THE MAGIC OF COLOMBIA
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Colombia is a country transformed and transforming, and in recent years it has reclaimed its high ranking on the "must see" lists of ever so curious travelers. Our journey through this magical country includes a visit to the culturally rich cities of Bogota and Cartagena, an exploration of pioneering coffee farms, and spectacular Cocora Valley National Park. You will also have an opportunity to meet local people and their communities, learn about their daily lives, and how the history of gold and conflict has shaped their livelihood.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rich cultural history of Bogota, Medellin & Cartagena
  • Geographical diversity of Andes Mountains
  • Spectacular views from Mount Monserrate
  • Gold museum
  • Art gallery of the world-renowned Colombian artist, Fernando Botero
  • Meet local farmers at coffee plantation
  • Cocora Valley and giant palm trees
  • Charming town of Salento
  • Discover the impressive walled city of Cartagena and its colonial charm
  • Tour San Felipe Castle, the largest Spanish fortification in the Americas
  • San Pedro Calver convent
  • Private Salsa dance lesson
  • Visit to the Bazurto Market
  • Private cooking class
  • The simple warmth and hospitality of Colombian people

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 USA to Bogota
Depart the US and arrive in Bogota, Colombia the same day. Situated at more than 8,600 feet above sea level and bordered by the Andes to the east, Bogota is the capital of Colombia and third-highest capital in the world. It is also home to a dazzling array of museums, churches, colonial mansions and stately buildings and has a fine balance between its historical past and its movement into the future. Transfer to your hotel and check-in.

Day 2 Bogota - City Tour
After breakfast, depart for a full day city tour. Start with a visit to Bogota’s colorful flower and food market, Paloquemao, and experience the shapes, colors and smells of the variety of fruits and vegetables and learn about the selection of produce Colombian people buy on a daily basis. Afterwards take a funicular railway or cable car to the Sanctuary of Mont Monserrate, an inspiring pilgrim destination, located about 10,300 feet above the city. Tour the church at the top and marvel at the stunning views. Following free time for an independent lunch, your tour continues to Bogota’s historic center, La Candelaria. Its highlights include the Palace of Justice, Colombian Congress and Bogota Cathedral, which dominates an entire corner. Visit the Gold Museum, with the world’s largest collection of pre- Hispanic gold objects, and the Fernando Botero Museum, created in 2000 after a generous donation by the world famous artist himself of 123 pieces of his own art. The museum also features works of art by Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Monet, Chagall and many others. Evening is at leisure. (B)

Day 3 Bogota/Armenia - Coffee Tour
After breakfast transfer to the airport and take a short flight to the coffee region of Colombia. This area known as the Coffee Triangle, provides a spectacular panorama of extremes, from the rolling hillside of fertile coffee plantations to plunging valleys and snowcapped peaks. Rural life here continues as it has done for centuries, with campesinos, or workers, harvesting coffee, plantains and many other fruits in this lush and fertile land. Visit a coffee farm at Finca El Horizonte and enjoy a typical local lunch called sancocho. After lunch, learn about the process of the coffee seed, from planting and roasting to tasting, when a master of coffee will lead you to taste and identify the different flavors of a top quality, freshly brewed cup of coffee – Cultural Discovery Series. Check-in at the hotel. Remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy some relaxing time at the hotel. (B,L)

Day 4 Armenia - Cocora Valley and Salento Tour
Today we explore the striking beauty of Cocora Valley, a nature reserve and home of the protected Wax Palm, the national tree, whose oils are used to make candles. A three-mile hike through the park offers a chance to see more of these majestic trees, some of which are 200 feet tall. After a brief Colombian ritual that will help you understand the history of these unique palm trees, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue the tour driving through the beautiful region of Quindio, and spend some time exploring the historic and colorful town of Salento, known for its charming colonial buildings. Return to the hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 5 Armenia/Cartagena
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cartagena, Colombia’s tropical city on the Caribbean coast. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel. Later, take part in one of our Cultural Discovery Series and attend a private dancing lesson. Enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 6 Cartagena - City Tour
Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Venice of Colombia and the country's most romantic city, with one of the most impressive old towns in the Western Hemisphere. Cartagena's inner walled city feels like stepping onto the set of a 16th century telenovela, complete with cobblestone streets and grandiose balconies overflowing with flowers. Start your city tour with a visit to the Bazurto market, shop for the fresh ingredients and learn how to prepare a traditional Colombian lunch during a cooking class – Cultural Discovery Series. After lunch visit Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the largest Spanish fortification in the Americas, and its labyrinth of tunnels. It was in Cartagena where the Spanish would store the riches plundered from the interior before transporting them back to the old world. The city was a draw for buccaneers and pirates who attempted on many occasions to take the city, most notably by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, who agreed not to level the city in return for 10 million pesos. Drake’s attacks led to the plans to fortify the city. These walls still stand today and mark the boundary between the old and new parts of the city. Tour the historic center, view the major landmarks and visit the San Pedro Claver convent. Evening is at leisure for you to explore this amazing city at your own pace. (B,L)

Day 7 Cartagena
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Take the time to go shopping or just relax in in these superb surroundings. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 8 Cartagena to USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from Miami and all intra-Colombia flights
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 11 included meals consisting of 7 full breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinner
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Bogota including the Gold Museum, Coffee tour in Armenia, Tour to Cocora Valley and Salento and Cartagena city tour including the San Filipe Fortress
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as a Salsa dance class, cooking lesson, shopping in local markets, and meeting coffee plantation workers
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Bogota
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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