Colombia – A Diverse World
Arrive at El Dorado International Airport, Bogotá. Met and greeted by tour guide and transferred to the selected hotel for checking-in.
Bogotá is a modern fast growing city and one of Latin America's urban highlights with a thriving nightlife, superb dining and al fresco café and bar culture; yet none of the traditions are lost from its graceful churches, excellent museums to its plazas and urban parks.
Breakfast and transfer to the well preserved historical colonial quarter of La Candelaria. There will be an opportunity for photographs at Plaza de Bolivar, the main square of Bogotá. The Cathedral, the Congress Palace, the Cardinal's Palace, the colonial church of El Sagrario, the House of Independence, the Palace of Justice and the City Hall are located here.
After visit the famous and 'must see' Gold Museum, where the world's greatest collection of pre-Hispanic Indian gold crafts is displayed. Next visit the FERNANDO BOTERO Museum which contains paintings and sculptures of this famous contemporary Colombian artist.
NOTE: The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays and the Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Later, driven through the northern residential area of the city and through the fertile plateau to the small colonial town of Cajicá, where a short stop will be made at the main plaza. Lunch included. After a hearty lunch the tour continues to the town of Zipaquirá famous for its underground salt cathedral. Experience this extraordinary architecture where the Stations of the Cross and three naves are eerily illuminated along with other sculptures and cavernous pools; all hewn from the salt mine tunnels under the Halite Mountains. Though a popular tourist destination it is still a place of pilgrimage for the local community.
Return and overnight in Bogotá.
journey will follow the Magdalena Valley, and then arrival at the town of San Agustín. A number of stops will be made to observe tobacco, grape, rice and cacao plantations. The mountainous landscape, valleys and canyons like the Pericongo are marvellous attractions to ease the journey that goes from 400 metres above sea level to 1,800 metres where San Agustín is located. Arrival and transfer to selected hotel, overnight.
Breakfast included and then morning visits to San Agustín Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site of pre-Columbian archaeological significance and considered the largest such site in South America. Visit to the tombs, architecture and structures of Mesitas sites A, B and C; the Lavapatas Fountain which is a complex maze of canals and pools carved into the bedrock; the Forest of Statues where some of the finest sculptors are gathered and finally the Archaeological Museum. Afternoon transfer by bus to the "Alto de los Idolos", a far smaller site but no less impressive than the archaeological park, will be of special interest to researchers and visitors alike. Return to hotel and overnight in San Agustín.
Breakfast followed by a choice of one morning activity from three programmes:
- A gentle hike tracking the Magdalena River to take in the magnificent views
- Horseback riding to different archaeological points.
- Rafting along the Magdalena River.
- Free afternoon.
Breakfast followed by morning departure by road to Neiva and transfer to airport for return flight to Bogotá and connection to next destination.
NOTE: The tour in San Agustín, will have local English speaking guide. If other languages are required please ask for a quotation. The accommodation in San Agustín will be HOTEL ANACAONA 3*. It is a beautiful colonial house with six bedrooms, ample corridors and colourful gardens. In case of larger groups, the HOTEL YALCONIA 3* will be used. This is a cosy hotel, with 36 comfortable rooms and a welcoming country-style ambience.
Breakfast and transfer to airport for flight to Medellín. On arrival met and greeted by the guide and then transferred to the selected hotel. An afternoon tour around the city, visiting places of interest such as the neighbourhood of El Poblado, "Pueblito Paisa" an example of a typical Paisa town, Antioquia's Museum and Botero's square where Fernando Botero´s famous 'La Gorda' stands with other statues of his work. Return and overnight.
Breakfast and depart towards the Antioquia's mountains, where landscapes and vistas are breathtaking. Visit to traditional towns of Rionegro, El Retiro and San Antonio de Pereira. Afterwards visit the Ecological White Stones Park (Parque Ecológico Piedras Blancas), where there will be the opportunity to enjoy many options of recreation from canopying, pedal boats, visiting the butterfly park or the entomological museum, to just taking in the region's culture and abundant nature.
Return to hotel, rest and overnight.
Breakfast and early morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Cartagena. Met and greeted by the guide and transfer to the selected hotel.
Cartagena is truly a highlight of Colombia. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site the city has a wealth of character that will capture any traveller's senses, from its well preserved colonial architecture, romantic atmosphere, vibrant flora, balmy temperature, excellent cuisine and amazing sunsets over the Caribbean to its warm and inviting people. It was this alluring setting that fueled the imaginative powers of Gabriel García Márquez to write 'Love in a time of Cholera'.
An afternoon tour to the most important monuments of the city will follow lunch. Firstly driven to the Convent of La Popa built at the beginning of the 17th century on the hill of the same name. From there a magnificent view of the city and the bay can be seen. The tour will then continue on to San Felipe's Fort, built in the 17th century to protect the city from marauding invaders. After a tour looking at the construction of this impregnable fortress, there will be a stroll to the walled colonial city and stop at the colourful handicraft stores of Las Bóvedas.