Colombia’s Andes, National Parks and Caribbean Coastline - 24th July to 8th August 2015

Plaza Santo Domingo, Cartagena, Colombia

This exciting journey across Colombia, takes in beautiful Andean cities, Spanish colonial towns and some of the most stunning natural locations on earth.

  • Explore Colombia’s vibrant capital Bogotá
  • Discover the UNESCO site of The Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape
  • Journey into the mystical Páramo of the Los Nevados National Park
  • Explore the Walled City of Cartagena de Indias
  • Walk in the virgin coastal jungle of the Tairona National Park
  • Enjoy Colombia’s unique birdlife
  • Stay in handpicked hotels and guesthouses
  • Relax by the Caribbean on one of the world’s best beaches

After a peaceful night’s stay in the heart of Bogotá’s colonial centre, La Candelaria, our adventure starts with a tour of this amazing city, starting with the Mountain Sanctuary of Cerro Monserrate - towering over the immense plateau of Bogotá - then moving onto its famous colonial centre full of Spanish architecture, ornate wooden balconies and tight bustling streets. This is followed by a trip to the Botero Museum, home to the Colombian master’s most famous collection of paintings. Colombia’s vibrant capital has an enthralling history for us to delve into, from the Legend of El Dorado, to the broken vase that sparked the revolution and Colombia’s independence from the Spanish crown.

Then it’s onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape. Delightful - and at times demanding - walks take us through the beautifully unique landscape, where carpets of coffee, plantain and bamboo crops cover lush rolling hills, past colourful flowers and ever higher into the Colombian Andes.

One of the tour highlights is a journey into the cloud forest of the Cocora Valley and the mystical and mysterious Páramo of PNN Los Nevados, home to some very unique Colombian flora and fauna. There’s the chance to observe Colombia’s enthralling birdlife at the Otún Quimbaya sanctuary during our stay here, followed by a walk to a gorgeous and reclusive mountain refuge for lunch.

After saying goodbye to the Coffee Region there’s a quick flight to the beautifully walled city of Cartagena de Indias, a UNESCO World Heritage site with picture-perfect 16th century architecture and a wonderful Caribbean air. Our tour here takes us past immense ornate mansions, through cobbled streets and plazas to Castillo de San Felipe, possibly the greatest military fortress the Spanish ever built. A free day gives you the chance to explore this intimate city further, or perhaps visit the stunning beaches of Barú or the tropical islands of Islas del Rosario; the choice is yours.

Then onto the mountain town of Minca in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain range on earth and home to one of the world’s most exciting collection of birds for a birdwatching adventure and hike in one of Colombia’s best known reserves, El Dorado. The views across the range towards the snow capped peaks at sunset make ‘El Dorado’ a fitting name for this truly amazing place.

The coastal jungle of the Tairona National Park is our next destination, a paradise of virgin jungle lining some of the world’s best beaches. What we’ll see on the walks here is truly extraordinary, from howler monkeys and miniscule cotton-top tamarins to ancient Tairona ruins, once home to 3,000 Tairona Indians from 450 to 1600 AD.

Here there’s the chance to relax in style in our beachside cabins and soak up the tropical Caribbean sun on the endless white sandy beaches, before flying home, relaxed and enlightened with Colombia’s character and sheer beauty.

La Candelaria, Bogotá, Colombia

Day 1 - Friday 24th July - Fly to Bogotá (Meals in-flight)

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Bogotá. Check-in at least two hours before departure time.

Day 2 - Saturday 25th July - Travel to Bogotá (D)

On arrival transfer by private coach to the Candelaria district of Bogotá (altitude 2,600m) and check into the hotel.

The morning is at leisure should you wish to catch up on some sleep. There’s the option to meet up for lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a 2-3 hour walking tour of Paloquemao Market.

Welcome reception, dinner and overnight at the Hotel de La Opera.

Day 3 - Sunday 26th July - Bogotá City Tour (BD)

The mountain sanctuary of Cerro Monserrate (3,152m) towers over the immense plateau of Bogotá. The journey to the top via cable car offers panoramic views of this sprawling South American metropolis and the chance to visit the Basilica of Our Fallen Lord Monserrate, the sparkling white church visible from almost everywhere in Colombia’s capital.

After descending on the Cerro’s cliff railway it’s off to La Candelaria, Bogotá’s famous colonial centre with its Spanish architecture, and ornate wooden balconies hanging above the busy cobbled streets. Then onto The Botero Museum, home to Botero’s most famous collection and numerous pieces from some of the 19th and 20th century masters.

A visit to Bogotá’s renowned Gold Museum unravels the legend of El Dorado. With over 35,000 pieces of tumbaga gold, it’s the largest collection of pre-Colombian gold in the world. Afterwards there’s a visit to the Plaza de Bolivar, Bogotá’s main square, named after Simón the revolutionary hero and ‘Libertador’ of Colombia and where in the house museum of the ‘Flower Seller’ the famous broken vase that sparked the revolution and the independence of Colombia from the Spanish crown, resides.

Our next stop is the historic colonial centre of Usaquén, previously an indigenous settlement, and once a town in its own right before being absorbed by the city of Bogotá. For a visit to the local market and delightful town square. Options for lunch will be available and to finish the tour we’ll be treated to an authentic cup of Colombian coffee in a local café.

Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel de La Opera.

Day 4 - Monday 27th July - Fly to Armenia - Walking Tour of the Coffee Region (BD)

After breakfast it’s off to the airport for the flight to Armenia. Leaving the Bogotá plateau behind and travelling to the splendid Central Cordillera and Colombia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape. The journey from the airport to Salento (altitude 1,990m) takes us through the soft, green undulating hills of the Quindio department, where carpets of coffee, plantain tree and bamboo dominate the landscape. Dotted amongst this sea of green are the colourful Coffee Region farmhouses with their terracotta roofs and wide verandas.

Salento, founded in 1842 is one of the oldest towns in the Coffee Region, located on the ancestral path traversing the Central Cordillera once used by the Pijao and Quindio Indians. It’s an excellent example of Antioquian architecture and coffee region life, with brightly coloured buildings and Spanish balconies wherever you look.

Our afternoon walk takes us in and around the town and into the surrounding hills to visit an authentic working coffee hacienda. Along the way we will get an insight into the real Colombian coffee landscape life and where local gastronomical delicacies such as ‘Sancocho’ come from. At the end of the walk it’s back to Salento for the evening.

Walking: easy, distance: 5km

Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight hotel Salento Real.

Wax Palms, Cocora Valley, Colombia

Day 5 - Tuesday 28th July - Trek to Estrella de Agua (BLD)

After breakfast it’s time to head off in our ‘Willys’ Jeeps along the Quindío River to the start point of today’s trek in the ‘buffer zone’ of Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados.

The trek starts along a well-trodden horse-path running parallel to the Quindío River, past fragments of forest. Ahead lies the imposing ‘Cerro Morrogacho’ - at 3,450m it’s a good indicator of the altitude being climbed today. The scenery here is gargantuan in scale. The national tree – the Colombian Wax palm – sways in the breeze at over 60 metres high making it the tallest palm tree in the world.

After a short while we’ll reach the entrance to the ‘Bosque de niebla’ or ‘cloud forest’, where the roar of the Quindío River becomes much louder. We cross the river five times before reaching the Acaime Reserve, a stop to see the various species of hummingbird that frequent the feeders, including collared incas and long-tailed sylphs.

After a snack stop in Acaime the trail becomes notably steeper taking us higher and deeper into the forest. Birdwatchers will appreciate the various species of mountain tanager, antpitta, guan, jay and trogon to be seen in the trees around us. As we enter the realms of the cloud - from 2,800m upwards - the trees become cloaked in moss with bromeliads perched in the crooks of the branches.

At the 3,000m mark the bright-green bush becomes a distinct shade of darker green and the surroundings much quieter. Only intermittent bird song, our footsteps and various mountain streams break the silence. After nearly three hours walking from Acaime to the house of Estrella de Agua there’s chance to stop, relax and take in the Alpine, ‘sub-páramo’ air, enjoy a nice hot cup of ‘Agua panela’ and packed lunch before the descent back into Cocora and transfer to Salento.

Walking: Hard - Distance: 18.4km, ascent: 800m, time: 8 hours

Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight hotel Salento Real.

Filandia, Quindio, Colombia

Day 6 - Wednesday 29th July - Walking in the Colombian Coffee Landscape (BLD)

Today it’s off to ‘El Manzano’ the start point of our walk at around 2,028m. The chilly air soon warms as we descend the winding road through the plantation on the side of Natural Regional Park ‘Barbas-Bremen’, an immense segment of Andean cloud forest with stunning views of the River Barbas canyon. This is famous for its large array of birds including Andean motmots, blue-necked tanagers and bronze-winged parrots. The most famous inhabitants though are the red howler monkeys which can be heard making their guttural calls across this dense jungle.

After stopping at the lookout point our walk continues towards the first village of Santa Cruz de Barbas, with panoramic views of this almost picture-perfect countryside on our way. After passing the village of Yarumal and leaving the remnants of Andean forest behind our route descends into the town of Arabia – the perfect spot for our packed lunch stop. Named after the ‘Arabica’ coffee bean Arabia is in the UNESCO Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape and home to some of the best coffee plantation examples in the country.

From here we’ll cross the River Barbas before climbing back on the Quindio side towards the village of La India to reach our final stop in Filandia. This is one of Quindio’s oldest towns, with fine colourful colonial architecture. Finally we'll drive to the Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Otún Quimbaya, a national park with lodgings where dinner will be waiting.

Walking: Moderate/Hard - Distance: 20km, time: 6 hours

Dinner and overnight Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Otún Quimbaya.

Red Howler Monkey, Otún Quimbaya, Colombia

Day 7 - Thursday 30th July - Birdwatching - Otún Quimbaya and walk to La Pastora (BLD)

An early rise awaits before heading out on the cloud forest trails of the Flora and Fauna Sanctuary to spend the early morning birdwatching in one of Colombia’s top spots. The sanctuary’s focus was to initially conserve the 5 micro-basins that are tributaries of the Otún River. Its main success story is the recovery of the endemic Cauca guan, a mountain turkey that was on the brink of extinction when the park was formed.

The famous and much sought-after golden-headed quetzal, Andean cock-of-the-rock, multicoloured tanager and locally common red-ruffed fruit-crow, are just some of the birds that can be seen here, alongside the various groups of howler monkeys that are a joy to observe as they swing through the branches in playful fashion, making curious, direct eye contact with you.

After making our way along the trails with our local guide, through the vines and waterways laden with colourful flowers, we head back to the lodge ready to drive to today’s trek starting point – El Cedral (2,000m).

El Cedral, located 6km from the sanctuary, is the start of the beautiful Regional Natural Park Ucumari (Quechuan for spectacled bear), made up of over 3,000 hectares of sub-Andean to high-Andean forest. After walking along the trail for 2 hours, it’s time for lunch at the mountain refuge of La Pastora. After a delicious lunch, it’s time to head back to El Cedral for the transfer to our mountain lodge, complete with hot springs for the evening.

Walking: Moderate/Hard – Distance: 12km, ascent: 450m, time: 4 hours

Dinner and overnight hotel Termales La Quinta.

Frailejon, Los Nevados, Colombia

Day 8 - Friday 31st July - PNN Los Nevados - Trek to Lake Otún (BLD)

Our morning transfer takes us to one of Colombia’s most beautiful and unique national parks, Los Nevados. The climate, ecosystem and landscape change as our journey unfolds along a mountain road amongst the most beautiful in the world. Deep canyons and mid-valley plateaus await, as we journey ever higher and higher (3,923m). Frequent stops will help you acclimatise to the thin air and warm clothes will be necessary.

The Andean forest changes to darker high-Andean forest, giving way to the elfin forests of the sub-páramo, until eventually reaching the high, cold pastures of Potosi, the most remote village in the department of Caldas. Upon reaching the park rangers' cabin there are (on a clear day) views of the famed Nevado del Ruiz. This sleeping lion is the most active volcano of the park’s volcanic structures. From here we’ll enter the park and begin the walk along the disused road to Lake Otún. We’ll know we’re in the páramo proper upon first encountering the famed ‘Frailejón’; these are shrubs that grow to many metres in height, each metre being a hundred years of growth. These wonderful plants and vast plains of tundra line the way as we make our way up to the lookout point.

After around 2 hours and a climb of over 200 metres we’ll reach the day’s high point (4,140m) and be rewarded with a stunning view of Lake Otún. Home to rainbow trout and the largest body of water in the park, its windswept beauty nestled high up in the Colombian Andes is simply amazing. To the right of the lake is the Paramillo del Quindío – one of Los Nevados National Park’s most impressive volcanoes.

The park is home to many species of fauna and flora, including great thrushes and eagles, along with the re-introduced Andean condor. The Andean spectacled bear (Colombia’s national animal) is the most mysterious inhabitant.

After making the choice to either have lunch at the viewpoint or descend to the lake for a closer look, it’s time to return to the hotel and its hot springs for the evening.

Walking: Moderate/Hard – distance: 14km, ascent: 220m (minimal), time: 6 hours

Dinner and overnight hotel Termales La Quinta.

Day 9 - Saturday 1st August - Fly to Cartagena - City Tour (BD)

After our morning transfer to the airport and flight to the beautiful, historical city of Cartagena de Indias, there’s time to check into our hotel situated in the centre of the walled city before beginning an afternoon tour of Cartagena.

The old city with its extensive Spanish fortifications is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its original architecture and cultural symbols are beautifully preserved and typical of Spanish colonial times with their intricate woodwork, small balconies, terracotta roofs and brightly coloured facades.

Our afternoon tour begins in Isla de Manga we can see many Spanish ‘casonas’ - immense and ornate mansions, many declared national monuments. We continue to the Popa Monastery with its panoramic views of both the old and new city both. Then onto Saint Philip’s castle, regarded as the greatest military fortress the Spanish ever built. From here it’s back to the walled city along stone streets and plazas, soaking up the undoubtedly Caribbean atmosphere.

Torre del Reloj, Cartagena, Colombia

Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia.

Day 10 - Sunday 2nd August - Cartagena - Day at Leisure (BD)

Today is yours to explore Cartagena at leisure. You may want to walk around the walled city and its countless, intimate streets or take a trip to the local beaches. Day trips to the stunning golden beaches of Barú or the tropical islands of Islas del Rosario can be arranged, as can a visit to the modern neighbourhood of Bocagrande, home to exclusive restaurants, shops and hotels.

Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia.

Day 11 - Monday 3rd August - Minca, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains (BD)

This morning we’ll make our way by road to the coastal Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Founded in 1525, it is Colombia’s oldest city and where the South American liberator Simón Bolivar died. Lying next to the highest coastal range in the world – the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta - and home to Colombia’s highest peaks – Pico Cristobal Colon and Pico Simón Bolivar - this national park is home to the most important concentration of threatened wildlife on Earth.

The Sierra Nevada was also home to the Tairona Indians, the forefathers of the many tribes that live in its endless valleys. Among them are the Kogis who can be seen in and around Santa Marta with their white dress and headgear.

Our final destination today is the mountain town of Minca. Originally founded by settlers from Tolima, it has captured the imagination of many a discerning traveller and nature lover with its location in one of the most unique mountain ranges on the planet. After reaching the hotel you will be able to have an optional lunch and enjoy an afternoon walk. A night-time birdwatching option is also available.

Walking: Easy

Dinner in a local restaurant or our hotel. Overnight Hotel Minca.

Day 12 - Tuesday 4th August - Birdwatching from Minca to El Dorado Reserve (BD)

Today begins with an early start and birdwatching all the way from Minca to the El Dorado reserve. The Sierra’s highly unique geographic isolation and close proximity to the sea (less than 55km away) means that much of the flora and fauna found here has evolved in isolation producing many endemic species, and one of the most exciting collections of birds in the world.

Along the road to El Dorado there’s the chance to see many exciting birds from keel-billed toucans to Samta Marta foliage-gleaners.

Regarded as one of the best birdwatching sites in Colombia, the views across the range towards the snow-capped peaks to the coast at sunset make ‘El Dorado’ a fitting name. After a morning’s birdwatching we’ll reach the lodge where there’s chance to enjoy an optional lunch. Followed by an afternoon watching birds from the trails of this amazing place. Some of the important species include the Santa Marta screech owl, white-tailed starfrontlet and Santa Marta woodstar.

After seeing some very special birds it’s time to make our way back down the road by 4x4 to Minca for dinner.

Evening birdwatching is also an option.

Walking: Easy

Dinner in a local restaurant or our hotel. Overnight Hotel Minca.

Day 13 - Wednesday 5th August - Tairona NP, Walk to Ruins of Pueblito (BLD)

This morning’s transfer takes us to the coastal jungle of Parque Nacional Natural Tairona, a paradise of virgin jungle lining the beaches, widely recognized as some of the best in the world. The rich vegetation is in stark contrast to the arid foothills of the Sierra Nevada. As we explore this truly extraordinary area on foot, we may catch glimpses of howler monkeys and cotton-top tamarins along the way.

Our trail leads to an important archaeological site - a settlement where over 3,000 Tairona Indians lived between 450 and 1600 AD. Now all that is left are 254 circular terraces that provided the foundations of their living quarters and buildings. Carved stones with mortars in large boulders show the methods in which they prepared their food. Others carved stones depicting their spiritual beliefs - the Spanish conquest it seems, put an end to this most prestigious of people.

A couple of hours into our walk is Cabo de San Juan, a paradisal beach and the perfect spot to relax in a hammock and enjoy a snack. Then after passing Arrecifes beach it is an hour-long walk back to the main entrance of the park - through more jungle - before returning to the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure on the white sandy beaches.

Walking: Moderate – distance: 10km, time: 5 hours

Dinner in the Hotel. Overnight Hotel Playa Koralia.

Hotel Playa Koralia, Colombia

Day 14 - Thursday 6th August - Day at Leisure (BLD)

Today is yours to enjoy at leisure on the upper Caribbean coast. Our base is Playa Koralia, a collection of beautifully presented beachside cabins, away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Marta’s more popular beaches. Here there’s the chance to take in the tropical atmosphere, relax in hammocks by the warm sea at the eastern end of Colombia’s Caribbean coast or explore the beaches and surrounding forests a little more.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided in the hotels alfresco restaurant. Overnight Hotel Playa Koralia.

Day 15 - Friday 7th August - Morning at Leisure - Afternoon Fly to UK (B)

This morning is free for you to spend at leisure in the hotel and on its beach before the 1-hour transfer to Cartagena’s airport for the connecting flight to Bogotá for our return flight to the UK.

Day 16 - Saturday 8th August - Arrive UK (Meals in-flight)

Arrive Heathrow, UK at 16.05 before making your own way home.

Optional Extension - Ciudad Perdida Trek

Natural pool in the Buritaca River

Trek Notes: This is a full service camping trek with porterage. However to minimise mule and porter loads we request you only take items that are absolutely essential for the trek. We have arranged secure storage for all other items of luggage at Playa Koralia.

As the expert Ciudad Perdida trek guides do not speak English, an interpreter will also accompany us from our partners in Colombia.

Day 15 - Friday 7th August – Transfer To El Mamey – Trek To Campsite One (BLD)

After a morning transfer (1hr 45m) to El Mamey for our five-day trekking adventure, there’s time for lunch before the Ciudad Perdida trek briefing. Then it’s onwards and upwards as we begin the biggest ascent of the trek - a 600m climb through the Buritaca River Valley. Humidity is high and insect repellent is essential throughout the trek.

Regular stops by waterfalls and natural pools en route provide perfect spots to cool down as we make our way further into the jungle, eventually reaching Campsite One, our base for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Here there are further pools and waterfalls to bathe in while our trek cook prepares dinner. This is the only campsite with electricity (which is switched off around 10pm); after this point there is no electricity until our return.

Walking: Hard – distance: 7km, ascent: 600m, time: 3-5 hours

Day 16 - Saturday 8th August – Trek To Campsite Three (BLD)

After waking up to the birdsong of some of the areas 435 species of birds a breakfast of eggs, bread and fresh fruit awaits. Today’s trek takes us into the dense humid tropical forest of The Sierra Nevada Mountains, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for the tapirs, jaguars, pumas and ocelots that inhabit the area.

Criss-crossing the river as we go and passing the grassy paths that lead to Kogi villages we’ll make our way to today’s lunch stop for a well-deserved break. After lunch there’s another 2-3 hours of steady walking to our base for the evening, Campsite Three. Once again, we’ll have the opportunity of taking the heat of the day away in the cool waters of the river that runs alongside the campsite.

Walking: Hard – distance: 11km, ascent: 650m, time: 7 hours

Aerial view, Ciudad Perdida

Day 17 - Sunday 9th August – Trek To Ciudad Perdida, Return To Campsite Two (BLD)

A 45-minute walk takes us to the start of the trek’s final climb to the sacred site of Ciudad Perdida (also known as Teyuna). 1,200 steps wind their way up to the Lost City, which was only rediscovered in 1975, around 350 years after being consumed by the jungle. Before entering you will be asked to take part in a sacred ritual where you and your guide will ask permission from ‘Mother Earth’ to enter.

Once inside there’s the chance to visit the entire site and 169 of its terraces; there are another 80 that the Kogis have not given permission to be excavated, preferring to keep them in their untouched state. The City is split into eight neighbourhoods with four general sectors. In the centre of the site are the larger ceremonial terraces, all connected by stone pathways.

The Taironas built the city around 900AD on what was once an important trade route and it had approximately 2,000 to 8,000 inhabitants. With it’s complex irrigation channels, retaining walls and path structures it places the ancient Taironas among the most skilled stone-workers of pre-Colombian South America.

After spending our day discovering the Lost City it's time to make our way back down the path to Campsite Two for dinner and a chance to reflect on the day.

Walking: Moderate – In - distance: 4km, ascent: 100m, time: 1 1/2 hours. Out - distance: 6km, time: 2-3 hours.

Day 18 - Monday 10th August – Trek To Campsite One (BLD)

Although descending on the route we came in on, today’s trek takes on a completely different perspective as we look down from above on the panoramic landscape of the Sierra Nevada National Park. Measuring 383 hectares it’s one of Colombia’s largest National Parks and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with 21 endemic bird species.

After lunch another 2-3 hours trekking returns us to Campsite One for our final night of the trek.

Walking: Hard – distance: 10km, time: 6 hours

Day 19 - Tuesday 11th August – Trek To El Mamey – Transfer To Playa Koralia (BLD)

Today we make the short descent to El Mamey for lunch (or if good time is made we can lunch at Playa Koralia) before saying goodbye to our trekking team and returning to Playa Koralia. The afternoon is at leisure and there’s the chance to enjoy a massage at the spa on the beach should you wish.

Walking: Moderate – distance: 7km, time: 3 hours

Day 20 - Wednesday 12th August - Day at Leisure (BLD)

Today is yours to enjoy at leisure on the upper Caribbean coast, back at Playa Koralia.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided in the hotel's al fresco restaurant. Overnight Hotel Playa Koralia.

Day 21 - Thursday 13th August - Morning at Leisure - Afternoon Fly to UK (B)

This morning is free for you to spend at leisure in the hotel and on its beach before the 1-hour transfer to Cartagena’s airport for the connecting flight to Bogotá for our return flight to the UK.

Day 22 - Friday 14th August - Arrive UK (Meals in-flight)

Arrive Heathrow, UK at 16.05 before making your own way home.

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

Salento Real Hotel, Salento Evening meal at Playa Koralia, Santa Marta

As not all the hotels/lodges have star ratings we have used the current customer ratings on TripAdvisor to give you an idea of the standard of the accommodation.

Hotel de La Opera, Bogotá

Located within the La Candelaria district of town and beautifully restored in typical Spanish colonial style. Rooms are spacious and en-suite. The hotel has a new restaurant, swimming pool and spa facilities. More details can be found on the hotel's website. 4* customer rating

Salento Real Hotel, Salento

Newly opened and just a few blocks from Salento’s main square. The hotel's restaurant is managed by a local Michelin-star company. Rooms are en-suite and beautifully decorated with local artwork. More details can be found on the hotel's website. 4½* customer rating

La Suiza, Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Otún Quimbaya

A community-run sanctuary lodge with basic but comfortable en-suite rooms and a good restaurant. Built in typical period style with wood decorations, floor to ceiling doors and bright colours. The sanctuary’s operations run using sustainability guidelines. More details can be found on the sanctuary's website. 4* customer rating

Termales La Quinta, Termales La Quinta

An excellent example of authentic Antioquian colonisation architecture. This little known 100-year old farmhouse with en-suite rooms boasts its own hot springs and a location that rivals any mountain lodge in South America. More details can be found on the lodge's website.

Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena

A beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of the walled centre of Cartagena, 5 mins walk from the main squares, plazas and restaurants. The hotel has a ground floor swimming pool and a rooftop terrace to soak up the sun. Rooms are air-conditioned and en-suite. 4* customer rating

Hotel Minca, Minca

A newly renovated guesthouse highly regarded by birdwatchers and tourists alike, with many species of birds visiting the garden’s various feeders. Its perfect location gives us great access to the natural surroundings. All bedrooms are en-suite and its simple yet comfortable facilities are perfect for the discerning eco-tourist. More details can be found on the hotel's website. 3½* customer rating

Playa Koralia, Santa Marta

Located on a beautiful white sandy beach, the lodges are surrounded by the Sierra Nevada to the north-east and the lush jungle of Tairona to the south-west. The stunning lodges are uniquely decorated and all en-suite. The hotel has wi-fi, al-fresco dining, a beach bar and hammocks. More details can be found on the hotel's website. 4* customer rating

Road Mist, Otún Quimbaya, Colombia

Flights are with Avianca.

Please note that the following flight details are the latest known and are subject to confirmation. All times are local.

Connecting flights from other UK airports can be arranged on request.

Outbound Heathrow - Friday 24thJuly 2015
Depart Heathrow, UK
Arrive Bogotá, CO
AV121 22:40
04:05 (25 July)
Transfer Bogotá to Armenia - Monday 27thJuly 2015
Depart Bogotá, CO
Arrive Armenia, CO
AV9837 09:06
10:09
Transfer Manizales to Cartagena - Saturday 1st August 2015
Depart Manizales, CO
Arrive Bogotá, CO
AV9821 09:33
10:31
Depart Bogotá, CO
Arrive Cartagena, CO
AV9788 12:30
14:02
Inbound Heathrow - Friday 7th August 2015
Depart Santa Marta, CO
Arrive Bogotá, CO
AV9719 16:44
18:14
Depart Bogotá, CO
Arrive Heathrow, UK
AV120 23:04
15:45 (8 Aug)

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