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Taste of Colombia

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  • 10 Days

Andrés Mesa

Colombia Tours

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Taste of Colombia

A 10 day trip to visit the highlights of the two mayor cities of Colombia and the historic walled city of Cartagena.

DAY 1

Bogotá - Arrival day

You will be arriving at the vibrant and diverse Bogotá, the country’s capital and commercial back-bone. Colombia's bustling metropolis is a mix of old and new, trendy and traditional, stately and charming. Home to a dazzling array of museums, churches, colonial mansions and stately buildings Bogotá has a fine balance between its historical past and its movement in to the future. This city in central Colombia is located at an elevation of 2,650 m./8,660 ft. on a mountain rimmed plateau high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains. The city lies only 4°36' north of the equator. At the airport you will be pick up at the airport for your bilingual guide and private vehicle. Read more

Bogota / Morrison 84 3 Night
DAY 2

Bogotá - La Candelaria historic centre

La Candelaria is Bogota’s heart and soul, from its humble beginnings this is the oldest part of the city and the Plaza Bolivar (Main Square) are high on any visitor’s agenda. The Square is the focal point of this historic part of the city. Surrounding the square are several important Colonial and Republican style buildings including the Palace of Justice and Colombian Congress. The Plaza is also home to the Mayor’s office and the Primary Cathedral of Bogota that dominates an entire corner. Standing proud in the plazas centre is a statue of Simon Bolivar (Founder of Colombian independence) the first public monument to be erected in the city. As you wander the streets of La Candelaria away from the main square, your guide will not only explain the history of Bogota but also the intricacies of current Colombian culture and daily life. There will be time for a refreshment stop in one of the cities coffee houses. The Botero Museum or Donation is a permanent exhibition of works of art by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist who’s "oversized” art is instantly recognisable. There are several rooms over 2 floors with displays of his work both on canvas and sculpture. The museum not only houses work by Botero but also other world famous artists such as Dali, Monet and Van Gogh. Next door is the Casa de la Moneda, or mint is home to a museum that takes you on a tour of the history of Bogota through the currency and money used in Colombia. With your guide the next stop will be the Gold Museum which is situated on the northeast corner of the Parque Santander. The Museum is within the premises of the Banco de la Republica, and is one of the finest collections of Pre Hispanic gold in the world. This is a “must see” when in Bogotá, with more than 35,000 pieces of pre-Colombian gold work in the collection. Many of the works are said to be unsurpassed by goldsmiths of today and it’s easy to understand when you allow yourself time to study examples such as the Balsa Muisca (Offering boat). This golden raft is one of the focal point of the display and was the driving force in the Spaniards quest to find El Dorado. Then a short drive or interesting walk from the centre of the old town takes you to the base of the hill that leads up to the hill top view point and monastery of Monserrate. The summit can be reached by either funicular railway or cable car. From the highest point the view across the city will enable you to see the different sectors of Bogota. From La Candelaria and its terracotta tiled roofs to the high rise business sector and then on across the sabana (flat plains) and off in to the distance. The new convent is a pilgrimage site for many Colombians whom make their way past the fourteen Stations of the Cross until reaching the convent. There are a few artisan shops, with others selling snacks and refreshments Read more

Bogota / Morrison 84 3 Night
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DAY 3

Bogotá - Zipaquirá visit Salt Cathedral

For some this is a religious monument, others a celebration of engineering or maybe even an artistic masterpiece. One of the marvels of Colombia, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is well worth the visit. For the beauty of its landscapes, the richness of its earth and the hidden jewel beneath the earth’s surface, Zipaquirá is somewhat of a must during a stay in Bogotá. Travelling north of the city, through countryside once occupied by the native Muisca Indians, Zipaquirá is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Colombia. Zipaquirá is most famous for its Cathedral carved underground in a still functioning salt mines just west of the town. The subtle lighting pronounces the fourteen Stations of the Cross as you descend in to the mine, each station sculpted by a different artist. At the deepest point of the cathedral, 180 m below the earth’s surface, you encounter the nave and the north and south aisles dominated by the 16m high central cross. The illumination and execution of the work is a tribute to modern techniques and years of work from the miners and artists. Your guide will explain all about the cathedrals construction and how it and the mine still function in harmony. However you view this construction, you can’t fail to be impressed by its size and grandeur. Around the central square of the town of Zipaquirá the colonial buildings still hold their charm footed by brickwork paving and overlooked by the Cathedral Diocesana de San Antonio. After this tour you will have the afternoon at leisure. Read more

Bogota / Morrison 84 3 Night
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DAY 4

Bogotá - Medellín

Forget everything you have heard about Medellin as it is probably old news. It was the headquarters of one of the country’s most notorious drug cartels, but what the international media forgot to report was the cities remarkable turnaround. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia and regarded as one of the most important, in business, politics, and fashion and of course nightlife! For years Medellin had a tarnished reputation, but has now risen above this "Mala Fama" (Bad reputation) and is now one of most exciting cities in South America. Its growth has been impressive over the past ten years, and the advance in the security situation has been such that Medellin is now regarded as one of the safest cities in South America. Medellin is famous for its "Feria de las Flores" which happens every August for a week. The Feria is a carnival atmosphere with processions of flower growers, music, dance and the arts. Medellin is also the home town of Fernando Botero, probably Colombia’s most recognised artist to date. His oversized depictions of Colombian life, people and world issues are exhibited throughout the country most notably in the Botero Museum in Bogota and Medellin's own Museo de Antioquia and his sculptures in the neighbouring Parque Berrio. Medellin is also famous for its metro and "Metro Cable" or cable car a remarkable piece of engineering, a great tourist attraction and a remarkable way the local government opened up and regenerated a previously underdeveloped part of the city. Medellin is vibrant, contemporary and well worth a visit for its vast selection fine restaurants, bars and if nothing else its people. The Paisa, a person from this region, is well known for his or her sense of pride and also the way they look. To sit at a coffee shop or bar and watch the people of Medellin walk by can easily take up a morning! Medellin is rapidly becoming a must on any Colombian itinerary. You will be taken to the Bogota airport only with your driver and after arriving to Medellin you will be collected by your bilingual guide and private vehicle to take you to the hotel. Read more

Medellín / Du parc 3 Nights
DAY 5

Medellín - City Tour

Medellin is certainly a city with a colourful history; from the cities valiant founding fathers trekking across the Andes, through to the dark days of drug cartels and the city’s more recent rebirth as one of South Americas most vibrant & progressive. A tour of the central part of Medellin can really help to bring the city to life and to help you understand why Medellin is so important to Colombia in terms of both commerce and culture. The city tour will take in all principal sites and locations of this fascinating location. These sites will include the “Plaza Botero" the famous Botero sculpture park where many giant sculptures of Colombia most famous artist and Medellin born sculptor Fernando Botero are exhibited. A ride on the city’s famous metro and cable car system will not only provide great views of the city but will be a chance to understand a bit more about the geography and social make up of Colombia's second city. After this tour you will have the afternoon to explore on your own. Read more

Medellín / Du parc 3 Nights
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DAY 6

Medellín - Guatapé & El Peñol

You will be met from your hotel by your guide and taken directly to El Peñol for your full day tour, a journey of about approximately 2 hours to reach El Peñol. This great day trip from Medellin takes you out in to the countryside of Antioquia to the giant monolith rock of El Peñol (Literally, "The stone"). Reminiscent of the sugar loaf mountain in Rio this 200 meter high rock towers over a series of beautiful lakes with a mountain back drop. This gentle undulating like scenery makes a stunning comparison to the modern and cosmopolitan city of Medellin only a few hours away. The top of the rock is reached by a series of 649 wooden steps that wind up to the top of the rock. Upon reaching the top you are greeted with a 360 degree bird’s eye view of the surrounding country side. There is normally a guide on the top of the rock to explain a bit about the geography of the area and some of the unusual rock formations around the lakes below as well as point out the confiscated houses of infamous Medellin inhabitants such as Pablo Escobar. The nearby town of Guatape is a lakeside “get a away” for the residents of Medellin and is an ideal location to explore the rural charm of Antioquia and take a leisurely walk along the waterfront or through the main town square or “parque” with its brightly painted houses and store fronts. Guatape has a number of pretty waterfront restaurants in which to enjoy delicious lunch cooked using locally sourced ingredients. Read more

Medellín / Du parc 3 Nights
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DAY 7

Medellín - Cartagena

Founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena was formerly the Caribbean gateway port used by the Spanish. Here they would store the riches plundered form the interior before they were transported back to the old world. It is not surprising therefore that the city was a draw for buccaneers and pirates who attempted on many occasions to take the city, most notably by Sir Francis drake in 1586 who "mercifully" agreed not to level the city in return for 10 million pesos that he carted back to England. It was after the attack by Drake that plans were made to fortify the city and work on the defensive walls began. These walls still stand today and mark the boundary between the old and new parts of the city. The walls and fort took a total of 200 years to build and complete and the Spanish finished them just 25 years before Colombia gained Independence. Cartagena eventually won its Independence in 1821; Cartagena's rich history, diverse culture and energy absorbs every visitor allowing them a glimpse into the past and a chance to relax in superb surroundings. This passionate and vibrant city with some of the best preserved colonial architecture in all of South America exudes character, mix in African rhythms and indigenous influences with the Spanish colonial splendor and Cartagena is truly an amazing destination. You will be taken to the Medellin airport only with your driver and after arriving to Cartagena you will be collected by your bilingual guide and private vehicle to take you to the hotel. Read more

Cartagena / Don Pedro Heredi
DAY 8

Cartagena - City tour of the walled city

Carved from a colourful history rife of piracy, Sultry Caribbean heat, with fusions of African, indigenous and European culture, Cartagena is Colombia’s living, breathing and pulsating museum. Absurdly photogenic La Heroica (Heroic city) awards even the laziest of travellers. Colour splashes every corner, balconies overflow with blossom, and energy seeps beneath the ancient wooden doors of hotels, restaurants and Casa Privadas. Your tour will take through the old town under the Puerta Del Reloj (Clock tower entrance), a symbol of Cartagena, into the Plaza de los Coches. Your guide will divulge the myths and legends, histories and stories of Cartagena from ancient times right up to the present. From the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning Church, on through to the Plaza Bolivar; with its shady areas, where a fresh Lemon juice can be enjoyed whilst watching the world go by. Cartagena is steeped in history and a delight to stroll the streets with your own personal encyclopaedia of knowledge guiding you from one interest to the other. You will have the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Read more

Cartagena / Don Pedro Heredi
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DAY 9

Cartagena - Rosarios Islands

This full day tour gives you the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful archipelagos in the Caribbean. The fast motor boat departs directly from the pier and will take you on a 60 minute ride through the Bay of Cartagena to the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Rosario Island archipelago. This group of 27 islands is surrounded by coral reefs, and is the perfect location to go snorkelling and swimming from the pristine white sandy beaches. It´s one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia, created to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Caribbean Colombian Coast. This marine habitat creates one of the most diverse and richest marine ecosystems in Colombia. The Park has an extension of 120.000 marine and land hectares, and is associated with marine pastures, mangroves and the numerous species of algae and animals that have their habitats in the area, all of which feed the numerous corals and fish life that inhabit the reefs. On arrival at the island you will have time to relax sunbathe and enjoy a swim and refreshment. You will be served a delicious lunch which consists of locally caught fresh fried fish, which is accompanied by coconut rice, plantains and salad, followed by dessert & all washed down with a refreshing soft drink and finished with Colombian coffee. After lunch you will have time to relax and enjoy a final swim in the Caribbean before returning to Cartagena on your speed boat. Read more

Cartagena / Don Pedro Heredi
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DAY 10

Cartagena - Departure day

You will be collected by your driver to take to the airport.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Bogota
Hotel Morrison 84
Day 4
Location Medellin
Hotel Du Parc
Day 7
Location Cartagena
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Bogota
Day 4
Location Medellin
Hotel Park 10
Day 7
Location Cartagena
Hotel Bantu
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Bogota
Day 4
Location Medellin
Day 7
Location Cartagena

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers

More information

  • All transfer includes a bottle of water
  • All tours includes coffee break
  • All Hotels includes breakfast
  • High season prices does not included New years eve season.
  • Meal plan:
  • Breakfast 9
  • Lunch 4 (Included in Full day tours)

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