Colombia's dynamic cities and eclectic flavors are ready to be discovered on this 13-day tour by boat, air, car, and bicycle. Taste tropical fruits and inventive dishes from local chefs and see picturesque Monserrate Hill in Bogotá. Learn dance steps in Cali and join locals for buzzing nightlife at a Medellín fonda. Soak up the sun on the Rosario Islands and end your adventure cruising around the Caribbean shores of Cartagena.
- Taste dishes from Bogotá's most inventive chefs in Chapinero
- Feel the salsa beat in a Cali dance class
- Experience Medellín's nightlife at a lively fonda
- Relax on a private boat headed for the Rosario Islands' secluded beaches
|Day 1||Arrive in Bogotá||Bogotá|
|Day 2||Bogotá Walking & Fruit Tour||Bogotá|
|Day 3||Monserrate Hill & Chapinero Food Scene||Bogotá|
|Day 4||Fly to Cali & Discover Cali||Cali|
|Day 5||Cali City Tour||Cali|
|Day 6||Cali Vineyards & Winemaking Tour||Cali|
|Day 7||Fly to Medellín & Fonda Nightlife||Medellín|
|Day 8||Medellín Neighborhoods Tour||Medellín|
|Day 9||Peñol Boulder & Guatapé Boat Trip||Medellín|
|Day 10||Fly to Cartagena & Bike Tour||Cartagena|
|Day 11||Cooking Class & Rum Tasting||Cartagena|
|Day 12||Rosario Islands & Dinner Cruise||Cartagena|
|Day 13||Depart Cartagena|
Day 1: Arrive in BogotáWelcome to Bogotá! Meet your driver at the airport for a transfer. Then, take some time to rest at your hotel or start exploring Colombia's capital at your own pace. To get an overview of the city's scale and skyline, climb to the top of Cerro Monserrate, or, for a relaxing walk, head to Parque Simón Bolívar to explore its lakes, gardens, and paths.
For lunch, go to Paloquemao Market, where you can join locals buying fruits and vegetables, and try dishes such as empanadas, ajiaco (chicken and potato soup), and crispy cheese buñuelos. Spend the evening exploring more of Bogotá and then return to your hotel to rest up for tomorrow's adventures.
Day 2: Bogotá Walking & Fruit TourOn today's half-day walking tour, you'll learn about Bogotá's history and culture with an English-speaking guide. Start in the main square, Plaza de Bolívar, at the city's colonial-era center. Learn about its neoclassical Catedral Primada and other significant monuments. Next, visit the Gold Museum with an impressive collection of pre-Columbian pieces. 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.
Spend the afternoon learning about Colombia's fruits in a variety of colors, sizes, and flavors, and keep track of them with a fruit dictionary. Your guide will walk you through some of the food stalls at the Paloquemao Market as you taste 15 different fruits, three shots of fresh juice, and Colombian snacks. Then continue exploring on your own.
Day 3: Monserrate Hill & Chapinero Food SceneGet ready to see Bogotá's best views with a three-hour tour to Cerro Monserrate. From the base of Monserrate mountain, make your ascent via cable car or walking, arriving at a plateau 10,341 feet (3,152 m) above sea level. Here, visit Monserrate Sanctuary, a white-washed Catholic church that was completed in 1657. Take pictures of the views and then make your way down to Bogotá to spend the afternoon seeing more of the city.
As night falls, meet a guide in the bohemian Chapinero neighborhood to explore inventive Colombian cuisine. Learn how imaginative chefs and bartenders give traditional recipes a new twist using cheeses, vegetables, fruits, fish, coffee, artisan-crafted liquors, and even insects. Visit three restaurants and ask questions about your favorite dishes while enjoying an unforgettable meal.
Day 4: Fly to Cali & Discover CaliToday's destination is Cali in the Valle del Cauca, a city known for its salsa dancing culture. A driver will pick you up at your Bogotá hotel for a ride to the airport to catch a one-hour flight southwest to Calí. There, meet your driver for a transfer to your hotel.
Spend the afternoon learning about Cali's cultural traditions and Caribbean rhythms through Caleños (Calí's residents), as you explore an area surrounded by the fertile Valle del Cauca planes and Cristo Rey, Tres Cruces, and San Antonio mountains. Walk along the Río Cali under shady trees, and visit its colonial church in the city center. For dinner, try sancocho de gallina, a chicken soup served with rice, corn, plantains, avocado, and peppers.
Day 5: Cali City TourLearn more about Cali's arts and food traditions today with your local guide. At Calima Gold Museum, see goldsmith pieces and ceramics from the area's pre-Columbian communities. Continue to Plaza de Mercado Alameda to try unusual fruits such as lulo (naranjilla) and chontaduro (peach palm), and taste a tamale filled with meat and vegetables, or an empanada made with corn dough.
Then, take your salsa skills to the next level with a short lesson and private show at a local dance academy. In the evening, you can head out to explore Cali's nightlife on your own, stopping in at one of the city's many salsa clubs to practice your dance skills alongside the locals.
Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Cali Vineyards & Winemaking TourCali's Santa Elena and El Cerrito regions are known for their wines crafted through a distinctive natural fermentation process. Today you'll set out into wine country to learn about the steps to crafting wines such as rieslings, sylvaners, and pinot noirs from a local winemaker, with a chance to even bottle your own wine. Afterward, you'll sit down to a delicious lunch, with local dishes paired with the vineyard's best whites and reds.
Continue on to the Caña Museum in the afternoon for a glimpse of the area's history through the sugar industry, and explore more of the region's colonial influences through its ranches, sugar mills, and gardens. Return to Cali later on and enjoy your final evening in the city.
Day 7: Fly to Medellín & Fonda NightlifeYour Colombia adventure continues as you meet your driver for a transfer to the airport, where you'll catch a 2.5-hour flight north to Medellín. A driver will be waiting upon arrival for the private transfer to your hotel, and you'll have the rest of the afternoon to get to know this mountainous city with 2.5 million residents at your own pace. In Parque Lleras in the El Poblado district, stop in at bars, boutiques, and restaurants. For views, catch a ride on a gondola cable car, or soak up fresh air in Parque de Bolívar. Or, travel just outside the city to Pueblito Paisa, a replica of an Antioquian town from the 1800s.
In the evening, a guide will introduce you to nightlife and Paisa (northwest Columbian) culture outside Medellín. Tour several fondas (restaurants or hotels), and learn about their history as stops for travelers to enjoy music and food. Settle into these lively spaces with an eclectic mix of decorations and taste Aguardiente liquor made with anise, and snacks such as empanadas, arepas, and grilled meats.
Day 8: Medellín Neighborhoods TourMedellín is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" for its pleasant year-round weather and its location in Antioquia's temperate highlands. With changes during the last 20 years, the city's urban development shows a combination of modern public transportation, parks, and recreation areas.
Explore the city on a guided tour today to learn about its history, witness its revitalization, and see some of its best views. In Botero Plaza see the work of Fernando Botero, whose sculptures are a city landmark. Take a cable car up to Santo Domingo, which was built to make the inner city more accessible. At Comuna 13 district, ride escalators and see another innovative city rehabilitation projects. For dinner, try a hearty bowl of cazuela de frijoles, a combination of rice, beans, chorizo, plantains, and avocado, served with arepas.
Day 9: Peñol Boulder & Guatapé Boat TripIt's an early wake-up today for an all-day adventure outside of the city. Meet your guide at your hotel to start the drive through Antioquia's eastern highlands to Peñol Boulder, about 90 minutes east of Medellín. Then climb the 650-foot (200 m) monolith via 740 steps, with a reward of panoramic mountain and lake views waiting for you at the top.
After exploring the boulder, see Guatapé Village, and get your camera ready as you walk through its streets of colorfully-painted homes. Eat lunch on the waterfront at the Guatapé Reservoir, followed by a boat ride before returning to Medellín. Spend the evening in a new neighborhood or relaxing at your hotel, getting ready for your flight to Cartagena tomorrow.
Day 10: Fly to Cartagena & Bike Tour
Today's destination is Cartagena, located about one hour north of Medellín. Your driver will meet you at your Medellín hotel to take you to the airport, and upon landing, you'll transfer to your Cartagena hotel. After you settle in, see this vibrant Caribbean city on a bike tour, for a pleasant way to make your way around the historical center and different neighborhoods.
Start in Getsemaní, with lively restaurants, street musicians, and colorful murals. Visit the home of Florentino Ariza, the main character in the novel "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. Then, cycle across the Roman Bridge toward the Manga neighborhood. Here, visit Villa Roman, a Moorish-inspired house from 1929. Park your bike to cycle through Manga's cemetery, the oldest in Cartagena, and continue to the waterfront for a relaxing end to the tour.
Day 11: Cooking Class & Rum TastingCartageneros are rightfully proud of their distinctive Caribbean cuisine. Today, taste local favorites like coconut rice, ceviche, and fish soup during a cooking class. But first, your local guide will take you through Bazurto Market to buy ingredients for lunch. Then, walk to a colonial house in the Getsemaní neighborhood to learn more about using the ingredients for these classic dishes. After a two-hour cooking demonstration, eat lunch with the group followed by the next step of your food tour: an introduction to the city's famous rum!
Rum production in Colombia dates back hundreds of years, and after lunch, you'll get to taste different rums with a local mixologist. Your guide will introduce you to artisan rums, and teach you about their notes of coffee, caramel, vanilla, and even more unexpected flavors. Learn how rum is processed and pair your favorite blends with chocolate. At the end of the day, taste more local dishes and rums at dinner at a favorite neighborhood restaurant.
Day 12: Rosario Islands & Dinner CruiseIsland relaxation is on the itinerary today with a trip to the nearby Rosario Islands, located about 62 miles (100 km) north of Cartagena. In the morning, board a speedboat from Bodeguita Pier to start your adventure. After the boat ride, settle into a secluded beach to enjoy welcome cocktails and lunch with fresh seafood and coconut rice. Spend a few hours on the idyllic island shores, then make your way back to Cartagena to get ready for an evening out.
For your last night in Cartagena, walk to Pier Muelle de Los Pegasos in the historical center and board a yacht for a dinner cruise around Cartagena Bay. As the sun sets, enjoy appetizers paired with wine to toast your final night in Colombia, then sit down to a full three-course dinner against a backdrop of unforgettable waterfront views.
Day 13: Depart Cartagena
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel and maybe go for a morning walk around the neighborhood. Then it's time to say goodbye to Cartagena for now, meeting your driver for a ride to the airport to travel on to your next destination. Safe travels!