14 Days Andes, Coffee & Caribbean Beaches

 

Andes, Coffee & Caribbean Beaches

14 Days / 13 Nights

Explore the natural and cultural treasures of Colombia starting in Bogota – the Andean capital of Colombia – follow its colonial past and get to know the legend of El Dorado, the sacred lake of Guatavita and the famous gold museum.

Visit the impressive salt cathedral of Zipaquira located in an old salt mine before heading towards Medellín – the City of Eternal Spring and experience the transformation of Medellín from one of the most dangerous cities in the world into a fascinating melting pot of cultures. Travel deep into the Andean coffee region – full of green valleys, mountains and rivers – probably one of the most beautiful regions of Colombia.

Discover hidden waterfalls, mysterious cloud forests and get in touch with the pristine world of idyllic mountain villages where time seems to stand still. Visit Jardin, which is considered the most beautiful village in Antioquia, and the famous Esplendor cave surrounded by cloud forest. Experience a coffee-workshop on small traditional family-run coffee farm and learn more about coffee from the plant to your cup.

At the Caribbean coast you will discover Santa Marta, the second city the Spaniards founded in Latin America. Here you learn more about Colombia’s history and its famous “Libertador” Simon Bolivar as well as see the colonial center. Enjoy some of best white sandy beaches the Caribbean Sea visiting the Tayrona National, known as one of the top nature destinations on the Caribbean Coast of South America and explore ancient indigenous trails in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Explore the beauty of Cartagena de Indias and experience the colonial atmosphere that brings you closer to the Caribbean Soul and learn more about the colourful colonial history of the city. Discover the Caribbean National Park Islas del Rosario and enjoy white sandy beaches and snorkelling through coral reefs.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  •  Explore the colonial heart of Bogotá
  • Enjoy the view on Bogota from Monserrate mountain
  • Hike around the nature reserve Laguna de Guatavita
  • Visit the famous Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira
  • Ride above Medellín in a cable car observing the cities transformation
  • Experience a coffee workshop –  “from the plant to your cup!“
  • Enjoy the beautiful coffee village of Jardin
  • Horseback ride to an Andean nature reserve
  • Follow the footprints of Simon Bolivar and enjoy the colonial centre of Santa Marta
  • Explore the famous Caribbean Tayrona National Park with breathtaking beaches
  • Get to know colonial Cartagena – one of the best colonial destinations of the Southamerica
  • Explore the Caribbean National Park Islas del Rosario and snorkel in crystal clear water• *In case of unforeseen circumstances and to assure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject of change.

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ITINERARY

Included

  • Travel insurance
  • 3 Domestic flights (Bogotá – Medellín /
  • Medellín – Santa Marta / Cartagena – Bogotá)
  • Private airport transfers
  • Private transport (as mentioned in the program)
  • Bilingual guide (English / German / French)
  • Meals as mentioned in the programme
  • Accommodation (13 nights – double room)
  • All Entrance Fees included
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Bogotá

Hotel la Opera*****
http://www.hotelopera.com.co

Hotel Casa Deco ***
www.hotelcasadeco.com

Medellín

Hotel Boutique la Campana ***
www.lacampanahotelboutique.com

Hotel Park 10 *****
www.hotelpark10.com.co

Fredonia

Finca Hotel Los Robles
www.facebook.com/HotelLosRoblesFredonia

Jardin

Hotel la Casona
http://jardin.antioquia.in/alojamiento/hoteles/la-casona

Santa Marta

Hotel Boutique Casa del Farol****
www.lacasadelfarol.com

Hotel Boutique Don Pepe*****
www.hotelboutiquedonpepe.com

Cartagena

Hotel Boutiqué Tres Banderas***
www.hotel3banderas.com

Hotel Boutiqué Bantu*****
www.bantuhotel.com

Day 1: Arrival in Bogotá

On arrival in Bogotá we will transfer you from the international airport El Dorado to your hotel.
Accomodation: Hotel la Opera*****/Hotel Casa Deco ***

Day 2: Bogotá – Monserrate Hill and the colonial heart oft he city (B)

Experience Colombia´s capital on a guided walking tour of the colonial centre. The tour starts with a ride in a cable car to the famous Monserrate hill. From 3170 m altitude, you can view a large part of this enormous city. The tour continues from the colonial neighbourhood La Candelaria to Plaza Bolívar where you get to know the city’s rich and colourful history strolling through the narrow colonial streets before finishing at the Gold Museum, where you get an insight of the variety of pre-Hispanic cultures and the famous El Dorado legend. Enjoy the afternoon on your own in the famous Candelaria district close to your hotel.

Accomodation: Hotel la Opera*****/Hotel Casa Deco ***

Day 3: Excursion to the Guatavita Lake and the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira (B, L)

This day combines Andean nature and cultural experiences visiting two of the most characteristic touristic destinations of Bogota´s surroundings. In the morning you get to know the famous lake Guatavita. Since the days of the Spaniards the Guatavita Lake represents the origin of the “El Dorado“ legend. According to the legend of “El Dorado“ the lake is filled with artefacts made of gold by the indigenous tribe of the Muisca. 500 years ago, the tribe used to live in the region and dropped the treasures into the lake during their sacred ancient rituals. From there, you will head towards the tiny town of Zipaquira. The wealth of the Muisca indigenous did not derive from the gold but the salt ; that is why there has been salt mines in the area of Zipaquira until this day. In a former tunnel of the salt mine Colombian engineers built the biggest underground cathedral of the world. The place is unique and one of the main touristic attractions of Bogota. In the early evening you will be back at your hotel in Bogota.

Accomodation: Hotel la Opera*****/Hotel Casa Deco ***

Day 4: Medellin – The city of eternal spring (B)

In the morning you fly from Bogota to Medellin – the city of eternal spring. Get to know the city on a guided City-Tour that takes us to Downtown Medellin and the historical centre. We pass by the Parque Berrio and visit the Botero Square with a permanent exhibition of sculptures of Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose art has become a staple of the city. With the Metro Cable we go up the mountains to Santo Domingo, which was once a notorious area of gang violence in Medellin. While enjoying the spectacular view you learn more about the transformation of Medellin from one of the most dangerous cities in the world into a fascinating melting pot of cultures with one of the friendliest and warmest people in the world.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutique la Campana ***/Hotel Park 10 *****

Day 5: Coffee Farm Workshop – day on a farm (B, L, D)

A two hours scenic ride through lush green mountains takes you to the idyllic Andean village of Fredonia located high up in the hills surrounded by coffee- and fruit plantations. On less than three hectares Don Octavio Acevedo and his family produce their own coffee brand and give us the unique opportunity to observe the whole coffee processing from the plant to the cup. Before lunch you stroll through the coffee fields learning more about growing and collecting the coffee beans. After lunch you get an insight of the roasting process and about the best way to prepare the coffee. Afterwards you travel to a charming family run Finca where you get a delicious dinner and spend the night.

Accomodation: Hotel Los Robles

Day 6: Jardin – the green pearl of the Andes (B, L, D)

On the way to Jardin you will see the brightly painted Chivas (the traditional public buses of the region) at the square in the small town in the Andes. Jardin is surrounded by hills with coffee and banana plantations. You can see the nature reserve La Cuchilla with its cloud forests and diverse flora and fauna in the background making the scenery very impressive. Spend the night in an idyllic hotel in the historic centre of Jardin.

Accomodation: Hotel la Casona

Day 7: Excursion to the El Esplendor cave (B, L)

In the early morning you hike or ride on a horseback through the nature reserve La Cuchilla to the famous cave El Esplendor. Passing by the coffee farms of the region, the exceptionally beautiful cave can be reached in about two hours. You can swim in the natural pool surrounded by impressive tropical vegetation. After lunch beside the waterfall you return to Jardin in the late afternoon. In the early evening we are back in Medellin.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutique la Campana ***/Hotel Park 10 *****

Day 8: From Medellin to the Caribbean Sea – Exploring Santa Marta (B)

Take a flight in the morning from the Andean city of Medellin to Santa Marta, located at the sunny Caribbean Coast of Colombia. The tour begins with a visit to La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a place of historical importance where Simon Bolivar died in December 1830. You will get to know the former sugar cane hacienda of Don Joaquin de Mier and have a look at objects and tools of the era, including the bed where the Libertador Bolivar died. In the Bolivarian Museum you will learn about the most important events of Simon Bolivar’s life and the historical context of Colombia during that time. We continue to the centre of Santa Marta with a visit to the oldest cathedral in the country, then you have time to enjoy the afternoon in the colonial centre.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutique Casa del Farol****/Hotel Boutique Don Pepe*****

Day 9: Visiting the National Park Tayrona (B)

With its white sandy beaches surrounded by rocky atolls, tropical forests and bathed by the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Tayrona Park is one of the most impressive destinations of Colombia. It offers a variety of trails infiltrating the rainforest and archaeological sites, which were of great importance for pre-Columbian Cultures. We begin the hike from Canaveral through the tropical forest and along some beaches up to Arrecifes (approx. 1 hour) and continue to paradise, like the beaches of Arenillas, Piscina and Cabo San Juan (approx. 1 hour), where we have time to enjoy a swim in the sea.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutique Casa del Farol****/Hotel Boutique Don Pepe*****

Day 10: Discovering the Nature Reserve La Caoba – Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (B, L, D)

After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel and travel towards the foothills of the famous Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The Eco-Lodge La Caoba was first founded as a natural retreat and a private natural reserve in 2007 by a biologist couple from Germany and Colombia in order to create a bank of plants, hence contributing to the preservation of the natural environment. On a visit to La Caoba, enjoy the tropical environment, stroll through the nature reserve and explore the impressive garden of medicinal plants collected by the owners. They have collected an impressive variety of more than 300 catalogued species, regional and exotic trees and protected animals. Visit the butterfly house, take a bath in the clear river and enjoy one of the unique and less visited spots around Santa Marta.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutique Casa del Farol****/Hotel Boutique Don Pepe*****

Day 11: Along the Coast – From Santa Marta to Cartagena (B)

After breakfast you will leave Santa Marta and drive to Cartagena. On a stunning journey along the Caribbean Coast passing by the city of Barranquilla you reach Cartagena in the afternoon and enjoy a Caribbean sunset of the ancient wall in the colonial city centre.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutiqué Tres Banderas***/ Hotel Boutiqué Bantu*****

Day 12: Colonial Cartagena – City-Tour (B)

Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful cities in America. Its fascinating history and colonial highlights make it a place of great importance. The City-Tour will start with visiting the Cerro de La Popa, a former Augustinian convent rising 150 meters above the city, where you will have the best view of Cartagena. Thereafter, visit the largest military construction ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies, the Fort of San Felipe de Barajas. Then, head to the historic centre, where you can visit the plazas, churches and the most beautiful and important streets and buildings of the city.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutiqué Tres Banderas***/ Hotel Boutiqué Bantu*****

Day 13: Caribbean National Park Islas del Rosario (B, L)

The Islas del Rosario are a crystal clear water paradise, ideal for watching colorful coral reefs and marine wildlife in the shallow ocean. Located only 45 km from Cartagena Bay, this National Park protects unique underwater ecosystems, mainly coral reefs, inhabited by a multitude of invertebrate species and a big variety of fish. Another highlight of this pristine environment are the beautiful beaches that invite to relax in the sun. A speedboat will take you from the historic center of Cartagena to Isla Grande (1 hour), where you will have a typical lunch. Arriving on the island you will have time to go swimming, snorkeling or kayaking.

Accomodation: Hotel Boutiqué Tres Banderas***/ Hotel Boutiqué Bantu*****

Day 14: Return to Bogota (B)

Enjoy the morning in the colonial centre of Cartagena before flying back to Bogota’s International Airport El Dorado.

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