Colombian Coffee and Culture Touroffered by supplier M16432 (read about supplier)
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 99 people
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 4747 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5903 US Dollar (USD)
Begin this fantastic experience with a visit to the high elevation city of Bogota. Relax and acclimate before a lovely half day tour of the city. Starting in the city’s main square, continuing into the old colonial part of the city. The tour finishes with a trip in a cable car to the top of the Monserrate Hill, offering a spectacular view of the city. In the afternoon, enjoy an explosive tejo game, the Colombian national sport! Metal discs are thrown at the targets, small explosive charges of gunpowder wrapped in paper. The goal is to hit these Mechas with the Tejo, making the target explode! Going hand and hand with the sport is the consumption of beer, which is included with the tour.
Leaving Bogota to the north, cross the savanna landscape to the town of Zipaquira, to visit the fully functioning, underground Salt Cathedral just before experiencing a typical national dish with a typical Colombian middle class Family. Transfer to their home for an evening of learning and laughter. After a cup of coffee it is time to drive back to the local hotel.
Day 1: Bogota
Reception at Bogota airport and transfer to the selected Bogota hotel. The elevation in Bogota is approximately 2640 meters (8660 feet), so it is highly recommended to rest upon arrival for a few hours, and avoiding alcohol, caffeine or heavy meals. Please consult with a physician for additional details.
Day 2: Bogota City Walking Tour
After breakfast, take a half day city tour of Bogota. This guided visit to the Colombian capital starts in the Plaza de Bolivar (the city's main square), which is surrounded by federal government buildings, and continues into the old colonial part of the city better known as "La Candelaria", the San Francisco Church and the Gold Museum (closed on Mondays). The tour finishes with a trip in a cablecar to the top of the Monserrate Hill, which offers a spectacular view of the city.
In the afternoon, enjoy a tejo game, the Colombian national sport. Playing tejo requires great ability and concentration. It is the designated national pastime of Colombia, a sport invented by the Chibcha Indians. Metal discs are thrown at the targets, and those targets embedded in sand are small explosive charges of gunpowder wrapped in paper known as mechas. The goal is to hit these Mechas with the Tejo, so that the black powder will explode. Enjoy a private transport from the hotel in the afternoon to one of Bogota's tejo venues. These are very rustic authentic places, where beer consumption is known to go hand in hand with the sport. Tour includes two beers per person.
Day 3: Zipaquira's Underground Salt Cathedral
Leaving Bogota to the north, cross the savanna landscape to the town of Zipaquira, about 50 km away. Upon arrival visit the fully functioning Salt Cathedral. This unique building was constructed approximately 120 meters underground in a former salt mine. The trip ends with a visit to Zipaquira's charming central square. In the evening, experience a typical national dish in typical Colombian middle class Family. After the transfer to their house take the time to talk with the family members about different topics of the current living conditions in Colombia. A great start to get in contact with the Colombian culture and to explore the everyday life of Colombians. For dinner is the typical main dish of Bogota, the Ajiaco, a Chicken and Potato Soup. Colombian food is very diverse and each region of the country has its own characteristic of food. After a cup of coffee it is time to drive back to the local hotel.
Day 4: Bogota - Pereira
At the appropriate time, be met at the Bogota hotel and transferred to the airport for the flight to Pereira. Reception at Pereira airport and transfer to the selected Pereira hotel. In the evening, get to know the diversity of Colombia through its food, guided by a local expert. Sit down to cook a typical Colombian dish and enjoy a firsthand experience of local life.
Day 5: Pereira
After breakfast, visit Filandia, (known for basket weaving and its "antioqueno" architecture), and the Cocora Valley. With breathtaking landscapes, this is one of the most beautiful valleys in Colombia. Here, one will find the impressive "Palma de Cera", the official Colombian national tree and one of the tallest species of palm in the world. On the way back to the hotel, visit Salento, a picturesque village with artisanal and crafts shops.
Day 6: Pereira - Manizales - Salamina
After breakfast at the hotel, take a visit to the coffee growing farm Hacienda Venecia near Manizales, including a technical and practical introduction to the coffee cultivation and production process. Continue with an overland transfer to the town of Salamina (historical and cultural heritage of Colombia), stopping in the towns of Neira and Aranzazu. This trip offers spectacular landscape of canyons and mountains with multiple shades of green. Upon arriving in Salamina transfer to a pleasant hotel to spend the evening; breakfast included. Continue with a walking city tour in the beautiful town of Salamina.
Day 7: Salamina - Medellin
After breakfast, overland transfer to Medellin, to a pleasant hotel to spend the next two nights. Slightly more than 20 years ago, Medellin was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Back in the early 90s, hunting for Pablo Escobar, the head of Medellin's drug cartel was at its peak. Thus the reign of "El Patron" came to its end. Until the turn of the millennium the struggles about Escobar's successor continued, but since 2002 Medellin began to change. Intelligent local politicians started to invest heavily in infrastructure and public education - successfully. Today the "City of Eternal Spring" is one of the most innovative metropolises in the world. Enjoy an exciting tour through the history and present of Medellin and learn more about the transformation of this fascinating metropolis. The tour will be with private and public transportation.
Day 8: Local Market Experience
Explore the colorful center of Medellin and visit some of its typical local market areas. Stroll through stalls brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers at Medellin's local market "La Minorista". Try exotic fruits and interact with the local vendors bargaining for a good price. Explore the world of the local markets discovering the tiny corridors full of flavors and exotic products and typical Colombian food. Taste a variety of delicious tropical fruits and finish the trip with a 100% pure fruit juice. Take on a stunning insider's trip through the "authentic" center of Medellin!
Day 9: Medellin - Cartagena
At the appropriate time, be met at the selected Medellin hotel and transferred to the Medellin airport for the flight to Cartagena. Reception at the Cartagena airport and transfer to the selected Cartagena hotel. In the evening, experience the colonial era with a tour in horse drawn carriages and admire the beauty of Cartagena. Enjoy the walled city and its balconies illuminated by lanterns. Be entertained with the marvelous stories of each of the streets of the Old City, narrated by the carriage driver, and conclude this romantic evening in one of the best restaurants in the Old City. Dinner at La Vitrola where one may enjoy live music (Cuban) and an exquisite menu featuring Caribbean fusion cuisine or Brujas de Cartagena, where diners can enjoy typical live music every weekend accompanied with a pisco sour and an exquisite Peruvian menu. (Please note that transportation back to the hotel is not included).
Day 10: City Tour of Cartagena
This fascinating half-day tour starts with the visit of the most important monuments of Cartagena. We start at the Convent of La Popa (the highest point of the city) and continue to the Castillo de San Felipe, an immense fort filled with history and mysteries hidden in its stonewalled tunnels. Leaving the castle, we visit the monument of Zapatos Viejos, the "Old Shoes". During the rest of the visit, see the city's churches, museums, plazas, restaurants, shops and jewelry stores. This combination of treasures makes Cartagena deserving of the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site: Visitors will never forget this wonderful destination. In the afternoon, visit the Totumo Volcano, known for its medicinal properties. The Volcano is 20 meters high with basic wooden steps up to its crater at the top. The mud is said to have exfoliation properties cleansing the skin.
Day 11: Cartagena
At the appropriate time, be met at the Cartagena hotel and transferred to the Cartagena airport for the flight home. Check-out at the hotel is at 12:00 pm. Late check-out may be available directly at the hotel subject to availability. One may store their luggage at the hotel until the time that they are ready to leave for the airport.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
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