- Explore Bogotá’s historic Candelaria District.
- Learn the history of Bogotá and wander the lively Plaza de Paloquemao market with an expert guide.
- Uncover the Legend of El Dorado at Lake Guatavita.
- Travel through ancient archaeological parks and visit indigenous tribal villages.
- Enjoy the lush tropical rainforests of Tayrona National Park.
- 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.
Today, we will explore Lake Guatavita, a natural paradise and one of the most important Muisca sacred sites from pre-Columbian times. The lake is famous for the Legend of El Dorado, which refers to the treasures held deep inside the waters of the lake. The mountains surrounding this site will amaze you as you climb to view the sparkling green lake.Afterwards, chow down on delicious Colombian food at a traditional restaurant. Then, we will visit an actual Muisca community centre in the nearby town of Sesquile. At the Sesquile settlement, you will see how today’s Muiscas are trying to maintain their old traditions, despite adopting modern life and technology.
You will also travel through the splendid landscapes, stopping at the beautiful colonial towns of Guatavita and Sesquile. At the end of the day, we will go back to your hotel in Bogota.
Today, you will take a flight from Bogota to Pitalito, a small town only 45 min driving from San Agustin. As there is only one flight per day and the departure time varies depending on the day of the week, you may have sometime in the morning to explore a bit more of Bogota. At the relevant, time we will transfer you to the airport in Bogota.
Upon arrival in Pitalito, we will pick you up from the airport to transfer you to the hotel in San Agustin.
We will spend the morning at the main Archaeological park site. The park is an open-air exhibition of about 16 reconstructed funerary mound and hundreds of megalithic sculptures. We can also see related archaeological materials at the site´s museum.
The sculptures and monuments in the park have been traced back to the mythology of pre-Hispanic people that inhabited the area hundreds of years ago, and who were forced out of the area and into the Amazon and Orinoco regions of Colombia around 1400. The group practically disappeared at this time. The dates of the statues are uncertain, but they are believed to have been carved between 5-400 AD.
At the park, we will visit various sites including: Bosque de las Estatuas (the statues forest), the Mesita A, Mesita B, Mesita C, Alto de Lavapatas and Fuente de Lavapatas, a complex maze of pools and water channels hewn from bedrock carved with figures of animals and humans. It was used for religious ceremonies and bathing.
After visiting the park, we will have time for lunch before going to El Tablon and La Chaquira. At El Tablon we will see other anthropomorphic statues. Then, we will hike to La Chaquira one of the most impressive sites, with deities carved into the sheer rock above the beautiful Río Magdalena gorge.
The Magdalena river is the most important river of Colombia and the fifth-largest river basin in South America. It stretches from the Central and Easter Andes in the south of the country to the Caribbean Sea in the north. It runs up for nearly 949 miles (1,528 kilometres) and is home to many diverse ecosystems including forest, mountains, valleys and wetlands. As the source of the Magdalena River is not far from San Agustin, today, we will be able to visit the Magdalena Strait, where the river squeezes through a narrow canyon just under 3m (9.84 ft) in width.
This region of Colombia, apart from being famous due to the archaeological sites, it is also quite important for the high-quality coffee. Therefore, after visiting the Magdalena Strait, we will go to a coffee farm to learn everything about harvesting and making coffee, from planting the coffee beans to the picking and roasting process. We will learn how to select and pick only the ripe coffee cherries and also how to taste and evaluate the coffee’s quality, just like a coffee expert.
Early in the morning, we will start a journey of approximately 4.5 hours towards the municipality of Inzá, where the archaeological park of Tierradentro is located. This spectacular archaeological park holds the largest concentration of pre-Columbian monumental shaft tombs with side chambers–known as hypogea—which were carved in the volcanic tuff below hilltops and mountain ridges.
In the afternoon, we will visit the most interesting tombs in the Alto de Segovia. Some of these Tierradentro tombs are around 12 meters wide and buried up to 7 meters deep. They were carved directly into volcanic rock. Sadly, many tombs have been deteriorated over time due to grave-robbers looting in the past, but some still have visible red and black design motifs inside, which are thought to reproduce the internal decoration of houses from that time. They reveal the social complexity and cultural wealth of a pre-Hispanic society in the northern Andes. Sadly, the pre-Hispanic society that built these wonders has disappeared, but these tombs leave an important trace of their everyday life.
The main entrance of the park is surrounded by the small indigenous resguardo of San Andrés de Pisimbalá, where you will spend the night. This resguardo has only one main street, a small church and a few houses.
After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Tatacoa Desert, the second largest arid zone in Colombia after the Guajira Peninsula. The total journey from Tierradentro is approximately 4.5 hours. We will stop on the way to admire the landscape and drink something.Tatacoa Desert is located in Villavieja, a small town 45 min driving from Neiva, the capital city of the department of Huila. During our visit to Tatacoa Desert we will see the stunning landscapes of the red desert (Cusco sector), as well as the surreal, moon-like terrain of the grey desert (Los Hoyos sector).
The landscape of the red desert is adorned by the amazing labyrinths carved by water and erosion, the red colour also indicates the rock’s richness in iron. In this area, you can also visit the three of wishes (El árbol de los deseos). The local belief says that the person who finds a heart-shaped folded leaf and unfolds it without damaging it, will be allowed to ask for a wish.
When visiting the grey desert with its ashy coloured stones interrupted by some green specks of vegetation, you will feel as if you were on the moon. In this sector, you will visit the valley of ghosts, name given to the area where the stones there have a strange similarity to supernatural entities raising from the soil.
In the evening, we will go to the observatory to the stars that sparkle over the desert. At the end of this adventure, we will go to the hotel in Neiva.
In the morning, we will go to airport in Neiva for a flight to Santa Marta. Santa Marta is the oldest colonial city in South America. The city is rich in history and well-preserved colonial architecture with great restaurants, bars and cafés. Santa Marta is also the home of the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where the national hero Simon Bolivar died in 1830.There is not a direct flight to Santa Marta, so you will have to connect in Bogota (stop of approximately two hours). Upon arrival in Santa Marta, we will meet you at the airport to transfer you to the hotel.
Today, we will spend the day at Tayrona National Natural Park, where we will see some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. We will be hiking across the forest to visit various beaches in the park where you can swim or just relax by the beach. There are a number of restaurants and bars in the park where you can stop for lunch in the shade, relax and admire the spectacular surroundings.Note: Please be aware the park is usually closed from the 28th of January to the 28th of February, and during the first two weeks of June and the last two weeks of October. The first reason is to allow the natural ecosystems to rest and replenish, particularly after the high season. The second reason is to allow the four indigenous groups – who have always called the park and the wider Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta home – to perform traditional cleaning rituals and ceremonies.
We will spend the day at Quebrada del Sol in the foothills of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. At Quebrada del Sol, we will have the opportunity to visit an indigenous Kogui community and admire the spectacular landscape of these region of Colombia.The Kogui are an indigenous ethnic group that live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. They are descendants of the Tairona culture, which flourished before the times of the Spanish conquest. Their live in the mountains has allowed them to escape the worst effects of colonization and preserve their traditions. During our visit there, we will learn about their traditions and see the legacy of the Tairona civilization. We will also spend time hiking around this area and go to the rivers Buritaca and Don Diego.
At the end of the tour, we will go back to Santa Marta.
After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Cartagena. On the ways, we will visit the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, the largest coastal lagoon of Colombia, declared as the first Ramsar site in the country in 1998 and as a humanity reserve by UNESCO in 2000. At the Cienaga, we will go by boat to Venecia, a small fishing Village with colourful houses, where we will learn about the life and finish culture of this community.
At the end of our visit, we will continue our journey to Cartagena. From the Cienega to Cartagena is approximately 3 hours.
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 on top of the San Lazaro hill and defended the city from many attacks including a British siege in 1741. The old city is the historic heart and soul of Cartagena. We will walk around its cobbled streets, visiting or 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.
At 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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