After years of being overlooked as a tourist destination and having shrugged off its edgy reputation, Colombia has since turned over a new leaf and is waiting to be discovered. With diverse and breathtaking scenery, colonial cities, steamy jungles, coffee plantations and Caribbean beaches, Colombia is one of South America's most alluring destinations. On this small group tour, explore the vibrant cities of Bogotá and Medellin and take in their renaissance in food and art. Find stunning natural beauty in the coffee region with its rolling emerald hills, deep valleys dotted with soaring palms, quaint towns and coffee farms. End in the historic walled port city of Cartagena, Colombia's jewel on the crown. Stunning colonial architecture, pastel-coloured mansion houses and arcaded leafy squares make up this enchanting Caribbean city.
Small group departure dates:
Friday 21st February 2020 - Wednesday 4th March 2020
For those wanting to extend their trip, why not visit Tayrona National Park? Prices from £695 per person for 3 nights.
UK - Bogota
Depart the UK on a direct overnight flight with Avianca to Bogotá.
No meals, apart from those served on your international flight.
Bogota - Villa de Leyva
Early morning arrival, you will be met at the airport and driven to Villa de Leyva (approximately 3hrs north- east of Bogota). Villa de Leyva is one of Colombia’s most charming towns, said to be frozen in time, with its whitewashed buildings and dramatic backdrop of verdant rolling hills, it has been declared a national monument. It has one of the largest main squares in the Americas and is made up of Spanish-style houses, cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways. Upon arrival, check into the charming hotel for a 2-night stay. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva is a delight to explore on foot. Founded by the Spanish in the 16th-century, it is said the town has hardly changed with the passing of time. On a city tour, visit the colonial art museum, the monastery and Convent del Carmen. Visit the nearby fossil museum “El Fossil”, home to a fossilised kronosaurus of more than 120-million years old. Peruse the towns many handicraft shops that decorate its streets and savour local cuisine in its many restaurants.
Villa de Leyva - Bogotá
Transfer by road to Bogotá, stopping at Zipaquira Salt Cathedral on the way. Built entirely of salt, the cathedral is broken up into 14 small chapels connected by tunnels, each chapel representing the Stations of the Cross and sculpted by a different artist. Through art, sculpture and light installations, the enormous underground church is an exceptional sight and a true feat of engineering. Afterwards continue to Bogotá for a 2-night stay. Cradled by Andean peaks, the cosmopolitan city is the beating heart of the country.
Accompanied by a guide, explore the historic centre of Bogotá, known as La Candelaria. This downtown area is where visitors with find all of Bogota’s traditional, historic attractions. The Spanish colonial centre is home to the main square; the Plaza de Boliviar, which is flanked by some of Bogotá’s most significant buildings and the Cathedral. Visit the Botero Museum; a colonial house exhibiting some of Fernando Botero’s masterpieces as well as other world-renowned artists and the Gold Museum; home to the world’s largest collection of gold artefacts and precious stones.
Bogotá - Coffee Region
Today fly from Bogotá to Pereira, the gateway to the coffee region. The world’s third largest producer of coffee, Colombia's finest is found here; in mineral rich volcanic soils with the help of a pleasant climate and slight altitude, the conditions are ideal for coffee bean cultivation. On arrival, you will be taken to a coffee plantation to learn about the production process from bean to cup. From the farm, enjoy picturesque views of the coffee region’s famous rolling emerald green hills. Lunch will be served at the farm and as well as a coffee tasting experience of course! Afterwards, transfer to your hotel, a traditional hacienda style property.
Breakfast and Lunch
On a full day tour visit the Cocora Valley, home to the tallest wax palms and visit Salento and Finlandia. Within the Cocora Valley, marvel at the palms towering up to 60m above and spot a great number of birds such as hummingbirds, the endangered yellow-eared parrot and the palm parrot. This afternoon, continue to the quaint towns of Salento and Finlandia. The picture postcard towns boast cobblestone streets, typical paisa architecture, colourful balconies, lovely handicrafts and coffee shops.
Breakfast and Lunch
Coffee Region - Medellin
Today travel by road to Medellin. En route, stop at an orchid farm. The farm has more than 6000 orchids, 832 different species of these beautiful flowers and within the grounds, 165 species of wild birds can be seen. On a tour of the grounds, learn about the cultivation of avocados, citrus plants as well as native trees from the region. Continue on to Medellin (approx. 5 hours) for a 2-night stay.
This morning, discover why Medellin is one of the best examples of social transformation and regeneration of any city. On an exciting tour, learn about the history of this infamous city and its transition to a fascinating metropolis known as the "City of Eternal Spring". Visit the downtown area, dotted with 23 Botero sculptures and some of the city’s most famous neighbourhoods such as Comuna 13.
Medellin - Cartagena
Fly to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast today. Protected by its ramparts and fortifications, the interior of the historic centre of Cartagena has been preserved as a living museum. Once crumbling colonial mansions have been restored to their former grandeur, have been painted joyful Caribbean colours, and are overflowing with hot pink bougainvillea. On a guided tour, start with a panoramic view of the city from the Monestary and La Popa Church, explore the San Felipe Fortress, visit some of the city’s most ornate churches, its colonial treasures within the historic centre and visit the handicraft markets of the Bovedas, located in the archways of the city walls. Cartagena could definitely win the vote for Latin America’s most beautiful city.
Today is at leisure. Cartagena is a delight to explore on foot. Soak up the Caribbean atmosphere, enjoy the freshest seafood and fresh juices, sip cocktails on rooftop bars overlooking the city’s picturesque rooftops out to the sea. Alternatively, visit the nearby Rosario Islands, for sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and snorkelling opportunities on its coral reefs.
Cartagena - Bogotá - UK
This morning is at leisure. Depart in the afternoon for your flight to Bogotá and connect onto your overnight international flight to the UK.
For those that would like to end their Colombian adventure on the beach, Rainbow Tours recommends a 3-night extension to Tayrona National Park. Please enquire for further details.
Pricing Information & Dates
12 day tour, from £2595 per person
International and domestic flights, local guides in each destination, transfers, meals and excursions as per itinerary.
Tips, optional excursions and meals not included in the itinerary.
Prices are per person.
Single supplement is an additional £495 per person.
This tour is operated by local guides in each destination.
Price is subject to change and based on best flight availability.
The standard of accommodation throughout this itinerary is 3*- 4*. Colombia is an incredible country, and like any Latin American country, requires visitors to come with an open mind and a flexible attitude. Standards of services and accommodation, although generally good, sometimes can be lower than what we are used to in the UK.
Maximum group size is 16.
Dates of travel are:
Friday 21st February 2020 - Wednesday 4th March 2020
Please enquire for details on an extension to your holiday to the Tayrona National Park. Prices from £695 per person.
Please note this itinerary can be taken on a private basis, please enquire for details.
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