Colombia’s Secrets – Gold Triangle
Bogotá is a modern fast-growing city and one of Latin America's urban highlights with a thriving nightlife, 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.
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 by 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 there's a short stop 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 the sights 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.
Pereira is located in a small valley under the shadow of the Andes; Pereira is the capital city of the department of Risaralda. Its prime location in the heart of the coffee gold triangle presents an opportunity to explore the lush coffee plantations of the region.
In the afternoon, transport to HACIENDA VENECIA, (lunch included). The farm is surrounded by abundant coffee plantations where the procedure of coffee culture and why the area is such a magnet for the connoisseur of this rich drink are explained. There is also a coffee tasting session included in the tour to savour the aromatic smooth coffee of the region. Return to the hacienda and overnight in Pereira.
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 where the local artisans display their ware. From there, transported to the Convent of San Pedro Claver, named in honour of the Spanish born monk who was known as the 'Apostles of Blacks'. The tree filled courtyard of the convent houses religious and pre-Columbian artefacts.
Return and overnight in Bogotá.
Lunch included, return and overnight in Cartagena