Colonial Andes & Caribbean (itinerary)
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Our Tours Colonial Andes & Sea

Colonial Andes & Caribbean (itinerary)

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Day 1 : Bogotá
Arrival to the El Dorado International Airport in Bogota. Reception and transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner in a cozy local restaurant, where your guide will give you an outlook on Colombia, a few Spanish “basics”, and brief you on the details of your trip.

Day 2 : Bogotá
img 2027Breakfast. Guided city tour: we will take the cable car up to Monserrate, a magnificent observation point of the city and the valley, located 3200 m above sea level. We will then visit the Candelaria neighborhood, the colonial heart of Bogotá and an area of great patrimonial and architectural importance. This historically rich area is known for its cobble stone streets, its colorful houses with wooden balconies and internal patios that hide beautiful gardens. Most of the city´s and country´s history has taken place in this neighborhood. We will visit the Colón Theatre, the San Carlos Palace, the San Ignacio Church, the Nariño Presidential Palace, the Bolívar Square, the Capitol Building, the City Hall, and the Cathedral. We will then visit the magnificent collection of the world famous Gold Museum.
Lunch: free. In the Candelaria neighborhood you will find many different types of restaurants to choose from- typical, international, bohemian, trendy- If you wish, we will take you along to one of our favorites.
Afternoon: free (take a look at our Amaterra options)

Amaterra Options :
Going Social (3-4 hours) :
IMG 2028We invite you to visit one of our partners, the Colombianitos Foundation.  This international nonprofit organization brings new hope for a better future to thousands of children who are victims of the armed conflict, forced displacement and, consequently, a life of absolute poverty in one of the impoverished city slums in the South of the city, Ciudad Bolivar. It´s time to share a couple of hours with the actors of this beautiful program, which uses sport as a tool to build strong values and life skills, transforming highly disadvantaged communities into social environments that support and reinforce positive lifestyles.

Going Green(3-4 hours) :
34Visit the José Celestino Mutis Botanical Garden. In the heart of Bogotá, but away from the city buzz, you can admire this magnificent garden, home to an impressive sampling of the Colombian flora. A specialized guide will take you along an incredible journey through the different regions of the country and its native species…a nice way to get ready for your « look-outs » during the rest of your trip.
Did you know ?
Colombia is the country with the most species of orchids in the world, more than 3000 ! Admire a great number of these in the impressive collection of the botanical garden.
Dinner : free (take a look at our Amaterra options)
Amaterra option :
Andres Carne de Res (3-4 h) : Certainly one of the most original restaurants in Colombia. It´s famous not only for its very special miscellaneous decoration and atmosphere but for its excellent menu. Fun guaranteed !

Day 3 : Bogotá- Villa de Leyva
IMG 2031After breakfast we will head North towards Villa de Leyva. This very well preserved colonial town was declared National monument in 1954. Its cobbled streets and whitewashed walls covered by colorful bougainvilleas make the charm of this place where time seems to stand still. It is a place for relaxing, strolling, and enjoying the pleasant atmosphere in small restaurants and café´s.
After checking in our hotel, we will take a small orientation tour followed by a stop to taste one of the area´s famous tropical juices.
Lunch : free
Afternoon : free (take a look at our Amaterra options)
Amaterra option :
IMG 2032We will visit the Santo Ecce Homo Convent, founded by the Dominican fathers in 1620. It is a large stone-and–adobe construction with a lovely courtyard. The floors are paved with stones quarried in the region, so they include ammonites and fossils.
We will then proceed to Ráquira, Colombia´s handicraft “capital.” The name of the town in the Chibcha language is “City of Pots”, perhaps for this ability of its inhabitants in pottery; they used them to prepare chicha (a fermented corn drink), store their food, and prepare their meals. Artisans work with black, white, yellow, and red clay. We will have the opportunity of visiting a pottery workshop, spend some time with the artisans and watch the production process. The town has many craft shops so you will be able to shop around if you wish.
Dinner : free

 

Day 4 : Villa de Leyva- Barichara
49In the morning after breakfast we will visit the surroundings of Villa de Leyva, which offer very contrasting natural sites. First we will visit a beautiful cascade, the Periquera.  Then, after lush and green, we will change to dry and blue. We will visit on the other side of town, an arid desert with spectacular views and impressive turquoise blue lagoons.
We will have lunch in a typical local restaurant and then head North towards Barichara. If you like the Spanish colonial town atmosphere, you will love this colonial gem. The whitewashed wall houses, the stone cobbled streets and its location overlooking the Suarez River, make this town a perfect place, one of those filmmakers dream about !
Check-in our hotel.
Free Dinner.

Day 5 : Barichara
50In the morning after breakfast we will do a 2-3 h walk to the town of Guane using a Spanish royal trail, which was declared National Monument in 1997. We will descend through the Suarez Canyon local enjoying magnificent views. A delicious tropical juice will await us upon arrival.
After being picked up in Guane, we will have lunch in Barichara.
Afternoon: free (take a look at our Amaterra options)
Amaterra option :
We will visit one of our partners, a paper factory which works with single parent mothers to produce handcrafted paper and objects. We will spend some time in their workshops and learn about this beautiful project, which engages social development of this vulnerable population.
Dinner : free

Day 6 : Barichara- San Gil
51After breakfast we will go to San Gil, where we will check in our hotel and continue to the national renowned park, El Gallineral. Set on an island where the Quebrada Curití flows into the Río Fonce, the park has very old Ceiba trees covered with “old man´s beards,” long silvery frond of tillandsia which form spectacular translucid curtains that filter the sun rays. We will have lunch in a typical local restaurant to try the region´s specialties.
Afternoon : free (take a look at our Amaterra options)
Amaterra options :
Rafting :
For adventure lovers, this is the perfect place to do some rafting. The RĂ­o Fonce is an internationally recognized location for this adventure sport, and if you are up for it, we will organize a super fun tour for you with our selected specialized local operator.
Traditional sugar mill (trapiche) :
52We will visit a traditional sugar mill in one of the farms around San Gil, where we will have a chance to see the beautiful countryside and learn about the process of sugar cane. Ecological walk included.
Dinner : free

Day 7 : San Gil- Bucaramanga-Cartagena
53Breakfast. On our way from San Gil to Bucaramanga we will have the opportunity of visiting Curutí, famous for the “fique” artisan work and then the Parque Nacional del Chicamocha, a real natural marvel, this canyon formed 4.6 billion years ago is deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We will then proceed to Bucaramanga to take a flight to Cartagena.
Cartagena : upon arrival we will be transferred to our hotel in the charming walled city, the oldest and most romantic part of town. You will love to stroll along the colorful narrow streets of this enchanting city, which was declared part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1984.  Its Spanish colonial architecture overlooking the Caribbean Sea, its intense nightlife, cultural festivals, exotic scenery, superb beaches, and wonderful food make Cartagena a truly magical place.
Dinner : Free

 

Day 8 : Cartagena
IMG 2036After breakfast, we will take a walking tour of the colonial walled city of Cartagena. We will visit the Santiago and Santo Domingo forts, the Plaza de Bolivar, the Plaza de la ProclamaciĂłn, la Plaza de la Aduana, and the Plaza de los Coches, with its Portal de los Dulces, famous for its typical local sweets. After going through the streets of the historical center, we will visit the Cathedral and the Palacio de la InquisiciĂłn, one of the finest buildings in town.
Lunch : free
Afternoon : free (take a look at our Amaterra options)

Amaterra option :
Going Social :
IMG 2037We will visit the quarters of The Colegio del Cuerpo in the GetsemanĂ­ neighborhood. Through artistic excellence this non-profit organization contributes to the social, educational, economical and human development of critical populations in the Cartagena area, and has become an internationally recognized contemporary dance company, as well as a model of integral education. We will get a chance to meet the actors of this amazing project and to see the day-to-day life of this unique dance company.
For other activities, such as a guided visit of the Castillo de San Felipe, the Popa Convent, the Boquilla, the Totumo Mud Volcano, or Mompox, please contact us.
Dinner : free

Day 9 : Cartagena
Free day after having breakfast in the hotel (take a look at our Amaterra options)
Amaterra option :
IMG 2038Spend the day in the Islas del Rosario Natural Park, (link a Islas del Rosario & San Bernardo) a magnificent coral archipelago approximately an hour from Cartagena by boat, with fine, white sand and delightful underwater gardens. It consists of 27 small coral islands surrounded by coral reefs, where three eco-systems prevail: coastal lagoon, mangroves, and tropical forests. The color of the ocean ranges from turquoise to purple making it a marvelous spot for lovers of scuba diving and snorkeling as well as sun, beach, and relaxation. This day trip includes a typical local lunch.

Day 10 : Cartagena- Bogotá
After breakfast, free day in Cartagena; transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to  Bogotá, where you will spend the last night of your trip.
*Amaterra option 3-Day extension : visit Santa Marta and the Tayrona Natural park

Day 11 : Bogota- International Flight
Breakfast and transfer to the El Dorado international airport to take your flight back home

*3-Day Extension :
Day 10 : Santa Marta & Tayrona Park
IMG 2039You will be picked up in your hotel in Cartagena after breakfast and driven along the coastline towards the Northeast to the Tayrona National Park. The trip will take approximately 5 h and will pass through the cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta.
The Tayrona National Park is a few kilometers North from Santa Marta and covers an extension of 15.000 hectares of which 12.000 are on land and 3.000 are maritime. It lays on the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a massif that rises independently from the Andean range and houses an eco system unique in the world-going from sea level to 5780 m- and the habitat of various indigenous communities: Kogis, Arhuacos, Kankuamos and Wiwas.
The park´s scenery varies from pristine sand beaches to rainforest at an altitude of 600 m and is home to 56 endangered species. Within the park there are several archeological sites such as Pueblito, which can be visited in a magnificent 5 h trek from the beaches near our lodges.
Free day and over night stay in an eco-lodge on one of the beaches of the park.

Day 11 : Tayrona National Park
IMG 2040Free day in the park. You can visit many different beaches and the archeological site of Pueblito, or you can just relax, sunbathe, and enjoy the superb scenery of the place.

Day 12 : Parque Tayrona – Quebrada Valencia- Santa Marta
IMG 2041You will be picked up in the morning after breakfast at the Tayrona National Park and driven a little further North to the visit the Quebrada Valencia Natural Reserve. This spectacular place has a rock formation through which the river descends from the Sierra forming natural pools along the way. The visit includes an ecological walk along the river in the midst of a tropical forest, after which you can bathe in these amazing cascades and pools.
Lunch on the way back to Santa Marta in a typical local restaurant.
Once in Santa Marta, we will check in a comfortable hotel and have a free afternoon to relax or stroll along the pleasant streets of this tropical city.
Dinner : free

Day 13 : Santa Marta- Bogotá
IMG 2042After breakfast, a city tour of Santa Marta which includes: the Rodadero beach area, the beautiful Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where SimĂłn BolĂ­var died on the 17th of December 1830; the Taganga lookout, from which there is a very nice view of the fishermen town of Taganga and its bay; the bay of Santa Marta, and the colonial historical center of the city.
Free lunch and transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Bogotá.