- Explore Bogotá’s historic Candelaria District.
- Learn the history of Bogotá and wander the lively Plaza de Paloquemao market with an expert guide.
- Visit well preserved colonial towns in the Colombian Andes.
- Interact with locals and learn their traditions and ways of life.
- Hike ancient paths created by the Guane indigenous people.
- Explore Cartagena’s UNESCO-protected architecture with a private guide.
- Stay at exclusive hand-picked accommodations.
Today, we will visit some of the most iconic places in Bogota’s historic centre. We will have the chance to admire the world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold at the Gold Museum, and check the artistic work of Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous painter and sculptor at the Museo Botero. We will glimpse the diversity of architectural styles on display at the historic neighbourhood of La Candelaria and we will capture spectacular panoramic views of the city from the top of Cerro de Monserrate.
To have the perfect ending to our historic tour in Bogota, we will go to a local roasting coffee plant to learn how to taste and differentiate the quality and flavours of different coffees, just like an expert coffee taster.
Note: Gold Museum is closed on Mondays and Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Early in the morning, we will start our journey towards Villa de Leyva. Along the way, we will visit the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira and Raquira. This spectacular Cathedral, built within the tunnels of a salt mine, is located 50km north of Bogota. The Cathedral is situated 180m underground and has three sections representing the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. The illumination and construction work is a tribute to modern engineering techniques and years of work from the miners to the artists.
After visiting the Cathedral, we will continue our trip towards Raquira, a small, colourful village with brightly painted facades and a jumble of crafts shops. This beautiful village is famous for its pottery and handicrafts made of clay, undoubtedly an exciting spot for shopping. We will have lunch on the way to Raquira. Then, we will continue our journey towards Villa de Leyva.
Villa de Leyva is a small Spanish-style town founded in 1572. It was home to many influential politicians, artists and wealthy families during the colonial period. This lovely town, built in the classic Spanish colonial style with whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and terracotta roofs, has been remarkably well-preserved. Its central plaza, the largest in Colombia and one of the largest in South America, is surrounded by magnificent colonial buildings, restaurants and shops.
Early in the morning, we will go to a farm located one hour from Villa de Leyva. Here, we will enjoy a traditional Colombian breakfast, followed by a cooking experience to learn how to make “almohabana”, a traditional Colombian corn pastry. During this experience, you will have the opportunity to interact with the family at the farm and learn from them a bit of history on how the ancient indigenous used to process and cook food made of corn.
After this enjoyable gastronomic activity, we will go to another farm to learn everything about panela production, a product derived from sugar cane. At this farm, you will learn about the sugar cane process from harvesting to the production of panela.
After lunch, we head for Convento Santo Ecce Homo, founded by the Dominican fathers in 1620. The convent is a spectacular stone-and-adobe construction with a lovely courtyard and floors paved with stones quarried in the region, containing ammonites and fossils, including petrified corn and flowers. At the end of the visit, we will go back to Villa de Leyva. You will have the rest of the afternoon at leisure for your exploration.
After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Barichara, another colonial town located in the department of Santander.
Splendid colonial architecture, hand-carved stone and wooden balconies are some of the reasons why Barichara has officially named the most beautiful town in Colombia. As Santander is one of the most mountainous regions of Colombia, you will be impressed by its unique natural landscape. The journey from Villa de Leyva to Barichara will take approximately 4 hours. Along the way, we will stop to take pictures of the impressive landscape in this region of Colombia.
Today, we will go to a local house to learn about building colonial houses. We will learn about the local technique used to construct colonial houses in this area of Colombia. This workshop will also be an excellent opportunity to interact with the local community and learn more about their daily lives.
We will also visit some of the main colonial buildings in the town, including Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, Casa de la Cultura and other historical constructions. Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción is an impressive construction made of sandstone that dominates the town’s architecture. It is the main church in Barichara and is particularly lovely at sunset when the stone turns a rich orange.
You will have time to explore this lovely town with small cafés, boutique craft shops, and photogenic street scenes.
Today, we will be hiking for about 2 hours along the Camino Real, an ancient trail that connects Barichara and the small town of Guane.
The Camino Real trail was originally built by the Guane indigenous people and then used later by the Spanish. The old paved path was last restored in 1864 by the German George von Lenguerke. The hike is mostly downhill and will take you through a beautiful landscape of the canyon and valley surrounding the town. The trail offers some great views and a peaceful environment.
Guane is an even smaller version of Barichara, although less elaborate. We will have lunch there before coming back to Barichara. In Barichara, we will spend some time visiting the main highlights of the town. You will have the rest of the day at leisure for your exploration.
After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Zapatoca, locate 2.5hrs north of Barichara. On the way to Zapatoca, we will pass through charming little towns like Galán and Fuente that are literally stopped in time.
Zapatoca was built in the 17th century and is located in the middle of an impressive canyons landscape. As a completely off the beaten track destination, Zapatoca is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of its streets surrounded by the spectacular natural landscape. Upon arrival in Zapatoca, we will do a tour around the town before going to the hotel.
Today is to relax and recharge your mind and body. Hotel Sindamanoy, where you are staying, is a Spa focus on wellness. You will be able to take some wellness sessions available to promote self-care, relaxation and overall health and wellbeing. These sessions are already included in the tour.
The hotel is surrounded by a beautiful garden and natural areas for a nice walk. You can also enjoy some time walking around the town, which is very calm and charming.
After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Bucaramanga, the capital city of this region of Colombia.On the way to Bucaramanga, we will stop at Chicamocha National Park, Colombia’s most extensive canyon and one of the most iconic natural places to see in Santander. After arriving in Bucaramanga, we will go to the airport for a late afternoon flight to Cartagena.
Upon arrival in Cartagena, we will go to the hotel.
After breakfast, we will pick you up at the hotel for a city tour covering the Castillo de San Felipe and the old city surrounded by the impressive walls built during the Spanish rule to protect the city against enemies and looters.The Castle of San Felipe is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. It was built at the end of the XVI century for the defence of the city. Its construction began on September 8 of 1614, after the attack of the legendary Sir Francis Drake by order of King Philip III. It is the most preserved and complete fortification in South America and one of the best-walled cities in the world. It is a World Cultural Heritage Site and an invaluable treasure that has resisted the attacks of invaders, time and nature.
The old city is the historic heart and soul of Cartagena. We will walk around its cobbled streets, visiting and passing by the main historical sites.
You will have the afternoon to relax at the hotel or carry on exploring the old city, admire its architecture and immerse yourself in its romantic atmosphere.
Early in the morning, we will go to La Boquilla, a small fishing village located 7 km north of Cartagena. La Boquilla sits on the northern tip of a narrow peninsula, bordered by the sea on one side and the Ciénaga de Tesca on the other.
At La Boquilla, we will take a trip in a wooden canoe through the mangrove forest in La Cienga de Tesca. We glided through tunnels of mangroves to see some of the native and migratory birds found in this ecosystem. After exploring the mangroves, we will arrive at more open water to learn how to fish. A local fisherman will teach you how to cast a net and set crab traps. You will have time to do your best to catch your lunch!
After learning to fish in the mangrove forest, we will go back to the town to enjoy a traditional lunch. The lunch will be a delicious meal consisting of seafood, which is popular along Colombia’s Caribbean coast. While having lunch, you will learn more about the locals’ day-to-day lives and their culture. After lunch, we will go back to the hotel.
You have the day to carry on exploring Cartagena on your own. You can wander around the cobbled streets in the historic city, visit some colonial churches or go to Getsemani to see its colorful graffiti.
AAt the appropriate time, we will bring you to the airport for your journey home. Your host will help you to check-in to your flight and wish you buen viaje!
Like the sound of this Colombia private tour? Get in touch with Kuoda and we’ll start devising your very own customized Colombia private travel experience.
- Personalized itinerary planning
- A Kuoda host to assist you in every location
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
- International flights to and from your home country
- Travel insurance
- Meals not specified
- All gratuities
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