The Heart of South America
As our travel club continues to explore more amazing places around the world, we’re so excited to finally offer this one of a kind group tour to Colombia! This is the only South American country with both Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and the beautiful people who call her home are famed for their music, footballers, fruit, and coffee. Islands off the coast welcome those seeking tranquil white sands and the renowned cities of Bogotá, Medellín, and Cartagena are complemented by numerous quaint towns & villages with charming colonial histories and architecture. We’ll get to experience all these great gems including some awesome off the path experiences which will truly connect us to the fabulous people and culture of Colombia! As always, countless photographic opportunities await and we’ll no doubt come home with some unforgettable images to cherish for years to come.
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* 8 night/9 Day Colombia Small Group Tours
* Breakfast everyday
* Welcome & Farewell Dinners, & 2 lunches included
* Boutique B&Bs & top rated hotels in excellent locations
* Domestic Airfare Included: Bogota → Medellin / Medellin → Cartagena
* Private, local expert guides throughout!
The countries capital is situated high in the Andes and truly has something for everyone. A good starter is the Candelaria district, where interesting colonial architecture and narrow streets bustle with intrepid travelers. From here, the grand Catedral Primera and state buildings at the busy Bolívar square are just a short walk away. A plethora of museums dot the city, including the must visit Museo de Oro which exhibits an immense collection of pre-Colombian gold! The cloudy summit of Mount Monserrate boasts fantastic panoramic views of the vast city and surroundings. And we can’t forget some of the cities closest neighbors shine all by themselves, including the holy Guatavita Lake, Zipaquira’s mythical salt cathedral, and the breathtaking Chingaza National Park.
* La Candelaria: Explore & photograph the historical city center with its impressive churches, the national palace, and the city center square “Plaza Bolívar”.
* The Museo de Oro: “Bogotá’s most famous museum and one of the most fascinating in all of South America, the Gold Museum contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold and other materials from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia.”- Lonely Planet
* Cable Car to Monserrate: An absolute highlight is the cable car ride to the top of Monserrate mountain offering a stunning overview of the vibrant city just begging to be photographed, panoramic style.
* Bogotá Graffiti, a Real Art Form: This isn’t your typical spray paint strewn on city buildings but a display of thought provoking art, strategically placed and beautifully crafted, offering culturally infused visual stories and professing the people’s most important loves, desires, opinions, and tragedies! Did we forget to mention how fun they are to photograph! Our local guide will show us some of the most beautiful and important graffiti throughout the heart of the city…
* The “Ciclovia”: Explore the city of Bogota by bike. The “Ciclovia” takes place on Sundays and holidays in the capital city and about 125 miles of main roads are closed for everyone to enjoy with their bikes, jogging, roller-blades, on foot, and any other way you can enjoy the city without vehicles causing a ruckus ! From the historical center we’ll start the biking tour until reaching the pretty neighborhood of Usaquen in the north (easy 6 mile ride). Here we hop off to visit a local handicraft market and photograph the pretty colors and people that make it so vibrant. *Alternative walking tour will be available for those who do not want to bike ride.
Medellín, known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” has been transformed into one of the most livable and innovative metropolises in Latin America. Colorful, friendly people and a pleasant climate entice visitors from all over the world to cultural events among the city’s attractive streets and squares. Vibrant nightlife and nearby nature spots around Medellín’s seven hills offer countless urban and natural adventures.
* Amazing Transformation from Drug Capital to Cultural Wonderland: Explore the most fascinating areas of the city with our guide who will focus on the incredible history of Medellín’s history as one of the most dangerous cities in the world to the “City of Eternal Spring”! Back in the early 90’s hunting down Pablo Escobar, the head of Medellin’s drug cartel was at its peak.
Soon the reign of “El Patrón” came to an end. Until the turn of the millennium the struggles and aftermath from Escobar’s successors continued, but since 2002 Medellin began to change. Intelligent local politicians started to invest heavily in infrastructure and public education – successfully. Today the city is one of the most innovative centers in the world and there is no better way to learn about the astounding transformation of this fascinating metropolis.
* Peñol Boulder: One of the most spectacular destinations surrounding Medellín, the top of this 700 ft monolith can be reached via a 740 step staircase! Breath-taking views & awesome photograph opportunities are all around with stunning surroundings full of green mountains and blue lakes!
* Guatapé: Famous for its church and houses decorated with colorful paintings, this quaint village makes a great stop outside of Medellín. Accessed via a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia, there are a variety of delicious typical Colombian lunches on the waterfront of the Guatapé reservoir. We’ll also explore the lake on a boat ride before heading back to the city.
Cartagena & the Caribbean
“Colombia’s Caribbean coast blends beautiful, romantic urban spaces with some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Adventurous travelers should head to the Rosario Islands, or the San Bernardo Archipelago, with their perfect white sands and clear water where tropical fauna, fish, and turtles thrive. Cartagena offers the ultimate in regional hospitality with a dazzling colonial walled city and fortress right on the coast and epic nightlight with an awesome salsa dancing culture!
* The Ultimate Tropical Spanish Colonial City: Highlights on our guided walking excursion include the church and the monastery of San Pedro Claver, the cathedral, the church of Santo Domingo, and the barricade of Santo Domingo, Santiago & San Francisco Javier. We’ll stroll through and photograph the charming, romantic alleys and admire impressive colonial buildings, not to mention the city wall and castle of San Felipe de Barajas built during Spanish colonial times. The Inquisition Palace and the historic clock tower also bear memories of old times and provide a great visual contrast to the more current surroundings.
* The Rosario Islands: Located approximately 1 hour by boat southwest of Cartagena, this tropical paradise consists of 20 hectares of coral islands and reefs. Some are swampy and consist mainly of mangrove and coconut trees, while others are pristine with crystal clear water superb for snorkeling and diving. There will be plenty of free time to relax & wander the beaches and streets of the largest island, Isla Grande (Also known as Majagua). An optional snorkeling trip will also be a great way to experience this protected paradise.
* La Boquilla Fishing Village & Mangrove Boat Trip (Optional): This Afro- Cartagena village of fishermen is a great place for a guided walk to photograph and learn more about the history of the village & unique population that’s lived here for over 250 years. Their rich, cultural market traditions and joy that characterizes the people of the Colombian Caribbean coast should not be missed. This afternoon enjoy an amazing boat ride in a wooden canoe through the natural mangrove tunnels in the Cienaga de Juan Polo Swamp (known as The Love, The Happiness, and Remember tunnels). We’ll learn about the ecosystem of the Mangroves and their vital importance to the local’s way of life and preserving a balanced natural environment. Price & more details in the daily itinerary…
* Salsa Night: After our delicious farewell dinner, we’re in for a treat that really shows the origin and passion of the cities typical dance. The history of Cartagena has a big Cuban musical influence resulting in salsa collectors opening clubs more than thirty years ago which still thrive and flood the street’s of Cartagena’s nightlife today. Happiness, maracas, drums and cognacs are the key ingredients here. Our local insider guide makes it possible to go deep down into the authentic night life of the city through some of the most famous dance clubs. These hidden gems are the space for an incredible display of the best dancers and a journey in body and soul to their energy and passion! With an expert in Salsa and professional Salsa dancers, we’ll enjoy a truly unique evening.
* Optional Extra Night in the Tropics: For those who can’t get enough of Cartagena’s plethora of excitement, beautiful beaches, & tropical coastline, stay an extra night and relax and explore on your own OR join an optional street food tour! Price & more details in the daily itinerary…
* As always this entire trip will be amazing for photography and one photographer will be on hand to help those who want to learn more about using their camera’s, composing better images, etc. (PhotoFly Travel Club adventures are laid back when it comes to photography. They are not workshop style based tours and you do not need to be an avid photographer to join. All are welcome!)
* All Ground & Water Transfers Included
* Domestic Airfare Included: Bogota → Medellin / Medellin → Cartagena
* International airfare not included but we’re happy to help you find the best flights as always. (Flying into Bogota International Airport (BOG) & departing from Cartagena International Airport (CTG)
* Don’t forget to e-mail us for the daily itinerary of our Colombia small group tours at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancellation Policy & Refunds
*There is a $100.00 administrative fee for all cancellations. Cancellations made 90 days or more prior to departure are fully refundable except for the $100 fee. Cancellations less than 90 days prior to departure date will receive no refund of full amount due. No refunds on unused portions of the tour. After airline tickets are issued, airline cancellations are per the airline’s policy and are usually non-refundable and changeable with a fee plus new ticket price.
*Hotels subject to change based on availability
CST # 2101181-40