Classic Colombia - 16 days

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • On The Go Tours

Take in the highlights of captivating Colombia, wander around colonial cities, uncover sun-kissed beaches nestled in the wildlife-rich Tayrona national park and discover the ancient stone monuments of San Agustin on this 16 day adventure.

Highlights
  • Bogota - take in the highlights of Colombia’s capital city on a guided tour
  • San Agustin - visit the UNESCO Listed San Agustin Archaeological Park with its fascinating statues
  • Tayrona National Park – follow tropical trails through this dazzling national park, once home to the Tayrona Indians
  • Cartagena - stroll around the beautiful Old Town and soak up the atmosphere of Colombia's most captivating coastal town
  • The Coffee Triangle – learn about coffee farming at local ranch in Armenia
  • Mompos - take a boat trip along the Magdalena River, spotting wildlife along the riverbanks
  • Aracataca - learn about the famous Latin American writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who was born in the town
  • Cocora Valley – take a hike in the home of Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, the tallest variety of palm tree in the world
  • Salento – stroll through this charming town with its preserved colonial bahareque architecture and streets lined with restaurants, bars and shops
Age Policy
Minimum age 12. If booking a family please contact GH to request/check triple rooms / rooms next to each other before confirming the bookingThere is no maximum age. Those 70 or over will be required to fill out a tour suitability tour.  
Destinations
  • South America
  • Colombia
Tour Types
  • Small Group

Saturday. Hola Colombia! Upon arrival at Bogota airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon we embark on a guided tour through the city's cobbled streets, passing through the fascinating colonial area of Candelaria with its fine historical buildings, including churches and the presidential palace. Then we visit the Botero museum where we see the art and sculptures of Colombia’s most famous artist. Our final stop is the city's famous Gold Museum which houses more than 50,000 pieces of gold. <br/><br/> Please note: we recommend booking flights to arrive into Bogota before midday, in order to join the city tour which usually starts at approximately 2pm. Pre tour accommodation can be arranged upon request.

Today is free to spend at leisure or there are some optional excursions in and around Bogota on offer including a visit to the picturesque La Sabana countryside to the centuries-old Zipaquira salt mine - which lies 200 meters beneath the earth and houses the salt cathedral whose pillars and walls are made from the gleaming salt from the mines. The excursion continues to the Guatavita Lagoon, where there is a hike to the crater-lake‘s rim for amazing views of the surroundings.

Meals: Breakfast,

Bogota - San Agustin. After breakfast we’re transferred to the airport for a quick one-hour flight to Neiva. We then continue our journey with a 4-hour drive through emerald green hills and coffee plantations until we reach the town of San Agustin. This pretty little town, which was once the neutral ground used to trade and worship by Magdalena and Cauca indigenous cultures, is our base for the next three nights. The town is home to attractive colonial houses and churches, cobbled streets and shady plazas.

Meals: Breakfast,

We spend our day exploring the remarkable San Agustin archaeological park, which is home to over 100 statues, some of which date back to 3,300 BC. Alongside the statues are the burial houses which were used to make human sacrifices and offerings to the gods. We spend some time marveling at the beauty of the countryside and have the opportunity to hike into the surrounding area, to the Fuente de Lavapatas, a fountain set on a bed of carved rocks in the creek.

Meals: Breakfast,

Today is free to spend at leisure or there is an optional Jeep excursion to the Magdalena Canyon passing through sugar plantations and steep gorges. We have time to explore the canyon and see the huge figures caved into the rocks of the canyons walls, with some free-standing stones sculpted into animals while the river crashes below us.

Meals: Breakfast,

San Agustin - Popayan. This morning finds us driving through rugged hills until we descend to the university town of Popayan, a stately colonial town often referred to as the ‘White City’ due to the abundance of white-walled buildings and cathedral in the centre. The city was founded in 1537 by the Spanish Conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar and played an important role in colonial times as a rest stop for the miners transporting the gold between Lima, Quito and Cartagena before it was sent to Spain. In March 1983 an earthquake shook the city, caving in the cathedral roof which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, and despite other earthquakes since then the city has maintained its charm and character. We spend the night at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast,

Popayan - Armenia. From Popayan it's a 5-hour drive to the heart of the coffee region where we spend three days relaxing and walking along the trails of colourful flora, fauna and fresh coffee. On arrival there is a guided tour of a local farm where we gain insight into the regions agriculture and learn about fruit and coffee production including the picking, de-pulping, washing, drying and roasting of the beans. <br/><br/> Day 8 will be spent driving to the traditional village of Salento, where we have free time to wander through the streets and admire the houses adorned with balconies bursting with flowers, and sit back and bask in the view of the Cordillera Central mountain range emerging from behind the buildings. The afternoon finds us heading east of Salento to the beautiful nature reserve of Valle de la Cocora, home of Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm which grows over 3000m. We follow the well market path to the top of the valley for views of mountains’ foothills. <br/><br/> On the last day in the region there is an optional visit to the Botanical Gardens at Calarca and follow the series of natural trails, passing tropical flowers until we reach the insect museum and enclosed butterfly garden. Alternatively, there is the option to explore the surrounding areas on a horse-riding excursion.

Meals: Breakfast,

Armenia - Santa Marta. Flying via Bogota we arrive at the oldest city in Colombia and the first one settled by the Spanish, Santa Marta, which is our base for the next two nights. The city has an important historical centre and a beautiful old town, and it is most famous for being the birthplace of the great liberator Simon Bolivar. We spend the rest of the evening at leisure exploring the city. <br/><br/> On day 11 we embark on an excursion to the beautiful Tayrona National Park, which was once home to the indigenous Tayrona Indians and has some of the best coastline on the continent. Tayrona is perfect for a spot of escapism. We have the day here to follow the tree-covered trails through the tropical forest, with monkeys swinging above our heads, until we reach the secluded beaches where roads and cars have no access. You can snorkel in the reefs, visit some of the local villages in the nearby mountains or hike through the dense rainforest, stumbling across ancient pre-Columbian ruins reclaimed by the jungle.

Meals: Breakfast,

Santa Marta - Mompos. We board our bus this morning and make our way to the provincial town of Aracataca, the famous birth place of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of Latin America’s most famous writers. Born in the town in 1927, his family home is now a museum and we take some time to follow in the footsteps of this iconic writer. <br/><br/> Our afternoon journey continues past banana and palm oil plantations until we reach the 16th century town of Mompos. Situated on the eastern banks of the Magdalena River the town resembles something out of one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novels, with the whitewashed colonial mansions and buildings which were once home to Spanish merchants, who used the town as a stopping off point on the trade route to Cartagena. The rest of the day is at leisure. <br/><br/> On day 13 we embark on a boat trip along the banks of the wildlife-rich Magdalena River, which is home to cormorants, white heron and iguanas. Our last night in Mompos is at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast,

Mompos - Cartagena. Today we travel back to the Caribbean coast and the famous city of Cartagena. Our final destination, is one of the most interesting colonial towns on the continent. On arrival we have the rest of the day to wander the streets of the city and soak up the mix of Caribbean and African influences. There are several interesting sites to see such as Castillo San Felipe and the fortress on San Lazaro hill. Beneath this fortress is a maze of tunnels and there are still cannons in place along the battlements. Also worthwhile is a trip up La Popa hill to visit the colourful convent with great views over the city. The Boca Grande area of Cartagena is where Colombians come for their beach holidays and it is full of shops, nightclubs and bars. Near Cartagena is the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, a mud volcano where you can relax and wallow in the mud, which is believed to be a good treatment for the skin.

Meals: Breakfast,

Our morning is spent walking through the streets of the Caribbean’s most romantic colonial city. Founded in 1533, this city quickly became the main Spanish port in the Caribbean, and a prime target for pirates when native treasure was stored in the city while waiting to be shipped back to Spain. In a bid to protect their loot the Spanish constructed walls around the city which still encircle the town. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Make your way to the old town square to watch some of the Cumbia dance performances or sit in one of the cafes lining the walkway to sip on a drink and look out onto the sea.

Meals: Breakfast,

Sunday. Cartagena - Bogota. Transfer back to Cartagena airport for an included flight back to Bogota. <br/><br/> Please provide us with your international flight details and we will book the domestic flight at a suitable time for you. Arrangements end upon arrival at the Bogota airport or we can book post tour accommodation upon request.

Meals: Breakfast,

Included
  • Accommodation
    -3 star
  • 15 breakfasts
  • 15 nights 3 star hotels
  • 3 domestic flights from Bogota - Neiva, Armenia - Santa Marta and Cartagena - Bogota
  • Arrival and departure transfers on days 1 and 16
  • Guided tour of Bogota and Gold Museum, San Augustin Archaeological Park and Cartagena
  • Excursion to coffee farm in Armenia, Tayrona National Park and Aracataca Marquez Museum
  • Mompos boat trip
  • Escorted by an experienced tour leader with the services of local guides
  • All relevant transfers and transportation

Not Included
  • Items of a personal nature, additional meals and drinks
    -
  • Tipping – an entirely personal gesture
    -
  • International flights and visas
    -

Dates Price Single Availability
11-Dec-2021
15 Nights
Standard Room Enquire
Dates Price Single Availability
08-Jan-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
19-Feb-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
19-Mar-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
09-Apr-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
06-Aug-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
08-Oct-2022
15 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
03-Dec-2022
15 Nights
Standard Room Enquire

Touring with On The Go Tours

From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.

With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodationEssentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.

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tour details

This tour is operated by On The Go Tours

15 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Enquire Award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world.
Start:Bogota
Finish:Bogota
Group size:2 - 20
Suitable for: Minimum age 12. If booking a family please contact GH to request/check triple rooms / rooms next to each other before confirming the bookingThere is no maximum age. Those 70 or over will be required to fill out a tour suitability tour.  
Accommodation:3 star
Diets:Vegetarians, Please contact On The Go Tours with specific dietary requests
Tour operated in: English
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