for one last morning swim or beach walk. A driver will pick you up from your hotel to drive you about 1.5 hours to the airport. Hasta pronto!

More Great Colombia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your family trip to Colombia? Check out these other Colombia itineraries, explore other ways to spend 10 days in Colombia, or discover the best time to visit Colombia.


Map of Colombia's Coffee Zone & Caribbean Coast for Families - 10 Days
Map of Colombia's Coffee Zone & Caribbean Coast for Families - 10 Days