|Day 1||Bogota||City tour, Gold Museum|
|Day 2-3||Villa de Leyva||Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, tour of Villa de Leyva|
|Day 4||Bogota||Local villages|
|Day 5-7||Pereira or Armenia||
locally restored hacienda, coffee plantation tour, Filandia, Valle de Cocora, and Salento
|Day 8-10||Cartagena||City tour, local beaches|
Arrive in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. Enjoy a tour of this very diverse city – the old city has many beautiful buildings (many of which are being renovated to their former glory) as well as some interesting street art. The new part of Bogota is very cosmopolitan; you can even visit the B.B.C (The Bogota Beer Company) The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) would have to rank as one of South America’s finest museums – allow at least an hour and likely two.
Hotel De La Opera is located in the heart of Bogota and is housed in two adjoining historical buildings with elegant balconies, classical decor and bright and spacious public areas. The guestrooms all feature Italian made furniture and some offer panoramic views over the rooftops and bell towers in El Mirador and La Scala.
The Salt Cathedral at Zipaquira is about an hour north of Bogota. This cathedral is unique, it is also definitely worth seeing, built some 180 m underground within the tunnels of a salt mine. The maze of tunnels are beautifully lit and the tour takes you on a journey through 14 small chapels, representing the stations of the cross, which illustrate the events of Jesus’ last journey. The ‘new’ cathedral was opened in 1995 and is considered one of the most notable achievements of Colombian architecture.
In the late afternoon we drive onto the beautiful colonial village of Villa de Leyva, likely one of Colombia’s best preserved. In the afternoon we’ll explore the beautiful cobbled streets and main square. Villa de Leyva has many famous and important former inhabitants and your guide will tell its history as you explore.
Located in Villa de Leyva historical quarter this charming 26 room colonial-style house is decorated with tiled floors and gabled roofs. Each of the rooms have private bathrooms and the hotel offers a restaurant and pool to relax after a day of exploring.
Morning Villa de Leyva. In the afternoon you’ll return to Bogota in a private vehicle visiting villages and places of interest along the way. Spend the night in Bogota, perhaps with a visit to the ‘BBC’.
Today you would fly to Pereira, or Armenia, where your private transfer will escort you to a locally restored hacienda, your rustic home for the next two nights. In the afternoon enjoy a tour of a local coffee plantation and complete the experience with a sample of the local coffee blend. The ‘Coffee Region’ as it has become known is very pretty with several hillside colonial towns.
The next day visit Valle de Cocora National Park home to the wax palm which was on the verge of extinction before the Park’s formation in 1985. The landscape here is beautiful with the tall (up to 60 metres) wax palms helping create a eerie atmosphere. The trip to Cocora starts and ends in the hill-top village of Salento, a decent cup of local coffee and some souvenirs are also on offer. Return to your Hacienda for dinner.
Within the pristine Colombian countryside, surrounded by the mountains of the Central Andes Ranges and coffee and banana plantations the Hacienda Bambusa is the perfect for unwinding and relaxing. Each of the colonial style farm house’s 7 rooms feature views of the manicured gardens or the swimming pool and have an outdoor setting with a hammock.
Hacienda San Jose dates back to 1888 and is situated between Pereira and Chinchina. The charming traditional two storey hacienda oozes with colonial charm, period features and family memorabilia. With just 8 rooms it is in an ideal location for exploring Colombia’s verdant coffee triangle.
Fly from Pereira or Armenia via Bogota to Cartagena.
The Caribbean city Cartagena de Indias is beautiful (declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984); it would be easy to spend 3 or 4 days wandering the cobbled streets within the old city walls . We’ll introduce you to Cartagena on a half-day tour and then leave you to make some of your own discoveries, at your own pace; wander the streets, dine out at the many bars and restaurants and perhaps join in with some of the locals and try to learn to dance the salsa.
The rest of your time in Cartagena is at your leisure. You may be interested in relaxing at the beach or visiting nearby islands.
Depart from Cartagena on day 10 of the itinerary.
The Sofitel Santa Clara is a converted 17th century monastery located in the historic heart of Cartagena, a city declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The hotel offers the perfect combination of vintage and contemporary design with modern comforts. During the restoration of the hotel many valuable artefacts were found and are now been used in the interior.
Ananda Hotel Boutique is a newly renovated colonial house dating back to the early sixteenth century. It is located in the heart of the historic centre of Cartagena, and features 23 beautiful suites.