In Cartagena de Indias colonial chic meets Caribbean flair, old city walls and fortresses bear witness to gold treasures and pirates, and pebbled alleys, green plazas and coloufully painted facades carry us away and right into the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The perfectly restored historic town, an UNESCO world heritage site, is best explored on foot, by horse carriage or by bicycle – in any case slowly and delightfully. Enjoying a sundowner on the historic city walls we let our gaze wander over the sea of terracotta roofs and over the Caribbean Sea. The nearby Rosario Islands seem to come straigt from a postcard. Their white sandy beaches and crystal clear Caribbean Sea offer the picture-perfect backdrop to relax.

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Cartagena

DAY 1: CARTAGENA ARRIVAL

Arrival in Cartagena in the morning and transfer to your hotel located in Cartagena’s old town or “walled city”. In the afternoon you go on a a fascinating tour in Cartagena starting at the Convent of “La Popa” (highest point of the city). It continues to the Castillo de San Felipe, a vast fort filled with history and mysteries hidden in its stonewalled tunnels. We then visit the monument of Zapatos Viejos, the “Old Shoes”. The impressive defensive wall that surrounds the old city, and overlooks the sea and its well-preserved colonial architecture will amaze you. During the rest of the visit, you see the city’s churches, museums, plazas, restaurants, shops and jewellery stores. This combination makes Cartagena deserve the UNESCO World Heritage Site title and you will never forget this wonderful destination.

Highlights:

• Historic city centre with its romantic alleys
• View from the city wall (especially at sunset)
• Castillo San Felipe
• La Popa Convent
• Great variety of culinary delights

Our Insider Tip:

Dinner at the restaurant Interno, a project of a local womens’ prison.

Cartagena Islas del Rosario

DAY 2: CARTAGENA – ROSARIO INSELN

After breakfast our guide will bring you to the peer. Transfer by boat to the island part of the “Rosario” archipelago. 1 night’s lodging including full board. The rest of the day and the following morning are free to relax and enjoy the beauty and calmness on this island.

Highlights:

• White, caribbean beaches
• Crystal clear water

Our Insider Tip:

Grab your snorkel and explore the caribbean underwater world.

Cartagena, Frutas

DAY 3: ROSARIO INSELN– CARTAGENA

Around midday we return by boat to Cartagena and then transferred to hotel for another night including breakfast. The rest of the day is at the disposal of the visitor, although we would definitely recommend a walk through the cobbled streets of old Cartagena, and having a drink in the unique colonial atmosphere of the town, with its grand churches and squares, and colorful houses where flowering plants like bougainvillea trail from first floor balconies.

Highlights:

• The tranquility of this caribbean island
• Colonial architecture of Cartagena

Our Insider Tip:

Enjoy the last sunset of this trip from the city wall or a rooftop bar.

Cartagena by night

DAY 4: CARTAGENA DEPARTUREE

Transfer from hotel to the airport.

Highlights:

Cartagena: Hotel Monterrey www.hotelmonterrey.com.co
Islas del Rosario: Hotel Isla Pirata www.hotelislapirata.com

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• Informative material

• International flights and airport fees on departure
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services that are not mentiones in the programm

In Colombia’s coffee region things still run as in the good old days. Coffee sacks, bananas, workers and even tourists are loaded onto willys, old jeeps, and are reliably transported through the UNESCO world heritage site. Those looking to enjoy idyllic countryside and the world’s best coffee will feel in the right place. Quaint haciendas welcome guests and traditional villages are nestled into hilly landscapes. Wax palms tower into cloud forests and offer the perfect backdrop for a blissful hike. Colombia’s coffee region surely is a highlight – not only for coffee lovers.

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Coffee

DAY 1: ARMENIA ARRIVAL

Early arrival, welcome by the local guide and departure to an idyllic coffee farm. In the afternoon, visit to a special coffee growing farm (Recuca) which includes a technical and practical introduction to the whole coffee cultivation and production process. 2 Nights in Hacienda Combia, including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Lush green landscapes of the coffee region
• Mild climate

Our Insider Tip:

Discover the local flora and fauna that can be found on the grounds of the finca.

Kaffeezone Cocora

DAY 2: ARMENIA

After breakfast we head on to the Cocora Valley and its breathtaking landscapes will be explored by a horse riding or walking trip: This is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia! Here we will find the impressive “Palma de Cera”, the Colombian national tree and one of the tallest varieties of palm in the world. On the way back to Armenia, we visit Salento, a picturesque village in the middle of the coffee region. Overnight at Hacienda Combia.

Highlights:

• Waxpalms
• Green Andean landscapes
• Colourfull village Salento

Our Insider Tip:

A tasty Canelazo (typical hot beverage).

Coffee Region, Nature

DAY 3: ARMENIA DEPARTURE

During the day, transfer to the airport or bus terminal.

Highlights:

Armenia: Finca Combia www.combia.com.co

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local guide
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• Informative material

• International flights and airport fees on departure
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services that are not mentiones in the programm

To the southwest of Colombia the West Andean range sprawls out over hilly foothills until the Ecuadorian border. Here the Italian Agostino Coddazi discovered dozens of tall pre-Columbian stone figures resembling humans in 1857. San Agustín remains one of South America’s most significant archaeological sites. Splendid sceneries complement a visit: lush mountain slopes, valleys, torrential rivers such as the Magdalena and volcanoes like the Puracé. Even Andean condors may be seen soaring near the volcano. The university city of Popayán, “La Ciudad Blanca”, fascinates with white washed colonial buildings, splendid facades, domes and patios.

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San Agustin

DAY 1: NEIVA – SAN AGUSTÍN

Early in the morning flight Bogotá – Neiva (not included). After arrival in Neiva, the capital of the Huila department, 4-5 hour trip to San Agustín, following the Magdalena river. San Agustin is one of the most important archeological sites in South America, located in a beautiful countryside. Transfer to the hotel and in the afternoon visit of the Archeological park. It includes the “Mesitas” A, B, C, D, the ceremonial fountain “Lavapatas” and the Archeological museum. Overnight at Hotel Monasterio de San Agustin or Akawanka Lodge, 2 nights accommodation, including Breakfast.

Highlights:

• Drive along the river Magdalena
• History and culture up close
• Extremely well preserved archaeological artefacts
• Lush green mountainous landscapes

Our Insider Tip:

Achiras – a delicious, local, crunchy snack.

San Agustín, Estrecho Magdalena

DAY 2: SAN AGUSTÍN

After breakfast visit of the narrowest point of the Magdalena river “El estrecho”. Here the river passes through a small canyon, where it is only 2 meters wide. The journey continuous to the small village of Isnos, where the archeological sites “El Alto de los Ídolos” and “Alto de las Piedras” are visited. Overnight at Hotel.

Highlights:

• River Strait of Magdalena
• archaeological excavations in Isnos
• Waterfall Salto Mortiño

Our Insider Tip:

Visit of an artisan Trapiche, where sugar cane is processed into panela.

San Agustín, Surroundings

DAY 3: SAN AGUSTÍN – NEIVA

In the morning, horseback riding and visit of the archeological sites “El Tablon” and “La Chaquira”. Afterwards ride back to Neiva, transfer to the airport and flight to Bogotá (not included).

Highlights:

• Horse Back Riding or Rafting

Our Insider Tip:

San Agustín: Akawanka Lodge www.akawankalodge.com

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local guide
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• Informative material

• International flights and airport fees on departure
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services that are not mentiones in the programm

San Gil is known as the “Outdoor and Adventure Capital of Colombia”. Located around 300 km north of Bogotá, it is a town in the department of Santander, that with its roaring Río Fonce, caves and lush sceneries offers numerous opportunities for extreme sports enthusiasts. The area is best known for white-water rafting. Other popular pastimes include paragliding, caving, rappelling and trekking. Apart from adrenaline rushes San Gil also has a quaint 300-year-old town square and Parque El Gallineral, a beautiful natural reserve on the banks of Río Fonce.

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Barichara

DAY 1: BOGOTÁ – SAN GIL

Our day starts with overland transport from Bogotá to San Gil. Upon arrival at San Gil you will be transferred to a nice hotel in the Old City. Short introduction about the program of the following 4 days. Rest of the day free for your own exploration.

Highlights:

• Drive through diverse landscapes and climate zones
• Charming colonial flair

Our Insider Tip:

Stop in the pretty village Socoro and visit of the local museum.

San Gil, Juan Curi, Rappel

DAY 2: SAN GIL: HÖHLENBESICHTIGUNG AND RAPPEL

What a thrill caving is! Touring through the caverns of this region is great fun. Once we reach the caverns, we will visit the lovely cavern halls with high ceilings and impressive walls of stone. We will admire the stalagmites and stalactites, stone formations created long ago by water dripping from the ceilings and walls. They form beautiful ornaments in the interior of the caverns and transform them into majestic treasures. Later on we continue to another highlight, “Abseiling in Waterfalls”. Abseiling from one of these mighty natural walls in a waterfall, surrounded by beautiful countryside, is an incredibly exciting experience and a great feeling.

Highlights:

• Exploring the caves
• Rappel down the waterfalls

Our Insider Tip:

Chicamocha Canon

DAY 3: SAN GIL: RAFTING UND TREKKING

Rafting is a great team activity! The Fonce River is the birthplace of rafting in Colombia. The Fonce River will carry our raft for 20 km along beautiful, mostly untouched countryside and past an abundance of flora and fauna. You can go for a swim in the river and relax from the exciting adventure. On our way, we pass through rapids of grades 1 to 4. The rafting tour will last approximately 4 hours. In the afternoon, hiking will be our theme. You will walk on trails full of history, myths and legends and you will truly get to know this beautiful countryside. You will walk for 45 minutes through almost untouched nature until you reach the waterfall. Jump into the various ponds, relax or just play around!

Highlights:

• Rafting on the river Fonce
• Hike close to the Paramó
• Refreshing dip in the waterfall

Our Insider Tip:

Barichara 2

DAY 4: SAN GIL – BOGOTÁ

After breakfast overland transport back to Bogotá.

Highlights:

San Gil: Hotel Wassiki www.hotelwassiki.com

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local guide
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• Informative material

• International flights and airport fees on departure
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services that are not mentiones in the programm

White-washed walls, ornamented forging art, balconies with flower boxes, heavy wood doors and cobbled streets – romantic Villa de Leyva has served as a film set and been named Colombia’s most beautiful city numerous times. Located just about 4 hours away from Bogota and nestled into lovely sceneries, it is one of Colombia’s must-sees.

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Villa de Leyva

DAY 1: BOGOTÁ – VILLA DE LEYVA

At dawn we leave Bogotá via the Northern Expressway. After around 2 hours, we arrive at the most important monument in Colombian history: the “Boyacá Bridge”. On that bridge Simón Bolívar fought and won his most decisive battle against Spanish settlers. Our trip continues on to Tunja, capital city of the department of Boyacá. After a brief stop in Tunja we continue on to Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved colonial villages in South America. In the afternoon we will arrive at the hotel and afterwards we stroll through the village of Villa de Leyva visiting the central plaza with its churches, restaurants and handicraft shops. Check in at Hotel Posada de San Antonio in standard room with breakfast for 1 night.

Highlights:

• Puente de Boyacá
• Tunja
• Colonial architecture of Villa de Leyva

Our Insider Tip:

There are many artisan shops and art galleries to be explored in Villa de Leyva.

Villa de Leyva, Ecce Homo

DAY 2: VILLA DE LEYVA – BOGOTÁ

In the morning we start our visit at the “Ecce Homo” Dominican convent, constructed in the XVII century and continue to a fossil discovered just outside the town, which has been dated at more than 150 million years old. Later in the day we begin the return trip, first through La Ráquira, a village of quaint and colorful little houses, famous for its pottery and ceramics. On the way to Bogotá we have brief stop at a pilgrimage site, the Cathedral of Chiquinquirá. Arrival at hotel or airport.

Highlights:

• Kloster Ecce Homo
• Gigantische Fossilien im El Fosil
• Kunstvolle Töpferarbeiten in Raquirá
• Bailica de la Virgen de Chiquinquirá
• Unterirdische Salzkathedrale in Zipaquirá

Our Insider Tip:
Dinner at the restaurant Donostia.

Villa de Leyva: Hotel Posada San Antonio www.hotellaposadadesanantonio.com

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local guide
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• Informative material

• International flights and airport fees on departure
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services that are not mentiones in the programm
Within two days you explore the traditional ceremonial centre of the Arhuaco people. Nobody knows exactly when Nabusímake was founded. In the memory of the Indians it is said to have been around 1780. The village is surrounded by a wall of natural stone several metres high.

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Nabusimake, Village

DAY 1: AIRPORT VALLEDUPAR / SANTA MARTA – NABUSIMAKE

Early arrival at Valledupar airport (daily direct flights from Bogotá) or from Santa Marta and drive to Pueblo Bello, a small village located on the northern side of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. From here you continue the journey by 4×4 Jeep on a dirt road for about 25 km, 2 hours. Arrival around noon in the simple Maloka (hut of the Indians). In the afternoon first short hike to explore the region.

Highlights:

• Contrast of the metropole Bogotá and the indigenous village Nabusimake
• Off the beaten track
• Authentic encounter with the local indigenous population
• Culture up close

Our Insider Tip:

This is an encounter at eye-level, pay the due respect!

Nabusimake, People

DAY 2: NABUSIMAKE – VALLEDUPAR / SANTA MARTA

After breakfast a beautiful 4-hour hike to the “Cascada de Nabusimake”, passing idyllic Malokas and small settlements. Back in the Maloka you have lunch together with the Arhuacos before you return to Pueblo Bello. In the late afternoon we return to Valledupar or Santa Marta.

Highlights:

• Hike through the Sierra Nevada
• Waterfall Nabusimake

Simple but entirely authentic acommodation, together with the Arhuaco Indians or one of the simpler hostels
• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local travel guides
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• International and national flights
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services not mentioned in the program
The two-day round trip takes you to Hacienda Baza, located in the north of Bogotá. You continue to Chivor, where, in the evening, you get a brief introduction to the world of the impressive green stone. The next day you visit the emerald mine and an authentic finca, where you can have a typical lunch for the miners.

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Chivor, Emerald

DAY 1: BOGOTÁ – CHIVOR

After breakfast we start our trip departing to the north at the northern express way until Choconta. From there on we take a marvelous small road until Hacienda Baza where lunch is included. In the afternoon we continue our trip until the barrier lake at Chivor. Crossing the lake with a small ferry, we arrive the village. Time to take a walk through Chivor before dinner (included) in a small restaurant. In the evening the emerald expert will give us a first introduction about emeralds in Colombia and in Chivor and further technical explanations about the manufacturing process of emeralds. 1 Night at a small Hotel of the Village of Chivor.

Highlights:

• Contrast big city and backcountry
• Diverse landscapes
• Ferry ride on reservoir lake Chivor
• All about emeralds
• Culture and history up close

Our Insider Tip:

Chivor, Mine

DAY 2: CHIVOR – BOGOTÁ

As usual for miners, we get up early. With rubberboots, helmet, hammer and a torch (all will be lend in Chivor) we take a Jeep towards the emerald mines. On our way we take a brief stop at a Granadilla Plantation, where the farmer explains us eveything we want to know about the tropical fruit. We enter the mine together with our emerald expert and get to know all the important facts about emerald underground mining and with a little bit of good luck we will be able to find some of the green gemstones. In the afternoon we travel back to Bogotá, on our way we visit a small panela (sugar cane) finca, were a simple but fantastic and authentic meal will be served. Arrival in Bogotá in the evening.

Highlights:

• Emerald mine
• Visit of a plantation of the popular, exotic fruit Granadilla
• Visit of a artisan Trapiche, where sugar cane is processed into panela

Our Insider Tip:

Panela is one of the most typical Colombian products and therefore makes the perfect souvenir.

• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses
• Overnight in the hotels mentioned or similar including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet)
• Bilingual local travel guides
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Entrance tickets
• International and national flights
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services not mentioned in the program