Enjoy this amazing mix of culture, nature, relaxation and adventure. Get to know Colombia’s archaeological treasures and some of its off the beaten track landscapes and charming villages.

Tourstops: Bogotá – Villa De Leyva – Monguí – Casanare – Tatacoa – Tierradentro – San Agustín – Cartagena – Santa Marta

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Bogotá

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN BOGOTÁ

Arrival in Bogotá, reception by a bilingual guide and transfer to hotel in the colonial heart of Bogotá. 2 nights including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Strolling through the surroundings of the hotel

Our Insider Tip:

The popular sweet wafers with Arequipe, which also Mick Jagger seems to like a lot (available during day time).

Bogotá Goldmuseum

DAY 2: BOGOTÁ

Guided visit to the Colombian capital. Includes the Plaza de Bolívar (the city’s main square) and government buildings situated around it, La Candelaria (the old colonial part of town), the San Francisco Church, the Gold Museum (closed on Mondays), a trip in funicular railway or cable car to the top of Monserrate hill and a visit to the fruit and vegetable market place of Paloquemao.

Highlights:

• Historic Centre La Candelaria
• View from Monserrate
• Historic artefarcts at the Gold Museum
• Versatile, gastronomic offer

Our Insider Tip:

Looking closely, one can see on the Avenida Jimenez how they trade emeralds in small paper bags.

Villa de Leyva

DAY 3: BOGOTÁ – VILLA DE LEYVA

Early morning departure from Bogotá northwards. On the way to the final destination visit the Zipaquirá´s Salt Cathedral. A unique building constructed approximately 120 meters underground in a former salt mine. Then arrive at one of the most significant national monuments in Colombia: the “Boyacá Bridge”. On this bridge Simón Bolívar won his most decisive battle against Spanish settlers. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, visit the main square and enjoy the magic of this beautifully preserved colonial town. 2 Nights in Villa de Leyva with breakfast Included.

Highlights:

• Underground Salt-cathedral of Zipaquirá
• Puente de Boyaca
• Colonial architecture of Villa de Leyva

Our Insider Tip:

The restaurant Colfrance, located at the shores of the lagoon Fúquene, is the perfect lunch-stop.

Villa de Leyva, Ecce Homo

DAY 4: VILLA DE LEYVA

In the morning start visiting 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. Also visit an ancient astronomic observatory of the precolombian people of this region and a house all made with clay.

Highlights:

• Ecce Homo
• Great fossils in El Fosil
• Observatory
• Casa Terracotta

Our Insider Tip:

There are plenty of little art shops and galleries to discover in Villa de Leyva.

Mongui, center

DAY 5: VILLA DE LEYVA – MONGUÍ

After breakfast transfer to Monguí town, one of the loveliest towns of Colombia. At arrival walking tour around the town visiting a business of good quality handcrafted football balls. The balls business is very important for the local economy and is part of the culture. 2 nights in Monguí including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Scenic drive to Monguí
• Handcrafted footballs

Our Insider Tip:

There are still some hand-sewn footballs!

Mongui, Landscape

DAY 6: MONGUÍ

After breakfast full day hike with box lunch included through the well preserved “Ocetá páramo”. The “páramo” is a marvelous and fragile ecosystem only found in the upper part of some of the tropical mountains of the world, and is determinant to “produce” the water of the Colombian Andean region.

Highlights:

• Hike in the Paramp Ocetá

Our Insider Tip:

Various layers of clothes due to the rapidly changing climate in the Paramo.

Yopal, Los Llanos

DAY 7: MONGUÍ – YOPAL (CASANARE)

After breakfast transfer to Yopal, the capital city of Casanare department in the “llanos” (flat lands) area of Colombia. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel in the surroundings. Afternoon free. 1 night in Yopal including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Drive through changing landscapes and climatezones

Our Insider Tip:

The typical sandals “cotizas” make a pretty and unique souvenir.

Los Llanos, Boatride

DAY 8: YOPAL – HATO LA AURORA

Very early in the morning pick up in a 4-wheel drive car for a 4 hours transfer to Hotel Juan Solito in the “Hato” La Aurora , a cattle farm in the middle of the most amazing nature to stay 2 nights; fullboard included. After lunch, boat ride along the river to enjoy the nature plenty of fauna and flora with full opportunities to take pictures. Time to appreciate the beautiful sunset.

Highlights:

• Culture llanera up close
• Boat ride on the river
• Impressive local flora and fauna

Our Insider Tip:

Keeo your eyes open at all time for rare bird species.

Los Llanos, Safari

DAY 9: HATO LA AURORA

Full day to explore the Hato in a 4-wheel drive safari. Time to enjoy the land nature with different animals than the ones in the river. The driver can stop depending on the interest of the photographers. In the night, enjoy a folkloric night full of music and legends.

Highlights:

• Impressive local flora and fauna
• Unique sunsets

Our Insider Tip:

Dance to the rhythm of the local Joropo.

Los Llanos, Safari, Birds

DAY 10: HATO LA AURORA – YOPAL

In the morning, transfer back to Yopal. Afternoon to rest and enjoy the place. 1 night in Yopal including breakfast.

Highlights:

• The tranquil city center of Yopal

Our Insider Tip:

Visit a local hat-workshop and take one of these cowboy hats back home.

Bogotá Graffity

DAY 11: YOPAL – BOGOTÁ

After breakfast transfer to Bogotá. 1 Night in Bogotá including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Contrast Los Llanos and the metropole Bogotá
• Versatile gastronomic offer

Our Insider Tip:

Dinner at the restaurant Donostia.

Neiva

DAY 12: BOGOTÁ – NEIVA

In the mid-morning transfer to the airport for a local flight to Neiva. At arrival transfer to the hotel to spend 1 night with breakfast included.

Highlights:

• Contrast Bogotá and the arid, warm region around Neiva

Our Insider Tip:

Stroll along the esplanade Malecón del Rio Magdalena and see the statue “La Gaitana”.

Rio Magdalena

DAY 13: NEIVA – AIPE – VILLA VIEJA – TATACOA

After breakfast transfer to Aipe town for a boat ride in the Magdalena river crossing to the Villa Vieja town. Enough time to take pictures. At arrival walking tour through Villa Vieja and then transport to the Tatacoa desert. 2 nights in a hotel in the desert with breakfast included.

Highlights:

• Charming village Villavieja

Our Insider Tip:

Stargazing in the desert.

Tatacoa

DAY 14: TATACOA

Free day in the desert with available guide and transport.

Highlights:

• Impressive desert landscape

Our Insider Tip:

When walking through the desert watch out for rocks lying around…Tatacoa is known for its many fossils.

Tierradentro Landscape

DAY 15: TATACOA – TIERRADENTRO

After breakfast overland trip of approx. 7 hours to San Andrés de Pisimbalá (Tierradentro).Once there transfer to a pleasant hotel to spend 2 nights with breakfast included.

Highlights:

• Desert scenery

Our Insider Tip:

When walking through the desert watch out for rocks lying around…Tatacoa is known for its many fossils.

Tierradentro

DAY 16: TIERRADENTRO

After breakfast visit different subterranean funeral chambers in the area with plenty opportunities to take pictures. If desirable visit the ethnologic and precolombian museums.

Highlights:

• Plenty of subterranean chambers
• History and culture up close
• Great photo opportunities

Our Insider Tip:

Visit of the ethnologic and precolombian museum.

San Agustín

DAY 17: TIERRADENTRO – SAN AGUSTÍN

After breakfast overland trip of approx 5 hours to San Agustín. At arrival visit La Chaquira and El Tablón and then transfer to the hotel to spend 2 nights with breakfast included.

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, Rio Magdalena

DAY 18: SAN AGUSTÍN

In the morning full day availability of guide and transport to know the attractions of San Agustín. Please take into account that the archeological park is closed on Tuesday. If the park is open visit the park, the Magdalena River narrowest place called “El estrecho” and La Pelota site. If the park is closed visit La Chaquira , El Tablón, the Magdalena “ Estrecho”and El Purutal site.

Highlights:

• Various archaeological sites in astonishing settings
• River Strait of Magdalena

Our Insider Tip:

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

Cartagena

DAY 19: SAN AGUSTÍN – CARTAGENA

In the morning, transfer to Neiva airport to take a local flight to Cartagena (vía Bogotá). At arrival transfer to a pleasant hotel in the historic part of the city to spend 2 nights with breakfast included.

Highlights:

• Contrast between the southern part of Colombia and the caribbean coast
• Charming alleys in Cartagena
• Great variety of culinary delights

Our Insider Tip:

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

Cartagena, Castillo

DAY 20: CARTAGENA

After breakfast start a full day tour around Cartagena Colombia´s fifth largest city with the best preserved colonial architecture in the country declared a World Heritage by the Unesco in 1984. First, transfer to the convent of La Popa (the highest point of the city) and the Castillo de San Felipe, an immense fort filled with history and mysteries hidden in its stonewalled tunnels. Leaving the castle, visit the monument of Zapatos Viejos, the “Old Shoes”. In the afternoon walking tour around the old city.

Highlights:

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

Our Insider Tip:

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

Tayrona Playa

DAY 21: CARTAGENA – SANTA MARTA (Tayrona area)

In the morning overland trip to the Tayrona area in Santa Marta and transfer to a beach lodge in the Tayrona area to spend 3 nights with breakfast included.

Highlights:

• Drive through the zona bananera, the banana region

Our Insider Tip:

A stop at the volcanoe Totumo or the village Galerazamba.

Tayrona Cabo San Juan

DAY 22: SANTA MARTA (Tayrona area)

Full day visit to Tayrona National Park. Early departure from the beach lodge to visit this area with some of the most beautiful beaches of the Colombian Caribbean coast at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world´s highest coastal mountain range.

Highlights:

• Nationalpark Tayrona
• Unique beaches
• Outstanding tropical flora and fauna

Our Insider Tip:

Plenty of potable water.

Santa Marta, Sunset Taganga

DAY 23: SANTA MARTA (Tayrona area)

Full day visit to Don Diego River area, one of the rivers that flows down the Sierra Nevada. Very early in the morning, with the first light, transfer to the Taironaka reserve and boat ride along the river arriving to the ocean with plenty opportunities to take pictures of animals and plants. Return back to the reserve and in the afternoon hike up the mountain along the river don Dieguito to appreciate and take pictures of the nature of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Highlights:

• Natural reserve Taironaka with ancient ruins in breathtaking scenery
• Floating down the river Don Diego

Our Insider Tip:

Patacones with suero and hogao (fried plantains with sour cream and tomato sauce).

Salida

DAY 24: SANTA MARTA

Transfer out to the airport for national flight and connections.

Highlights:

Our Insider Tip:

Just outside the airport they sell cocadas (sweets of coconut and panela), that make a great souvenir.

Bogotá: Hotel Casa Deco www.hotelcasadeco.com
Villa de Leyva: Hospedería La Roca www.villadeleyva.net/hoteles/hospederia-la-roca
Monguí: Hotel Monguí Plaza www.monguiplazahotel.com/site
Yopal: Villa Pepita – no web page –
Casanare: Hotel Juan Solito www.juansolito.com
Neiva: Hostería Matamundo www.hosteriamatamundo.com
Tatacoa Desert: Hotel Bethel www.betheltatacoaoficial.com
Tierradentro: Hotel El Refugio – no web page-
San Agustín: Hotel Anacaona www.anacaon-colombia.com
Cartagena: Hotel 3 Banderas www.3banderas.com
Santa Marta/Tayrona area: Hotel Playa La Roca www.playalarocaecohotel.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 travel guides
• 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