Bogotá – Medellín – San Cayetano – Cartagena
10 Days / 9 Nights
|Four Seasons Casa Medina||Bogotá||3 Nights|
|Park 10||Medellín||3 Nights|
|San Cayetano||San Cayetano||1 Night|
|Casa San Agustín||Cartagena||2 Nights|
- All domestic transport including ground, air, and water (flights on economy)
- Transport to and from all airports and hotels
- Hotel and housing accommodations in each destination, minimum standard of 4-stars when available
- Admission to all indicated activities
- Guides and translators at each destination and activity (English and Spanish guaranteed, extra price for other languages)
- Monitoring of all flight schedules and troubleshooting of any issues that may arise
- 24-hour emergency contact numbers
- Colombian Travel insurance for each client that comprehensively covers health throughout the country, expatriation, and some luggage issues
- All breakfasts and lunches
- Dinner, wine/beer when indicated (San Cayetano)
- Accompaniment in each destination by a member of True Colombia Travel or a highly trusted and experienced partner with whom we have worked before, unless otherwise stated or indicated, or by client request
- Water or other refreshment during transport and most activities
- International travel between Colombia and any other nation
- Food, gifts, wine, beer, or liquor when not explicitly stated
- Purchases made by the client outside of the parameters of this proposal
- Changes to the itinerary not caused by activity of True Colombia Travel
- Evening travel/taxis during free time (unless otherwise indicated)
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to the beautiful Andes mountains of Colombia! With three ranges of the Andes running through the country, you’ll start your trip in the eastern section and in the highest major city in the country. A sprawling metropolis with a long and fascinating history, Bogotá is a modern mega-city including various distinct neighborhoods that comprise the political and gastronomical capital of Colombia.
We’ll be waiting to greet you at the airport as you come through customs and ready to shuttle your over to your hotel to get settled in. Depending on how you are feeling we can head out to see part of the city. Welcome to Colombia! You are going to have one of the most memorable trips of your life!
Day 2: Bogota - Exploring The Roots Of La Capital Colombiana
In the morning, taste your first Colombian arepa before we pick you up to head to the neighborhood of the Candelaria, home to some of Bogota’s most famous universities and the city’s most popular walking streets. Pass by modern buildings nestled against colorful and detailed street-art murals, leading to some of Bogota’s oldest neighborhoods where original colonial houses still stand. As you walk the historic streets, learn about Bogota’s culture and rich history of the city’s art.
We’ll begin by transporting you back in time as you enter the famous Gold Museum (Museo de Oro). Full of thousands of spectacular gold art works, the museum displays artistry and crafts created by the indigenous peoples of the Andes mountains, with some pieces dating back thousands of years and pre-dating the creation of modern metalwork tools. Your expert and private guide will help you to understand both where the pieces come from and how they were made, as well as how all of the tribes fit together. Colombia has one of the highest quantities of indigenous tribes in the world, all of whom were influenced by Colombia’s mega-diversity in geography, flora and fauna.
The Museo del Oro is truly a treasure and afterwards we’ll lead you to one of the center’s oldest restaurants to lunch on ajiaco, a chicken-based stew made famous in Colombia’s capital city.
As you continue walking post-lunch along beautiful canals and old restaurants, you’ll see a variety of architectural styles as you come to Plaza Bolívar, the civic heart of the country. Here you’ll find the city’s expansive cathedral, local and federal governments, all nestled against the presidential palace, La Casa de Nariño. You’ll learn about Colombia’s political structures and beliefs.
Finish your day as you take the cable car up to the famous viewpoint of Monserrate, which features some of the finest views of Bogotá. Watch the sun set as the city spreads out before you and turn to see the massive expanse of forest and peaks of the eastern Andes mountains behind you. Enjoy a warm cup of aguapanela (local beverage made from the concentrated sugar cane) or hot chocolate before heading back down the mountain to get ready for dinner.
Dinner Recommendation: Leo
Owned and run by one of Colombia’s most important chefs, Leonor Espinosa. Espinosa is one of the most important leaders in contemporary Colombian cuisine and has rescued several lost Colombian flavors, recreating them in new and incredible dishes. One of the most highly recommended restaurants in Bogotá.
Day 3: Bogota - Literature, Musical History, Art and Botero
Enjoy a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit and warm arepas. Make sure to have a cup of coffee as you’ll want the energy to keep the rhythm going.
In the morning, you’ll out into new parts of Bogotá and to explore a couple of the city’s historic areas, starting in the popular neighborhood of Chapinero. Here you’ll take a private tour learning about the literary and artistic history of the city through pieces of some of Colombia’s most important artists.
You’ll head out with one of Bogotá’s best and most accomplished art dealers. He’ll take you to a host of private galleries to see different local artists and some of the best paintings you in the country. He’ll take you to see indigenous and antique pieces and important street art as well before finishing in the Fernando Botero Museum where you’ll learn about Botero’s harsh critiques against Paísa and Colombian culture and aspects of his unique style.
Throughout the day you’ll gain images of how the residents of Bogotá live, the historic architecture, and sites not often visited by foreigners.
Afterwards, head back to the Candelaria to explore a few of Bogotá’s most important museums to see how art has been influenced by the Great Violence and how many artists depicted the period.
As the evening wanes, head out to dinner and enjoy the nightlife during your final night in the country’s capital.
Dinner Recommendation: Osaka Nikkei
Japanese, Peruvian, and Colombian fusion wrapped into an incredible dining experience just steps from the Sofitel.
Day 4: True Bloom - The Colors and Tradition of Antioquia
Have a fresh, delicious breakfast before heading to the eastern mountains of Medellín for a beautiful, colorful, and joy filled day. After a short 35-minute flight and drive you’ll arrive to the peaceful town of Santa Elena where you’ll encounter a treasure of a different kind: fields of flowers! Flowers form part of the most important aspect of culture and economy in the region, culiminating in August’s enormous Flower Festival. You’ll see both aspects (economy and culture), starting the morning at a family-owned farm that creates and exports high-end flowers for sale in 4 different continents. Look for birds of paradise, hydrangeas, heliconias, orchids and various endemic trees. Also keep a look out for exotic birds like toucans and the beautiful split-tailed barrenquerro
You’ll be amazed by the process required to produce high-quality flowers and you’ll be charmed by the story of the farm as you speak with doña Luz Dary, the owner and visionary of Loma Linda who created an incredible business by herself that now provides exciting employment for her entire family and many single mothers in the region.
At the farm you’ll taste a bevy of local and traditional foods like sancocho, tamales, champú, and exotic juices. After a home-cooked lunch shared with the owners of the farm, we’ll move over to a truly special and rare treat: the house of a family that has been participating for 44 years in Medellín’s world famous Flower Festival as “sillateros.” Sillateros carry enormous flower displays for nearly 4 kilometers on their backs in celebration of the rural culture from which Medellín was born.
At the house you’ll see how the family cultivates various flowers in their home and how they create ornate and beautiful displays for the yearly festival. The family has won various awards and shown their displays across the country.
As the sun begins to set stop to sip on a delicious and sweet aguapanela – a drink made from sugar cane pulp and often accompanied with cheese and a sweet corn cake called an arepa de chocolo.
We’ll then head down into the city to settle into your hotel.
Dinner Recommendation: OCI.
Oci. is eclectic world food. The quality is very high, and while the prices are higher than average for Medellin, they won’t break the bank (think $12 – $15 per entrée). The cocktails are also very good. Outstanding octopus (“pulpo”) appetizer.
Day 5: Medellín - The City of Eternal Spring, Past and Present
In the morning, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and head straight to the Minorista market to see and taste some of the exotic fruits that fuel Colombians’ days. Colombia grows more fruits than any other country on the planet! Afterwards, head to the government center where we’ll begin an exploration of Medellin and its history starting from the industrial revolution to the dark days of the 80s and 90s.
We’ll focus on the importance of architecture and transit in the city and the roles they’ve played in transforming Medellin into one of the most innovative cities in the world. You’ll begin to understand the role of government and community in the change of the city as we show you locations that used to be among the most dangerous in the world but our now beacons of peace and civic pride in Medellín.
Walk through the brilliant Parque de las Luces and hear about the importance of education in urban development, and then head to Parque Berrio/Plaza Botero to explore both the world-famous sculptures of Fernando Botero in the plaza and walk through the Museum of Antioquia, full of sculptures, paintings, and drawings donated by Botero himself to his home city.
As we move on, browse traditional handicrafts and souvenirs at a local market as we pass flower-lined walking streets and parks. We’ll then head to lunch at one of Medellin’s top “hidden” local restaurants.
Afterwards, head back to the El Poblado area (where you’ll be staying) where upon arriving you’ll enjoy a true treat: we have an exclusive partnership with Tilin Tilin, one of the finest (and vegan!) chocolate makers in the entire country, sourcing the highest quality cacao from different regions of Colombia and constantly experimenting with new and different flavors.
You’ll be lead around the small factory and learn about the history of chocolate, the history and mission of Tilin Tilin and how they work their magic! Then of course, after learning about how the chocolate is made, you’ll have a private tasting of their various types, percentages, and styles. A truly sensational experience!
Dinner Recommendation: Carmen
Probably the most famous restaurant in the city, Carmen features flavors of the Andes in high-end and creative manners. Carmen is where guests to Medellin can enjoy fine flavors and sometimes catch a glimpse of celebrities at the table in the corner.
Day 6: San Cayetano - The Origins Of Colombian Coffee
In the morning we’ll head off to a private and truly special experience, one exclusive to True Colombia Travel.
Welcome to historic San Cayetano, the origen of Colombian coffee. Over 120 years ago, the very first commercial coffee cultivations in Colombia were planted in this beautiful finca, which today produces some of the best traditional coffee in the country.
Your personal tour will highlight the best of Colombian cultivation on an expansive property that spans various elevations and cultivates both high-land and low-land coffee. Take in breathtaking views of the central ridge of the Andes mountains and the Cauca River 3,000 feet below.
At San Cayetano you’ll have a chance to meet the chief roaster of the historic finca and smell, touch, and taste experimental and proprietary blends of San Cayetano’s coffee. You’ll see every step of the coffee process from seed to cup, and pick and taste ripe beans straight from the tree.
As we reach a wonderful viewpoint in the middle of the coffee fields, you’ll enjoy a freshly prepared tropical juice along with a delicious fiambre, the typical lunch consumed by farmers for generations.
Afterward, you’ll visit the processing warehouse to see how they de-pulp, wash, and dry the beans in both traditional as well as specialty methods, promoted by a coffee initiative established by True Colombia Travel. Here we’ll make you a cup of fresh San Cayetano coffee prepared in a V60.
Along the route you’ll meet and talk to pickers who work on the farm, see how they live, and visit a school constructed on the farm specially for the children of families that work in the fields.
Afterwards, we’ll take you back to the owner’s private mansion, where you’ll have the grounds to yourself. Change into your swimsuit and bathe in the farm’s waterfall or take a dip in the infinity pool or jacuzzi. We’ll bring you hors d’oeuvres, wine or beer, and appetizers as you watch the sun set on the valley below. Feel free to move over to the fire place, fed by coffee wood, and relax as we serve you dinner.
San Cayetano is Rainforest Alliance certified for their conscienscious treatment of the earth and UTZ fair trade certified for fair treatment of their employees.
Day 7: True Graffiti - A Story of Community Change Through Art
True Graffiti doesn’t just take you on a path through central destinations for representative street art but takes you through the rarely visited and extraordinary Comuna 1 located in the northeast of Medellin. The experience is created and lead by the head of a youth collective of artists who are from and create art in these very neighborhoods, and it is 100% exclusive to True Colombia Travel. True Graffiti is the next generation of Medellín cultural experiences and travelers have said it’s one of the best experiences of their lives.
After breakfast you’ll head back to Medellín and take the city’s innovative and modern transit system up into one of the hillside favela-neighborhoods where the collective works and lives. The walk will begin in the living Urban Museum of Memories, a giant mural display that tells the history of the creation of the neighborhood and both the ancestral and modern history of the inhabitants.
From there we’ll walk through the spiraling alleyways and streets of the neighborhood hearing poetry, free-style music, and stories of what has happened in this impactful neighborhood over the last 50 years and how many of the dangerous “invisible borders” have been torn down. This unique day is truly rare and special.
We’ll take a look at how art has changed the lives of the members of the collective and how they are now training the barrio’s youth in these same art forms as a way to create sustainable change and avoid the same pitfalls of violence and PTSD that have affected many of their peers.
You’ll get to enjoy a private explanation and performance art including free-style hip hop and and break-dancing, all telling the story of violence, change, family, and love in the community.
Dinner Recommendation: El Cielo
The set menus of “moments” are a playful and sumptuous take on Colombian food and fusion. The menu changes seasonally, concentrating on one region of the country while showing flashes of Colombia as a whole in every meal. Wine pairing recommended.
Day 8: Cartagena - A Walk Through 500 Years Of History
As the sun rises on the beautiful and staggering Andes mountains, you’ll have a lovely breakfast before heading back toward the international airport for a short flight to the Caribbean coast and your final destination, Cartagena.
You’ll be staying right in the heart of the “ciudad amurallada,” the old walled city of Cartagena. Here you’ll encounter enchanting streets and plazas lined with gorgeous bright yellow and blue walls of buildings that define the colonial architecture of this 500-year-old city.
After getting settled, walk off the sleep as you discover the history of Cartagena. Start at the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, one of the largest Spanish colonial fortresses ever built. As you walk the walls and tunnel systems of the fort you’ll gain an understanding of why, despite several attempts by outside forces, the Castillo de San Felipe was never taken and always successfully defended. You’ll see ingeniously designed pathways, acoustic passages, and even false plazas created to confuse the enemy.
After lunch, you’ll head out on foot to explore Getsemaní, one of Cartagena’s most exciting and changing neighborhoods. You’ll learn a bit about the life of the people in this area and the relationship they have had with the main walled city. You’ll walk alleyways and see some of the famous street art in this bohemian neighborhood, before heading to the historic neighborhood of Manga, where you’ll see some of the most important colonial homes on the coast.
Finally, tour of some of the key landmarks in this city that was a key hub in Spain’s inter-continental empire and later instrumental to Colombian independence. You’ll walk through neighborhoods like the one Gabriel Garcia Marquez lived in and feel the atmosphere that helped inspire his magical realism. Stop by and check out the famous bóvedas, once a prison but now a collection of small artisanal and souvenir shops. Feel free to browse at your pace and head back through the streets to go shopping for emeralds, gold, jewelry, and high-end clothing.
After the sun goes down you can wander the beautiful lit streets of the walled city and experience one of the excellent restaurants that the city features.
Dinner Recommendation: Candé
The perfect complement for a day exploring the history of Cartagena is a night exploring the gastronomy of Cartagena. Candé serves exceptional, gourmet-quality coastal food giving you the best highlights of traditional flavors and dishes in Cartagena.
Day 9: Islas Del Rosario - Paradise In The Warm Caribbean Waters
Indulge yourself in the warm, crystal waters of the Caribbean to celebrate your last day in Cartagena.
Wake up early and enjoy some fruit on the pier while waiting for your boat to take you to one of the tiny islands of the Islas del Rosario, a small archipelago of 30 islands located about 60 miles out to sea from Cartagena.
Get ready to plunge into the depths of the warm waters as you pass by pristine reefs and look out for the invasive lion fish, eels, lobsters, and more. You’ll have some time to relax on your private boat stocked with snacks and refreshments. You can carve your path between the islands or spend some time on one of the white-sand beaches of the islands. You’ll have a fresh seafood lunch and water to refresh yourself as you beat back the heat of the day and get ready for your second dive.
You’ll enjoy tranquility away from the crowded beaches of Boca Grande and Playa Blanca.
In late afternoon, return to Cartagena to relax for the evening before settling in and getting ready for the trip back home.
Dinner Recommendation: La Cevichería
For those looking for a distinct Caribbean flair and fresh seafood, La Cevichería is the best-known local spot for a wonderful cup of on-the-spot made ceviche.
Day 9: Departure
On your final day, wake up early to enjoy your last morning in Colombia. Walk around the neighborhood, explore the old city walls, and enjoy some final bites of local cuisine. Explore Cartagena’s artisanal shops as we explain some of the traditional Colombian goods such as the “mochila” bags, a product hand-stitched by the indigenous peoples of the coast. Grab any last souvenirs or goods before we head to the airport and back home.
|Tour price per person||$4,650.00|