Colombia in a Nutshell

Colombia in a Nutshell

Colombia – one of Latin America’s most exciting and interesting countries. Here you are offered fascinating culture, exciting history and stunningly beautiful nature. Let us tailor your trip among coffee plantations, beautiful colonial cities and the friendliest people in the world!

According to calculatorinc, Colombia is one of the most beautiful and interesting countries in the world. An incredibly rich culture with well-preserved colonial cities such as Salento and Cartagena, the latter a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beautiful nature with green valleys, rivers, waterfalls, rainforests and volcanoes. Colombia’s history is a cocktail of African music, colorful crafts, food & dialects with memories from all corners of the world and perhaps the world’s friendliest people! Let us tailor your trip – visit the capital Bogotá, the culturally rich Villa de Leyva and take a trip past the mythical Lake Guatavita. Out into the green coffee landscape with swaying wax palms. Cartagena – an almost incomprehensibly beautiful and well-preserved city filled with music, atmosphere and experiences and a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Why not end with a few nights on the white beaches of Aruba or Curacao?

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia and arrival in Colombia

Departure from Scandinavia is by convenient scheduled flight with a change on the way. Good food and drink on board make the trip short and pleasant. You have a nice day flight and land in the Colombian capital Bogotá early in the evening. Colombia is 7 hours behind Scandinavia’s time zone in winter. You will be met at the airport by your local guide and driver who will take you to your hotel where you can finally rest after a long day!

Day 2: Bogotá

Breakfast and then you do Bogotá with your driver and English speaking local guide! The city was founded as early as 1538 by the Spaniards and was then called Santa Fe – nowadays it is a nice mix of a bit tame colonial grandezza mixed with a modern metropolis. The city is surprisingly green with as many as 5,200 parks to boast about. You visit Paloquemao, the city’s most famous food market. You continue to the historic quarter La Candelaria – beautiful neighborhoods with cobbled streets, old houses, stately churches and Spanish brock facades. We also visit one of the city’s most famous museums – either the Gold Museum or the Butter Museum. You then leave Bogotá and head for the fertile plateaus of Zipaquirá. Of course you visit the famous salt cathedral – a monumental masterpiece created by the miners themselves. You will then return to Bogotá and your hotel. The evening is free and you live close to restaurants and people. (F , L )

Day 3: Guatavita – Villa de Leyva

Breakfast and then it’s time to leave Bogotá. You pass small villages up to an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level from where you see the mythical Lake Guatavita. You walk for about half an hour to the lake and hear your guide tell you about the legend of El Dorado and the gold-dusted chiefs who dived into the lake to sacrifice to the gods. You also visit a family up in the mountains where you have lunch before you go on to the small town of Villa de Leyva – one of Colombia’s finest examples of colonial charm with wooden balconies, beautiful arched arches and sturdy brass-clad doors. ( F , L )

Day 4: To the coffee district

In the morning you visit an area filled with millions of years old fossils – how about a 120 million year old Kronosaurus? Deeply impressed, you proceed to Ecce Homo, a Dominican convent founded in 1620 in an area with rare monoliths. You stop at the “Puente de Boyacá” where the Colombian oath of liberty was written in 1819 and the last stop before you return to Bogotá is La Calera. Here you will find simple restaurants and everything you could wish for – take the opportunity to try their “arepas” – cornbread filled with cheese – perfect as a fare on the way to the airport. You will then fly to Armenia where you will be picked up and then driven to the beautiful little town of Salento where you will stay for the next two nights. ( F )

Day 5: Cocora Valley & coffee plantation

Breakfast and then you leave through Cocora Valley’s incredibly beautiful scenery. Here grows the wax palm, the world’s tallest palm and a symbol of the area with its long narrow trunk and swaying palm crown. Wear comfortable shoes and water – you now do a hike for about 2 hours among coffee plantations, palm trees and green hills. In the afternoon you visit one of the area’s coffee plantations where you learn all about coffee cultivation, if you are lucky you get to pick some yourself and of course taste the good Colombian coffee as a finished product before returning to Salento and your hotel. ( F )

Day 6: To Cartagena

Breakfast in peace and quiet and then transfer to the airport for flights to the coastal city of Cartagena. You will arrive on arrival and go to the hotel to check in and arrive on site. You have the rest of the day to yourself – a tip is to go down to Café del mar in the afternoon to watch the sunset with half of Cartagena – a cooling beer tastes good before strolling on to dinner at one of the nice restaurants in the old town or Gethsemane. ( F )

Day 7: City tour & La Bouqilla

After breakfast you go out to see Cartagena and its surroundings. You start with a visit to La Popa, the monastery located on the highest point of Cartagena with a view of the city and the sea. You make a “kodak stop” and admire the view of the massive fort San Felipe and end the tour by walking in Cartagena’s old town and neighborhood. You then continue to the small fishing village of La Bouqilla. Nowadays, it has almost grown together with Cartagena itself as the city has grown and many have bought up land to build condominiums. But once in La Bouqilla, the pace is calm, the atmosphere and the people relaxed and easy going. You do a canoe trip, not really a canoe but a carved log, but it floats just as well as a canoe. You let yourself be paddled through the mangrove swamps, through tunnels of densely growing trees to open lakes with pelicans and herons and then returning in the afternoon to Cartagena. (F )

Day 8: San Basilio de Palenque

Today’s excursion makes you to the colorful and exciting small town of San Basilio de Palenque. About 3,500 people live here and most are descendants of the slaves who rebelled against the Spaniards in the 17th century. Despite its small size, the small town is a wonderful cocktail of African influences and the creole one speaks is a mixture of Spanish and the Bantu language Kikonga, English and Portuguese. You stroll around, buy fruit from the local “Palenqueras” and experience the wonderful atmosphere here. You have since the afternoon on your own in Cartagena – you can lie and rest on the hotel’s roof with pool & deck chairs or continue strolling around Cartagena. ( F )

Day 9: Isla del Encanto

You will be picked up in the morning for a day trip to Isla del Encato Resort – a resort located on the Rosario Islands about an hour by boat from Cartagena where you sunbathe, swim and enjoy the sea & beach. You will meet on arrival back in Cartagena for a ride to your hotel. Lunch is included in the excursion, but you must bring a towel. ( F , L )

Day 10: Return trip

You have plenty of time to continue enjoying Cartagena – take a dip in the pool or a walk in the old town, there are several small fine museums in Cartagena, lots of alleys and shops to explore. Also take the opportunity to drink coffee at Colombia’s response to Starbucks; Juan Valdez. Here you can also buy some extra coffee to take home if you want! You fly back to Bogotá and then on to Scandinavia via a city in Europe as on the way out. ( F ) Anyone who wants to can either stay a few extra days in Cartagena or end the trip with days on the beaches, either out on Isla del Encanto or why not go over to Aruba or Curacao and continue the adventure there?

Day 11: Arrival in Scandinavia

When you return to Scandinavia depends on which company you fly with.

Overnight stays

Nine nights in a hotel

Colombia in a Nutshell