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Whitewater Rafting during Colombia Tour

Andes to Caribbean Multisport

Example 12 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.
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Highlights
  • Hike along the river, Las Cárcavas & Ráquira
  • Bike through most iconic sites of Bogota
  • Experience whitewater adventure on Rio Fonce
  • Explore the Lost Stone City of the Tayrona, an advanced civilization
Places Visited
Activity Level: Moderate
Activities that provide a reasonable level of physical challenge and elevate the heart rate. Focused on more active pursuits including multisport tours. Travelers may be active 5-7 hours total each day. Recommended for travelers with active lifestyles.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Bogota

Arrive in Bogota and meet your guide at the airport. You will be transferred into the city to settle in for the evening. The evening is free to explore the city or rest up from your day of traveling. 

Day 2: Bogota City Bike Tour | Explore Villa de Leyva

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. This morning your guide will take you to the most iconic sites of the city by bike, providing you with a fantastic cultural understanding of Colombia's capital city and an opportunity to explore the urban art scene. Discover over 10 neighborhoods in downtown Bogota and participate in activities such as visiting a coffee factory, tasting local fruits, and playing the classic Colombian game of 'Tejo,' all while learning about the city's history and demographics. After your bike tour is over, you will head out by private transfer to Villa de Leyva for the next stop on your journey.
*Bike tour route will vary depending on your individual interests as well as weather and traffic.

Villa de Leyva, located 110 mi/175 km northeast of Bogotá, has preserved its colonial charm with cobblestone streets, tiled roofs, and whitewashed buildings. The town is known for its dinosaur fossils, and visitors can easily reach it by bus or private car on the well-paved road to Tunja. This evening you will have the option for a guided walking tour of the town focusing on the history of Villa de Leyva. The town's main plaza is one of the largest in South America and is surrounded by whitewashed buildings with bottle-green trim, including the Iglesia Parroquial, Casa Cabildo, various museums, and Convento de Carmen. Spend the night in a colonial hotel and fully immerse yourself in the town's charm.

Day 3: Hike Las Cárcavas & Ráquira

This morning, head out to Parque National Natural Paramo de Iguaque. Hike along the river and past crystal clear waterfalls and ponds and take the opportunity visit a secluded village ‘Antiguo Camino a Chiquizá’ where you can find peasant farmers who have their own family orchards. Explore a stunning eroded desert area in the mountains called Las Cárcavas, and enjoy a breathtaking view of Villa de Leyva from there.

After time for an independent lunch, you will be taken to the colorful artisan capital of Colombia, Ráquira to explore the artisan gift and workshops. Here you can opt to join a ceramics workshop and learn the trades of the local craftsmen, or if you would like a more adventurous activity planned for this afternoon, let your trip planner know and we can organize an alternative activity, such as a horseback riding adventure. 
 

Day 4: Rafting the Rio Fonce | San Gil

This morning your transfer will take you form Villa de Leyva to San Gil. Travel towards the North and witness the diverse and stunning landscapes consisting of mountains, rivers, local villages, and fertile farmland. This journey will give you a glimpse of the rural lifestyle in Colombia. The Santander region and San Gil are known as the hub for adventure in the country. Here, you will spend the afternoon on a whitewater rafting adventure navigating through the class 3 rapids on Rio Fonce. This activity typically lasts about two hours and is a great adventure for beginners and seasoned rafters alike.

After your river adventure, you continue on to the colonial city of Barichara, where you'll stay for the next two nights.

Day 5: Hike the Royal Trail to Guane and Barichara Walking Tour

Barichara is often known as the prettiest town in Colombia, it is a compact little hillside town on a hot plateau. Visitors will delight in the quaint simplicity of the whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs. Barichara is a national monument which dates back to the Spanish conquest. It features some of the most well preserved and strikingly beautiful architecture in the Americas.  Perched beside the canyon of the Suarez River with a breathtaking view of the entire region, visitors will delight in almost perfect weather year round. Its legacy is stately stone architecture which make it a unique and charming village. 

Start your day today with a 9km morning hike on the Royal Trail,  an historic trail that was first constructed by the Guane Indians and later rebuilt in stone by the Spanish colonizers to export gold and other resources to the Atlantic. This well-preserved trail offers scenic views of the gorge below, and it is bordered by ancient stone walls. This area is also home to diverse bird species. The path will lead you to the small colonial village of Guane, which seems to have been frozen in time for centuries. Upon reaching the village you can visit the archaeological and paleontological museum. 

This afternoon, after you have had the chance to rest and grab lunch in town, head out on a guided walking tour of Barichara to explore the rich cultural heritage of this small town. Tour the workshops of local artisans who are renowned for their craft, particularly the stonemasons and vegetable fiber artisans. Along the way, note the factories where quality hand-rolled cigars are produced and marvel at the stunning local stone architecture of the Immaculate Conception church located in the main square. Make your way to the Santa Barbara Chapel to the north and the cemetery, both of which boast intricate local stone carvings. Finally, return to your lodging to rest up. Be sure to stop at the viewpoint of the Suarez Canyon to witness a stunning sunset over the river valley.

Day 6: Rapelling and Ziplining at Juan Curi Waterfall

An exciting adventure awaits you today, starting with an early departure from your accommodation in Barichara to visit Juan Curi Waterfall, which is an impressive 50 meters (160 feet) tall. Enjoy the spray at the base of the falls and have a morning filled with adventure, including hiking, rappelling down the waterfall, and zip-lining. 

After your adventurous day, you will be transferred to your comfortable hotel in Piedecuesta this evening (about a 3 hour drive).

Day 7: Fly to Tayrona National Park

After taking a short thirty-minute flight this morning from Bucaramanga to Santa Marta, transfer on to Los Naranjos beach, at the edge of Tayrona Park. This is where you will find the exquisite Casa Tayrona Los Naranjos boutique hotel, offering stunning facilities right in front of the ocean. The hotel's design is meticulously crafted, blending in perfectly with the surrounding environment of Tayrona Park. The hotel is surrounded by the Los Naranjos beach on one side and the river Piedras, which also meets the sea, on the other. The forest with beautiful palms is located at the back of the hotel, while in the distance you can see the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range. It's a truly unique and special place, offering a perfect location and design. Spend the day exploring the trails and beaches of Tayrona, and relax while watching the sunset  on the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Day 8: Tayrona National Park

Tayrona Park is a natural treasure with significant ecological and archaeological importance. Its breathtaking beaches and lush forests offer visitors a chance to experience nature's tranquility and eco-tourism activities. The park is divided into several areas, each with its unique charm. One of these is the Arrecifes-Cabo San Juan sector, which takes you through the dry tropical forest, showcasing a variety of landscapes and beautiful beaches such as Arrecife, Arenilla, the pool, and Cabo San Juan, where you can immerse yourself in the clear waters. Your guided hiking tour through the park today will take you weaving through all of these highlights, with time to enjoy the ocean at your final destination EL Cabo Beach.

The tour today is flexible based on your interests and energy level. From the hotel lobby to El Cabo beach is about 2.5 hours walking (one way) with lots of time to explore as well as rest and enjoy the beaches. 

Day 9: Coffee Tour & Amazilia Reserve in Minca

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Explore the charming mountain village of Minca in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and enjoy its breathtaking landscapes, ideal for hiking and birdwatching. Spend the morning learning about cacao and coffee at 'Finca La Candelaria.' You can even make and taste chocolate bars and get a chocolate facial. You can also hike from Minca to the farm, which takes about 2 hours each way.

'Finca La Candelaria' gives you a real learning experience about coffee and cocoa plantations. You can do exciting activities while learning how to take care of the environment. The farm grows coffee and cocoa in a way that's good for nature.

After the Cacao & Coffee Tour, visit the Amazilia Reserve, a private area where you can swim in a natural pool and enjoy a beautiful waterfall. A specialized chef will serve grilled delicacies from local recipes for you to try.

Day 10: Explore Cartagena

This morning, transfer 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 (about a 5h drive). Once you are settled into your room, head out and stretch your legs on an afternoon guided tour. This Cartagena city walking tour takes you through the beautiful old town of the city, visit all of the main sites as well as learn about the past and modern day of this gorgeous and fascinating city. Where you stop can be tailored to your specific interest, so let your trip planner know ahead of time. Your guide will focus on the architecture, art, music, food and culture. The tour includes a number of different street food tastings, so come prepared to try some new flavors!

Day 11: Visit San Basilio de Palenque & San Felipe Castle

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After your breakfast, head to Palenque de San Basilio, which is located about 60 km from Cartagena. The tour will begin with a historical overview of the most significant points of the intangible oral heritage of humanity, among a population of African descent. Visit the monument of Benkos Biohos, the leader and founder of Palenque, and the home of Kombilesa Mi, a musical group dedicated to preserving and strengthening Palenquera music and its autonomous instruments. Learn about the house of ancestral and communal justice, which has been a means of resolving local issues within the Palenquera community for decades, under the guidance of traditional leaders.

Finally, be treated to a traditional lunch that will introduce you to local flavors  before returning to Cartagena. If time and energy permit, you will be taken to San Felipe Castle to explore the grounds. This stone fortress, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, was strategically built on the top of a hill to repel enemies and protect the city of Cartagena during many conflicts. It is considered one of the most impenetrable fortresses of the Spanish colonies since it was never overtaken.

Day 12: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Bid farewell to the hotel staff and transfer to the Cartagena airport in the afternoon for your return flight.

Accommodations

Bantu Boutique Hotel

Hotel Entrance
Hotel Reception Area
Hotel Colonial Architecture

Hotel Casa Deco

Hotel Casa Deco
Hotel Reception Area
Hotel Dining Area

Hotel Boutique Casa Grande

Hotel Main Entrance
Hotel Boutique Casa Grande Side View
Hotel Lounge Area

Casa Tayrona los Naranjos

Pool View
Side View
Pool View

Hotel Casa Terra

Hotel Casa Terra - Exterior
Hotel Casa Terra Public Area
Hotel Casa Terra Public Area

Casa Barichara Boutique

Casa Barichara Boutique - Pool View
Casa Barichara Boutique - Pool
Casa Barichara Boutique - Hammock Area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,342

Notes

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Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • 9 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
  • English speaking guides
  • Carbon Offsets
  • Bike & helmet per person
  • Entrance to Rio Fonce
  • All Required Safety Equipment
  • Entrance to Tayrona National Park
  • Street food tastings
  • Entrances to San Felipe Castle
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Airport Departure Tax
  • Internal Flights - Bucaramanga - Santa Marta

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
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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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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