Black & White Carnival


Culture | Festivals

Get carried away at Carnaval de Negros y Blancos

16 days £3,995 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Intro, Dates & Prices


Get into the festive spirit with the Negros y Blancos Carnival in Pasto, a celebration of the diversity of Colombian culture. Watch elaborate floats in the colourful Grand Parade and lose yourself in the rhythms of traditional Colombian music. Pre-carnival, discover Bogotá's excellent museums, wander the cobbled streets of Villa de Leyva, admire the colossal Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá and discover how coffee is grown in the verdant Coffee Triangle. Appreciate the beautiful colonial architecture of Cartagena and experience the vibrant culture and warm welcome of Colombia and its people.


  • Wander cosmopolitan Bogotá
  • The internationally acclaimed Museo Botero
  • The colossal Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira
  • Rustic beauty of Villa de Leyva
  • Colonial villages in the Coffee Triangle
  • Catch the vibe at the Blancos & Negros festival in Pasto
  • The “White City” of Popayán
  • Marvel at Cartagena’s beautiful architecture

Places Visited

Bogotá - Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá - Villa de Leyva - Pereira - Colombia's Coffee Triangle - Valle de Cocora - Filandia & Salento - Pasto - Popayán - Cartagena

What's Included

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

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Day 1 : Arrival in Bogotá

Arrival to El Dorado airport in Bogotá on an international flight. You will be greeted by a Travel The Unknown representative and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá , Bureau Room

Meal plan: n/a

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

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Day 2 : Bogotá: Full-day city tour and museums

Enjoy a full-day visit to La Candelaria, the historic centre of Bogotá . Admire the Spanish colonial influence evident in the civic architecture. Fan out from central Plaza de Bolivar to urban landmarks, such as the Palace of Justice, the Town Hall, San Bartolomé's Academy, and the Casa de los Comuneros, commemorating  late 17th century proto-independence leaders. 

The visit continues to the Botero Museum, a treasure trove of a house exhibiting Fernando Botero's own artwork, alongside works from his own personal collection that includes works by great European impressionists and cubists. Next is the Gold Museum. As its name suggest, it contains a permanent exhibition of some 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles all precious to the Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena cultures.

Later, enjoy lunch in one of Bogota's enduring symbols, Monserrate's Sanctuary. From there, board a cable car to the colossal heights of Monserrate for a bird's eye view over Bogotá on one side and the Andes on the other.

Continue on down Carrera 7, one of Bogotá’s principal avenues and a critical supply line in and out of the then provincial capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. Today the old royal highway stands at the junction of urban features and styles both old and new.

End your introduction to Colombia's sky-high capital in Usaquén, a colonial district that was formerly a town in its own right but has now been absorbed into the suburban sprawl. Feel its quirky atmosphere: rural, colonial, and at the same time modern.

End back at your Bogotá hotel. 

Overnight in Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá , Bureau Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

The Plaza de Bolívar, previously known as the Plaza Mayor, was used for civil and military purposes, as a marketplace, at one time as a bullring and also as a gallows. The Cathedral, on the eastern side of the plaza, is built on the remains of Bogotá's first church, constructed in 1539, and houses an important collection of religious artefacts including textiles and artwork that has been collected over four centuries. The Capitol, built between 1847 and 1926, shows renaissance and neoclassical influences with carved stonework and tall columns. Around the Plaza de Bolívar are the Palacio de Justicia, the Mayor of Bogotá’s offices (the Edificio Liévano), the oldest school in the country, San Bartolomé, and the Casa de los Comuneros, so named to honour one of the earliest movements for independence from Spain towards the end of the 17th century.

The Museo Botero is a colonial house in Bogotá filled with works of art created and donated by the renowned Colombian painter and sculptor, Fernando Botero. The museum houses one of Latin America's most important international art collections. There are over 100 of Botero's works on show, in addition to artwork from his own personal collection that includes pieces by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti.

Bogotá's Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) has a permanent exhibition of approximately 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles: all of incalculable value to the Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena cultures. The Museo del Oro is considered as one of the most important museums of its kind internationally and has been functioning since 1939. In 2007 it underwent a complete overhaul to make it an interactive museum that brings the objects on display to life.

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Day 3 : Bogotá - Salt Cathedral - Villa de Leyva

Depart Bogotá and head north through the Bogota Savannah towards Zipaquirá. Named in honour of a Muisca tribal chieftain, soon you'll reach the impressive Salt Cathedral, a true achievement of engineering. Enter this saline labyrinth, artificially lit in such a way as to contemplate the relationship between man and nature, and all things cosmic. On reaching the central nave containing the main altar, you don't have to be religious to be awed by the sight of the world's largest salt cross.

Continue onto the mine's improbable auditorium, used to host film screenings and events such as fashion shows. End at the mirror pool tripping the light fantastic.

Continue on to Villa de Leyva, a living relic of Spain's golden age of colonisation. Its cobbled main square evokes a quiet Cusco or a larger Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival to Villa de Leyva check in at the hotel.


Overnight in Posada de San Antonio, Villa de Leyva , Standard Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 metres under a halite mountain. The name Zipaquirá refers to Zipa, the leader of the Muisca tribe and the chief of these rich salt mines. The name 'Salt Cathedral' is used principally to attract tourists; although it is a functioning church that receives up to 3,000 visitors on Sundays, it has no bishop and therefore no official status as a cathedral in Catholicism. The icons, ornaments and architectural details of the cathedral are hand-carved in the halite rock and impressive marble sculptures are on display within. At the entrance, there are 14 small chapels, representing the Stations of the Cross and illustrating the events of Jesus' last journey. The main altar is found in the central nave, above which is the largest cross made of salt in the world, measuring 16 metres high and 10 metres wide, made by the Colombian artist Carlos Enrique Rodriguez. The Salt Cathedral is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture and has been designated 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.

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Day 4 : Villa de Leyva

Uncover first-timer secrets of Villa de Leyva, including the Colonial Art Museum, the Monastery and Convent del Carmen and the Museum of Maestro Acuña, exhibiting works by a Bachue art movement that sought to recover its Chibcha indigenous roots. Folllow on with a visit to the Fossil Museum, built on the exact site where a 120 million year-old kronosaurus was discovered.

Return to Villa de Leyva for an evening of leisure.

Overnight in Posada de San Antonio, Villa de Leyva , Standard Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

Declared a national monument in 1954, the beautiful town of Villa de Leyva was founded in 1572 by Hernàn Suàrez de Villalobos, who named it after Andrès Dìas Venero de Leyva, the first president of Nueva Granada. In colonial times, Villa de Leyva played a central role in independence developments, and the Viceroy and his entourage spent much time here. To this day, the town has been preserved in its entirety; 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 Bogotá on weekends, it is typically much quieter and more pleasant on weekdays.

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Day 5 : Villa de Leyva - Bogotá - Pereira

After breakfast, return to Bogotá. On the way, break at the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo. Founded by the Dominicans in 1620, this was an important point of evangelization in a region populated by indigenous communities. The tour ends at Bogotá Airport for your departure flight to Pereira in the evening.

On arrival in Pereira, you will be met and transferred to your hotel to check-in. A special New Year's Eve dinner and celebration is included at your hotel this evening. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara, Pereira , Classic Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Pereira is the capital city of the department of Risaralda in Colombia. Bang in the heart of the western region of the country, Pereira lies in a small valley branching off the western Andes mountain chain. An urban centre in a coffee-producing region, this regional capital is a principal gateway into a verdant region

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Day 6 : Valle del Cocora, Filandia and Salento

After breakfast, leave for the Valle de Cocora, located in the central mountains of the department of Quindío. This forms part of the Parque Nacional de los Nevados and is the ideal place to marvel at the “Quindian wax palm” (Ceroxylon quincense), the national tree of Colombia. This tree can reach a staggering height of 60m. Around here a great number of species of birds live, in particular some types of hummingbird and the orejíamarillo or the palm parrot (Ognorhynchus icteroti), which is endangered.

Upon arrival in the valley, either hiking or on horseback (not included), head into the cloud forest to enjoy the biodiversity of flora and fauna. On the return journey, cross the River Quindío while walking along an ecological pathway which takes one past the tallest wax palms in the world. Learn why the indigenous people here worshipped this tree. Then you can have a typical lunch and enjoy some free time here.

In the afternoon, continue 10 km towards the traditional town of Salento to enjoy a city tour that visits the Plaza de Bolívar with its colorful balconies, the Calle Real, the handicrafts shops and the Cocora viewpoint. Then, transfer to the traditional village of Filandia to enjoy a city tour that includes the viewpoint, the colonial homes, the Plaza de Bolivar and the coffee shops. Here, enjoy some time soaking up the regional atmosphere and perhaps some local spirits before returning to Pereira. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara, Pereira , Classic Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

 In a country full of beautiful landscapes, the Valle de Cocora stands out as one of the most picturesque. The valley stretches east of Salento into the lower reaches of Parque Nacional Natural de los Nevados. Everywhere, you’ll see the famous Quindian wax palm, Colombia’s national tree and the largest palm in the world (up to 60 metres tall). Valle de Cocora is also home to a trout farm and the trout dishes are particularly good. The endemic fauna is semi-mythical:  mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, sloths, yellow-eared parrots, black-billed mountain-toucans, Andean condors and hummingbirds. Wow!

Filandia and Salento are two small pretty colonial style villages in the coffee region of Colombia, both 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. Its streets lined with colourful buildings with wooden balconies.

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Day 7 : Pereira - Buenavista - Coffee Processing at Finca del Café

Half day visiting the Finca del Café, a place where coffee tastes better when you live the experience of the farm! Once you reach the farm, the tour begins with an expert who will take you through the coffee plantations, showing you the process from planting, manual picking and pulping. After this, you will toast the beans of special coffee in a wood stove in the typical kitchen of the country house. During the tour, you will have several stations with viewpoints made of bamboo where you can appreciate the coffee landscape and the natural environment of the place. Finally, you will observe to the innovative drying process of the coffee bean and then visit the coffee processing centre. The tour includes three drinks of freshly roasted coffee grown at the Finca del Café. Lunch and transfer to the hotel. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara, Pereira , Classic Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

Colombia's coffee triangle is so named for the triangle formed by the region's three main towns - Armenia, Manizales and Pereira. Between these is the region that produces the majority of Colombia's coffee - arguably the best coffee in the world. Coffee growing contributes to more than one in three jobs in agriculture in Colombia, and coffee is an integral part of Colombian life and culture. UNESCO inscribed Colombia's "Coffee Cultural Landscape" into its World Heritage List in 2011. 

The harvest in Colombia takes around a year, although the main period is between October and May/June. Most of the plantations in Colombia cultivate Arabica beans, which produce a delicate and light-tasting coffee that is widely recognised and consumed. The process begins when the bean is planted and takes approximately 75 days to germinate. The seedling is then placed in a plastic bag and placed in partial sunlight until its base dries. Two years after plantation, the tree bears its first fruit, which is harvested when the bean is red in colour, dry and ripe. Once the fruit has been picked, the pulp is stripped away and the bean is cleaned and dried in the sun (the big haciendas now use special machinery to strip and dry the beans quickly). The beans are dried or exported in preparation for sale, before being ground up and prepared for human consumption. 


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Day 8 : Pereira - Pasto

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Pereira for the departure flight to Pasto via Bogotá.

Upon arrival, transfer and check in at the hotel. In the afternoon, transfer to visit the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora of Las Lajas. During a 2-hour journey, you will be able to appreciate a beautiful and typical landscape of the Nariño Andean area known as "Tapiz de retazos” (the patchwork of tapestry) or "the green of all colours". 7 km from Ipiales is the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora of Las Lajas with a height of 2,612 metres above sea level, a jewel of architecture and religiosity of the country. It is classified as the second wonder of Colombia and in 2015 the British newspaper The Telegraph named it the most beautiful temple in the world. Descend by cable car to the Sanctuary, enter the museum and visit the church.

In the evening, you can enjoy a show when the lights of the Sanctuary are lit. Walk up from the Sanctuary to the parking area and back to Pasto. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Cuellars, Pasto , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 9 : Pasto: Full day Carnival "Familia Castañeda"

The Carnival of Blacks and Whites was designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009. After breakfast, you will have the chance to participate in the parade to celebrate the arrival of the Castañeda family in San Juan de Pasto in 1929. This family was composed of colourful characters and the legend tells that the family went on a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Las Lajas. In this parade there are dance groups, costumed groups and people who represent the characters of a traditional family. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Cuellars, Pasto , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (or Blacks and Whites' Carnival in English) is the largest and most important celebration in southern Colombia celebrated in the city of Pasto. It's celebrated from 2 to 7 January of each year and in 2009 was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The Origins of the modern festival date back to 1912 but its roots go back much longer and have their traditions in indigenous cultures.

The processions begin on January 4th with the Arrival of the Castañeda Family, a colourful family who were believed to be pilgrims heading to Las Lajas. The parade includes various characters including a flamboyant grandmother, a daughter dressed in white, ready for marriage but clearly pregnant, mischievous children and a drunk priest!

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Day 10 : Pasto: Blacks Day and visit to La Cocha

After breakfast, visit to Nariño Square to enjoy the blacks day with locals. In the main streets of the city, people celebrate that all of us are equal, no matter the colour of our skin, by painting their friends' faces with black colours.

Then leaving Pasto along the road that leads to the department of Putumayo, is located "Laguna de la Cocha" or Lake Guamuez, a place full of charm, magic, energy and natural beauty, located 40 minutes from Pasto. La Cocha, which in the Quechua language translates to 'lake', is the second most important water expanse in the country, after the Laguna de Tota in Boyacá, and has an ecosystem where the lowest moors in the world are found, which are only at heights higher than 3,000 m.a.s.l.

Arrival to the path of El Puerto, characterised by its picturesque bridges and houses built in wood and flowers hanging from the balconies. Visit to a typical Nariñense peasant house which is attended by its owners, who will show you the water births, their organic crops, their home garden, the guinea pig farms and will invite you a typical drink accompanied by the gastronomy of the region. Peasant families have left behind the indiscriminate forest felling and are now protecting the environment and nature, by turning their properties in a natural reserve.

Afterwards you will head to Isla Larga where you will find floating trout hatcheries, feed the animals and enjoy lunch. Take a boat around the Laguna de la Cocha and visit the Sanctuary of Flora and Fauna on the island of La Corota, the smallest natural reserve in the system of National Parks, which is home to an invaluable amount of animal species and vegetables. Return to Pasto and overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Cuellars, Pasto , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

January 5th is Blacks' Day. This day marks the date when African slaves were free to indulge their playful outbursts. People polish their faces black and go out to celebrate in the streets. By tradition, the Queen of Carnival travels through the city in a convoy, distributing black cosmetics. The cosmetics serves like a mask in order to homogenize all social classes and ethnic groups as one great family settled on the slopes of Taita Urcunina, but it also gives people the freedom to be more playful than they normally would. Throughout the day, orchestras play in various city parks.

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Day 11 : Pasto: Whites Day

After breakfast, you will have the chance to enjoy the main event of the carnival where the artisans show the work that they have made for an entire year in the traditional float parade composed by the greatest and most colourful creations. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Hotel Cuellars, Pasto , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

January 6th is Whites' Day, also known as the "Great Parade". In contrast to the previous day, people are painted white generally with talcum powder, flour, cream or cosmetics. The main attraction is the Grand Parade, snaking along for nearly 7 km on a path of about 15 km, running through the streets of the downtown, the Plaza del Carnaval (Carnival Plaza) and various avenues along the so-called Senda del Carnaval (Carnival Path). The majority of the city's citizens and a handful of tourists and visitors crowd the streets to witness this parade, cheering and throwing confetti or streamers, and dancing to traditional songs and rhythms.

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Day 12 : Pasto - Popayán

After breakfast, leave on an approximately 6-hour transfer to Popayán, the capital of the department of Cauca. Upon arrival, half day visit to the historic centre of town founded in 1537, concentrating on Parque Caldas. Around the Parque Caldas are the main religious and government edifices, as well as the city’s original buildings such as the Torre del Reloj, considered one of the symbols of the city, built between 1673 and 1682 and set in 1737. Continue towards the Puente de Humilladero, built in 1873 to facilitate access from the city centre to El Callejón (currently barrio Bolívar) up a steep rise, particularly for those pilgrims making the journey on their knees.

The Morro de Tulcán, Popayán’s main archaeological site, is next and consists of a pre-Columbian truncated pyramid. Visit the Iglesia de Santo Domingo, a baroque style church designed by the Spanish architect Antonio García and commissioned by the Arboleda family, the Iglesia de San Francisco, considered the most beautiful baroque church in town, and the Panteón de los Próceres. Resting in the pantheon are the remains of some of the most illustrious sons of Popayán, including Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera and the botanist Francisco José de Caldas. Visit the Museo de Arte Religioso, which houses an interesting collection of religious art, and the Casa Museo Mosquera, the Settecento style house that belonged to General Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera. Overnight stay.

Overnight in La Plazuela, Popayán , Standard Room

Meal plan: Breakfast

Popayán was founded in the year 1537 by Sebastián de Belalcázar. Its beautiful white colonial houses lend Popayán the epithet of White City.

Popayán has played a major role in Colombia's history dating back to the early days of the Spanish conquest right up to the twentieth century. A number of Colombian presidents were born there, including, most recently, Guillermo Leon Valencia who was in power from 1962 to 1966. In 2005, Popayán became the first city to be designated a City of Gastronomy as part of the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative. Typical local dishes come from a legacy of Spanish and indigenous cultural interaction: a delightful fusion of special ingredients and cooking styles from the region with fruits brought from Spain. Popayán is also widely known for the solemnity of its Easter processions, during which it commemorates the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Since the 16th century processions have passed through Popayán's historical downtown. During Easter week, the old town is also home to the Festival de Música Religiosa (Festival of Religious Music), which began in the 1960s. Partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1983, Popayán’s administration had the foresight to take their time with its reconstruction. Two decades on and there is almost no evidence of damage to its white-paved streets. Rich with impressive churches and colonial architecture, it’s easy to spend hours wandering around a magical little town where one elegant street leads onto another.

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Day 13 : Popayán - Silvia - Cartagena

The department of Cauca is home to the best organised and representative ethnic groups in the country and on this occasion, you will visit Silvia, the center of Guambiana culture. A member of the Cabildo Governor (Indigenous State organ) and a traditional doctor give you a tour through the Guambia shelter, explaining about their social organisation, modes of production and traditional medicine of this indigenous people.

Have a musical welcome with a group of chirimía (traditional indigenous music performed with flute and drum) and a changuar tasting (indigenous liqueur). The traditional doctor will receive you and after a "Cleaning Ceremony", he will share his knowledge about the sanitary powers of plants. Visit Casa Payan, an area where you immerse yourself in the cosmogonic concept of the Guambiana culture.

Then, transfer to the airport for the departure flight to Cartagena via Bogotá. Upon arrival, transfer and hotel check-in. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Kartaxa Lifestyle Hotel, Cartagena , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 14 : Cartagena: Half-day Panoramic City Tour

Start with a panoramic view of the city from the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa, formerly known as the “Popa del Galeon” and famous for resembling the stern of a galleon. Constructed in 1606, this church and monastery are located at a height of 140 m.a.s.l. from where one can enjoy 360º views of the city and the sea as well as the port zone, one of the most important in the Caribbean.

Continuing to the San Felipe fortress, erected in honor of the poet from Cartagena, Don Luis Carlos López, made famous for his sonnet “A mi ciudad nativa”. It was built on San Lázaro hill to defend the city from pirate attacks. Walk around the fortress and learn about how the castle was constructed, the engineering feats, the tunnels, underground galleries and passageways.

Then, go on to the Ciudad Vieja (old city) to visit the Convent and Church of the San Pedro Claver compound which was built in the middle of the 17th century and owes its name to the “apóstol de los esclavos”. Lastly, follow to the handicrafts zone of the Bovedas, a collection of archways built into the city wall of Cartagena and that were used until the end of the 1700s to house armaments and then later as a prison in the 19th century. Nowadays it’s an artisan centre to appreciate local handcraft. The afternoon is free for individual activities. Overnight stay.

Overnight in Kartaxa Lifestyle Hotel, Cartagena , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

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Day 15 : Cartagena: Day at leisure

Free day in Cartagena to wander the city's beautiful streets and plazas at your leisure. Overnight in Cartagena.

Overnight in Kartaxa Lifestyle Hotel, Cartagena , Superior Room

Meal plan: Breakfast

Meander through Cartagena’s picture-perfect streets. You cannot fail to admire a city that oozes beauty and whispers its long history from its famous battlements.

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) signals the entrance to the inner part of the walled city, also called Calamari. Just behind this is the old slave market situated in the Plaza de los Coches. The Plaza de la Aduana and Plaza de Bolivar also have fascinating historical context, as well as the numerous churches, museums, convents and monuments.

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Day 16 : Cartagena - Bogotá and departure

At a suitable time, you will be transferred to the airport for your internal flight to Bogotá and onward international flight.

Meal plan: Breakfast



All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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Hotel B3 Virrey

Bogotá (2 nights)

Located close to Parque El Virrey in the desirable Chico area of north Bogotá, Hotel El Virrey is a modern, stylish boutique hotel with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. It has an eye-catching facade, which is covered in a vertical garden, and rooms are decorated in a simple but chic manner. Rooms at Hotel B3 Virrey are equipped with a flat-screen TV, work desk and private bathroom with hairdryer. Facilities at the hotel include Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, currency exchange and bicycles. El Tres Bar and Restaurant offers light meals, snacks and cocktails.

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Posada de San Antonio

Villa de Leyva (2 nights)

Posada de San Antonio is a charming colonial house located close to Villa de Leyva's historical centre. The hotel has kept its original, traditional features, with gabled roofs and wooden beams throughout. The uniquely decorated large rooms have en-suite bathrooms, a mini-bar, cable TV and Wi-Fi. Facilities at the property include an on-site restaurant and coffee shop.

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Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara

Pereira (3 nights)

Located in the heart of the Colombian coffee and hot spring region, yet just 25 minutes from Pereira Airport, the boutique Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara offers a wide range of coffee- and nature-related activities in a beautiful rural setting. The hotel offers 19 rooms across two floors in a building that dates from 1925, and was lovingly restored with this history in mind to become the charming hotel it is today. Facilities at Hotel Hacienda Santa Clara include the Coffee Library Bar for drinks with lovely garden views, an on-site restaurant and terrace. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.

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Hotel Cuellars

Pasto (4 nights)

Hotel Cuellars is ideally located in the centre of Pasto. The hotel has large bedrooms and a restaurant/dining area.

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La Plazuela

Popayán (1 night)

Colonial mansion from XVIII century located in the historic centre of Popayan. Comfortable rooms, some with private balcony, mini bar, cable TV and room service free of charge 24 hours.

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Kartaxa Lifestyle Hotel

Cartagena (3 nights)

Paying homage to the first name given to Cartagena, used during the 18th and 19th centuries due to the influence of the Basque people in the city, Kartaxa Lifestyle Hotel has a strong focus on the city's artists and bohemians of the 1930s. The hotel is located in Cartagena's historic centre, where artists used to gather. With just 26 rooms, you can be sure of a high standard of personalised service. All rooms come equipped with a TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar/lounge area and a spa.

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Stay on a coffee farm, experience Caribbean cooking and fine dining

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Venture into the heart of the Amazon

Lost City Trek (7 days)

The most intrepid trek of all

Caribbean Chillout (6 days)

Idyllic beaches, water sports and great seafood


David and Rahul, what a great company you run! My tailormade trip to Colombia was just perfect! Your advice and guidance in advance of the trip was excellent. I loved the accommodation in Bogota and Cartagena; quaint and traditional. And the staff were incredibly friendly, welcoming and helpful. Your agent, Russell, was very attentive, and the drivers allocated to transport me were punctual, friendly and helpful! I cannot fault a thing. Thanks so much for planning such smooth-running trip for me. And, naturally, Colombia was the big star; can`t wait to visit again!

Stuart Robinson , Tailormade 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.

Albert Chau , Festivals of Colombia, Colombia

Seamless, worry-free travel in a far flung corner of the world. It was the best way to make sure we used our travel time seeing the country, interacting with the people, and tasting the food. I`ve already spent enough time, in queues, on buses, or just generally lost to appreciate a well planned trip.

Sean and Bonnee Gregg , Tailormade Colombia

Thanks so much for a wonderful trip. The whole trip was fantastic. Our guides throughout were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly. The Humming Bird walk in Manizales was probably the highlight but it`s not easy to choose. We will definitely travel with Travel the Unknown again.

Shaun Matthews , Tailormade Colombia

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.

Lisa Zardoni , Lost City Trek, Colombia

I would recommend Travel The Unknown`s Colombian Odyssey tour for anyone who wants a fairly comprehensive tour of the highlights of Colombia. I would definitely advise an add on to Cartagena, if you haven`t already visited. Colombia is a wonderful place to take a holiday whether you have been to Latin America many times before or even if it is your first trip. Travel The Unknown have definitely chosen the best places to stay and we were very well looked after. If you want a completely tailormade trip, I`m quite sure that the experience would be equally excellent. It`s good to find a smaller company where you get a more personal service and which goes to off beat places or off beat areas of well known but far away places.

Julie Crank , Colombian Odyssey, 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.

James & Margaret Stewart , Tailormade Colombia

The Lost City trip was amazing. Would recommend this trip to anyone who has a sense of adventure and not afraid to leave their comfort zone. Machu Picchu is nothing like this and the sense of achievement you get when you reach the Lost City is truely outstanding. I am now looking for a similar adventure in another part of the world.

Daniel Bean , Lost City Trek, Colombia

This was a great adventure. Be prepared to get hot and wet but the rewards are worth it. Beautiful scenery and we learnt a lot about the history of Colombia and the local region from our guide. Would recommend Colombia to any travellers. Thanks to Travel the Unknown for organising trip, we had no issues which allowed us to appreciate the country even more. This was one of the best treks I have done. Very enjoyable and some amazing scenery.

Terry Cooper , Lost City Trek, Colombia

An amazing and comprehensive tour of Colombia. This is a beautiful county, go now before it gets too touristy!

Gillian Lowe , Tailormade Colombia

Travel the Unknown organised a brilliant three-location private trip to Colombia, including Bogotá Gold Museum, coffee-country and colonial and Republican Cartagena. Practical arrangements for transport, hotels and guides worked well. It was a delightful tour.

Tony Cram , Tailormade Colombia
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