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Classic Colombia

Discover the history, charms and rhythms of Colombia

    • Price £ 2,195 I
    • Please contact us for flights from your nearest airport
    • Single sup. £ 645 I
    • Duration : 15 days
  • Book now

INTRO

Start to discover this land of contrasts by soaking up the history of beautiful Bogota. Marvel at the architectural feat of the Salt Cathedral and learn the secrets of growing coffee in the verdant Coffee Triangle. Lose yourself in the historic city of Cartagena and admire the magnificent architecture that gives the city its UNESCO World Heritage status. Spot golden mantled howler monkeys and relax on the pristine beaches of Tayrona National Park. Finally wander the streets of Santa Marta, Colombia’s oldest colonial town, and unlock the best experiences Colombia has to offer.

DATES

  • 18 Nov 2017 to 02 Dec 2017
  • 03 Mar 2018 to 17 Mar 2018
  • 17 Nov 2018 to 01 Dec 2018

If these dates do not suit you but you are interested in this tour, please contact us for alternative dates.

HIGHLIGHTS

Wandering cosmopolitan Bogota

The colossal Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira

Rustic beauty of Villa de Leyva

Colonial villages in the Coffee Triangle

Marvel at Cartagena’s beautiful architecture

Relax on the stunning beaches of Parque Tayrona

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights (if relevant - refer to itinerary)
Accommodation
Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks

PLACES VISITED

Bogota - Salt Cathedral - Villa de Leyva - Armenia - Filandia and Salento - Valle de Cocora - Alcalá - Cartagena - Tayrona National Park
Bogota
Salt Cathedral
Villa de Leyva
Armenia
Filandia and Salento
Valle de Cocora
Alcalá
Cartagena
Tayrona National Park

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ACCOMMODATION



Contact us for a full accommodation list.

ITINERARY

Day 1 : Arrival
Arrive at the airport in Bogotá. Transfer to hotel.

Day 2 : La Candelaria
Spend the day touring La Candelaria, including the gold museum. Overnight in Bogota.

Day 3 : Salt Cathedral - Villa de Leyva
Transfer to Villa de Leyva, stopping at the Salt Cathedral on the way. Overnight in Villa de Leyva

Day 4 : Villa de Leyva
Spend half the day touring Villa de Leyva.

See all days >>

ITINERARY

Short | Detailed | PDF

Day 1 : Arrival

Arrive at the airport in Bogotá. Transfer to hotel.

Arrive at the airport in Bogotá where you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Bogotá

Meal plan : n/a


Day 2 : La Candelaria

Spend the day touring La Candelaria, including the gold museum. Overnight in Bogota.

Spend the day touring La Candelaria which is Bogotá’s old town, including the Gold Museum, Botero Museum and church in Monserratte from where you have excellent views of Bogota’s skyline.  Evening free. Overnight in Bogota.

Meal plan : Breakfast & lunch


Nestled high in the Andes at 2620 m. (8646 ft), Bogota, or Santafé de Bogotá to give it its full title, is a city of contrasts. It's a city of high-rise buildings standing next to colonial churches, museums and artisan cafés. Its influences range from Spanish and English to the Indian. It is a city of wild traffic and calm oases reflecting a bygone era. 

La Candelaria is Bogota's old town, a historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogotá. The architecture of the old houses, churches and buildings has Spanish Colonial and Baroque styles and it houses several universities, libraries and museums. This vibrant district hosts the Botero museum, which showcases not only the works of Colombia's most famous painter but also paintings by Monet and Picasso from Botero's private collection. The district is also home to the largest and most impressive Gold museum in the world with an enormous assortment of pre-Hispanic gold work, the church of Monserrate with its stunning views over the city as well as many government buildings and an array of cafés and restaurants to suit every taste.


Day 3 : Salt Cathedral - Villa de Leyva

Transfer to Villa de Leyva, stopping at the Salt Cathedral on the way. Overnight in Villa de Leyva

Transfer to Villa de Leyva, stopping at the Salt Cathedral on the way. Overnight in Villa de Leyva. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a Halite mountain. The name "Salt Cathedral" is mostly to attract tourists - while a functioning church that receives as many as 3,000 visitors on Sundays, it has no bishop and therefore no official status as a cathedral in Catholicism. The temple at the bottom has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus. The icons, ornaments and architectural details are hand carved in the halite rock. Some marble sculptures are included. At the entrance of the church, there are 14 small chapels, representing the stations of the cross, which illustrate the events of Jesus' last journey. Each station has a cross and several kneeling platforms carved into the halite structure. The Salt Cathedral is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture and has been denominated as a "Jewel of Modern Architecture". The cathedral represents for the Colombian people a valuable cultural, environmental and religious patrimony. The cathedral is part of a larger complex including "Parque de la Sal" (Salt Park), as well as a small museum of mining, mineralogy, geology and natural resources. 



Day 4 : Villa de Leyva

Spend half the day touring Villa de Leyva.

Spend half the day touring Villa de Leyva, one of the most picturesque colonial towns in Colombia. Visit the main square, the church and surrounding shops and restaurants. The afternoon is free to spend how you wish. Overnight in Villa de Leyva.

Meal plan : Breakfast & lunch


Declared a national monument in 1954, Villa De Leyva has been preserved in its entirety and virtually no modern architecture exists. The result is a colonial town par excellence - a place where the streets are still cobbled and the walls still whitewashed. Stroll through its unhurried streets where the locals will greet you with a welcoming smile. Swelled with visitors from Bogota on weekends, it is typically much quieter and more pleasant on weekdays.

Discovered in 1977 not far from Villa De Leyva, you can visit an incredible fossil of a Kronosaurus, the most complete Kronosaurus fossil in the world. The fossil of the 120m year old infant Kronosaurus measures about 7m (without the tail) and this incredible creature with his tail would have measured about 12m in length despite not having reached its teenage years. 



Day 5 : Armenia - Hacienda La Recuca

Transfer to the airport for flight to Armenia. Transfer to hotel and tour Hacienda La Recuca. Overnight in Filandia.

Transfer to the airport for flight to Armenia in the Coffee Region. Transfer to hotel and take a tour of the coffee plantations around Hacienda La Recuca. Overnight in Filandia.

Meal plan : Breakfast




Day 6 : The Coffee Triangle

Spend the day touring the Coffee Triangle. Overnight in Alcalá.

Spend the day touring the Coffee Triangle, visiting the coffee towns of Filandia and Salento. Also explore the Cocora Valley renowned for its endemic wax palm trees. Overnight in Alcalá.

Meal plan : Breakfast & lunch


Filandia and Salento are two small pretty colonial style villages set in stunning surroundings. Salento is the oldest village in the Quindio region with cobblestone streets and a wealth of restaurants, cafés and bars. Filandia is home to the beautiful María Inmaculada church and its streets are lined with colourful buildings with wooden balconies.

In a country full of beautiful landscapes, the Valle de Cocora still stands out. The valley stretches east of Salento into the lower reaches of Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, with a broad, green valley framed by sharp peaks. Everywhere you’ll see the famous wax palm, the largest palm in the world (up to 60 meters high) and Colombia’s national tree. Valle de Cocora is also home to a trout farm and the trout dishes are top quality. Local fauna includes mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, sloths, yellow-eared parrots, black-billed mountain-toucans, Andean condors and hummingbirds. It is a perfect area for hiking.





In a country full of beautiful landscapes, the Valle de Cocora still stands out. The valley stretches east of Salento into the lower reaches of Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, with a broad, green valley framed by sharp peaks.  Everywhere you’ll see the famous wax palm, the largest palm in the world (up to 60 meters high) and Colombia’s national tree. Valle de Cocora is also home to a trout farm and the trout dishes are top quality. Local fauna includes mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, sloths, yellow-eared parrots, black-billed mountain-toucans, Andean condors and hummingbirds. It is a perfect area for hiking.



Day 7 : Filandia

Free day in the Coffee Region. Overnight in Alcalá.

Free day to explore more of the Coffee Region – optional activities include walking, horse riding, etc. Overnight In Alcalá. 

Meal plan : Breakfast




Day 8 : Cartagena

Transfer to Cartagena. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Cartagena.

Transfer to the airport for flight to Cartagena. Transfer to hotel. Evening free. Overnight in Cartagena.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Day 9 : La Popa - Castilla San Felipe

Take a half day tour of La Popa and Castilla San Felipe. Overnight in Cartagena.

Take a half day tour of Cartagena, exploring the Old City, including La Popa an Castilla San Felipe. Your guide will explain the history of the fortress walls and the many monuments, plazas, and buildings within them. Afternoon free. Overnight in Cartagena

Meal plan : Breakfast


The Convento de La Popa sits on the tallest hill in Cartagena. It boasts the best views of the city as well as having the most beautiful cloisters in the country. Legend has it that the convent was founded by the Augustinian monk, Alonso Paredes, who was fasting in the desert when he had a vision in which the Virgin Mary demanded that he build a monastery on the tallest point in Cartagena. When he went to carry out the demands, he found that a pagan sect had already built a shrine on the same spot so he threw their idol from the top of La Popa and replaced it with a statue of the Virgin de la Candelaria which still stands there today.

Castilla San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress located on the Hill of San Lázaro built by the Spanish. It was built there because of its strategic location dominated access to the city by land or sea. The fortress has been expanded over the years and was named in honour of King Philip IV of Spain. It has been attacked many times throughout history by French, British and Spanish forces. The blocks used to build the castle are said to be splattered with the blood of slaves as Cartagena was a major port during the Slave Trade. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the rest of the city of Cartagena.

Day 10 : Cartagena

Free day to spend as you wish. Overnight in Cartagena.

Free day to spend exploring Cartagena as you wish. Overnight in Cartagena. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


Meander through Cartagena’s picture-perfect streets, and admire the city that is famous for both its beauty and its history. Founded in 1533, Cartagena became the main port on the Caribbean coast during Spanish rule. Treasure was stored in the city until it could be taken to Spain and for this reason, in the 16th century, Cartagena suffered five sieges including one led by Francis Drake in 1586. This is why the Spaniards then built the forts (Fuertes) and walls (Las Murallas) that still encompass the old town. The Puerta Del Reloj (Clock Gate) signifies the entrance to the inner part of the walled city, also called Calamari. Just behind this is the Plaza de los Coches which used to serve as a slave market. The Plaza de la Aduana and Plaza de Bolivar also have fascinating historical context as well as the numerous churches, museums, convents and monuments. 

 



Day 11 : Tayrona National Park

Transfer to Tayrona National Park. Overnight in Tayrona National Park.

Transfer to Tayrona National Park, the most spectacular national park in Colombia with beach and jungle side-by-side. Overnight in Tayrona National Park. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


Parque Nacional Tayrona is one of Colombia’s most popular national parks. It is on the jungle-covered coast east of Santa Marta. Tayrona was once inhabited by the Tayrona indigenous people before they were forced out. The only remnants of their civilisation are the ruins of the town Chairama (Pueblito) which is pre-Hispanic and is thought to have been the central settlement for the Tayrona people. The coast in Arrecifes is spectacular and is dotted with massive boulders. A 40 minute walk on from here is the beautiful cape, Cabo San Juan de la Guia

Day 12 : Tayrona

Free day to spend at your leisure. Overnight in Tayrona National Park.

Free day to spend at your leisure, relax on the beach or swim in the sea. There is also the opportunity to trek through the jungle to look for the wide variety of wildlife living in the park and explore the indigenous Tayrona ruins of Chairma. Overnight in Tayrona National Park. 

Meal plan : Breakfast


Day 13 : Tayrona

Free day to spend as you wish. Overnight in Tayrona National Park.

Free day. Overnight in Tayrona National Park.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Day 14 : Bogota

Transfer to Bogotá. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Bogotá.

Transfer to the airport for flight to Bogotá. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Bogotá.

Meal plan : Breakfast


Day 15 : Departure

Transfer to airport to depart.

Transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.

Meal plan : Breakfast


ENQUIRIES






















TELEPHONE
020 7183 6371
POST
Riverbank House
1 Putney Bridge Approach
London SW6 3BQ
EMAIL
info@traveltheunknown.com
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