Day 1: Bogotá – Arrival
Arrival in Bogotá, where we are welcome by the tour guide. Transfer to the hotel in the colonial city center of Bogotá. 2 nights, breakfast included. During dinner (not included) we review the itinerary with the guide.
Day 2: Bogotá
In the morning we explore the city by bike, taking advantage of the empty streets – due to “ciclo via”, an event that takes place every Sunday. In the afternoon we continue our city tour and visit the points of interest such as Plaza Bolivar, beautiful churches and the Gold Museum. To finish the day, we take the cable car up to Monserrate and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
Day 3: Bogotá – Villa de Leyva
After breakfast we leave Bogotá northbound, heading to Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful colonial villages of Colombia. On the way we stop in Zipaquirá, Chiquinquirá and Raquirá. We arrive in Villa de Leyva in the early afternoon and check in to a colonial hotel located in the city center. 3 nights, breakfast included. In the afternoon we stroll through the village.
Day 4: Villa de Leyva
Whole day bike tour to explore the impressive landscape around Villa de Leyva. We pass the archeological site “Observatorio Muisca”, the monastery “Ecce Homo” and afterwards a 150 year old fossil, which is displayed right where it was found.
Bike tour: ca. 45 km / Ascent: ca. 500 m / Descent: ca. 500 m
Day 5: Villa de Leyva
After breakfast we drive up to the visitors´center of Iguaque National Park, the starting point for our trekking that takes us up to a lagoon situated at 3.600 m known as cradle of mankind to the Muisca Indians. Expect great paramo landscapes with Frailijones and wide views. In the late afternoon we ride back to Villa de Leyva by bike.
Trekking: Ascent: 800 m / Descent: 800 m / 5 hours
Bike tour: ca. 20 km / Ascent: 100 m / Descent: 600 m
Day 6: Villa de Leyva – Salento
Drive back to Bogotá and in the afternoon flight to the coffee region (Armenia or Pereira). Transfer to the village Salento, where we go for a walk in the evening. Salento has kept its traditional architecture and is situated in the lush green hills of the coffee region.
Day 7- 12: Los Nevados
Start of the 6 days/5 nights crossing of the volcanic chain Los Nevados, the highest elevation in the central mountain chain. The region includes four departments: Tolima, Quindio, Riseralda and Caldas. The two highest spots are Nevado del Tolima (5.125 m) and Nevado del Ruiz (5.311 m). Inbetween there are various volcanoes of about 5.000 m, great paramo landscapes with lots of typical Frailejones and beautiful lagoons. This tour includes the optional climb of Nevado Santa Isabel (5.000 m). We spend the nights in shelters or very good tents, that can easily keep up with international standards.
Full board, local guides with lots of climbing experience and mules to carry our luggage. The tour is programmed as follows, might be changed however due to climate and local conditions:
Day 7: Salento – Estrella de Agua
In the morning we have some time to explore the village a little closer. At around 11:00, in typical Willy Jeeps, we head for the valley of Cocora. Be impressed by the huge wax palmtrees, that can reach up to 70 m. We start our trekking, that takes us past the nature reserve Acaime until we reach our first shelter “Estrella de Agua” (3.170 m).
Ascent: 770 m / Descent: 0 m / 6 hours
Day 8: Estrella de Agua – Finca La Playa
On day 2 of our trekking we hike through Andean forest and typical paramo landscapes that are characterized by Frailejones. After a steep ascent to the “Paramo de Romerales”, we reach our destination for the day, the shelter “Finca La Playa” (3.680 m).
Ascent: 570 m / Descent: 50 m / 6-7 hours
Day 9: Finca la Playa (Paramo de Romerales – Laguna del Encanto – Termales Cañón)
We continue with another ascent through the paramo landscapes with a wide view of the „Laguna del Encanto” and subsequent descent through the “Valle del Placer” until we reach the hot springs “Termales Cañon”. Enjoy a nice hot bath here. This night we spend in tents.
Ascent: 200 m / Descent: 200 m / 6-7 hours
Day 10: Termales Cañón – Finca Africa
From the region of the hot springs we continue to „Finca Africa”.
Ascent: 0 m / Descent: 150 m / 6-7 hours
Day 11: Finca Africa – Laguna de Otun
Today we climb up to the montain pass „Cerro España“ until we reach the “Laguna de Otun”.
We spend the night in tents.
Ascent: 800 m / Descent: 550 m / 6-7 hours
Day 12: Ascending the summit of Nevado Santa Isabel – Manizales
Early in the morning we head for the glaciers of Nevado Santa Isabel. After passing the snow line at around 4.800 m, we hike up the last meters with a rope, clampons and ice picks until we reach the summit at around 5.000 m. Here you will get an impressive view of the national park and the surrounding peaks. Afterwards we climb back down to the shelter where we will be picked up and driven back to Manizales (2.150 m). After 6 exhausting and exciting days, lean back and relax at the hotel.
Ascent: 1.100 m / Descent: 1.100 m / 8 hours
Day 13: Manizales
The mountain bikes are already awaiting us and we start our tour through the amazing, lush green coffee region. We ride until Hacienda Venecia, an authentic coffee finca, where we learn everything about cultivation of coffee and the durther processing of this important good. In the afternoon we ride back to the hotel.
Bike tour: ca. 50 km / Ascent: 450 m / Descent: 450 m
Day 14: Manizales – Bogotá – Santa Marta
Transfer to the airport and flight to Santa Marta (connection in Bogotá). After arrival transfer to Taganga, a little fisher village, where we spend one night at a hotel on the beach.
OR: Flight to Bogotá and end f the journey.
Day 15: Santa Marta – Trekking Ciudad Perdida
Start of the 4 days/3 nights trekking to the Lost City. La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Santa Marta Snow-Capped Mountain Range) is the highest coastal mountain range in the world. It rises up to 5.775m meters at Bolívar peak and is only 50km, as the crow flies, away from the sea. At this reserve covering 383.000 hectares one can find a humid jungle of slopes and foothills, tropical rain forest and rainy tundra as well as peaks that are covered by snow all year round. In addition to its immense wealth in bio-diversity, in flora and animal life, this reserve is also the home of diverse indigenous groups such as the Arhuacos and the Koguis. It also represents one of the most outstanding and impressive archaeological sites of the continent: The Lost City or “Ciudad Perdida” is situated at an altitude of between 900 and 1300 meters above sea-level in the middle of the jungle. The Tayrona Indians, who flourished between the 13th and 14th century, probably constructed this archaeological wonder. The Lost City, with its terraced complexes, bridges, paths and aqueducts, is extraordinary, as is the track that leads us there, taking us through diverse and spectacular landscapes and climatic zones.
Accommodation in simple camps with hammocks or beds and simple, shared bathrooms. Due to the given conditions up in the mountains, these are the only accommodations available.
The tour is programmed as follows, as there are various camps though, the exact location of our accommodation might change.
Santa Marta – Mamey – Adán
After pick up at your hotel in Santa Marta, we drive by 4×4 vehicle for about 3 hours to Mamey (or “Machete Pelao”). After a brief introduction and lunch, we start our hike from Machete to the first cabaña “Adan” o “Alfredo”. During the hike we pass natural pools, where we can take a refreshing bath.
Duration/Distance: 3h/7.5 km.
Day 16: Adán – Wiwa – Teyuna
After breakfast we start our hike towards the camp “Wiwa” where we have lunch and cool off in the pleasant waters of the river Buritaca. From here we continue the journey and pass “’Mutanyi’”, an indigenous village inhabited by Koguis, where the guide will give us some information about the indigenous culture of the Sierra Nevada. Afterwards we hike to camp “’Paraíso Teyuna’” where we spend the second night. This camp is located just 1 hour from The Lost City.
Day 17: Teyuna – Ciudad Perdida – Wiwa
Climbing up 1200 steps we see terraces built over a thousand years ago until we finally get to the archaeological rings that were the foundations of the main settlement of the vanished Tayrona culture. During this guided tour we learn about the Lost City and enjoy the beautiful landscape. We also get the chance to take a bath in the “Pozo de Juventud” (Well of Youth), that, according to the legend, has magical properties. We finish the tour by descending down to “Paraíso Teyuno” where we have lunch before continuing to “Wiwa” where we spend our last night. Here we will experience a cultural exchange, which gives us an inside into their cosmic vision, lifestyle and art.
Duration/Distance: 8h/11km. Accommodation: Hammocks
Day 18: Wiwa- Mamey – Santa Marta
Our days in contact with nature come to an end and it’s time to return to the city. Early in the morning we hike from “Wiwa” to “El Mamey”. Here we have lunch, before getting on the Jeeps that take us back to Santa Marta.
Day 19: Tayrona Park
After breakfast we start a full day hike through the tropical dry forest of Tayrona national park, that leads us to the left overs of the former indigenous village “Pueblito”. Afterwards we continue to the beautiful beaches of San Juan del Cabo, La Piscina, Arrecife and Cañaveral. We have plenty of time to relax and go for a swim.
Day 20: Tayrona Park – Cartagena
After breakfast we take the public bus via Santa Marta and Barranquilla to Cartagena, straight to our hotel in the old town. 2 nights, breakfast included.
Day 21: Cartagena
In the morning we explore the city by foot and visit the colonial treasures of Cartagena. In the afternoon we discover the corners of Cartagena, to many the most beautiful city in South America, on our own.
Day 22: Cartagena – Return flight
Around midday/afternoon transfer to the airport and flight back home (connection in Bogotá).