The best of Colombia

22 days - from € 6,800 per person

nature - history

With this beautiful journey you will get acquainted with Colombia. You will visit the vibrant metropolises of Bogotá, Medellín and the Caribbean coastal cities of Santa Marta and Cartagena. You will make a trip back in time when you visit historic villages such as Villa de Leyva. You will not easily forget the landscape of the Cocora Valley with its apartment building-high palm trees in the Colombian Coffee Triangle. Enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna in the Tayrona National Park and end your journey in wonderful Caribbean atmospheres!

Route day-by-day

Day 1: Amsterdam – Bogotá

Your unique journey through Colombia starts today. You will depart with an intercontinental flight from Amsterdam to Bogotá. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by one our local staff who will take you to your accommodation. Enjoy your stay in the Colombian capital. Bogotá is a huge city with 8 million inhabitants located at an altitude of 2600 meters on the green and fertile Sabana de Bogotá plateau. It is a cosmopolitan city with an interesting mix of history and present. In Bogotá you can find many interesting museums, where the national museum, the gold museum and the museum of the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero are highly recommended. There is a choice of excellent restaurants, trendy bars, nice shops and markets. Although a metropolis, you can be in the middle of nature within an hour from the city. Bogotá is surrounded by a number of beautiful cloud forests. 
Overnight stay: Bioxury Hotel | bed & breakfast
 

Day 2: Bogotá

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to two very interesting museums, namely the Museo del Oro and Museo Botero. In the Museo del Oro you will learn a lot about the rich history of Colombia before the arrival of the Europeans and in Museo Botero you will get to know the work of the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero. This artist, known for his paintings and sculptures of obese people, is originally from Medellín. Botero himself is also a passionate collector of art, in this museum you will find showpieces from his own collection with works by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse and Monet. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Bioxury Hotel | bed & breakfast
 

Day 3: Bogotá

You will be picked up at your hotel for a bicycle tour through Bogotá. The tour starts at Candelaria, the historic part of the city, where you will see several parks, squares and monuments. You will get acquainted with the history of Bogotá, you will pass places where most tourists don't come. During the tour you will learn more about the political and social growth process of Colombia. Tip: it is recommended to plan this day on a Sunday, a day that the city center is car-free so you can easily cycle along the bike paths.
Overnight stay: Bioxury Hotel | bed & breakfast
 

Day 4: Bogotá - Chicaque - Bogotá

Today you will be taken to a beautiful cloud forest south of Bogotá. After breakfast you will be taken to Chicaque. It is about 1 hour drive before you arrive at the cloud forest consisting of 244 hectares with more than 16 km of nature trails along rivers, pure water sources, oak forests and other native vegetation. Together with your guide you will make an impressive walk through the park. You will walk through the mountains, along the rivers and stop at various viewpoints such as Pico del Águila and Roquedal which offer beautiful views of the landscapes and various indigenous villages. You will pass the butterfly farm and a lagoon. Then you will walk with your guide to El Refugio where a lunch is waiting for you. Relax for a while in one of the hammocks and then continue along the path to the oak forest. Your guide can tell you more about the origins of the forest and the centuries-old oak trees. At the end of the afternoon you will return to the entrance of the park and you will be brought back to Bogotá.
Overnight stay: Bioxury Hotel | bed & breakfast
 

Day 5: Bogotá - Villa de Leyva

In the morning you will be picked up by our local staff and you will go to the north, to Zipaquirá. On the way you will travel through the Sabana de Bogotá, where the floriculture of carnations and roses are an important source of income. After a good hour you will arrive at the impressive salt cathedral, a true architectural masterpiece. After the visit to Zipaquira you will be brought to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. A visit to Villa de Leyva is like a romantic journey back in time. The town consists of small cobbled stone streets, squares and white plastered colonial buildings. Especially the enormous central square of 14.000 m2 and the church dating from the 17th century are an absolute must.
Overnight stay: La Posada de San Antonio | bed & breakfast

Day 6: Villa de Leyva (Guatavita)

You will be picked up at your hotel in the morning and taken to Guatavita. The nature reserve and the lake with the same name are about an hour and a half's drive from Villa de Leyva, at about 3000 meters above sea level. It is an area where many bird species live such as hawks and various species of hummingbirds. There are also many native tree species such as the Mano de Oso, Uvos de Monte and Té de Bogotá. With your private guide you will go for walks while he tells you all about this special area. Guatavita is also very important from a spiritual point of view. It was the habitat of the Muisca people and the legend of El Dorado also takes place here, where you will learn more about this day. Finally, you will also visit the village of Guatavita with its characteristic whitewashed houses and the beautiful Lake Tominé. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel in Villa de Leyva.
Overnight stay: La Posada de San Antonio | bed & breakfast
 

Day 7: Villa de Leyva - Bogotá - Pereira

After breakfast you will be brought to the airport of Bogotá. On the way there will be a visit to the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo, a beautiful Dominican monastery from 1620. Upon arrival at the airport you will board your domestic flight to Pereira. Once here you will be brought to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Hacienda Sazagua | bed & breakfast
 

Day 8 and 9: Pereira

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and depart towards Valle del Cocora, located in the mountains of the Quindio region. The valley belongs to the National Park Los Nevados and is where you can see the 60m high 'Quindian wax palm trees'. You will arrive in the valley where your hike to the cloud forest starts. During your hike you can enjoy the rich biodiversity and the different species of plants and animals. On the way back you will cross the Quindio river where the largest wax palm trees in the world grow. In the afternoon you will go to the places Salento and/or Filandia where you can walk around among the colonial houses, visit a handicraft market and stop at a nice viewpoint. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.

The next day is for leisure. The beautiful hacienda where you will stay is surrounded by a fantastic beautiful estate. It offers all the luxury of a hotel with the presence of the swimming pool, jacuzzi and spa with massage and anti-stress treatments.
Overnight stay: Hacienda Sazagua | bed & breakfast
 

Day 10: Pereira - Medellín

Today you are going to change all the greenery around you for the hustle and bustle of the city. Private transport will take you to Medellín. Depending on the traffic along the way, this ride will take about 6 hours. The route runs through beautiful Cauca valley. Medellín is located in the mountainous Aburrá valley. Because Medellín is located at an altitude of 1500 meters, the city has a pleasant climate all year round with temperatures between 20°C and 30ºC.
Overnight stay: Hotel Park 10 | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Medellín

Today you will visit a number of places that represent the social growth process that Medellín has gone through. You will become acquainted with Medellín's past and present. Twenty years ago, this was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. In recent years it has invested in infrastructure, education, art and culture. Today it is one of the most innovative metropolises in the world. For example, the ultra-modern public transport with monorails connected to trams and cable cars serves as an example for city planners from all over the world. You will visit the district of San Javier, which was once one of the most dangerous areas of the city, located about 7 km from the center. This district is a good example of the transformation that the city has gone through. In Comuna 13, as San Javier is popularly called, escalators connect the high part with the low part of the district. You can see beautiful graffiti paintings everywhere in Comuna 13, which are the result of one of the many socio-cultural projects started in the city. Finish your tour at La Plazoleta which is located right in the center and where you can see the 23 sculptures of Colombia's most famous artist Botero before being brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Hotel Park 10 | bed & breakfast
 

Day 12: Medellín (Guatapé)

Today you will make a special visit outside Medellín. You leave Medellín and travel by car to Guatapé. On the way you will first visit 'La Piedra del Peñol' (the rock of Guatapé), which is thought to be a meteorite because of its size. Along the rock is a staircase, when you climb it you can enjoy the view over the Guatapé reserve from above. Then you drive to the village of Guatapé itself, a picturesque village with pastel-colored houses. After lunch you will make a boat trip over the Guatapé reserve. Afterwards you will return to Medellín.
Overnight stay: Hotel Park 10 | bed & breakfast
 

Day 13: Medellín - Santa Marta

Today you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Medellín airport where you will board a domestic flight to Santa Marta. Once here you will be taken to your hotel by our local staff. Santa Marta is the oldest city of Colombia and because of its port it is also called the gateway to the New World. The city was founded on July 29, 1525 by the Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas who chose this location because of its strategic location. Santa Marta has a historic heart and a pleasant boulevard, but all this without embellishment. There is a very nice atmosphere and yet the city is still relatively little visited by tourists. As far as we are concerned, it is a must to taste the Colombian life on the Caribbean coast.
Overnight stay Don Pepe Hotel | bed & breakfast
 

Day 14: Santa Marta

This day is for leisure. Santa Marta is the oldest colonial city and the place where the great South American freedom fighter breathed his last breath. Santa Marta is also the center of the region where the pre-Columbian Tayrona culture manifested itself. You can learn more about this culture by visiting the anthropological museum. You can also visit the beautiful hacienda Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino with its beautiful gardens. Here is where the popular folk hero and great liberator Simón Bolivar died in 1830 and where you will find his mausoleum.
Overnight stay Don Pepe Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 15: Santa Marta - Tayrona

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to your accommodation near Tayrona National Park. A few kilometers from Santa Marta, Tayrona National Park is located on the Colombian Atlantic coast. The boundaries of the park run from Taganga Bay to the mouth of the Piedras River. In this area the temperature can rise to far above 30ºC. The many bays, beautiful beaches, white coral reefs, green mangroves, mountains and lush vegetation give every visitor the ultimate holiday feeling. This park is the habitat for many birds, mammals and numerous reptiles.
Overnight stay: Villa Maria Tayrona | bed & breakfast
 

Day 16: Tayrona

In the morning you will be taken to Tayrona National Park. The national park is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and has pearly white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs. After you have passed the first entrance of the Tayrona National Park you will drive on through the densely forested tropical forest. Then you will visit a viewpoint at Playa de Siete Olas. After that you descend to Playa de Neguanje where you get on the local fishing boat and sail to Playa Cristal. This beach is known for its beauty and is the ideal place for swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling. Afterwards you will take the boat back to Bahía Gayraca and the bus back to your hotel in Santa Marta.
Overnight stay: Villa Maria Tayrona | bed & breakfast

Day 17: Tayrona

This day is scheduled off. Although this is the ideal environment for a day of doing nothing and enjoying the sun and sea in an idyllic tropical setting, there is plenty to do. You can make long walks, you can go kayaking, mountain biking and more. Not only is this area a must because of its beautiful nature, but you will also find interesting archaeological sites here. An example of this is the town of "Chairama", of which many remains have been preserved. 
Overnight stay: Villa Maria Tayrona | bed & breakfast

Day 18: Tayrona - Cartagena

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to your hotel in Cartagena. Beautifully situated on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful historic cities of Latin America. The old center contains a maze of small picturesque streets, with cheerfully colored colonial buildings and romantic squares. Outside the old city walls, the city has expanded into modern, attractive neighborhoods. From the ramparts near the old city center you can overlook both the atmospheric colonial city center and the impressive skyline of Boca Grande.
Overnight stay: Casa Lola | bed & breakfast

Day 19: Cartagena 

You will be picked up at your hotel at the end of the afternoon for a special culinary tour, during which you will visit important locations from the life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This writer, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, is to the Colombians what Johan Cruijff is to the Dutch. His stories take place in non-existent places, but are based on actual existing places. For example, in one of his most famous novels, 'Love in times of Cholera', life is set in a city based on Cartagena de Indias. During the walk, you can taste typical local dishes, with influences from both Spanish and African cuisine. Dishes that inspired the writer Gabo. You will visit 9 favorite places of the writer. During 6 different stops you will taste traditional Caribbean dishes that will make you relive his books. You will meet stories of people who know Gabo and his work. You will end the tour with a visit to the 17th century building that was the setting for the story of the impossible love between Sierva María de Todo los Ángeles and Cayetano Delaura. Afterwards you will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Casa Lola | bed & breakfast

Day 20: Cartagena (Archipelago del Rosario)

Today you will go to the Rosario archipelago, located about an hour from Cartagena, by boat. The area consists of 16 islands overgrown with tropical dry forest, situated in an azure blue sea, where under the water surface several coral reefs can be found. Under water you will find a very diverse plant and animal life while the islands are a paradise for birds. Today you can snorkel and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. In the evening you sail back to the coast and will be brought back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Casa Lola | bed & breakfast

Day 21: Cartagena - Amsterdam

In the afternoon you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Cartagena airport where you will board your intercontinental night flight to Amsterdam. You will arrive the next day.

Day 22: Amsterdam

You arrive in Amsterdam today.

Price

from € 6,800 per person

  • Based on 2 persons traveling together
  • Depending on time of booking, availability of the flights and the period of travel

Included:

  • domestic flights, economy class
  • 20 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • all transfers and excursions as stated
  • our backup 24/7; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel documents package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if you wish, we reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, based on availability, this is sometimes provided by the hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, ask us about the additional cost
  • (Dutch) public tax Travel disaster fund; € 2.50 per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Make an enquiry - for Colombia

Do you want to make this tour too? We can of course arrange the above trip for you, but we are also happy to put together a program based on your wishes and ideas. Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04, send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nl or request a taylor made journey. We are happy to help you. 

Plan your trip

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