We start in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, afterwards you explore the hot, sleepy city of Neiva and then San Agustín, where you will get to see ancient volcanic statues. From there on you will travel to Popayán, a small colonial town, and further to the Coffee Region, where you will enjoy a caffeine fueled, coffee tasting adventure. The journey will then take you to Medellín, which is famous for its stylish restaurants and legendary nightlife, and last but not least to the beautifully preserved colonial old town of Cartagena.

Tourstops: Bogota – Neiva – San Agustín – Coffee Region – Medellín – Cartagena

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>Bogotá

DAY 1, FRIDAY: BOGOTÁ

Arrival at the International airport of Bogotá, meet your English-speaking guide and transfer to the hotel. 2 nights in Bogotá including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Stroll 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, SATURDAY: BOGOTÁ

After our first nutritious breakfast with eggs, bread, fruits and juice we meet our guide to start discovering the Colombian capital city. The tour starts with a trip in a funicular railway or cable car to the top of the Monserrate Hill offering a spectacular view of the city. Afterwards we walk through the old town La Candelaria with its colonial architecture and visit at the main square Plaza Bolivar the government buildings. Finally we discover the famous Gold Museum, which houses the world greatest collection of pre-Hispanic Indian gold crafts. The tour ends, with a visit to Paloquemao, an authentic market place, where we will see and taste all the typical fruits and learn everything about vegetables and other food products of the region.

Highlights:

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

Our Insider Tip:

Looking closely, on Avenida Jimenez, one can see people trading emeralds in small paper bags.

Neiva

DAY 3, SUNDAY: BOGOTÁ – NEIVA

In the morning, transfer to the airport and flight to Neiva. Upon arrival transfer to the Tatacoa desert, the heat of the day is now gone and we will enjoy the sunset in the desert.
Transfer to our Hotel in Neiva. 1 night including breakfast.

Highlights:

• Contrast between Bogotá and the desert area
• Sunset 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 Agustín, Surroundings

DAY 4, MONDAY: NEIVA – SAN AGUSTIN

We begin a 4-5 hour overland trip on the road that follows the Magdalena River to San Agustín. It is here, where some of the most significant archaeological relics in South America have been found. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. 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.

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

DAY 5, TUESDAY: SAN AGUSTIN

After breakfast we will head to the famous strait of the Río Magdalena. Here, the longest river of Colombia narrows and is just 2 meters wide. In the afternoon we continue to the nearby village of Isnos to see the Parque Arqueológico (archeological park) where at the Alto de los Ídolos and Alto de las Piedras we will find some of the most impressive tombs and statues in the country.

Highlights:

• River Strait of Magdalena
• Archaeological excavations in Isnos

Our Insider Tip:

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

Popayan

DAY 6, WEDNESDAY: SAN AGUSTIN – POPAYAN

We continue our journey from San Agustín to Popayán (4-5 hours), crossing the beautiful Puracé National Natural Park. We will observe some more Colombian landscapes like the andenean cloud forest and the Páramos. Arrival in Popayán, also known as the White City. In the afternoon walking tour through Popayán. 1 night including breakfast.

Highlights:

• 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.

Coffee Region, Nature

DAY 7, THURSDAY: POPAYAN – COFFEE REGION

Transfer from Popayán to the Coffee Region with a short stop in Buga, where the famous Basílica del Señor de los Milagros is located. Further transfer to Armenia in the heart of the Coffee Region. 2 nights at a Coffee Hacienda.

Highlights:

• Cathedral Senor de los Milagros in Buga
• Colourfull village Salento
• Lush green landscapes

Our Insider Tip:

The view from the mirador in Salento.

>Coffee Region, Coffee

DAY 8, FRIDAY: COFFEE REGION

After breakfast we visit the farm right next to the hotel and learn everything about the Colombian Highland Coffee in a technical and practical introduction to the coffee cultivation and production process of the Hacienda. In the afternoon we visit the botanical garden and the butterfly rising.

Highlights:

• All about coffee
• Local culture up close

Our Insider Tip:

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

Cocora Valley

DAY 9, SATURDAY: COFFEE REGION

Today we visit Valle de Cocora: With breathtaking landscapes, this is one of the most beautiful valleys in Colombia. Here one will find the impressive “Palma de Cera”, the official Colombian national tree and one of the tallest species of palm in the world. On the way back to Armenia, we visit Salento, a picturesque village with artisanal and crafts shops.

Highlights:

• Waxpalms
• Green Andean landscapes

Our Insider Tip:

A tasty Canelazo (typical hot beverage).

Medellín

DAY 10, SUNDAY: COFFEE REGION – MEDELLÍN

In the morning time to relax at the Hacienda, afterwards transfer to Medellín (about 5 hours). Arrival at ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, where we will spend 2 nights at a hotel in the modern part El Poblado.

Highlights:

• Contrast between coffee region and Medellin
• Mild climate
• Versatile, gastronomic offer

Our Insider Tip:

Gain an inside into Medellin´s night life by having a drink at one of the many bars in El Poblado.

Medellín

DAY 11, MONDAY: MEDELLÍN

After breakfast we discover Medellín, a city which stands for the change in Colombia, like no other place. Once being a city known for many problems, Medellín recognizes itself nowadays for its friendly people, good weather and its projects of social inclusion, like the Metrocable. The tour starts in the heart of the center by exploring the San Antonio Park, Plaza de San Ignacio, the traditional Avenida La Playa and the Sculpture Park, which contains more than 20 sculptures, donated by Maestro Fernando Botero, a son of Antioquia and Colombia’s best-known artist. We finish the tour with a trip by Metro and by Cable Car to the Biblioteca de España.

Highlights:

• The different facets of Medellín
• Botero’s sculptures
• Profound insights into the local culture and history

Our Insider Tip:

Today’s lunch should be the typical dish Bandeja Paisa.

Cartagena

DAY 12, TUESDAY: MEDELLÍN – CARTAGENA

Today we leave the andenean region of Colombia and fly directly to Cartagena at the Caribbean Coast. Arrival at Cartagena de Indias and transfer to our hotel located at the Old City. Today Cartagena is Colombia’s fifth largest city, has the best preserved colonial architecture in the country and is one of the most famous vacation resorts – it was declared a World Heritage by the UNSECO in 1984. 2 nights including breakfast. In the evening we take a first walk through the beautiful Old City of Cartagena. We spend 3 nights in Cartagena.

Highlights:

• Contrast of the Andean region 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 Frutas

DAY 13, WEDNESDAY: CARTAGENA

After breakfast 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, we visit the monument of Zapatos Viejos, the “Old Shoes”. In the afternoon time for leisure.

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.

Cartagena Islas del Rosario

DAY 14, THURSDAY: CARTAGENA

Breakfast and day for leisure. Opportunity to take an optional half-day tour to La Boquilla, a fisherman’s village about 30 minutes by car from Cartagena, where travelers will be taken by natives in dugout canoes through the mangrove labyrinths of the swamps close by to the village. Or by boat together with other tourists to one of the Rosario Islands to enjoy the white sanded beaches and the cristal-clear water of the Caribbean (optional tours, not included).

Highlights:

• Culture up close, encounter with locals
• Mangroves
• White, caribbean beaches
• Crystal clear water

Our Insider Tip:

Grab your snorkel and explore the caribbean underwater world on the Rosario Islands.

Cartagena by Night

DAY 15, FRIDAY: CARTAGENA – BOGOTÁ / FLIGHT HOME or EXTENSION

After breakfast time to enjoy the last hours in Colombia, transfer to the airport and flight home or departure to optional extension program (see optional Tours below).

Highlights:

Bogotá: Hotel Casa Deco www.hotelcasadeco.com
Neiva: Hostería Matamundo www.hosteriamatamundo.com
San Agustín: Hacienda Anacaona www.anacaon-colombia.com
Popayán: Hotel La Plazuela www.hotellaplazuela.com.co/en
Coffee region: Hotel Bosque de Saman Estandar www.elbosquedelsaman.com
Medellín: La Campana Boutique www.lacampanahotelboutique.com
Cartagena: Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia www.hoteldonpedrodeheredias.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
• High interest information material
• Domestic flights: Bogotá – Neiva / Medellín – Cartagena – Bogotá
• Personal expenses and tips
• Services not mentioned in the program
Minimum requirements of participants: 2

Dates 2019: 18.01. / 08.02. / 08.03. / 26.04. / 10.05. / 21.06. / 19.07. / 16.08. / 13.09. / 11.10. / 08.11. / 29.11.

Dates 2020: 17.01. / 07.02. / 06.03. / 17.04. / 15.05. / 05.06. / 24.07. / 07.08. / 11.09. / 16.10. / 06.11. / 20.11.

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 – Támesis – Medellín

Possible Extensions:
Pacific Coast – Nuqui
Caribbean Coast – Santa Marta, Tayrona, Cartagena

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Bogotá

DAY 1: ARRIVAL BOGOTÀ

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.

Private transfer from Bogotá airport (BOG) to Hotel in the historic center- with Bilingual guide

Dinner included (depending on arrival time!)

Highlights:

Our Insider Tip:

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

Bogotá Frutas

DAY 2: BOGOTÁ

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

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.

Villa de Leyva, 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 Terracotta

Our Insider Tip:

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

Neiva

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 Agustín, Surroundings

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 Agustín

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.

Popayán

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

DAY 10: POPAYÁN – SILVIA – COFFEE REGION

About 360 km / 6.5 hours

Armenia is the capital of the Departamento Quindío located in the Coffee Triangle 290 kilometers west of Bogotá. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, nature and ancient cultures, the region is a key player in Colombia’s rich coffee culture. For anyone interested in nature and culture, Armenia and the Quindío department will be a highlight of their trip.

Transfer from Popayan to the Coffee Region with a stop in Silvia, where -on Tuesdays- the Guambiano come together dressed in their native costumes to offer and buy their products at the market and to meet with each other. This takes place at the famous market in Silvia, which creates a special opportunity to see and meet these ancestral groups that are proud of their culture. After this visit we will continue to the Coffee Region with another short stop in Buga, where the famous Basilica del Señor de los Milagros is located. Further transfer to our coffee finca in the heart of the Coffee Region.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• The buzz of activity of the indigenous Guambianos at the market in Silvia
• Lush green landscapes

Our Insider Tip:

The view from the mirador in Salento.

Coffee

DAY 11: COFFEE REGION

Half Day Coffee Process Hacienda Combia – SIB, with English Speaking Guide
Visit of the coffee growing farm Combia including a technical and practical introduction to the whole coffee cultivation and production process with unique didactics.
About 56 km / 2.5 hours

Highlights:

• All about coffee
• Local culture up close

Our Insider Tip:

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

Kaffeezone Cocora

DAY 12: ARMENIA – VALLE DE COCORA – SALENTO – ARMENIA

Full Day Cocora Valley and Salento – with English Speaking guide
With breathtaking landscapes, this is one of the most beautiful valleys in Colombia. Here one will find the impressive “Palma de Cera”, the official Colombian national tree and one of the tallest species of palm in the world. On the way back to Armenia, we visit Salento, a picturesque village with artisanal and crafts shops.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Waxpalms
• Green Andean landscapes
• Colourfull coffee-village Salento

Our Insider Tip:

A tasty Canelazo (typical hot beverage).

Antioquia

DAY 13: ARMENIA – TÁMESIS

About 200 km / 5 hours

Támesis is a town and municipality in the southwestern region of Antioquia. It is bordered by the Andes, Jardín municipality to the south and the Caldas department to the south. The municipality is located between the San Juan river, which is called Docató (meaning “stone river”) by the natives, and a branch of the Western Cordillera. Jardín is identified by its preserved colonial architecture, lush vegetation, and abundant rivers and streams. Among others, rivers that flow through Jardin include San Juan, Claro, and Dojurgo. Trout that is caught in the local rivers is a popular dish in the area.

Private transfer from Armenia to hotel in Támesis – Just Transport
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Drive through mountainous landscapes
• Charming village Támesis

Our Insider Tip:

A visit of the local museum in the casa de cultura.

Tamesis, Antioquia

DAY 14: TÁMESIS

Full Day Tour – Chocolate & Archaeology
In the morning you visit an organic cacao plantation and learn more about the process of chocolate
production, the harvesting and processing – from the tree to the cup. The family run cacao farm produces organic chocolate and the owners do a lot to keep the traditional sustainable way of cacao farming alive. In this workshop you take home your own chocolate.
In the afternoon you enjoy spectacular views over the vastness of the Cauca River Valley and visit the idyllic mountain village of Támesis, known as the green coffee balcony. A guide will lead you through a tour of Támesis to visit the archaeological sites. Támesis is known as one of the places with the greatest density of indigenous pre-Hispanic petroglyphs in Colombia. Observe different types of petroglyphs and learn some of their significances.

Highlights:

• All about Cocoa
• Petroglyphs all around Támesis

Our Insider Tip:

The Colombians love to enjoy their hot chocolate with some cheese in it.

Antioquia Cocorná

DAY 15: TÁMESIS – JÉRICO – MEDELLÍN

About 220 km / 5 hours

Medellín, the capital of the department of Antioquia, is located in northwestern Colombia and lies cradled in the Aburra Valley, bisected by the Medellín River which runs north to south. With its year-round warm temperatures, it is also known as the “City of Eternal Spring”. It´s population is about 3 million, which makes it the second largest city of the country. In addition, the city stands out as one of the major cultural centres in Colombia: It hosts numerous nationally and internationally recognized events such as the Flower Fair and the International Poetry Festival.

In the morning we drive to Jérico. Its’ town centre with its’ 16 chapels is considered one of the most beautiful in Antioquia. Jericó is also famous for its handicrafts and the manufacture of small leather goods. Explore the historic centre of Jericó with its traditional facades and visit the village museum, which explains the pre-Columbian culture through a comprehensive exhibition of findings in the region. The tour also includes visiting a workshop of carriel, the typical leather bags of the locals. Just a few walking minutes further we visit the Botanical Gardens and the Cristo Rey monument, from which you get amazing views of both the town and the surrounding mountains, valleys and rivers.
From here we continue to Medellin.
Lunch included

Highlights:

• Lovely village Jérico
• Botanical garden and viewing point in Jérico
• All about the production of craft leather bags
• Contrast between the countryside and the metropole Medellín

Our Insider Tip:

The vast majority of the houses in Jérico have not been remodeled, but are still in their original state.

Medellín

DAY 16: MEDELLÍN

Half Day visit to the city – Private, with English Speaking guide
This tour takes you to the most important touristic sights of the “City of Eternal Spring” in just 4 hours. Explore downtown Medellin and the historic centre and listen to local musicians and the traditional Guasca music while visiting the Parque Berrio. Stroll through the hustle and bustle of downtown Medellin to the famous Botero Plaza with an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose sculptures have become a landmark of the city. Take the Metro Cable up to Santo Domingo, which has once been a notorious area of gang violence in Medellin. The cable car was constructed to make the inner city more accessible to people from the outskirts and allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of the marginalized population. While enjoying the spectacular view you learn more about the transformation of Medellin from one of the most dangerous cities in the world into a fascinating melting pot of cultures with possibly the friendliest and warmest people in the world. Duration: approximately 4 hours.

Highlights:

• The different facets of Medellín
• Botero’s sculptures
• Profound insights into the local culture and history

Our Insider Tip:

Today’s lunch should be the typical dish Bandeja Paisa.

Flight

DAY 17: DEPARTURE/ONWARD JOURNEY

Private transfer from the hotel to the Airport (MDE) – 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 www.hotelcasadeco.com

Villa de Leyva: Hospedería La Roca www.hospederialaroca.com

Girardot: Hotel GHL Style Girardot www.ghlhoteles.com/hoteles/colombia/girardot/

Villavieja: Hotel Yararaka www.facebook.com/pg/HotelBoutiqueYararaka

San Agustín: Hotel Akawanka Lodge www.hotelakawankalodge.com

Popayan: Hotel La Plazuela www.hotellaplazuela.com.co

Armenia: Hacienda Combia www.combia.com.co

Támesis: Hotel Vegas del Rio www.hotelvegasdelrio.com

Medellín: La Campana Hotel Boutique www.lacampanahotelboutique.com

• All services indicated in the above itinerary.
• All transfers and transportation in good, well-equipped vehicles: automobiles, vans and buses.
• Overnight in hotels mentioned including breakfasts (partly American breakfast, partly buffet).
• Bilingual Permanent Travel Guide.
• All other services mentioned in the program: walks, excursions and meals
• Personal travel documents, map of Colombia and useful welcome gift.
• Local Travel Program Support, 24 hours emergency service.
• Entrance fees.

• International flights.
• Personal expenses and Tips.
• Services not mentioned in the program.

Minimium requirement of participants: 3
Maximum number of participants: 12

Dates 2019: 09.06. / 15.09. / 24.11.
Dates 2020: 19.01. / 07.06. / 13.09. / 29.11.

– This tour is run with francophone guides! –

Get to know the main touristic sites of the country and Colombia´s great natural resources in just 12 days. Experience astonishing and highly diverse landscapes – mountains, valleys, forests, beaches – as well as the cultural diversity of Colombia – Andean culture, Antioquieña culture and Caribbean culture.
If you want to immerse yourself even more, extend your trip and spend a few days for example in the Colombian Amazon forest or in the colonial villages north of Bogota.

Tourstops: Bogota – Coffee Region – Medellín – Santa Marta – Cartagena

Possible Extensions:
Amazon
Villa de Leyva – Barichara
Caño Cristales (June through November)

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Bogotá

JOUR 1: ARRIVÈE BOGOTÀ

La capitale colombienne est située au cœur du pays sur un plateau appelé « Sabana de Bogotá » à une altitude moyenne de 2600 m. La partie orientale de la ville est bordée par une cordillère qui constitue le pied de la chaine des Andes. En termes de surface, Bogotá est la ville la plus étendue du pays, on compte plus de 40 kms de distance du Nord au Sud et 20 kms d’Est en Ouest. Elle est non seulement le principal pôle économique et industriel du pays, mais aussi le cœur politique avec la présence des principales institutions telles que l’assemblée, la cour suprême de justice, la résidence du président de la république (casa de Nariño). Avec ses 8 millions d’habitants, Bogotá est la ville la plus peuplée de Colombie, elle accueille une offre culturelle très importante, qui se reflète entre autres dans son grand nombre de musées (parmi eux le célèbre musée de l’or ou encore le musée Botero), de théâtres et de bibliothèques.
Accueil à l’aéroport et transfert à votre hotel situé dans le centre historique – avec un guide Francophone

Highlights:

• La Place Bolivar

Our Insider Tip:

Diner chez T’bone.

Bogotá Mueseo de Oro

JOUR 2: BOGOTÁ

Excursion d’une demi-journée dans le centre historique – avec un guide francophone.
Après un premier petit déjeuner, rencontre avec votre guide francophone pour découvrir la capitale colombienne. La visite commence par un voyage en funiculaire ou téléphérique jusqu’à la montagne de Monserrate située à 3152 m d’altitude et qui offre une vue spectaculaire sur la ville. Ensuite, nous nous promènerons dans le quartier historique de la Candelaria, remarquable par son architecture coloniale et nous visiterons la Plaza Bolívar, place principale entourée des monuments officiels du gouvernement. Enfin, nous découvrirons le célèbre musée de l’or qui constitue la plus grande collection d’orfèvrerie au monde produite durant la période précolombienne.

Highlights:

• Musée de l’or

Our Insider Tip:

Visiter le marché des artisans à coté du musée de l’or.

Coffee Region, Coffee

JOUR 3: BOGOTÀ – RÈGION DU CAFÈ

La Colombie est réputée pour son café, mais nulle part ailleurs le grain prisé n’est plus important que dans les départements de Caldas, Risaralda et Quindío, qui forment le cœur de la Zona Cafetera, également appelée Eje Cafetero (Axe du café). Vous y trouverez des jeeps remplies de cueilleurs de café moustachus; des personnes âgées vêtues de ponchos qui bavardent dans les cafés; et, bien sûr, d’innombrables tasses d’arabica chaud. De nombreuses fermes de café ont adopté le tourisme et accueillent les visiteurs dans leurs plantations pour tout savoir sur le processus de culture du café. Il est particulièrement intéressant de visiter cette région pendant les récoltes (d’avril à mai, d’octobre à décembre) lorsque les fermes sont une ruche d’activité. Le «paysage culturel du café», inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial par l’UNESCO depuis 2011

Transfert de votre Hôtel à l’aéroport de Bogotá (BOG) – avec un guide francophone.
Vol de Bogotá à Pereira
Accueil et transfert de l’aéroport de Pereira à votre hôtel dans la región de Risaralda – avec un guide francophone.
Demi journée d’excursion dans une ferme de café – avec un guide francophone.

Highlights:

• Exploitation agricole de café

Our Insider Tip:

Goûter à la limonade de café.

Valle de Cocora

JOUR 4: RÈGION DU CAFÈ

Journée complète Vallée de Cocora et Salento – avec guide Francophone
Avec des paysages à couper le souffle, la vallée de Cocora est l’une des plus belles vallées de Colombie. On y trouve l’impressionnant palmier à cire quindien, qui culmine à plus de 60 m. C’est l’arbre national officiel colombien et aussi l’une des plus hautes espèces de palmiers au monde. Lors de notre visite, nous explorerons la vallée. Sur le chemin du retour, nous visiterons Salento, un village pittoresque avec des boutiques d’artisanat et de belles facades de maisons avec leurs balcons colorés.

Highlights:

• Vallée de Cocora

Our Insider Tip:

Observer le ciel pour peut-être apercevoir le condor.

Medellín

JOUR 5: RÈGION DU CAFÈ – MEDELLÌN

Medellín, la capitale du département d’Antioquia, est située dans le nord-ouest de la Colombie et est située dans la vallée de l’Abourra, traversée par la rivière Medellín qui coule du nord au sud. Avec ses températures chaudes toute l’année, elle est également connue sous le nom de «Ville du printemps éternel». Sa population est d’environ 3 millions d’habitants, ce qui en fait la deuxième ville du pays. En outre, la ville se distingue comme l’un des principaux centres culturels de la Colombie: elle accueille de nombreux événements reconnus sur le plan national et international, tels que la foire aux fleurs et le festival international de la poésie.
Transfert de Pereira à Medellín (230 kms/5-6 h) – avec un guide francophone.

Highlights:

• Traversée de la Cordillère centrale

Our Insider Tip:

Goûter au plat typique Antioqueño: la bandeja paisa.

Medellin, Teleferico

JOUR 6: MEDELLÌN

Demi journée de visite de Medellin – avec un guide francophone.
Ce circuit nous emmène aux sites touristiques les plus importants de la «ville du printemps éternel» en seulement 4 heures. Nous explorerons le centre-ville de Medellin et le centre historique, nous écouterons des musiciens locaux et la musique traditionnelle guasca lors de votre visite du Parc Berrio. Nous traverserons l’agitation du centre-ville de Medellin jusqu’à la célèbre place Botero avec une exposition de l’artiste colombien Fernando Botero, dont les sculptures sont devenues un emblème de la ville. Nous prendrons ensuite le métro-câble jusqu’à Santo Domingo, qui était autrefois un quartier connu de la violence des gangs à Medellin. Le téléphérique a été construit pour rendre le centre-ville plus accessible aux habitants des banlieues et permet aux visiteurs de se faire une idée de la vie de la population marginalisée. Tout en profitant de la vue spectaculaire, nous en apprendrons davantage sur la transformation de Medellin, l’une des villes les plus dangereuses du monde, en un fascinant creuset de cultures auquel participent probablement les personnes les plus amicales et les plus chaleureuses du monde. Durée: environ 4 heures.

Highlights:

• Centre de Medellin

Our Insider Tip:

Vibrer aux sons traditionnels de la musique Guasca dans le parc Berrio.

Santa Marta, Taganga Sunset

JOUR 7: MEDELLÌN – SANTA MARTA

Santa Marta fut la première ville fondée en Colombie le 29 juillet 1525 par le conquérant espagnol Rodrígo de Bastidas. Elle est située entre la Sierra Nevada, les plus hauts sommets du pays et la mer des Caraïbes. Par conséquent, visiter cette ville est un excellent moyen de découvrir la diversité de la faune et de la flore de la région, ainsi que les sites culturels et historiques de la ville. Simón Bolívar est décédé ici dans une propriété appelée Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, le 17 décembre 1830, en périphérie de la ville. Santa Marta bénéficie non seulement d’excellentes infrastructures touristiques, mais constitue également un excellent point de départ pour explorer les plages intactes du parc national de Tayrona et la «Ciudad Perdida», ou la Cité perdue, située à environ 1 300 mètres d’altitude dans la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Transfert de votre hôtel à l’aéroport Rionegro (MDE) – avec un guide francophone.
Vol de Medellin à Santa Marta
Transfert de l’aéroport de Santa Marta (SMR) au centre historique – avec un guide francophone.

Highlights:

• Centre historique de Santa Marta
• Couchers de soleil spectaculaires de Santa Marta

Our Insider Tip:

Manger une arepa gourmet au Café Lulo.

Tayrona, beach

JOUR 8: SANTA MARTA – TAYRONA – SANTA MARTA

Excursion d’une journée complète à Tayrona – Cabo San Juan – avec guide Francophone
Départ de Santa Marta le matin en direction de l’Est le long de la côte caraïbe jusqu’à El Zaino, entrée principale du parc national de Tayrona, à environ une demi-heure de route de Santa Marta. Arrivée à la plage de Cañaveral, l’un des endroits les plus sauvages et les plus beaux du parc national de Tayrona. Du haut d’une petite colline, il sera possible de profiter d’une vue spectaculaire sur la côte atlantique. La visite se poursuit par une randonnée de 1h30 à travers la forêt tropicale jusqu’à Arrecife, une autre plage merveilleuse du parc national Tayrona. Vous aurez amplement le temps de déjeuner (non inclus). Nous continuons notre randonnée pendant encore une heure en passant par des plages telles que celles d’Arenillas, La Piscina et Cabo San Juan, peut-être la partie la plus spectaculaire du parc, où nous aurons le temps de nous baigner et de nous détendre dans ce lieu exotique.
Durée: environ 8 heures, incluant une randonnée d’environ 3-4 heures.

Highlights:

• Parc Tayrona

Our Insider Tip:

Observer la forêt tropicale et peut-être voir le magnifique Morpho Bleu (papillon)

Cartagena, Torre

JOUR 9: SANTA MARTA – CARTHAGÈNE

Pendant longtemps, Carthagène de Indes a été un port incontournable dans les grands itinéraires maritimes commerciaux, son architecture fortifiée datant du XVIe siècle est une des plus complètes d’Amérique latine. Aujourd’hui Carthagène continue son attraction, car elle nous transporte dans le temps. Ses pittoresques villas aux balcons fleuris, ses églises remarquablement conservées, ses calèches, ses rues pavées, ou encore son ouverture vers la mer des caraïbes et son ambiance festive en font un des endroits de villégiature les plus prisés. La ville a été déclarée patrimoine mondial par l’UNESCO en 1984.
Transfert de Santa Marta à Carthagène (235 kms/4-5 h) – avec guide Francophone

Highlights:

• La côte Caraïbe Colombienne

Our Insider Tip:

Admirer la vue sur la Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta et ses nombreux oiseaux.

Cartagena, Castillo

JOUR 10: CARTHAGÈNE

Demi-journée de visite du centre historique de Carthagène – avec un guide francophone
Le matin, visite guidée des monuments importants de la ville avec un guide francophone. Nous nous rendrons au couvent de la Popa (point culminant de la ville) d’où nous pourrons admirer un exceptionnel panorama et nous visiterons le Castillo de San Felipe, un immense fort rempli d’histoire et de mystères cachés dans ses tunnels en pierres.

Highlights:

• Le Centre historique de Carthagène des Indes

Our Insider Tip:

Boire un cocktail sur les remparts au Café del mar quand le soleil se couche sur la mer des Caraïbes.

Cartagena, palenqueras

JOUR 11: CARTHAGÈNE

Journée Libre
Excursion optionnelle (non inclus dans le prix total)
Excursion à l’Aviario de la péninsule de Barú
La Colombie est le premier pays en matière de diversité des oiseaux. Il compte 1 903 espèces, soit 20% des espèces d’oiseaux sur Terre. Parmi eux, les scientifiques comptent ici 197 espèces d’oiseaux migrateurs et 71 espèces endémiques. Près de Carthagène, dans la péninsule de Baru, nous avons trouvé la plus grande volière du continent. Une attraction touristique qui favorise la conservation, la reproduction et le repeuplement de l’avifaune colombienne. Au cours de cette visite à la volière, vous traverserez six environnements, notamment la forêt tropicale humide, les côtes et le désert. Celles-ci sont situées dans une zone de sept hectares dans laquelle vous pouvez voir quelque 138 espèces d’oiseaux et environ 1800 oiseaux, dont: le Harpy Eagle, le Toucan des Caraïbes, le Pink Flamingos, le Crane Crown et le Condor. Le transfert de l’hôtel à la péninsule de Baru prend environ 1 heure et traverse le port et la zone industrielle de la ville, ainsi que le canal de Dique. La visite à la volière prend environ 3 heures.
L’excursion se poursuit de l’Aviario jusqu’à la Playa Blanca, où nous pourrons profiter d’un bain et de 2 hrs de détente qu bord des eaux turquoises. Retour à l’hôtel. Durée: 7 heures environ

Highlights:

• Carthagène des Indes

Our Insider Tip:

Danser sur les rythmes caribéens au bar de Quiebra Canto .

Avion

JOUR 12: CARTHAGÈNE – BOGOTÀ

Transfert de votre hôtel à l’aéroport de Carthagène (CTG) – avec un guide francophone.
Vol de Carthagène à Bogotá.

Highlights:

Our Insider Tip:

Gouter les friandises aux arômes de coco ou de tamarindo sur la place de los coches.

Bogotá: Hotel Casa Deco www.hotelcasadeco.com
Pereira: San Carlos Lodge www.casasancarloslodge.com
Medellín: La Campana Hotel Boutique www.lacampanahotelboutique.com
Santa Marta: Hotel Casa del Farol www.xarmhotels.com
Carthagéne: Hotel Alfiz www.alfizhotel.com

• Tous les services indiqués dans l’itinéraire ci-dessus.
• Tous les transferts et transport dans de bons véhicules bien équipés : automobiles, fourgonnettes et autobus avec des chauffeurs hispanophones et un guide francophone.
• Nuits dans les hôtels mentionnés ou équivalents, petit déjeuner inclus
• Guide local bilingue francophones dans les excursions.
• Tous les autres services mentionnés dans le programme : promenades, excursions et repas
• Documents de voyage personnels, carte de Colombie et cadeau de bienvenue.
• Assistance au programme de voyage local, service d’urgence 24 heures sur 24.
• Billets d’entrée.
• Vols nationaux (Bogotá – Pereira, Medellin – Santa Marta, Carthagène – Bogotá)

• Dépenses personnelles, pourboires.
• Vols internationaux.

Minimium requirement of participants: 2

Date 2020: 22.02. / 21.03. / 02.05. / 13.06. / 11.07. / 15.08. / 12.09. / 28.11.
Date 2021: 06.03. / 08.05. / 12.06. / 10.07. / 14.08. / 11.09. / 21.11.