When we think of Colombia, we think of colour and passion, colonial charm, and bustling cities. But most of all, we think of adventure, which is why this is the perfect 12 day trip to explore the active and adventurous side of this vibrant country. From the jaw-dropping salt cathedrals of Zipaquira, to the blood-pumping extreme sports capital of San Gil, to hot air ballooning over the lush beauty of the coffee zone and exploring Colombia's beating heart: Bogota, this 12-day adventure is a feast for every single one of your senses.
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.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...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.
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.
Adios Villa de Levya - we're headed to the adventure capital of Colombia, San Gil! Adrenaline junkies, this will be your paradise.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.This evening we arrive in San Gil, ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
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.
Today we won't waste a single second as we head back to Bogota on a speedy internal flight.Now we have a chance to explore Colombia's beating heart properly, with a locally guided tour the perfect way to get stuck in.
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.
Today we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Bogota and take a speedy internal flight to the gorgeous Zona Cafetera (coffee zone)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.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.
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.
Rise and Shine – its an early morning start as we make our way to 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.
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?
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.
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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Trip Name: Colombia Quest
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: $1,657
Supplier Tour ID: 323/251136
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