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Hola Colombia

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The one that gives you all the best of Colombia in 18-days, from Caribbean coastlines to colourful towns

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

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

  • Duration

    18 days

  • Places

    12 places

  • Meals

    7 Dinner, 17 Breakfast, 3 Lunch

  • Transport Style

    Mini-Coach

  • Group Size

    Max 25 people

  • Team

    Expert trip manager, driver & local guides

  • International Flights

    Included

Bogota, Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Salento, Medellin, Cartagena, Palomino Beach, Tayrona National Park, Santa Marta, Zipaquira, Barichara, Zona Cafetera

Hola Colombia

17 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
  • 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

9 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
  • Tubing

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 17 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    14 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

Looking to explore all the colours of Colombia? From bustling cities, to lush coffee plantation towns, charming cobblestoned retreats, and idyllic beaches, this 18 day extravaganza brings you the very best of this vibrant country. Whether you're taking a hot air balloon over the 'coffee zone', kicking back on the Caribbean coastlines of Palomino or soaking up some culture in cute colonial towns, there's no better way to explore Colombia in all its glory. Say hola to the adventure of a lifetime.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $200 deposit to book

    Reserve your space now with a deposit, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    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

  • Financing available with UpLift

    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. 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

  10. 2 2 nights

    Cartagena

  11. 2 2 nights

    Palomino Beach

  12. 1 1 night

    Tayrona National Park

  13. 1 1 night

    Santa Marta

+3 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 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 13 - 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 14 - 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.

DAY 15 - 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.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Tubing

DAY 16 - 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 17 - 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 18 - 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.