Dive deep into Colombia's beauty, culture, and history without sacrificing any creature comforts. This luxury two-week tour begins in Bogotá, where, in between visiting famous landmarks, you'll dine at some of the best restaurants on the continent. Then, travel to the Amazon to meet tribespeople and spot exotic wildlife before finishing the adventure on the Caribbean coast and the wonderland of Tayrona National Park.


  • Explore the top museums in Bogotá and eat at its finest restaurants
  • Go hiking in the Andes to reach scenic mountain peaks and waterfalls
  • Explore the jungles of the Amazon and meet Indigenous tribespeople
  • Enjoy nature hikes and Caribbean beaches in Tayrona National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour, Cerro Monserrate & Dinner at Elcielo Bogotá
Day 2 Day Trip to the Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake, Dinner at El Chato Bogotá
Day 3 Day Trip to La Chorrera Waterfall, Dinner at Harry Sasson Bogotá
Day 4 Day Hike in Chingaza National Park, Dinner at LEO Bogotá
Day 5 Fly to the Amazon, Transfer to Puerto Nariño & Jungle Night Walk Puerto Nariño
Day 6 Visit Tikuna Indigenous Community, Nature Hike Puerto Nariño
Day 7 Day Trip to Isla Mocagua, Sunset Boat Ride & River Dolphins Puerto Nariño
Day 8 Explore Vista Alegre, Fishing Tour Puerto Nariño
Day 9 Fly to Santa Marta, Transfer to Tayrona National Park Tayrona National Park
Day 10 Tayrona National Park Tour & Hike Tayrona National Park
Day 11 Birding in Minca, Cacao & Coffee Farm Tour Tayrona National Park
Day 12 Day Trip to Taironaka, Visit an Indigenous Home Tayrona National Park
Day 13 Sunrise Cerro Kennedy Hike & Birding Tayrona National Park
Day 14 Transfer to Santa Marta, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, City Tour, Cerro Monserrate & Dinner at Elcielo

Start your trip in the exciting—and hilly—city of Bogotá

Welcome to Colombia! Few countries offer as many opportunities for fun and adventure as this South American gem. Colombia is just as recognized for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes as it's colorful culture and musical spirit. A great place to experience many of Colombia's attributes in one place is the capital of Bogotá, a metropolis nestled high in the Andes mountains that offers everything from Spanish colonial and Indigenous history to great food and a nightlife scene that will put you through your paces.

The luxury portion of this grand Colombian tour begins immediately, with a private driver meeting you at the terminal and transferring you to the financial district and the posh Hotel Casa Medina. Another stellar 5-star option in the Four Seasons suite of luxury hotels, Casa Medina occupies a historic (and culturally protected) building dating to 1946. You'll feel the elegance in the air as you settle into a suite with high-beamed ceilings and hand-carved wooden furniture. If you like, you can visit the spa for a luxury body treatment or pampering manicure/pedicure to unwind after the long flight.

Later, meet a guide for a tour of the city's historic La Candelaria neighborhood. A highlight is the Museo d'Oro (Gold Museum), home to a collection of over 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Next up is the Museo de Botero, which features over 200 works by renowned Colombian sculptor/painter Fernando Botero. Finish the day with a cable car ride up Cerro Monserrate. From the 2,690-foot (820 m) summit, you'll enjoy magnificent sunset views over the city. Dinner will be at Elcielo, the famous restaurant that made its mark with a molecular gastronomy approach to transforming local ingredients into artistic dishes.

Day 2: Day Trip to the Salt Cathedral & Guatavita Lake, Dinner at El Chato

Return to the hotel for some rest before dinner at El Chato (photo courtesy of Hotel Casa Medina)

While Bogotá is filled with incredible landmarks, there are many dazzling wonders outside the city. This morning, you'll leave on a full-day tour to visit some of the best. First, transfer north of Bogotá to Zipaquirá, a town famous for its Salt Cathedral. This distinct Roman Catholic church (literally made out of salt) was built by miners in the mid-20th century. Spread over multiple levels, you'll tour its various chambers. These include the Narthex Labyrinth, a winding pathway adorned with religious sculptures and artwork carved into the salt rock.

Afterward, you'll transfer a short way east to the mythical Guatavita Lake. This almost perfectly circular crater lake was sacred to the ancient Muisca people who inhabited the region in pre-Hispanic times. The lake was a ceremonial center where they would anoint a new zipa (ruler), throwing gold items into the water as offerings to the gods. It was rituals like this, and the Muisca's mastery at goldwork, that convinced the Spanish that Colombia was El Dorado, the legendary Lost City of Gold.

At the end of the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your hotel. Later, back in Bogotá, take a seat at El Chato. Located in the trendy Chapinero neighborhood, local chef Alvaro Clavijo serves a gourmet menu celebrating locally sourced produce. It's one of the best restaurants in South America.

Day 3: Day Trip to La Chorrera Waterfall, Dinner at Harry Sasson

La Chorrea Waterfall is one of the most famous natural wonders near Bogotá

It's another day to experience Colombia's immense natural beauty. After breakfast, meet your driver for the transfer into the forests a couple of hours south of Bogotá to Parque Aventura La Chorrera. The scenic drive will take you through some of Colombia's highland páramo landscapes, which abound with flora and fauna like hummingbirds, Andean condors, endemic orchids, and frailejones plants, known for their thick stems and woolly leaves.

Once in the park, you'll hike up to the star of the show: La Chorrea Waterfall. This cascade plunges 1,936 feet (590 m) over a cliff and is one of the most awe-inspiring waterfalls near Bogotá. After hiking around the protected area and taking plenty of photos, you'll return to Bogotá in the afternoon. 

In the evening, you'll grab a table at the exclusive Harry Sasson. This world-class eatery bears the name of the eponymous chef-owner, one of the country's most famous restaurateurs. The local and international menu features seasonal ingredients and does imaginative takes on grilled meats, fresh seafood, and pasta dishes. 

Day 4: Day Hike in Chingaza National Park, Dinner at LEO

Hike through the high-altitude páramo ecosystems in Chingaza National Park

Lace up your hiking boots once again for a full day of trekking through Chingaza National Park. At nearly 19,000 acres (76,600 ha), this is one of the largest nature reserves in the country. To arrive there, meet your guide/driver early in the morning for the transfer two hours northeast of Bogotá to the park entrance. The park has an extensive network of hiking trails, lush natural vegetation, and more than 180 species of birds. Guatavita Lake also sits within the borders of the park. 

From the entrance, you'll start hiking along the trails, passing through highland forests amid Alpine and tundra ecosystems. The trek takes around six hours, and there will be plenty of rest breaks, including a stop for a picnic lunch in the mountains. As you continue to the shores of Guatavita Lake, your expert guide will point out the exotic flora and fauna and reveal local legends passed down over generations by the Indigenous inhabitants of the region.

At the end of the afternoon, you'll transfer back to Bogotá. Later, treat yourself to dinner at LEO. Discover why this eatery is ranked one of the world's best restaurants by enjoying an inspired tasting menu celebrating ingredients across Colombia's diverse ecosystems.

Day 5: Fly to the Amazon, Transfer to Puerto Nariño & Jungle Night Walk

Stay in your own bungalow with a comfy four-poster bed (photo courtesy of Calonoa Lodge)

Say goodbye to Bogotá and hello to the Amazon, as this morning you're off to the world's "green lung." Transfer to the airport after breakfast for the two-hour flight to Leticia, capital of the Amazonas Department. Accessible only by plane and boat, this city on the Río Amazonas (Amazon River), near the tri-borders with Brazil and Peru, is the hub for trips and adventures into the rainforest. Speaking of which, upon arrival, you'll meet an English-speaking guide and head to the pier, where you'll board a water taxi for the 45-minute ride upriver from Leticia to Puerto Nariño, a river town and ecological wonderland.

Upon arrival, transfer to your accommodation: Calonoa Lodge. This rustic river lodge sits on a 120-acre (50-hectare) nature reserve and offers individual bungalows complete with romantic four-poster beds. The cabins have a strategic design that allows ample natural light and jungle/river views, and the tasteful decor is the result of a local artist. The landscape design features elevated pathways that offer optimum viewpoints to appreciate the river and surrounding wildlife. As for the food, Calanoa is renowned for its fusion of local Amazonian traditions with Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian cuisine.

No need to wait to experience the Amazon's natural splendor, as after dinner, you'll embark on a night walk through the surrounding jungle. Led by an expert naturalist guide and equipped with flashlights, this nature hike is a great way to witness the nocturnal wildlife awake at this hour. Specimens you'll likely see include night monkeys, kinkajous, tarantulas, caimans, and various species of tree frogs. You'll even pass through the riverside villages of local Indigenous groups.

Day 6: Visit Tikuna Indigenous Community, Nature Hike

Indigenous community members on the Amazon
Spend time with Indigenous community members on the Amazon
Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

It wouldn't be a trip to the Amazon without visiting a local Indigenous community. There are dozens of such cultures in the Amazon Basin of Colombia, each with its own history, dialect, culture, and traditions. Surrounding your hotel's nature reserve, in fact, are Indigenous territories populated by the Tikuna, Cocama, Huitoto, and Yagua people. 

In the morning, leave the hotel and, along with an English-speaking guide, visit a Tikuna community. This group has existed in the region since long before the arrival of the European colonizers. It's a testament to their resilience that they've managed to preserve their traditional culture in the face of colonization, resource depletion, and encroachment on their lands. During your visit, you'll meet locals and witness how the Tikuna have crafted an entire community around the river and rainforest.

Later, you'll embark on a brisk hike around the hotel's nature reserve to the outskirts of Amacayacu National Natural Park. This region is known for its exceptional biodiversity and wetland ecosystems that include both flooded and dry forests. On a hike through a river gorge, you'll spot exotic animals like sloths, caimans, and an array of waterbirds. The area also abounds with medicinal plants used by the local Indigenous communities for centuries. At the end of the excursion, you'll transfer back to your hotel—possibly by canoe.

Day 7: Day Trip to Isla Mocagua, Sunset Boat Ride & River Dolphins

Blue and yellow macaw, one of the many bird species found in the Amazon
Blue and yellow macaws are common sights in Amacayacu National Park and Mocagua

This morning, you'll venture into Amacayacu National Park for a walk around Mocagua. This river island is a hotbed of diversity, and on a hike around it, you can visit its ethnobotanical garden to learn about medicinal plants. There's plenty of exotic wildlife here, too, including monkeys, caimans, macaws, toucans, and many others. The island is also home to an Indigenous community, which offers another opportunity for a cultural exchange during your visit. (Note that if you're here during the wet season when water levels are high, this excursion will be done by canoe rather than on foot).

After the walk, hop on a motor boat for a ride toward the border with Peru on a river safari. You'll be searching out the world-famous pink river dolphin, which is a common sight in this part of the world. In South American culture, this dolphin is a revered, almost mythical figure. In reality, it's one of two species of endangered freshwater dolphins found throughout the Amazon River basins. Capping the experience is a leisurely boat ride back to your hotel as the golden sun sets over the Amazon.

Day 8: Explore Vista Alegre, Fishing Tour

See squirrel monkeys and other primates on a trip deep into the Amazon

Wake up early and hop in a boat for another ride back toward the Peruvian frontier and Vista Alegre. This regional conservation area is quite an achievement, as it protects 120,944 acres (48,945 ha) of native rainforest home to 800 species of flora and fauna. It also protects a vital watershed of Amazon River headwaters. 

If it's the dry season (Jun-Nov), you'll travel through this conservation area on foot; if it's the rainy season (Dec-May), you'll travel by boat. During the tour, you'll spot interesting flora and possibly a few endangered animal species, like spectacled bears and yellow-tailed woolly monkeys. Finish the tour river fishing with traditional wooden poles. At the end of the day, you'll transfer back to your hotel.

Day 9: Fly Santa Marta, Transfer to Tayrona National Park

Tayrona National Park is one of the most beautiful protected areas in Colombia

It's time to leave the jungles of the far south of Colombia on a trip to the far north and the Caribbean coast. In the morning, transfer back to Leticia and the airport, where you'll catch a flight (with a connection in Bogotá) to Santa Marta. This laid-back resort town on the Caribbean coast was actually the site of Spain's first-ever settlement in South America in 1525. You'll see this history in the form of Santa Marta's whitewashed colonial churches and buildings. 

But you won't be spending much time in Santa Marta. Instead, you'll meet a driver for the transfer east along the coast to Tayrona National Park. One of the natural highlights of the entire country, this 1,614 square mile (150 sq m) protected area includes unspoiled coast, mountains, and archaeological sites in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Most visitors use Santa Marta as a base to commute into this park... but not you.

Instead, you'll immerse yourself in coastal nature and luxury at Senda Watapuy, a boutique hotel located five minutes from the park entrance. This exclusive lodging option features a mere 12 spacious bungalows situated around a massive, shimmering millennium pool. Besides convenience, relaxation, and personal attention, the dining experience at Senda is second to none. The restaurants offer an imaginative tasting menu of eight courses, each telling a story of the fresh seafood used in the dishes as well as the local fishermen and farmers who supply the ingredients.

Day 10: Tayrona National Park Tour & Hike

Follow your hike with a dip in the hotel pool (photo courtesy of Senda Watapuy)

Rise and shine! You're in for a real treat, as after breakfast you'll meet your guide/driver for a full-day tour of Tayrona. The unspoiled coastal landscapes here are the stuff of dreams, and you'll visit plenty of white-sand beaches over the course of the day. Perhaps the most famous highlight is Cabo San Juan. With its palm-fringed golden beaches fronting turquoise waters flanked by massive boulders, it has become the unofficial icon of Tayrona. 

You'll also have time for a hike along with your guide in the verdant foothills near Playa Cañaveral, at the base of the Sierra Nevadas. Then visit more exotic beaches like Arrecifes and La Piscina, the latter of which is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. As you hike between each locale, your guide will point out the local wildlife, including various species of monkeys and tropical birds like toucans and tanagers. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel and take a dip in the pool.

Day 11: Birding in Minca, Cacao & Coffee Farm Tour

In Minca, you'll see exotic birds everywhere, even on the dinner table

Head out early this morning for a birding tour of Minca. This small town is located 12 miles (20 km) south of Santa Marta on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Colombia is home to around 2,000 different species of birds, and Minca's dense vegetation and tropical rainforests are a haven for many exotic avian species. These include toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, tanagers, araçaris, and more.

First, you'll visit one of the area's many coffee fincas (farms). During a two-hour tour, you'll stroll the coffee fields and learn about the entire production process from bean to cup. After a cup or two of sublime Colombian coffee (and perhaps a craft beer), continue in a 4WD vehicle to the beautiful waterfalls of Marinka, where we will have time to cool off in the crystalline waters of this place surrounded by nature.

Next, you'll stop at a local cacao (cocoa) farm for another tasty tour. This experience will take you deep into the origins of decadent chocolate, which derives from the cacao fruit. Colombia is a major producer of cacao and exports high-quality beans worldwide. You'll learn all about it while sampling some of the finest artisanal chocolates in the region. Later, after your birding hike in the mountains around Minca, you'll transfer back to your hotel.

Day 12: Day Trip to Taironaka, Visit an Indigenous Home

Taironaka Tour and Meeting with Indigenous People
Hike to extinct Indigenous villages in Taironka Natural Park

This morning, you'll hit the trail from your hotel on a 45-minute nature hike to a fascinating archaeological site: Taironka. This extinct Indigenous settlement is located on the banks of the Río Don Diego in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Even now, there are trails and agricultural terraces dating to the days of the ancient Tayrona civilization. (Their descendants, the Kogui people, still frequent the area).

During a day trip, you and a naturalist guide will hike on trails that follow the river (and go inner-tubing) amid exotic flora and pre-Hispanic terraces. You'll also stop at a museum and native home to learn a bit about Indigenous history and culture.

Later, your driver will take you to the home of a family who are part of the Arahuaco tribe (also descendants of the Tayronas). While there, you'll participate in a cultural exchange and learn about their traditions, which includes making hand-woven bags (an item much coveted in the boutiques around the world). Later, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 13: Sunrise Cerro Kennedy Hike & Birding

The views along the hike up Cerro Kennedy are as incredible as the summit

It's an early start this morning, as you'll rise at 3:30 am in order to complete a sunrise birding tour that is definitely worth the groggy effort. So grab your binoculars and, along with your expert guide, hit the trail. This five-hour route will take you to Cerro Kennedy, a mountain foothill of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range. The trail will take you up to around 10,170 feet (3,100 m), where you'll be rewarded with epic sunrise views of the snowcapped peaks of Pico de Cristobal Colon and Pico Simón Bolívar, the highest summits of the Sierra Nevada.

But the journey is as much a highlight as the destination. As you traverse the scenic trails, enjoy the vibrant tapestry of flora and fauna that surround you. Keep your eyes peeled (and binoculars handy) for colorful toucans, elusive hummingbirds, and a plethora of other fascinating bird species. Besides the dazzling vistas at the top of the mountain, you'll enjoy a light breakfast before heading back down the trail and transferring to your hotel. You can then take the rest of the day to relax by the pool or recharge in the spa.

Day 14: Transfer to Santa Marta, Depart

Until next time, Tayrona National Park!
It's been an adventure for the books, but now, unfortunately, it's time to move on. In the morning, your driver will pick you up for the transfer from Tayrona back to Santa Marta and the airport. There, you'll catch your connecting flight home. Adiós!

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Map of Luxury Active Colombia: Bogotá, the Amazon & Caribbean Coast - 14 Days
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