See Colombia in luxurious style as you enjoy adventures in the big three cities: Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena. Experience culture in the capital with museum visits followed by foodie tours and wild nights out at legendary Andrés Carne de Res. Then, fly to Medellín for day trips to coffee farms before ending in the colonial fortress city of Cartagena, where you'll mix island hopping and salsa dancing with cooking classes.


  • See the highlights of Bogotá, from the historic center to Cerro Monserrate
  • Visit unique Colombian landmarks like a salt cathedral and the rock of El Peñol
  • Dine at the country's finest restaurants from Bogotá to Cartagena
  • Learn to salsa dance, visit coffee country, go island hopping, and more

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, Museums Tour Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá Food Tour, Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, Andrés Carne de Res Dinner Party Bogotá
Day 3 Ascend Cerro Monserrate, Chapinero for Foodies Bogotá
Day 4 Fly to Medellín, Coffee Tour, Dinner at Elcielo Medellín
Day 5 Day Trip to Santa Elena & El Peñon Medellín
Day 6 Medellín City Tour, Dinner at Carmen Medellín
Day 7 Fly to Cartagena, Historic City Tour Cartagena
Day 8 Day Trip to the Islas del Rosario Cartagena
Day 9 Cartagena Cooking Class, Architecture Tour, Salsa Night Cartagena
Day 10 Morning Coffee Tour, Depart Cartagena  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, Museums Tour

Kick things off in Bogotá with Four Seasons-style luxury (photo courtesy of Hotel Casa Medina)

Welcome to Colombia! Once synonymous with violence and unrest, this South American gem reclaimed the narrative. Today, it's one of the globe's premier tourist destinations, thanks in no small part to its mind-bogglingly diverse natural beauty and a colorful culture that values family, friends, and fiestas above all else. You'll arrive in the capital of Bogotá, a massive metropolis nestled high in the Andes mountains at 8,660 feet (2,640 m).

The good life begins immediately, as your personal driver will meet you at the terminal and transfer 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.

Shortly after arriving, you'll dive into Colombia's rich culture and history on a museum tour. Meet your private guide, who will first take you to the city's historic La Candelaria neighborhood and the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). One of the finest museums in South America, it boasts a staggering collection of over 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. The tour finishes at the Museo de Botero, which features a collection of over 200 works donated by renowned Colombian sculptor/painter Fernando Botero.

Day 2: Bogotá Food Tour, Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral, Andrés Carne de Res Dinner Party

The underground Salt Cathedral at Zipaquirá is a wonder of Colombia

Like many equatorial nations, Colombia is blessed with abundant fresh produce. This includes plenty of exotic fruits that come in a wide array of colors, sizes, and flavors. This morning, you'll get to try over a dozen of them on a private tour of a nearby municipal market. As you browse the vendor stalls, your expert guide will introduce you to local food purveyors while you drink fresh juices and sample fruits like guayaba (guava), lulo (little orange), carambola (star fruit), maracuyá (passion fruit), and others. 

After the market, you'll meet a driver and transfer 45 minutes north of Bogotá to Zipaquirá, a town famous for its Salt Cathedral. Literally made out of salt and located in an old mine, this unique Roman Catholic church was built by miners in the mid-20th century. Spread over multiple levels, you'll visit some fascinating chambers on a private tour, including the Stations of the Cross and the Narthex Labyrinth. The latter is a winding pathway adorned with religious sculptures and artwork carved into the salt rock.

Later, you'll return for a dinner you won't soon forget. Andrés Carne de Res is more than a restaurant—it's a raucous dining experience that celebrates Colombia's love of music and parties. In addition to enjoying a wide variety of barbecue meat and fresh seafood dishes, you'll be treated to an ambience filled with live music that's as wild as a nightclub and as fun as a circus.

Day 3: Ascend Cerro Monserrate, Chapinero Food Tour

Enjoy the panoramic views of Bogotá from Cerro Monserrate

Leave your hotel early on a trip up Cerro Monserrate, the most famous lookout point in Bogotá. There are various options to ascend this 2,690-foot (820 m) Andean hill, the quickest being a four-minute cable car ride to the top. There's also a slower funicular rail car and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) hiking path. Be aware that the hiking trail can take up to three hours to complete (it also closes at 1 pm). Once at the top, you'll visit Monserrate Sanctuary, a whitewashed Catholic church that was completed in 1657, but the real star is the panoramic view of the city below. 

Later, you'll head to nearby Chapinero to indulge in more of Colombia's renowned gastronomy. This colorful neighborhood is a mix of bohemian and commercial enclaves with no shortage of funky and forward-thinking restaurants. Here, imaginative chefs and bartenders reinvent traditional recipes with ingredients from around Colombia, like artisanal cheeses from local farms, regional peppers, Amazonian fruits, coffees from micro-lots, and artisanal liquors, to name a few.

On this private tour, you'll visit three restaurants run by emerging chefs who focus on small producers and local ingredients. Dine on a three-course menu consisting of appetizers, a main course, and dessert, plus three beverages, including local beer and Colombian coffee. You'll also meet kitchen staff and restaurant owners and can keep a foodie journal to take back home.

Day 4: Fly to Medellín, Coffee Tour, Dinner at Elcielo

 It's on to another city and another 5-star hotel today as you transfer to Medellín (photo courtesy of Elcielo Hotel)
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Time to say goodbye to Bogotá. In the morning, you'll transfer to the airport for the 45-minute flight to Medellín. Despite its turbulent past, today, this city is pure charm. Nestled in the Andes mountains, it's known for its friendly locals (called "Paisas") and has music and art to spare. A car will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the 5-star Elcielo Hotel. Situated in the fashionable Astorga neighborhood, Elcielo occupies an uber-chic location. The well-appointed suites include comfy king beds and marble floors, but Elcielo's real focus is its avant-garde restaurant, which you'll dine at tonight.

For now, meet a driver at the hotel and leave the city to enjoy one of Colombia's most popular exports—it's coffee. This private intro to Colombian coffee culture will take you to a finca (farm) in the verdant mountains outside Medellín to learn about the entire production process, from the bean to the cup. During this half-day experience, you'll stroll the coffee fields, visit the processing rooms, and, of course, enjoy plenty of fresh coffee.

Upon returning to Medellín, it will be just about time for dinner. You won't even have to leave your hotel to enjoy tonight's world-class dining experience, which takes place at the famed Elcielo Restaurant. Led by a wunderkind Paisa chef, Elcielo made its mark with a molecular gastronomy approach to transforming local ingredients into creative and stunning dishes that engage all five senses. The evening's culinary journey involves a tasting menu featuring different themes for each course.

Day 5: Day Trip to Santa Elena & El Peñon

The best views in Medellín's countryside are at El Peñol

Take advantage of Elcielo's famed in-room Champagne breakfast, which is just as creative and extravagant as the meals in its eponymous restaurant. Now that you're fortified for the day ahead, you'll transfer by private car about an hour outside Medellín to Santa Elena. This charming mountain town is the main hub for the mass production of fresh flowers used in Medellín's largest festival—the colorful Feria de Flores. While here, you'll visit an organic flower farm and enjoy some rustic local cuisine.

After relaxing amid tranquil village life, you'll continue on to Guatapé. This hill town is famous for its colorful street art and murals, as well as the brightly painted zócalos (lower facades) of its colonial buildings. During a two-hour guided walk around, you'll learn about the town's conflict surrounding the building of the dam that created the surrounding reservoir, Laguna del Guatapé. As you walk toward the neighboring town of El Peñol, you'll be treated to epic views of the region's most popular landmark: El Peñón de Guatapé (the Rock of Guatapé).

Eventually, you'll reach the base of this dazzling granite monolith, which tops out at 646 feet (2,152 m). Climb the 740 steps to the summit, where you can admire 360-degree wraparound views of the towns, lake, and sprawling green countryside below. Then reward yourself with a cold beverage from one of the cafés and food stalls at the summit (try the mango michelada). Afterward, you'll transfer back to Medellín. 

Day 6: Medellín City Tour, Dinner at Carmen

Many of Medellín's comunas (local neighborhoods) are being revitalized

In Medellín, it's always a great day for a city tour. Known as the "City of Eternal Spring" due to its pleasant year-round weather, you can dress light while out for a walk. Today's private excursion will take you to the highlights, starting at Plaza Botero. Located in the city center, this bustling square is home to the unmistakable bronze sculptures of celebrated international artist and hometown hero Fernando Botero.

Then, ride the city's famous Metrocable (network of gondolas) up to Santo Domingo. This area was once notorious for gang violence but has been revitalized through creative and communal projects. Next is a visit to Comuna 13. There are 16 such comunas (districts) in Medellín, many of which were plagued by the same violence as Santo Domingo. However, through education, transportation, and public works initiatives, these comunas have seen a major turnaround. As you'll see for yourself, Comuna 13 is particularly famous nowadays for its impressive street art.

Later, get ready for another memorable dining experience. Forget Medellín—Carmen is one of the best restaurants in the entire world. Chef Carmen Ángel made her mark sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients and using them to elevate traditional Colombian dishes—with a bit of pan-Asian flare. A meal here might include creative dishes like slow-cooked pork belly with a tamarind-and-cane-sugar glaze and charred Szechuan-style green beans with ginger and wild Colombian mint vinaigrette.

Day 7: Fly to Cartagena, Historic City Tour

Views over Cartagena's Walled City from your hotel's rooftop patio (photo courtesy of Casa San Agustín)

Rise and shine! It's another travel day. Enjoy one last decadent breakfast at Elcielo before transferring to the airport for the one-hour flight to Cartagena. Situated on Colombia's Caribbean coast, it's one of the most well-preserved fortress cities in the Americas. The coast here was the site of Spain's first-ever settlement in South America in the early 16th century. For hundreds of years afterward, Cartagena was the main port where galleons laden with pilfered gold would return to Spain. Many landmarks from this colonial era remain, including Cartagena's famous battlements and ancient city walls.

At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the transfer to your 5-star hotel in the Walled City (historic center). Casa San Agustín is a colorful boutique property situated in a colonial-era mansion, but it doesn't skimp on luxury. Its many attractive amenities include a shimmering courtyard pool, a swank bar and restaurant, personalized concierge services, and more. After checking in, you might want to visit the hotel's Arum Spa for a body scrub, Moroccan hammam treatment, or "luxury love" experience complete with Jacuzzi, Champagne, and chocolate strawberries.

Later on, you'll meet a private guide for a walking tour around Cartagena. One highlight is Convento de la Popa, a convent founded in 1607. Then, proceed to nearby San Felipe de Barajas, a massive hilltop castle built by the Spanish in 1536 to defend the coast. Upon returning to Cartagena's UNESCO-listed Walled City, you'll stroll cobbled streets and stop at key sites like Plaza de la Aduana, Parque Bolívar, and Plaza de Santa Teresa. Don't miss Convento Santo Domingo, which dates to 1552. 

Day 8: Day Trip to the Islas del Rosario

Boats at the Islas del Rosario
Enjoy some boating, snorkeling, and kayaking in the Islas del Rosario

A driver will meet you at the hotel bright and early for the transfer to Cartagena's pier. There, you'll board a speedboat water taxi and ride it 45 minutes to Islas del Rosario, an offshore archipelago. Along the way, you'll be treated to natural and historic scenery, like Isla Tierra Bomba and Fuerte Boca Chica. The latter is an 18th-century fort built by the Spanish that once protected Cartagena's harbor.

Upon arrival at Rosario, change into your swimwear and make a beeline to Playa Azul, a white-sand beach fronting the turquoise Caribbean Sea. After lunch, you'll have more time to relax, sunbathe, take a kayak ride, and visit several other islands in the archipelago. Later in the afternoon, you'll return by speedboat to Cartagena. At the pier, a car will pick you up for the ride back to your hotel.

Day 9: Cartagena Cooking Class, Architecture Tour, Salsa Night

There are historic architectural marvels down every street in Cartagena

The food of each region in Colombia is unique unto itself. This is particularly true of the bright flavors and fresh seafood that define Caribbean cuisine. This morning, you'll immerse yourself in Cartagena's gastronomic delights, starting with a visit to the famous Bazurto Market. Led by a private guide, you'll pick up some fresh ingredients, then walk to a colonial house in the bohemian Getsemaní neighborhood. There, you'll participate in a two-hour cooking workshop led by a local expert. At the end of the experience, you'll sit down to lunch and feast on your creations.

After eating, you'll meet another guide—a local architect—for a walking tour to appreciate Cartagena's culture through its buildings. Each of the city's well-preserved colonial homes, with their famous bougainvillea-draped wooden balconies, has a story to tell. Over the course of 1.5 hours, your guide will lead you down backstreets, alleyways, and cobbled streets, regaling you with stories that reveal Cartagena's historic heart. 

Later, as evening falls, prepare to experience the beating heart of Colombian culture: salsa. Music and dance link every corner of this nation, none more so than this genre. Under the tutelage of a local instructor, you'll learn the fundamentals of salsa dancing—its rhythms, heart, and soul—and all experience levels are welcome. In fact, you can do it by yourself if you're traveling solo. Ultimately, salsa in the Caribbean is about giving yourself over to the romantic mood and sultry night.

Day 10: Morning Coffee Tour, Depart Cartagena

Sun setting over Cartagena's historic fortress walls

Your immersion into the world of Colombian coffee continues this morning with a one-hour tasting at a family-owned company called San Alberto. This gourmet, single-estate coffee is the result of a meticulous selection process that yields a superior product with unrivaled flavors and amazing aromas. During the private tour, you'll learn more about Colombian coffee production, how to identify the beans by their different scents, and the distinct flavors of the San Alberto selection.

After the tasting, if there's time, feel free to grab a bite to eat at a local café. Or, take one last stroll along the ramparts amid views of the Caribbean coast. Unfortunately, you can't linger forever, as you've got a flight to catch. At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up for the ride to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Adiós!

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Map of Luxury Tour of Colombia's Cities: Bogotá, Medellín & Cartagena - 10 Days
Map of Luxury Tour of Colombia's Cities: Bogotá, Medellín & Cartagena - 10 Days