Experience Colombia's diverse landscapes during guided hikes and bird-watching expeditions on this 16-day itinerary. The trip starts on the Caribbean coast, where you'll explore the vibrant streets of Cartagena and the untamed beauty of Tayrona National Park. Then journey to the tranquil mountains of Minca and the cloud forests of Manizales. Finish with four special nights surrounded by the wild nature in the Amazon rainforest before wrapping up in Colombia's sophisticated capital, Bogotá.


  • Explore the beauty of Cartagena's Caribbean coast and the city of Bogotá
  • Join local guides on hikes exploring nature reserves and national parks
  • Spend four nights in the Amazon for wildlife and Indigenous culture
  • Go on multiple bird-watching trips to see Colombia's vast variety of birds

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cartagena, Fruit Experience Cartagena
Day 2 La Boquilla Fishing Trip, Visit the National Aviary of Colombia Cartagena
Day 3 Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Tubing on the Don Diego River Tayrona National Park
Day 4 Hiking in Tayrona National Park Tayrona National Park
Day 5 Transfer to Minca, Coffee Farm Tour, Swim in Waterfalls Minca
Day 6 Hike to Cerro Kennedy with Bird Watching Minca
Day 7 Fly to Pereira, Visit Hot Springs, Transfer to Manizales Manizales
Day 8 Bird Watching in Río Blanco Reserve Manizales
Day 9 Bird Watching in Timanú Reserve Manizales
Day 10 Fly to Leticia, Amazonas Expedition (Day 1) Leticia & Puerto Nariño
Day 11 Amazonas Expedition  (Day 2) Leticia & Puerto Nariño
Day 12 Amazonas Expedtion (Day 3) Leticia & Puerto Nariño
Day 13 Amazonas Expedition (Day 4) Leticia & Puerto Nariño
Day 14 Amazonas Expedition (Day 5), Fly to Bogotá Bogotá
Day 15 Bird Watching in Chingaza National Park Bogotá
Day 16 Bogotá Walking Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cartagena, Fruit Experience

Taste a range of local fruits, both familiar and exotic

¡Hola! Welcome to Cartagena, Colombia's coastal city on the Caribbean coast. Your private driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Drop your bags and then start exploring this enchanting walled city, which has been shaped by its rich Afro-Caribbean heritage, evident in its music, dance, and cuisine. There's plenty to see, as this UNESCO World Heritage site is a maze of cobbled streets adorned with colorful colonial buildings and bougainvillea-covered balconies.

This afternoon you'll get an introduction to the exotic, colorful fruits that thrive in Cartagena's warm coastal climate. Discover, savor, and learn how to eat common fruits, such as melon, papaya, and mango, along with unusual fruits cultivated only in this area, such as zapote, nispero, pocket banana, peach palm fruit, caimito, and carob tree. Arrive with an open mind and experimental palate for this sweet and refreshing sensory experience! You'll also learn about the colorful traditional dress.

Day 2: La Boquilla Fishing Trip, Visit the National Aviary of Colombia

Start the day visiting a fishing village near Cartagena

Every morning, the locals in a village near Cartagena called La Boquilla get up to go fishing. There are two big lagoons here— Cienaga de Juan Polo and Cienaga de la Virgen—where different species of fish, such as sea bass (róbalo), shad (sábalo), along with sea snails, clams, and shrimp are caught using traditional fishing lines, nets, and traps. Board a canoe with the local fishermen and spend the morning learning to fish—if you catch it, you can keep it! After, you can visit a fisherman's home to cook and enjoy lunch together.

In the afternoon, you'll visit the National Aviary of Colombia, which is located in Cartagena, to explore around 190 different species of bird. The 17-acre (7 ha) park is home to more than 2,000 birds spread across the three Colombian ecosystems: tropical rainforest, coastal zone, and desert. Visit the space to discover Colombia's biodiversity and see why the aviary is a reference point for the world regarding the study and management of birds in captivity and the wild.

Day 3: Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Tubing on the Don Diego River

Kick back, relax, and let the Don Diego River take you downstream

Rise early today to make the 4.5-hour trip from Cartagena to Tayrona National Park with a private driver. Drop your bags at the hotel, grab something to eat, and get ready for a fun adventure.

This afternoon you're going tubing on the Don Diego River. After a 15-minute walk through the forest, you'll throw out your tube and enjoy a relaxing float down the river. During the experience, look for howler monkeys, a great variety of birds, butterflies, and even snowy peaks in the distance. On arrival at the mouth of the river, you'll find a scenic, untouched beach where you can relax for a while before heading back upstream in a boat.

Day 4: Hiking in Tayrona National Park

The shores of Tayrona
Along the hike, you'll see the golden beaches of Tayrona National Park

Today's breathtaking all-day adventure will uncover the natural beauty of Tayrona National Park, a lush wonderland where the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range meets the Caribbean coast. After being picked up from your hotel, you'll trek along natural trails that wind through the forest and offer stunning views of the sea. With a bit of luck, you might spot howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, iguanas, deer, armadillos, and various species of birds such as toucans, parrots, and eagles.

The hike takes you along forest trails to Arrecifes Beach, where you can take a dip in the still waters of a natural pool. Continue your journey, walking for 20 minutes until you reach Cabo San Juan del Guía, where you can snorkel, marvel at the landscape, or simply bask in the sun. As the afternoon approaches, head back to Arrecifes and then to the Cañaveral sector for your return to your hotel.

Day 5: Transfer to Minca, Coffee Farm Tour, Swim in Waterfalls

Collared Aracari, Minca, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia
Colombia has 1,900 species of birds, more than any other country

This morning a driver will meet you for a short 45-minute transfer to Minca, a mountain village located on the coastal hillsides of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Remote Minca is seemingly a world away from the bustling Caribbean coast, and the higher mountain air is cooler too. The climate here and the Minca River provide an environment for verdant vegetation and exotic birds to thrive.

First, you'll visit the coffee farm La Victoria, located nearly 3,000 feet (900 m) above sea level. This farm has one of the most efficient coffee mills in Colombia, and during a two-hour tour, you'll get to explore the whole process of La Victoria coffee, from the harvest to the cup. After a coffee tasting, you'll continue in a 4WD vehicle to the beautiful waterfalls of Marinka, where you'll have time to cool off in the crystalline waters of this place surrounded by nature.

Day 6: Hike to Cerro Kennedy with Bird Watching

Sierra Nevada Mountains
The Sierra Nevada is the highest coastal mountain range in the world

Today, you'll hike to Cerro Kennedy, a mountain foothill of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range. Ascend to new heights and, if weather permits, be rewarded with an awe-inspiring vista of the snowcapped peaks of Pico de Cristobal Colon and Pico Simón Bolívar, the highest summits of the Sierra Nevada.

As you traverse the scenic trails, enjoy the vibrant tapestry of flora and fauna that surround you. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful toucans, elusive hummingbirds, and a plethora of other fascinating bird species. Along the way, let the mesmerizing beauty of Santa Marta and the sprawling mountain range take your breath away.

Day 7: Fly to Pereira, Visit Hot Springs, Transfer to Manizales 

Santa Rosa de Cabal
The Santa Rosa de Cabal hot springs are situated next to a beautiful waterfall

Today it's time for relaxation in West Colombia's coffee region. This morning a driver will collect you from the hotel and drop you at Santa Marta's airport for your domestic flight to Pereira. Another driver will collect you in Pereira and take you to Santa Rosa de Cabal, where you'll continue through the mountains until you reach the Santa Rosa hot springs. Surrounded by lush vegetation, these hot springs offer a serene and rejuvenating experience. The waterfall, Andean cloud forest, and warm mineral-rich waters make it an ideal place to relax.

Once you're done with the therapeutic waters, your driver will continue your journey north to Manizales, a vibrant and picturesque city surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations.

Day 8: Bird Watching in Río Blanco Reserve

Yellow-breasted Antpitta - Grallaria flavotincta bird in Grallariidae, found in Colombia and Ecuador, natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, brown and pale bird in jungle.
Look for the yellow-breasted antpitta, which is found in this area of Colombia

Today's adventure includes a visit to the Río Blanco Forest Reserve, which is home to more than 360 bird species, including rusty-faced parrots, golden-plumed parakeets, rufous-banded owls, ocellated tapaculos, chestnut-naped antpittas, plush caps, chestnut-crowned antpittas, masked saltatory, and other species representative of the high Andean forest and páramo.

At the appointed time, your guide will transfer you to the Río Blanco Reserve, stopping for breakfast on the way. In this natural reserve protected by Aguas de Manizales, you'll visit the house of the hummingbirds to observe a variety of beautiful hummingbirds and enjoy a tour led by a local bird expert. On an ecological walk together, you'll spot endemic and migratory birds and animals such as the spectacled bear and deer. 

Day 9: Bird Watching in Timanú Reserve

Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus) Reserva Timanú
Lucky visitors will spot the blue-headed parrot in the Timanú Reserve
Today you'll be immersed in the captivating world of bird-watching at the Timanú Reserve, just outside of Manizales. With its diverse habitats, this reserve offers an unforgettable opportunity to watch, listen, and photograph an impressive range of bird species. Embark on a guided tour along scenic pathways of the reserve and prepare to expand your bird checklist as you encounter between 70 to 110 species.

Day 10: Fly to Leticia, Amazonas Expedition (Day 1)

Monkey sightings in Colombia's Amazon region
Monkey sightings are common in Colombia's Amazon region

This morning starts with a private transfer from Manizales to Pereira airport, where you'll fly deep into the Amazon region at the southern tip of Colombia. You'll arrive in Leticia to begin the first of five days exploring the lush jungle and its wild landscapes. The Amazon's vast and enchanting ecosystem teems with unparalleled biodiversity and awe-inspiring natural wonders. 

Upon arrival in Leticia, you'll transfer from the airport to your treehouse reserve, where lunch is waiting. Then it's time to visit the Uitoto Maloca for a cultural exchange where you'll learn about cosmogony, traditional food, and ritual space. After dinner this evening, you'll join a guided night walk to discover the jungle's inhabitants after dark before getting a good night's rest.

Day 11: Amazonas Expedition (Day 2)

The eco-friendly village of Puerto Nariño
The eco-friendly village of Puerto Nariño makes for a calm base
Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Rise and shine in your very own treehouse this morning. After breakfast, you'll take a 90-minute speedboat ride along the Amazon River to the community of Mocagua (Tikuna ethnic group), where you'll learn how Indigenous communities still preserve ancient traditions and offer insights into their deep connection with the land. Upon arrival, you'll join a guided walk through a monkey house that works to rehabilitate and conserve primates, especially the churuco (woolly) monkey.

Sit down for lunch with an Indigenous family, then take a 20-minute boat trip to Puerto Nariño, a remote and idyllic village nestled on the banks of the Amazon River. Here you'll check in to your hotel before taking a tour of the town. Appreciate sculptures of Amazonian fauna, and ascend to the viewpoint where you can see the Amazon River and the Loretoyacu River, as well as lakes and rainforests.

Day 12: Amazonas Expedition (Day 3)

Beautiful pink dolphins found only in the Amazon
Look for the beautiful pink dolphins that are only found in the Amazon

After breakfast today, you'll commence a walking tour toward the Natutama Interpretation Center. Here you'll learn about the high and low-water jungle ecosystems and the characteristics of river fauna, including dolphins, manatees, turtles, fish, and birds, among others. After, you'll experience the flavors of the Amazon when you learn to prepare a traditional dish and taste Amazonian fruits with a Tikuna grandmother. When everything is ready, you'll sit down for lunch together.

In the afternoon, depart for the Correo and Tarapoto Lakes, a Ramsar-designated ecosystem where you'll see plenty of incredible birdlife and may even spot the enchanting and rare pink river dolphins. They're often seen in the low waters by the river mouth.

Day 13: Amazonas Expedition (Day 4)

Today you'll make another long boat trip up the Amazon River

On your fourth day exploring the Amazon, you'll take a 90-minute boat ride along the Amazon River toward a natural reserve, either Marasha or Natamü. Enter the jungle on foot to admire centuries-old trees as a symphony of birds and howler monkeys fill the air. The Amazon is a sanctuary for countless plant and animal species, including exotic orchids, giant ceiba trees, and colorful poison dart frogs. In the high water season, you'll venture into the forest in a canoe.

After lunch, you'll continue by boat to Leticia. This culturally diverse town serves as the gateway to the Amazon, and in the bustling streets, you can visit markets selling Indigenous crafts and get to know the people who live by the rhythm of the rainforest.

Day 14: Amazonas Expedition (Day 5), Fly to Bogotá

Check out the colorful colonial streets in Colombia's biggest city

Sadly your time in the Amazon rainforest ends today. If you have time, visit Amazonas Park, where you can view a variety of animals, including monkeys, birds, and butterflies. You can also take a walk on a suspension bridge and visit a waterfall.

A driver will transfer you to the Leticia airport for your flight to Bogotá. The capital city of Colombia is a vibrant and diverse metropolis with a rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural surroundings. Settle into your hotel, then set out to explore. You could wander around La Candelaria, the historic center, to soak in beautiful colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and narrow streets lined with cafés and restaurants. Or choose to simply relax in one of the city's many parks, such as Parque Simón Bolívar.

Day 15: Bird Watching in Chingaza National Park

Chingaza páramo ecosystem
Chingaza National Park's misty ecosystem is responsible for most of Bogotá's drinking water

This morning's extra early wake-up will be worth it for bird lovers. Before dawn, you'll travel from Bogotá to Chingaza National Park, an enchanting landscape of cloud-covered forests, crystal-clear lakes, and vibrant páramo ecosystems. You'll arrive at Finca Suasie ready to explore the vast variety of birdlife found in Colombia. The high-altitude páramo ecosystems provide a unique environment, and Chingaza is home to over 160 bird species, including Andean condors, hummingbirds, tanagers, and colorful mountain toucans. 

Spend a few hours spotting various birds before returning to Bogotá for your last afternoon doing whatever you please.

Day 16: Bogotá Walking Tour, Depart 

Explore Bogotá's city center on foot
Explore Bogotá's city center on foot before flying out today

It's time to wrap up your Colombia adventure with a half-day guided tour ticking off Bogotá's most famous sights. Start at Plaza de Bolívar, the main square and seat of government. Learn about its neoclassical Catedral Primada—Bogotá's largest cathedral—and other top monuments. Visit the world-renowned Gold Museum to see more than 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Continue exploring culture at the Museo de Botero, home to an impressive art collection donated by the celebrated Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero.

Then, when the time is right, a driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Bogotá's airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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