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Your journey through Colombia begins in its colourful capital, Bogotá - a delightfully vibrant city whose youthful energy connects seamlessly with the traditions of its colonial past. Relax after your journey, then meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception this evening.
Embark on a guided walking tour in "La Candelaria", with its elegant colonial facades dating back to the 16th century. Walk along the cobblestone streets and enjoy the Spanish colonial architecture, and baroque churches. Visit "La Plaza Bolivar", the main square, see the Cathedral and the Lievano Palace. Visit the Gold Museum and discover the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold that includes a wide variety of artifacts from fertility figures and anthropomorphic containers to earrings, masks, helmets and medallions. Meet a local recognized chef who will take you to the most famous food market in the city, Paloquemao, here, they will explain how the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and meats are the bases of the Colombian taste. Afterwards, visit restaurant La Tabula where a Be My Guest lunch will be prepared specially for you.
The rich aroma of Arabica beckons as we board our flight from Bogotá to Colombia's famed Coffee Triangle, designated Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia by UNESCO. Enjoy a scenic jeep drive into the lush countryside to a coffee plantation, joining the owner's family for lunch. Colombia has shared its tawny treasure with the world since the early 19th century and you'll have an opportunity to savour its complex flavours first-hand when you join Carlos Arturo Valencia and his family at his El Paraiso Finca for a traditional Colombian meal "Sancocho" and a cup of his own coffee. Later, enjoy a relaxing evening on your own with dinner at your hotel. Casa San Carlos Lodge, your 'Stay with Story,' has been primarily built with bamboo, providing views across well kept gardens and open farmland, in the heart of the coffee region.
Head back into the countryside this morning, bound for the lush Cocora Valley, home to the world's tallest palm trees. 'Dive into Culture' meeting inhabitants of these small and rural coffee communities. Enjoy a delicious lunch of smoked trout at a local restaurant. Work off your meal during an optional walk beneath the canopy of lofty wax palms before returning to your hotel for dinner.
This morning after your flight, meet your 'Local Specialist' and drive to Santa Elena, a mountainside town renowned for its floral exports. 'Dive into Culture' at a local finca and meet the Silletero (flower farmer), who will share how flowers have been grown in the area for centuries.
Join your 'Local Specialist' for a visit to the Antioquia Museum, featuring permanent collections of pre-Colombian, colonial and contemporary art. 'Connect with Locals' and meet the lecturer of the museum. Take Medellin's famous aerial lift system and then escalators up to Comuna 13 and see how this reinvented neighbourhood has been transformed. It survived a heartbreaking time of violence and strife when it was ground zero for war between Pablo Escobar's drug cartel and government forces. You'll meet a local resident whose story will move you as he recounts the atrocities he experienced when Comuna 13 was dubbed as the world's murder capital. This evening enjoy dinner with your travel companions at a favourite local restaurant.
Begin your day by taking a flight from Medellin to Baranquilla. Here you'll enjoy lunch and join a 'Local Specialist' who will share insights into the UNESCO-listed Carnival de Barranquilla. 'Dive into Culture' and meet the reigning Carnival Queen of one of the biggest carnivals in the world, seeing the city come to a standstill for four days with many street dances and parades. Take a scenic drive along the coast to and arrive at your hotel in Cartagena, superbly situated along the Caribbean coast. This evening is at leisure.
Sizzling Cartagena takes centre stage today as you embark on a guided walking tour of the Old City nestled within the fortress walls built in the 16th century by the Spanish to protect one of their most important Caribbean ports. Visit the Palace of the Inquisition and San Pedro Claver Convent, the final resting place of Saint Peter Claver who devoted his life to evangelising the black slaves of New Granada. Share the locals' love for fine seafood at a popular restaurant. Afterward, stroll back to your hotel while learning about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, literature giant and Nobel Prize winner while your guide points out the places mentioned in his books. You'll have the rest of the day on your own. Get lost in its labyrinthine streets and admire the bright bougainvillea colours that tumble over its ornate wrought-iron balconies and pastel-coloured colonial façades.
Explore Cartagena and surrounds on your terms this morning. Your choice of included sightseeing could see you embark on a tour of Cartagena, including guided visits to the fortress of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, La Popa Monastery and 'The Vaults', the final fortifications built by the Spanish in the city. Or, consider taking a tour to the fishing village of La Boquilla for first-hand insights into the locals' seafaring traditions. Let the sultry afro-Colombian rhythms set the pace as you settle in for a fun folkloric show, then canoe through the mangroves to watch the local fishermen ply their artisanal fishing trade. Returning to Cartagena, your final evening will be the most memorable yet as you board a local Chiva (party) bus to your restaurant, toasting to an epic journey with new friends.
Bid a fond adios to newfound friends as you are transferred to Cartagena Airport.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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