This all-encompassing tour of Colombia represents a trip as varied as the manifold country itself. Between three main cities; the capital Bogota, the second city Medellin, and the coastal city of Cartagena, travelers will easily recognize the richness this country has to offer. Whether it be in the rousing night-scene in Bogota, along the lush green mountains of the northern Antioquia province, or found in the beautiful colonial architecture of the many churches and municipalities, this trip holds something truly special for everyone.
Upon arrival at El Dorado International Airport, an agent brings you to a centrally located hotel. From the prime location, you are now free to experience the city's zestful nightlife. Locals recommend visiting the Gourmet Zone, or "G Zone," in the northern quarter. This neighborhood hosts many superb restaurants, cafes and bars, and music venues to make your first night in Colombia memorable.
A coach takes you to the city of Zipaquira, an hour north of Bogota. As you pass small villages, floriculture, and winding rivers along the way, the allure of Colombia's countryside becomes apparent. Zipaquira is recognized as "the city of salt," given the extraction of the mineral here. The underground Cathedral of Salt was built into a halite mine here during the 1930's, and remains a popular destination for travelers and local churchgoers alike. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, it is time to return to Bogota.
As you make your way through the capital, the historical and cultural center city of Candelaria comes into focus. Here, impressive architecture and colonial eaves overlook narrow streets, preserving the memory of an earlier era in Columbia's history. Landmarks like Bolivar Square host the Cathedral of Bogota, as well as the National Capitol and other government buildings. The day's activities end with a visit to the Gold Museum, where 34,000 gold pieces from Colombia's indigenous past will enchant you. In the evening you may return to the hotel, or spend the night out.
An agent brings you to the airport for a short flight to Jose Maria Cordoba International, a 45 minute drive from Medellin. A private service then brings you to a hotel in the new city.
Spend the afternoon touring Medellin's numerous parks and botanical gardens. You will appreciate the contrast of old and new buildings in the city, in addition to the kindness of those you encounter. When evening comes, you are welcome to rest at the hotel, or venture into the city for more exploration.
You will be transported from the center of Medellin to explore its surrounding province, Antioquia. Beyond the city's limits, stunning green mountain ranges, snaked by the Cauca River, stretch as far as you can see. The town of St. Jerome is the first stop along your trek. Here you can sample exotic local fruits like thorned soursops and corozo nuts. After lunch, you reach the province's mother city, and former capital, Santa Fe de Antioquia, where Renaissance- styled churches are adorned by the cobblestone streets. The day's tour ends with the Puente de Occidente, or West Bridge, a massive suspension bridge constructed over the river in the late 19th century. Following the tours, you will be taken back to the hotel in Medellin for the night.
In the morning you will be flown out to Rafael Nuñéz International Airport in Cartagena. An afternoon tour of the urban areas of Cartagena is followed by a visit to a 400 year-old monastery that overlooks the city. After viewing Cartagena from this tremendous vantage point, you will visit another piece of history at the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas. The hilltop fortress was built by the Spanish to defend their settlement, and is largely intact today. In the evening you are brought back to your hotel where you are free to rest, or continue exploring the city.
After breakfast at the hotel, you earn your sea legs aboard a high-speed boat to the Rosario Islands, an archipelago just off the coast of Cartagena. These 28 islands are enveloped by crystal clear water, coral reefs, and a thriving ecosystem. You are given a tour of the islands, then brought to the aquarium San Martin de Pajarales to view the local marine life up- close. For lunch, enjoy fresh fish, coconut rice, and plantains as you unwind along the pristine shore. Spend the rest of the day at the beach before you are returned to the mainland that evening.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you are brought to the airport for departure from Colombia.
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75% due at 60 days prior to departure
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Guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies paid by the client will be charged prior to refund.
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