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Colombian Coasts & Culture

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The one that serves up pristine beaches, lush rainforest hikes & Caribbean city charms

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

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

  • Duration

    9 days

  • Places

    5 places

  • Meals

    7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Mini-Coach

  • Group Size

    Max 25 people

  • Team

    Expert trip manager, driver & local guides

Medellin, Cartagena, Palomino Beach, Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta

Colombian Coasts & Culture

9 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Locally guided City Tour
  • Visit Castillo de San Felipe
  • Locally guided Walking Tour
  • Included flight to Cartagena
  • Locally guided Walking Tour
  • Afro-Caribbean Cooking Class
  • Hiking Tayrona National Park
  • Visit La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandro
  • Walking Tour of Santa Marta

2 Free Time Add-Ons

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

  • Day trip to Guatapé
  • Tubing

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 8 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    5 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Hostel, 1 night in Twin Share Tent

    We'll have you cosy and comfortable in quality hotels, vibrant hostels and have something special up our sleeves with some camping under starlit skies.

About this trip

From Caribbean coasts to thick canopies, this sun-soaked adventure through Colombia is all about biodiversity, with a healthy spot of beachside relaxation along the way. With included hikes through jaw-dropping national parks, an Afro-Caribbean cooking class and a tour through the 'City of Eternal Spring,' Medellin, you'll also have a chance to visit the ridiculously cute Disney-esque paradise of Guatape. This one's for adventurers looking for sun, culture, spectacular natural beauty and the best people to share this intoxicating country with.

Buy With Confidence

  • 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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    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

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    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

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

Nights spent per location

  1. 2 2 nights

    Medellin

  2. 2 2 nights

    Cartagena

  3. 2 2 nights

    Palomino Beach

  4. 1 1 night

    Tayrona National Park

  5. 1 1 night

    Santa Marta

DAY 1 - Medellin

Medellin

Today you'll link up with your Contiki fam in the colourful 'City of Eternal Spring.' We've got a full day to explore this sun-soaked city, and a locally guided city tour is the perfect way to get stuck in. We'll learn all about the way Medellin has bounced back from a tumultuous past, checking out Plaza Botera, Santo Domino and the local markets. As the balmy evening draws in, anyone up for some Tango lessons? 

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided City Tour

DAY 2 - 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 3 - Medellin to Cartagena

Medellin

Adios Medellin! The coasts of the Caribbean are calling, and our flight today takes us to the storybook beauty of Cartagena, considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas.

Cartagena

On arrival we'll head straight to the fortress Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Built strategically by the Spanish in 1536 on the hills of San Lazaro, it dominates the landscape whether you approach on land or by sea. Today, there's no need to defend against pirates and foreign invaders, but the awe-inspiring fortress still sparks the imagination, offering dreamy views of the city below. In the afternoon we'll head to the walls of the Old City, where we'll have an authentic dinner at Cafe del Mar and watch the sunset. Pure bliss.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Castillo de San Felipe

  • Locally guided Walking Tour

  • Included flight to Cartagena

DAY 4 - Cartagena

Cartagena

This morning we’ll beat the heat on a walking tour of the Old City. Steeped in history and fables, this city was once among the most important trading ports in the colonial Americas. It's an invigorating overload of the senses as we wander through the Old City – colourful buildings, riotous blooms of flowers, iconic plazas and vibrant street vendors everywhere you look. It's little wonder that the Pulitzer Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writings were influenced by this city's mystery and romance. Grab a delicious limonada de coco (Coconut Lemonade) to cool off before we head to the local market to pick up our supplies for our Afro-Caribbean cooking class. Delicious.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Locally guided Walking Tour

  • Afro-Caribbean Cooking Class

DAY 5 - Cartagena to Palomino Beach

Cartagena

With Cartagena in the rear-view mirror we head out of Palomino Beach, where we'll enjoy laid-back vibes and cafes and chill out. Driving north along the coast, we'll be floored already by Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on one side and the Caribbean on the other.

Palomino Beach

This afternoon, we'll unpack, unwind, and compare snaps of all the spectacular sights we've seen.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

DAY 6 - Palomino Beach

Palomino Beach

Rise and shine - just kidding, in this place life moves at a decidedly slower pace. No ATMS, limited Wi-Fi - just poolside bliss, cold cocktails, pure white beaches and stress-free vibes. If you're looking for a bit of activity, rent bikes or opt in for some tubing down the Palomino River.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Tubing

DAY 7 - Palomino Beach to Tayrona National Park

Palomino Beach

Strap on your hiking shoes and lather on the sunscreen, because today we're visiting the spectacular Tayrona National Park.

Tayrona National Park

Famed for its stunning white sand beaches, lush green jungle and turquoise waters framed by the iconic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, this place is simply unmissable. Our hike, the Pueblito Trail, winds through the jungle (eyes peeled for monkeys, parrots and the ever-elusive jaguar) to a small indigenous community, before snaking up to Cabo San Juan beach. Here you can jump in the crystalline waters to cool off. Tayrona's our home for the night, where we'll sleep in tents under the starlit skies. Does it get any better than this?

Stay

Camping at Tayrona

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Hiking Tayrona National Park

DAY 8 - Tayrona National Park to Santa Marta

Tayrona National Park

Soak in all that beauty for the last time as we leave Tayrona behind and head south to Santa Marta.

Santa Marta

Upon arrival, we'll visit the 17th Century Hacienda, La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandro, the place where Simon Bolivar (the revolutionary who lead Latin America to Independence from Spain) famously died. We'll then walk the historic city centre, before sharing some laughs and memories over dinner tonight.

Stay

3-4 Star Standard Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandro

  • Walking Tour of Santa Marta

DAY 9 - Santa Marta

Santa Marta

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.