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Colombia Essentials: A 9-day itinerary exploring the best of Colombia

Days: 9 | From: $3,190/per person

Explore Bogota, Colombia’s vibrant capital city, then sample Colombia’s world-renowned brew on a coffee plantation tour. Finish your trip strolling the Caribbean streets of the famous walled city of Cartagena.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • Bogota
    2 nights: get to know this lively city that blends trend and tradition
  • Armenia
    3 nights: journey through lush coffee country
  • Cartagena
    3 nights: experience unique Afro-Caribbean culture

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

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Sample itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Bogota

Colombia - Bogota

Arrive to the capital city of Bogota, a busy metropolis that blends tradition with trendiness. Your private guide will welcome you to the country and transfer you to your first class hotel, located in the exclusive La Cabrera neighborhood.

Accommodations: B.O.G. Hotel

Located in Bogota's La Cabrera neighborhood, the B.O.G. hotel is conveniently close to many of the city's top restaurants and attractions. This award-winning Design Hotel offers a restaurant, lobby bar, spa, and rooftop terrace with panoramic views and a heated pool.

Upgrade available: Sofitel Bogota Victoria RegiaFor those interested in staying in the La Candelaria historic district, there is also the option of staying at Hotel de la Opera. The historic district can get rather quiet after dark, which is why some travelers prefer to stay in other neighborhoods, but the area has a lot of charm and is walking distance to many of the city’s most interesting historical sites.
Day 2

Get to Know Bogota

Colombia - Bogota

Explore Bogota with your private guide, a bilingual local who will take you through the city’s unique neighborhoods and give you an insider’s perspective on the complicated history of the area.

Start in the La Candelaria historic district, the oldest part of the city, to learn about Bogotá’s colonial past and visit the Plaza Bolivar. Visit the Botero Museum, a permanent exhibition of works by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist, whose “oversized” art is instantly recognizable. Your next stop is the Museo del Oro, Gold Museum, which houses one of the finest collections of pre-Colombian gold artifacts in the world. This is considered a must-see when in Bogotá, with more than 35,000 pieces of gold work, many of which possess detailing unsurpassed by modern goldsmiths. Finally, take a cable car up to Monserrate Sanctuary to visit the church and enjoy sweeping views out over the city.

Accommodations: B.O.G. Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Fly to the Coffee Region and Transfer to Your Charming Hacienda

Colombia - Coffee Plantation

Fly to Armenia, in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region. Many Colombians consider this region the heart and soul of their country; here, rural life continues as it has for centuries, based on harvesting coffee, plantains, and other fruits. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel, a countryside hacienda.

Accommodations: Hacienda Bambusa

Hacienda Bambusa is located in the southern part of the coffee region, set among tropical fruit plantations. The house is built in the style traditional to this region, made of guadua bamboo and clay tiles and arranged around gardens and centenary trees. The hacienda's seven rooms offer private balconies overlooking the swimming pool, the gardens, or the surrounding Andes Mountains. The hacienda is a working ranch, and cultivates cattle as well as cocoa, ginger, plantains, bananas, and tangerines. Many of the restaurant's dishes are prepared using products cultivated right on the hacienda.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

Tour a Coffee Plantation and Try a Guided Tasting of Colombia's Finest Brews

Colombia - Coffee

Spend the day at San Alberto Plantation for a coffee tour and tasting. The journey out will take you through some stunning scenery: carpeted rolling hills of lush green coffee, plantain and yucca. Experience the entire process of coffee harvesting and processing, from seedling to harvest to toasting to cup. Learn about the lives of the regional coffee growers and finish the tour with a guided tasting of some of Colombia’s finest brews.

Accommodations: Hacienda Bambusa

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5

Visit Cocora Valley and the Picturesque Town of Salento

Colombia - Salento

Drive into the Cocora Valley, part of Los Nevados National Park and one of the few natural habitats of the magnificent Wax Palm, the national symbol of Colombia. Stop to sample some rich Colombian coffee in Filandia, a traditional pueblo filled with brightly painted houses. Here you will learn about the culture and people of the region and how small villages like Filandia form the backbone of rural agricultural life.

Continue further into the valley, passing through rolling mountain scenery. The area has been declared a natural monument to protect the Wax Palms, and is full of lush vegetation. Enter Salento, a picturesque town ringed by distant snowcapped mountains and boasting fine houses with a traditional architectural style. Finish your tour with another taste of local coffee at Café Jesus Martin, where you will learn the art of decorating latte foam.

Accommodations: Hacienda Bambusa

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Journey to the Historic Walled City of Cartagena

Colombia - Cartagena

Enjoy a scenic private transfer to the historic walled city of Cartagena. Founded in 1533, Cartagena was once the primary Caribbean port for Spanish explorers, who would store plundered riches in the city. Due to this activity, the city was a frequent target for attacks by pirates and buccaneers, including England’s Sir Francis Drake. After Drake’s attack in 1586, the city’s famous walls and fortifications were constructed (over the course of 200 years), and still stand today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Accommodations: Casa San Agustin

Located within Cartagena's walled Old Town, the Casa San Agustin features 24 guest rooms and 6 suites. The hotel is tastefully decorated and offers graceful, comfortable social areas as well as beautiful rooms. Alma, the hotel's signature restaurant, features contemporary coastal Colombian cuisine. The hotel also offers a charming bar, alfresco courtyard, terrace solarium, and swimming pool.

*Includes: Breakfast

: Colombia Essentials
Day 7

Take a Private Walking Tour of Fascinating Cartagena

Colombia - Cartagena - Local Woman Selling Fruit

Walk the captivating city of Cartagena with your local guide. The city has a colorful history of piracy and treasure, and combines fascinating elements of African, indigenous, and European cultures, creating a unique atmosphere unlike any other city in the world. Your tour will take you through the old town under the Puerta Del Reloj (Clock tower gate), an iconic symbol of Cartagena, into the Plaza de los Coches. Your guide will share the city’s fascinating history and legends with you as you continue into the Plaza San Pedro Claver and Plaza Bolivar, ending with a visit to the San Felipe Fortress.

Accommodations: Casa San Agustin

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 8

Relax and Explore Cartagena

Colombia - Cartagena - Walled City

Relax and explore the city at your leisure, or let us arrange another excursion in the area, such as a boat trip to the Rosario Islands or a salsa lesson with a local teacher.

Accommodations: Casa San Agustin

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 9

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Bogota, Colombia - City StreetAerial view of BogotaBogota PlazaColombia Coffee RegionColombia - CoffeeCartagena, Colombia - Cupola

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Visit Medellin, a cosmopolitan city in the Andes Mountains, or spend a few days on Santa Marta’s gorgeous beaches.

  • Add a few extra days in Bogota or Cartagena: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Fly out to the beautiful Caribbean island of Providencia and spend a few days basking on the beach at the lovely Deep Blue Hotel.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Reviews From This Trip

5 stars

  • The guides were so knowledgeable about their cities and personable. There really isn't enough I can say to relate my opinion of these wonderful people.
    Matthew Lederer
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and fell in love with Colombia, in great part to our fabulous guides!
    Cynthia Case
  • From the moment we arrived in Colombia every thing that was promised was perfectly executed.
    Stuart Paul

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Inquire About This Trip

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