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Wild Colombia

Overview

Starting in the vibrant capital Bogotá, you will have time to explore this exciting and bustling city before being whisked off to an environment that couldn’t be more different. Fly to Manizales where the bird watching and wildlife watching are opportunities are abundant! Travel through the Rio Blanco Nature Reserve which is considered to be one of the top 3 birding sites in the world, and spend some time looking for rare and beautiful wildlife. And after a busy days animal spotting, come back and relax in the natural hot springs!

Your adventure continues to Leticia - right on the border with Brazil - and explore the wild heart of the Colombian Amazon! And rare and unique opportunity, meet with local indigneous groups here, sail down the amazon river and visit the incredible centre that is working hard to save the primates of this amazing region.

Next head to the Yopal area, where again you are whisked off into the wilderness to discover some of the most incredible wildlife in Colombia and in South America! 4X4 rides, across a full working cattle ranch with a focus on consevation, gets you to some of the very best spots to look out for wildlife such as the notorious Anaconda and enigmatic Giant Anteater!

Your last stop is the beautiful city of Cartagena where you can relax with a city tour and free time after all your adventuring! Absorb the laid-back atmosphere of this beautiful area before your onward travel.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival - Bogotá
Today you will arrive in the beautiful capital Bogota, where you will be met and taken to your hotel. After some time to freshen up and drop your bags, you will be collected and taken for a tour of the incredible Zipaquira Salt Cathedral - a majestic wonder of architecture! Return to Bogota and visit Cerro Monserrate which offer a fantatsic panoramic view over the city. Return to the hotel to relax before heading to the La Macarena neighborhood for dinner.

Day 2: Bogotá - Manizales
After breakfast, visit Paloquemao market to walk around the colourful and bustling stalls and sample some local foods. Next, enjoy a city tour of this lively and beautiful place where you will see a number of important cultural and historical landmarks and get a feel for the Colombian lifestyle. Stroll along the beautiful cobbled centre La Candelaria - an interesting clash of ancient colonial architecture and a modern, progressive buildings. Next visit the impressive Botero museum which houses not only his works but his extensive collection, also visit the amazing Gold Museum - home to thousands of ancient pieces. With abundant theaters, galleries, cathedrals, museums and traditional restaurants Bogotá is the ideal starting point for your trip and will immerse you in the friendly and energetic Colombian culture. We suggest you visit the Zona Rosa to experience Bogotá's night-life in full swing! This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Manizales. You will be transferred to you hotel and have the evening to relax and use the hot springs here!

Day 3: Manizales
Today enjoy a bird watching experience! The morning will be spent looking for all of the high-Andean specialities and endemics that can be found at the hotel’s feeders, along the old Manizales road on which the hotel is located on and at the entrance of PNN Los Nevados. Targets include: Andean Condor, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Buffy Helmetcrest, Tawny Antpitta, Golden-breasted Puffleg, amongst many, many others. Breakfast will be either had before leaving or on trail depending on group’s requirements. This evening is at leisure on the hotel grounds with full access to the hotel’s natural hot springs.

Day 4: Manizales
Transfer to Rio Blanco Nature Reserve (1hr 30mins), located just above Manizales. This reserve, which is considered to be one of the top 3 birding sites in the world has over 330 bird species reported within its 4,000 hectare extension. Antpitta feeders have made this reserve a must-visit site in the neotropics simply because you are able to see up to 5 species of Antpitta in one go that cannot be matched anywhere else. Targets include: Brown-banded, Slate-crowned Antpitta, Chestnut-naped, Bicolored and Chestnut-capped Antpittas, rare Masked Saltator, enigmatic Ocellated Tapaculo and beautiful Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager amongst many, many others. Again, relax in the hot springs and enjoy dinner this evening.

Day 5: Manizales - Leticia
Today transfer to Manizales airport for a short flight to Bogota and an onward flight to Leticia. On arrival you will be met and transfer to Calanoa. After check in there is time for a late afternoon/nightime jungle walk to see what nocturnal animals can be found!

Day 6: Leticia
Transfer and boat ride to Fundacion Maikuchiga, ran by Dr. Sara Bennett and the local community of Mocagua. Fundacion Maikuchiga works with captured primates from the illegal animal trade and those who have also been brought up in captivity. At the centre primates are nurtured back to health for their eventual return to their native habitat. After a brief introduction to the programme, walk through secondary forest looking for: the common Squirrel Monkey, tiny Pygmy Marmoset, beautiful Yellow-handed Titi and Spix’s Night Monkey. At the centre you’ll have the chance to play with rescued Red Howler-Monkey, Humboldt’s Woolly Monkey and White-fronted Capuchin! A unique experience. This afternoon, meet with local Tikuna indigneous group (Cocama and Yagua dialects) and observe community mural art project ran by the Calanoa Foundation where the Mocagua community are working to reclaim and record their ancestral knowledge through the painting of murals.

Day 7: Leticia
Today will be a river boat exploration of the Matamata River, with lots of opportunity for wildlife spotting. Enjoy lunch innthe field and spend the afternoon surrounded by incredible wildlife before heading back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 8: Leticia - Bogota
Spend the morning birding at Mocagua Island. This largely unexplored Amazon river island is one of the largest and has a startling amount of birds, among them Wattled Curassow, Hoatzin, Bat Falcon, Festive Parrot among many many others. Efforts will be made to look for Red Howler-Monkeys and flooded ‘Varzea’ forest specialties. Early lunch at Calanoa, then transfer to Leticia airport for a short flight to Bogota where you will spend the night in a hotel in the city.

Day 9: Bogota - Yopal - Llanos
Transfer early this morning to the airport for your internal flight to Yopal. On arrival you will be met and transferred (approx. 5hrs) onto the 16,000-hectare reserve and cattle ranch of Hato La Aurora in the Llanos of Casanare department. This Hato is a fully working cattle ranch with a focus on conservation. A typical ‘a la Llanera’ lunch will be served at the Hato residency of Juan Solito. After lunch, go for a short boat or 4x4 safari in the reserve looking for Capybara, Jabiru Stork, White-tailed Deer, Cayman and Red-howler Monkey among many other typical Llanos species. This evening enjoy a view of the sunset over the Llanos and short introductory talk about the Hato before dinner.

Day 10: Llanos
Safari all morning to witness the incredible Llanos wildlife, including the notorious Anaconda and enigmatic Giant Anteater. Continue the safari looking for typical bird species of the Llanos including the 2 regional endemics. This safari can either be done by 4x4 or by horse depending on your wishes. The various elements of Llanos ranch life will be explained during this journey around the Hato. You have the afternoon to relax before a night-time safari which is conducted to see the animals that only come out after the sun goes down, such as the large felines that inhabit the Hato. After dinner folklore, songs, musical instruments and stories will all be shared with you before going to bed!

Day 11: Llanos - Cartagena
Enjoy a mornings birding around the various trails that encircle the house and that lie next to the Ariporo River. Visit La Aurora’s original farmhouse and walk across the Llanos in search of Llanos species. Have lunch at Juan Solito residence or at one of the sites by the river if you want to do some fishing and catch your own lunch! Transfer to the airport in Yopal for your flight to Cartagena (with a change in Bogota). On arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Day 12: Cartagena
Today take a relaxing city tour of the beautiful city of Cartagena. Visit sites such as: Barrio Manga, Bocagrande, Popa Monastery, Saint Philip Castle, Museum of the Spanish Inquisition, The Vaults and various battalions. This afternoon, relax and explore the city in your own time. There is an optional visit this afternoon to Café del Mar to watch sunset and enjoy a few drinks.

Day 13: Departure
Transfer to the airport in Cartagena for your onward travel.

Want to extend your stay? Ask about our bird watching and trekking extensions, or visit the beautiful Rosario Islands for some time to relax on the pristine, white beaches!

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)
  • Visas
  • 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.