historic cities, picturesque, highland colonial towns, and wild, untouched beaches
This 14 day itinerary explores Colombia’s colonial highland towns and ends on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean coast.
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Bogotá - gold in the Andes
Days 1-2: The first two nights are spent in Bogotá, Colombia's Andean capital. The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) houses over thirty thousand gold artefacts, making it one of the largest collections in the world. The capital's old town, La Candelaria, has colourful colonial buildings and some wonderful parks and plazas.
Colonial highland villages
Days 3-7: Visit the spectacular salt cathedral of Zipaquirá before being driven north (3 hours) to the picturesque colonial towns of Villa de Leyva and Barichara (a further 3 hours). You will have two nights in each town, exploring the cobbled streets and surrounding attractions. A further three hours' drive brings you to Bucaramanga, where you spend a night and then visit the beautiful Chicamocha Canyon, with a number of well-maintained walking trails which vary in length and difficulty.
Days 8-10: Fly (via Bogotá) to Cartagena de Indias for three nights. As a major port during the sixteenth century, the walled city was often plundered by pirates and buccaneers, including Sir Francis Drake in 1586. In response to these attacks the Spaniards built a series of forts and walls around what is now the old city - now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby, the Islas del Rosario make for a popular day trip, with good snorkelling.
Rainforest and wild beaches
Days 11-14: A four hour drive east along the Caribbean coast takes you to Santa Marta, the final resting place of Simón Bolívar. An hour's drive east is the Tayrona National Park, with stunning beaches and tropical forest reaching the ocean, the perfect place to relax for the next three nights. Driven back to Santa Marta on the final day for a flight to Bogotá and onward connections.
In the following section you will see our suggested options for possible accommodation.
The estimated flight cost included in this itinerary (assuming international flights from the UK plus any internal flights that are necessary) is £980 per person.
Standard - £3,355
- Anandá Hotel Boutique - a charming and friendly small hotel in the heart of Cartagena's old city.
- Cité Hotel - a comfortable mid range-option, on the edge of Virrey Park in the Zona Rosa district.
- Eco-habs - beautiful round huts perched on a hillside in the Tayrona National Park, overlooking a long and wild beach.
- Posada de San Antonio - small, cosy and full of character, just a few blocks back from Villa de Leyva's central plaza.
Price and validity notes
We have tried to give you as accurate an idea of prices as possible, including meals where appropriate (but not when there are good local options so you don't pay for a meal that you might not want), accommodation, transfers, and any tours we have included.
All prices are per person based on two people sharing a room and are intended as a guide (local high or low seasons can cause some variation). All prices were correct when published but may vary with exchange rate fluctuations, fuel surcharges, or changes in the general economic situation.