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Colonial Colombia

  • Bogotá
  • San Agustín
  • Cartagena
  • Santa Marta
  • Tayrona
Colonial Colombia Colonial Colombia
£ 4456

The Spanish colonialists left behind much more than a collection of imposing cathedrals, charming churches and colourful towns.

Take the Colonial Colombia tour and you’ll find yourself in places that appear to have escaped the hands of time; towns so perfectly preserved, so atmospheric, you can imagine yourself living there several centuries ago.

Bogotá shows you the recent history following independence and San Agustín takes you back thousands of years to pre-Columbian times. 

Cartagena’s massive fortifications will talk to you of pirates and Spanish galleons and in Santa Marta you will discover the oldest city in the Americas and the resting place of South American revolutionary hero, Simón Bolivar. 

Your final stop is the beautiful Tayrona National Park. Golden beaches, turquoise water, magnificent jungle and overlooked by the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. It's the perfect place to end your tour of Colombia's colonial and historic gems.


14 days from
per person

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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1 Overnight flight from the UK to Bogotá

    Board your overnight flight from the UK to Bogotá.

    Note: There are direct flights with Colombia’s international airline Avianca, departing from London Heathrow. There are also flights via Amsterdam with KLM, Air France via Paris and Iberia via Madrid. There are also flights from the US.

    Day 2-3 Bogotá

    You will be met early in the morning at Bogotá airport and taken to your hotel.

    You’ll be in a great place to explore the lively shops, restaurants and historic centre of Bogotá, and the next day you’ll go on a tour through ancient La Candelaria, soaking up the atmosphere of its old Spanish casonas with their wrought iron window grilles, balconies, courtyards and beautiful gardens.

    You can stroll around Plaza Bolívar featuring the famous statue of Simón Bolívar and the cathedral – worth going inside to view over four centuries’ worth of liturgical and ornamental objects. Next comes the Capilla del Sagrario and Museo Botero, offering masterpieces by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti. The Museo de Oro is another stop on your tour, featuring nearly 34,000 gold and 20,000 artefacts in stone, ceramic and precious stones from the Quimbaya, Calima, Tairona, Sinu, Muisca, Tolima, Tumaco and Magdalena cultures.

    Stay: Two nights at the Cité Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 4-5 San Agustín & Popayan
    San Agustín & Popayan

    A short internal flight takes you to Pitalito where you’ll be met and taken to San Agustín. This archaeological park is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a full day’s excursion presents you with over 500 imposing stone statues depicting the mythology and beliefs of their indigenous carvers.

    You’ll find yourself amongst figures and tombs reflecting a mysterious world of spiritual power, funerary rites and the supernatural world of an ancient civilisation. Your sense of wonder will continue into today’s natural world as well; you’ll have time to discover the region’s flora and wildlife on nature walks and horse and cycle rides along ecological trails. Visits to the ceremonial Fuente de Lavapatas, the Lavapatas Terrace and the Museo Arqueologico, as well as a drive to Isnos complete your stay at San San Agustín.

    Stay: Two nights at the Akawanka Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 6-8 Cartagena

    Transfer to Neiva and fly to Cartagena, via Bogotá.

    In Cartagena and you’ll be walking through a history that includes Caribe Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, slaves, Inquisitors, pirates and buccaneers. Today the great city’s fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the whole place is a treasure house of grandiose religious and civil buildings, quaint streets with balconied houses and myriad twisting alleyways.

    You’ll be staying in a beautiful boutique hotel, in the midst of Cartagena’s historic heart. You’ll go on sightseeing trips to the Monasterio and Iglesia de la Popa with fantastic 360 degree panoramic views of the city, port and ocean. You’ll also tour the San Felipe Fortress, built to repel pirate attacks, and the churches and convents of the old city, culminating in Bovedas, the handicraft market built into the archways of the city wall – previously used as an arsenal and prison.

    Evenings can be spent at one of Cartagena’s many fashionable cocktail bars or excellent restaurants.

    Stay: Three nights at the Ananda Hotel – Bed & breakfast

    Day 9-10 Santa Marta
    Santa Marta

    From Cartagena you will be driven 4 hours along the coast to the historic town of Santa Marta.

    Santa Marta was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia and was founded in 1525. It’s a place steeped in history and is used by many as an entry point to the nearby Tayrona National Park and the lively town of Taganga. 

    During your stay you will explore the town with a local tour guide and visit Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, the country estate and final resting place of South American revolutionary hero Simon Bolivar. The estate is full of tropical plants and wildlife, including a large number of iguanas!

    Stay: Two nights at the Hotel Boutique Don Pepe – Bed & breakfast

    Day 11-12 Tayrona

    Your final two nights in Colombia are on the outskirts of the country’s most famous national park, Tayrona. Your hotel is on the shores of the Caribbean, surrounded by jungle but with the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range.

    You will have chance to relax by the pool and enjoy some warm Colombian hospitality. One full day excursions into the national park is also included; a chance to explore the palm-shaded coves, coastal lagoons, rainforest and rich biodiversity. 

    Stay: Two nights at Cayena Beach Villa – Bed & breakfast

    Day 13-14 Overnight flight from Santa Marta back to the UK

    On day thirteen you will be driven back to Santa Marta, where you will board your flight back to the UK, via Bogotá. Landing the following afternoon.

    Note: There are international flight options from Cartagena, but nothing direct to the UK with Avianca. If flying to the US or flying via Amsterdam, it is possible to avoid flying back to Bogotá.

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