Colombia Ultimate Journey $2500

Departure Date

Daily

Duration

11 days 10 nights

Views

1563

Maximum Seats

10
Overview

From the palette of blues of Colombia's Caribbean coast to the breezy Andes mountains, be swept off your feet by the magic of this small South American nation. Get whisked away by the lush landscapes on a ride through central Colombia in the Cocora Valley; the smells of freshly roasted coffee in Salento, and the sounds of the locals friendly chatting from the balconies mixed with the sounds of music in the cobbled streets of colonial Cartagena. Accommodation is provided at charming eco-lodges and boutique hotels.
  • Explore Mountainous Bogota

  • Learn how coffee is harvested and how to distinguish a supreme cup

  • Bike and hike through valleys of some of the highest palms in the world

  • Immerse yourself in the culture in Medellin’s notorious Comuna 13

  • Step back into history in lively Cartagena in the Caribe

  • Hike through tropical forests of Tayrona filled with wildlife

  • Dine on exquisite Caribbean fare

  • Stay at unique places in every location

  • Be led by top Activexpedition experienced guides at every step you take

  • Support sustainable travel to preserve culture and nature

  • Biking

  • Hiking

  • Swimming

  • Culture

  • Wildlife

Easy To Moderated
  • Year around

  • 8 years old

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Beautiful Bogota

Hit the streets of the city where the past meets the present. Bogota, the capital of Colombia is a dazzling city located high in the Andes mountains. Founded in 1538, this bustling metropolis is the intersection of Carribean and Andean cultures. Music can be heard from the street corners as the cities 8 million inhabitants make transit to work, to chat with neighbors, or to sip on a cup of the countries world-renowned coffee. Although there are no planned activities for your first day, we recommend taking a stroll through the city’s historic downtown and visit one of the many museums or beautiful colonial churches. If you prefer to get away a bit, you can go up in the cable car to Monserrate, one of the cities miradors (viewpoints) to take in the spectacular vista of the city. For a more local experience, a trip to one of the colorful markets where you can stroll the aisles of delicately stacked layers of fruits is a must. If you would prefer a guided tour on your first day we would be happy to help arrange one for you at extra cost depending on your interests! There is a mandatory meeting at 18:00 to meet your guide and the rest of the group and to talk to you about the upcoming days’ expedition. Overnight: Hotel de la Opera or Similar Meals Included: none
Day 2

Salento Coffee Tour

Our day starts heading west into the Coffee Triangle, unlike the Bermuda one you won't be upset by getting yourself a bit lost in this axis! Home to some of the world's best coffee due to its location near the equator combined with rich soil, temperate climate and just the right amount of rain; the coffee triangle produces some of the best beans in the country! Our morning starts with a hopper plane ride to Armenia and a short car trip into the Salento--an enchanting town in the folds of the Cocora Valley. This area was declared part of the Colombia Coffee Cultural Landscape by UNESCO and is deeply rooted in the history of the nation. A ride to the Recuca coffee farm takes us diving into the elaborate tradition of these magical little beans. See how coffee is grown, harvested by hand, roasted and processed to produce the perfect brew. Learn to differentiate between different types of beans before enjoying your own cup of paradise. Afterwards you are free to take a walk around the town lined with small shops with colorful balconies overlooking the street with their orange-tiled roofs gleaming in the sun. Overnight: Salento Real or similar Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 3

Hiking the Cocora Valley

Walk amongst giants in the Cocora valley, home to the wax palm, the tallest palms in the world. Entering by jeep, the warm breeze wraps its arms around you as we cut through the sea of green hills. A difficult but rewarding five-hour hike through the valley takes us to the Acaime Reserve to view the ever-playful hummingbirds that live there. Not shy to humans they dance around putting on a real show. A plentiful lunch of local fare is provided. After the hike we will head back to Salento where you are free to explore more at your leisure before we all meet up to learn to do as the locals do: have explosive amounts of fun playing a game of Tejo! Our recommendation: Head up to Alto de La Cruz, the viewpoint overlooking the city for postcard-worthy photos. Overnight: Salento Real or similar Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 4

Biking Cascada Santa Rita

From Salento downhill our ride takes us through a 360 view of mountains in the coffee belt: passing plantations of coffee, banana, guayaba, blackberry, and orange. After crossing the Quindio River we will dismount and continue on foot towards the coffee farm where the waterfall is located. Following an old rail track, over small bridges and through overgrown and dreamy tunnels of foliage we are led by the gentle sounds of the cascade. At 15 meters high this fall forms a complex with a beautiful pool at its foot perfect for a refreshing dip to recharge before heading back. In the afternoon we will return to Salento by Jeep. Overnight: Salento Real or similar Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Day 5

Journey to Medellin

Today we traverse the country towards Medellin where you will have the afternoon free to enjoy the city. Overnight: Dix Hotel or similar Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 6

Medellin History Walk

The city of eternal spring, Medellin is also notorious for its past filled with stories of the cartels. Comuna 13, known as the center of much of the conflicts has now emerged from the ashes of the past and is a must-see when visiting the city. Settled in the western mountainside, a system of cables cars allows tourists and locals alike to traverse the hills. Today we will take one of these and soar up to the Comuna to learn about its transformation from one of the most dangerous areas in the city to a symbol of culture and survival. Our guide will recount stories of the cartels and of how the Comuna has become a beacon of hope as we pass the many murals, fresh food stalls, and friendly neighbors that wave from their houses--making Comuna 13 what it is today. Overnight: Dix Hotel or similar Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 7

Taganga Leisure Day

A short flight north takes us to Taganga, Santa Marta near the bustling city of Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast. The doors to the Tayrona National Park, this tiny fishing town is the perfect chill-out spot to recover our energies before two days of exploring the vast great outdoors and crystal waters of the national park. Overnight: Bahia Taganga Hotel or similar Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 8

Biking Minca

To the mountains we go on this four-hour biking excursion through Minca, a town just south of Taganga. The winding uphill can be a real challenge but the views as far as the eye can see at almost every turn are definitely motivation to keep pushing. If you would rather take it easy the jeep will readily take you up to the top of the hill so you can enjoy the views from the car before mounting the bikes for a breezy and beautiful downhill. Overnight: Bahia Taganga Hotel or similar Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 9

Going Coastal in Tayrona

One of the world's most famous national parks due to its stunning aquamarine and royal blue coves, abundant wildlife, white sand beaches and lush tropical forest—Tayrona surely will make a lasting impression. Upon entering the park we set foot on a five-hour hike to explore deep into the forest. Monkeys swinging through the treetops, the chirp of birds, and the rustle of caiman that make this tropical paradise their home accompany us as we head up towards the gorgeous views from Cabo San Juan beach. Along the way we may even stumble upon the local indigenous people who reside within the park. Afterwards we will make our way to the cozy beachside bungalows where we will be staying overnight. Just a couple of meters from the boulder-lined shore these thatch-roof abodes sheltered by towering palms are the perfect place to fall asleep to the sound of the tide. Overnight: Arrecifes or similar Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 10

Casual Cartagena

We bid adieu to Tayrona with a short one-hour hike to catch our transport to Cartagena. This colonial port city is the most visited in the country and for good reason! Founded in the 16th century, the rich history of this Spanish New World trade center is reflected in the canon-lined fortress walls, winding alleyways and colorful stucco buildings that stand out distinctly again the high-rising skyscrapers of Boca Grande-- the modern downtown filled with lively nightlife. Be captivated by the Carribean breeze as you walk down the cobbled streets lined with balconied homes, flowers dripping from the sides and the sounds of live music at every corner. This tour is truly a treat for the senses and the spirit. Our afternoon takes us up to the San Felipe Castle. Perched on the hill overlooking the city, this fortress served as a stronghold against invading forces for over 200 years. Take in a jaw-dropping view of the bay below and learn about the rise and fall of this formidable structure. End the night locked up abroad…no really! Our final night takes us to one of the best restaurants in the city, Restaurante Interno—serving upscale Caribbean cuisine, this is the first restaurant in the world to be located inside of a women’s prison. The restaurant is the flame of social change within the city as the majority of the staff are actually inmates at the prison. Having the opportunity to learn valuable skills, the restaurant gives a second chance and the ability to integrate more easily upon release to those who work there. Rest assured this will not only be an exquisite meal but that your meal is benefiting the greater good. Overnight: Casa de la Cartuja or similar Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner
Day 11

Adios Cartagena

Your last morning is free to do as you choose, whether that be taking a stroll through the center to buy colorful handwoven bags from one of the ladies dresses in their multi-tiered caribbean dresses or sipping on a cup of local coffee before your transfer to the airport. We wish you well wherever the road may take you and hope to see you soon on another expedition with Activexpedition! Meals Included: Breakfast
  • Top Experienced Certified English-Speaking Guide

  • Private Transport

  • Domestic flights

  • Accommodation for ten nights

  • Meals according to the Itinerary

  • Water and snacks at all time

  • Water bottle

  • Biking gear: Quality hybrid bikes, certified helmets and gloves

  • Hiking gear: Black diamond poles

  • All fees to reserves and museums

  • International flights

  • Airport transfers

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Tips for guides and drivers

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

  • Optional activities

  • Itinerary Disclaimer: Even though we have a detailed itinerary, changes can be made by your guides, due to weather or safety reasons. Please also note that none of the wildlife sightings mentioned on the itinerary are guaranteed.

  • Visas and Passports: Make sure you check your visa and passport validity and requirements per country. It is important your passport is valid for at least 6 months before your travel.

  • Accommodation: We strive to use small and charming places that are unique and provide stellar service.

  • Single Supplement Costs: Generally this fee is not incurred as we match you with another person of the same gender in a twin room, but if you prefer not to share and have your own room, then there will be an associated fee

  • Transportation: Driving time can take more than expected in Colombia, as it is a country with roads meandering through the Andes mountains. We assure your comfort during transit no matter the size of the group.

  • Gear: At Activexpediton we always make sure our guests have top of the line gear from well-known and reputable international brands as we understand that the best gear gives extra confidence to our riders.

  • Level of Activity: This trip is considered as 3 out of 5. No prior experience is required, and your guides will always brief you about safety and proper use of gear on every leg of the trip. Trekking will take place on varying terrain of dirt and rock; biking on a gravel and paved roads with light traffic; there will be a transport support for the majority of the activities in the case that someone wants to take a break or just wants to relax.

  • Weather and Elevation: The Climate of Colombia is characterized for being tropical and isothermal as a result of its geographical location near the Equator presenting variations within five natural regions and depending on the altitude, temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall. Each region maintains an average temperature throughout the year only presenting variables determined by precipitation during a rainy season caused by the Intertropical Convergence Zone. The climates in Colombia are characterized for having tropical rainforests, savannas, steppes, deserts and mountain climate, mountain climate further divided into tierra caliente (hot land) tierra templada (temperate land) tierra fría (cold land), tierra helada (frozen land) and Páramo. Sometimes the weather of Colombia is altered by the seasons in northern hemisphere, for example, from March to June, the weather is mild Spring, from June to August the weather is hot Summer, From September to December the weather is cool Autumn, and from December to March the weather is cold Winter. This happens very rarely, and it is usually a slight difference.

  • Sustainability: We do our best to not produce any trash; we believe that recycling is not enough, so we try to avoid using any plastic or materials that pollute our environment. Every day we work towards being a zero-waste tour operator and our staff is well trained to leave the least impact possible in our service areas. We also work with local indigenous communities in the different regions. By doing so we are able to teach our guests about the rich culture Colombia, all the while helping the people preserve their traditions and lands. By working directly with local peoples, we are able to create a sustainable touristic income for the community.

  • Guides: All our guides have a professional background from the Tourism University; this means they have a degree in guiding, so their knowledge and skills when leading a group are top-notch. Each guide has many years of experience and they all have taken additional courses for other outdoor activities as well as have International First-Aid certifications. On top of all of this, they are all extremely personable and strive to deliver travel experiences of a lifetime.

  • Heath advices: no vaccinations needed for this trip

We do recommend travelling light for this expedition. A duffel bag of 50 litters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 litters for daily activities should be sufficient. In Colombia, the weather can change drastically especially when you are moving from the Sierra mountains to the Caribbean.

  • Passport

  • Credit card

  • Two pairs of lightweight hiking pants

  • One pair of cold weather hiking pants

  • Two pairs of shorts

  • One bathing suit

  • Four non-cotton T-shirts

  • One cotton T-shirts

  • One water T-shirt

  • One winter warm jacket

  • One fleece

  • One rain jacket

  • One pair of rain pants

  • Two buffs

  • One pair of hiking shoes

  • One pair of snickers

  • One pair of water sandals

  • One- or two-night outfits

  • One cap or hat

  • Sunscreen

  • Sunglasses

  • Mosquito repellent

  • Camera

  • Head lamp

  • Optional binoculars

NOTE: Laundry is available almost at every location and is quite cheap, this helps traveling light too.

Talk to our Activexpedition expert

We're here to chat about your next big idea.

  • 7 am - 4 pm Monday through Thursday.
  • 7 am to 1 pm Fridays (US central) toll free or by skype.
Otherwise, email us anytime. On average we provide quotes within 6 hours during business hours and the next day during off business hours. Privately guided trips allow you to be in control of all the details of your trip - departure times, accommodations, extra nights, extra activities, extra experiences - what you want and how you want it. If you want to go private or customize this expedition, contact us.
Contact Skype

activexpedition

Phone

US & CANADA: +1 (520) 303-2967 EC: +593 (09) 5955-5556

Email

christian@activexpedition.com