Discover Colombia

Colombian national hat

Click here for A Different Perspective Photo Tour to Colombia led by Luz Elena Castro
Colombia has changed and now is the time to discover this best kept secret South America. This tour takes you to Bogota, Zipaquira, Villa de Leyva, Medellin and Cartagena. Explore the bustling capital city of Bogota from its views of the Andean mountains to its colonial La Candelaria. Enjoy the countryside on a drive to Zipaquira, most famous for its Salt Cathedral carved underground. Walk the cobbled streets of Villa de Leyva. Explore Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia. Visit Cartagena. Explore fortresses, museums, beautiful churches and white sandy beaches. Discover Colombia has something for everyone!

Day 1 – Bogota
Arrive in Bogota where you will be met and driven to your hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with traditional cuisine. Overnight at Hotel Abadia Colonial.

Day 2 – Bogota
After breakfast explore the city on a walking tour through the streets of La Candelaria Bogota. La Candelaria is Bogota’s heart and soul as the oldest part of the city. The Plaza Bolivar or Main Square is a must see. Learn the amazing history of the capital of Colombia and its second largest city. See the important Colonial and Republican style buildings including the Palace of Justice and Colombian Congress which surround the square. The Plaza is also home to the Mayor’s office and the Primary Cathedral of Bogota. Standing proud in the plazas center is a statue of Simon Bolivar (the founder of Colombian independence) which was the first public monument to be erected in the city. Your afternoon is free to explore as you wish. Overnight at Hotel Abadia Colonial.

Day 3 – Bogota/Zipaquira/Villa de Leyva
After breakfast drive two hours to Zipaquira for a full day tour of this village and its surrounding area. Zipaquira is best known for the Salt Cathedral, For some people this is a religious monument, others a celebration of engineering or maybe even an artistic masterpiece. One of the marvels of Colombia, the Salt Cathedral is well worth the visit. Salt Cathedral is an underground Catholic church built within the tunnels of salt mines 200 meters below a Halite mountain. The temple has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus. Architectural details have been hand carved in the halite rock and there are also marble sculptures. Pronounced Stations of the Cross make this cathedral a prime pilgrimage spot for Colombians.
Panoramic landscapes are plentiful as you continue driving through this countryside once occupied by the native Muisca Indians onward to the colonial village of Villa de Leyva. This small town is considered one of the finest colonial villages of Colombia, and was declared a National Monument in 1954 to preserve its architecture. It is located at 2144 meters in a high altitude valley. Your stay is at a stylish hotel which has walls adorned with paintings by local artists. Overnight at Hotel la Posada de San Antonio.

Day 4 – Villa de Leyva/MedellinEnjoy a half day walking tour of the historic center of Villa de Leyva. Witness its enormous plaza (one of the largest in South America), along with interesting buildings such as the house of Antonio Nariño, and the Monasteries de las Carmelitas Descalzas. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your one hour flight to Medellin. You will be met and driven to your lovely accommodations. Overnight at Hotel Mediteranneo.

Day 5 – Medellin
Today explore Medellin, rich in culture and thriving since its rebirth from its dark days of drug cartels. Tour
sites such as the “Parque Berrio” the famous Botero sculpture park where many giant sculptures of Colombia most famous artist and Medellin born sculptor Fernando Botero are exhibited. A ride on the city’s famous metro cable or cable car will not only provide great views of the city but will be a chance to understand a bit more about the geography and social make up of Colombians second city. A trip to the museum of Antioquia (Medellin is the capital of the state/department of Antioquia) will give you an idea of the history of the region and its importance to the history of Colombia. Your afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish. Overnight at Hotel Mediteranneo.

Day 6 – Medellin/ Santa Fe de Antioquia/Medellin
Drive fifty miles north today and explore the town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. This spot was a mining town from its beginnings and its gold mining operation has been the base of its economy. Agriculture also places an important role in Santa Fe’s economy. Most important products grown are coffee, maize and beans. Santa Fe was declared a national monument in 1960 because of its maintenance of its colonial architecture. Visit the Cathedral and walk the cobbled roads through one of Medellin’s most interesting outlying areas. Return to Medellin for dinner. Overnight at Hotel Mediteranneo.

Day 7 – Medellin/Cartagena
Transfer to the airport for your one and a half hour flight to Cartagena. After you have been driven to your hotel and have checked in you embark on a walking tour through the streets of Cartagena to its town center. Tour its museum and learn Cartagena’s colorful history rife of piracy, Sultry Caribbean heat, with fusions of African, indigenous and European culture. You’ll see color splashes in every buildings corner, balconies overflowing with blossoms, and feel the energy of its many restaurants and Casa Privadas. Fresh fruit juices and seafood stalls are rich within the myriad of cobbled streets. Heels click instinctively with the throb of Salsa from Café Havana, where dance is integral to this vibrant culture. The many street vendors add local flairto the cobbled highways. Walk through the old town under the Puerta Del Reloj(clock tower entrance), a symbol of Cartagena, into the Plaza de Los Coches. Overnight at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia.

Day 8 – Cartegena
Enjoy a day of leisure at the nearby beaches. Cartagena is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Relax and enjoy the sun or do some souvenir shopping on your last day in Colombia. Overnight at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia.

Day 9 – Depart Cartagena
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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