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A Colombian Experience

Colonial life, coffee plantations and Andean foothills

As the heat of the Caribbean day turns to cooler evening the streets fill with young and old. The music from local bars would get anyone’s foot tapping! On a hillside plantation you brush verdant coffee bushes as you walk through but the coffee smell is strangely absent! You will see it takes time and effort to process the coffee fruit to the drink! The warm sand of a Caribbean beach seeps between the toes. A cooling wave rolls in and the air is filled with the aroma of sea air. These Colombian moments will stay with you forever!

We fly direct to Bogotá, the capital, with time for a good look at the city and to adjust to the Latin American rhythm. From here we fly to Neiva and drive south to San Agustin and its pre Hispanic archaeology. Little is known of the people who left these figures but the remains are undeniably impressive. We will walk through tropical scenery to find the finest of the remains.

We continue west to Popayan with a scenic drive across the chain of the Andes and time to explore ‘The White City’. We will walk in the Andean foothills above the town.

Heading north we reach Armenia from where we can enjoy the high mountains from the magical Val de Corcora and discover the San Alberto coffee plantation in the heart of the coffee growing area. Here we will see the production process and have a tutored coffee tasting so we can savour its distinction.

Then Cartagena, perhaps the best preserved of all Spanish colonial cities. We spend a day in the city and a day taking a boat trip to the Islas de Rosario for a taste of tropical paradise. Finally we head north to Santa Marta for more beautiful tropical beaches and a chance to explore, on foot, the lost city of Pueblito.

Activity Level
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.


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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    19 Oct 2017
    Level B
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
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  • Itinerary & Map
    19 Oct 2017 - 03 Nov 2017

    Day 1 - Bogota
    We depart the UK on our direct flight to Colombia.

    Day 2 - Bogota
    We land very early morning and will transfer to our centrally located hotel where our rooms will be waiting for us. We have time for a rest and shower before lunch. Bogotá, the capital of Colombia is situated at 2600m and enjoys a great spring-like climate. We will take things easy on arrival to allow for acclimatisation. Afternoon sightseeing will include the Museo del Oro and La Candelaria neighbourhood.

    Day 3 - San Agustin
    We fly south to Neiva and continuing south by road to head towards San Agustin set amongst green rolling hills and cotton, cane and fruit plantations. The journey will take most of the day at a gentle pace with many stops.

    Day 4 - San Agustin
    We will enjoy the walking here whilst looking out for remains of one of the most enigmatic of South America’s pre-Hispanic civilizations. The stone statues and tombs that litter the countryside here add an extra dimension. Today we walk in the San Agustin Archaeological Park.

    Day 5 - San Agustin
    We explore further afield in the Isnos Archaeological Park.

    Day 6 - Popayan
    Heading north we will take the morning travelling to Popayan, the White City famed for its colonial architecture. We will have a guided tour of the city in the afternoon.

    Day 7 - Popayan
    We have a full day excursion into the to Purace Mountains for a days walking. Purace Volcano reaches up to 4600m and forms a spectacular backdrop to the range.

    Day 8 - Armenia
    We head north to Cali about 3hrs where we stop for lunch and quick look around the city before continuing on another 3hrs to Armenia, one of the three cities that make up the Coffee Triangle. We stay outside the city amongst fields of bananas and coffee. Today is our longest road journey.

    Day 9 - Armenia
    We visit the magical Cocora Valley, noted for its distinctive Quindio Palm trees. We walk amongst the palms enjoying beautiful open vistas of the spectacular valley. In the afternoon we return via the pretty town of Salento. Those with the energy should climb the Stations of the Cross behind the town for the view.

    Day 10 - Cartagena
    This morning we visit San Alberto coffee estate for an insight into coffee growing and tutored tasting so we may better understand the quality of the coffee they grow here. Later we drive to Pereira for dinner and then on to the airport to catch the flight to Cartagena. We should arrive at our hotel in Cartagena around midnight.

    Day 11 - Cartagena
    The jewel in the crown of Latin American colonial cities, Cartagena is a beautiful place. Colonial streets are beautifully preserved, the climate Caribbean and the attractions endless. It really is a city that rewards exploring the back streets or taking a coffee in a street café. We will have a guided tour in the morning leaving the afternoon free to wander the streets.

    Day 12 - Cartagena
    Today we take a boat ride out to San Rosario Island. The boat ride is a treat in itself. We cross the huge natural harbour that made Cartagena such an attractive and prosperous port for the Spanish. The trip to the island takes over an hour so relax and enjoy. On San Rosario it is possible to hire bikes (not included) or explore the island on foot. However it is likely some may prefer to relax and swim from the tropical beach. We return by boat to Cartagena later in the afternoon.

    Day 13 - Santa Marta
    After breakfast we set off for the 3hr drive to Santa Marta, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon will be given over to a tour of the city.

    Day 14 - Santa Marta
    Today we visit the Tayrona National Park where the Sierra Nevada mountains sweep down to the Caribbean sea. The park is named after the pre Hispanic indigenous community that inhabited the area. On visiting it is easy to see why they might have chosen to live here. We will walk to the ancient settlement of Pueblito and continue on to one of the lovely local beaches. We return to Santa Marta at the end of the day.

    Day 15 - In flight
    We have some free time before catching our flight from Santa Marta to Bogotá to connect with our flight home.

    Day 16 -
    We arrive back in the UK.

  • Accommodation

    We stay in some excellent quality local style accommodation – all rooms with private facilities.

  • What's Included

    Holiday Price Includes:

    • Return flights and all transfers.
    • All local transport costs.
    • En suite accommodation.
    • Dinners taken in hotels or local restaurants.
    • Lunches taken in local restaurants or as a boxed lunch.
    Supplement for single room: £425-£450

  • Holiday Highlights

    Holiday Highlights:

    • Cartagena. The jewel in the crown of Latin American colonial cities.
    • San Agustin. Perhaps the least understood Pre-Hispanic remains.
    • San Rosario Islands. Tropical paradise!
    • Coffee. The finest in the world!

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c30min).
    • Flights: Heathrow-Bogota (c11hrs 25min), Santa Marta-Heathrow via Bogota (c11hrs 40min + stop), Avianca.
    • Internal flights: Bogota-Neiva and Pereira-Cartagena (c1hr 10min), Avianca.        
    • UK add-on flights from £150 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades available, please ask for a competitive quote.

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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.


Please select a departure date

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