BBogota, Villa de Leyva, Barichara, Medellin, Tayrona & Cartagena

This journey is an incredible experience that takes you off the beaten path and brings you closer to the life of locals, their culture, food and traditions. Start your journey from Bogotá, for a day filled with tasty food, arts and music. Continue your way to the majestic Andes on a northern journey into the perfectly preserved world of the “pueblos”, where you´ll learn about their history, meet the locals, and have authentic, hands-on cultural experiences. Once in Cartagena, you will discover the history and the magical realism of the Caribbean Pearl to continue with the crystal waters of the Corales del Rosario Natural Park.

We also have other example itineraries for Colombia and other countries HERE.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Trip highlights:

Costs: Approx. USD $5,135 pp = £3,950 per person for 2 people in a double room

Day 1 Arrival and Transfer to Hotel in Bogota

Once you have landed in Bogota your guide will be waiting for you and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Hotel 84 DC  in a standard room.

Bogota, Colombia with Curious Travel

View of Bogota – Image by Jess Kraft

Day 2 Bogota City Tour: La Candelaria, Paloquemao Market and Gold Museum.

Start your day with a visit to the food market of Paloquemao, surround yourself with the fresh aromas of justharvested products and visit the beautiful flower exhibition. Then we continue our excursion to the heart of old Bogotá, known as La Candelaria, hosting many restored 300-year old homes and public buildings. Our tour includes Plaza Bolívar, San Francisco Church, the lively pedestrian street Calle 11, bursting with local restaurants, some family-owned for eight generations, and perhaps the 17th-century Santa Clara Convent.

The day’s highlight is a visit to the famous Gold Museum, which houses some 33,400 gold pieces from Colombia’s most relevant pre-Hispanic cultures. We learn about how they used gold in political and social occasions, their metallurgical techniques, and as expressions of their Cosmo vision, myths and offerings. This is our first introduction to the vast amount of gold belonging to pre-Hispanic cultures, and the Spanish lust for it, following the 1502 landing party led by Vasco Nunez de Balboa. (B, L)

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

La Candelaria, Bogota with Curious Travel

La Candelaria, Bogota – Image by Jess Kraft

Day 3 Salt Cathedral and transfer to Villa de Leyva

Zipaquira is located a one-hour drive from Bogota, where you will find the Salt Cathedral, which is a tribute from the miners to their beliefs, intricately carved inside a former mine, similar to what you might experience in a Catholic church. Then we will continue to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva. (B, L) Overnight at Hotel Posada de San Antonio in a superior room

Villa de Leyva, Colombia with Curious Travel

Villa de Leyva Main Square – image by Felipe Junqueira Borges

Day 4 Villa de Leyva Raquira and the Ecce Homo Monastery

This colonial village strategically located in the desert of La Candelaria welcomes its visitors with cobblestone streets and white houses, its main plaza, possibly one of the largest of South America was once the preferred place for the Spanish troops for parades and demonstration, see how this place was created, developed and decorated with thousands of fossils from the surrounding valley, then continue to the Home of the Dominican monks during their evangelizing duties in the region, this construction used to be a monastery now turned into a museum not only of religious artworks but the history of the indigenous tribes of the area and how was the life 400 years ago.

After visiting the Ecce homo Monastery we will continue to visit the village of Raquira, famous for its clay handicrafts, get to meet Mr Guillermo Lozano, a master potter that has travelled around the world with its ancestral technics creating unique figures. Learn the basic steps and do your own figure by literally putting your hands on the experience, (B, L)

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Ecce Homo Monastery, Colombia with Curious Travel

Ecce Homo Monastery, Villa de Leyva – Image by Matyas Rehak

Day 5 Transfer to Barichara and architecture walking tour

This morning we take a 5-hour drive through the pastoral green countryside, cattle farms, and small family homes. After passing the steep canyon walls and cloud forest we arrive at the region called Santander, known as the adventure capital of Colombia. Next is the stunningly well-conserved colonial town of Barichara, known for its preservation of 18th-century homes and public buildings.

This afternoon we go for a stroll of Barichara, starting at a park near our hotel with a stunning view of the Suarez river gorge in the distance. Walking through colonial streets, we make our way to a family-run paper factory and witness the papermaking process from local plant fibre extraction to the finished product. As we walk along the streets of this quaint town, we find three types of traditional architecture the town is famous for Rammed earth (tapia pisada), mud and cane (bahareque), and mud adobe brick. We also visit the elaborate and large Cathedral of Barichara, notable for its architecture in Yellowstone from the Santander region. (B, L) Overnight at Hotel Casa Oniri in a Standard room

Barichara in Colombia with Curious Travel

Barichara – Image by Ostill

Day 6 Royal Road to Guane

This morning we hike on an 18th-century cobblestone colonial road, starting near our hotel in Barichara and ending at the small village of Guane. This trail is called the “Camino Suamuxi” – from the Chibcha language of the indigenous Muisca culture that lived in this region during pre-Hispanic times. Our 3-hour hike on this excellent old road is a birdwatcher’s delight. We start with “bosque seco”, (dry forest) and hopefully see parakeets, tanagers, smooth-billed anis, sparrows, finches, vermilion flycatchers, red-capped cardinals, and mot mots. Overall we descend about 1,000 feet to Guane, the lovely and quaint rural town.

After our hike, we drive to “Finka Color de Hormiga” for lunch. This family restaurant is located in the Barichara countryside, where the owner raises the regional Santander delicacy of “hormigas culonas”, or fat-bottom ants. We can try local dishes with sauces made of this expensive delicacy (Atta species ants go for $40 a pound!) or try some as a salty snack (B, L) Overnight in Hotel Casa Oniri in a standard room.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

The Royal Road from Barichara in Colombia

 El Camino Royal (Royal Road) from Barichara – Image by Matyas Reyhak

Day 7 Hike to the Juan Curi Waterfalls

In the morning we will take you to a small nature reserve and limestone river path is the perfect spot for a refreshing forest hike (2.5 Miles) to the swimming pool at the base of the waterfall of Juan Curi. (B)

Colonial Village of Guane in Colombia

Colonial Village of Guane – Image by StreetFlash

Day 8 Transfer to Medellin and City Tour

Today transfer to the Airport of Bucaramanga in order to take your flight to Medellin, your next destination.

The city of Medellin was awarded in 2012 for its innovation and sustainable public transportation, as one of the cities with “Top Transport Systems in the World”. We grab our cameras and head out to capture the real Medellin!

We arrive at “Comuna 1” via cable car and walk the streets of this once infamous neighbourhood. Banned for 2 decades as the fortress of the drug king Pablo Escobar, and considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world during the 90´s, Medellín has reinvented itself through sustainability, innovation, literacy projects and art spaces housed in architecturally acclaimed properties once belonging to narcos and druglords. We make a stop at Fernando Botero Square, where the massive, famous sculptures of this 20th-century artist are freely exhibited in public space. We continue to walk uphill through the houses of the “Comuna 13” neighbourhood (B) Overnight in Hotel Poblado Alejandria in a standard room

Medellin in Colombia with Curious Travel

Medellin City – Image by R M Nunes

Day 9 Visit to the town of Guatape

Leaving the city through the unique landscapes of the mountains of the Andes a huge rock will stand just in front of your way. Challenge yourself to climb the 637 steps to reach the top of the rock, an experience with a magical and unique view of the area. Make your way back and get to explore the town of the “Zocalos” – Guatape has special decorations made on the base of the facades of all the houses of the place, and every single one has a different meaning. (B) Overnight in Hotel Poblado Alejandria in a standard room.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Guatape near Medellin in Colombia

Colourful Houses in Guatape – Image by Barna Tanko

Day 10 Transfer to Tayrona Region

Leave Medellin and take a connecting flight via Bogota to Santa Marta which is the gateway to Tayrona National park region. Enjoy the afternoon of your own on a beachfront hotel (B) Overnight in Hotel Villa Maria in a superior room

Villa Maria Tayrona is a 45-acre property in a real jungle location which took ten years to develop into the hotel from the raw jungle. The original colonial house is two hundred years old, and it has been preserved as much as possible.

Beach in Tayrona Park, Colombia

Beach in Tayrona Park – Image by Jess Kraft

Day 11 Hike to the Pueblito Chairama

We leave the hotel to reach the town of Calabazo (alt. 130m) where we enter the park. Our trail immerses us in the tropical forest and we ascend approximately 3 hours until reaching the indigenous village of Chairama. After a rest, we start a short walk around the terraces, trails and canals built by the Tayronas. Then, our descent over big rocks to the so-called Nudist Beach will take us about 1 hour. Once down at the beaches, we have a rest at the Cabo San Juan beach and a good lunch. Afterwards, we continue on the coastal path through the park, passing by some nice beaches as Arenilla and Arrecifes. In Cañaveral our vehicle is waiting for us to return to the hotel (B, L)

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Lost City in Parque Tayrona, Colombia

Lost City in Parque Tayrona – Image by Mateo Rudd

Day 12 Hike to Cabo San Juan de Guia

Today we hike all day through a variety of ecosystems. Beach and cove scenery, cloud forest with monkeys and colourful birds until we find the jungle beaches of the Tayrona region at the Cabo San Juan de Guia (B, L, D)

Bay in Parque Tayrona, Colombia

Cabo San Juan de Guia Bay – Image by StreetFlash

Day 13 Transfer to Cartagena and City Tour

Today we drive on one of Colombia’s main coastal roads for about 4-5 hours to the city of Cartagena de Indias, a city that combines within its walls centuries of history, culture and flavours product of Spanish miscegenation.

The City-Tour starts by visiting Fort of San Felipe de Barajas, the biggest military construction ever built by the Spanish in their colonies. On this walk of approx. 1 hour we can appreciate this masterpiece of military architecture in coral stone and get a good idea of the defence strategy of the city. Afterwards, we continue with a visit to the Convento San Pedro Clavér Museum, former Jesuit Cloister(1605) and home of the “Slave of the Slaves“. To finish, we will have a walking tour of approx. 2 hours to the most beautiful squares, churches and streets of the Historical Center. (B) Overnight in Hotel Casa Cochera del Gobernador in a superior room.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Night skyline of Cartagena in Colombia

Cartagena at Night – Image by SunSinger

Day 14 Day at leisure in Cartagena (B)

A day to enjoy walking around and exploring this beautiful. colonial city.

Cartagena in Colombia with Curious Travel

Street Scene in Cartagena de Indias – Image by Diego Grandi

Day 15 Rosario Islands

Today you will transfer to the Rosario Islands where you can enjoy the rest of the day at leisure on the beach. Overnight at Hotel Gente de Mar in a standard room.

Gente de Mar Hotel, Rosario Island, Colombia

Gente de Mar Hotel, Rosario Island – Image Copyright Gente de Mar Hotel

Day 16 & 17 Day at leisure in Rosario Islands (B,L)

Rosario Islands, Colombia with Curious Travel

Rosario Islands – Image by R M Nunes

Day 18 Day at leisure in Rosario Islands and transfer to Cartagena.

Most of the day you can relax at the hotel and then you will transfer back to the mainland and back to Cartagena for a final evening in this beautiful city. Overnight at Hotel Casa Cochera del Gobernador in a superior room.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

Day 19 Transfer Out

Today at the scheduled time we will transfer you to the airport for your international flight. (B)

We also have other example itineraries for Colombia and other countries HERE.

If you are interested in this itinerary or designing a tailor-made trip please contact us.

 

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