Enjoy the good life on a luxury tour of one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world: Colombia. Over two weeks, you'll hit the highlights, starting in Bogotá with gourmet dining, museum visits, street art walks, and day trips to ancient lakes. Continue on to seductive Medellín for tours of its revitalized urban communities, wild times at nightclub restaurants, and visits to nearby landmarks before ending the adventure in colonial Cartagena and the Caribbean waters of Isla Barú.


  • Visit Colombia's most cultural cities and dine at its best restaurants
  • Tour historic Spanish-colonial landmarks in Cartagena and Bogotá
  • Take day trips to working coffee farms and Caribbean beaches
  • Go fishing with locals and visit wildlife sanctuaries on the coast

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bogotá, Chocolate Workshop & Dinner at El Chato Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá City Tour, Visit Cerro Monserrate, Dinner at LEO Bogotá
Day 3 Day Trip to Guatavita Lake, Street Art Tour, Dinner at Harry Sasson Bogotá
Day 4 Fly to Medellín, Coffee Tour, Dinner at Elcielo Medellín
Day 5 Medellín City Tour, Dinner at OCI Medellín
Day 6 Day Trip to El Peñol & Guatapé, Dinner at Andrés Carne de Res Medellín
Day 7 Day Trip to Santa Elena & Parque Arví, Dinner at El Correo Y Amada Medellín
Day 8 Fly to Cartagena, City Tour, Dinner at Candé Cartagena
Day 9 Mangrove Fishing Tour, Visit Palenque, Dinner at Alma Cartagena
Day 10 Music Workshop, Cooking Class, Rum & Chocolate Tasting, Dinner at Mistura Cartagena
Day 11 Dance Class, Visit a Bird Sanctuary, Dinner at Carmen Cartagena
Day 12 Transfer to Isla Barú, Dinner at Humo Restaurant Isla Barú
Day 13 Isla Barú Beach Day, Dinner at Calablanca Restaurant Isla Barú
Day 14 Transfer to Cartagena, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá, Chocolate Workshop & Dinner at El Chato

Walk the colorful streets in historic Bogotá, with architecture dating to the colonial era

Welcome to Colombia! This nation at the top of South America has captivated travelers ever since the Spanish colonists arrived on its shores with golden dreams of El Dorado. Today people come for the natural beauty, rich culture, friendly locals, salsa rhythms, and raucous fiestas. This nation is also home to some world-class cities, which you'll see when you arrive in the capital of Bogotá. This massive metropolis is nestled high in the Andes Mountains at 8,660 feet (2,640 m)—so don't exert yourself too much the first couple of days.

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.

Later, transfer to the northern outskirts of the city and Usaquén. This historic neighborhood was once a township (later incorporated into Bogotá) and is filled with well-preserved colonial churches and plazas. After a walking tour, you'll pop in at a chocolate workshop where a local artisan will teach you how to make tasty confections. Then, 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 2: Bogotá City Tour, Visit Cerro Monserrate, Dinner at LEO

Let your private guide show you top attractions like Plaza Bolívar

Bogotá is fast becoming a prime destination for foodies. And ground zero for all the fresh produce and culinary staples on offer in this city is Mercado Paloquemao. Taking up an entire city block, this massive municipal market supplies the produce and ingredients for many of the top restaurants in the city. Along with a guide, you'll browse the labyrinthine maze of food stalls and produce vendors, meet local purveyors, and sample an array of exotic fruits like guayaba (guava) lulo (little orange), carambola (star fruit), maracuyá (passion fruit), and others.

After the market, transfer to the historic La Candelaria neighborhood, in the city center, for a tour. First up is the Museo d'Oro (Gold Museum). One of the finest museums in South America, it offers a staggering collection of over 34,000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Continue to the Museo de Botero, which features a collection of over 200 works donated by renowned Colombian sculptor/painter Fernando Botero. Wind up at nearby Plaza Bolívar, the expansive central square where the city was founded in 1538. It's home to the parliament, supreme court, and the 19th-century Catedral Primada de Colombia.

Capping the day is 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. Once at the summit, you can visit Monserrate Sanctuary, a Catholic church dating to 1657, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. In the evening, you have another premium dinner reservation, this time 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 3: Day Trip to Guatavita Lake, Street Art Tour, Dinner at Harry Sasson

Head back to your hotel for some relaxation before dinner (photo courtesy of Hotel Casa Medina)

Embark this morning on a grand adventure to two impressive natural wonders. Meet your driver at the hotel for the 1.5-hour drive north of the city to 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.

Upon returning to Bogotá, you'll link up with a different expert guide for a walking tour of the city's colorful street art. Focusing mostly on the historic and bohemian La Candelaria neighborhood, you'll witness some of the finest street art on the continent—seemingly around every corner. The street art scene here is distinct in that, besides local artists, people come from around the world to paint beautiful murals and images on La Candelaria's historic buildings.

The gourmet culinary odyssey through Bogotá continues this evening with dinner at Harry Sasson. This world-class eatery bears the name of the eponymous chef-owner, who is one of the most famous restaurateurs in the country. The local and international menu features seasonal ingredients and does imaginative takes on grilled meats, fresh seafood, and pasta dishes. 

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

The Andes Mountains around Medellín are filled with working coffee farms

After breakfast, 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 El Poblado neighborhood and Patio del Mundo. Set in two beautifully restored villas amid lush gardens, this charming boutique hotel offers a touch of luxury and plenty of tranquility. The chic suites are adorned with local artwork and feature balconies with courtyard views and comfy king beds.

For now, meet a driver at the hotel and leave the city to enjoy one of Colombia's most popular exports—coffee. This 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. Tonight's world-class dining experience 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 photogenic dishes that engage all five senses. The evening's culinary journey involves a tasting menu featuring different themes for each course.

Day 5: Medellín City Tour, Dinner at OCI

Once plagued by violence, Medellín's comunas are benefiting from urban revitalization projects

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 guided 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, enjoy more gourmet dining at OCI. This cozy restaurant in an industrial space in the trendy El Poblado district is famous for serving Colombian comfort food slow-cooked to perfection. Ranked one of the best restaurants in the city, this farm-to-table jewel serves mouthwatering plates like tomato and ricotta jam–glazed shrimps and short ribs braised in lemon and chili caramel sauce.

Day 6: Day Trip to El Peñol & Guatapé, Dinner at Andrés Carne de Res

Guatape and El Peñol
If you're feeling energized, hike up to the top of Guatapé's iconic rock
Plan your trip to Colombia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Meet your driver bright and early for a day trip outside of Medellín. First, transfer a couple of hours east of the city to Guatapé. This colorful hill town is famous for its street art and murals, as well as the surrounding Guatapé Lake (actually a human-made reservoir) that snakes its way around town.

From Guatapé, you'll visit the neighboring town of El Peñol, home to the region's most popular landmark: El Peñón de Guatapé (the Rock of Guatapé), 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 return to Guatape and enjoy a fun boat trip on the lake before transferring back to Medellín.

End your day with a culinary fiesta unlike anything in the world. 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 7: Day Trip to Santa Elena & Parque Arví, Dinner at El Correo Y Amada

Relax in your hammock before another amazing dining experience (photo courtesy of Patio del Mundo)

In the morning, meet your private guide for a trip outside the city to Santa Elena. This charming mountain town is a hub for the mass production of fresh flowers used in Medellín's largest festival–the colorful Feria de Flores. Santa Elena is a cultural symbol of the Antioquia region, as this is where the famous silletas—wooden harnesses locals use to carry bundles of flowers on their backs—are made. Those who carry the harnesses are known as silleteros

After visiting a local silletero family and learning about the work that goes into harvesting the flowers, you'll visit Parque Arví. A scenic ride on Medellín's Metrocable (electric gondola system) takes you high up into the mountains to this recreational park, which covers 39,536 acres (16,000 ha). There, you can hike along its trail network through various ecosystems filled with flora and fauna. This includes cloud-forest vegetation, bromeliads, orchids, and a wide array of birds and butterflies. 

Having worked up an appetite hiking around Arví, you'll return to Medellín in time for some relaxation at your hotel and dinner at El Correo Y Amada. This restaurant offers a fun vibe while serving up a long menu featuring succulent grilled meats, fresh seafood, Mediterranean dishes, and pastas—all paired with an extensive cocktail and wine list. 

Day 8: Fly to Cartagena, City Tour, Dinner at Candé

Cathedral  of Cartagena de Indias
Stroll along Cartagena's historic streets, situated between bougainvillea-draped balconies

Rise and shine! Transfer to the airport in the morning 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. Many landmarks from the Spanish colonial era remain, including Cartagena's famous battlements and ancient city walls.

Upon arrival, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the heart of the Walled City (historic center) and the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. This 5-star hotel occupies a beautifully renovated 17th-century convent with a modern extension wrapped around a large swimming pool. Superbly run by France's luxury Accord hotel group, it melds Gallic sophistication with a historic ambience. The ample suites feature balconies with sea views, Nespresso machines, and butler service. After settling in, relax with a drink at one of Santa Clara's five bars and restaurants—including the inviting pool bar.

Shortly after arriving, meet a guide for a walking tour of 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. Upon returning to Cartagena's UNESCO-listed Walled City, you'll 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. In the evening, snag a table at Candé, which features a menu of Caribbean classics and fresh seafood accompanied by live music and dancing.

Day 9: Mangrove Fishing Tour, Visit Palenque, Dinner at Alma

See the origin of Cartagena's famous Palenqueras on a visit to Palenque

The coast around Cartagena is dotted with colorful fishing villages home to locals who earn their living in the nearby mangrove ecosystems. After breakfast, you'll transfer by private car to one such village, La Boquilla. During a two-hour stop, you'll meet friendly locals and hop in a boat to join them in their daily work. Learn some traditional fishing techniques as you marvel at the diversity of flora and fauna on display, which includes waterbirds like herons, frigatebirds, and ospreys.

Afterward, continue to San Basilio de Palenque, the first free African town in the Americas, symbolizing resistance against oppression and slavery. There, you'll see where ancient forts once stood guard against anyone looking to reclaim its formerly enslaved residents. The Afro-Colombian inhabitants here have preserved many customs of their African ancestors, and a local guide will lead you on a cultural journey. During the tour, you'll learn about the residents through their history, music, and, of course, food.

Afterward, transfer back to Cartagena and enjoy dinner at Alma. Translating to "soul," that's exactly what this restaurant puts into every dish, which includes regional classics like seafood casserole and ceviche.

Day 10: Music Workshop, Cooking Class, Rum & Chocolate Tasting, Dinner at Mistura

Drums and Music Workshop
Learn the fundaments of Colombian percussion in a drum workshop

Music is the lifeblood of Colombia, and there are dozens of popular styles throughout the country, ranging from salsa to cumbia. What they all have in common is the uniquely Latin American thrum of percussion instruments. Discover these rhythms firsthand when you participate in a music workshop at a local drum school led by a group of young people from La Boquilla. This one-hour experience is a great way to connect with the rhythms of Afro-Colombian folk music, and there's no need to be shy—as locals say: "play even if you don't know how; dance even if you don't move at all."

Later, the theme of the day changes from music to cuisine as you meet an instructor in a private kitchen for a hands-on cooking class. Over three hours, you'll learn from your expert chef-instructor all about the flavors that define Caribbean Colombian dishes. Using local ingredients, you'll prepare a three-course meal and, as a reward for completing the program, feast on it for lunch.

And no meal is complete without the perfect beverage. As far as spirits go, in Colombia, that perfect drink is rum. Head to the colorful neighborhood of Getsemani, where a local expert will lead you on a tasting tour of some of the best Caribbean rums—all paired with decadent chocolate to enhance the sensory experience. In the evening, the culinary adventure comes full circle with dinner at Mistura. Located in the Walled City, this restaurant's globe-trotting menu features fusion plates that range from seafood cazuelas (stews) and ceviches to tacos and fried rice dishes.

Day 11: Dance Class, Visit a Bird Sanctuary, Dinner at Carmen

See exotic birds, like toucans, at an avian conservation center

Don't skip breakfast, as you'll need fuel for the activities ahead. In the morning, you'll visit a local studio and participate in a dance class—because in Colombia, music and dancing are never separate. It's a brisk one-hour immersion during which you'll learn the fundamentals of Colombia's most popular dance styles, including salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and bachata. 

Later, you'll meet your driver for the 45-minute ride from Cartagena to Isla Barú. One of 27 islands in Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park (Islas del Rosario), Barú is famous for its unspoiled mangrove ecosystems and coral reefs. Your destination is the Aviario Nacional (National Aviary), an organization that serves as a center for avian conservation, education, and research. Some exotic birds you'll see here include toucans, macaws, flamingoes, hummingbirds, and more.

Afterward, you'll transfer back to Cartagena in time to enjoy dinner at Carmen. This renowned eatery is consistently ranked one of the best restaurants in Colombia, serving contemporary cuisine with an emphasis on Colombian flavors (think coconut rice risotto and pasta with plantains and coffee). The creative plates are a celebration of the country's rich biodiversity.

Day 12: Transfer to Isla Barú, Dinner at Humo Restaurant

Escape to Isla Barú and your chic 5-star resort (photo courtesy of Sofitel Barú Calablanca Beach Resort)

This morning, you'll return to Isla Barú. However, rather than taking a car, this time, you'll transfer to the pier and enjoy a scenic water taxi ride to the islands. Upon arrival at Barú's white-sand shores, you'll head to your waterfront hotel: Sofitel Barú Calablanca Beach Resort. Though it offers modern amenities and style, this 5-star resort still manages to capture the soul of Colombia's Caribbean coast. You'll see it in the local artwork hanging on the walls of the prestige suits, and you'll taste it in the fresh seafood and ceviche dishes, which you can enjoy right on the beach.

After settling into your room, you can spend the rest of the day lazing by the pool or on the nearby beach. For dinner, stay in the hotel and dine at Humo Restaurant, which features a robata grill. This Japanese-style barbecue concept draws influences from around Asia, as well as French and Peruvian cuisine. The result is a series of fusion dishes cooked over hot coals and using only the freshest local ingredients. 

Day 13: Isla Barú Beach Day, Dinner at Casablanca Restaurant

Explore the island or lounge by your hotel's pool (photo courtesy of Sofitel Barú Calablanca Beach Resort)

The day is yours to spend however you like. Take advantage of the surroundings on a snorkeling/diving tour or a kayaking trip, and go swimming in the surf. Or, relax with your feet in the sand, accompanied by a good book and a tropical drink. If you like, take advantage of the hotel spa with a relaxing hammam or sauna session, a rejuvenating hydrotherapy treatment, or a deep-tissue massage. At dusk, enjoy a sundowner cocktail while watching the last rays of light dip below the horizon as you're lulled into perfect tranquility by the symphony of the waves. 

Tonight, you'll be dining once again at the hotel, at Calablanca Restaurant, which serves traditional Colombian dishes, Mediterranean cuisine, and International market fare. ​ Here, a special focus is placed on ancestral cooking techniques and farm-to-table ingredients. The menu features classic Colombian items such as whole-fried fish with plantains, arepas (fried corn cakes), and the formidable bandeja paisa (a mountain of meats and country beans).

Day 14: Transfer to Cartagena, Depart

Say goodbye to Isla Barú as you transfer back to Cartagena
Two weeks fly by in a blink—but no doubt you've enjoyed every second of this luxury Colombia experience. In the morning, a driver will pick you up at the airport for the transfer back to Cartagena and the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Hope you visit again soon! Hasta pronto!

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Map of Luxury Tour of Colombia's World-Class Cities & Caribbean Beaches - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Tour of Colombia's World-Class Cities & Caribbean Beaches - 14 Days