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Route

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile:  Easy. Sightseeing and cultural activities designed for people who are generally fit and are comfortable walking up to 6 hours per day.

Travel Season: Any date on request from January 2 to December 31, 2022
Tayrona National Park Closure: Due to new local indigenous communities’ regulations, the Tayrona National Park will close three times a year in the following periods: February 1 -15; June 1 - 15 and October 19 - November 2

Accommodation:

3* hotels and Ecolodges

On this trip you will enjoy some of Colombia’s greatest and most iconic natural wonders, while experiencing the colorful patchwork of cultures that have developed in the different parts of the country. Each region visited in this trip is very unique, and we will take you from highland to lowland, to historical towns, vibrant cities and remote villages. The tour starts in Bogota, then continues to the iconic natural phenomena known as the river of five colors, or Caño Cristales. From here we head to the lush green coffee area where we will visit Cocora Valley and learn all about coffee growing. We then head to the Caribbean, where we will visit some of the country’s best beaches in Tayrona Natural Park and the legendary city of Cartagena. The journey ends with a few days at a very idyllic beach lodge with a great private beach far from the crowds.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival in Bogotá

Reception at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Bogotá – Full day city tour Duration 6-7 hours

Full day private city tour to the historic part of Bogotá. After breakfast, enjoy the historic center of the city on foot. Meeting with the guide in the hotel lobby. Start the tour in the charming colonial area known as La Candelaria. From here visit the world famous gold museum, the Plaza Bolivar and go by cable car to the Monserrate Sanctuary, at 3152 meters, overlooking the city. A quick visit to the museum of the famous Colombian artist Botero is also an option.

Day 3

Caño Cristales

Early morning transfer to the meeting point in the airport in Bogotá (normally it’s at 5 a.m.). Transfer to the charter flight and fly to La Macarena town (sometimes with stops in Villavicencio). Briefing and hotel check in. Upon arrival to Macarena there will be an information meeting by the park authorities in order to get familiarized with the fragile and special ecosystem of Caño Cristales. Afternoon visit to either Cristalinos, El Mirador or Caño Piedra (depending on the schedule from the National Park). There you will have a typical box lunch provided by the local staff. Return to the town of La Macarena at about 3:30 p.m.

Day 4

Caño Cristales

Today you will have a full day visit to different spots along the Caño Cristales. The tour starts with a short twenty minute boat ride on the Guayabero River, where we will have our first contact with the local nature. If lucky, we will spot caimans, iguanas, river turtles and parrots along the riverside. After that we will take a four wheel drive transport for another twenty minutes that will take us to a place called Manantial de Cajuche. From this point we will start our hike into the natural park. The hike should last about four hours, but everything depends on the group’s rhythm and how much time is used during the breaks for swimming. As this is a new place for tourism, it is important to prepare the clients for a quite relaxing and flexible time schedule! During this day and according to the assignment of the Park authorities, we will visit three to five of the places listed below during the hike. Some of the other places not visited this day, might be visited one of the other days: La piscina del turista (The tourist swimming pool), excellent place for taking a dip in to the lovely waters of La Macarena; La Silla de Tinigua (Tinigua’s Chair); Tres Espejos (Three Mirrors); Pozo Cuadrado (Square Pool); Las Escaleras (The Ladder); Karol Cristal swimming pool; Caño Escondido; Cascada de la Virgen (The Virgins Falls); Cascada de Piedra Negra (Black Stones Fallas); Los Ochos. (The Eight); Acuaducto Romano (Roman Aqueduct); El tapete Rojo (The Red Rug). After the activities, we will return to Macarena village. Here there will be a folkloric show in order to enjoy and learn more about the local traditions of the area. Also there will be a local cuisine tasting and dance with music for a relaxing evening.

Day 5

Caño Cristales

In the morning there will be a visit to either Cristalinos, El Mirador or Caño Piedra (depends on the schedule from the national Park), for an opportunity to enjoy the amazing settings and natural wonders. Return to Macarena for a last lunch, before we head back to Bogotá. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel in Bogotá.

Day 6

Coffee Area & Salento

Transfer to the airport and flight to Armenia. Pickup and transfer to Reserva El Cairo. You are just in the middle of Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. This region was recognized in 2011 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which is a testament to the outstanding example of sustainable production and cultural landscape of Salento.
You will be staying in an authentic renovated coffee house that is more than 100 years old, surrounded by 100 acres of amazing landscape. The hotel is located three kilometers away from the town of Salento on the way to the Cocora Valley. Afternoon free to enjoy the settings.

Day 7

Cocora Valley

Full day excursion to Cocora Valley. The guide will meet you in the morning and take you to a very interesting hike to the Cocora Valley. During this private tour you will get familiar with Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm (Ceroxylon Quindiuense). It’s the biggest palm in the world with heights up to sixty meters. The wax palm was qualified by the Alexander Von Humbolt Institute as “endangered” as well as the yellow eared parrots that only make their nests in these palms. The length and strength of the tour depends on the physical shape of the visitor and therefore the exact route will be determined together with the guide according to the interests. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or not, this day is very likely going to be one of the most beautiful memories you will bring back home.

Day 8

Coffee tour

After a well-deserved rest, it’s time to find out why the Colombia coffee is considered to be one of the finest in the world. Pick up from the hotel in the morning and transfer to a traditional coffee farm in the area. Here you will learn a lot about the entire coffee production from seed to the final product. It also includes a very pedagogic coffee tasting to learn about the different types and qualities of the local coffee. The tour lasts approximately two hours. Afternoon free for your own plans.

Day 9

Santa Marta & City Tour

Time to leave the coffee area and head for the Caribbean!
Pick up at the hotel and transfer to the airport. Flight to Santa Marta (via Bogota). Transfer and check in to hotel in the colonial part of the town. In the afternoon there will be a three hour city tour in Santa Marta with visit to the cathedral where Simon Bolivar was buried before he was moved to his birth place of Caracas. We will also visit the seaside and the pier, Plaza Bolivar, and the Gold Museum.

Day 10

Tayrona National Park

Visit to the Tayrona National Park, one of the most famous parks in Colombia. This is a full day program with guide and private transport, departing form your hotel around 8 a.m. and returning in the late afternoon. The trip includes an hour drive to the entrance of the park, then few minutes more to the parking lot, from where we will start our light hike to the Arrecife’s area an iconic place within the park. We will walk on a well-marked path that starts in a tropical forest and ends at the characteristic Caribbean beaches. Lunch will be held at a local restaurant (not included) near the beach. Afterwards, there will be time for a dip in the warm sea before returning to the car and driving back.

Day 11

Cartagena & City Walk

Morning transfer to Cartagena. In the late afternoon or early evening, enjoy a city walk in the old town of Cartagena with private guide. During this walk you will get familiar with the architecture and the history of the old town and you will visit the main squares and buildings. There will be plenty of photo opportunities and you will also appreciate the beautiful evening illumination of this romantic city.

Day 12

Cartagena & City Tour

In the morning, you will continue to explore historic Cartagena by visiting the San Felipe Fortress, the most technically advanced military building during Spanish colonial times, as well as the old “Popa” Monastery where you will have a wonderful view of the city. Between these two places, visit the popular marketplace of Bazurto, where fruits, vegetables and fish are traded by the locals, most of them descendants of the slaves of the colonial times. Cartagena is perhaps Colombia’s most beautiful and interesting town. It was founded in 1533 and during the colonial period, was the main Spanish port on the Caribbean coast and primary gateway to South America to receive slaves and to send treasures to Europe. In the evening there will be free time for shopping, and perhaps to enjoy a drink on the old fortress walls, overlooking the sunset on the Caribbean.

Day 13

Caribbean beaches

Today we will leave the vibrant city and head southwest along the Caribbean Coast line down to Golfo de Morosquillo. Here you will find some of the most beautiful and remote beaches of the country. After three hours’ drive, arrival to the Natural Reserve, Sanguare, where we will check in to a very nice beach lodge. Afternoon free to enjoy the nature and beach.

Day 14

Kayak, Beach, Hike & Bioluminescent Plankton

After breakfast we get ready for a tour in kayaks. First we will paddle around twenty minutes in open sea along the coastline, until we will find a narrow entrance to the lagoons. We paddle through the mangrove until we reach the main lagoon. Here we will observe the fragile and interesting ecosystem within the quiet waters while enjoying the natural settings. Return to the lodge before noon. Lunch and time to enjoy the beach. During the hours in the afternoon, there will be a guided tour in the dry forest. It’s a very different ecosystem and the guide will show us how the flora has adapted to the very sparse precipitation in this area. Return to the lodge for dinner. Depending on the time of the month, it is possible to participate in a night tour in order to see the bioluminescent plankton. It’s a kayak tour held in the evening or in the early morning hours, depending on the position of the moon. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience bioluminescent plankton yet, it’s a really once in a life time experience to see how suddenly the water lights up in the dark just by any movement within the water. This tour is not included, but can be organized on the spot with the hosts.

Day 15

Optional tour to the archipelago of San Bernardo

We recommend a boat trip to the Archipelago of San Bernardo. The tour can be organized directly at the hotel according to availability. It’s a much recommended experience with great snorkeling possibilities and some visits to very interesting Caribbean islands. You will also visit Santa Cruz del Islote. Its significant population compared with its small size results in its being the most densely populated island on Earth. Return to the beach lodge in the afternoon.

Day 16

Departure

Pick up and transfer to Cartagena’s Airport. Flight to Bogota for international connection or extra night in Bogota. End of services.

Prices

    Included:

    • Local English speaking guides during tours
    • Private transportation throughout the entire program
    • 3 nights in shared double rooms in Bogota
    • 2 nights in shared double rooms in Macarena
    • 3 night in shared double rooms in Salento
    • 2 nights in shared double rooms in Santa Marta
    • 2 night in shared double rooms in Cartagena
    • 3 nights in shared double room in Sanguare Beach Lodge
    • Meals as specified in the itinerary (15 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners)
    • All entrance fees
    • Domestic Flight: Bogota – Macarena – Bogota (charter flight)

    Not Included:

    • Domestic and international flights
    • Meals not mentioned in the program
    • Alcoholic and soft drinks
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips
    • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list

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