Culture & History

Experiences

Bogota, Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva

4 Day / 3 Nights

This 4-day tour package is an ideal mixture of cultural, historic and natural activities and provides a great selection of the must-see destinations in Bogota and its surroundings including Villa de Leyva and Zipaquira. Explore the Colombian capital on our Bogota city tour (guided walking tour), ride the famous cable-car up to the Monserrate Mountain and enjoy the breath-taking views of the city. Explore the unique Gold Museum and the cultural hot-spots of the colonial heart of Bogota.

Experience the ancient sacred indigenous lake of Guatavita and get to know the legend of the gold of El Dorado and the world´s biggest underground cathedral of the old salt mine in Zipaquira. Explore the beauties of Boyaca’s department on the following two days and visit a colonial treasure of Colombia – Villa de Leyva. Here you have the opportunity to dip into the colonial past of the region and see one of the biggest squares in South America. Beside the city, visit indigenous shrine “El Infiernito”, the stunning water reservoir Blue Wells and cross a picturesque town Raquira that is famous for its ceramic works.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy amazing views over Bogotá from the Monserrate Mountain
  • Explore Bogotá’s historic Candelaria District
  • Visit the famous Lake Guatavita and get to know the legend of El Dorado
  • Explore the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira – the biggest underground cathedral of the world
  • Explore the historic center of Villa de Leyva – a colonial highlight of Colombia
  • See the Blue Wells near Villa de Leyva and the indigenous shrine ‘El Infiernito’

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ITINERARY

Included

  • Pick-Up service from your hotel & private transport
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees
  • Typical lunch
  • Bilingual attendance
  • Travel insurance
  • Water & snacks
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Bogotá

Hotel la Opera*****
www.hotelopera.com.co

Hotel Casa Deco***
www.hotelcasadeco.com

Villa de Leyva

Boutique Posada de San Antonio***
http://www.hotellaposadadesanantonio.com/

Day 1: Bogotá City Tour:

Upon your arrival at the airport El Dorado of Bogotá, there will be a driver awaiting you to bring you to your hotel. Discover the capital of Colombia on this tour, enjoy amazing views and visit the most iconic parts of the city. Go up the impressive Monserrate Mountain, a traditional symbol of the capital of Colombia. From here, you can see the whole city at 3,152 meters above sea level. Afterwards, walk through the Candelaria district.

This historical district is considered the place where the city of Bogotá was founded and where the very first church was constructed. Explore the Plaza de Bolivar, the Palace of Justice, the Presidential Palace and walk by the old colonial houses that have shaped the history of the city. See the largest library of South America and pay a visit to the famous Gold and Emerald Museum. To complete the picture, discover the northern parts of Bogotá and learn about cultural differences within the city. Hotel la Opera*****/ Hotel Casa Deco***

Day 2: Laguna de Guatavita & Salt Cathedral Zipaquirá (B,L)

This daytrip 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 Laguna de Guatavita represents the origin of the “El Dorado“ legend. The lake belongs to the sacred sites of the indigenous Muisca tribe who used to live in the region. According to the legend of “El Dorado“, the lake is filled with sacrificial offerings and artefacts made of gold that the Muisca indigenous dropped 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. Until today, salt mines exist in and around the area of Zipaquira. In one of the former tunnels of the salt mine Colombian engineers have built the biggest underground cathedral of the world. The place is unique and one of the main attractions of Bogota. Explore this fascinating place and return to Bogotá in the evening. Hotel la Opera*****/ Hotel Casa Deco***

Day 3: Villa de Leyva – Andean Colonial Treasure (B)

Enjoy an excursion deep into the lush Andean highlands outside of Bogota. Villa de Leyva is a colonial treasure of central Colombia. It is located just 2-hours outside of Bogotá in the beautiful hills of Boyaca. It is among the most beautiful colonial villages of Colombia Declared a national monument in 1954, the picturesque village has been preserved in its entirety with cobblestone roads and whitewashed buildings.

The village was founded in 1572 and was originally a retreat for military officers, clergy and nobility. Nowadays it is a peaceful, bucolic village and one of the loveliest places in Colombia, filled with history, museums and sightseeing opportunities. Visit the Plaza Mayor, the town square, and see the historical church, restaurants and shops. Stay the night in Villa de Leyva. Boutique Posada de San Antonio***

Day 4: Blue Wells, ‘El Infiernito’ and Ráquira (B)

On the next day, visit “El Infiernito”, an old indigenous shrine where the tribe of the Muiscas used to calculate the correct time for the harvest. Later, go to the Blue Wells, a reservoir of deep blue water that one cannot miss. On the way back to Bogota cross Ráquira, a picturesque town that has become famous for its long tradition of ceramic works. In the evening you return to Bogotá.

In case of unforeseen circumstances and to assure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject of change.

Cartagena – Adventure & Culture

3 Days / 2 Nights

Explore the beauty of Cartagena de Indias and experience the colonial atmosphere that brings you closer to the Caribbean Soul. Cartagena is one of Latin America’s top destinations thanks to its colourful history that is visible everywhere in the “walled city”. The old walls, narrow streets and beautiful buildings will make you fall in love with the Caribbean pearl of Colombia.

On the following day you will visit the DAMARTES project and create your very own souvenir out of coconut shells. In the afternoon, get to know the small village La Boquilla and go on a fascinating canoe ride through the dense mangrove forest. On the third day of your tour visit one of the most symbolic towns of Latin America: The World Cultural heritage village San Basilio de Palenque. Learn some basic words of their own, unique language and try to communicate with the Palenqueros in their traditional way.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the colonial centre of Cartagena de Indias on a guided tour
  • Visit the hill “cerro de la Popa” to have a unique overview of Cartagena and its colonial beauty
  • Meet the women of the DAMARTES association
  • Craft your very own souvenir out of coconut shells
  • Take a canoe through the mangroves
  • Explore the historical village San Basilio de Palenque and get to know their unique language and culture

Want to personalize this trip?

No Problem! We’ll do it for you.

Start Planning Your Trip

ITINERARY

Included

  • Pick-Up Service from your hotel & private transport
  • Travel insurance
  • Bilingual attendance
  • Entrance fees
  • Presentation of the DAMARTES
  • Coconut Craft Workshop
  • Welcome Drink
  • Accommodation (2 nights)
  • Canoe tour (1 hour)
  • Palenquero language class
  • Lunch on 3rd Day
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Cartagena

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

Hotel Boutique Bantu*****
www.bantuhotel.com

Day 1: Cartagena – City-Tour

Upon your arrival at the Rafael Nunez Airport of Cartagena, there will be a driver awaiting you to bring you to your hotel.
Cartagena de Indias is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in America. Its historic centre, walled by the fortifications built in the colonial era, conserves its original architecture and is full of colours that will fill the visitors with the Caribbean life and joy.
The City-Tour will start 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. After that, 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.

Day 2: Coconut Workshop & Mangroves Canoe Tour (B)

Did you know that Coconuts do not only provide a delicious drink but also can be used to craft accessories or decorations? On this tour, visit the DAMARTES project and create your very own souvenir. The “Damas y Madres del Arte – Women and Mothers of Art” form a local association that produces bracelets, necklaces, earrings, vases and accessories out of coconut shells. They are the very first women of La Boquilla to purchase their own income. Get to know the interesting life stories of these ladies and learn how they craft amazing souvenirs out of simple objects. Test your skills and patience on the workshop and design your own coconut souvenir.

Explore the stunning nature that surrounds Cartagena. Visit the small village La Boquilla and go on a fascinating canoe ride through the dense mangrove forest. Cross the lagoon Cienaga de Juan Polo, go through natural mangrove tunnels and pass by the fishermen of the village. On this peaceful and relaxing ride, you can enjoy the abundant flora and fauna of the forest. Observe the incredible variety of birds – if you are lucky you can even spot one of the green parrots on the riverbank! After the canoe ride you explore a small fishing village learn about life of the locals in the mangroves.

Day 3: Cartagena – San Basilio de Palenque (B, L)

Visit one of the most symbolic towns of Latin America: The World Cultural heritage village San Basilio de Palenque was the very first liberated village of America! It was founded by Benkos Biohó, an escaped slave who hid here with 36 other men and women. Until the sixties, San Basilio de Palenque remained mainly isolated without connecting roads and was thereby able to maintain a unique creole language that is not spoken anywhere else in the world. In a language class, you can learn some basic words and try to communicate with the Palenqueros in their traditional way. Enjoy a typical lunch in the village, visit the cultural center together with a local to learn about the historical development of this place, and witness the rhythms, dances and influences of Afro-Colombian music.
Upon your return to Cartagena, our driver will pick you up and drive you to the airport.

Optional Activities:

  • African dance performance
  • Palenquero cooking class
  • African hairdresser workshop

In case of unforeseen circumstances and to assure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject of change.

Medellin, Guatapé & Santa Fé

3 Days / 2 Nights

Get to know the history and present of Medellín and learn more about the transformation of this fascinating metropolis. Find out why nowadays ”City of Eternal Spring” is one of the most innovative cities in the world and experience how people of Medellín think about the history of the city. Climb the Peñol Boulder and enjoy breathtaking views from the top. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia, visit village of Guatape and explore the lake on a boat ride. Visit the cultural treasures of Santa Fé de Antioquia, take a ride through Latin America’s longest tunnel and visit the well-known bridge “Puente del Occidente”. Experience stunning landscapes, typical Colombian food and a relaxing day on the countryside.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn more about the city’s transformation while using the innovative transport-system in the poorer neighbourhoods
  • Climb the Peñol Boulder, enjoy breath taking views and explore the lake on a boat ride
  • Visit one of the oldest colonial cities in Latin America
  • See the oldest suspension bridge in Colombia (“Puente del Occidente”)
  • Try the exotic tropical fruits at the market in Santa Fé de Antioquia

Want to personalize this trip?

No Problem! We’ll do it for you.

Start Planning Your Trip

ITINERARY

Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Private transportation incl. pick-up service
  • Bilingual attendance
  • Accommodation
  • Private & public transport
  • Coffee break
  • Entrance fee to the Peñol Boulder
  • Boat ride on the lake
  • Traditional lunch *
  • Entrance fee to Museo Juan de Corral
  • Water & Snacks
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Medellín 

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

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

Day 1: History of Transformation

20 years ago, Medellín was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Back in the early 90s, when the hunt for Pablo Escobar took place, the head of Medellín’s drug cartel was at its peak. Thus the reign of “El Patrón” came to its end. Until the turn of the millennium the struggle about Escobar’s successor continued, but since 2002 Medellín began to change. Local politicians started to invest heavily in infrastructure and public education. Today the “City of Eternal Spring” is one of the most innovative metropolises in the world.
Join us on an exciting tour through the history and present of Medellín and learn more about the transformation of this fascinating metropolis.

Day 2: Guatapé & Piedra del Peñol (B,L)

The Peñol Boulder is one of the most spectacular destinations in the surrounding area of Medellín. The 200-meter-high monolith can be climbed through a staircase of 740 steps. Enjoy breath-taking views over the stunning surroundings full of green mountains and blue lakes. The village of Guatapé is famous for its church and its beautiful, colourful paintings that decorate the houses of the village.
On this day trip we will take you on a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia. You can climb the Peñol Boulder, enjoy a delicious typical Colombian lunch on the waterfront of the Guatapé reservoir, explore the lake on a boat ride and take time to stroll and relax.

Day 3: Santa Fé de Antioquia – Hidden Colonial Treasure (B,L)

Santa Fé de Antioquia is located at only a two-hour ride through the scenic mountainous landscapes of the Western Andean highlands from Medellín. The town was founded in 1541 on the Western bank of the Cauca River and became the first capital of Antioquia in 1584. It is declared a Cultural Heritage Village thanks to its colonial architecture with many historic churches, plazas and palaces.

Furthermore, you visit the famous Puente del Occidente across the Cauca River, which is one of the longest and oldest suspension bridges in Latin America.

We invite you to explore the cultural treasures of Santa Fé de Antioquia, take a ride through Latin America’s longest tunnel and visit the well-known bridge “Puente del Occidente”. Look forward to experiencing stunning landscapes, typical Colombian food and a relaxing day on the countryside. In the evening you return to Medellín.

In case of unforeseen circumstances and to insure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject to change.

Támesis – Coffee Farm, Pre-Hispanic Culture & Cloud Forest

3 Days / 2 Nights

This tour takes you to the green balcony of Medellín’s coffee region located above the Cauca River valley. Enjoy the scenic landscape and be mesmerized by impressive views over the Cauca Valley in the colonial mountain village Támesis, surrounded by coffee and banana plantations. Hike on pre-Hispanic stone paths into the protected area of “San Antonio” with its caves, falls and cloud forests full of orchids, bromeliads and other exotic plants as well as countless colorful tropical birds. Discover pre-Hispanic petroglyphs and other archaeological troves. Visit traditional coffee plantations and enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of people in Southwest Antioquia.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike through Andean cloud forests in the “San Antonio” nature reserve
  • Hike on pre-Colombian paths and discover indigenous petroglyphs
  • Enjoy the Paisa culture of Southwest Antioquia’s villages
  • Experience breath-taking views over beautiful Colombian landscapes
  • Visit a traditional coffee farm
  • Enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of the rural Colombians
  • Be accommodated at a charming hotel in Támesis

Want to personalize this trip?

No Problem! We’ll do it for you.

Start Planning Your Trip

ITINERARY

Included

  • Private transportation incl. pick-up service
  • Travel insurance
  • Accommodation: 2x in Támesis
  • Meals (2x breakfast / 3x lunch / 2x dinner)
  • Entrance fee to the Historic Museum in Támesis
  • Tour to pre-Hispanic petroglyphs in Támesis
  • Hike in the “San Antonio” nature reserve
  • Visit of an organic coffee farm + Coffee Tour “…from the plant to the cup!”
  • Bilingual attendance
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Támesis

Hotel Vegas del Rio
http://fincatamesis.com/hotel-vegas-del-rio/

Finca Guacari

Day 1: Colombian coffee farm experience (L, D)

From Medellín you drive to the tiny village of Fredonia where you experience the Paisa culture first-hand.
On less than three hectares Don Octavio Acevedo and his family produce their own coffee brand. Before lunch you stroll through the coffee fields learning more about growing and collecting the coffee beans. After a traditional countryside lunch you get an insight of the roasting process and furthermore about the best way to prepare the coffee. Through amazing landscapes you go down to the valley of the Cauca River to the idyllic the mountain village of Támesis, where you spend the night.

Day 2 : Hike in the Cloud Forest of the “San Antonio” Nature Reserve (B, L, D)

On this day you go hiking through the mysterious cloud forests of the “San Antonio” nature reserve which is located in the mountains above Támesis. A pre-Hispanic stone path will take you higher and higher into the impressive mountain rain forest. A guide familiar with the place will show you waterfalls hidden within the rocks, underground rivers, caves, and the most spectacular viewpoints. In the late afternoon return to the village of Támesis.

Day 3: Pre-Hispanic Petroglyph Tour (B, L)

In the morning a guide will lead you through a tour of the surroundings of Támesis to visit the archaeological sites in the region. Támesis is known as one of the places with the greatest density of indigenous pre-Hispanic petroglyphs in Colombia. Observe different types of petroglyphs and learn some of their meanings. Later on you return to Medellín.

In case of unforeseen circumstances and to insure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject to change.

Tatacoa Desert and Archaeological Experience

5 Days / 4 Nights

This tour takes you to the green balcony of Medellín’s coffee region located above the Cauca River valley. Enjoy the scenic landscape and be mesmerized by impressive views over the Cauca Valley in the colonial mountain village Támesis, surrounded by coffee and banana plantations. Hike on pre-Hispanic stone paths into the protected area of “San Antonio” with its caves, falls and cloud forests full of orchids, bromeliads and other exotic plants as well as countless colorful tropical birds. Discover pre-Hispanic petroglyphs and other archaeological troves. Visit traditional coffee plantations and enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of people in Southwest Antioquia.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the Tatacoa Desert
  • Take a bath in the hot springs of Rivera
  • Visit the pre-Colombian grave mounds in San Agustin
  • See the famous stone figures guarding the graves in San Agustin
  • Cross the National Park Pucare
  • Visit the archaeological park of Tierradentro
  • Discover colonial Popayan

Want to personalize this trip?

No Problem! We’ll do it for you.

Start Planning Your Trip

ITINERARY

Included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Pick-Up Service from your hotel & Private transport
  • Bilingual guide
  • Accommodation
  • Meals (4x breakfast)
  • Entrance fees
  • Guided Hike in the Tatacoa Desert (only in Spanish)
  • Visit of the Thermal Baths in Rivera
  • Visit of the archaeological park San Agustin
  • Visit of the archaeological park Tierradentro
  • City tour in Popayan
  • Taxes

Accommodation

Neiva

GHL Hotel****
http://www.ghlhotelneiva.com/

San Agustin

Hotel Akawanka Lodge
http://www.hotelakawankalodge.com/

Tierradentro

Hotel El Refugio

Day 1: The Tatacoa Desert

Start your adventure in Neiva, located in Southern Colombia. After your arrival you will travel to the Tatacoa Desert with its unique scenery. The Tatacoa Desert is the second largest in Colombia and fascinates with stunning ochre and ash-colored stone formations. This impressive environment was created by processes of erosion which lasted hundreds of years. Enjoy a walk through the desert before you return to Neiva.

GHL Hotel****

Day 2: Hot Springs of Rivera (B)

After breakfast we drive along the Magdalena River and stop in Rivera. Here you can enjoy the morning at the hot springs of Rivera, a beautiful natural pool surrounded by stunning nature. After lunch, we travel to the idyllic town of San Agustin and enjoy a ride through the impressive Andean scenery.

Hotel Akawanka Lodge

Day 3: Visit of the Archaeological Park in San Agustin (B)

Today we visit the impressive archaeological park of San Agustin. Get to know the pre-Colombian culture: Explore the artificially erected grave mounds which are connected to each other by raised paths. Learn about the history of the native communities and hear about the death rituals they practiced for their chiefs and warriors, entombing them behind archaeological figures with all their belongings. The figures show different symbols carved into stone and give an insight into the pre-Colombian culture.

Hotel Akawanka Lodge

Day 4: Crossing the Andean Mountains to Tierradentro (B)

After breakfast, we leave San Agustin to cross the Andean mountain range. You travel through the National Park Pucare and pass Popayan until you reach the archaeological park of Tierradentro. Enjoy a tour though the park and discover the archaeological remains.

Hotel El Refugio

Day 5: Exploring Popayán (B)

In the morning we continue our journey to the colonial city of Popayan. Popayan has a lot of cultural treasures to offer, from beautiful churches to colonial architecture. On a city tour, learn about the history and the importance of the city since the colonial time. It was founded in 1537, and was once one of the most important cities of Colombia, due to its strategic location on the way to Ecuador.

In case of unforeseen circumstances and to assure the passenger’s comfort and safety the itinerary might be subject of change.

PALENQUE TOURS
Dirección: Carrera 43D No. 13-09 El Poblado Medellín - Colombia Nit: 900697895
RNT 33950
Tel: +57 (4) 312 89 65 E-mail: contacto@palenquetourscolombia.com Skype: Palenque.tours

Emergency cellphone:
+57 319 283 4462

Office hours: Monday - Friday
08:00 - 12:00 ; 13:00 - 17:00

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