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Rafting Colombia\'s Chicamocha Gorge

Andes to Caribbean Multisport

Example 9 Day Tour
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 This Colombia multisport trip begins in Bogota where you hit the trails, both on foot and mountain bike, in the Santander region. Raft Colombia's best one-day river, the Chicamocha Gorge, and enjoy the turquoise water and lush rainforest of Colombia's Caribbean coast. This Colombia trip provides a good view of Colombia's history, culture, and diverse landscape for travelers wanting to stay active on their Colombia vacation.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Bogota | City Tour and Explore Villa de Leyva
Day 2 : Hike Iguaque National Park and Mountain Bike
Day 3 : Santander and Mountain Bike in Barichara Valley
Day 4 : Hike the Royal Trail to Guane and Juan Curi Waterfall
Day 5 : Whitewater Raft the Chicamocha Gorge
Day 6 : Coffee Hacienda Tour | Transfer to Tayrona National Park
Day 7 : Hike to El Pueblito Lost Stone City
Day 8 : Explore Cartagena
Day 9 : Visit Castillo de San Felipe. Return Home

Highlights

  • Hike the Royal Trail, used by the Spanish to transport gold to the coast
  • Bike through local villages and sprawling farmlands
  • Raft the Chicamocha Gorge with class III rapids
  • Explore the Lost Stone City of the Tayrona, an advanced civilization

Places Visited

  • Colombia
  • South America
  • Barichara
  • Bogota
  • Bucaramanga
  • Cartagena
  • Chicamocha Gorge
  • El Pueblito
  • Guane
  • Hacienda El Roble
  • Iguaque National Park
  • Santa Marta
  • Tayrona
  • Villa de Leyva

Activities

Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level

Moderate

Trip Snapshots

Rafting Colombia\'s Chicamocha Gorge Colombia biking trip Bogota to Santander Tayrona National Park, Colombia beach retreat Hiking in Tayrona National Park Colombia Biking Tour Juan Curi Waterfall in Colombia Biking during Colombia Vacation

Day 1 Arrive Bogota | City Tour and Explore Villa de Leyva

Arrive in Bogota and meet your guide and transfer into the city. Bogota was once the main trade center between South America and Europe due to its location in the Andean savanna on the Magdalena River that connects to the Caribbean Sea. Take a city tour of the colonial center to learn about the pre-Columbian and Spanish heritage with visits to the Plaza of Simon Bolivar, colonial churches, the bohemian La Candelaria neighborhood, and the Gold Museum. In the afternoon, drive to Villa de Leyva, a beautiful village three hours from Bogota. Villa de Leyva’s colonial charm has been preserved with cobblestone streets, tiled roofs, and whitewashed buildings, and the region is known for its dinosaur fossils. Spend the night in a colonial hotel.

Day 2 Hike Iguaque National Park and Mountain Bike

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day with a visit to Iguaque National Park. Iguaque is a sacred place to the native Muisca who believe that mankind originated in the Iguaque Lake. Explore the park while on the lookout for the hundreds of species of orchids, bromeliads, lichens, ferns and rare tropical birds of the cloud forest. Hop on the mountain bikes in the afternoon and ride the trails and backroads around Villa de Leyva for a 10 km ride (approximately two hours). Visit a paleontology museum which displays the most comprehensive assortment of fossils in South America and the most complete Kronosaurus fossil known to date. The ride ends in El Monasterio, a Dominican historic site with a collection of religious and colonial art. Return by vehicle to Villa de Leyva.

Day 3 Santander and Mountain Bike in Barichara Valley

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive north through diverse, beautiful landscapes over mountains and rivers and pass local villages and fertile farmland to get a glimpse of rural Colombian lifestyle (approximately 4 hours). Arrive in the Santander region in San Gil, known as a center for Colombia's adventure travel, for an afternoon of mountain biking. Ride through this unique forest, characterized by huge strands of moss hanging in the trees, and cruise along the trails through coffee and cattle haciendas (14 km ride for approximately two hours). Arrive in the colonial city of Barichara, the home for the next two nights.

Day 4 Hike the Royal Trail to Guane and Juan Curi Waterfall

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day with a hike on a historic trail that was originally built by the Guane Indians and then reconstructed in stone by the Spanish colonists to gain access to the Atlantic for exporting gold and other natural resources. This preserved, scenic road is framed by old stone walls with great views of the gorge below and excellent birding as a high concentration of species feed and inhabit this area. After the 7 km (4 miles) hike, arrive to Guane, another colonial town that seems lost in time with its great Spanish architecture as well as a rich pre-Columbian cultural history of the original Guane who inhabited this area before who assimilating with the Spanish over time. Visit the local Guane anthropology museum before hiking in the lush forest to the Juan Curi waterfall, an impressive 50 m (160 ft.) drop and enjoy the spray at the base of the falls. There is optional rappelling for anyone interested in more adrenaline (additional cost). Return to Barichara in the afternoon.

Day 5 Whitewater Raft the Chicamocha Gorge

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hit the river for some Class III whitewater action on the Chicamocha Gorge. Descend by vehicle nearly 800 meters to the river put-in and raft Colombia’s best one-day whitewater run. Enjoy a 20 km trip through this towering limestone canyon and the Chicamocha’s big waves. Take out in the afternoon and transfer to the charming hacienda on the other side of the gorge. A nice rest after an active rafting day during your Colombia tour.

Day 6 Coffee Hacienda Tour | Transfer to Tayrona National Park

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After enjoying Colombian coffee the last few days, visit an award-winning organic coffee hacienda located near Bucaramanga. Tour the estate to see the harvest and production of various shade-grown varieties and taste a cup of brew. In the afternoon, a short thirty-minute flight takes you to Santa Marta, and you continue to the Tayrona National Park which is considered one of the best nature reserves in the Caribbean. Tayrona is squeezed between the coast and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain range in the world. Tayrona is where snow-capped mountains, sandy beach, and rainforest converge, where green jungle tumbles down the mountains into the turquoise water. The region is also home to the Kogi people, a pre-Columbian culture that descends from the ancient Tayrona, one of the few cultures in Colombia that have preserved their traditional way of life. Spend the afternoon exploring the trails and beaches of Tayrona and relax and enjoy the sunset at the beach hotel.

Day 7 Hike to El Pueblito Lost Stone City

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hike to El Pueblito, a city originally built by the Tayrona and considered one of Colombia’s best archeological sites, starting by the area of el Calabazo. Just a 20 minute drive from Santa Marta, follow a stone trail through the forest for approximately three hours with great opportunities for wildlife viewing with parrots, toucans, hawks, howler monkeys, colorful lizards and hundreds of butterflies. Upon reaching El Pueblito, explore and learn about this highly developed culture and its advanced architecture of waterways, stone bridges, stairways, and terraced structures that were built in the 5th century and inhabited until the 16th century when it was abandoned and swallowed by the jungle. After the hike have lunch at a local restaurant and make your way back via the beach of Cañaveral to reach the entrance of the Tayrona National Park, from here the drive back to Santa Marta (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes).
 

Day 8 Explore Cartagena

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive south along the Caribbean coast through fishing towns and coastal cities on the way to Cartagena de Indias, a World Heritage city filled with beauty, charm, and history. Cartagena was one of the wealthiest and most influential cities of the Spanish crown, and the greatness of the city can be witnessed in its fine architecture, museums, churches, plazas and fortressed walls. Explore this beautiful city with your guide

Day 9 Visit Castillo de San Felipe. Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After breakfast, tour the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, a stone fortress strategically built on the top of a hill to repel enemies and protect the city of Cartagena during many conflicts. Considered as the most impenetrable fortresses of the Spanish colonies since it was never overtaken. Transfer to the airport in the afternoon for your return flight.

Barichara - Hotels

Bucaramanga - Hotels

Cartagena - Hotels

Tayrona - Hotels

Villa de Leyva - Hotels

Per person starting at
$4,700

Notes

$450 - $625 single supplement

Rate based on 2 travelers
Rate based on 3 travelers: $4,595/person high season ($4,025 low season)
Rate based on 4 or more travelers: $4,050/person high season ($3,495 low season)

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
    • 8 Nights Hotel
  • 9 Days Private Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.
  • Gear Rental

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $300 Bucaramanga - Santa Marta
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • International Flights

Recommended Budgeting

  • $40 Airport Departure Tax
  • $40 Park Entrance Fee
  • $100 Optional Excursions
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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