One of the best ways to really get to know a country is by tasting and experiencing its food. Across either 10 days, or two weeks, this adventure will see you visit Colombia’s capital and visit its wonderful markets, but also visit more rural sites to explore the process by which food is farmed and Colombian coffee is made. For the premium Colombian culinary experience, look no further.
Welcome to you Columbia culinary adventure!
After arriving in the airport you will be met by a representative and provided with a welcome kit. You will receive a private transfer taking you directly to your hotel where you will spend the night.
Day 2 sees you take a deeper dive into exploring Colombian cuisine.
Colombian Regional Cuisine Tour
Colombia is the second most bio-diverse country in the world and this diversity is also expressed in their cuisine. Thousands of varieties of vegetables, fruits, tubers, meats, and flavours. In this tour, you will experience Colombia through your taste buds by having 8 different foods from the 5 Colombian different regions: Amazon, Andes, Caribbean coast, Pacific coast, and Orinoquia.
Join in this delicious and cultural experience learning about the gourmet background of each region by filling up on delicious food. All restaurants are located in Candelaria District (walking tour) one of the tour stations is a family house where you will learn how to cook tasty empanadas.
Artisanal Draft Beer Tour
Bogotá has become the scenery of craft breweries in Colombia, more than 100 artisanal 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 our 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 flavours. All breweries are located in Candelaria district which creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the history of our drinking culture.
The following day, take in your surroundings through two unique tours.
Walking Tour Candelaria
This tour gives you an entire experience about Colombia’s capital. You will interact with locals, visit the most important spots in the city and get the feel of the artistic and historical value of all the streets and alleys you walk through.
The Candelaria district is the oldest and most important neighbourhood in Bogotá. You will learn about history, geography as well as the current social and political situation in Colombia. You get involved with the culture by drinking chicha, a traditional fermented drink that is part of the indigenous heritage. Also, you will try some local snacks (arepas) made with corn, when finally ending up playing the gunpowder game, better known as Tejo, a funny drinking game played in the prehispanic times.
Walking City Tour Bogota
The area of modern Bogotá was first populated by groups of indigenous people that migrated from Mesoamerica. Among these groups were the Muiscas that settled in what are now mainly the Departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. With the arrival of the Spanish colonisers the area became a major settlement, founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and later capital of the Spanish provinces and the seat of the Viceroyalty of New Granada.
With independence Bogotá became capital of the Gran Colombia and later the capital of the Republic of Colombia. Located at 2.600 m.a.s.l. Bogotá is a big city with over 8 million people that has 2 different faces for tourism. The old Candelaria Historic District is blessed with colonial houses and very close to government buildings and the modern Bogotá to the north where tourists will find all sort of shops, restaurant and bars surrounded by brick constructions all over.
The Botero Museum is located in the historical centre of Bogotá in La Candelaria and houses 208 specimens of species donated by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero. 123 of these pieces are of his own creation and the remaining 85 by international artists from all over the world. Enjoy the tour through this unique art collection.
The Gold Museum
The Gold Museum in Bogota has the exhibition of jewellery and pottery from the indigenous cultures of the pre-Columbian period of present-day Colombia. It has more than 34,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stone objects, ceramics, precious stones and textiles that belong to, among others, Quimbaya, Calima, Tayrona, Zenú, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena culture.
You will be taken from your hotel in Bogota, via a flight to Armenia, to your hotel in Montenegro.
The next day, you will enjoy a unique coffee and culinary experience.
Coffee Plantation & Culinary Experience
Among a wonderful coffee landscape you will live an experience with a local family, sharing their customs and learning everything related to the coffee process. You will participate in the company of the “aunt” in the preparation of the lunch from the harvest in the orchard and while the food is cooking you will make a tour of the Heliconias and fruit trees, on the return you will finish preparing and serving the lunch that you will share with the family. Your tour ends with a delicious cup of coffee at the farm or in the village shop that also belongs to the family.
For Day 6, your final day in the region, you are in for a special experience.
Horseback Riding with Picnic
You will go for a horseback riding through these amazing landscapes. The Coffee Cultural Landscape was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011. This region is full of incomparable beauty, traditions, traditional architecture, coffee plantations, native forests, and strategic corridors for the conservation of global biodiversity and you will always find beautiful scenery to photograph. Many regions of the coffee triangle invite you to get on a horse’s back and enjoy the beautiful landscapes from another perspective. Here you will cross banana and fruit trees as well as coffee plantations, lakes. It is like remembering the nation’s ancestors during a time when horse was the driving force of the Quindío colonization, all this experience will have an special picnic with different types of cheese ,fruits,salads,wine,fresh juice, and so on.
This is an optional extension which will see you spend 4 days in Medellin, the capital of Colombia’s Antioquia province. It will turn the tour from a 10 day experience to a 14 experience. If not selected, you will be transferred straight to Cartagena.
If selected, you will have a private transfer from your selected hotel in the Quindio area to the airport in Pereira. From here, a domestic flight and a transfer will take you to your hotel.
Day 8 – Medellin – City of Eternal Spring (B, L)
Medellín – the “City of Eternal Spring” – located in the Andean highlands of Antioquia, is nowadays the most innovative city of Latin America. Its recent past was strongly related to the life of Pablo Escobar and violent gang fights. During the last twenty years Medellín went through some drastic changes. An innovative program of urban development that combines modern means of public transport and the construction of public parks and areas of recreation for the local people turned Medellín from the most dangerous city in the world into a modern example of urban transformation.
Explore the Andean capital of Colombia on a full day tour. Get an insight of the history of city visiting the “Pueblito Paisa” and enjoy perfect views of the city. Explore the famous Botero Plaza downtown with an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose sculptures have become a landmark of the city. Take the Metro Cable up to Santo Domingo, which was once a notorious area of gang violence in Medellín. The cable car was constructed to make the inner city more accessible to people from the outskirts and allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of the marginalised population. At the Comuna 13 district with its unique escalators you observe another innovative project that improved the quality of life of the people of Medellín.
Day 9 – Medellin – Culinary Community Experience (B, L)
The next day begins with an authentic culinary experience. 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, subsidising 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 neighbourhood and experience an authentic cultural-culinary Medellín moment.
Grafitti Tour Medellin
The City of Medellin offers a great variety of urban arts due to the city’s transformation of the last 20 years. Nowadays, the city is so full of countless artistic expressions of street art that the local authorities declared urban art a cultural landmark of Medellin.
Graffiti is not only about strong artistic and cultural elements, it is a way of political expression. See the graffiti of the Comuna 13 guided by some of the local artists themselves. This tour gives you an insight on history and daily life in this area and the importance of street art for social communication and identity.
Day 10 – Moravia Community Experience (B)
The densely populated neighbourhood of Moravia was once Medellín’s municipal rubbish dump with an open-air mountain of trash surrounded by a large shanty town, whose residents used to live in almost absolute poverty. Due to Colombia’s armed conflict and the number of displaced refugees more and more people arrived in Moravia, located right next to the city centre. Moravia nowadays is considered to be the most populated “barrio” of Medellín. The neighbourhood is known for its strong community spirit and the positive attitude of its people. Plenty of local community-run projects have transformed Moravia into a model urban centre, with the mound of trash turned into a garden-covered hillside and represents one of the landmarks of social and urban transformation of Medellín. Explore the area guided by community leaders and get insights on this unique story of social and urban transformation. Directly support the local community projects. This tour lasts around 4 hours.
This day sees you transfer over to Cartagena via a private transfer and flight.
Fishing in La Boquilla
Every morning, 365 days a year, the people of the village La Boquilla, get up to go fishing. La Boquilla is the home to many families with African origins whose principal source of income is fishing.
There are two big lagoons: the Cienaga de Juan Polo and the Cienaga de la Virgen. Different species of fish can be caught in these lagoons and the fishermen use their own traditional technique of fishing. They catch sea bass (róbalo), shad (sábalo), common two-banded sea bream (mojarra), ocean-bass (pargo negro), mullet (lebranche), as well as sea snails, clams, shrimp, crawfsh and lobster. Three common techniques are generally used: fishing line, nets and traps.
The fishermen will wait for us in La Boquilla to take us to the lagoon in their canoes. The tour guide will help you communicate with the fishermen. For about 2-3 hours, you will fish in the lagoon (don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent!). The fishermen will explain how to use the fishing line, how to throw the fishing net and how to position the traps in order to catch shrimp and crawfish. If you wish to eat the fish and crabs you have caught, keep your catch because you will go to one of the fishermen’s house to cook and have lunch together!
Walking City Tour
Cartagena de Indias is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in America. Its historic centre, walled by fortifications built in the colonial period, retains its original architecture and displays a full-colour palette that fills it with Caribbean life and joy. Its fascinating history as “The Pearl of the Caribbean“ in Hispanic times, a storehouse for great treasures, and slave port of the colonies in America, was of important influence to this patrimonial “city of humanity”. The stories of numerous pirate attacks are present in each of the fortifications that remain intact today.
This Walking City-Tour starts from any hotel in the historic centre. In a tour of 3 hours you will cover the Plaza de San Diego, the Plaza Fernandez of Madrid, the Park Bolivar, the Plaza de los coches and the Plaza Santo Domingo. You also get to walk on the walls and visit the bastions of Santo Domingo and San Francisco Javier, where you will learn all about the history and defence strategy of the city. You get to see the most illustrative streets and their legends, and you visit the most important churches such as the Cathedral San Pedro Claver and Santo Domingo.
For your penultimate day, you will visit a nearby food market.
Bazurto Market & Cooking Class
The Bazurto market is a traditional market offering fish, meat, fruit, clothing and is as important in Cartagena as the La Popa Convent or the Castle of San Felipe. It is a very traditional market, barely visited by tourists. You can buy food or traditionally prepared Colombian dishes or just enjoy the local market of Cartagena in the early hours. Let this “underground” part of Cartagena enchant you; it is ideal for an adventure. You will walk through a maze of alleys, where the tour guide will introduce you to all kind of fruit, herbs, vegetables, fish, seafood and meat. There are also a spice market and natural healing pharmacies.
Gastronomy is an important part of the local culture and the Cartageneros are proud of their Caribbean cuisine. Apart from tasting it, what would be better than learning how to prepare seafood, coconut rice and other specialities of Cartagena’s cuisine? The cooking class takes place in a colonial house in the city centre or in Getsemaní. The Chef will give us a presentation about the ingredients before showing us how to prepare typical dishes. The class takes about three hours.
You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Cartagena.