Tour Date: February 22nd to March 9th, 2019
Colombia tends to be an underrated travel destination, which just means there are more untouched parts of this beautiful country for you to explore. If you have two weeks to spare, there’s no better way to experience Colombia than to jump in with both feet and experience the national parks, beaches, and cities firsthand. Be a part of the revitalization of this warm, welcoming country and come back with more stories than you’ll ever have time to tell.
Bogota (2 nights), Villa de Leyva (2), Armenia (2), Salento (1), Medellin (2), Taganga (2), Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (2) and Cartagena (2)
- Visit the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, an underground church built within the tunnels of a salt mine
- Explore the colonial walled city and fortress of Cartagena
- Ride in a traditional 'Willy' to visit a working coffee farm
- Admire some of the best street art in the Americas
- Trek through the lush jungle of Tayrona National Park in search of remarkable wildlife and biodiversity
- Soak up the sun in a Caribbean coastal fishing village
- Hike the Cocora Valley, a fertile region famous for its wax palm trees
- Learn the fascinating history of Pablo Escobar
- The culinary experience of Colombia – we’ve chosen some amazing restaurants for this tour
- Visit Bogota’s famous Gold Museum which has the largest collection in the world
- And more…..
Bogota – Hotel Regina – 2 nights
Day 1 – February 22nd
Bienvenidos a Colombia! Welcome to Colombia. Officially named Bogotá and once known as Santa Fe de Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia is home to more than seven million inhabitants. The city is located at an elevation of about 2,650m (8,660 ft) on a plateau in the Andes Mountains. This captivating urban center has a rich cultural life and beautiful architecture. Like any self-respecting capital city, Bogotá is the country's capital of art, academia, history, culture, and government.
Arrive and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 – February 23rd – Breakfast and Dinner included
Following an orientation, we begin with a visit to Bogotá's most famous museum and one of the most fascinating in all of South America, the Gold Museum. It is the largest collection in the world containing more than 55,000 pieces of gold and other materials such as ceramics and textiles from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia.
Our tour finishes at Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, the most famous flower and food market in Bogota. This is an authentic experience and not your typical tourist market. A visit here will engage all of your senses, and provide us with a great insight into Colombian customs and local living in Bogota. This is the focal point where the produce of the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, the fertile Andes and the tropical jungle melt together. The market is divided into sections: flowers; fruit, vegetables, and aromatic herbs; and meat and fish.
The afternoon is free for you to discover this wonderful city.
Villa de Leyva – Hospederia La Roca – 2 nights
Day 3 – February 24th – Breakfast and Dinner included
We travel north to visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, an underground Roman Catholic Church was constructed over 200 ft underground in the tunnels and caves of an old salt mining operation. Explore the unique architecture, lighting, and features of this subterranean place of worship, including 14 small chapels representing the Stations of the Cross.
We continue our journey to the brilliantly colored colonial town of Raquira, known as the pottery capital. Upon driving up the main road, your eyes will be fixated on the vividly colored facades, the assortment of craft shops and artisans selling their artwork and pottery. Enjoy free time for lunch and shopping before our final destination, Villa de Leyva.
Day 4 – February 25th – Breakfast Included
The picturesque historical town is set high in a valley, rich in fossils, and is home to some of its best-preserved colonial architecture. The village has been preserved in its entirety with cobbled streets, terracotta tile roofs and whitewashed buildings.
A morning visit to the fossil museum and El Infiernito provides an introduction to the fossils that have been found in the area, which date back 110-130 millions of years ago. On display are ammonites and other prehistoric animals that roamed the area. In addition, the museum has an arboretum with gardens of palms, oaks, and an Andean forest.
The afternoon is yours to explore the Plaza Mayor, the town square, and check out the church, restaurants, and shops.
Armenia – Hostal Finca Mi Monaco – 2 nights
Day 5 – February 26th – Breakfast and Dinner Included
Enjoy a morning in Villa de Leyva before an afternoon flight to Armenia; a city of history and beauty that is the center of commerce and trade in Colombia’s coffee region.
Spend two nights outside Armenia in a traditional hacienda.
Day 6 – February 27th – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included
We climb into our 'Willy', the specialized jeep used for transportation over the rugged terrain in the region. Drive out of town to a working coffee farm, passing through the lush landscape filled with the verdant green of coffee fields stretching in every direction. Once we arrive at the farm, we enjoy a hearty lunch before a walk around the farm. The farmer will introduce us to the process of coffee production, from plant cultivation all the way to pouring the perfect cup and of course, we will get to try a sample!
After lunch, we visit a beautiful botanical garden to admire different species of palms, ferns, heliconias, and other native plants. There are hundreds of hummingbirds, insects and several colorful bird species that live in the gardens.
Salento – Hotel Salento Real – 1 night
Day 7 – February 28th – Breakfast and Lunch Included
This morning we travel into the Cocora Valley for a hike to learn more about this fertile region. The valley is an enchanting spot, characterized by its lush rolling hills, mist-capped mountains, and tall, slender palm trees. Along the way, lookout points offer great views of the valley’s iconic ‘Palmas de Cera’ trees – the world’s highest wax palms that grow up to 60-meters in height – while the hilltop cloud forests harbor a huge variety of tropical birds and butterflies.
An afternoon arrival into the picturesque small town of Salento that has held on to its traditions and is the perfect place to try freshwater trout which is served in just about every home and restaurant. Salento is the coffee region’s little piece of paradise.
Medellin – Hotel Florencia Plaza – 2 nights
Day 8 – March 1st – Breakfast and Dinner Included
Today we will drive through beautiful valleys and mountains on our way to Medellín.
Once infamous for gangs and drug activity, Medellin has been transformed. It’s now a vibrant destination for travelers seeking a culturally rich vacation. The natural beauty and unique climate of Medellín is something to behold. Set 4,905 feet above sea level in a valley surrounded by tall green mountains, its close proximity to the equator ensures constant spring-like temperatures year round.
The afternoon is free to relax before setting out this evening to explore the city.
Day 9 – March 2nd – Breakfast Included
Discover another side of Medellín as we travel on the city’s innovative transportation system and head to Comuna 13 – a community transformed. Once controlled by the cartels, this community is a shining example of Colombia's progress in overcoming its notorious past. The journey begins with an upward ride on the city’s unique public cable cars to the outdoor electric escalators that serve Comuna 13. The extensive escalator system has renewed the impoverished district, which clings to a steep hillside, and provided much relief to residents whose daily commutes have become safer and faster. Arrive at the top to explore this welcoming and safe urban neighborhood and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
This afternoon we learn the fascinating legacy of Pablo Escobar, a notorious drug lord hailed as one of Colombia’s most famous figures. Hear about complex cocaine operations and the diverse opinions of a man declared both a Robin Hood-type hero and a despicable villain.
Taganga – Bahia Taganga Hotel – 2 nights
Day 10 – March 3rd – Breakfast and Dinner Included
Transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Santa Martha on the Caribbean Coast. Enjoy free time to explore the small fishing village of Taganga.
Day 11 – March 4th – Breakfast Included
Spend the day soaking up the Caribbean feel of this coastal village. Be sure to indulge in the area's fantastic fresh seafood or hang out in one of the many cafés along the beach. You can opt for more active options like snorkeling or hiking, or relax on one of the beaches or maybe in a hammock.
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona –Finca La Jorara Ecohotel – 2 nights
Day 12 – March 5th – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included
Today we travel to Tayrona National Park which is one of the many hidden jewels of Colombia. The park is famous for its biodiversity, remarkable wildlife and beautiful beaches. At its heart, the Pueblito ruins are an archaeological site accessed via forest trails, with terraces and structures built by the Tayrona civilization.
We set out a relaxed hike to experience nature and learn a little more about the rich, natural diversity of northern Colombia.
Our next two nights are spent in a charming Eco hotel surrounded by an incredible variety of fauna and flora.
Day 13 – March 6th – Breakfast and Dinner Included
Our drive this morning takes us to the Wiwa community of Gotsezhi located in the mountainous Sierra Nevada region, near the famous Lost City. Along the winding road, enjoy scenic views of the rivers and fields dotted with slim white cattle, and breathtaking views of the peaks and valleys that make up this region.
The drive will provide a unique appreciation for the journeys taken by the various tradesmen who recently built a community project allowing travellers the invaluable opportunity to interact with the Wiwa people on their own land. The Wiwa people of the Sierra Nevada are descendants of the ancient Tayrona people who reside in the area, remained uncontacted and in isolation until illegal activity threatened their livelihood and deprived them of much of their land, which was seized for the growth of marijuana and cocaine crops. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the area’s Indigenous history and a chance for us to purchase local artisan handicrafts.
Cartagena – Hotel India Catalina – 2 nights
Day 14 – March 7th – Breakfast Included
Today we make our way to Cartagena and arrive in time to spend the afternoon exploring its rich history and beautiful colonial architecture. We will visit such beautiful sites as Plaza de Bolívar, the Cathedral of Cartagena, San Pedro Claver Square, and San Pedro Church.
We will stroll through the narrow shaded streets of the old walled city, where flowers cascade from overhanging wooden balconies. The Old City is nearly encircled by walls that stand 12ft tall and are as thick as 60ft in some places. Their strength has preserved some fascinating colonial structures.
Day 15 – March 8th – Breakfast and Dinner Included
There's plenty to see and do in Cartagena, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like taking a day trip to Rosario National Park, perhaps visit San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest of the fortresses, or head out of town for a mud bath at Volcan de Lodo El Totumo.
This evening we have our farewell dinner to reminisce our favorite memories from the trip.
Day 16 – March 9th – Breakfast Included
Adios! Today we transfer to the airport for our flights home.
2019 Classic Colombia Tour Dates & Prices
February 22nd return March 9th, 2019
Tour Cost per person based on double occupancy: $3995.00 CAD
Air Fare: Flights to Colombia are available from many Canadian cities. Contact our office for airfares and flight information. Call for airfares from your city
Single supplement: $1300.00
In order to make each tour, a special experience space is limited to 20 people. We encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment and for the best airfares.
Flights: Call us for flight and airfare information from your closest airport in Canada as we can often access flights not easily found on the Internet and offer alternatives.
Tour price includes:
- 15 nights’ accommodation based on double occupancy
- Meals: all breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 9 dinners
- All admissions and cultural visits listed in itinerary
- Air-conditioned motor coach transportation
- Fully escorted by a Canadian Tour Leader and Colombia (naturalist) guide
Singles wishing to share: We often get requests from single travellers wishing to share accommodation. If you are interested in traveling with a companion please let us know and we can try to match you up with a suitable traveling partner.
Transfers: To and from the airport to your hotel are included on the tour dates. Airport transfers can be arranged for a cost when you purchase extra nights before or after the vacation.
Insurance: Medical insurance is mandatory. Cancellation and trip interruption insurance is optional. Premiums depend on your age, the length of time away and the cost of your tour and insurance will be discussed and quoted at the time of booking.
Tour Deposit: $300.00 per person.
Forms of Payment: Cheque, Visa and Master Card or by e-mail. Payments made by credit cards will be subject to a 3 percent processing fee. For information regarding e-mail, payments contact your financial institution. It is easy and convenient.
Cancellation Policy: In the event that you have to cancel you must notify Discovery Tours immediately in writing. The following scale of charges will apply according to the date that notice is received. Airfare penalties may differ and will be discussed at the time of ticket purchase.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.