- Take a tubing trip down the gentle waters of the Río Don Diego
- Relax on the white-sand Caribbean beaches of Tayrona National Park
- Go horseback riding and stargazing in the Tatacoa Desert
- Discover mysterious tombs and megaliths in the jungles of San Agustín
|Day 1||Arrive in Bogotá||Bogotá|
|Day 2||Bogota Fruit Tasting, Museums Tour & Monserrate Hill||Bogotá|
|Day 3||Transfer to Santa Marta, Optional City Tour||Santa Marta|
|Day 4||Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Río Don Diego Tubing Trip||Tayrona|
|Day 5||Hiking in Tayrona National Park||Tayrona|
|Day 6||Transfer to Villavieja, Desert Stargazing Experience||Villavieja|
|Day 7||Day Trip into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset Walk||Villavieja|
|Day 8||Transfer to Tierradentro, Tour Tierradentro Archaeolgical Park||Tierradentro|
|Day 9||Transfer to San Agustín, Optional Coffee Farm Tour||San Agustín|
|Day 10||Explore the San Agustín Archaeological Park & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Bogotá
Welcome to Bogotá! Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Take some time to rest before you start exploring Colombia's capital city. You and your kids might be tired after your journey so you could opt for a relaxing walk in Parque Simón Bolívar to explore its lakes, gardens, and paths. If you're hungry, head to Paloquemao Market, where you can join locals buying fruits and vegetables and local dishes such as empanadas, ajiaco (chicken and potato soup), and crispy cheese buñuelos.
Day 2: Bogota Fruit Tasting, Museums Tour & Monserrate Hill
Get the day off to a fresh, tasty start on a fruit-focused walking tour, which is sure to please hungry kids with a sweet tooth. Colombia's fruits come in a variety of colors, sizes, and flavors. A private guide will walk you through some of the food stalls at the Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao while sharing the history of the market and introducing you to local vendors. Taste 15 different fruits, three shots of fresh juice, and other Colombian snacks throughout the tour.
Curious minds will enjoy the next activity, a visit to two of Bogotá's best museums. Start at the Gold Museum, which has an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold from the country's Indigenous communities. Next, check out the Botero Museum, which houses a collection of over 200 works that were donated to the city by the renowned Colombian sculptor and painter, Fernando Botero. Kids are sure to be amused by the cartoon-like figures that Botero portrays.
In the afternoon, you'll experience the best views of Bogotá in adventurous style when you travel up Monserrate Hill by cable car. Soar above the city to arrive at a plateau 10,341 feet (3,152 m) above sea level. Here, you can visit the Monserrate Sanctuary, a white-washed Catholic church completed in 1657.
Day 3: Transfer to Santa Marta, Optional City Tour
This morning, leave the big city behind as you transfer to Santa Marta, a city due north of Bogotá on the Caribbean coast. You'll immediately feel the change in pace, atmosphere, and climate here. Your family has a few active days ahead of you, so make the most of some downtime after arrival today by heading to one of Santa Marta's beautiful beaches.
If the kids are feeling antsy for more discovery, you could also set out on a guided walking tour of Santa Marta. Founded in 1525, this is the oldest city in Colombia, and its cathedral (the foundations of which date to 1531) is one of the oldest on the continent. You'll visit other major landmarks, including Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the hacienda where Simón Bolívar, the great liberator and Venezuelan president, spent his last days. Other stops include Santa Marta's historic center and the coastal viewpoint in the adjacent fishing village of Taganga.
Day 4: Transfer to Tayrona National Park, Río Don Diego Tubing Trip
East of Santa Marta is the Tayrona National Park, a coastal park that stretches into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Known for its pristine coastline, diverse ecosystems, and magnificent flora and fauna, this piece of natural paradise is a must-visit for nature-loving families. This morning you'll be transferred from Santa Marta to Tayrona, a drive of approximately 1.5 hours. Drop off your bags and make sure to pick out everyone's bathing suits as your next adventure is a relaxing inner-tube ride along the lazy Río Don Diego, which runs down from the Sierra Nevadas to the ocean.
This fun route meanders at a manageable pace, with a hilly green rainforest lining both sides of the river. You'll hear howler monkeys and spot a variety of birds and butterflies as you glimpse the snowy Sierra Nevada peaks in the distance. Take the opportunity to enjoy a short walk along a trail to spot more animals, and check out Taironaka, where you can see terraces where the Indigenous Tayrona people built their homes. The river ends at a beautiful white-sand beach on the Caribbean Sea. Relax on the sand, dip your toes in the clear waters, and enjoy the views.
Day 5: Hiking in Tayrona National ParkSpend more time exploring Tayrona today. Make sure everyone's wearing a pair of comfortable shoes as you'll be doing some walking. From the entrance to the park at El Zaino, walk along the Sendero 9 Piedras ("Trail of the 9 Stones"), which takes about one hour. Keen-eyed kids will enjoy spotting some of the park's wildlife along the way, like howler monkeys, poison dart frogs, and monkeys.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Transfer to Villavieja, Desert Stargazing Experience
You'll travel inland again today, flying from Santa Marta to Neiva in south-central Colombia. From there, transfer overland to Villavieja, a town that serves as the gateway to the vast Tatacoa Desert, which you'll be exploring in the coming days. After all this travel and activity, spend some time resting at your hotel to make sure everyone's batteries are recharged for tonight's memorable excursion.
Due to the absence of light pollution and its proximity to the equator, the sky in the Tatacoa Desert is extraordinarily clear, making it an ideal place for astronomical observation. As darkness falls, the whole family is invited to relax in the desert, lying on the floor to look up at the sky while listening to an interesting talk on astronomy. Science and space-loving kids will be fascinated by the crystal clear views of planets, galaxies, and stars they'll see from the observatory's telescopes, and will have the chance to capture incredible photos as the perfect memento.
Day 7: Day Trip into the Tatacoa Desert: Horseback Ride, Boat Trip & Sunset WalkEmbark on an adventurous guided tour in the Tatacoa Desert today, taking a tuk-tuk from Villavieja to the entrance of the desert. From there, saddle up for a two-hour horseback ride through the remarkable landscape, admiring the tropical dry forest and learning about the vegetation. Continue to a mineral water pool where the kids can enjoy a refreshing dip in the middle of this arid desert.
Day 8: Transfer to Tierradentro, Tour Tierradentro Archaeolgical Park
This morning you'll be transferred overland to Tierradentro, an area southwest of Neiva that contains some incredible archaeological attractions. After your arrival, head out into the UNESCO-listed Tierradentro Archaeological Park. This consists of an ethnographic museum devoted to the Indigenous Nasa culture, an archaeological museum, and 162 hypogea (underground temples/tombs) decorated with anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and geometric paintings. Together with San Agustín (which you will visit tomorrow), this area comprises one of the largest necropolises in the world, and the largest in South America.The main circuit around the park consists of a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike to the Alto de Segovia and Alto del Duende, which takes around three hours. Depending on how much time and energy you and your kids have, you can add on a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike to El Aguacate Hill, where you can see more hypogea and an impressive panoramic view over the Cauca Mountains. If you want to see more but don't have as much time or stamina, visit La Pirámide Hill, a 1.2-mile (2 km) walk that takes just under one hour and offers a spectacular view of the park.
Day 9: Transfer to San Agustín, Optional Coffe Farm TourContinue your journey south today with a private overland transfer to San Agustín. This was once the home of a mysterious community, which left its legacy in hundreds of enigmatic monoliths. But it is also known for its mild subtropical climate at 5,577 feet (1,700 m) above sea level and its spectacular landscapes in the heart of the Colombian Andes, where one of the country's best coffee varieties is produced. After your arrival, you'll have time to explore San Agustín independently.
Day 10: Explore the San Agustín Archaeological Park & Depart
Plan a late departure from San Agustín and you can fit in some final sightseeing activities before your trip comes to an end. This morning, visit the impressive San Agustín Archaeological Park on a half-day tour. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a number of pre-Columbian statues and artifacts, so there's plenty to see. Start with a visit to the archaeological museum, followed by a walk in the park, where kids can let their imaginations run wild as they discover the gigantic stone idols and sacred tombs that peek out from the rainforest.You could also opt to tour San Agustín on horseback, to see the area's archaeological wonders from a different perspective. Paired with a gentle mount suited to each family member's abilities, you'll be led by an expert local guide who will take you along a circuit around four archaeological sites in the area. Ride across rural landscapes to incredible stone carvings and archeological mounds, and make sure to stop for one final, epic family photo op. When the time comes, you'll bid Colombia farewell and meet your driver for the transfer to the airport. Safe travels!