• Colombia Highlights

A comprehensive overview of the country’s top sites

Days: 13 | From: $5,590/per person

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides

Explore Bogota, Colombia’s vibrant capital city, then visit the remarkable Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá and the charming Villa de Leyva. Sample Colombia’s world-renowned brew on a coffee plantation tour, and stroll the Caribbean streets of the famous walled city of Cartagena.

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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
  • Villa de Leyva
    2 nights: walk the quaint cobbled streets of this colonial town
  • Armenia
    3 nights: journey through lush coffee country
  • Tayrona National Park
    2 nights: explore an idyllic coastal nature preserve
  • 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.

Customize this trip
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Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Bogota

Bogota, Colombia - City Street

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 Regia. For 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

Monserrate Sanctuary and view of 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:

The Salt Cathedral and Villa de Leyva

Enjoy a scenic private drive to Villa de Leyva, located a few hours away in the mountains. Stop en route to visit the famous Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá. One of the marvels of Colombia, the underground cathedral is carved out of a functioning salt mine. The subtle illumination and detailed execution of the work took years of effort from miners and artists, and your guide will explain how it was constructed and how the cathedral and salt mine still function in harmony. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue toward Villa de Leyva. About 4 miles from town you’ll be dropped off with your guide to continue by foot on a rural path through gorgeous mountain scenery to your hotel.

Accommodations: Campanario de la Villa

Located in the historic center of Villa de Leyva, the Hotel Campanario de la Villa features comfortable lodgings in a colonial building arranged around an attractive central courtyard. The hotel offers a restaurant, pool, and spa.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4:

Explore Colonial Villa de Leyva

Walk the quaint cobbled streets of Villa de Leyva with your private local guide, arriving to the enormous plaza, which is home to the area’s main church. Visit the house of Antonio Nariño, an important leader in Colombia’s independence movement, then head to the Monastery of Carmelitas Descalzas, still occupied by a secretive sect of nuns. Your tour will include several other historic buildings in the village, including the Museo de Fosil, El Infiernito, and the Casa Terrocata.

Accommodations: Campanario de la Villa

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Fly to the Coffee Region and Transfer to Your Charming Hacienda

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 6:

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

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 7:

Visit Cocora Valley and the Picturesque Town of 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 8:

Fly to Santa Marta, the Oldest town in Colombia and Gateway to Tayrona National Park

Arrecifes Beach, Tayrona national park, Colombia

Fly over the rolling hills of coffee country out to Santa Marta, the oldest town in Colombia. The small city boasts a privileged location, neighboring the Sierra Nevada and Tayrona National Park and the popular fishing village of Taganga. The beaches are clean and wide, and the town has a relaxed, Caribbean feeling. Transfer into Tayrona National Park, an idyllic coastal nature preserve with pristine Caribbean beaches backed by jungle-clad mountains.

Accommodations: Ecohabs Tayrona Hotel

Located on the beautiful Cañaveral beach in Tayrona National Park, Ecohabs Tayrona is composed of cozy private bungalows built with native wood and roofed in palm leaves. Each bungalow provides a view of the Caribbean Sea and the green landscape of the park. The hotel has a great location for activities in the park, including bird watching, trekking, exploring the ruins of the Tayrona tribes, or simply taking long walks along the different beaches of the park. The hotel also offers a restaurant, Jacuzzi, and spa.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9:

Relax and Explore Tayrona National Park, an Idyllic Coastal Nature Reserve

Today you have free to relax and explore Tayrona National Park on your own. We can also arrange a private guide to take you on a hike to different beaches and a local historical site, or snorkeling in the azure waters of the park.

Accommodations: Ecohabs Tayrona Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:

Journey to the Historic Walled City of Cartagena

Cartagena_woman relaxing on fortress wall

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

Day 11:

Take a Private Walking Tour of Fascinating Cartagena

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 12:

Relax and Explore Cartagena

Cartagena - cupola

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 13:

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

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Visit Medellin, a cosmopolitan city in the Andes Mountains.

  • Add a few extra days in Bogota, Cartagena, or Santa Marta: All 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.

  • Spend a few days relaxing at Hotel Las Islas on the white sand beaches and turquoise waters of Colombia’s Isla Barú.

  • 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

  • We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and fell in love with Colombia, in great part to our fabulous guides!
    Cynthia Case
  • The trip was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed Colombia and the three locations we went to. The logistics were well taken care of.
    Erika Vogel
  • We had a fabulous trip to Colombia! Every step of the way was smooth and we were warmly welcomed by our guides, drivers, and hotel staff.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1 (510) 548-8487

Inquire About This Trip

Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

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From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

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Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.