Colombian Cultural Adventure
All content by World Expeditions
Colonial towns, the coffee corner 'Eje Cafetero', the Cocora Valley, the Tairona Coastal Park and vibrant Cartagena
We're excited to be offering our first Colombia adventure, a journey teeming with historical insights and natural wonders. This itinerary has been designed to suit the adventure enthusiast who is yearning for an emerging, un-crowded destination. Our adventure begins in the capital city of Bogota where we take in the colonial and baroque architecture found in La Candelaria, before taking the cable car to reach the highest point of Bogota, Monserrate, as well as the Gold Museum and Bolivar Square. We reach Colombia's first colonial town, Villa de Leyva, following a walk through picturesque countryside. We are rewarded for our efforts when we lay sight on the magnificent Plaza Mayor de Villa. Our journey takes us next to Monte Negro in the heart of the so-called 'coffee axis' where we learn about the cultivation of Colombia's organic coffee and visit some plantations. We also visit the Valley of the Cocora Palms to view these incredible plants that grow up to 70 metres high! From the lofty heights of the mountains we travel to the coastal fishing village of Taganga, which is our base from which to discover the wild Tairona Coastal Park with its many beaches and coral reefs. Onto the fascinating town of Mompos, located on an island and known for the preservation of its colonial architectural features and named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We visit the silver and gold workshops as well as the markets and take a boat journey through the swamps that surround the island that are home to many birds, howler monkeys and iguanas. Our journey ends in the Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia, Cartagena of the West Indies, with its colourful districts and wonderful beaches.
- Cosmopolitan Bogotá and its historic La Candelaria District
- Colonial architecture and cobbled alleys of Cartagena
- Lush coffee plantations of Monte Negro
- Majestic wax palms in the misty green hills of the Valley of the Cocora Palms
- Caribbean beaches of Tairona Coastal Park
- Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mompos
- Picturesque and laidback Villa de Leyva
Day 1 Join Bogota
You will be met on arrival in Bogotá and transferred to your hotel in the historic district of La Candelaria. Welcome drink and briefing prior to dinner.
Day 2 Bogota city tour
A full day dedicated to exploring the old city of Bogota. We travel by cable car to Monserrate - Bogota’s highest point. Lunch in the student district, and then we walk downhill to the Gold museum and Bolivar square.
Day 3 Walk to Villa de Leyva
This morning will begin with a typical Colombian breakfast at Palo Quemado market and offers a great opportunity to discover the wide range of fruits produced in Colombia, and one of the most famous flower markets in Colombia. From there we take the road northward towards Boyacá. Once past the toll-station of La Villa, we start our first walk, whilst our luggage will be taken to our accommodation in Villa de Leyva. The partially shaded, stony trail starts along an irrigation channel under the shadow of willows and green plantations of vegetables, crops and pastures; observing the traditional red adobe houses and Latin-style tiles of Boyacá. By noon, we reach the peak which marks the entry to the Valley of Villa de Leyva. In the late afternoon, we arrive at the magnificent Plaza Mayor de Villa with its stunning architecture. This plaza is considered the most beautiful in the country! Accommodation in a charming patrician house converted into an inn. Rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore the town. Driving/walking times: 4 hrs / 4 hrs
Day 4 To Bogota for flight to Armenia and onto Monte Negro
Road transfer back to Bogota (4hrs). Then we fly from Bogotá to Armenia (1hr), followed by a short drive (1hr) to our hacienda located near the community of Monte Negro, in the heart of the so-called "coffee axis", the region in which the famous "Café de Colombia" is cultivated. This afternoon the owner, Dona Teresita, explains to us the cultivation and process of "organic coffee" and “Café arabigo" - this coffee belongs to the highest quoted types on the international stock exchanges. At around 1900 m altitude, the soil is particularly fertile due to its volcanic origins. Overnight accommodation with a beautiful view over the central mountain range.
Day 5 To Salento
This morning we walk through the plantation. After a brief lunch stop in Monte Negro we will continue to the historic town of Salento, entrance to the Valley of "Cocora Palms", with imposing plants which can grow up to 70 metres high. We stroll through the streets and lanes and admire the colorful facades of the houses built mostly of wood and in the traditional "paisa" (Arte Povera) style. Most of these houses were built in the 19th century by settlers from Medellin.
Day 6 Visit the Valley of Cocora Palms
We drive (approx 1 hr) to the beautiful valley of the Cocora Palm trees. During an approx. 3 hour tour through this impressive valley we experience these amazing palms, which grow in over 2000m altitude and very cold temperatures below 15°C! In the late morning, the fog usually lifts and you can see these magnificent palm trees ranging from 60m to over 70m in height. In the afternoon we visit a typical Colombian organic coffee plantation, and then return to our accommodation in Salento.
Day 7 Fly from Armenia to Santa Marta (via Bogota), drive to Taganga
We drive back to Armenia for our flight to Bogotá and then connect to Santa Marta in the Caribbean. Upon arrival we will be transferred to our beachside guest house accommodation near the fishing village of Taganga.
Day 8 Tairona Coastal Park
Today we embark on a full day boat excursion to explore the wild coast of the Tairona Coastal Park with its many creeks, beaches and coral reefs. Lunch at the untouched Playa Cinto beach under the coco palm trees fringed by rainforest. Return to our guest house in Taganga.
Day 9 Full day drive to Mompos
Full day travel by road (approx 8hrs) to Mompos village. During the Spanish colonisation, Mompos was the main port on the route to Bogotá. In the evening, you are free to stroll through the town and admire the Magdalena waters from the dike. Accommodation at a posada in the East Village.
Days 10-11 Mompos city tour, followed by a boat journey through the swamps
We spend two days visiting Mompos and the swamps that surround the island. We discover the history of this special isolated place with visits to the local market, silver and gold workshops, and beautiful architecture from the 18th century. In his novel "The General in his Labyrinth", García Márquez says to Bolívar: "Mompos is a dream, Mompos does not exist". We will also do an excursion in a curiara (typical Indian boat) through the swamps where the Magdalena and Cauca rivers come together and continue their way towards the Caribbean Sea. Along the way we stop at local villages and observe the local wildlife such as birds, howler monkeys, iguanas and cebúes.
Day 12 Drive to Cartagena
We drive to Cartagena (6hrs) located on the Caribbean Sea to our overnight guest house accommodation in the old town. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Days 13-14 Walking tour of Cartagena
Today we will undertake a walking tour of Cartagena and discover the history of the main harbour of the Spanish empire on the American continent, its colourful districts, and the San Felipe Fortress at sunset. Built in 1536, the fortress holds a commanding position on the Hill of San Lázaro and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. We'll also enjoy a day at leisure to further explore Cartagena and soak in the history of this masterpiece of colonial architecture.
Day 15 In Cartagena, trip concludes
The journey concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
- 14 breakfasts and 10 lunches
- Airport transfers
- Expert bilingual guide
- Group medical kit
- Flights Bogota/Armenia and Armenia/Bogota/Santa Marta valued at US$320
- Private internal transportation
- Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed
- 15 day trip
- 14 nights hotel/inn/guesthouse
Trip Main Activities
- Adventure Touring
- Day Walking
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking.
What You Carry
In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc.