Colombia is a friendly, exciting and unspoiled destination for travellers to South America, offering stunning scenery, colonial cities, a wonderful coastline and impressive national parks. Our suggested itinerary includes the very best of Colombia and ends with a few days at an island getaway.
Highlights: Bogota – Villa de Leiva – Cartagena – Islands.
We can adjust this itinerary to include a stay in Cali, the Amazon rainforest, coffee plantations, Tayrona National Park or other islands.
You will be met on arrival at the airport and driven to your hotel in the colonial heart of Bogota, known as La Candelaria. Your afternoon city tour will take in some of the key highlights of Candelaria such as the Plaza Bolivar, the Botero museum and the famous Gold Museum.
Free day to explore Bogota in your own time. If you would like us to book a particular activity such as salsa lessons, a cycling tour, a cable car trip to Monserrate mountain for fine views of the city or a gastronomic flavour of Colombia, please let us know.
Salt Cathedral and Villa de Leiva
Travelling north to Zipaquira, through countryside once occupied by the native Muisca Indians, you will visit the Salt Cathedral in the mine here before continuing on to the attractive colonial town of Villa de Leiva which has the largest main square in South America (only superceded in the whole of Latin America by the Zocalo in Mexico City).
Villa de Leiva
Founded in 1572, Villa de Leiva is today a national monument with beautifully conserved and restored buildings. A walking tour of Villa de Leiva includes some of the principal highlights of the city such as the house of Antonio Marino and the Carmelite nunnery.
Tayrona National Park
Return to Bogota in time to check in for your flight to Santa Marta. You will be met on arrival for the transfer to Tayrona National Park, on the edge of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta where the tropical rainforest reaches the Caribbean coast. It is home to a hundred species of mammals, 200 species of birds and 50 kinds of reptiles.
Tayrona National Park
Full day tour. Your guide will provide specialist knowledge on the wildlife, history and indigenous peoples of this impressive National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for iguanas, monkeys and birdlife.
Tayrona National Park
Free day. There are numerous jungle trails for wildlife spotting and paths that link the various palm-fringed beaches and bays. Please let us know if you would like us to book a tour guide for a full day's trek to the archaeological site and indigenous community of Pueblito.
Transfer from Tayrona to Cartagena, a journey of about five hours.
Founded in 1533, Cartagena was the Caribbean gateway used by the Spanish to store gold, silver and goods whilst waiting for ships to arrive and be loaded before retuning to Spain. Cartagena thus became the richest port in the New World.
The fortifications, defensive walls and ramparts that we see today were begun following the attack on Cartagena by Francis Drake in1586. Your guide will take you on a stroll tour around the old city bringing to life the rich and vibrant history and legends of Cartagena from its origins to present times.
Free day in Cartagena. Optional excursions include a visit to the San Felipe Fortress on the high ground overlooking the city, cooking lessons for a taste of Caribbean cuisine with a Colombian twist or a bird-watching trip by canoe through the mangrove swamps of La Boquilla, a fishing village about half an hour from Cartagena.
The Rosario Islands comprise twenty-three coral islands with some of the most diverse and richest marine ecosystems in Colombia. The Rosario Islands are reached by motor boat, a journey of around an hour and a half from Cartagena.
Return to Cartagena and transfer to your hotel for your last night in Colombia.
This proposed itinerary can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.
Colombia has a wide range of types & styles of hotels, at a variety of price-points to suit all budgets. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made holiday.
The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in the above sample itinerary are just a selection of what is available in each location. The itinerary can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made holiday.
If you like the broad sweep of the above sample itinerary but have fewer days to spend on your holiday, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.
We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your Colombia holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the itinerary until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from this holiday in South America.