Colombia Cultural Highlights
Columbia is one of the most diverse nations in the world, in terms of biological life, culture, society, and much more. Over a time span on 14 days, travelling from Bogota, through Villa de Leyva, Circasia, and Medellin to Cartagena, explore this diversity through this cultural adventure. Experience the wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Colombia in a unique trip.
Welcome to Colombia! After your flight arrives you will be met within the airport, and you will be provided with a welcome kit and receive a private transfer to your hotel for the next 3 nights.
You will be accompanied by a private driver to the places of your wishes. Car and driver available for 4 hours.
Artisinal Draft Beer Tour
Bogotá has become the scenery of craft breweries in Colombia, more than 100 artisan brands are proof for it. In this tour, you won´t try all of them, but at least 5 of the most authentic ones. Starting at the square where Bogotá was founded by the Spaniards, you will begin your drinking adventure, travelling in time, by having a chicha, a 15th centuries old drink, fermented by the indigenous people.
Then you won’t get thirsty again having 5 glasses of cold craft beer from different and locally recognised breweries. All of it is being run by young entrepreneurs trying to set the Colombian identity in a beer. You will try ales, stouts, ambers, and lagers with a little piece of the local flavors.
All breweries are located in Candelaria district which creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the history of our drinking culture. It is recommended to start at 17:30 hrs.
City Tour Bogota
Today you will get to know the Colombian capital Bogotá in a 8-hour walking tour with an English speaking guide.The area of modern Bogotá was first populated by indigenous groups who migrated from Mesoamerica. Among these groups were the Muiscas who settled in what are now the neighbourhoods of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. With the arrival of the Spanish colonisers the area became a major settlement, founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.The city later became the capital of the Spanish provinces and the seat of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. With independence, Bogotá became the capital of Gran Colombia and later the capital of the Republic of Colombia. Located at 2,600 meters above sea level and a city with over 8 million inhabitants, Bogota has 2 different sectors of tourism. The old Candelaria Historic District is scattered with traditional colonial houses and cobbled streets. By contrast, the north of the city boasts modernity and innovation. Tourists will find government buildings as well as a variety of trendy shops, restaurants and bars.
Bogotá’s historic city centre “La Candelaria” with its impressive churches, the State Palace and the “Plaza Bolívar” will be explored by you during the 8-hour tour. Furthermore you can visit the world famous gold museum “Museo del Oro”, the Emerald Museum and the museum of the famous Colombian artist Botero. Bogotá is an inspiring city that offers something new for you every day. In 2010, the capital of Colombia was chosen as a “Must See” destination by the prestigious New York Times newspaper. Discover a city that offers a wide range of opportunities in the fields of art, culture, recreation, sports and science.
On Day 3, you will take part in an immersive, cultural experience.
Understand Colombia’s most important historical events, focusing on its rebirth and future through the city, geography, and the voices of true Peace Weavers.
In this tour you will get to know Bogotá in a different way. You will start your experience in the iconic Bogota National Park, where you will see a relief map of Colombia to get to know the immensity of the Colombian territory and to understand the complexity of the regions of the country, separated by mountains and diverse ecosystems. Then you will visit Distrito Chocolate, a local chocolate company in which a small group of peasants who some years ago were affected by the war and were dedicated to the cultivation of coca, today they bet on building peace in Colombia and produce cocoa to transform it into a very special chocolate. Afterwards you will visit the Historical Centre of La Candelaria where you will take a tour in which you will learn some historical facts about the origins of the political and armed conflict in Colombia. As part of the peace agreement between the Colombian State and the former Farc guerrilla, it was agreed to create some memorials to honour the victims of the conflict. You will visit one of the memorials in honour of the victims located in the centre of Bogota. At the end of the tour you will have lunch in a local restaurant.
With this experience you will get to know the history of Colombia in a better way and you will be supporting initiatives and efforts of communities that are betting on change and peace in Colombia.
Today, you will have a private transfer from Bogota to Villa de Leyva. On the way, you will have the option to make an stop over in Zipaquirá to visit the famous Zipaquirá’s Salt Cathedral, one of the wonders of Colombia. Then you will continue your way to Villa de Leyva, where you will spend the night.
Salt Mine Zipaquirá
In the morning you will be driven from your Hotel to the town of Zipaquirá to visit an underground Salt Mine that has a Cathedral inside. Walking inside the Salt Cathedral is a very special experience with a catholic taste due to the country´s traditions and the miner’s devotion for The Holy Virgin of Guasca who protects them. Once at the bottom of the Cathedral you will see the 3 sections and the big cross in the main one. A simple but complete movie will show you the dimensions of the mine as well as the history behind it. Get impressed by one of the biggest religious constructions worldwide!
This day centres around returning to Bogota for a domestic flight to Armenia. From here, you will then be transferred to your hotel in Circasia for the next 3 nights.
Before you leave, let yourself be amazed by the charming town of Villa de Leyva, one of the heritage towns of Colombia. This beautiful city with Spanish colonial architecture, is one of the best preserved and oldest cities in the country. Be surprised by the cobbled streets and the impressive main square of the town, the largest in Colombia. You will feel that you are back in time. In the surroundings of the village you can visit some interesting places such as El Fósil, the archaeological area of El Infiernito and the Monastery.
Coffee Experience & Plantains Preparation
Surrounded by plantains and coffee trees there is a farm with a beautiful countryside, where you can distinguish various shades of green. Here, you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee while you are told about the history of the property as well as how they still preserve the coffee culture and traditions. Later on, you proceed to the nursery, then go for a walk to the cultivated area, where you learn about the process of planting the seedling into the soil and its maintenance process. In this walk you will interact with the farmworkers while harvesting some coffee beans.
Then, continue by following the track of the plantain to get to know about planting it, how to pick its bunch, what its trading process is like and how the green plantain is used in the typical gastronomy of the country. Once the tour of the farm is completed, you return to the farmstead, where you will learn to prepare the plantains under the supervision of the in-house cook who teaches you step by step how to transform a plantain into a delicious patacon, accompanied by hogao, a typical dipping sauce.
You walk on to the coffee processor to observe its procedure of squeezing out the pulp, washing and drying the coffee.
You will finish the tour with a typical colombian barbecue. This whole experience lasts around 6 hours.
The next day, you travel over to nearby Salento.
Valle Del Cocora & Salento
Salento is the oldest municipality in the department of Quindío, therefore its traditional architecture and craft workshops make it an unforgettable place. There you can see colonial houses painted in colors, balconies full of flowers and even better, you will enjoy the warmth of its people that will make your visit a great experience.
You will also enjoy a hike in the Cocora Valley, where the national tree of Colombia, the Wax Palm, is located. Surely the palms will attract your attention, since their height is up to 70 meters, being one of the highest palms in the world. Let yourself be amazed by all the beauty of the landscape in the walk through the trails of the valley. The hike in the valley lasts around 2 hours. You will finish the afternoon enjoying a delicious lunch and playing traditional games such as the “Tejo” or the “Rana”, accompanied by a Colombian beer.
Transportation, hydration during the hike, typical lunch and traditional games with a beer are included.
A transfer will take you to the airport in Pereira, where after a domestic flight to Medellin, you will then again be transferred to your hotel for the next 3 nights.
Medellin – Flower Experience in Santa Elena
The small village of Santa Elena is located less than an hour outside of Medellín in the mountains of Antioquia (over 2000 m high). It is home to a great variety of traditional flower farmers. The flower arrangements of the Flower Festival (“Feria de Flores”), called “silletas”, have an impressive history and are today a cultural symbol of Medellín. On this tour, you visit an organic flower farm and experience the traditional peasant culture of Santa Elena.
Medellín – Culinary Community Experience – Social Project for “Foodies”
Enjoy a cooking class and lunch at a community based social transformation project, training low income Colombians to cook and sell healthy food from around the globe, at affordable prices using local products. A Canadian chef set up this unique food project several years ago and all funds generated through your visit are reinvested in the community project, subsidizing the training, materials and equipment for low-income project participants, and maintenance for the training centre. Prepare a dish together with people from the local neighborhood and experience an authentic cultural-culinary Medellín moment.
The next, treat your sweet tooth through a coffee experience.
Chocolate Experience – “Social project and chocolate”
While coffee is considered to be the most typical Colombian product it is in fact relatively new in Latin America. Cacao is an even more traditional agricultural product of Colombia. Even the pre-Colombian indigenous tribes used cacao seeds as currency to trade with other tribes and chocolate was considered to be holy. Nowadays most
Colombians still prefer hot chocolate in the morning instead of coffee.
This unique day-trip takes you deep into the Eastern highlands of Antioquia. The village of San Francisco with its pristine rivers and sub-tropical climate is perfect for growing cacao. In this region, hit by the armed conflict, the United Nations initiated a program of cacao production allowing the local farmers to have a sustainable income and brighter future.
Visit a community chocolate project and learn everything about cacao plantation. The artisan chocolate production is coordinated by local women and combines conservation of endemic tropical forests and sustainable agriculture.
A flight will take you from Medellin to Cartagena, and again a transfer will take you to your hotel for the next 3 nights.
Graffiti Tour in Cartagena
The Street Art & Graffiti Tour gives you a deeper insight towards Cartagena’s focus on the alternative and cultural quarter and coolest barrio: Getsemani. The stories are told with present graffiti paintings with images of tropical scenes, palenqueras, and local ﬂora and fauna. In Getsemani the individuality and spirit of the neighbourhood remains intact. You can come as a tourist but you leave as a local understanding what makes the barrio so special engaging with the people to ensure that it preserves its particular charm. This neighbourhood has shaken off the gritty reputation, and turned to street-art as a way of incorporating the voice of local residents and artists into the fabric and the narrative of the city streets. Grafftis transformed this neighbourhood in the last years, after the first Graffiti Festival in Getsemani that took place in December 2013.
A fully qualified guide offers a complete knowledge of the impressive history of Getsemani starting at the clock tower, from there, you will go to the street of La Sierpe (where all the murals are) and Trinidad plaza, which has an historical, cultural and national value. You will also walk on top of the city wall.
Craft your own souvenir and support a good cause. Coconuts are not only used for drinks but also to create accessories or decoration. The project DAMARTES (Damas y Madres del Arte – ‘Women and Mothers of Art’) began with the name Madres – Cabeza de Familia y sus Cocos (‘Mothers – head of the family and their coconuts’) and is an association composed of seven women. In 2008, they took part in a craft class sponsored by the foundation ProBoquilla. Nowadays, they produce jewellery, containers, vases, belts and accessories and are the first women of La Boquilla that purchase their own income. Producing an object out of a coconut, requires above all enthusiasm and patience.
The life of the DAMARTES is very impressive. All of them are mothers and most of them already grandmothers with interesting life stories that they like to share with us. The association is a working group of great women that are able to craft amazing things out of simple objects.
You will go to La Boquilla, where the ladies will invite you to a very special workshop. Every participant can make their own souvenir out of coconut. It is possible to craft bracelets, keychains, earrings or necklaces. The workshop will take place in a nice rustic restaurant right on the beach of La Boquilla and lasts around 3.5 hours.
The next day is your penultimate day within Colombia.
Champetour with Charles King
Do you know what Champeta is? It’s the music of Cartagena! That has lived and suffered like the city different revolutions during the history so moved of the city of Cartagena de Indias.
This musical genre was born in the afro-descendant zones of Cartagena, influenced by African and Antillean rhythms, linked to the tradition and cultural heritage of San Basilio de Palenque, which in its beginnings was marginalised and frowned upon among the highest social strata of the city; as a lifestyle, it has transcended borders and has become a musical, social and cultural phenomenon that every day gains more followers from the poorest and most popular communities to the most famous. If you like music and dance, come and enjoy a day in which. You can learn about the origins of the champeta and its history, because La Champeta was not allowed in Colombia for a time, walking with the icon of this music Charles King, through the passages of the typical and popular market of Bazurto where he saw his first steps to fame, learn to move with the flow champetuo with one of the most famous singers of Cartagena and champeta dancers 100% Cartagena! Following in the footsteps of this joyful and rhythmic Caribbean rhythm that invites you to have fun and live the music!
Enjoy a pleasant experience designed for adventurous people who want to discover new flavors and textures, as well as differentiating and distinguishing a good cocktail and especially an exquisite liquor. This rum tasting seeks to immerse you in the mythical world of pirates, where your palate will be the only witness of the hidden treasure that Cartagena guards inside.
You will live a wonderful and recreational experience, lead by on of the most important Mixologists in Colombia, who will guide you and show you that the mysterious world of liquor goes way beyond a bottle.
As the main service, you are offered the rum tasting with chocolate. The tasting is based on different rums from Colombia’s culture accompanied by the best chocolates of the land.The best rums in the world are classified as Colombian artisan rums, by tasting these rums you will hopefully be able to distinguish the differences in the various notes of Coffee, Caramel, Vanilla and much more.
The tasting consists of Colombian rums, spirits and infused rums and during the tasting you will learn about the origin and the process of making each rum that is presented to you.
You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Cartagena.