We also travel across the coffee growing region, performing unstrenuous climbs which carry you up near the crater of the volcano Nevado del Ruiz located at approximately 5000 meters altitude, and continuing towards the archaeological zone of San Agustín. Here, enigmatic stone figures stand in the middle of a spectacular landscape, and will carry participants back to the times of pre-Columbian culture.
Over deep abysses and high Andean Mountain peaks, the trip will then take you to the lively Caribbean Coast, visiting Cartagena, surely one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the whole of Latin America. A journey that packs a wide variety of experiences into a short space of time, and one that will amaze you at every turn.
Day 1: Arrival in Bogotá. Welcome by the bilingual travel guide and transfer to the Tequendama Hotel, a building that has been declared a national heritage site. Two nights, including breakfast buffet.
Day 2: Bogotá. During the day, tour through the capital, which is located along the Andes Mountain Range. The "Plaza de Bolívar" and the surrounding government buildings will be visited. The tour also includes the colonial center and old city of "La Candelaria". Visits to impressive churches like the San Francisco and La Tercera and the world-famous Museo del Oro, which contains more than 30000 gold artifacts and gives one an idea of the rich cultures of the pre-conquest era. Then, trip in cable car to Monserrate hill and "Nuestro Señor Caído" sanctuary, enjoying from the summit a spectacular view of Bogotá and the Savannah as the "high point" of the day.
Day 3: Bogotá – Nuquí (Pacific Coast). After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight from Bogotá with one stop in Medellín, destination Nuquí, a Pacific Coastal village. After a short walk around the hamlet, we board a small motor boat to make the one-hour crossing south along the coast to Coqui cove. This is the spectacular setting for the El Cantil cabaña, overlooking the sea. Three nights in the huts, including full lodging. Daily walks to the sea and to the deep and mysterious tropical forest around the cabaña.
"El Cantil" program: The combination of coast and jungle that is provided by the "El Cantil" site is one of the most interesting and varied jungle programs in South America. "El Cantil" consists of more than 8 rustic bungalows, all of which are equipped with shower baths, hammocks, mosquito nets and oil lamps in the rooms (electricity is only available in the restaurant). From each of the huts a fantastic marine and coastal landscape can be appreciated.
Meals are of a very high standard. There is also the possibility to practice diving and underwater exploration. The travel guide and the diving instructor are both excellent. Something new is programmed every day with different excursions to the jungle, beaches or sea.
Day 6: Nuquí (in the Pacific) – Coffee Region. After breakfast, return in a motor boat to Nuquí and transfer to the airport. Flight from Nuquí to Medellín, capital of the department of Antioquia. Overland through the coffee region to Pereira. On arrival, transfer to a beautiful coffee-growing hacienda located in the vicinity of Pereira. Two nights with full pension.
Day 7: Coffee region. Early in the morning, departure in jeep to the Snow Mountains, "Los Nevados" National Park aiming to arrive near the crater of the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, at the breathtaking altitude of 5400 meters. The journey takes us across a great diversity of climates and vegetation.
At 4700 meters there is snow which must be traversed on foot. Around noon, return trip to Pereira and entrance to the coffee growing territory. Here we will be able to learn in detail about the cultivation and processing of the mild coffee that grows in the Colombian Mountains.
Day 8: Coffee region – San Agustín. After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight to Neiva with one stop in Bogotá. After reaching Neiva, an overland journey of approximately 4/5 hours following the Magdalena River, in a continually changing mountainous landscape, till arriving at San Agustín. As soon as we reach the village, transfer to Yalconia Hotel. Three nights stay that includes American breakfasts.
Day 9: San Agustín. In the morning a complete visit to the "San Agustín Archaeological Park" touring Mesitas A-B-C and D, the ("Fuente Ceremonial de Lavapata" and the Archaeological Museum). In the afternoon, horseback ride to "El Tablón" and "La Chaquira" archaeological parks, or trip to a strait of the Magdalena River.
Day 10: San Agustín. After breakfast, trip to San José de Isnos, then to the "Archaeological Park", the "Alto de los ídolos", "Alto de las Piedras" and also the spectacular cascades of "Salto del Mortiño" and "Salto de Bordones". In the afternoon, return to San Agustín with time to look round the town.
Day 11: San Agustín – Cartagena. In the morning, overland trip trip back to Neiva. Flight from Neiva to Bogotá then to the Caribbean Coast, destination Cartagena. Welcome by the local travel guide. Transfer to the first class Caribe Hotel, located in Cartagena´s Bocagrande district, directly overlooking the beach. Rest of the day will be at tourist´s disposition.
Day 12: Cartagena. After breakfast, half day visit to Cartagena, one of the most impressive urban centers in Latin America, oozing Caribbean flair and joie de vivre. It is an ancient city constructed in the Spanish colonial style, surrounded by high defense walls soaked with history and culture. The tour takes us to the old city, whose historical buildings and plazas will be visited, including the "La Popa" convent and "San Felipe" castle. The afternoon will be free for you to lose yourself in the streets of old Cartagena or take a dip in the Carribean.
Day 13: Cartagena. Excursion to Islas del Rosario underwater national park, including lunch. Tour to San Martín Island natural aquarium. Opportunity to enjoy a dolphin and shark show. Continuation to the privately owned Pirate's Island. Here we will have time enough to swim, rest or go diving in the mild and crystalline waters of the Caribbean. Return to Cartagena in the course of the afternoon. In the evening we regroup for a meal at one of the splendid restaurants of the old town.
Day 14: Cartagena. Departure. In the course of the morning, transfer to the airport and flight, with one stop in Bogotá, back home. Alternatively continuation of trip to the beach resorts of Cartagena, Capurganá, Santa Marta San Andrés or Providencia.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Colombia History Whiz Archeology/History National Parks