Colombia Highlights Tour
Anyone who has ever seen the film “Romancing the Stone,” knows Colombia is a country rich in culture, immersed in magic and utterly alluring. On our 9-Day Pearls of Colombia Tour, you’ll experience its very best highlights.
Anyone who has ever seen the film “Romancing the Stone,” knows the Colombia highlights are rich in culture, immersed in magic and utterly alluring. On our 9-Day Pearls of Colombia Tour, you’ll experience its very best highlights, including Bogota, the coffee region, Cartagena and the Rosario Islands, as you sight-see through not one, not two, but THREE UNESCO sites in one beautiful country. Start in the capital city of Bogota, where you’ll have the chance to choose a private full-day tour tailored to your individual tastes. Then, head outside the city to the coffee region, where you’ll stay at a working farm amidst scenic landscapes and the finest coffee in the world. Finally, arrive at the Caribbean coast and the iconic Walled City of Cartagena, where you’ll also have a day to go island-hopping in a pristine national preserve.
5 Star Accommodation
Day 1: Bogota
Home to nearly 8 million people, the Colombian capital city of Bogota is the friendly beating heart of a country on the mend. Though it was founded the 1500s and houses many iconic buildings of architectural and historical value, Bogota also is the fastest growing city in all of Latin America and is renowned for its abundant libraries and universities, as well as its rich culture. In addition to its vibrant urban atmosphere and old world ambiance, Bogota also is nestled amongst the impressive Andes mountain range, meaning it’s surrounded by truly stunning natural landscapes that make it the ideal start to a Colombian holiday.
During your two-night stay in this UNESCO World Book Capital city, you’ll stay in the midst of Old Town La Candelaria at The Orchids Hotel. Here, you’ll find classical sophistication in the hotel’s eight all-suite accommodations. Built in 1892, the hotel is housed in what, formerly, was a Neo-Classical Republican style home, and remarkably preserved interior detailing is prevalent throughout the hotel.
Most flights arrive in the afternoon, and it takes roughly an hour for your private transfer the hotel, so we’ve left this afternoon at leisure. If you arrive early and are up for it, we recommend a stroll through this lively city, and we’re happy to make dinner reservations for you if you wish (dinner not included).
Today, your flight will arrive at Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado, where you’ll be greeted for a private transfer to check-in at The Orchids.
Day 2: Bogota
As day two begins, you’ll meet your private English speaking guide in the hotel lobby to set off on a private city highlights tour to get an up-close look at the cultural of the city. Your guide will help you to understand the social dynamics of the city, the secret of Bogotano daily life and all the interesting aspects of Colombian society.
Your private full-day tour is tailored to your tastes, but some things we recommend include:
Visit the Montserrate Sanctuary for a unique view of the city.
Take a trip to the Gold Museum, where more than 34,000 pieces of gold are housed from 13 different pre-Hispanic civilizations. We can arrange a one-hour stop over here with a restoration expert.
Try the best street food and tropical fruits in a local market.
Admire works of art at the Botero Museum, or take a full art tour with a specialist.
Learn about the Jewish history of the city.
Get a unique perspective on the architectural history of the city with a local architect.
Visit the botanical gardens (we can arrange for a biologist to meet you).
Learn about coffee production at a local coffee shop.
Take a salsa lesson then head out for Bogota salsa night.
Hike to Cerro de la Virgen (two-hour hike).
Please note some items require specific guides and can not be grouped together.
Day 3: Coffee Region
It’s Day 3 of your Pearls of Colombia vacation, and you’re heading to the Colombian coffee region via domestic direct flight from Bogota to Armenia, where you’ll check in to Hacienda Bambusa. The flight is approximately 30 minutes. The transfer to the airport is private, but the flight is a regional carrier. Private chartered aircraft is available for an additional fee.
Also known as “the coffee triangle,” Colombia’s coffee region is located in the rural Paisa region and its three departments. This area is internationally recognized as producing some of the finest coffee in the world, but it wasn’t that long ago the area was all but impossible to visit for outsiders. Today, the coffee region is a rich and wonderful destination with a year-round mild climate and very friendly residents. While in the coffee region for the next three nights, you’ll be staying in Armenia at Hacienda Bambusa.
A working farm nestled amongst nearly 400 acres of idyllic rolling vistas and an artful backdrop of the imposing Andes, Hacienda Bambusa boasts seven spacious and comfortable guest rooms that provide an oasis of natural beauty and tranquility. Here, you’ll be completely immersed in stunning landscapes and the cultural heritage of the country.
Days 4 and 5: Coffee Region
You’ll awake on Day 4 to find you have two full days to explore all the region has to offer from your home base at Hacienda Bambusa. All private excursions are included in the tour rates, and you will be able to select your favorite each day with your private on-site guide. Some of our favorites include:
Take a welcome hike to see the cacao plantations, the bamboo forest and learn a bit about the local flora and fauna.
See the breathtaking scenery via horseback or mountain bike.
Enjoy the Andes experience as you go sightseeing from village to village.
Hike the Cocoa Valley and witness the tallest wax palms in the world.
Float down the river on a bamboo raft.
Go zip lining for an aerial view of the region.
Get up, up and away in a hot air balloon.
Whatever you decide, you’ll get up close and personal with awe-inspiring scenery, including rivers, creeks, bamboo forests, exotic flowers and farm-raised crops like plantains, bananas, tangerines and ginger as far as the eye can see. When your day is done, head back to the hacienda to lounge by the pool or dine on haute cuisine at the property’s delectable restaurant helmed by Chef Vanesa Quintana.
Day 6: Cartagena
After two full days of exploring Colombia’s scenic coffee region from Hacienda Bambusa, you’ll have the morning to rest and relax before heading out en route to the emerald city - Cartagena! You’ll begin with a 30-minute private transfer to Armenia’s airport of the connection through Bogota before arriving in Cartagena, where you’ll enjoy a private transfer to your hotel!
Located on the spectacularly beautiful and ever popular Caribbean coast, Cartagena de Indias is a UNESCO World Historical and Cultural Heritage site that evokes history frozen in time in the walled Old Town and a surprisingly modern port city just beyond. It’s a truly magical place that seems to spellbind guests with folklore, romance beauty and authentic charm dating back to the 1600s. From the alluring hustle and bustle of Old Town to the stylish ambiance of its trendy beach communities, Cartagena is home to an irresistible mesh of Afro-Caribbean culture and a warm and friendly citizenry.
During your stay in this globally-renowned city, you’ll discover Colonial Cartagena and make unforgettable memories in the luxury boutique hotel, Casa San Agustin. Here, you’ll enjoy an opulent yet intimate trio of historic buildings lovingly restored to accent the city’s fresh style and lively Caribbean atmosphere. The hotel features 24 guest rooms and six large suites in the heart of Cartagena’s Old Town.
Once you’ve checked into Casa San Agustin, you’ll begin to explore this magical city on a walking tour of the walled old city. Once back at the hotel, you might like to take a plunge in your private plunge pool or Jacuzzi (in select rooms) or set out on a culinary odyssey at the hotel’s Alma Restaurant. Stylish locals, who love the sophisticated menu and fresh ingredients, regularly are spotted dining here either al fresco by candlelight or indoors.
Day 7: Cartagena
As Day 7 begins to unfold, you’ll be whisked away on our private full-day specially-designed tour created to allow you to not just “see the city” but truly experience it like a local does. It’s our “Live the City Tour,” and you’re going to have the opportunity to experience local street food, sip coffee on the Square, get educated about the city’s amazing art scene through its galleries and, of course, see the iconic landmarks and monuments of this amazing city.
In addition to the above, you can choose one of the following excursions at no extra charge:
Private salsa lesson followed by a salsa club crawl.
Go fly-boarding or kite-surfing on the Caribbean (not recommended for beginners).
Take an art tour with a specialist.
Go bird watching via canoe (this is an early morning trip).
Golf at a local course.
Caribbean Rum tasting.
Peddle out on a bike tour of the hip up-and-coming Getsemani neighborhood.
Enjoy a cooking class with a local chef with a trip to a local market.
Day 8: Rosario Islands
It’s Day 8 of your Pearls of Colombia dream vacation, and you’re about to head off shore to the spectacular Rosario Islands on a full-day privately-chartered boat tour (yachts and motorboats available - the picture here is the VIP option, but there are others as well).
Only an hour by boat from Cartagena, the Rosario Islands are an archipelago of 27 coral reef islands that seem a world away. Here, you’ll find the National Rosario and San Bernardo Coral Nature Park— home to crystal blue waters, breathtaking natural landscapes and a marine ecosystem that’s been called a “marvel of nature” due to its biological diversity.
Today, watch the seawater change color right before your eyes, as you sail through the archipelago, before stopping along the way for lunch. snorkeling and, of course, some beach lounging.
The day’s completely private itinerary includes:
8am: Pick up at your hotel.
8:30am: Board the yacht to sail the Caribbean.
10am: Snorkel around the islands (locations determined by skill of guests).
11am: Enjoy cocktails, snacks and fruit while sailing onboard with private chef.
12pm: Stop for an oceanfront lunch and relaxation at a scenic beach resort.
3pm: Return to Cartagena and the hotel for an evening at your leisure.
Times may be adjusted and the program is flexible, so please ask the captain for changes you may enjoy.
Day 9: Departure from Cartagena
After your last breakfast in Colombia, you’ll take a private transfer back to the Rafael Nuñez International Airport in Cartagena for the return flight home.