Colombia Bespoke Holiday

This tour can be fully personalised and upgrades are available. Colombia tailor-made holidays will be designed to suit your preferences.

See our suggested day by day itinerary to Colombia

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Our Suggested Day By Day Itinerary

From £3250 Per Person

Based on two people, sharing a double room

 

Price Includes:

Return economy flights from UK London/Manchester/Birmingham. Contact us for flights quotation from different countries.

Excursions

English-speaking guide for attractions

Entry fees

Transport: Private a/c car with

Hotels: Mid-range boutique hotels. Luxury hotels available for this package on request.

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Business Class Flights Upgrades Are Available

Day 1 – Fly to Colombia                                          

Today you will fly to Colombia’s capital city – a Spanish colonial city set high in the Andes and one of South America’s most vibrant cultural hubs.

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast

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Day 2 – Bogotá, Colombia’s Mountain Capital

Our English-speaking guide will meet you at El Dorado international airport and transfer you to your colonial hotel in the city’s historic Candelaria neighbourhood.

 

Bogotá sits at 2,625 metres, in a vast bowl-shaped valley, surrounded by the crags of the Andes mountains. The air is thin and its easy to get out of breath, so we begin things slowly, starting the day with a visit to Paloquemao market – a swirl of colour, aromas and local culture. Here you will get a feel for the rich flavours and aromas of Colombia – the scent of ripe mangoes, of spicy cupuaçu fruit, of chilli, coriander and tamarind, of steaming stews and roasting coffee. And we meet the locals – enjoying a chat with stall holders learning about everyday life in the capital.

 

Returning to the historic center with its crumbling palaces, Spanish mansions and bell towers, we take a light walking tour. We visit the Plaza de Bolivar and the stately government palace, the glittering churches of San Francisco and La Tercera and finish with a cable car ride up the Monserrate mountain, Bogotá bathed in warm late afternoon sunshine.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast

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Day 3 – The Salt Cathedral and Villa de Leyva Village

Before leaving for the pretty colonial village of Villa de Leyva, we visit one of the most impressive pre-Columbian Museums in the world, Bogotá’s Gold Museum has over 30,000 exhibits from all the country’s most important civilisations including the Tayrona and San Agustín. We then drive to Zipaquira, a pretty little town with a central square lined with mansions fronted with Spanish balconies. We visit the giant subterranean salt cathedral – its naves and towering arches, altars and vestries hacked from interior of a mountain above the town. After lunch we continue to Villa de Leyva via the pilgrimage site of Chiquinquira and Raquira, a village of brightly painted houses and sleepy churches, that has changed little since conquistador horse-hoofs echoed off the rough-hewn 17th Century cobbles. We stay overnight, in a magnificent colonial-era hotel, just off the handsome Plaza Mayor square.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 4 – Bogotá – Coffee Zone and Andean Cordillera

This morning we wander the echoing cloisters and flower-filled gardens of the 17th century Spanish Ecce Homo Dominican monastery. During agricultural excavations, the fossil remains of a huge Pliosaur were discovered here, cleared of rubble and left in situ in the town museum.

We then drive back to Bogotá, visiting Puente de Boyacá bridge, where in 1813, Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish in battle, claiming independence for the Andean nations. This is followed by a short flight over the central Andes mountains to the country’s famous coffee zone. Our English-speaking guide will meet us at the airport and transfer us to our lovely ranch house set in the rolling forest-covered Andean foothills.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 5 – Widerness & Coffee Villages

This morning we drive to the Cocora Valley for a short hike through a breathtaking Andean valley overlooked by towering snow-capped ridges. The valley is famous for its rich bird life and towering wax palms, the tallest variety in the world at over 60 metres. Pumas, tapir and Spectacled Bears live in the region and condors are a fairly common sight.

On the way back to our coffee hacienda, we pass through picturesque hilly landscapes and stop off in the village of Salento, one of the most beautiful villages in the coffee region. The buildings here are colourful and traditional and are home to cafés and boutiques selling local handicrafts. In one of the lovely little coffee boutiques, we meet the locals and have the chance to learn about their daily life in and around Cocora.

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 6 – Medellin – the City of Eternal Spring

After breakfast, we learn about the whole process of growing and harvesting coffee sustainably – from bean cultivation through to small-scale processing. Our tour includes sommelier-led gourmet coffee tasting, where you will learn how to differentiate robusta and arabica varieties and how to grade coffee for quality.

 

We then say goodbye to our lovely hosts at the coffee hacienda and drive along the “coffee highway” through the gorgeous, lush valleys that line the Cauca river valley, reaching the city of Medellin after a few hours.

 

Medellín has one of the most beautiful settings of any South American city – a long, broad, flower-filled valley surrounded by high mountains. This gentle, laid-back city seems perpetually bathed in sunshine and lulled by a gentle breeze. Locals call Medellín the City of the Eternal Spring. Yet just over 20 years ago, it had a reputation as the most dangerous city in the world – the haunt of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, leader of South America’s most powerful cocaine cartel. Escobar was killed in a shoot-out with the police in 1993, and since then the city has undergone a dramatic turnaround. Committed politicians invested above all in public schooling and infrastructure, with myriad new teachers recruited, jobs created and cable cars linking the marginalized communities where Escobar had recruited his stooges with the plush city centre. Modern Medellin is considered one of the most innovative and forward-thinking metropolises in the world today – a benchmark for sustainable community rehabilitation and development. Our hotel is located in the central El Poblado district, not far from great restaurants, bars and shopping centers. We spend the next two nights here and experience how this change came about and what it means for the people.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 7 – Medellin’s Hope-Filled Communities

Nowhere is more emblematic of Medellín’s stunning turnaround than Comuna 13. We visit the suburb in the cool of the Medellín morning, climbing high into the hills around the city on one of the world’s great urban cable car rides. Comuna 13’s paintbox cottages tumble over a hillside, Medellín glittering at its feet. Locals walk us through the neighbourhood, explaining Medellín’s transformation and the lives it has saved and transformed. We take a walking tour of the city center, through San Antonio Park, San Ignacio Square, the traditional Avenida La Playa passed the scalpel-shaped Coltejer skyscraper by Germán Samper Gnecco – Colombia’s Le Corbusier; and visit the sculpture park, which is dotted with statues by South America’s most celebrated sculptor, Fernando Botero. We visit Pueblito Paisa, an Antioquia region model village with the best Medellín views and a foundation providing homes for street children.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Days 8 – The Caribbean Coast

It’s time for the beaches and rainforests of Colombia’s beautiful Caribbean Coast. After breakfast, we drive to Medellin airport just outside the city and fly in less than an hour to a completely different world – the lush mountains and sugar-white beaches around Santa Marta.

On arrival, our local team is already waiting for us, and we head off to perhaps the most breathtaking beaches on the South American continent in the immediate vicinity of Tayrona National Park, which is busy with bird and butterfly life. Here we spend the next 2 nights directly by the sea in typical bungalows under palm trees. This area lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the second highest coastal mountain range in the world and with one of the highest numbers of endemic bird species in the mainland Americas. The almost 6000-metre high peaks, the highest in Colombia, are less than 50 kilometers from these dream beaches as the crow flies. You can see the snow-capped peaks, especially early in the morning on a walk along the beach. A magical moment.

 

 

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 9 – Beaches, Birds and Gentle Hikes

Today we take gentle wildlife walk through Tayrona National Park. We begin at Cañaveral beach, one of the wildest and most beautiful parts of the Colombian Caribbean coast, hiking through the dry forest where there is an excellent chance of seeing rare cotingas and wild Capuchin monkeys. There are marvellous views of the coast and ocean along the way. The Kogui people live in Tayrona. Inheritors of the rich culture of the Tayrona civilization they are one of only a handful of Indigenous Americans to have survived Spanish conquest with their traditions intact. They live throughout the park and are instrumental in keeping the area pristine and to conservation in the Sierra de Santa Marta mountains and rainforests. We will meet them along the trails La Piscina beach – where we can enjoy a cooling swim in the bottle-green Atlantic.

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Days 10 – Cartagena – Colombia’s Colonial Jewel

After breakfast in the morning, we drive along the Caribbean coast to Cartagena – one of two Spanish-era walled cities in the Americas and a colonial city rivalled in its splendour only by Salvador in Brazil. En route we visit the huge lagoon and mangrove forest at the Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta reserve. Once we arrive in Cartagena, we are taken to our hotel in the historic center, where we spend the last night of this round trip. We enjoy the unique combination of Caribbean flair and colonial architecture. In the cool of the afternoon, we take a city walk of Cartagena’s colonial gems: the monastery of La Popa (the highest point in the city – at around 140 meters), the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, the largest military structure ever built by the Spanish in their colonies and a string of beautiful churches and mansions. On the last night you have the chance to dine in one of the city’s great restaurants or sip an icy mojito in one of its celebrated bars. Cartagena has several entries on the most authoritative ‘world’s best’ lists for both.

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 11 – Cartagena – Colombia’s Colonial Jewel

After breakfast in the morning, we drive along the Caribbean coast to Cartagena – one of two Spanish-era walled cities in the Americas and a colonial city rivalled in its splendour only by Salvador in Brazil. En route we visit the huge lagoon and mangrove forest at the Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta reserve. Once we arrive in Cartagena, we are taken to our hotel in the historic center, where we spend the last night of this round trip. We enjoy the unique combination of Caribbean flair and colonial architecture. In the cool of the afternoon, we take a city walk of Cartagena’s colonial gems: the monastery of La Popa (the highest point in the city – at around 140 meters), the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, the largest military structure ever built by the Spanish in their colonies and a string of beautiful churches and mansions. On the last night you have the chance to dine in one of the city’s great restaurants or sip an icy mojito in one of its celebrated bars. Cartagena has several entries on the most authoritative ‘world’s best’ lists for both.

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Day 12 – Cartagena – return flight

You will have much of the day to spend in Cartagena at leisure – to take a community tour of the mangrove wetlands with a local fisherman, a rumble through the old city in a horse-drawn carriage or a browse in the arty shops. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for an extension to your Colombia holiday or your flight home.

 

 

 

 

  • Board Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

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Hotels in middle class category (as mentioned or similar of the same quality):

 

Bogota Old Town

Hotel Casa Deco ***

Villa de Leyva

Posada de San Antonio ***

Coffee Zone

Hacienda Combia ***

Medellin

Hotel Campana Boutique ***

Tayrona area

Hotel Hukumeizi ***

Cartagena

Hotel Tres Banderas ***

 

First class hotels (as mentioned or similar of the same quality):

 

Bogota Old Town

Hotel de la Opera ***/*

Villa de Leyva

Hotel Casa Terra ****

Coffee zone

Hotel Boutique Sazagua ****

Medellin

Hotel Patio del Mundo ****

Tayrona area

Hotel Casa Tayrona Los Naranjos ****

Cartagena

Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa ****/*

 

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Get in touch with us and one of our travel specialists will be able to talk you through our process and your options. Begin your journey today.

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