Immerse on this 8-day cruise in the wonders of Colombia, along the Magdalena River aboard AmaMagdalena. Explore Palenque, Getsemaní, Mompox, and El Banco, each offering unique cultural experiences and historical insights. Visit the Floating Village of Nueva Venecia, witness the vibrant city of Barranquilla, and embrace the spirit of Palenque, the first free town in Colombia. Delight in traditional music, local crafts, mouthwatering delicacies, and the rich heritage of Colombia. This river cruise is a gateway to unforgettable cultural encounters and breathtaking landscapes.
Explore ancient ruins, local markets and historic sites
Visit famous landmarks such as Bocas de Cenizas and Carnaval Museum
Witness Columbian nature and wildlife or take a hike through Cienága
Arrive in Cartagena, the beautiful capital of the Bolivar region located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. After settling into the stateroom, enjoy a tour through the breathtaking Getsemaní neighborhood. With the vibrant colors of the homes and street art, as well as the mouthwatering local delicacies that can be found throughout the area, this historic neighborhood delight all senses. Upon returning to the ship, embark on a journey along the magical Magdalena River.
In the morning, experience the town of Palenque, the first “free town” in the Americas. Founded by those who fled a life of slavery during colonial times, the spirit and appearance of this town have been preserved through time. In 1713, the Spanish crown issued a Royal Decree that officially freed the people of Palenque from slavery. Immerse yourself in the town’s deeply rooted culture and traditions, which are so distinct that UNESCO declared Palenque to be a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. An important piece of their heritage is the music and rhythmic style that was developed in this city, enjoy during a special performance by local musicians. Later in the day, visit Calamar. Located at the entrance of the Canal del Dique, this town was first settled in 1840. Witness historic sites such as the Iglesia de la Inmaculada Conception and tour this beautiful destination by paola (a bicycle taxi for two)
Spend the morning in Santa Barbara de Pinto, located on the banks of the Mompox arm of the Magdalena River. Enjoy a walking tour through this traditional town, see local landmarks such as the Santa Barbara Church and enjoy intricate handmade crafts created in the town. In the afternoon, arrive at the island town of Mompox, and be welcomed with open arms and lively music during an exclusive jazz performance played by local musicians.
A town frozen in time, Mompox embodies the appearance of what many villages looked like during colonial times. Founded in 1540, this remote village became an important Spanish trading post. Some Spaniards found Mompox to be a haven for keeping gold and other treasure protected from the pirates that pillaged coastal cities like Cartagena, and with this precious metal and the work of skilled artisans from Spain came beautifully crafted artifacts. Since then, the town has become famous for its incredible filigree jewelry, learn more about it during a tour of this town in the afternoon. While visiting the largest inland island in Latin America, journey through the incredible ecological Ciénaga Pijiño region, exploring the massive lake that is home to a variety of flora and fauna native to the region. In the afternoon, take a stroll through this storied town on a guided walking tour. With stunning colonial churches, breathtaking nature surrounding the town, and delicious local delights such as capa cheese and butifarra, Mompox is sure to be a highlight of the journey along the magnificent Magdalena River.
Bid farewell to Mompox before embarking on a scenic cruise down one of the most breathtaking stretches of the Magdalena River – a picturesque part of the La Mojana region – and reaching the town of El Banco, nestled at the intersection of the Magdalena and César rivers. Founded in a strategic location for both the native people and the Spaniards, the town was repeatedly destroyed in their struggles and then rebuilt atop its ashes. In 1749, a freed black slave named José Domingo Ortiz led a group of settlers to this special location, carrying with him a statue of the Virgin Mary, staking this place as their new home. Because of this connection, the Virgin of Candelaria — a special invocation of the Virgin Mary — is specially venerated in this region. Embark on a guided walking tour of this incredible destination and learn more about its history as the birthplace of cumbia, an iconic genre of music and dance that has now been popularized around the world. What began as a courtship dance practiced by African slaves later incorporated American steps and European and African instruments has become a worldwide sensation, which is especially popular in the Andean region of Colombia. In the evening, enjoy an exclusive dinner in town and witness an incredible cumbia performance by locals.
Witness the sights, hear the bird calls, watch the wildlife around, and spend the day docked near Magangue. Immerse yourself in the presence of Colombian nature surrounding this city on a birdwatching tour, giving a unique opportunity to see birds only found in this specific part of the country. can also take a hiking tour through the picturesque cienága, teeming with Colombian wildlife.
In the morning, visit the Floating Village of Nueva Venecia. A charming town filled with inviting locals, Nueva Venecia, or “New Venice,” can only be navigated by boat. With its beautiful colonial houses, vivid architecture, and local sanctuary protecting the native flora and fauna, this town highlights the beauty and warmth of Colombia. Witness its splendor exploring the village. While here, explore this village and learn more about the lives of its people during a guided tour. Enjoy the traditional crafts and art that are on display, learn about the techniques the fishermen of Nueva Venecia use, and taste the local delicacies that embrace this village and its unique culture. Later in the day, venture to the beautiful seaside city of Barranquilla, a vibrant destination home to notable musicians, writers, and artists. Immerse yourself in the warmth and culture of the city’s atmosphere as venture through this magnificent location, visit famous landmarks such as the Bocas de cenizas, the point at which the magical Magdalena River meets the breathtaking Caribbean Sea, and the “Carnaval” Museum, which showcases the unique history of this incredible festival. In the evening, enjoy an exclusive “Carnaval” celebration just for AmaWaterways guests as we bring the full traditional experience to our guests all year round.
Day 8: Barranquilla| Disembark
Bid ship and crew farewell, disembark and prepare for a flight home.
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).