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Coffee, Coral Reefs and Cartagena

Overview

Your Colombian tour starts in the colourful capital Bogotá, where you will get drawn in by the lively atmosphere and friendly locals. With some time to explore this great city both by yourself and with a guide you will see some real highlights of Colombian culture and lifestyle. This includes the main square, museums, monuments and a spectacular panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.

A short flight brings you to to the city of Pereira to visit the Parque Nacional de los Nevados, home to an abundance of rare wildlife and the famous ‘Quindian wax palm’ – the national tree of Colombia! You can also visit the towns of Salento and Filandia in this area to enjoy scenic viewpoints and soak up the friendly atmosphere of typical small, Colombian towns.

Learn all about coffee production in a small hacienda before a trip to the city of Medellin a cosmopolitan and innovative city. Home to an array of very modern and chic buildings coupled with ancient museums and colonial architecture, Medellin is a treat and visitors receive a very warm welcome. Travel then to the famous Tayrona National Park. This is a must see in Colombia with its white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, coral reefs, huge ocean boulders, densely rich jungle, mangroves and of course the famous Ciudad Perdida- ‘lost city’, this park is a delight.

One of the most beautiful cities in Colombia, Cartagena, will round off your journey in style - this colonial settlement surrounded by ancient walls, is a popular place for visitors and Colombians alike! Take some time to explore this vast and exciting city and make the most of your final days here.

After an optional trip to a blissful Archipelago, it is finally time to say goodbye!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival - Bogotá
Arrival to El Dorado airport in the vibrant capital Bogotá! You will be met and shown to your hotel with the rest of the evening to relax and explore.

Day 2: Bogotá City
Today is all about discovering the abundant history and culture that Bogotá has to offer, and appreciating the stunning Spanish colonial time architecture that makes this place so special. See the main square Plaza de Bolivar and take a look around the famous Botero museum and art gallery. End the day riding the cable car or funicular railway up to Santuario de Monserrate, a symbol of Bogotá. At 500 mts above the city, the site offers the incredible panorama views of the city on one side and the Andes on the other.

Day 3: Bogotá - Pereira
Today you will travel to the airport in Bogotá for a short flight West to Pereira. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel where you have the evening free to enjoy the area and have dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 4: Pereira - Valle del Cocora & Filandia
After breakfast, you will travel to Valle de Cocora which is located in the central mountains of Quindio.

This is part of the spectacular Parque Nacional de los Nevados and is the ideal place to marvel at the majestic “Quindian wax palm”, the national tree of Colombia, and see exotic birds such as hummingbirds and the rare palm parrot.

Upon arrival in the valley, either hiking or on horseback, head into the ‘cloud forest’ to enjoy the extreme diversity of flora and fauna. On the return journey, you cross the River Quindio while walking along an ecological pathway which takes one past the tallest wax palms in the world.

You will stop for lunch at a local trout farm for delicious smoked trout before heading back into civilisation towards the traditional town of Salento. Enjoy a city tour, visiting Plaza de Bolívar with its colourful balconies, the handicrafts shops and the Cocora viewpoint.

You will end the day in the traditional village of Filandia to enjoy tour that includes a scenic 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 the hotel to stay overnight.

Day 5: Pereira - Chinchina - Coffee Process Farming Region - Medellin
This morning, take a half day visit to the coffee plantations along the steep hills typical of this area, with fantastic views of a green carpet of coffee plants and flowers that spread out as far as the eye can see.

Take a break in the Alto de La Paz, a beautiful viewpoint close to the municipality of Chinchiná in Caldas and enjoy the view of the beautiful scenery of the coffee region, declared a world Heritage site by UNESCO.

The visit continues on to one of the coffee haciendas, beginning in the house with an introductory chat about coffee and on through the grounds to see the plantations and the production system – learning all about coffee production and the treatment of this volcanic terrain.

In the afternoon, transfer for about 5 hours by car to Medellin. Upon arrival, you will be shown to your hotel, the evening is then yours to relax and have a look around the area.

Day 6: Medellin – Half day city tour Medellin
Today begins with a half day tour of Medellín city, Colombia’s second most important city and nicknamed ‘the city of eternal spring’ due to its balmy climate.

Visit the Parque San Antonio which houses around twenty-three Botero sculptures, moving on to the Plazuela de San Ignacio, the baroque San Ignacio church and continue to the Parque de los Pies Descalzos, a fascinating place inspired by oriental philosophy- it contains a small bamboo forest, a sandy area and babbling streams all designed to ease people into a state of relaxation.

Upon returning to the centre of the city, proceed to the Nutibara hill and enjoy impressive views of the city and surrounding areas.

You are then free to enjoy Medellin some more, anything else you wish to have seen – there is a lot to cover in this modern yet classical and historic town!

Enjoy the evening with some local cuisine.

Day 7: Medellin - Santa Fe de Antioquia
Leaving Medellín to the west and passing the Parque de los Tamarindos, you will then arrive at the Puente de Occidente, a true work of masterful engineering.

The story behind this construction is that the engineer José Maria Villa sketched an idea for the project into the sand along the banks of the River Cauca. It was one of the first suspension bridges in South America and travelling along it you can admire the intricate work achieved here with the two towers lashed with cables, holding the whole construction together.

You then travel on for approximately 1 hour to arrive at Santa Fe de Antioquia. In this beautiful old colonial town, the narrow streets that run alongside the whitewashed buildings are still here for us all see. It is worth visiting the Santa Barbara church, the Museum of Liturgical Art, the Cathedral and the Juan del Corral Museum.

After lunch, return to Medellín with a break on the way to visit the small, and wonderfully preserved town of San Jerónimo, with its lovely church and fine examples of architecture from both the Colonial and Republican eras.

On the journey back we will pass vendors selling exotic fruits such as pineapples, oranges, tamarind and mango.

Return to Medellín in the evening for dinner and a stroll in the warm temperatures, surrounded by stunning mountains.

Day 8: Medellin - Santa Marta
After breakfast, you will transfer to Medellin airport for a flight to Santa Marta. Upon arrival head to your hotel and enjoy your evening.

Day 9:Santa Marta - Tayrona National Park - Neguanje Beach
In the morning you will leave from Santa Marta, heading northeast to the breath-taking Tayrona National Park.

Covering an area 17,000 km squared this park is home to dream-like white, sandy beaches lapped by turquoise blue waters, coral reefs, huge ocean boulders, densely rich jungle, mangroves and of course the famous Ciudad Perdida, the ‘lost city’.

You continue along a winding road through the scenic tropical forest before opening out onto what is known as the Sea of the Seven Waves, a natural viewpoint from which one can enjoy the vast beautiful scenery in all its glory.

Then descent on foot down to the Playa de Neguanje into the Bay of Gayraca and hop onto a local boat where the fishermen will sail around the cove to Playa Cristal.
This beach stands out for its extraordinary beauty and is the ideal place to enjoy the water, the sun and the opportunity to paddle between the coral reefs.

After a day of exploring this paradise, return by boat to Gayraca Bay and back to Santa Marta for the night.

Day 10: Santa Marta - Cartagena
Today you will begin by driving around 4 hours South to Cartagena, where you will transfer to your hotel, then have the evening to take in the lively atmosphere and local food of colonial Cartagena.

Day 11: Cartagena Panoramic Tour
Start the day with a panoramic view of Cartangena city from the top of the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa. Constructed in 1606 this church and monastery provides a fantastic viewpoint from which you can enjoy 360º views of the city and the sea.

Continue on to the San Felipe Fortress, erected in honour of the poet from Cartagena, Don Luis Carlos López. You can walk around the fortress and learn how the castle was constructed, the engineering feats, the tunnels, underground galleries and passageways.

Next stop is Ciudad Vieja (old city) to visit the Convert and Church of San Pedro Claver which was built in the middle of the 17th century, a feat of architecture that is well worth a visit.

Lastly, continue to the handicrafts zone of the Bovedas, a collection of impressive archways built into the city wall of Cartagena. Nowadays it is used as an artisan centre where you can appreciate local handicraft.

You have the afternoon free to enjoy the area and explore some more of what Cartagena has to offer, before returning to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 12: Cartagena
You have all day today to enjoy the last of your time in Colombia! Get immersed in the most beautiful city in Colombia – Cartagena. Making your way round its endless picturesque streets and natural landscape.

Alternatively, we recommend a day trip to Archipelago del Rosario, a collection of 28 islands just off the coast of Cartagena.

You can dive, go on boat trips or swim in the temperate Caribbean ocean. Surrounded by coral reef and exotic marine life, this would be a great way to bid farewell to Colombia!

Day 13: Cartagena
From Cartagena, you will travel to the airport for your flight home.

Map

Included:
  • Accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Ground transport
  • Excursions/Activities mentioned in the itinerary (unless otherwise stated)
  • Bilingual guides
  • National Park, Natural reserves or museum entrance fees (Unless otherwise stated)
  • Not Included:
  • International flights
  • Internal flights (if applicable)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Meals & drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips & personal expenses
  • Essentials

    Are you wondering about flights, deposits and other bits and pieces? Here are a few items of essential information that could help with the planning of your trip with Tango Tours. If you have any questions please just contact us.

    International Flights
    Getting to Colombia is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights and we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available. Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour. As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that flight tickets are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Internal Flights
    As with international flights, Tango Tours' friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to book your internal flights for you if required. For some itineraries, you need to arrive at a particular destination at a required time/date therefore, it is vital that you book the correct flights and times of arrival. Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that flights are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Payments
    To confirm your booking with Tango Tours, we require a payment of 20% of the ground-based arrangements and 100% of all flights. The remaining balance of your tour is then payable 10 weeks prior to departure. For any bookings made within these 10 weeks, the full amount is payable.

    Accommodation
    Let us know what standard of accommodation you require for your tour - we offer a range of standards to suit your requirements. These are subject to availability.

    Activities
    We provide brief activity/excursion information in the itinerary. If you would like more in-depth details regarding any included activity/excursion then contact us! Please note: itineraries may be subject to change.