tagline
Loading
Page image

Colombia Tours & Tailormade Holidays

Group Tours    Regional Descriptions    Colombian Cuisine    Tailormade Options    Route Map

With both a Caribbean and Pacific coastline, dense Amazon jungle, beautiful colonial towns, ancient civilisations, stunning deserts and the friendliest people in South America, Colombia is a country ripe for discovery.

Read our Colombia Blog

Matthew Parris (Writer, The Times)
"Colombia is an amazing country. It is varied, hospitable and exhilarating. Travel the Unknown know this country very well and you simply couldn't be in better hands."

Group Tours

These following tours are all scheduled group tours. If the dates do not suit you or you want to do them on a private basis please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

1
2
3
4
5
6
Tour Country Dates Days Price
Classic Colombia
Discover the history, charms and rhythms of Colombia

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
18 Nov 2017
03 Mar 2018
17 Nov 2018
15 £ 2,195
Colombia Adrenalin Rush
Rafting, rappelling and paragliding in Santander

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
Contact us for details
8 £ 1,245
Colombian Odyssey
An epic journey through north and south Colombia

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
19 Oct 2017
25 Jan 2018
12 Apr 2018
18 Oct 2018
21 £ 3,775
Culture & Birds of Colombia
A gentle intro to Colombia's birds and historical sights

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
Contact us for details
15 £ 3,295
Festivals of Colombia
Experience the Blancos y Negros Carnival

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
27 Dec 2017
26 Dec 2018
15 £ 2,895
Lost City Trek
The most intrepid trek of all

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
Contact us for details
7 £ 1,075


Regional Descriptions

Southern Colombia

Southern Colombia is a region of great diversity, with a wealth of landscapes, peoples and cultures. Few outsiders have discovered this beautiful area, where captivating cities with ancient monuments meet spectacular wildlife havens and mud volcanoes.

Bogota

Elegant churches, world-class museums, excellent shopping and an exciting nightlife make Bogota captivatingly cosmopolitan. The city`s Gold Museum is the best in the world, offering a unique insight into the history, origins and traditions of this intricate craft. Walk or take the cable-car to Monserrate church for stunning cityscapes. Wander through the historic Candelaria area and admire the colourful mishmash of architectural styles. Bogota is constantly developing as a city, but while progressing toward the future it has still retained its fascinating history, keeping traditions alive.

The Salt Cathedral

The Salt Cathedral at Zipaquira, found underground inside a salt mine, is an impressive architectural feat measuring 75m long by 18m high. Lying 200m below ground, this Roman Catholic church is testament to the faith and perseverance of the miners. Built in 1932, the church houses three rooms showing the birth, life and death of Jesus. Quietly wander the grounds and feel the charming atmosphere of this unique phenomenon.

Villa De Leyva

The whole town of Villa De Leyva has been a national monument since 1954, and is almost completely unspoiled by modern architecture. With its meandering, cobblestone streets, this colonial town seems to have escaped the hands of time. Locals will greet you with a welcoming smile.

The Coffee Triangle

Dotted with fincas (traditional farmhouses), the coffee triangle is one of the greenest and most beautiful regions of Colombia. This area not only boasts beautiful scenery, a quaint way of life and picture-postcard villages, but is also home to the spectacular Parque Nacional los Nevados, which contains active volcanoes, snow-capped peaks and lunar-like landscapes. Take a dip in the thermal springs on your way back from the park to reinvigorate for the rest of the adventure ahead.

The 'White City' of Popayan

Partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1983, the town`s administration had the foresight to devote lengthy time and care to Popayan's reconstruction, and two decades later there is almost no evidence of damage to the stunning, almost uniform-white streets. Filled with impressive churches and colonial architecture, it`s easy to spend hours wandering around this tranquil town where every beautiful street leads onto another.

San Agustin

San Agustin is one of the true gems of Colombia - a village blessed with stunning scenery, a fascinating history and an environment perfect for hiking, horse riding and rafting. The archaeological park displays incredible statues of a lost civilisation still shrouded in mystery. Here folklore meets infectiously friendly and welcoming locals, and you`ll see why many consider San Agustin a paradise on Earth.

Tatacoa Desert

Squeezed between the cloud basin of Cordillera Central and the dense Amazon basin, Tatacoa boasts an ecosystem dramatically different from anywhere else in Colombia. Though technically a dry tropical forest, Tatacoa certainly feels like a desert with its abundance of fruit-bearing cacti and beautiful, barren landscapes. This little-seen area is as serene and tranquil as it is charming. Take a dip in the open-air swimming pool in the heart of the desert, looking out for turtles, lizards and eagles as you drive through the desert in an open-air buggy. Wander at dusk through the beautiful sparseness of El Cuzco.

Other regions of Colombia

The Amazon

This incredible tour will take you into the heart of the Amazon as you trek through an uninhabited region of Amazonian jungle. Take a boat to discover remote Amazonian tribes, look out for monkeys, alligators, turtles, jaguars, eagles, parrots, anacondas and pink Amazonian dolphins. Shower in a waterfall and sleep in hammocks and traditional wooden cabins.

Caribbean Islands of San Andrés & Providencia

Discover another side to Colombia on the beautiful islands of San Andrés and Providencia. The slow pace of life and welcome of the friendly locals on these islands will soon soothe all travel weariness. Take the opportunity to go for a boat trip, go snorkeling or diving, horse riding, hiking, or simply relax on the beach.

La Ciudad Perdida

The famous La Ciudad Perdida (Lost City Trek) is the highlight of many people`s Colombian adventure. Discovered as recently as 1975 by treasure hunters, the city had vanished from all maps for centuries. Six days of trekking through jungle, wading through rivers, and finally, climbing the thousand steps to the magical Lost City makes for an incredible experience. Learn about the history of the Tayrona people, who built the city between the 11th and 14th centuries as you enjoy this exhilarating and intrepid adventure.

Cartagena & the Caribbean Coast

Cartagena, a fairy-tale city of legends is the poster-boy of Colombian tourism. A UNESCO Heritage Site, it boasts stunning colonial architecture, leafy balconies, cobbled alleys, giant churches and open-air cafes in mellow plazas. This is a city to wander endlessly and randomly - as there`s something new and interesting around every corner. Head north of Cartagena and take a dip in a mud volcano with magical healing powers!

Santander

Get your adrenaline rush in Colombia`s adventure sports capital. Whether you fancy taking on the rapids, climbing up challenging rock faces, riding horseback through rugged country or want to get a bird`s eye view whilst paragliding, San Gil has it all. If you prefer something more leisurely, visit the quaint plaza and its striking 18th century stone cathedral, or go for a stroll in Parque El Gallineral, which is set on an island and dotted with silver-branched trees.


Colombian Cuisine

Visiting Colombia is a captivating experience from a culinary perspective. The diversity of traditions from the mix of the country`s Spanish, African and indigenous people are reflected in the exquisite cuisine.

Colombian food is varied, with strong influences from its Creole roots. From guinea pig (a favourite in the Andes) to lobster (on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts) or a typical meal of meat or chicken served alongside frijoles (kidney beans) or lentils, fried plantain, rice and salad, there is something for everyone. Seafood on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts is plentiful, fresh and delicious. Coffee is ubiquitous and always tasty and rich. However, the real delight is the fruit, which is delicious and found everywhere in many endemic varieties. The tropical blend of guanabana, papaya and guava is just one of the fruit mixes that awaits you.

Colombia`s national tipple, Aguardiente, flavoured with anise, is typically bought by the bottle or half bottle, and people usually drink it in shots. Each region has its own Aguardiente: `Antioqueño` from Antioquia, `Cristal` from Caldas, `Quindiano` from Quindío, `Blanco del Valle` from Valle del Cauca and `Nectar` from Cundinamarca. Regional pride runs strong and no visit to Colombia is complete without an Aguardiente evening. There is also an excellent variety of rum throughout the country, such as `Ron Medellin Añejo` from Antioquia and `Ron Viejo de Caldas` from Caldas.


Tailormade Options

For a private and personal experience we can arrange a bespoke tailormade trip to cater specifically to your needs. Please review our group tours for tailormade ideas and complete our online tailormade enquiry form to let us know what you are looking to do and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Wildlife & Birding

For Colombia’s best wildlife spotting opportunities and
a chance to discover a real, unexploited part of the Amazon try our Amazon Adventure tour which can also run on a private basis. Whale-watching can be arranged on Colombia’s little visited Pacific coast where thousands of humpbacks are usually found from July to September.

Birders will probably know that Colombia boasts the highest number of bird species in the world. Head to the Eastern and Central Andes to observe such species as the endangered Yellow-eared Parrot and the Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant or head to the Pacific Chocó to glimpse Great Curassow, Plumbeous Hawk and many more.

Hiking, Diving & Active

As well as the iconic Lost City trek, Colombia also boasts some other superb locations for trekking including remote Cocuy National Park. The landscape is breathtaking and the adventurous can embark on one to nine day hikes here. The vast canyon of Chicamocha in Santander has one of Colombia’s most spectacular cable car rides. Colombia also boasts excellent diving - from more budget-friendly options at Taganga (near Santa Marta) to the incredibly rich and clear Caribbean waters of San Andrés and Providencia. There are unique and exciting diving options for amateurs and experienced divers alike.

For adventure sports San Gil in Santander is the place to head to. Whether you fancy taking on the rapids, rappelling down waterfalls, riding on mules through rugged country or want to get a bird’s eye view whilst paragliding, Santander has it all. Finally, horse-riding can be arranged around Villa De Leyva as well as around San Agustin, and golf, now blossoming in Colombia with over 50 unique courses across the country, can also be arranged.

Coffee & Cuisine

One of the largest coffee producers in the world, Colombian coffee is also amongst the finest in quality. Stay in traditional fincas (farm houses), learning about the intricacies of coffee production. Ride horses through plantations, encounter endemic wax palm trees and visit the quaint coffee towns of Filandia and Salento.
For foodies Colombia offers a whole range of possibilities. Learn to cook Caribbean style with a cooking class in Cartagena, or local Colombian dishes like Ajiajo, a chicken stew, in Manizales. Experience the cutting edge of Colombian cuisine in the upscale dining area of Zona Rosa in Bogota.

Luxury & Honeymoon

If you are looking for a Colombia tour with a touch of class let us come up with a plan to suit your specific interests, with some beautiful and memorable places to stay as well. Unwind in an eco-retreat surrounded by dramatic beaches and exotic rainforests in Tayrona National Park, relax in a beautiful converted farmhouse in the coffee region or pamper yourself in a grand colonial property overlooking the hypnotic cityscape of colourful Cartagena de Indias.

City Breaks

Whether you like to explore cities by yourself,
or have our expert guides show you some hidden secrets, Colombia boasts some lively and interesting cities. Live the high life in Bogota with world-class museums, cultural attractions and restaurants, or dance the night away to the famous Salsa rhythms of Cali. Why not explore Medellin, the hometown of Colombia’s most famous artist, Botero, and enjoy the cultured vibe of this city? Finally no trip to Colombia is complete without exploring the beautiful alleys and plazas of Cartagena de Indias.

Festivals

Head South to Pasto for the colourful Blancos y Negros carnival, in early January. Make sure to wear old clothes and stock up on white powder before joining in the celebrations at this quirky festival. For something a little more boisterous, party with Colombians at the Barranquilla Carnival, Latin America’s second largest after Rio De Janeiro’s (in late February or early March).
For more cultural options why not indulge your literary appetites at Cartagena’s Hay Festival in late January or early February, or celebrate Medellin’s famous Festival of Flowers in early August.

Beach

Blessed with a Caribbean and a Pacific coast Colombia is not short of beach options. The
most impressive include Parque Tayrona, combining some spectacular beaches with
a national park. The Caribbean islands of San Andrés and Providencia offer some stunning remote beach options with opportunities to dive, hike, ride a horse or just relax on their spectacular azure shores.

La Guajira

Desert wilderness and indigenous culture distance this north-easterly department from
the rest of Colombia. Expansive beaches backed by sand dunes provide relief from the heat of the day, whilst hammocks and traditional dwellings are the accommodation option en-route. Famous for its salt flats and flocks of wild flamingos, all
of which can be seen during a three or four day itinerary, La Guajira is a location for those looking for adventure.

Click to enlarge route map






Watch our Colombia Video:









Sarah Woods (Author, Bradt Guide)
"Getting under the skin of the real Colombia & discovering new exciting attractions is something I know Travel the Unknown is truly passionate about."




Macaws




Barranquilla




Liza Zardoni (Lost City Trek)
"Thanks for making my trip possible and so successful in such a short time. I loved every single second and the trek to the Lost City is amazing. Would do it again in this precise moment. And Colombia was a pleasant surprise, the country is incredible and really safe against the common stereotypes. It is a place I would be happy to live in, with the good weather, the colours and on particular the music. The food was incredible and freshly cooked. I am normally a fussy eater but I had every single meal almost cleaning the plate every time! Really enjoyed the fresh fruit supplied during the breaks. The package was excellent considering the very short notice. I was impressed by the efficiency and the great communication."




Sanaugustin




waterfall




James & Margaret Stewart (Tailormade Colombia)
"We have just returned from a three week trip to Colombia organised on a private basis by Travel the Unknown. This followed our tours with them to both Eastern and Western Turkey in 2015 and to Iran in 2014. We view all three trips as great successes, wherein everything that was promised, was delivered. We will be planning further trips with them."




colombian food




colombian drink




Albert Chau (Festivals of Colombia)
"There have been so many highlights on our 15-day trip to Colombia: the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, Colonial towns of Villa de Leyva and Cartagena, learning about the coffee culture, the wonderfully crazy Carnaval de Negros Y Blancos at Pasto to name a few. The guides were friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to introduce us to the local culture, making this one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken."

Private & Tailormade Tour Options

The following tours can be run as private tours. They can also be customised, extended, shortened etc. or combined with a group tour to give you the perfect tour. Contact us and let us know how we can help you. Alternatively if you are interested in any of the trips below as a group tour, let us know and we will endeavour to make that happen. Prices shown are per person, based on 2 people travelling.

7
8
Tour Country Dates Days Price
Amazon Adventure
Venture into the heart of the Amazon

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
Contact us for details
7 £ 1,695
Caribbean Chillout
Idyllic beaches, water sports and great seafood

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Colombia
Contact us for details
6 £ 1,295

Extensions & Ideas

These trips are intended either as extensions to group tours or to use as inspiration for ideas for tailormade tours. They can also be used for ideas of things to do on a private tour. Please contact us if you have any questions

Tour Country Dates Days Price