Fans of the Disney movie "Encanto" will love visiting the real land where it was set. Encanto means "charm," and Colombia has this in abundance, from its colorful casitas to its pristine beaches, wildlife-filled jungles, and rainbow-hued rivers. This 14-day tour is inspired by the film and will introduce you to the sights, scenes, and experiences onscreen. Set out from Bogotá to visit small towns, rivers, mountains, and coast as you spend quality family time together on this unforgettably charming trip.


  • Prepare and eat ajiaco, arepas, and amasijos, just like in "Encanto"
  • Visit one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, the rainbow-hued Caño Cristales 
  • Admire the villages and buildings that inspired the world of "Encanto"
  • Enjoy quality family time on Colombia's Caribbean beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour & Family Lunch Bogotá
Day 2 Transfer to La Macarena, Hike to Caño Cristales La Macarena
Day 3 Caño Cristales, River Serenade at Sunset La Macarena
Day 4 Caño Cristales Wildlife Tour, Cacao Workshop La Macarena
Day 5 Caño Piedra Horseback Ride, Transfer to Villa de Leyva Villa de Leyva
Day 6 Amasijos Workshop, Tour Villa de Leyva Villa de Leyva
Day 7 Transfer to Barichara, Arepa Cooking Lesson Barichara
Day 8 Hike the Camino Real Barichara
Day 9 Transfer to Medellín, Free Time to Explore  Medellín
Day 10 Transfer to Pereira, Colombian Coffee Tour Pereira
Day 11 Valle de Cocora Nature Walk Pereira
Day 12 Transfer to Cartagena, Street Food Tour Cartagena
Day 13 Beach Day at Barú & Rosario Islands Cartagena
Day 14 Depart Cartagena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour & Family Lunch

Welcome to Bogotá!

Welcome to Colombia! Upon arrival in Bogotá, you'll be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After you and your kids have had some time to settle in and refresh, head out into the city for your first experience of "Encanto" come to life.

Walk through Bogotá's colonial-era downtown and admire the well-preserved houses, churches, and convents. See the Colón Theater, San Carlos Palace, San Ignacio Church, Nariño Presidential Palace, Bolívar Square, City Hall, and the Cathedral Primada de Bogotá. Don't miss the dazzling Museo de Oro ("Gold Museum"), which houses the most extensive collection of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts in the world. 

After working up an appetite, enjoy a delicious family lunch of Colombian ajiaco, just like in the scene from "Encanto" when Isabela's engagement to Mariano is celebrated at the Madrigals' casita. Ajiaco is a soup made from the guascas herb, chicken breast, various kinds of potato, long onions, cilantro, and sweetcorn. It's accompanied by white rice, capers, avocado, and crema. This dish is a Colombian staple. After refueling with a bowl of soup, and if you and your kids still have some energy and time to explore, take a cable car ride up Monserrate Hill for a fantastic view of the whole city.

Day 2: Transfer to La Macarena, Hike to Caño Cristales

Set out on a hike to stretch your legs after your flight

Fly south from Bogotá to La Macarena today, a town on the central Colombian plains and beside the Río Guayabero. La Macarena is the gateway to the remarkable Caño Cristales, which you'll spend plenty of time exploring over the next few days. The colors of this river make it look like it came right off the screen of "Encanto."

You'll be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel by boat along the Río Guayabero. On the way, spot wildlife on the riverbank and enjoy the sounds and sights of the Colombian jungle. Your first stop will be at a farmer's house, where you'll prepare for your first hike. The hike up to the Mirador Lookout takes about 25 minutes. From the lookout, your guide will tell you about the ecosystems and the social history of La Macarena. 

Continue hiking along semi-flat terrain until you reach Caño Cristales, a river containing a rainbow of colors, mainly because of the plants that live in it. There, take time to appreciate the Macarenia clavigera plant and bathe in small pools. Return to the Río Guayabero to continue your journey to the hotel. There, you might be visited by some of the friendly monkeys that live in the area.

Day 3: Caño Cristales, River Serenade at Sunset

Spend some more time at Caño Cristales

Spend more time exploring Caño Cristales today. Start with a boat transfer downstream on the river to the entrance of the Sierra de la Macarena National Park. Continue by car along a bumpy road to reach the park’s checkpoint. Hike about 30 minutes to Caño Cristales. Spend the whole day in the national park, taking time to hike, have lunch, bathe, and take a lot of pictures and videos. 

Return to your hotel the same way that you came, by boat. Enjoy live llanera music on board as you watch the beautiful sunset. The songs the musician will be playing with a guitar have been declared an "intangible heritage of humanity" and are part of the rich culture of La Macarena.

Day 4: Caño Cristales Wildlife Tour, Cacao Workshop

Spot howler monkeys and other wildlife

Visit the national park again today, this time the lower basin of the river. This is where the majestic waterway enters the jungle and, due to the forest's shadow, the Macarenia clavigera plant becomes intensely green. Spend the whole day in the national park, hiking, bathing, picnicking, or doing whatever you and your kids feel like. You'll also have the chance to visit a local farming family, who will show you how they produce chocolate from their own cocoa crop. Help them make a delicious cup of chocolate and then enjoy drinking it together.

Day 5: Caño Piedra Horseback Ride, Transfer to Villa de Leyva

Ride on horseback through the savanna

Animal-loving kids will enjoy today's activities, starting with a 45-minute horseback ride beside canals and through natural savannas. La Macarena is home to many different ecosystems due to its geographic location between the Amazon and the Orinoquía watershed. One of these ecosystems is the savannas, where you can appreciate the incredible landscapes, best seen from horseback. You'll have time to bathe in small streams such as Caño Piedra or Caño Escondido along the way. 

After this activity, fly from La Macarena back to Bogotá and then continue overland to Villa de Leyva. Relax and enjoy the views during the approximately three-hour drive. En route, stop at the pottery capital of Colombia, Ráquira, where you'll find everything from ceramic bowls, jars, plates, and toys to Christmas decorations. Brightly painted facades, a jumble of craft shops, and stacks of freshly fired mud and clay pots make a welcoming sight along the main street. Get the chance to buy high-quality artisan handicrafts for a great price, and let the kids pick out some meaningful souvenirs to take home.

Day 6: Amasijos Workshop, Tour Villa de Leyva

Bruno's Town: Amasijos Workshop | Heal with a Meal from Maribel's Mom
The main square of Villa de Leyva
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Travel from Villa de Leyva to Santa Sofía, where you'll visit a local farm with a charming house that looks like it came straight out of "Encanto." If you or your kids liked the look of the food served in the film, you'll love learning how to make it yourself today during a cooking class in which you'll prepare amasijos, or baked corn flour snacks. Learn more about the history of the Indigenous Muisca people through their food legacy. Practice preparing amasijos and cooking them in a wood oven surrounded by beautiful nature. 

After your workshop, return to Villa de Leyva, which provided inspiration for "Encanto." Check out the main park and admire the colonial-era architecture surrounded by mountains. Visit workshops where ruana clothing is made; this is the poncho-like garment that Bruno wears in "Encanto." You'll then visit a chocolate market where you and your kids can taste a delicious, warm cup of chocolate accompanied by bread and cheese–a perfect way to end the day.

Day 7: Transfer to Barichara, Arepa Cooking Lesson

Prepare arepitas together this afternoon just like Julieta

This morning, transfer overland to Barichara, a town around 4.5 hours north of Villa de Leyva. Enjoy the views en route, particularly of the mountain Cordillera de los Cobardes and surrounding peaks as you near Barichara.

After your arrival in Barichara, you and your kids will get another chance to put your culinary skills to the test during a three-hour arepa-making class. You may recall that in "Encanto," this traditional dish has the ability to heal wounds and sadness. Arepitas, as they're affectionately known, are made by soaking and pounding dried corn in a pilon, a large mortar and pestle. They are a staple in Central and South America, especially in Venezuela and Colombia. Stand in Julieta's shoes as you create your own arepitas with love, passion, and dedication.

Day 8: Hike the Camino Real

Kids can burn off energy on a gentle nature hike

It's time to get active today, after the previous day's long car journey and food-focused activities. After breakfast, hike to the edge of town, where you'll start the Camino Real ("Royal Path"). Walk for around two hours (you can go at your own pace to accommodate your kids' needs) until you reach the small colonial-era village of Guane. Along the way, enjoy picturesque views of the canyons, as well as the solitude in the peaceful countryside.

In Guane, visit the Museum of Paleontology & Archaeology, which displays ceramics and jewelry made by the Guane Indigenous people, as well as fossils that are millions of years old and mummified remains that are believed to be around 700 years old. You can also check out the attractive Chapel of Santa Lucia in Guane's main square.

Return to Barichara on a moto-taxi, a journey of approximately 35 minutes, to save yourself the hike back. Relax and enjoy the views of the Río Suarez Canyon along the way. Spend the late afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 9: Transfer to Medellín, Free Time to Explore

Plaza Botero in Medellín
Plaza Botero in Medellín

Say goodbye to Barichara today as you drive approximately 3.5 hours north to Bucaramanga, then fly southwest to Medellín from there. It may feel surprising to arrive in one of Colombia's largest cities again after several days in the countryside, but Medellín is an inviting place. It's known as the "City of Eternal Spring" for its moderate climate and is surrounded by mountains.

After checking into your hotel, you may have the energy to check out some of the city's sights. Start in Parque Lleras in the El Poblado district, where you'll find trendy restaurants and boutiques. For views, catch a ride on the cable car, or soak in the fresh air at the Parque de Bolívar. Plaza Botero is a favorite with kids and art-loving families, as it features more than 20 quirky sculptures by renowned local artist Fernando Botero.

Day 10: Transfer to Pereira, Colombian Coffee Tour

Welcome to Colombia's renowned Coffee Region

Leave Medellín for a flight to the Zona Cafetera or "Coffee Region" this morning, a mountainous landscape south of the city that produces Colombia's world-famous coffee. In "Encanto," kids are sometimes shown drinking coffee. While your kids might not be into coffee themselves, they're sure to enjoy the gorgeous natural landscapes around here, as well as learning more about coffee production—from a purely scientific point of view! 

After you've had a chance to settle into your hotel, head out into the UNESCO-listed Coffee Cultural Landscape. Learn about the whole production process, from the seed to the cup. A family of coffee producers will welcome you to their coffee plantation, where you'll take a tour and gain a greater understanding of what it takes to produce coffee. From the village of Altagracia, head up the lookout tower to admire the picture-perfect landscape. Travel along the roads built by coffee growers in a Jeep to another farm, and learn why Colombian coffee is of such high quality.

Day 11: Valle de Cocora Nature Walk

The buildings in Salento look like they're straight out of "Encanto"

Explore more of the otherworldly landscapes of the Coffee Region today. Salento is a town in the Andes popular for its coffee estates and verdant scenery. To the east of Salento lies the Valle de Cocora, where lofty wax palm trees grow and provide a habitat for rare parrots and other birds. You'll have to see them to believe them as they're so tall, growing as high as 200 feet (60 m). Tour this magnificent landscape with a naturalist guide. Look out for the diversity of fauna and flora, and give back to the landscape through which you travel with a ritual planting of some palm trees. 

After the planting, return to Salento, a heritage town characterized by its colorful traditional architecture. Stop for lunch, then continue to Filandia, another small town where you can wander the colonial-era streets and check out craft shops. You'll also get the chance to visit the La Colina Iluminada lookout point, which offers a panoramic view of the mountains of the Coffee Region. Finally, visit a traditional basket workshop, where kids can learn the art of making baskets using vegetable fibers.

Day 12: Transfer to Cartagena, Street Food Tour

Kids won't want to miss Cartagena's Sweets Market

Leave the coffee-covered mountains behind today as you fly north to Colombia's Caribbean coast and the city of Cartagena. This city is different from everywhere you've been so far, with a distinctly relaxed vibe that combines centuries of history, culture, and flavors.

After settling in at your hotel, head out into the city on a street food tour. Your kids will enjoy dining in this casual manner, with life on the streets going on around them. Explore seven street food spots popular with the locals, but that mostly go unnoticed by travelers. To cap the day off, end with some good music. A vallenato folk music group will entertain you and you might even feel like getting up to dance and sing Colombia mi Encanto!

Day 13: Beach Day at Barú & Rosario Islands

Relax on a beautiful Colombian Caribbean beach

You can't visit the Caribbean without spending some relaxing time on the beach. Enjoy quality downtime with your family today. Start with a transfer to Barú, about an hour from Cartagena. Barú is a peninsula often called an island, bounded by the Bay of Cartagena, the Dique Canal, and the Caribbean Sea. There, enjoy a typical breakfast in a local family home and see how ordinary Colombians live.

From Barú, take a boat to Isla Grande in the Rosario Islands archipelago. These islands are an integral part of one of Colombia's most important national parks. As such, the islands and surrounding waters are well preserved and protected, so you can enjoy them as nature intended. Stop at one or two spectacular spots to try some snorkeling before heading to a beach for some relaxation time. Refuel at lunch with fresh fish prepared the local way. You can spend the afternoon as you wish before it's time to head back to Cartagena.

Day 14: Depart Cartagena

Farewell beautiful Colombia!

It's time to say goodbye to Cartagena. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and transfer to Rafael Núñez International Airport in time for your flight. Your return flight might be a good time to rewatch "Encanto" and reminisce about your fabulous family trip!

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 two weeks in Colombia with your family, or discover the best time to visit Colombia.


Map of Family "Encanto" Tour of Colombia: The Caño Cristales Route - 14 Days
Map of Family "Encanto" Tour of Colombia: The Caño Cristales Route - 14 Days