Trip Type : N/A
Classic Colombia tour
Bogota Cartagena Classic Colombia Trip

Classic Colombia

Tucan Travel
4.4 . Great
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
14 days
From: $ 1,185 $ 85 / day
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  • Zapiquira Salt Cathedral
  • Visit Tatacoa Desert
  • Guided tour of San Agustin Archaeological Park
  • Visit to Taironaka Archaeological Ruins
  • Tayrona National Park (see note above)

Short Description

A feisty country with some of the most stunning landscapes, adventurers have been drawn to Colombia for many years. This two week tour, all done on comfortable private transport and four internal flights, will take you to some of the country’s highlights as we wander through colonial cities, roam through wildlife-rich national parks which hide sun-kissed beaches and uncover the fascinating ancient stone monuments of San Agustín.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Bogota
End City Cartagena

Travel Theme

Cultural High Adventure



Cities & Attractions

Bogota Cartagena



Good for Singles
No Single Supplement
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Trip Includes

  • 13 Breakfast(s), 1 Dinner(s)
  • Flight(s), River Boat, Private Vehicle

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Day 1 to 1 Arrive Bogotá

Bienvenido! We begin our tour in Bogotá, the capital and largest city of Colombia. Colonial buildings give way to modern skyscrapers, the Andean peaks sit tranquilly in the backdrop and the many parks provide sanctuary from the hustle and bustle. You are free to arrive today at your leisure and start enjoying this wonderful city. There will be a pre departure meeting tonight to meet your tour leader and fellow travellers.

We will be staying in the Candelaria district, an excellent location within walking distance of many of the main sights including the main square - Plaza Bolívar, the Cathedral and Simón Bolívar's house. You may like to take the funicular to Monserrate for the incredible city views, or visit the world famous gold museum. A recommended activity would be the graffiti tour where you can explore some of the famous street art that adorns the city's walls. Another highlight is visiting the Botero Museum to see some of the artist's work depicting people and objects in large formats.

Day 2 to 2 Villa de Leyva

Leaving Bogotá we drive to Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, a wonderful cathedral built underground within the tunnels of a salt mine. It is often a place of pilgrimage and on Sundays can attract 3000 people to worship. After exploring this unique church we will continue our journey, driving to the quaint town, Villa de Leyva.

This attractive town was founded in 1572 and has been preserved well, with virtually no modern architectural influences at all, as a National Monument by the Colombian Government. You'll have time to enjoy its charming colonial plaza, exploring the narrow streets and private courtyards. Get talking to some of the locals, Colombians are some of the friendliest people in South America and are always happy to show you their way of life.

Approximate Travel Times: 1.5hrs to the Salt Cathedral followed by 3hrs to Villa de Leyva in a private vehicle.

Day 3 to 3 Villa de Leyva

Today you are free to enjoy the town. You could opt to book a day tour which visits various locations that surround Villa de Leyva including the unique dinosaur fossil museum. The countryside here is famous for its fossil discoveries and the museum houses many bones which have been collected over the years. You can also visit the fascinating Terracotta House which wouldn't look out of place in The Flintstones. The house is made entirely of red clay and makes for some really unique photos!

You can also take hikes or biking tours around the area to admire the countryside.

Day 4 to 4 Fly to Neiva & Transfer to Villavieja

Leaving Villa de Leyva, we drive back to Bogotá where we catch a short flight to Neiva. From here we will drive to Villavieja, a small town which is the gateway for visiting the Tatacoa Desert. Actually a tropical dry forest, the Tatacoa is the second largest arid area in Colombia and is a popular attraction for those wanting to experience its surreal rock formations and unique landscape. Red hues stretch out as far as the eye can see and it's hard to believe this region was once a lush forest overflowing with vegetation!

We visit the desert where you will have time to capture some great photos and learn more about the area. We will then return to our accommodation in Villavieja for the evening. Villavieja itself is a lovely authentic Colombian town which offers unparalleled tranquillity and a unique insight into this lesser known area of Colombia.

Approximate Travel Times: 4hrs to Bogota to the airport (private vehicle), 1hr flight to Neiva and 1.15hr transfer to Villavieja (private vehicle)

Day 5 to 5 San Agustin

We have a scenic journey, travelling for approximately seven hours to San Agustín, an area known for the pre-Columbian sites with many fascinating statues. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, little is known about the communities that carved these statues apart from the few traces of their existence that they left behind. Arriving in the late afternoon, you will have the remainder of the day to relax.

When you are not exploring the archaeological site, you can enjoy the stunning green landscape, hike through the hills or take a jeep tour.

Approximate Travel Times: 7hrs in a private vehicle.

Day 6 to 6 San Agustin

Today we will have a guided tour through the San Agustín Archaeological Park. There are hundreds of these statues to see spread over a huge area as well as many ancient burial sites. The pre-Columbian community was eventually replaced by a new group of people who arrived possibly from the Amazon region in the late eighth century bringing in more complex agriculture practises. The parks also have some amazing views of the valley.

Day 7 to 7 Fly to Cali

Today we make our way to the airport to head to the the vibrant city of Cali. A short flight allows us to cut down on travel time giving you plenty hours to experience this captivating and energetic place.

Famous for their obsession with salsa, Cali has a large Afro-Colombian culture and a passion for Latin music. Admire La Ermita, a church famous for its Gothic style architecture before soaking up the lively atmosphere in the Barrio de San Antonio area. Here you can get great views of the city from the top of the hill as well as having a host of restaurants and bars.

Cali also has the perfect climate for growing all sorts of fruits and you will find vendors selling everything from green mango to mora (a cross between a raspberry and blackberry) with plenty more exotic fruits on offer. Or why not try the local delicacy of pandebono, a cheesy bread sold in bakeries and cafes throughout the city.

Into the evening, follow the infectious sounds of the city and join in with a nightclub salsa dance as the locals shimmy the night away. If dancing is not your thing, you can still experience the atmosphere by watching a local show!

Approximate Travel Times 1hr transfer to the airport followed by 1hr flight to Cali.

Day 8 to 8 Cali

Today you are free to enjoy the sights and sounds of Cali. Why not take a guided city tour to learn about the history and culture of this spirited corner of the world, or if you prefer to learn about a destination through your taste buds you could book onto a foodie tour and learn the secrets behind some of the most popular Colombian cuisine.

If you would like a more tranquil activity you could visit Andoke, a huge butterfly farm located just outside of the city. It is home to 15 different species with a series of walkways connecting the different parts. A staff nember will explain everything about the flora and fauna of the garden and you could even see all stages - from cocoons to caterpillars!

Day 9 to 9 Fly to Taironaka Nature Reserve

This morning we take off our dancing shoes and head to the more peaceful archaeological ruins of Taironaka. After a short flight we arrive in the early afternoon with plenty of time to explore these ancient wonders.

Taironaka is a relatively unknown area in northern Colombia and the perfect place to get off the beaten track. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the stunning nature reserve is home to a lush and tropical landscape that echos Colombian beauty.

Taironaka was home to the ancient Tayrona civilisation and the ruins remain to this day, with small buildings arranged around terraced stone circles showing the social hierarchy at the time. The reserve is reached by a short boat trip heading up the Don Diego river, another perfect opportunity to experience the tranquility of the rainforest. If you’re still spinning from the rhythm of Cali, take this opportunity to relax in one of the many hammocks on the grounds with your favourite book.

Come evening enjoy an included group meal, trying various typical dishes from the region. Kick back to the sounds of nature and enjoy your peaceful night as we stay in the heart of the rainforest in the quaint Ecohotel. Inspired by the indigenous constructions with their thatched roofs and rustic architecture, we guarantee the authentic charm of the place will draw you in.

Day 10 to 10 Tayrona National Park & Santa Marta

A short transfer from Taironaka will bring us to our day trip to Tayrona National Park which boasts some of the best coastline on the whole continent. It is a few hours of moderate hiking to reach the secluded beaches where roads and cars have no access. The guided walk will take us through the dense rainforest, stumbling across its many residents from the animal and bug kingdom. You can snorkel in the reefs with magnificent tropical fish and marine life or enjoy fresh food from the local food stalls. Tayrona National Park is a chance to recharge your batteries. To enter Tayrona National Park it is suggested you have a valid yellow fever certificate, however this is not necessary.

After a day in the park we arrive at the oldest city in Colombia and the first one settled by the Spanish, Santa Marta. The city has an important historical centre and a beautiful old town, and is a popular destination for Colombian tourists.

IMPORTANT: In 2020 between the dates of 1st and 15th February, 1st and 15th June, and 19th October and 2nd November , Tayrona National Park will be closed while the indigenous communities are given the time to clean the park and perform traditional rituals within its parameters. If you are travelling while the park is closed you will have a different but equally exciting tour inside Taironaka Nature Reserve where you will be escorted by a local guide for a short walk through the lush rainforest, and will then have the relaxing experience of tubing down the Dondieguito river while taking in the local flora and fauna. The river is shallow and very calm so it is not necessary to be an advanced swimmer to enjoy this unique experience.

Day 11 to 11 Santa Marta

Today you are free to enjoy Santa Marta. Due to its coastal location Santa Marta was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia.

You could opt to book a day trip visiting Minca, where you can get up close and personal with nature. Think organic coffee farms, breath-taking waterfalls and exciting jungle hikes. Part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the trip offers various activities that give you another taste of the beautiful Colombian countryside.

Day 12 to 12 Cartagena

Cartagena is one of the most interesting colonial towns on the continent and where the film Romancing the Stone was based. Founded in 1533, it was strategically placed so that it could act as the main port for trade between Spain and the Spanish Empire.

You have time to wander the fascinating narrow streets adorned with wooden balconies and hanging plants. There are several interesting sites to see such as a visit to Castillo San Felipe and the fortress on San Lazaro hill. Beneath this fortress is a maze of tunnels and there are still cannons in place along the battlements.

Approximate Travel Times: 4.5hrs in a private vehicle.

Day 13 to 13 Cartagena

Today is free at your leisure to enjoy Cartagena. Worthwhile is a trip up La Popa hill to visit the colourful convent with great views over the city.

The Boca Grande area of Cartagena is where Colombians come for their beach holidays and it is full of shops, nightclubs and bars. Near Cartagena is the Volcán de Lodo El Totumo, a mud volcano where you can relax and wallow in the mud, which is believed to be a good treatment for the skin.

You could also visit the Rosario Islands, located around one hour from Cartagena. Picture crystal blue waters, lush greenery, straw beach huts and delicious fresh seafood. These islands are essentially a Caribbean paradise - all accessible on a short day trip from Cartagena!

Day 14 to 14 Depart Cartagena

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.


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Price From $ 1,185
Price Per Day: $ 85 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Aug-17-2019Aug-31-2019$ 1,669NoLimited Reserve
Aug-31-2019Sep-14-2019$ 1,210Yes7+ Reserve
Oct-12-2019Oct-26-2019$ 1,635Yes7+ Reserve
Oct-26-2019Nov-09-2019$ 1,185Yes7+ Reserve
Nov-09-2019Nov-23-2019$ 1,729Yes7+ Reserve
Nov-23-2019Dec-07-2019$ 1,729Yes7+ Reserve
Dec-07-2019Dec-21-2019$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
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Jan-04-2020Jan-18-2020$ 1,824Yes7+ Reserve
Jan-18-2020Feb-01-2020$ 1,824Yes7+ Reserve
Feb-01-2020Feb-15-2020$ 1,824Yes7+ Reserve
Feb-15-2020Feb-29-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
Feb-29-2020Mar-14-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
Mar-14-2020Mar-28-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
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Apr-11-2020Apr-25-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
Apr-25-2020May-09-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
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Jul-18-2020Aug-01-2020$ 1,795Yes7+ Reserve
Aug-01-2020Aug-15-2020$ 1,795No7+ Reserve
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Sep-12-2020Sep-26-2020$ 2,459Yes7+ Reserve
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12 night(s) in hotels, 1 night(s) in a jungle eco-lodge

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Trip Excludes

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Array
  • Array
  • Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

Meals Included:

13 Breakfast(s), 1 Dinner(s)

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