Colombia holidays - colourful houses near Bogota

Colombia Highlights


GRA10B
10 NIGHTS
FROM £1,995
International flights quoted separately
Experience the highlights of Colombia, starting in the capital of Bogota. Drive to the incredible Salt Cathedral & the colonial town of Villa de Leyva, then fly to the Coffee Region, Salento & giant wax palms of Cocora Valley. Visit historic Cartagena, a World Heritage Site, then complete your holiday relaxing on Baru Island. All transfers, English speaking guides & specified sightseeing included.
Photo Cartagena Colombia Salt Cathedral Bogota Baru Island
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Bogota
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Monserrate Mountain
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Salt Cathedral
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Villa de Leyva
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Otun Quimbaya Reserve
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Coffee Region
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Salento
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Cocora Valley
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Cartagena
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Baru Island
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Bogota
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Monserrate Mountain
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Salt Cathedral
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Villa de Leyva
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Otun Quimbaya Reserve
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Coffee Region
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Salento
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Cocora Valley
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Cartagena
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Baru Island
Day 1
You will be met at Bogota Airport and transferred to your hotel in this sprawling high altitude city.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city of Colombia.
Day 2
This morning enjoy a half day tour of the city, starting with a walking tour through the cobbled alleys of La Candelaria, the historic Old Town. Starting from the church of El Carmen, you will see many beautifully preserved Spanish colonial houses and churches that date back centuries, such as the church of Santa Clara that today contains the Museum of Colonial Art. In the main square, Plaza Bolívar, you can see a statue honouring Simon Bolivar - a Venezuelan military leader who played a key role in the revolution against Spanish rule.
 
There are also many beautiful buildings such as the neoclassical performance hall Teatro Colón and the 17th-century Church of San Francisco. View the presidential residence, Casa del Nariño, which has an observatory in its gardens, the National Capitol, the Palace of Justice, the Cathedral of Bogota and the Palace of the Archbishop.
 
After your tour, we suggest an independent visit to the Gold Museum with its splendid collection of over 36,000 pre-Colombian gold and emerald pieces (pay entrance fee locally - closed on Mondays). You can also visit the Museo Botero, showcasing the art of Fernando Botero (closed on Tuesdays).
Day 3
Today we leave Bogota and travel 1-hour to Zipaquirá.
 
Here we visit the amazing Salt Cathedral - a Roman Catholic Church built in the tunnels of a salt mine 200 metres underground. The temple at the bottom has three sections representing the birth, life and death of Jesus. The icons, ornaments and architectural details are all hand carved in the halite rock, with some marble sculptures.
 
After lunch (own account), we continue 3-hours to Villa de Leyva, one of the most charming colonial villages in all of Colombia and steeped in atmosphere. Declared a national monument in 1954, this photogenic village has been preserved in its entirety, including its cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings.
Day 4
This morning enjoy a guided walking tour of colonial Villa de Leyva, with its many whitewashed buildings. We start at Plaza San Agustín and continue to the house of Antonio Nariño, a journalist, political and military leader who played an important role in Colombia's independence.
 
We then travel 4-hours to Bogota Airport for your onward flight, stopping along the way at Tunja to see the site of the Battle of Boyaca Bridge - the definitive battle that marked Colombia’s successful fight for independence from the Spanish crown.
 
Note: Airport departure tax of $8 per person is payable locally.

You will be met at Armenia Airport and transferred to your accommodation in this area that was devastated by an earthquake in 1999.
 
Check in and relax in this gateway to Colombia's coffee-producing region.
Day 5
Today enjoy a shared jeep excursion to the Cocora Valley and Salento, high in the Colombian Andes.
 
Travel 1-hour to the striking landscapes of the Cocora Valley, where Colombia's national symbol - the gigantic wax palm - can be seen. These surreal plants are the largest palm trees in the world. Take a guided walk in the magnificent cloud forest and wonder at the biodiversity of its flora and fauna.
 
After lunch at a local restaurant (pay locally), we visit the sleepy little town of Salento. Here you can explore the Plaza de Bolivar with its colourful balconies and the main street with its many craft workshops. Enjoy the panoramic viewpoint at Cocora before we return to Armenia.
Day 6
This morning enjoy a Coffee Tour that will give you insight into the lifestyle of workers on a coffee farm and teach you more about the history of coffee growing in Colombia.
 
Follow the production process, as coffee beans are harvested and brought to the cooperative where they are pulped and dried. You will have the opportunity to sort, toast and grind the coffee before enjoying an excellent cup of Colombian coffee and lunch in a local restaurant.
 
After lunch at a restaurant (pay locally), transfer to Armenia Airport for your onward flight.
 
Note: Airport departure tax of $8 per person is payable locally.

You will be met at Cartagena Airport and transferred to this tropical port city, situated on the Caribbean coast.
 
Check into your hotel in this colourful city, whose 16th century walled Old Town is now a World Heritage Site.
Day 7
Enjoy a half tour of beautiful Cartagena today, starting with a visit to the Convento de la Popa, the highest point in the city with spectacular views over Cartagena Bay. This 17th century Augustinian monastery served as a fortress during colonial times.
 
We then visit the Castle of San Felipe located on San Lazaro Hill, the largest Spanish military building in the New World dating back to 1536. It was built to guard the city’s landward side from invasion and has a complex system of tunnels connected with strategic points, used to distribute provisions and for a possible evacuation. The tunnels were built so that any noise would echo along them, making internal communications easier and allowing the citizens to hear even the slightest sound of an enemy advance.
 
We also visit the church and monastery of San Pedro Claver. built in the early 17th century by the Jesuits. Pedro Claver was a defender and protector of slaves and lived in this monastery until his death.
 
Afternoon is at leisure to explore Cartagena independently.
 
Note: Shorts and short skirts should not be worn when visiting churches, monasteries and religious shrines.
Day 8
This morning transfer 1.5-hours to Baru Island.
 
Baru was originally a peninsula jutting out southwest from Cartagena towards the Rosario Islands, but is now cut off from the mainland by the Canal del Dique. Check into your hotel in this holiday paradise.
Days 9 To 10
At leisure to relax on the white sun-kissed beaches of Baru Island, with its warm turquoise Caribbean  waters.
 
The island is approximately 15 miles (25 km) long and in some places only half a mile (1 km) wide. The spectacular Playa Blanca is its most famous beach.
Day 11
Transfer 1.5-hours to Cartagena Airport for your flight home.

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