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Colombia Quest

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The one that explores bohemian cities, adrenalin-fuelled San Gil & the lush Cocora Valley

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    12 days

  • Places

    8 places

  • Meals

    11 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 5 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Mini-Coach

  • Group Size

    Max 25 people

Bogota, Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Salento, Medellin, Zipaquira, Barichara, Zona Cafetera

Colombia Quest

9 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Visit the Salt Cathedral
  • Villa de Leyva walking tour
  • Hike the El Camino Real
  • Visit Guane
  • Dinner at Andres Carne de Res
  • Locally guided bike tour of Candelaria
  • Coffee farm visit
  • Trek the Cocora Valley
  • Locally guided City Tour

8 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Horseback riding
  • Canyoning
  • Caving
  • Rafting
  • Paragliding
  • Street art grafitti workshop in Bogota
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Day trip to Guatapé

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 11 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    11 nights in Hotel

    Throughout your trip you'll be cosy and comfortable in 3-4 star hotels

About this trip

When we think of Colombia, we think of colour and passion, colonial charm, and bustling cities. But most of all, we think of adventure, which is why this is the perfect 12 day trip to explore the active and adventurous side of this vibrant country. From the jaw-dropping salt cathedrals of Zipaquira,  to the blood-pumping extreme sports capital of San Gil, to hot air ballooning over the lush beauty of the coffee zone and exploring Colombia's beating heart: Bogota, this 12-day adventure is a feast for every single one of your senses.

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  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

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Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. Bogota

  2. via via

    Zipaquira

  3. 2 2 nights

    Villa de Leyva

  4. via via

    Barichara

  5. 2 2 nights

    San Gil

  6. 2 2 nights

    Bogota

  7. via via

    Zona Cafetera

  8. 2 2 nights

    Salento

  9. 3 3 nights

    Medellin

+-1 more

DAY 1 - Bogota to Villa de Leyva via Zipaquira

Bogota

Arriving today in the bustling hub of Bogota, you'll meet your Contiki crew and head north - don't worry we'll be back to this colourful city for some in-depth exploring.

Zipaquira

Our first stop is Zipaquira, a charming colonial town famed for its salt mines and stunning salt cathedral. We'll drop by the salt cathedral, an underground shrine bathed in beautiful blue light, before continuing on to our home for the next two nights...

Villa de Leyva

We're in Villa de Levya, a stunningly preserved historic town. It's time to get some much-deserved rest as we have a whole day of exploring tomorrow.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Salt Cathedral

DAY 2 - Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva

This morning we'll explore the whitewashed colonial buildings and charming cobbled streets of this village that hasn't changed all too much since the late 1600s. Set high in the Andes, it's prized for its beautifully preserved architecture and its central Plaza Mayor - believed to be the biggest in Colombia and South America. The afternoon is yours to enjoy - opt for some scenic horseriding, walk to the Pozos Azules or simply stroll the cobblestones and soak in all of that historic beauty.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Villa de Leyva walking tour

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Horseback riding

DAY 3 - Villa de Leyva to San Gil via Barichara

Villa de Leyva

Adios Villa de Levya - we're headed to the adventure capital of Colombia, San Gil! Adrenaline junkies, this will be your paradise.

Barichara

We'll make a quick stop in picturesque Barichara for a lunch. This lovely little town will charm us with its unique architecture and eye-widening natural beauty. Those who are up for it can join on a 2-hour hike along the Camino Real to the equally charming village of Guane. Or, if you're looking for something a bit more relaxing, Barichara's historic streets will make you swoon, and you can happily spend a few hours wandering aimlessly. With plenty of pretty cafes, boutique craft shops and insta-worthy street scenes, there's plenty to see and do.

San Gil

This evening we arrive in San Gil, ready for an adventure of a lifetime.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Hike the El Camino Real

  • Visit Guane

DAY 4 - San Gil

San Gil

Get ready for a day of blood-pumping excitement in the Colombian capital of extreme sport. Choose from paragliding, canyoning or rafting and get the pulse racing. If you're looking for something a bit more grounded, check out the refreshing local swimming holes or the lazy lawns of Parque Gallineral, which is only a short walk from town. This afternoon we'll get together and swap stories of our adventures.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Canyoning

  • Caving

  • Rafting

  • Paragliding

DAY 5 - San Gil to Bogota

San Gil

Today we won't waste a single second as we head back to Bogota on a speedy internal flight.

Bogota

Now we have a chance to explore Colombia's beating heart properly, with a locally guided tour the perfect way to get stuck in.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Dinner at Andres Carne de Res

DAY 6 - Bogota

Bogota

We'll get out and about bright and early this morning on bikes, checking out Colombia's colourful capital. We'll head to the historic centre before admiring Bogota's famous street art, showcasing artistic interpretations of the country's past and present. Now you're more familiar with the city, the afternoon is yours to explore - opt into a graffiti workshop, visit the Botero Museum, have lunch at the Mercado La Concordia and sample the local cuisine or head over to Park 93 and try some world class coffee and refreshing ice-cream. If you fancy a visit to the Cerro Monserrate, you'll be rewarded with some spectacular views of the sprawling metropolis below.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided bike tour of Candelaria

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Street art grafitti workshop in Bogota

DAY 7 - Bogota to Salento via Zona Cafetera

Bogota

Today we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Bogota and take a speedy internal flight to the gorgeous Zona Cafetera (coffee zone)

Zona Cafetera

We're here in the coffee zone, which, as well as producing some of the tastiest, most iconic coffee in the world, is also arguably one of the most beautiful regions in Colombia. A visit to a coffee farm is a no-brainer, and we don't disappoint. Learn the A-Z of this invigorating bean on an included tour of an authentic coffee plantation and have a chance to pick and taste ripe berries or buy some world-class roasted beans for yourself.

Salento

It's off to Salento, framed with lush green mountains and decorated with traditional paisa architecture. Get to know the town tonight on a walk through the charming streets or maybe check out a game of Tejo - the Colombian national sport.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Coffee farm visit

DAY 8 - Salento and the Cocora Valley

Salento

You can choose to start your day in Salento in the best way possible with an eye-widening hot air balloon flight over the lush coffee region, with unparalleled views of distant Andean peaks, fields of coffee, plantain, and bamboo. For the trekkers among us you’ll be up early too to head to the Cocora Valley for a hike among the breath-taking sights of hundreds of giant Wax Palms, the tallest palm trees on earth at up to 60 meters tall. This afternoon, grab a much deserved coffee and chill out in the square or check out the local artisan craft shops in town. Tonight, dig eat into the regional specialty – trout.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Trek the Cocora Valley

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot Air Ballooning

DAY 9 - Salento to Medellin

Salento

Rise and Shine – its an early morning start as we make our way to Medellin.

Medellin

The second city of Colombia, Medellín has transformed itself perhaps more than any other city in the world. Though its violent, tumultuous past is well-known, today the city is modern, innovative, and culturally rich. Named the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its nearly perfect weather, you’ll find parks, plazas and a café culture where you can sit and soak in all those rays and historic vibes.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

DAY 10 - Medellin

Medellin

Put your walking shoes on today as we have a full day of adventuring ahead of us. Using Medellin's efficient public transport system, we'll tour the city via metro, cable car and on-foot. Along the way we'll check out Plaza Botera, Santo Domino and Communa 13, as well as the bustling local market. As the sultry evening draws in, anyone for Salsa lessons?

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided City Tour

DAY 11 - Medellin

Medellin

Now that you know Medellin so well, it's your day to do your own thing! Check out Arvi Park for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city (easy on public transport) or stay local and wander the city - the Museo de Antioquia or Casa de la Memoria are equally impressive. For an incredible day getaway, take a day trip to Guatapé, a vibrant, cute and impossibly colourful disney-like town. Climb the 650+ stairs for peerless vistas of the surrounding landscapes, or just wander the colourful town - trying the regional badeja paisa, and a cerveza, naturally.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Day trip to Guatapé

DAY 12 - Medellin End

Medellin

This adventure wraps up this morning where we'll say hasta luego to our new friends. Colombia, thanks for the memories. We'll never forget you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

Are flights included in my trip?

International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately. You can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.

Any flights you take during your Contiki are included in the cost of your trip. On certain Latin America trips we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included.

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter certain countries on your
trip. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas that are required prior to the departure of your trip. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa to join a trip. Visa and other entry & exit conditions (such as currency, arrival/ departure taxes, customs and quarantine regulations) do change regularly.
Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining when you arrive. Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they only intend to stay for a short period. Important to consider:

• Visas can take up to six weeks and a fee is normally charged.
• Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of your trip and will result in
you incurring considerable expense and inconvenience.
• It is better for you to apply for all visas before you leave home.
• It is very important that the entry and exit dates are correct on the visa.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our Latin America trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max. weight of 20kg (44lbs). As with our other regions, luggage is restricted to only one reasonably sized backpack/suitcase plus one carry-on bag, and luggage policies are strictly enforced on our trips. Due to the large number of flights on Contiki Latin America trips, your luggage needs to meet the size and weight restrictions imposed by airlines. These limits are imposed by the airlines, not by Contiki. Check out www.lan.com for more.

On some of our trips, it is necessary to use an overnight bag on the occasional nights when it’s not possible to unload your bags from the coach (like our Peru Jungle Lodge & at Machu Picchu). It’s a good idea to bring an overnight bag, or hand luggage that’s big enough to double up as an overnighter when needed.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Our team in Latin America are all genuine Latin locals, and they can’t wait to show you their backyard. Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's not included that I should budget for?

There are loads of great things to spend your money on while you’re in Latin America – from a day trip to a beautiful coastal town, to a special dinner or an outfit that you just can’t resist... So how much money should you bring?

Remember your trip already includes plenty of things such as breakfast every day, many meals, lots of sightseeing, guided tours & activities & much more


Before you travel, it’s a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a local taxi
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot

Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?

Contiki’s Latin America accommodation is almost all hotels on a twin-share basis. You will stay in centrally located 3-star hotels & resorts that have been chosen for their particular character, charm, location & style. They’re all very comfortable & have some great amenities, like WiFi and en-suite bathrooms.

What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation's family of brands. From our Me To We volunteering trip in Ecuador to the shark saver initiative in the Galapagos, our projects in Latin America are all about giving something back. Find out more at https://www.contiki.com/uk/en/about/contiki-cares.