Arriving this afternoon in the bustling hub of Bogota, you'll meet your Contiki crew. Get to know your fellow travelers on a free night in the city, start your exploring tonight, or wait for tomorrow. Either way, the next 12 days are going to be epic.
We'll get out and about bright and early this morning, first hitting up the famous Salt Cathedral. Then this afternoon you've got plenty of options, maybe going up the Monte Serrat Cable Car? Or if heights aren't your thing, a grafitti workshop checking out the city's famous street art, showcasing artistic interpretations of the country's past and present. Your Trip Manager will get you orientated in the city, so you're comfortable exploring solo. whether that's a visit to the Botero Museum, lunch at the Mercado La Concordia sampling the local cuisine, or checking out Park 93.
Today we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Bogota and take a speedy internal flight to the gorgeous Zona Cafetera (coffee zone).We're here in the coffee zone, which, as well as producing some of the tastiest, most iconic coffee in the world, is also arguably one of the most beautiful regions in Colombia. A visit to a coffee farm is a no-brainer, and we don't disappoint. Learn the A-Z of this invigorating bean on an included tour of an authentic coffee plantation and have a chance to pick and taste ripe berries or buy some world-class roasted beans for yourself. Tonight's accom is going to be a special one, a hacienda out in the coffee region!
This morning it's time to get our hike on. Heading out to the Cocora Valley is the perfect opportunity to get some amazing views. Next stop is a visit to Salento, where you've got a chance to explore and grab some lunch. Maybe trying out the local game of Tejo is on your agenda? And Salento is the perfect place to try your luck.
Rise and Shine – its an early morning start as we make our way to Medellin.The second city of Colombia, Medellín has transformed itself perhaps more than any other city in the world. Though its violent, tumultuous past is well-known, today the city is modern, innovative, and culturally rich. Named the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its nearly perfect weather, you'll find parks, plazas and a café culture where you can sit and soak in all those rays and historic vibes.
Put your walking shoes on today as we have a full day of adventuring ahead of us. Using Medellin's efficient public transport system, we'll tour the city via metro, cable car and on-foot. Along the way we'll check out Plaza Botera, Santo Domino and Communa 13, as well as the bustling local market. As the sultry evening draws in, anyone for Salsa lessons?
Now that you know Medellin so well, it's your day to do your own thing! Check out Arvi Park for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city (easy on public transport) or stay local and wander the city - the Museo de Antioquia or Casa de la Memoria are equally impressive. For an incredible day getaway, take a day trip to Guatapé, a vibrant, cute and impossibly colourful disney-like town. Climb the 650+ stairs for peerless vistas of the surrounding landscapes, or just wander the colourful town - trying the regional badeja paisa, and a cerveza, naturally.
Adios Medellin! The coasts of the Caribbean are calling, and our flight today takes us to the storybook beauty of Cartagena, considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas.On arrival we'll head straight to the fortress Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Built strategically by the Spanish in 1536 on the hills of San Lazaro, it dominates the landscape whether you approach on land or by sea. Today, there's no need to defend against pirates and foreign invaders, but the awe-inspiring fortress still sparks the imagination, offering dreamy views of the city below. In the afternoon we'll head to the walls of the Old City, where we'll have an authentic dinner at Cafe del Mar and watch the sunset. Pure bliss.
Today we'll be giving back by heading to Proyecto Titi - non-profit organisation working towards conserving the endangered cotton-top tamarins of Colombia. Cuteness overload! This afternoon, opt in for a local cooking demonstration, getting a glimpse into how the locals do it, before getting a chance to taste those delicious Caribbean flavours.
We're headed to our final city, but that doesn't mean the good times are stopping.Upon arrival in Santa Marta there's a walking tour calling your name. Check out sites like the 17th Century Hacienda, La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandro, the place where Simon Bolivar (the revolutionary who lead Latin America to Independence from Spain) famously died. We'll then walk the historic city centre, before a free night for dinner. Empanadas anyone?
Strap on your hiking shoes and lather on the sunscreen, because today we're visiting the spectacular Tayrona National Park. Famed for its stunning white sand beaches, lush green jungle and turquoise waters framed by the iconic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, this place is simply unmissable. Our hike, the Pueblito Trail, winds through the jungle (eyes peeled for monkeys, parrots and the ever-elusive jaguar) to a small indigenous community, before snaking up to Cabo San Juan beach. Here you can jump in the crystalline waters to cool off. Tonight's final dinner back in Santa Marta will be the perfect opportunity for final bonding time, so cheers to the amazing trip you've had (and start planning the next one).
This adventure wraps up this morning where we'll say hasta luego to our new friends. Colombia, thanks for the memories. We'll never forget you.