Colombia is quickly becoming one of South America's hottest destinations: if you've ticked off a few of the continents other countries, this should be your next stop. From its lively multi-coloured cities to its coffee plant-covered hills, picture-postcard coastline and Andean peaks, Colombia gives you a real contrast of experiences. Spend a few days in the waterfront walled city of Cartagena and soak up the mix of cultures from indigenous to European.

• Bogota: 3 nights

• Coffee Region: 3 nights

• Tayrona National Park: 2 nights

• Cartagena: 3 nights

12nights
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Rosario Islands x nights from £xxx
Hop on a speedboat from Cartagena and head over to one of the country's coral Rosario Islands for a few days of rest, relaxation, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming.

Day 1: UK to Bogotá Depart the UK on your flight to Colombia's capital. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and later join the rest of your group for a welcome dinner. Stay: Sofitel Victoria Regia (or similar). D.

Day 2: Bogotá The first full day of your tour begins with a visit to the unique Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, approximately 30 miles north of Bogotá. This Roman Catholic church, which is built 180 metres below the ground in the tunnels of an old salt mine, is unlike any other you may have visited around the world. This cavernous place of worship (although it's not strictly a cathedral as there's no bishop) is beautifully lit and features large crosses carved out of the mine walls and a collection of angelical statues. Return to the city and enjoy some free time to relax at your hotel or wander through the nearby streets. Stay: Sofitel Victoria Regia (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Bogotá
Today, there's a full-day tour of the city, beginning at the central Plaza Bolivar. Typical of a main square in a Latin America city, this beautiful space is lined with grand colonial buildings such as the city's cathedral and the National Capital. Providing a bit of a contrast to these 19th Century structures is the late 20th Century Palace of Justice to the north of the square. Stop at the statue of Simon Bolivar and pay your respects to the founding father of Colombia. Continue on to the Gold Museum where you can see one of the world's largest collections of pre-Hispanic gold. The highlight here is the intricate Muisca raft which depicts the legend of El Dorado and was the reason behind the Spanish colonists' quest to find a mythical city of huge wealth. You'll then board a funicular or cable car which will whisk you up to the peak of Cerro de Monserrate. Once you arrive at the top, you can see the hilltop shrine to El Señor Caído – the Fallen Lord – and enjoy views out across the city. You'll also visit the Paloquemao market where a huge variety of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers and other produce is sold. You'll have the chance to try some locally-grown fruit and experience the incredible atmosphere of this extensive market. Stay: Sofitel Victoria Regia (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Bogotá to the Coffee Region (Pereira)
Depart Bogotá on your flight to Pereira and continue on to Casa San Carlos Lodge, a beautiful hotel at the heart of Colombia's famous coffee region. This afternoon, you'll visit Hacienda San Jose where they breed the beautiful Paso Fino horses. Learn about this fascinating breed of horse, a symbol of natural pride for many Colombians, and see a demonstration of their quick-stepping trot. The next stop is a local trapiche where they make the traditional treat of panela, a must try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Approx. flight time: 1 hour. Stay: Casa San Carlos Lodge (or similar). B, L, D. 

Day 5: Coffee Region (Pereira)
Coffee is one of Colombia's most famous exports with over 1300 square miles of the country's UNESCO-listed 'Eje Cafetero' set aside for the growth of coffee beans. Today, the focus is on the process of plant to mug as you travel round the region and visit a working coffee farm. You'll take a tour of the plantation, find out about the different varieties and how the beans are roasted. You'll also get to taste the hacienda's unique blend. Later, visit the hidden-away Finca La Romelia, a farm typical of rural Colombia where they grow a wide variety of orchids. As you join a guided tour of the gardens and trails, keep an eye out for hummingbirds and other exotic species that are frequently seen in the area. Stay: Casa San Carlos Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Coffee Region (Pereira)
Your exploration of the coffee region continues today as you visit two of the area's towns. First up is Filandia, a laid-back town with a well-preserved town square. Wander around and capture some great photos of the vibrant houses that line the town's streets before continuing on to the Cocora Valley. This green mountainous landscape is notable for its tall, slender Quindío wax palm tree, one of the only place this unique tree grows. Return to your lodge with a stop in the town of Salento on the way. A little larger and busier than Filandia, this mountain town is no less pretty and similarly charming. Stay: Casa San Carlos Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Coffee Region (Pereira) to Tayrona National Natural Park
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santa Marta, travelling via Bogotá. Approx. flight time: 4 hours; approx. journey time: 1 hour. Stay: Cayena Beach (or similar). B.

Day 8: Tayrona National Natural Park
Spend the whole day exploring Tayrona National Natural Park. With dense jungle tumbling down to hidden-away coves that are bookended by giant granite rocks and washed by emerald waters, this national park is a slice of Colombian paradise. You'll take a short walk along one of the coastal paths to reach one of these delightful beaches and spend the rest of the day relaxing, swimming and soaking up the area's breathtaking beauty. Stay: Cayena Beach (or similar). B, L.

Day 9: Tayrona National Natural Park to Cartagena
You'll remain on the beautiful Caribbean coast as you travel west towards the city of Cartagena de Indias. On the way, stop in Santa Marta, the oldest Spanish colonial city in South America. Visit the small gold museum, the main square and see Colombia's oldest cathedral before heading to Lovers Park (also known as Santander Park) where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and a spot of people watching. Travel onwards to Cartagena, one of the continent's most beautiful cities, and on arrival, head one of the city's rooftop bars for a sun downer. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Bastión Luxury Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Cartagena
The historic heart of Cartagena's UNESCO-listed old town sits within the well-preserved city walls built by the Spanish to protect one of their most important ports. Begin the day in the shadow of the Clock Tower, one of Cartagena's most famous landmarks and the gateway to the walled city. Continue on to the tree-shaded Plaza Bolivar where you can rest your feet and enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Visit The Palace of the Inquisition, a beautiful building with a dark past, before heading off into the maze of historic streets. During the tour, you'll visit one of the city's many churches, the Iglesia de San Pedro Claver which is dedicated to the Patron Saint of Slaves. The rest of the day is free to explore Cartagena at your own pace. Stay: Bastión Luxury Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 11: Cartagena Today, you'll gain an insight into Colombian cuisine as you join a half-day gastronomic excursion. Visit the Bazurto market with a local chef who will select fantastically fresh ingredients for today's lunch. Move on to a private home within the city's walls and enjoy a demonstration of Colombian cooking before sitting down and dining on the mouthwatering meal. This afternoon, there'll be another chance to wander around Cartagena on your own or relax at your hotel before tonight's farewell dinner. Stay: Bastión Luxury Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 12: Cartagena Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Rosario Islands x nights from £xxx
Hop on a speedboat from Cartagena and head over to one of the country's coral Rosario Islands for a few days of rest, relaxation, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

For travellers who have previously visited South America and want to visit one of the region's up-and-coming destinations.

Good to know

• For guests over 16
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A good level of fitness is required.

What to expect

• This tour is not suitable for those with respiratory problems as you'll be visiting altitudes up to 3150 metres
• A pair of comfortable walking shows is recommended.
• Luggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 23kg
• You’ll will experience a wide variety of climates so layers are essential.

Accommodation on tour

The hotels used during this tour have been picked for both their local charm, high quality and central setting. In Bogotá, you'll be in walking distance from the shops, restaurants and bars of the city's chic and lively Zona T. In contrast, the lodge in the coffee region has a secluded hillside setting and has far reaching views of the surrounding countryside. We love the Caribbean resort vibe and tropical plant-filled gardens of Cayena Beach Villa, your hotel close to Tayrona National Park. The highlight will be your stay at the Bastion Luxury Hotel at the heart of Cartagena's Walled City with its views over the city skyline from the rooftop pool.

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2020 Mar 01, 29; Jun 14; Aug 23; Oct 25

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Kuoni highlights

Kuoni highlights

This tour introduces you to Colombia's highlights - its colonial cities, the mist-covered coffee region and the Caribbean coast. To add to your journey, we've included a handful of typically Colombian experiences like a visit to a farm where they breed the Paso Fino horse, a tour of a coffee plantation (with a tasting included) and a cooking demonstration in Cartagena where you'll learn how to make a traditional local dish.