This unique tour of Colombia covers the impressive capital city Bogota, as well as the magnificent city of Cartagena along the Caribbean coast. For coffee enthusiasts, the tour also brings you to the city of Pereira, located in the heart of Colombia's "coffee triangle," where some of the world's best brews are grown. Here, you will tour the farms and take part in the processes which result in world-class coffee, then taste it for yourself. In the Cocora Valley, you explore forests and mountains home to the world's tallest palm trees and distinct species of birds. This tour strikes a great balance between urban escapades and the serenity of nature. It is sure to please any traveler.
After touching down at El Dorado International Airport, a private service brings you to a hotel in the heart of Colombia's capital city, Bogota. After settling into the prime location, you may begin to explore the city at your own leisure. For those looking to take part in Bogota's night scene, locals recommend the "Gourmet Zone," or, "G Zone," for short. In this northern neighborhood, one may find a number of great restaurants, cafes, bars, and music venues to help spice up your first night.
In the morning, you are brought by coach to the city of Zipaquira, an hour north of Bogota. Passing small villages, floriculture, and winding rivers along the way, Colombia's countryside will surely captivate you.
Zipaquira is known as "the city of salt," for the extraction of the mineral here. The Cathedral of Salt was built into an underground halite mine here during the 1930's, remaining a popular destination for travelers and local churchgoers ever since. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, it is time to return to Bogota.
As you work through the capital, the historical and cultural center city of Candelaria comes into focus. Here, impressive architecture and colonial eaves overlook narrow streets, preserving memories of an earlier era in Columbian history. Landmarks like Bolivar Square host the Cathedral of Bogota, the National Capitol, and other government buildings styled from Roman architecture. Finally, the day concludes with a visit to the Gold Museum. 34,000 gold pieces from Colombia's indigenous past, and countless carvings and relics, will enchant you. In the evening you may return to the hotel, or spend the night out.
After a short westward flight from Bogota, you arrive in the heart of Colombia’s renowned coffee producing region, the city of Pereira. What better way to start your day than with the rich, nutty blends awaiting you? After checking in to your hotel, why not visit the very plantations that have made this country so famous? Once your caffeine buzz has smoothly faded away, settle down for the evening and relax at your own leisure.
You are brought to a beautiful mountainous region of Cocora Valley in the Quindio Province. As golden morning sunlight pours across this landscape, you are given the signal that another great day has begun. Here, you can find the Quindio Wax Palm, the national tree of Colombia, standing well over 100 feet tall. After a specialist prepares a hot Canelazo cocktail, an alcoholic sugar cane beverage popular around the Andes, you will be guided through the forest to see the region’s flora and fauna.
Enjoy lunch at the renowned Bosques del Cocora restaurant before being transferred to the town of Salento for a walking tour atop cobblestone streets. You will be brought back to your hotel in Pereira to enjoy the evening.
After breakfast, you are brought to the nearby town of Recuca. Here, you will be given an interactive, hands-on tour of a coffee farm and the processes behind every perfect cup. The chapoleras, or coffee bean planters, take you through their fields and also have you taste its finished products. You will have lunch in Recuca before flying to the city of Cartagena on the northern coast.
Once you have checked into your new hotel, you may enjoy a drive through the walled city. Locals recommend dining in the old quarter, where restaurants craft the most vibrant Caribbean flavors available in South America. El Santisimo, Palo Santo, and Montesacro are a few popular restaurants you will find here.
You have the morning to do as you please; whether you care to go to the beach, into town, or just sleep comfortably in the hotel. By 2 p.m., a service will pick you up for a tour of Cartagena. After seeing the urban neighborhoods of the city, you will visit to a 400 year-old monastery, named Church of the Popa, that overlooks the city. After viewing Cartagena from this tremendous vantage point, you experience more 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. You are brought back to the hotel, where again, you are free to decide where the evening will go.
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 50 minute tour of the islands, then brought to the aquarium San Martin de Pajarales to view the local marine life up- close and personal. 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. Once ashore, live it up on your last night in Colombia.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you are brought to Rafael Nuñéz International Airport for departure from Colombia.
25% due at time of booking
75% due at 60 days prior to departure
Cancellations should be intimated by FAX to the corporate office in Princeton NJ.
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.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.
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