Colombia's Colonial Gems | Trip Itinerary
Note: This tour is a suggested, customized itinerary that is very flexible. We can make changes in hotels, excursions and destinations to suit your travel dates, style and budget.
Day 1: Arrival in Bogotá. After clearing customs and immigration, you are met by our local representative and transferred to your select hotel.
Bogotá is the capital of the Republic of Colombia. The city is located on the high plateau called ‘Sabana de Bogota’, at an altitude of 2640 meters (8600 feet) above sea level, surrounded by the eastern range of the Andes. It was founded in 1538 by the Spaniard Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada. Since that time and mostly since the end of World War II, Bogotá has grown rapidly to a real metropolis. The actual population of the city is about 7 million inhabitants. Because of the fast growing development of Bogotá, you will see many contrasts, such as skyscrapers standing side by side with old houses of one level or high-powered automobiles sharing a modern expressway with mule carts.
DAY 2 – BOGOTA CITY TOUR – ZIPAQUIRÁ + LUNCH
Breakfast and transfer to the colonial section of La Candelaria, short stops for photographs at Plaza de Bolivar, the main square of Bogota. Here you will see the Cathedral, the Congress Palace, the Cardinal's Palace, the colonial church of El Sagrario, the House of Independence, the Palace of Justice and the City Hall. Visit to the famous Gold Museum, which houses the world greatest collection of pre-hispanic indian gold crafts. Afterwards visit the FERNANDO BOTERO Museum which contains paintings and sculptures of this famous contemporary Colombian artist.
NOTE: The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays and the Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Afterwards, you will drive through the northern residential area of the city, and the fertile plateau to the town of Cajicá, where a short stop will be made at the main square. Continuation to the town of Zipaquirá famous for its salt mine, where the underground salt cathedral will be visited. In the late afternoon, return to your Bogota hotel. (B, L)
DAY 3 - BOGOTÁ – VILLA DE LEYVA - WALKING TOUR
Travelling northward through the plateau of Bogota and the magnificent mountain scenery we reach our first stop at Puente de Boyacá, where Simon Bolivar defeated the Spanish forces and assured the Independence of Colombia in 1819. After this visit, we take a secondary road - unpaved for a few kilometres - but full of landscapes and beautiful views in order to arrive in Samacá on our way to Villa de Leyva. After arrival in Villa de Leyva, transfer to HOTEL POSADA DE SAN ANTONIO where you check-in for a two-night stay The afternoon is dedicated to a walking tour of Villa de Leyva. The city was founded in 1572 and is now a very special part of Colombia because it has kept that flavour of typical colonial towns. It seems that time has not passed by. The quite atmosphere together with the solitude of its streets and the easy going life of its inhabitants, make you think you are in another era. Overnight. (B)
DAY 4: FOSIL – ECCE HOMO
If today is a Saturday, you have the possibility to visit the local andn very colorful weekly food market. At mid-morning, departure from the hotel for a visit to a "Fossil", a kind of crocodile which is said lived 130 million years ago. Continuation to the convent of the Ecce Homo located in the desertic area of La Candelaria. Return to Villa de Leyva and during the afternoon visit to the nearby town of Ráquira, very well-known because of its pottery. Overnight. (B)
DAY 5: VILLA DE LEYVA – BARICHARA – WALKING TOUR
After breakfast you depart for the trip to Barichara, arriving in San Gil around mid-day. Time on your own for lunch, and in the afternoon visit a forest of ancient trees at the Park “El Gallineral” will be made. Transfer to the colonial town of Barichara where you check-in to the HOTEL MISION SANTA BARBARA for a two-night stay. This afternoon enjoy a walking tour of picturesque Barichara. (B)
DAY 6: GUANE- CHARALÁ – WATERFALL OF JUAN CURÍ
Breakfast and morning to explore the treasures of the town of Barichara, not only its colonial architecture but also the many artisan workshops where quality local products and handicrafts are manufactured, such as intricate interlaced sisal bags and paper; a small cigar factory which stands up to Cuban quality and a lamp and furniture factory that uses un-endangered wood from local forests.
Later this morning there will be a walk, approximately 8 km (5 mi) along a stone path constructed in 1840 to the village of Guane for a visit to the paleontological museum. The museum keeps an interesting collection of relics from the ancient Guane Indian community and fossils discovered in the valley of the river Suárez.
Time for lunch, not included in the tour, and then followed by a drive to a location near Charalá to visit the spectacular 180 m (600 ft) waterfall of Juan Curí. To reach the waterfall a walk through the forest for approximately 30 minutes is necessary, after which there is an opportunity to enjoy a refreshing shower in the natural pool and relax on the boulders whilst admiring the scenery of the forest. Return to Barichara and overnight. (B)
DAY 7: CHICAMOCHA CANYON - BUCARAMANGA
After breakfast, you’ll take an hour drive to the spectacular Canyon of the Chicamocha River with a breath-taking 360 degree view of this magnificent countryside. It’s a completely different world! The vegetation varies from subtropical plants to desert. Continue driving to the outskirts of Bucaramanga, the capital of Santander with its 1 million inhabitants. Depart late this afternoon/early evening on flights from the Bucaramango airport to your next destination. We suggest an extension to Cartagena, Medellin, or the coffee region to enhance your Colombia experience. (B)
B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner
Any day--Best museum visits with arrivals Tues thru Sat. Wednesday arrivals will experience market day in Villa de Leyva.
From $2185 p/p
First Class Hotels:
From $2285 p/p
From $2335 p/p