In this luxury itinerary, you'll enjoy the best of Colombian culture. Start with a day spent horseback riding in the Cocora Valley and exploring the charming town of Salento for an insider's look at the local artisan's work and way of life. Then, set off on a high-altitude trek through Los Nevados National Park and indulge in world-class cuisine in Medellín. Finally, head to San Cayetano and enjoy a 5-star overnight on a coffee finca—highlights include a private tropical waterfall and infinity pool.

Highlights

  • Hiking Colombia's famous Cocora Valley
  • Drive to the top of an active volcano in Colombia's highlands
  • Enjoy an exclusive tour of the coffee-making process in Antioquia
  • Stay in the mansion of a working farm in San Cayetano

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Salento: Valley of the Wax Palms Manizales
Day 2 Nevado del Ruiz: A Planet Above the Clouds Nevado del Ruiz
Day 3 Medellín: An Introduction to Paisa Culture Medellín
Day 4 Jericó: Patrimony and Flavor Jericó
Day 5 San Cayetano - The Origins of Colombian Coffee San Cayetano
Day 6 San Cayetano - Transfer to Medellín  

Detailed overview

Day 1: Salento - Valley of the Wax Palms

Hike or horseback ride through the Cocora Valley

Welcome to Colombia! Upon arrival to the colonial pueblo of Salento, you'll immediately be taken by its charms. This village has remained relatively untouched by development and still retains its traditional architecture and culture.

Salento is stunning in its own right, but the biggest attraction lies in the nearby Cocora Valley, where towering Andes peaks are blanketed in electric-green flora and dotted with 100-meter tall wax palms (the national tree of Colombia). Hike or horseback through the valley as you weave through prairies and over rivers. Eventually, you’ll arrive at a hummingbird sanctuary where hundreds of exotic and tropical hummingbirds fly around you.

After the hike, enjoy a traditional meal of trout and fried plantains. Then head back to the village and explore the streets of Salento. Browse the myriad shops and galleries, or, if you're looking for immersion, let us facilitate an insider's glimpse into regional culture. We'll guide you to the local artisan communities, where you'll chat with locals and maybe indulge in a game of tejo (Colombia's national sport, played like horseshoes). At the end of the evening, you'll transfer to the city of Manizales, in coffee country, in order to be closer to the next day’s events.

Day 2: Nevado Del Ruiz - A Planet Above the Clouds

Colombia's páramo

Wake up early and throw on your coat as you prepare to ascend to nearly 14,000 feet in altitude. Today you'll be driven up El Nevado del Ruiz, an active volcano home to a unique array of animals that thrive in this alpine páramo ecosystem. As you climb in altitude you’ll begin to notice a change in temperature as you leave the subtropical highlands and enter the páramo. These alpine tundra regions are responsible for an extraordinary portion of the earth’s water and oxygen production.

Stopping at different points and old lodges, you’ll see where the mountain used to be covered by snow and glaciers, but which now lies bare, a result of changing environmental conditions. At each stop, you’ll learn about the science and history of where you are. Be sure to take plenty of photos of the features of this otherworldly environment, like the iconic frailejones plants, which have a unique ability to sip moisture from the air.

After reaching the top and enjoying the sweeping vistas, you'll head back down the mountain and stop at the Termales del Ruiz. This is a small hotel with a large thermal hot spring. Take the edge off the day's journey with some deep relaxation and shameless pampering. Perhaps wander the unique páramo garden, which is full of succulents, highland plants, and exotic hummingbirds. You'll stay overnight here and transfer to Medellín the next morning.

Day 3: Medellín - Introduction to Paisa Culture

Plaza Botero, Medellín

Welcome to the City of the Eternal Spring, as Medellín is known due to its perpetual springlike climate. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a member of our team who will escort you to the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado. After settling in you'll have some time to explore the area on foot, which will allow you to get your bearings and learn the locations of the best cafés and restaurants in the area.

Next, we’ll whisk you away to a private salsa-dancing lesson with your own professional dance partner. Dancing is an inseparable part of the local culture, and partaking in it will give you a glimpse into the lively and warm souls of paisas (people from the Antioquia region). Learn some basic steps and twirls in between sips of a refreshing beverage. If you're bold, try the local liquor, aguardiente, which roughly translates to "fire water"!

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it's time for a traditional Colombian dinner inside the home of a local family. Paisas are some of the warmest people in the world, and even after years of violence, they have retained their kindness and welcoming spirit. They'll make you feel like visiting royalty.

After eating, head back to El Poblado and to your hotel for the evening.

Day 4: Jericó - Patrimony and Flavor

The town of Jericó

Wake up to a typical breakfast paired with local coffee or hot chocolate. After eating, transfer an hour and a half to Jericó, a small, colorful pueblo and one of only 17 nationally recognized patrimonial sites in Colombia. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful villages in all of Antioquia.

Begin your immersive experience in the café and laboratory of a coffee expert. This consummate pro knows his stuff, as he's responsible for roasting beans for 35 of the surrounding 42 coffee farms. You’ll learn about the different effects roasting has on coffee beans, and you’ll learn about flavor profiles as the roaster tests who in your party can best detect various smells.

After lunch, board a moto-taxi and partake in a historic and architectural tour of Jericó led by a local guide. Afterward, take the local gondola up to a lookout and enjoy breathtaking views of the valley below.

Finally, you'll settle into your room at a lovely colonial-style hotel. We’ll reserve the rooftop jacuzzi and serve you wine as you relax and enjoy the sunset. Later you can head to a local restaurant for dinner or we’ll have it catered to you right in your room.

Day 5: San Cayetano - Origins of Colombian Coffee

The coffee fields of San Cayetano

In the morning, head off to the private coffee hacienda of San Cayetano. It's a perfectly exclusive way in which to end your luxury adventure. On top of raw beauty, this finca is abounding with history—over 120 years ago, the first commercial coffee cultivations in Colombia took place here. Today it continues to produce some of the best traditional coffee in the country.

Your personal tour will highlight Colombian coffee cultivation, with the central Andes and the Cauca River acting as your backdrop. You’ll meet the chief roaster and taste experimental and proprietary blends. You’ll see every step of the process as you tour the fields and visit the processing warehouse, chatting with pickers and gleaning insight into their daily lives. You’ll enjoy fresh tropical fruit juice along with a delicious fiambre (charcuterie), the typical lunch consumed by farmers for generations.

Afterward, you'll retire to the owner’s private mansion where you’ll have the grounds to yourself. Change into your swimsuit and bathe in the farm’s waterfall or take a dip in the infinity pool or jacuzzi. We’ll bring you hors-d'oeuvres and wine as you watch the sunset over the valley below. Feel free to move over to the fireplace and relax as dinner is served.

Day 6: San Cayetano - Transfer to Medellín

Say goodbye to coffee country

Wake up in at the manor house of the coffee farm and enjoy a leisurely gourmet breakfast. Spend the remainder of the morning touring the grounds again, or perhaps just enjoying a dip in the infinity pool. In the afternoon, it's time to transfer to Medellín. From there you'll catch your connecting flight home, concluding your luxury Colombian adventure.