This 14 days experience takes you to a verdant paradise, with unspoiled Caribbean beaches, cryptic archeological ruins, fantastic nature reserves and charming coffee farms.
This is the perfect itinerary if you want to discover the cultural, natural and historical wonders of this captivating country, with adventurous activities and a blissful beach stay along the way.
– 4 days/ 47 Kms trek to Ciudad Perdida in the Sierra Nevada-
-Discover Colombia’s ‘Lost City’ (built 800 A.D.) and learn about the ancient Tayrona culture from an expert guide
Day 1. Arrival to Bogota
Airport pick up and overnight at Masaya Bogota or similar centrally located. (No meals)
Day 2. Bogota
We begin our second day with a fueling breakfast at the hotel, then we’re off to enjoy a tour of the city, starting with a ride on the world-famous Bogota cable car. You will enjoy breathtaking views of the city and surrounding nature as the cars climb 3160 meters to the peak of Cerro Monserrate (10,367 feet). We will then walk trough the historical suburb of La Candelaria, with its old churches and cobblestoned streets, surrounded by colonial architecture, baroque churches art deco houses, and street art. We will visit Plaza Bolivar and its stunning Cathedral. We will also visit the Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum) to see the most iconic and amazing gold artifacts of Colombia, and Fernando Botero’s permanent exhibition at the Banco de la República. For lunch you will be on your own and provided with ample time to explore and sample the incredible tastes of the city.
Transfer to the airport and Flight to Santa Marta in the afternoon.
Airport pick up and overnight at standard hotel in Santa Marta in the downtown. (B)
Day 3. Santa Marta- Adan
After meeting you at your hotel in Santa Marta at 815am, we will ride in a jeep for about 45 minutes on the highway. We will stop at a convenience store to buy snacks and drinks, and from there, we turn off the highway, up a dirt track into the mountains. After arriving in Machete, we will have lunch and then have a short swim to cool off. Then we hike a steep uphill grade for around 45 minutes before a long descent into the valley where the first campsite, is located
(B, L,D) ½ day hiking to Adán – 7.6 km (4.7 mi) 1,900 ft ascent, 900 ft descent
Day 4. Adan - Paraiso Camp
The 15 kms/10 hours route starts along the Buritaca River, taking you further into the vivid green jungle past small villages en route to the evening campsite. We will walk uphill and across some beautiful terrain, including some local farms. After a jump in a swimming hole and lunch at Camp Site #2 we will continue to Paraiso Camp (Camp Site #3), located only 1km downhill from the Lost City. Today’s journey takes you through a varied landscape, deeper into the tropical jungle, across rivers and past a couple of Kogi villages. (B,L,D)
14.7 km (9.1 mi) 3500 ft ascent, 2000 ft descent
Day 5. The Lost City
We will wake up at about 530A.M so we can can set off at dawn and enjoy the Lost City in the softest light and coolest air possible. After a short walk from the campsite, we will reach the 1,200 stone stairs that ascend to the terraces of the city above. Climbing the steps, we will reach the lower chambers of Teyuna, also known as The Lost City. It is believed that this was a capital city built by the Tayrona civilization in 800 A.D., approximately 600 years before the Incas built Machu Picchu in Peru. When conquistadores approached the structure in the 16th century, the Tayrona opted to abandon the city instead of allowing it to fall into Spanish hands. After visiting the Lost City, we’ll return to El Paraiso (Campsite #3) for a quick lunch before returning to Campsite #2 for overnight. (B,L,D)
12 km (7.5 miles) 1800 ft ascent, 3500 ft descent
Day 6. Paraiso Camp- Santa Marta
We will start early again, since much of the trail is unshaded, and therefore becomes quite hot. After a stop for fruit at the first campsite and a jump in the swimming hole, we’ll find ourselves back where we began, in Machete, for lunch. We will drive back to Santa Marta to end this exciting trek , arrival at about 330-430pm. Overnight at standard hotel centrally located in Santa Marta.
(B,L) ½ day hiking to El Mamey, Return to Santa Marta – 12.7 km (7.9 mi) 2200 ft ascent, 3000 ft descent.
Day 7. Playa Cristales
After Breakfast we drive to Playa Cristales in Tayrona National Park. Playa Cristales is known as one of the most beautiful beaches of Colombia, great location to set off for a snorkeling adventure, enjoy the sun, its turquoise waters and white sands. Return to Santa Marta will be at about 4pm. Overnight at standard hotel.
Day 8. Santa Marta- Cartagena
After breakfast we will get transferred to the bus station and head towards Cartagena for about 4 hours using local transportation. Check in at standard hotel centrally located and leisure afternoon to explore one of the most iconic cities of the Caribbean. Go and explore on your own, visit the Convent La Popa, San Felipe Castle and the working-class district of Gestemani. Overnight at Hotel Kartaxa or similar. (B)
Day 9. Isla Baru
Breakfast at the hotel. We drive out to Barú, a fishermen village in the Colombian-Caribbean, where we will interact with the local people living in a very original and authentic way. You will get up close and personal with the genuine way of life of the people living there, in an intimate, unique, and unforgettable way. After that, we will take a scenic boat ride through a mangrove forest to reach Barú beach; a secluded, picturesque bay. There we will enjoy its pristine warm water and beautiful beaches. Next, we will visit Isletas, for lunch and relaxation by the beach. Last, before returning to Cartagena, we will visit the village again, go to the local museum, visit local houses, and relish in one of the most authentic, native, and awe-inspiring experience of Colombia.
Overnight at centrally located hotel in Cartagena (B, L)
Day 10. Cartagena
Breakfast at the hotel. Leisure day on your own, no activities included. Overnight at Hotel Kartaxa or similar. (B)
Optional excursion: Playa Blanca-Corales del Rosario National Park Transfer to the tourist dock of Cartagena. Boat trip to Corales del Rosario National Park, you can witness a stunning 27 small coral island archipelago with turquoise and blue waters. We will navigate through the Cartagena Bay passing between the Bateria de San José and Fuerte de San Fernando Spanish forts. After that we will visit the Oceanarium Aquarium or snorkel for an hour and will go for a tasty lunch at Playa Blanca on Isla Barú. Boat ride back by 4pm to Cartagena’s dock.
Day 11 Cartagena de Indias- Salento
Early Breakfast and Transfer to the airport. Flight to Pereira. Airport pick up and drive to Salento, a colorful town located in the Andean Mountains of Colombia full of peaceful nature, impressive scenery and easy access to the Cocora Valley. Check in at local standard centrally located hotel, feel free to explore on your own, enjoy the local gastronomy, architecture, and handicrafts and return to your hotel when you like. Overnight at standard hotel in town. (B)
Day 12. Cocora Valley
After breakfast at the hotel you will visit the amazing Cocora Valley, inside Los Nevados National Natural Park home to the national tree and symbol of Colombia, the Quindío wax palm, these slender trees stand at an impressive 60 meters. In this 6 kilometers walk we will have a big chance of spotting the largest flying bird in the world, the Andean Condor as well as the Long Tailed Sylph Hummingbird and the Blue crowned Motmot . Lunch at local restaurant and visit to El Ocaso Coffee farm, here you will learn all about the coffee process: from the seed to the cup at an authentic coffee farm that goes beyond tradition. After this experience we will drive you back to Salento Plaza Hotel or similar. (B,L)
Day 13 Salento- Bogota
Breakfast and drive to Pereira for your flight back to Bogota. Airport pick up and overnight at centrally located hotel. (B)
Day 14. Bogota
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. (B)