Escape Cali for a day and explore Hacienda el Paraíso, home of famous Colombian writer, Jorge Isaacs, and visit the pilgrimage town of Buga in scenic Valle del Cauca. On this private tour, you'll pass through sugar plantations, learn how the upper class lived in the 19th century and gaze at an image of Christ called ‘The Lord of Miracles’ inside Buga’s basilica. Tuck into a hearty Colombian lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy personalized attention on this full-day tour led by a professional guide.
After hotel pickup in Cali, travel with your private guide for about an hour to Hacienda el Paraíso. During your drive through the Valle del Cauca district, pass sugar plantations and fields of corn, passion fruit and grapes, and learn about Manuelita and Providencia, two of the country’s largest agribusiness corporations. Arrive at Hacienda el Paraíso, located in the foothills of the western Andes, where writer Jorge Isaacs lived and set his Romantic period novel María. Take a guided tour of this 1828 manor that has been turned into a museum. Cheery rose blooms welcome you to the large estate home; inside, discover rooms preserved as described in the novel, which provide a great glimpse into how Colombia's elite lived in the 19th century. Stroll along the balconies for vistas of lush green saman trees, sugar crops and canals surrounding the manor.After el Paraíso, your guide takes you to a local restaurant, where you'll enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch featuring regional cuisine.Spend the afternoon in the town of Buga, a popular pilgrimage site. Tour its center with your guide, and then take a coffee or tea break (own expense) at the impressive colonial-style Hotel Guadalajara. Refreshed, walk over to the blush-colored Basilica del Señor de los Milagros (the Lord of Miracles) opened in 1907, and set eyes upon the Christ statue inside. Enjoy free time in the cathedral museum and shop, before visiting San Francisco Church a block away and the Cathedral of San Pedro in nearby Parque Cabal. Your unique tour of Valle del Cauca complete, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in Cali by private vehicle.Sample Lunch Menu (subject to change):First course
Sancocho de gallina (chicken-vegetable soup with plantains and manioc root or cassava)
Roasted chicken, plantain toast, rice and avocado, with salad