Create lifelong memories on this 9-day family-friendly tour around Colombia. Starting in Bogotá, discover the city by bike and ride the cable car to Monserrate, then, fly to the Zona Cafetera to hike the Cocora Valley and discover the region's quaint villages. End on the Caribbean coast, where you'll tour the colorful streets of Cartagena, learn to fish with the locals, and relax on the white sand beaches of Barú Island. 

Highlights

  • Bike through the streets of Bogotá
  • Hike under the towering palms of the Cocora Valley 
  • Discover the Caribbean magic of Cartagena
  • Fish with the locals in La Boquilla
  • Spend a day at the beach in the Rosario Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Bogotá!  Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá Bike Tour & Monserrate Cable Car Bogotá
Day 3 Fly to Pereira & Transfer to Salento Salento
Day 4 Cocora Valley Hike & Explore Salento Salento
Day 5 Tour the Villages of Quindío  Salento
Day 6 Fly to Cartagena & Walking Tour Cartagena
Day 7 Fishing Excursion to La Boquilla Cartagena
Day 8 Day Trip to the Beaches of Barú Island  Cartagena
Day 9 Chocolate Workshop & Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Bogotá! 

Plaza de Bolívar in La Candelaria, Bogotá
Plaza de Bolívar in La Candelaria, Bogotá

Welcome to Bogotá! Upon arrival, a driver will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel.

Colombia's biggest city has culture to spare, and its regional gastronomy has made it a global foodie destination. If you feel like exploring, head out on foot to the cobblestone streets of the La Candelaria neighborhood, where trendy restaurants and colonial-era landmarks are located. You'll also find excellent museums, shopping, and street food ranging from empanadas to exotic fruit salads. 

Day 2:  Bogotá Bike Tour & Monserrate Cable Car

Explore Bogotá on two wheels with a bike tour of the city center

Today, enjoy the favorite activity of Bogotános with a bike tour through the cultural and historic center of the city. Starting in the well-preserved colonial district of La Candelaria, you'll zip along hilly roads and pass by iconic sites as you go, like Plaza de Bolívar (the heart of the government quarter) and the markets and squares of San Victorino. Continue your journey to Independence Park, the Teusaquillo neighborhood, the National Museum, the University of Los Andes, and the Santamaría bullfighting ring. 

In the afternoon, see the city from a different vantage point with an exhilarating ride up the cable car to Monserrate Hill. Located 10,341 feet (3152 m) above sea level in the Andean Cordillera, its peak offers stunning views of the city and surrounding valley. Hike to the neoclassical church of Señor de Monserrate Basilica at the mountain's top before transferring back to your hotel in the afternoon.

Day 3: Fly to Pereira & Transfer to Salento

The lush hills of Colombia's Zona Cafetera

This morning your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the Bogotá airport, where you'll board a flight bound for the heart of Colombia's Zona Cafetera (Coffee Region). Upon arrival in the city of Pereira, you'll be transferred to your hotel in the historic town of Salento.

Set among the rugged hills between Medellin, Cali, and Ibague, the Zona Cafetera produces some of the finest coffee in the world. The region is blessed with perfect weather conditions for growing, and coffee produced here is still carefully selected and picked by hand. Visitors to the area can experience stunning walks and hikes through the surrounding hills, see the tallest palm trees in the world, and eat delicious and fresh food with local ingredients all produced in the region.

Day 4: Cocora Valley Hike & Explore Salento

Colorful houses in Salento
Colorful houses in Salento

Wake up with a hearty breakfast. From here, a car will pick you up and drive you to a trail in the Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley), outside of Salento. As you make your way to the trail, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the distinctive Quindío wax palms, which can reach an impressive height of up to 230 feet (70 meters). This protected cloud forest in the Andes is peppered with these soaring palms, which hold an iconic status as Colombia's national tree.

The Valle de Cocora offers hiking opportunities second to none. The route here takes you along dirt tracks through tropical forests and streams and up to lookouts providing some sweeping views. After the hike, head back to the colorful streets of Salento and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Despite Salento's rise in tourism (mostly backpackers) over the past decade, it retains an old-world charm with colorful Paisa (Antioquian) architecture, street musicians, and an impressive range of handicrafts. 

In the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your accommodations. 

Day 5: Tour the Villages of Quindío 

Traditional transport in the Quindío villages

After breakfast at your hotel in Salento, you'll hop into a Jeep with your local guide to explore the traditional villages of the Quindío region. Discover lovely towns like Montenegro, Circasia, and Cordoba (the exact itinerary depends on the day).

Succumb to the many charms of this region, with its beautiful landscapes, authentic villages, and warm and welcoming people. Along the way, your local guide will introduce you to local fruits (tasting encouraged!) and you will stop by splendid viewpoints overlooking coffee, pineapple, and banana plantations.

Day 6: Fly to Cartagena & Walking Tour

Welcome to Cartagena, "Pearl of the Caribbean"

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the Pereira Airport to catch a flight north to the city of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your accommodations. 

A colonial jewel bathed in sunshine, gastronomy, and dancing, Cartagena de Indias is one of the world’s most romantic cities. With magical sunsets, intricate architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine, it's the perfect place for anyone who wants to experience authentic Colombian culture. After settling in, head out for an afternoon walking tour of Cartagena’s historic center. Once the principal gold shipping port in the New World, the city's fortress-like design and stone ramparts helped protect it from countless pirate attacks. You'll explore the colonial districts of San Diego and Santo Domingo, passing through Plaza de Los Coches, Plaza de la Aduana, and Parque Bolívar. Visit the Gold Museum, Plaza de Santa Teresa, the Palace of Inquisition, and stroll the famous walls surrounding the Old City and its vaults.

Day 7: Fishing Excursion to La Boquilla

Cook and serve your catch of the day in La Boquilla

After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will transfer you to the mangroves and rivers outside of Cartagena. Here you'll experience a small sampling of Colombia's diversity. The inhabitants of this region are predominantly Afro-Colombians who subsist on the abundant fish that populate the delicate fresh-and-saltwater ecosystem here. A local fisherman will take you by boat to catch some of these fish, and you'll assist in checking cages and nets to see what delights will be served later on.

After reaching the local community of La Boquilla, you'll chat with the locals as they teach you how to prepare the fish you've just caught. Enjoy a feast for lunch before heading back to Cartagena. The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to explore the city however you wish.

Day 8:  Day Trip to the Beaches of Barú Island 

Enjoy a day of white sands and turquoise waters in the Rosario Islands

Today takes you to an island paradise just an hour outside Cartagena. After an early breakfast, you'll transfer from your hotel to the pier where you will board a speedboat for an hour trip to the Barú Peninsula. Along the way, you will see Tierra Bomba Island and Boca Chica, ancient forts that once protected the city from hostile invaders.

After arriving at the Rosario Islands, change into your swimwear and head to Playa Azul, a crescent beach with soft white sands hugging the turquoise Caribbean Sea. After enjoying a buffet lunch, you will have time to relax and sunbathe. An optional add-on is to rent a kayak and embark on a two or three-hour paddling excursion before returning to Cartagena in the late afternoon. A car will pick you up at the pier to take you back to your hotel.

Day 9: Chocolate Workshop & Departure

Learn about the history of chocolate at today's ChocoMuseo workshop

Spend your final morning in Cartagena indulging in the sweetest of experiences. The only thing better than a chocolate tour is preparing that chocolate from scratch, directly from cacao beans. This is what's in store at today's "Bean to Bar" workshop in the ChocoMuseo. Over two hours, the whole family will learn the history of cacao and prepare treats like traditional cocoa tea, ancient Mayan hot chocolate, and European hot chocolate. At the end of the workshop, you'll leave with your own handmade chocolates prepared to your custom tastes.

Afterward, it's time to bid Colombia farewell as you transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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