Bogotá – Calanoa – Santa Marta
9 Days / 8 Nights
|Don Pepe||Santa Marta||4 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 (the Amazon)
- 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 the time of arrival we can schedule activities, orientations, and dinner reservations. Welcome to Colombia! You are going to have one of the most memorable trips of your life!
Day 2: Arrival and Transport by Boat Through The Amazon
Welcome to Leticia, the southernmost point of Colombia! Everything you see on the other side of the river is Peru, and in a short 10-minute taxi ride you can enjoy a fresh made caiparinha in Brazil.
After a morning of flying you’ll arrive in Leticia, the Colombian capital of the department of El Amazonas where you’ll be greeted at the airport by a member of True Colombia Travel as well as our local host, Sergio. You’ll then be shuttled over to the local pier.
From Leticia take a boat out on the Amazon river toward the amazing Calanoa lodge. As you head down the river glance shots of wild pink river dolphins playing in the different tributaries of the river and the various pueblos that line the way.
As you arrive to Calanoa you’ll have a chance to get a better perspective of your surroundings by climbing up a large lookout point to gain access to rarely seen views well above the tree line.
As you take in the surrounding sea of trees you’ll have a chance to take a short hike to look for animals and medicinal plants, shop for artisanal crafts, or rest up.
Once night falls, you’ll have a local Amazonian dinner before putting on some knee-high mud boots and head out with your guide for a night safari, featuring all the breeds of wildlife that come out at night, such as the most poisonous frog in the Amazon!
Dinner Recommendation: All meals in the Amazon included in the package, we suggest trying to eat Pirarucú, the second largest fresh water fish in the world and one of the most incredible tastes in the Amazon!
Day 3: The "Flooded Jungle"
After breakfast head out on speed boat to check out some of the Amazon’s hidden lakes. The pools are incredibly deep and large during the wet season, but completely dry during the drought season, revealing the bases of 100-foot trees that appear like young brush in the wet season.
You guide will stop to spot sloths, exotic birds, and tropical fruit that hangs above the water line, enticing the plethora of wildlife in the area to come forward. As your boat glides along the water keep an eye out for the different pink river dolphins hunting in the area. If you are lucky you might spot a manatee in the water or a tapir along the banks.
After a short ride, grab your fishing poles and get ready to fish for piranhas, using chicken meat as bait! You’ll learn how to simulate struggling animals to attract the fish and try your hand at catching a decent sized one for dinner.
Afterwards, you’ll head back to the village for lunch and to take a short time to rest before heading out on a jungle hike to spot more wildlife.
As the afternoon wanes, jump back into the boat and head out into one of the lakes or tributaries and jump in the water to cool off! Don’t worry, the piranhas won’t bite here.
You’ll then head to a small village of the Tikuna indigenous peoples where you’ll sleep for the night. You’’ have dinner with a local family whose customs are far different than what you might expect. The Tikuna are shy but very hospitable. After dinner you’ll head out with a member of the tribe to search for caiman.
Both black and white caiman live in the area and with some luck your guide will pluck one out of the water for you to touch, before quietly gliding back across the dark water to your beds for the night.
Day 4: The "Highland Jungle"
Take a walk on the wild side as you hike through virgin jungle learning about the native trees and medicinal plants that grow in the area.
Arrive at a small wildlife preserve run by an indigenous family where you can play with their howler monkey, put a wild macaw on your shoulder, or head to their small recovery pond to check out caiman, pirirucu fish, dragon fish, and other endangered species in recovery. You can even throw food to the caiman recuperating in the pond and watch them eat.
Here you’ll enjoy a fresh and authentic lunch served in the home of the area’s caretakers before resting for an hour or two in a hammock (it’s hot, you’ll be ready to rest!).
After your nap, continue through the forest where you’ll see wild acai berries growing alongside thousand-year-old ceibu trees. You’ll learn about the importance of these trees to the local eco-system and have a chance to talk with your guide about local legends and customs related to nature. Although the terrain is harsh and sometimes dangerous, indigenous people have lived in this wilderness for generations.
Afterwards, take a small workshop on indigenous crafts, learn about the mysterious king of the Amazon, the anaconda, or head out back on the water for more activities.
In the evening head out for another night safari to see the change in animals that live at a slightly different elevation, including a plethora of different spiders, snakes, frogs, birds, and other night creatures.
Day 5: Tabatinga and Departure
The Amazon is mysterious and powerful but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore the city!
After breakfast you’ll take a boat back to Leticia to head across the border into Brazil. This incredible area of the Amazon includes an enormous open border and you’ll finish your time having visited Perú, having stayed in Colombia and now visiting the small town of Tabating Brazil.
In a short time you’ll see the immediate change in culture as signs, currency, food, and drink all change. We’ll swing by a short viewpoint along the river to get an idea of the geography and enjoy a typical caiparhina Brazilian cocktail.
Afterwards, we’ll head back to Leticia for lunch before heading back to the airport. You’ll be flying all the way up to the Caribbean, and the second oldest city in South America, Santa Marta!
Once you arrive you’ll have time to check in and settle in before wandering the pier and checking out the gorgeous sunset over the waters of the Atlantic.
Day 6: Santa Maria - Diving Through The Caribbean
Wake up to the warm sun and white-sand beaches of Santa Marta as you prepare to discover a world beneath the waves. You’ll be transported over to a dive shop in the neighborhood of Rodadero to be fitted for scuba gear. You will receive a briefing on basic diving principles and safety regulations. If you’re certified you’ll also learn a little about the dive sites.
Then, head out on a speed-boat for two dives off of Santa Marta and the giant park-reserve, Tayrona. In the clear waters you’ll spot lion fish, sea turtles, eels, and a tons of bright colorful coral. If the conditions are right, you can dive deeper to a sunken ship that now provides a natural reef for other sea life.
Feel free to dive together or split into two groups based on your certification levels. If you are not certified, your first dive will include a session on diving basics such as mask-clearing, breathing, bouyancy, and other principles of diving before enjoying a mini-immersion.
After a quick snack and rest, you’ll both return to the water for a second full immersion.
As the afternoon pushes on, you’ll return to the dive shop and be driven back to the historic center of Santa Marta to enjoy a late lunch, and wander the historic district walking in and out of various shops and craft stores. You can check out some of the famous mochila bags, hand-stitched by the local indigenous tribes.
Dinner Recommendation: Ouzo – Located right on the popular Parque de Los Novios (Park of the Couples) in the historic district of Santa Marta, Ouzo offers indoor or outdoor sitting in a comfortable ambient with great service. The menu features a wide range of Mediterranean-style cuisine from seafood to pizza to pasta. In particular, the grill octopus appetizer is excellent. The scene is a popular place for Colombians of all varieties.
Day 7: Adventure Through Parque Tayrona
Covering over 30,000 acres of land and 7,400 acres of sea Parque Tayrona includes everything from white sandy beaches in its bays, to rainforest, to snowcapped peaks just 40 kilometers inland.
Get a taste for the natural wonder as you hike through forest learning about the flora and fauna of the area and cool off in local rivers and waterfalls as you completely immerse yourself with a totally different eco-system.
At the entrance to the park you’ll watch a short, mandatory video about the park service’s work in the area and the multitude of species that live in Tayrona. This land is sacred to the three principal indigenous tribes that still live in the park, and the park is closed each month to let the wildlife recover and for the tribes to have space away from tourists.
As you finally move through the forest, listen as howler monkeys scream in the background and pass by enormous nests of animals that make their homes in the surrounding trees. As you reach the edge of the forest you’ll have the option to hike for a few hours or take a 1.5-hour horseback ride through the forest and past homes of the indigenous peoples.
Keep your eye out for one of the 56 endangered species of animal that lives in the park including eagles, parrots, tiger cats, and tamarins.
Seemingly out of nowhere you’ll break through the forest line to beautiful coastline with bright blue waters. Continue on to “La Piscina” beach or if the weather permits, to Cabo. If you wish you can try some of the wonderful bread cooked in these forests in traditional ovens, folded over with local dulce de leche mixed inside.
After a local fresh and late fish lunch prepare to head back through the forest toward your transport back to Santa Marta.
Dinner Recommendation: Lulo – Named after one of the signature exotic fruits of Colombia, Lulo is one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Nestled in an alley in the historic district downtown, Lulo is a great place to meet people, listen to live music on the street and wander the downtown area. The simple menu offers organic sandwiches, wraps, and drinks.
Day 8: The Pristine Beaches of Tayrona
After a huge adventure the day before, it’s time to kick back and relax on a movie-set quality beach.
Once you’ve finished with breakfast, you’ll head to the beach in Santa Marta to catch a private speed boat out to one of Parque Tayrona’s best, sparsely visited, and pristine beaches. The long white sand lining is complemented by warm and cystal clear waters, with towering green, tropical mountains in the background.
Unlike the exploration from the previous day, your task today is to relax! You’ll have a shaded cover to sit under while the locals bring you a cooler full of water, soda, and juice. You’ll also have the chance to choose from a menu of fresh sea-food lunches prepared at the hour of your choosing.
The beaches are also wonderful places to snorkel so feel free to grab a mask and fins and swim out to see what you can find.
In the mid to late afternoon, once you’ve had your fill, the boat will take you back to Santa Marta to relax for your last evening on the coast.
Dinner Recommendation: Donde Chucho
One of the most well-known and popular spots in Santa Marta, Donde Chucho offers traditional coastal food and ceviche. A truly excellent spot to try cazuela de mariscos!
Day 9: Departure
On your final day, wake up early to enjoy your last morning in Colombia. Walk around the neighborhood, explore the coffee shops and streets of Santa Marta, and enjoy some final bites of local cuisine. Explore the city’s 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. We will then get you a flight back to Bogotá for your final flight back home.
|Tour price per person||$3,150.00|