Pearls of Colombia

From white sandy beaches and coffee farms to taking in one of the world’s highest capital cities, our Pearls of Colombia tour promises to give you an unforgettable holiday.

Exploring Colombia’s capital city of Bogota, you’ll discover the architecture and cobbled street in La Candelaria, haggle yourself a bargain at the Paloquemao Market, and be awestruck by the gold sculptures in the Museo del Oro. It’s a city of wonderful sights and diverse experiences.

Heading onwards to the countryside, our Pearls of Colombia tour takes you to discover the beautiful charm of Armenia. Staying in a traditional-style hacienda with views over the Andes Mountains, you’ll enjoy a cacao tasting tour.

If you are a coffee fan then you will be delighted to taste the freshest cup of coffee when you visit a coffee farm and learn about the cultivation process from bean to cup.

Witnessing the underground Roman Catholic Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, which was built 200 metres underground, is on another level.

No holiday to Colombia is complete without seeing the awesome beauty of the Cocora Valley. Trekking through cloud forest, jungle and scenic farmland while taking in the world’s tallest palm trees is a truly magnificent experience.

Our Pearls of Colombia Tour is an immersive holiday that takes you on a journey to discover Colombia’s cities, delicious food, world-famous coffee and breath-taking natural beauty.

Duration
10 days
Best time to go
December to March
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a house that has a sign on the side of a building

Trip highlights

  • Discover how Colombia’s chocolate is made at a cacao farm
  • Visit the underground Salt Cathedral at Zipaquira
  • Take in the wonderful sites and interesting museums in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota
  • Hike through the Cocora Valley, discovering Colombia’s spectacular cloud forest, jungle and breath-taking mountain landscapes

After arriving in Bogotá, you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel. After checking in at the iconic Four Seasons Casa Medina, the rest of your day is free to enjoy at leisure.

Dive into exploring Colombia’s local cuisine - why not book a table at the Casa Medina’s restaurant, Castanyoles? Alternatively, if you want to kick your holiday off with a spot of pampering, then why not head to the hotel’s spa and indulge in one of their coffee or coconut treatments?

Suggested Accommodation

  • Four Seasons Casa Medina

This morning, you’ll head to the lively Paloquemao Market and explore Bogotá’s diverse local produce. Split into different sections - flowers, fruit, vegetables and meat and fish - there is a lot on offer here and often at incredibly low prices. Prepare to haggle as the market vendors are well-versed in the art of bartering. Stepping inside the bustling market, you will discover an array of different fruits and vegetables, and you’re sure to come across products that you haven’t seen before. As Colombia is the second largest exporter of flowers in the world, the fragrant and colourful flower market is also not to be missed.

Your next stop is a trip to Bogotá’s historic district, La Candelaria. As the oldest neighbourhood in Botogá, built in 1580, its cobbled streets, wondrous churches, brightly-coloured buildings and idyllic squares are a delight.

Despite its heritage, La Candelaria is the perfect blend of the old and the new. Alongside its striking Spanish architecture, there’s also a vibrant contemporary street art scene. You can even take a tour to discover the colourful and powerful murals that are seen throughout the district.

Begin your afternoon by heading to Plaza Bolivar, which is the main square in La Candelaria and named after Simon Bolivar, one of Colombia’s most important historical figures. Simon Bolivar played a crucial role in helping Colombia achieve independence from Spanish rule in the 19th century. Another must-see highlight is a visit to the Botero Museum, which displays the largest collection of Fernando Botero’s works of art, as well as pieces by Dali, Degas and Picasso.

You can also learn about the pre-Hispanic societies at the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), which houses more than 55,000 pieces of gold. The incredible collection of gold sculptures reflects the life and culture of Colombia’s ancient societies.

Your final visit of the day is to the impressive underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira. This historic town is built around its salt mines, so where better to build a cathedral completely out of salt than in Zipaquira? It’s a labyrinth of tunnels, complete with an altar, Madonna statues and angels all carved out of salt.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Four Seasons Casa Madina
Colombia Coffee Region

Today, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport where you will catch a flight to Armenia.

Framed by the Andes Mountains, your first day in Armenia will provide you with a chance to explore the city’s stunning natural beauty and its divine artisanal chocolate.

Head to the beautiful Hacienda Bambusa, located in Colombia’s beautiful coffee region. Hacienda Bambusa is a traditional hacienda-style property that has been built in keeping with its setting. It’s a tranquil place with views over the Central Andes Mountains and the surrounding gardens, plantations and farms.

The owners are passionate about chocolate and you will enjoy a two-hour cacao tasting tour, where you will take a hike through its lush green grounds with a local guide. Be sure to look out for the many different bird species that can be spotted along the way.

From the hummingbirds and hammocks to the breath-taking views, your day at Hacienda Bambusa is a wonderful introduction to Armenia.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hacienda Bambusa

Today begins with the opportunity to wander through the quaint streets of Salento. Founded in 1850 and surrounded by verdant mountains, this colonial town is a true gem. The community of Salento is dependent on trout farms, coffee production and tourism. Visitors head to Salento not just to see its paisa architecture, but also its location near to the spectacular Valle de Cocora. Hiking through the magnificent scenery of the Cocora Valley, you will understand its international attraction. You’ll trek through a cloud forest, jungle and scenic farmland, before being awestruck at the sight of its towering palm trees - which coincidentally are the largest in the world! Everyone who travels to Colombia should visit the Cocora Valley - it’s a Colombian rite of passage!  The evening will be spent relaxing back at the Hacienda Bambusa. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hacienda Bambusa

Armenia, alongside Pereira and Manizales, is part of the Colombian coffee region, which is known as the Coffee Triangle. It is famous for growing and producing the majority of Colombian coffee, which is recognised by global coffee sommeliers as being the best in the world.

Today, you will visit a private coffee farm and learn about the process of cultivating coffee from bean to cup. You can meet the owner and even try a cup of coffee made from the farm’s beans - it doesn’t get fresher than that.

Afterwards, return to Hacienda Bambusa, where the rest of your day is free to enjoy at leisure. Whether you take a dip in the infinity pool or curl up in the library with a good book, Hacienda Bambusa is the perfect place to kickback and relax.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hacienda Bambusa

After breakfast, you will be picked up from the Hacienda Bambusa and driven to the airport where you will catch your flight to Cartagena.

Arriving in Cartagena, you can’t help but fall in love with this historic city on the Colombian Caribbean coastline. Cartagena is brimming with colourful colonial architecture, leafy plazas and bougainvillea-adorned balconies, which are utterly charming.

The entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and its mix of cobbled alleyways, ancient churches and street cafes cannot fail but to delight. The city lies within 6.8 miles of ornate centuries-old coral stone wall that, in places, is several metres-thick. You can soak up the Caribbean vibes with a late afternoon horse and carriage ride through the Old Town.

After a heady ride taking in the sights, sounds and atmosphere in Cartagena, check-in at your hotel, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara. The rest of your evening is free to enjoy at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sofitel Legend Santa Clara
a bird swimming in water

After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the pier where you’ll board a boat to the Isla de Baru. Originally connected to the mainland, Baru was once a peninsula just south of Cartagena. It was cut off from the mainland by Canal de Dique to become the Caribbean island you’ll visit today. Expect swaying palms, turquoise waters and stretches of white sand. The Isla de Baru is a slice of paradise. After checking in to your hotel on the island, you can experience the island as you wish.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Las Islas De Baru

After breakfast, it’s another day in paradise. From lazing on the white sandy beaches or swimming in the crystalline waters, to exploring Baru’s tropical scenery, this 15-mile long isle is truly idyllic. Enjoy the day, relaxing and exploring Colombia best-kept secret.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel La Islas De Baru
a group of people walking in front of a building

After breakfast, you will take a boat back to Cartagena where you will dine at one of Cartagena’s well-known restaurants. After feasting on Colombian traditional cuisine, you will be driven to the bay where you can enjoy a lovely sunset boat trip. What better way to end your holiday, than gliding on a boat around the bay, while admiring the magnificent illuminated skies and glorious sunset?  

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

Today you’ll bid farewell to Colombia after an amazing holiday. You’ll be driven to the airport where you will board your flight home. 

 

Included

  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 9 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Board basis is Breakfast only in Bogotá, Baru, and Cartagena (second day)
  • Board basis is Half board (breakfast and lunch/dinner) in Armenia, and Cartagena (first day)
  • Board basis is Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) in Coffee Triangle
  • Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and entertainment for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary

Not included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, local guides,and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)