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Simply Colombia

  • Bogotá
  • Villa de Leyva
  • Coffee Region
  • Cartagena
Simply Colombia Simply Colombia
£ 3115

Grandiose colonial churches, verdant coffee plantations, atmospheric villages and a fascinating cultural heritage. This itinerary will introduce you to some of Colombia’s greatest highlights.

In Bogotá you’ll find masterpieces of colonial architecture and paintings by Picasso and the Impressionists. At Pereira you’ll be staying in a region celebrated for its Colombian coffee, whilst Villa de Leyva is like stepping back in time – cobbled streets and 17th century churches and plazas await. But the highlight is probably Cartagena with its forbidding fortifications built to resist attack by pirates, and its impressive parade of museums, colonial buildings and churches.

13 days from
per person

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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 arrive into Bogotá very early in the morning and taken to your hotel, close to lovely Virrey Park in the city’s most prized entertainment and business area. You’ll have time to explore before your city tour shows you the historic La Candelaria area with its charming old Spanish casonas featuring wrought iron window grilles, balconies, courtyards and beautiful gardens.

In Plaza Bolívar you’ll find the statue of Simón Bolívar and the cathedral that houses a huge collection of liturgical and ornamental objects compiled over the centuries. Your cultural experience continues with a visit to Capilla del Sagrario, and the Museo Botero displaying masterpieces by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti. The celebrated Museo de Oro has treasures of its own; 34,000 gold and 20,000 artefacts in stone, ceramic and precious stones. Next, a cable car takes you to Monserrate – 500 metres above Bogotá – to admire the soaring views over the city.

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

Day 4-5 Villa de Leyva
Villa de Leyva

On day four you will be met by your guide and taken to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva, three hours north-west fo Bogotá.

Known for its whitewashed colonial buildings, cobbled lanes and vast Plaza Mayor, it’s one of the most picturesque towns in Colombia. With your guide you will have a tour of the town, visiting the Our Lady of the Rosary church and the House of the First Congress of the United Provinces. The church dates back to the early-17th century and the congress house was where the first laws were drafted after independence in 1812.

En route to Villa de Leyva you will visit one of Colombia’s most famous attractions, Zipaquirá. An impressive subterranean Salt Cathedral and richly decorated colonial churches. It’s not to be missed!

Stay: Two nights at the Posada de San Antonio – Bed & breakfast

Day 6-8 Coffee Region
Coffee Region

After an early breakfast you will return to the capital and board a short one hour flight to Pereira, arriving in the early afternoon.

Pereira is the capital of Risaralda, one of the three departments that make up Colombia’s coffee triangle, also known as the Zona Cafetera.

You’ll be staying in a charming hacienda close to the area’s coffee plantations where you’ll gain an insight into the growing, harvesting, preparation, toasting and final production of world renowned Colombian coffee. Your next excursion introduces you to the beautiful village of Filandia, famous for its Antioqueño architecture and basket weaving.

Then you move on to Valle del Cocora, part of Los Nevados National Park, where you’ll find 60-metre-high palm trees and a diverse range of exotic birds including hummingbirds and parrots. After a fine lunch you’ll drive on to Salento with its winding streets lined with colourful old houses and handicraft shops selling ponchos and Panama hats.

Stay: Three nights at Hacienda Sazagua – Bed & breakfast

Day 9-11 Cartagena

Today you will catch a flight to Cartagena, where you’ll be staying in a beautifully restored colonial style house with more than 300 years of history to its name.

When you walk around the Cartagena’s genteel, colourful streets, it’s difficult to associate your surroundings with the city’s history of conflict. Nevertheless, this is a place that was, at different times, inhabited by Caribe Indians, Spanish invaders, buccaneers and pirates. And it has the fortified city walls to prove it.

Today the city is a treasure trove of civil, religious, military and governmental buildings dating back centuries. In fact it’s on the UNESCO World Heritage List and your city tour will show you top attractions like the San Felipe Fortress, as well as the Convent and Church of San Pedro Claver. You’ll also visit the Monasterio and Inglesia de Popa, constructed in 1606, where you can enjoy 360° views of the city, sea and port.

Stay: Three nights at the Alfiz – Bed & breakfast

Day 12-13 Overnight flight from Cartagena to the UK

On day twelve you will board your flight back to London, via Bogotá, landing in the afternoon of the following day.

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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