THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF COLOMBIA – 17 days

For all our clients, who are looking for a tour that shows them the heart of Colombia, we have just the right thing to offer: our 17 days SIB tour “The Hidden Treasures of Colombia”, which comes with solely ground transportation and combines authentic cultural experiences with impressive landscapes and culinary elements.

Tourstops: Bogota – Villa de Leyva – Tatacoa – San Agustín – Popayan – Coffee Region – Honda – Bogotá

Possible Extension:
Caribbean Coast (Santa Marta, Tayrona, Cartagena)

Bogota 1
Day 1: BOGOTÀ – Arrival

The Colombian capital is located in the very center of the country at approx. 2650 meters above sea level in an area known as the Savanna of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá). The east side of the city is flanked by the Cordillera Oriental, which are foothills of the Andes Mountains. In terms of area, Bogotá is Colombia’s largest city: It extends more than 40 km from north to south, and 20km from east to west. It is not only the main economic and industrial center, but also the political heart of the country: The National Legislature, the Supreme Court of Justice and the residence of the President of the Republic (Casa de Nariño) reside here. With its 8 million inhabitants, the city is Colombia’s most populous and the huge cultural offer is among the best and largest in the country – Bogotá is home to numerous museums such as the famous Gold museum or the Botero museum, theatres and libraries.

Highlights:

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Bogota fruits Paloquemao
Day 2: BOGOTÀ

FD City Tour with Paloquemao, Monserrate & Botero Museum – with Bilingual guide
In the morning visit to the public market of Paloquemao, then city tour with visit to the colonial old town, the Plaza de Bolivar and the surrounding government buildings, churches worth seeing, the Botero museum and a cable car ride to the mountain Monserrate, from where one has a great view on Bogotá, In the afternoon detailed visit to the Gold Museum.
Lunch included

About 170 m / 3.5 hours

Highlights:

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

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Keep your eyes open for any unknown, exotic fruits!

Villa de Leyva, Plaza Mayor
Day 3: BOGOTÁ – VILLA DE LEYVA

Located only four hours from Bogota, Villa de Leiva is a fascinating, small, colonial town. Founded in 1572 and home to many important politicians, artists and wealthy families of the colonial period it is steeped in history and is extremely well-preserved. The enormous plaza mayor (the largest in Colombia) is flanked on all sides by red-tiled, white houses and most of the streets are cobbled. The town is perfect for wandering at a leisurely pace taking in the atmosphere of times gone by and browsing in the handicraft shops. There are also a number of small, but interesting museums. This region of Boyacá was once under the sea surface and a large number of marine fossils can be seen in the area. The scenery of the surrounding countryside is rather Mediterranean in appearance, olives, oranges and curuba are grown in the region.

Our day starts with an overland transport from Bogotá to Villa de Leyva vía Zipaquirá, visiting the unusual Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. This unique building was constructed approximately 120 meters underground in a former salt mine. Stop en route to visit the pretty village of Ráquira, famous for its handicrafts, the best place in Colombia for buying pottery. We continue towards Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved colonial towns in South America. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, transfer to our hotel.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Underground Salt-cathedral of Zipaquirá
• Elaborate handicraft in Raquirá
• Basilica de la Virgen de Chiquinquirá
• 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.

VDL, Ecce Homo
Day 4: VILLA DE LEYVA

We stroll through the village of Villa de Leyva visiting the central plaza with its churches, restaurants and handicraft shops, afterwards we visit 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, finishing in the Casa de Terra Cotta.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Monastery Ecce Homo
• Gigantic fossils in El Fosil
• Casa Terracott

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Neiva, matamundo
Day 5: VILLA DE LEYVA – TUNJA – BOGOTÁ – GIRARDOT

About 300 km / 6 hours

Girardot is a city with over 100.000 inhabitants located in the department of Cundinamarca about 3 hours southwest of Bogotá. Year-round tropical and hot climate attract tourists from Bogotá especially on the weekend escaping the capital’s rainy weather. People search distraction here in the many hotels and resorts, water parks, swimming pools and the Río Magdalena – also excursions in the field of eco-tourism are possible.

After breakfast departure from Villa de Leyva towards Bogotá taking an alternative scenic back-road via Tunja, capital city of the department of Boyacá; we first stop 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.
When entering Bogotá we pay a visit to the foundation Hogar de Paz where we learn about their project to support adolescents who don´t get much support from their families.
Afterwards we cross Bogotá and drive south to Girardot. Here we have a relaxed night at our hotel with pool.
Lunch and dinner included

Highlights:

• Puente de Boyaca
• Deep insights into the social structures of Colombia
• Supporting a local project
• Warm climate in Girardot

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Usefull,little gifts for the kids – like pens, notebooks, etc – are very welcome.

Tatacoa
Day 6: GIRARDOT – VILLAVIEJA/TATACOA DESERT

About 300 km / 6.5 hours

The Tatacoa Desert is located very close to Neiva in the department of Huila. It is a striking landscape of eroded cliffs and gullies, sculpted by the infrequent rain. Because of the dry, clear conditions, lack of light pollution and location in close proximity to the equator, Tatacoa is a great spot for stargazing – the skies above both the Northern and Southern hemispheres are spread out for all to see. Tatacoa isn’t really a desert, although the thermometer states otherwise – it can hit 50°C at times. It’s technically a semi-arid dry tropical forest.

In the morning we drive towards Villavieja, drop off our luggage at the hotel and visit the desert of Tatacoa in the afternoon.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Contrast between th Andean region and the desert area
• Rock formations in the Tatacoa Desert

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

San Agustin 1
Day 7: VILLAVIEJA/TATACOA – SAN AGUSTÍN

After breakfast we take a scnic drive to San Agustín, a village in the southern department of Huila, which is located 227 km from Neiva and counts a population of around 30,000. The village was originally founded in 1752 by Alejo Astudillo, but attacks by indigenous people destroyed it. In 1790, Lucas de Herazo y Mendigaña founded the present village. The temperature averages 18 °C year-round. The area is very well known for its pre-Columbian archaeological sites, known as the San Agustín Archaeological Park, which generates significant revenue to the economy due to the high volume of tourists, both Colombian and foreigners. In 1995, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

In the afternoon we visit the San Agustín Archaeological Park, which is formed by the “Mesitas” and the “Fuente Ceremonial de Lavapatas”. We end the day with a visit to the Archaeological Museum.
Lunch 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 Agustin 2
Day 8: SAN AGUSTÍN

Today we head to the famous strait of the Río Magdalena. Here, the longest river of Colombia narrows and is just 2 meters wide.
The afternoon is free, so take your time to relax.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• River Strait of Magdalena

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Popayan 1
Day 9: SAN AGUSTÍN – POPAYÁN

About 140 km / 4.5 hours

Popayán is the capital of the Cauca department. Founded by Sebastian de Belalcazar in 1537, Popayán is located in the Valley of Pubenza between the Western and Central Cordillera in the southwest of the country. The old and historic center of Popayán is considered one of the most beautiful and best preserved in Colombia as well as in all of Latin America.

In the morning we travel to Popayan. We stop at the Village Isnos where nearby we will find some more impressive tombs and statues at Alto de los Idolos. We continue our Journey from San Agustin to Popayan (4-5 hours), crossing the beautiful Puracé National Natural Park. We will observe some more Colombian landscapes as the Andean cloud forest and the Paramos. Arrival in Popayan, also known as the white City. In the afternoon walking tour through Popayan.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Archaeological excavations in Isnos
• Paramo Puracé
• The completely white fronts in Popayan

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Watch the sunset from the Morro, a little hill in the periphery of the city center.

Silvia 1
Day 10: SILVIA – TIMBÌO

About 125 km / 3.5 hours

In the morning we visit the village Silvia, where every Tuesday the Guambiano people come together at a busy market. Find interesting fruits and vegetables you might not have known before, as well as unique handicrafts. Depending on the hour, we either have lunch in Silvia, o r upon arrival in Popayan, before we continue toTimbío, one of the few places where the silk production, which was initiated by the state about 40 years ago, still persist. Here, the entire production process – from cultivating the mulberry leaves to the production of the silk threads – is entirely in women’s hands.
Transfer from Popayán to Timbío, where the welcoming and strong women show and tell us everything about their daily work on a tour through the mulberry fields, the nursery and pupating stations of the silk worms, as well as the final processing of the raw silk. After a delicious local snack and a visit of the local silk craft store, we head back to Popayán

Lunch included

Highlights:

• The buzz of activity of the indigenous Guambianos at the market in Silvia
• Lush green landscapes
• Silk made in Colombia (by only women!)

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Support the local women in Timbío by getting a pretty souvenir at their handicraft store.

Buga
Day 11: BUGA – QUIMBAYA (COFFEE REGION)

About 340 km / 6 hours

Transfer from Popayan to the Coffee Region with a stop a short stop in Buga, where the famous Basilica del Señor de los Milagros is located. Further transfer to our charming hotel in the coffee region.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Basilica del Senor de los Milagros
• Sugar Cane Museum

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Ask the owner of the hotel to show you around his garden with lots of different, exotic fruit.

Cacao
Day 12: COFFEE REGION

About 40 km / 1,5 hours

Half Day Cacao Tour on a family run Cacao Finca

We leave our Hotel towards the city of Armenia. In case of bad weather we change to Willy jeeps to make our way to Hacienda Evelyza, where we visit the plantation of different native and non-native varieties of cocoa. The owner of the Hacienda shares his profound knowledge of the cultivation, history and culture of cacao. During the tour through we taste various cacao fruits, and see how the grafts for no new seedlings are made. Finally we arrive at the main house where we experience the fermentation-, drying- and artesanal grinding-process. After tasting a delicious, selfmade hot chocolate, we return to our accommodation or continue to our next activity.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Learn all about the valuable cacao plant
• Experience an authentic family run local business

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Take one of the self made chocolates with you, they are delicious and make a great souvenir!

Coffee Region 2
Day 13: QUIMBAYA – ALARCA – MANIZALES

About 160 km / 5 hours

Today we take it easy and enjoy the grounds of the finca in the morning, before we drive north towards Manizales. On the way we stop at a typical “trapiche”, where sugar cane is processed to raw sugar cane blocks called “panela”. Panela is used in every colombian household and is a great alternative to white sugar.

We either have lunch close by or continue to our final destination Hacienda Venecia in the outskirts of Manizales.

Lunch and Dinner included

Highlights:

• Lush green grounds full of coffee, plantains and cacao
• The finca is crowded with colourful birds

♥ Our Insider Tip:

You can also book an additional cooking class to learn some typical preparations with plantains, or a birdwatching tour.

Coffe 1
Day 14: CALDAS

(Either in the morning or in the afternoon)
Sprawling across hills upon hills of coffee crops this traditional hacienda looks like straight out of a Colombian coffee advert. Lovingly refurbished buildings, designed gardens and facilities combine old colonial charme with modern amenities. First of all we receive an introduction to how the beans are cultivated and harvested, then to how they are selected and processed and eventually how the beans are roasted and ground into rich premium highland coffee ready for packaging.
Tour is shared with other visitors.

Lunch included

Highlights:

• All about café – from the bean to the freshly brewed cup

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Not only the coffee bean, but also the berries are highly energizing!

Honda 1
Day 15: MANIZALES – HONDA

About 150 km / 4 hours

Around midday We leave Manizales and descend the Andes to the Magdalena river valley, to get the quaint little city of Honda.

Lunch included

Highlights:

• Incredible views over the Andean landscapes

♥ Our Insider Tip:

If we leave early enough, we have time to stop at the hot springs of Ruiz.

Honda 2
Day 16: HONDA

Halfday walking tour through this historic river town, found in 1643, located directly at the Magdalena River. Visit of the market (plaza de mercado), the puente Navarro Bridge, some colonial houses and the “Museo del rio”.

Highlights:

• The Magdalena river, the most important River in Colombia
• Get lost in the charming little alleys of Honda

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Plane Wings Flight
Day 17: HONDA – BOGOTÀ, departure/onward Journey

Private transfer from Honda to Bogota Airport – Only driver
From the airport you continue your onward journey either back home or to one of the additional optional destinations (see extensions).

Highlights:

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Take a bottle of the typical Aguardiente back home.

Bogotá: Hotel Casa Deco
Villa de Leyva: Hospedería La Roca
Girardot: Hotel GHL Style Girardot
Villavieja:  Tatacoa Star Eco Hotel
San Agustín: Hotel Akawanka Lodge
Popayan: Hotel La Plazuela
Armenia: Hacienda Combia
Támesis: Hotel Vegas del Rio
Medellín: La Campana Hotel Boutique

Minimum number of participants: 2

Dates 2024: 16.06. / 15.09. / 17.11.

Do you want more information about THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF COLOMBIA - 17 days ?

THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF COLOMBIA – 17 days

For all our clients, who are looking for a tour that shows them the heart of Colombia, we have just the right thing to offer: our 17 days SIB tour “The Hidden Treasures of Colombia”, which comes with solely ground transportation and combines authentic cultural experiences with impressive landscapes and culinary elements.

Tourstops: Bogota – Villa de Leyva – Tatacoa – San Agustín – Popayan – Coffee Region – Honda – Bogotá

Possible Extension:
Caribbean Coast (Santa Marta, Tayrona, Cartagena)

Bogota 1
Day 1: BOGOTÀ – Arrival

The Colombian capital is located in the very center of the country at approx. 2650 meters above sea level in an area known as the Savanna of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá). The east side of the city is flanked by the Cordillera Oriental, which are foothills of the Andes Mountains. In terms of area, Bogotá is Colombia’s largest city: It extends more than 40 km from north to south, and 20km from east to west. It is not only the main economic and industrial center, but also the political heart of the country: The National Legislature, the Supreme Court of Justice and the residence of the President of the Republic (Casa de Nariño) reside here. With its 8 million inhabitants, the city is Colombia’s most populous and the huge cultural offer is among the best and largest in the country – Bogotá is home to numerous museums such as the famous Gold museum or the Botero museum, theatres and libraries.

Highlights:

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Bogota fruits Paloquemao
Day 2: BOGOTÀ

FD City Tour with Paloquemao, Monserrate & Botero Museum – with Bilingual guide
In the morning visit to the public market of Paloquemao, then city tour with visit to the colonial old town, the Plaza de Bolivar and the surrounding government buildings, churches worth seeing, the Botero museum and a cable car ride to the mountain Monserrate, from where one has a great view on Bogotá, In the afternoon detailed visit to the Gold Museum.
Lunch included

About 170 m / 3.5 hours

Highlights:

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

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Keep your eyes open for any unknown, exotic fruits!

Villa de Leyva, Plaza Mayor
Day 3: BOGOTÁ – VILLA DE LEYVA

Located only four hours from Bogota, Villa de Leiva is a fascinating, small, colonial town. Founded in 1572 and home to many important politicians, artists and wealthy families of the colonial period it is steeped in history and is extremely well-preserved. The enormous plaza mayor (the largest in Colombia) is flanked on all sides by red-tiled, white houses and most of the streets are cobbled. The town is perfect for wandering at a leisurely pace taking in the atmosphere of times gone by and browsing in the handicraft shops. There are also a number of small, but interesting museums. This region of Boyacá was once under the sea surface and a large number of marine fossils can be seen in the area. The scenery of the surrounding countryside is rather Mediterranean in appearance, olives, oranges and curuba are grown in the region.

Our day starts with an overland transport from Bogotá to Villa de Leyva vía Zipaquirá, visiting the unusual Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. This unique building was constructed approximately 120 meters underground in a former salt mine. Stop en route to visit the pretty village of Ráquira, famous for its handicrafts, the best place in Colombia for buying pottery. We continue towards Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved colonial towns in South America. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, transfer to our hotel.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Underground Salt-cathedral of Zipaquirá
• Elaborate handicraft in Raquirá
• Basilica de la Virgen de Chiquinquirá
• 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.

VDL, Ecce Homo
Day 4: VILLA DE LEYVA

We stroll through the village of Villa de Leyva visiting the central plaza with its churches, restaurants and handicraft shops, afterwards we visit 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, finishing in the Casa de Terra Cotta.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Monastery Ecce Homo
• Gigantic fossils in El Fosil
• Casa Terracott

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Neiva, matamundo
Day 5: VILLA DE LEYVA – TUNJA – BOGOTÁ – GIRARDOT

About 300 km / 6 hours

Girardot is a city with over 100.000 inhabitants located in the department of Cundinamarca about 3 hours southwest of Bogotá. Year-round tropical and hot climate attract tourists from Bogotá especially on the weekend escaping the capital’s rainy weather. People search distraction here in the many hotels and resorts, water parks, swimming pools and the Río Magdalena – also excursions in the field of eco-tourism are possible.

After breakfast departure from Villa de Leyva towards Bogotá taking an alternative scenic back-road via Tunja, capital city of the department of Boyacá; we first stop 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.
When entering Bogotá we pay a visit to the foundation Hogar de Paz where we learn about their project to support adolescents who don´t get much support from their families.
Afterwards we cross Bogotá and drive south to Girardot. Here we have a relaxed night at our hotel with pool.
Lunch and dinner included

Highlights:

• Puente de Boyaca
• Deep insights into the social structures of Colombia
• Supporting a local project
• Warm climate in Girardot

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Usefull,little gifts for the kids – like pens, notebooks, etc – are very welcome.

Tatacoa
Day 6: GIRARDOT – VILLAVIEJA/TATACOA DESERT

About 300 km / 6.5 hours

The Tatacoa Desert is located very close to Neiva in the department of Huila. It is a striking landscape of eroded cliffs and gullies, sculpted by the infrequent rain. Because of the dry, clear conditions, lack of light pollution and location in close proximity to the equator, Tatacoa is a great spot for stargazing – the skies above both the Northern and Southern hemispheres are spread out for all to see. Tatacoa isn’t really a desert, although the thermometer states otherwise – it can hit 50°C at times. It’s technically a semi-arid dry tropical forest.

In the morning we drive towards Villavieja, drop off our luggage at the hotel and visit the desert of Tatacoa in the afternoon.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Contrast between th Andean region and the desert area
• Rock formations in the Tatacoa Desert

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

San Agustin 1
Day 7: VILLAVIEJA/TATACOA – SAN AGUSTÍN

After breakfast we take a scnic drive to San Agustín, a village in the southern department of Huila, which is located 227 km from Neiva and counts a population of around 30,000. The village was originally founded in 1752 by Alejo Astudillo, but attacks by indigenous people destroyed it. In 1790, Lucas de Herazo y Mendigaña founded the present village. The temperature averages 18 °C year-round. The area is very well known for its pre-Columbian archaeological sites, known as the San Agustín Archaeological Park, which generates significant revenue to the economy due to the high volume of tourists, both Colombian and foreigners. In 1995, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.

In the afternoon we visit the San Agustín Archaeological Park, which is formed by the “Mesitas” and the “Fuente Ceremonial de Lavapatas”. We end the day with a visit to the Archaeological Museum.
Lunch 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 Agustin 2
Day 8: SAN AGUSTÍN

Today we head to the famous strait of the Río Magdalena. Here, the longest river of Colombia narrows and is just 2 meters wide.
The afternoon is free, so take your time to relax.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• River Strait of Magdalena

♥ Our Insider Tip:

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

Popayan 1
Day 9: SAN AGUSTÍN – POPAYÁN

About 140 km / 4.5 hours

Popayán is the capital of the Cauca department. Founded by Sebastian de Belalcazar in 1537, Popayán is located in the Valley of Pubenza between the Western and Central Cordillera in the southwest of the country. The old and historic center of Popayán is considered one of the most beautiful and best preserved in Colombia as well as in all of Latin America.

In the morning we travel to Popayan. We stop at the Village Isnos where nearby we will find some more impressive tombs and statues at Alto de los Idolos. We continue our Journey from San Agustin to Popayan (4-5 hours), crossing the beautiful Puracé National Natural Park. We will observe some more Colombian landscapes as the Andean cloud forest and the Paramos. Arrival in Popayan, also known as the white City. In the afternoon walking tour through Popayan.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Archaeological excavations in Isnos
• Paramo Puracé
• The completely white fronts in Popayan

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Watch the sunset from the Morro, a little hill in the periphery of the city center.

Silvia 1
Day 10: SILVIA – TIMBÌO

About 125 km / 3.5 hours

In the morning we visit the village Silvia, where every Tuesday the Guambiano people come together at a busy market. Find interesting fruits and vegetables you might not have known before, as well as unique handicrafts. Depending on the hour, we either have lunch in Silvia, o r upon arrival in Popayan, before we continue toTimbío, one of the few places where the silk production, which was initiated by the state about 40 years ago, still persist. Here, the entire production process – from cultivating the mulberry leaves to the production of the silk threads – is entirely in women’s hands.
Transfer from Popayán to Timbío, where the welcoming and strong women show and tell us everything about their daily work on a tour through the mulberry fields, the nursery and pupating stations of the silk worms, as well as the final processing of the raw silk. After a delicious local snack and a visit of the local silk craft store, we head back to Popayán

Lunch included

Highlights:

• The buzz of activity of the indigenous Guambianos at the market in Silvia
• Lush green landscapes
• Silk made in Colombia (by only women!)

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Support the local women in Timbío by getting a pretty souvenir at their handicraft store.

Buga
Day 11: BUGA – QUIMBAYA (COFFEE REGION)

About 340 km / 6 hours

Transfer from Popayan to the Coffee Region with a stop a short stop in Buga, where the famous Basilica del Señor de los Milagros is located. Further transfer to our charming hotel in the coffee region.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Basilica del Senor de los Milagros
• Sugar Cane Museum

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Ask the owner of the hotel to show you around his garden with lots of different, exotic fruit.

Cacao
Day 12: COFFEE REGION

About 40 km / 1,5 hours

Half Day Cacao Tour on a family run Cacao Finca

We leave our Hotel towards the city of Armenia. In case of bad weather we change to Willy jeeps to make our way to Hacienda Evelyza, where we visit the plantation of different native and non-native varieties of cocoa. The owner of the Hacienda shares his profound knowledge of the cultivation, history and culture of cacao. During the tour through we taste various cacao fruits, and see how the grafts for no new seedlings are made. Finally we arrive at the main house where we experience the fermentation-, drying- and artesanal grinding-process. After tasting a delicious, selfmade hot chocolate, we return to our accommodation or continue to our next activity.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Learn all about the valuable cacao plant
• Experience an authentic family run local business

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Take one of the self made chocolates with you, they are delicious and make a great souvenir!

Coffee Region 2
Day 13: QUIMBAYA – ALARCA – MANIZALES

About 160 km / 5 hours

Today we take it easy and enjoy the grounds of the finca in the morning, before we drive north towards Manizales. On the way we stop at a typical “trapiche”, where sugar cane is processed to raw sugar cane blocks called “panela”. Panela is used in every colombian household and is a great alternative to white sugar.

We either have lunch close by or continue to our final destination Hacienda Venecia in the outskirts of Manizales.

Lunch and Dinner included

Highlights:

• Lush green grounds full of coffee, plantains and cacao
• The finca is crowded with colourful birds

♥ Our Insider Tip:

You can also book an additional cooking class to learn some typical preparations with plantains, or a birdwatching tour.

Coffe 1
Day 14: CALDAS

(Either in the morning or in the afternoon)
Sprawling across hills upon hills of coffee crops this traditional hacienda looks like straight out of a Colombian coffee advert. Lovingly refurbished buildings, designed gardens and facilities combine old colonial charme with modern amenities. First of all we receive an introduction to how the beans are cultivated and harvested, then to how they are selected and processed and eventually how the beans are roasted and ground into rich premium highland coffee ready for packaging.
Tour is shared with other visitors.

Lunch included

Highlights:

• All about café – from the bean to the freshly brewed cup

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Not only the coffee bean, but also the berries are highly energizing!

Honda 1
Day 15: MANIZALES – HONDA

About 150 km / 4 hours

Around midday We leave Manizales and descend the Andes to the Magdalena river valley, to get the quaint little city of Honda.

Lunch included

Highlights:

• Incredible views over the Andean landscapes

♥ Our Insider Tip:

If we leave early enough, we have time to stop at the hot springs of Ruiz.

Honda 2
Day 16: HONDA

Halfday walking tour through this historic river town, found in 1643, located directly at the Magdalena River. Visit of the market (plaza de mercado), the puente Navarro Bridge, some colonial houses and the “Museo del rio”.

Highlights:

• The Magdalena river, the most important River in Colombia
• Get lost in the charming little alleys of Honda

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Plane Wings Flight
Day 17: HONDA – BOGOTÀ, departure/onward Journey

Private transfer from Honda to Bogota Airport – Only driver
From the airport you continue your onward journey either back home or to one of the additional optional destinations (see extensions).

Highlights:

♥ Our Insider Tip:

Take a bottle of the typical Aguardiente back home.

Bogotá: Hotel Casa Deco
Villa de Leyva: Hospedería La Roca
Girardot: Hotel GHL Style Girardot
Villavieja:  Tatacoa Star Eco Hotel
San Agustín: Hotel Akawanka Lodge
Popayan: Hotel La Plazuela
Armenia: Hacienda Combia
Támesis: Hotel Vegas del Rio
Medellín: La Campana Hotel Boutique

Minimum number of participants: 2

Dates 2024: 16.06. / 15.09. / 17.11.

Ihr möchtet gerne mehr Infos zu THE HIDDEN TREASURES OF COLOMBIA - 17 days?

Stephan Stober

General Manager

German, Spanish, English
With Neptuno since 2008

As a geographer, Stephan has been fascinated since his first visit to Colombia by the diversity of the landscapes in Colombia. He has lived in Colombia since 2008, and in May 2011 became a vital member of the incoming team of Promotora Neptuno. He joined Neptuno as an incoming & marketing manager while also teaching evening courses of geography at one of the university in Bogotá. Since 2018 he became a businesspartner, and since 2022 the general manager of Neptuno.