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Sunset over Cartagena, Colombia

Best of Colombia

Bogota to Cartagena - Example 8 Day Tour
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On this 8-day tour, enjoy some of the favorite destinations in Colombia. Meet your guide and visit the most iconic and historical landmarks in the downtown area of Bogota. Next, fly to Manizales to learn about the coffee world and explore the Hacienda Venecia coffee farm. Experience every stage of the coffee production process and enjoy an authentic glimpse of life on a coffee farm. Get ready for a day trip to Los Nevados National Park to see the magical ecosystem in the mountains of the Central Andes. Relax in natural thermal baths and enjoy close-up sightings of some of Colombia’s unique birds. Lastly, stroll around Cartagena with your guide and discover the rich culture and well-preserved colonial architecture, arts, music, and food. Visit multiple parts of Colombia and see the best that each place has to offer. 
Architecture of CartagenaSunset over CartagenaSan Pedro Claver Plaza, CartagenaThe colorful streets of CartagenaSunset over Cartagena, Colombia
Highlights
  • Enjoy a guided tour through the vibrant city of Bogotá
  • Learn about Colombia's coffee culture and visit local coffee farm
  • Explore Cartagena's rich culture and well-preserved colonial architecture
  • Take a day trip to Los Nevados National Park and relax in natural baths
  • Visit the San Basilio de Palenque, known for first free town for Africans
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Bogota

Upon arrival at Bogota Airport, a private vehicle will transfer you to your hotel in Bogota. After settling in, take a free walk around the hotel on your own and explore the restaurant or cafe nearby.

Day 2: Bogota

Bogota is a vibrant city, full of color, contrast, and history. On this tour, your host will take you on a walking tour to the most iconic locations in Bogota. This tour will give you a deep understanding of the capital's culture and allow you to learn about local food and traditions.
 
The walking tour will begin in the historical center of the city. Start at Monserrate, a church at the top of a mountain that gives you an appreciation of how big and diverse Bogota is. Afterward, you will head to La Candelaria, where your host will share the official and non-official history of the country. You will also have the chance to try some typical snacks and coca tea while exploring one of the oldest and most traditional handicraft markets downtown.

Day 3: Fly to Pereira | Manizales | Hacienda Venecia Farm

After breakfast, a private transfer will take you to the airport in Bogota to catch your flight to Pereira. A private vehicle will take you from Pereira Airport to Hacienda Venecia Farm Lodge in Manizales for your following activity. Settle in and explore the area for the rest of the day.

Day 4: Hacienda Venecia Farm

During your stay at the Hacienda Venecia Coffee Lodge, you can choose two optional activities; the Hacienda Venecia farm tour and the Chocolate Workshop.

Option 1. The Hacienda Venecia Coffee Tour is a trip throughout the coffee world and an exploration of a working coffee farm. The farm provides a stunning backdrop for this tour, where visitors can experience every stage of the coffee production process as it happens and enjoy an authentic glimpse of life on a coffee farm. During the tour, you will learn about several key issues relating to coffee, the product that is symbolic of this region and Colombia and is recognized all over the world. 

Listen and learn about the coffee culture, including its origin and history, worldwide distribution, species, growing, processing, and harvesting (walk through the coffee plantation). Visit the wet mill (operational weekdays only), marketing (Juan Valdez brand), roasting process, aromas and properties of coffee, Café de Colombia and its institutions, and the Coffee Cultural Landscape (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
 
Option 2. This chocolate workshop is the perfect activity for those who love chocolate and want to learn how chocolate is made. Take part in this unforgettable interactive chocolate workshop that will let you splendidly appreciate chocolate! You will pick fresh fruit from the cacao tree in the Hacienda Venecia and taste the raw cacao bean. After that, you will learn the journey of the dried and fermented bean that magically transforms into chocolate splendor. During this workshop, you will roast and grind your cacao beans to discover the whole chocolate-making process.
 
The cacao experience is full of delicious aromas, colors, and flavors. Create your homemade custom chocolate delight with flavors that match your taste buds to enjoy after the class or as a treat to bring home

Day 5: Los Nevados National Park

After breakfast, another early start on a wonderful day trip into the high mountains of the Central Andes. Discover the magical ecosystems of the paramo, relax in natural thermal baths, and enjoy close-up sightings of some of Colombia’s unique birds.
 
The two-and-a-half hour drives through the National Park passes through some of Colombia’s best-preserved paramo – a stunningly biodiverse ecosystem of high-altitude moorland unique to northern South America – and past large glacial lakes like Laguna Negra. There’ll be plenty of stops to enjoy the clean mountain air and marvel at the remarkable views of the snowcapped Ruiz Volcano.
 
After taking some time to search for the Buffy Helmetcrest hummingbird, one of Colombia’s most unique endemic species, you will carry on to Termales del Ruiz Hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, take the chance to enjoy the hotel’s facilities, including their natural hot springs and world-famous hummingbird feeders (keep an eye out for the sword-billed hummingbird, the only bird on earth with a beak longer than its body!)

Day 6: Fly to Cartagena

After breakfast, a private transfer will take you to Pereira airport to catch your flight to Cartagena. A private vehicle will take you from Cartagena Airport to your hotel for your next activity.

Stay at the Bantú Hotel by Faranda Boutique, the perfect place to stay to discover all of Cartagena’s charm. This 5-star boutique hotel will stun you with its tranquil courtyards and cutting-edge design. While the decoration draws inspiration from San Basilio de Palenque culture, the architecture is a product of colonial romanticism.

In the afternoon, go on a walking tour around the magnificent city of Cartagena. Cartagena was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1984 and is one of the most recognized cities in all of Latin America for its colorful diversity and architectural conservation. This walking tour with a historian and an English-speaking guide takes you through the beautiful streets of the old town and main sites and teaches you about the past and modern-day of this gorgeous and fascinating city. Your guide will also focus on architecture, art, music, food, and culture. 

Day 7: San Basilio De Palenque

Arrive to a warm welcome in the Palenquera language. Your day will start with a historical tour through the most emblematic points of what is considered to be the most important aspects of humankind's intangible oral legacy.

Located 60 km from Cartagena, the Palenque de San Basilio is a community of descendants of African Maroons from the 17th century. The mythical leader, Domingo Biohó, was a leader whose fierceness was reflected in the reports that the governors of the Province of Cartagena sent to the Crown.

Learn about the memorial to Benko's Biohos, the creator and leader of Palenque, and the residence of Kombilesa Mi, a musical ensemble dedicated to preserving and promoting Palenquera music and its unique instruments. Learn about ancestral and communal justice, which has been the way to solve local problems within the Palenquera community. Traditional leaders oversee the process. Finally, your experience will end with a traditional lunch that will introduce you to local flavors and techniques.

Day 8: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, you will be transported from your hotel to Cartagena airport in time for your departure flight.

Accommodations

Hotel de la Opera

Hotel de la Opera
Hotel de la Opera

Bantu Boutique Hotel

Hotel Entrance
Hotel Reception Area
Hotel Colonial Architecture

Hacienda Venecia Coffee Lodge

Hacienda Venecia Coffee Lodge
Hacienda Venecia Coffee Lodge
Outdoor Swimming Pool

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,419 2-3 travelers

Notes

Select a Date
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • 5 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Domestic Flights
  • Carbon Offset Fee 
  • Professional local English speaking guides throughout your tour
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • Local Fish Lunch in Palenque de San Basilio
  • Community Contribution in Palenque de San Basilio
  • Taxi transfer to/from Monserrate
  • Food Tastings During City Tour
  • Lunch in Termales del Ruiz Hotel
  • Bike & helmet per person
  • Entrances to San Felipe Castle
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • International Flights

Map

When to Go

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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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