Explore Colombia's History and Culture
San Agustin, Popayan and the Coffee Triangle from £2095pp
These classic 10-day holidays to Colombia take you south from Bogota to explore the giant stone idols of the San Agustin World Heritage Site. These prehistoric wonders are some of the most important in South America, but receive only a fraction of the visitors of sites like Machu Picchu.
From here, we'll travel west across the mountains to the charming colonial town of Popayan, and then head north to the rolling hills and balmy climate of Colombia's Coffee Triangle. Staying in a traditional hacienda on a coffee plantation, you'll be able to explore the history and culture of the area, and also to enjoy the wildlife and beautiful scenery of the Cocora Valley in the Nevados National Park.
- Day One: Arrival in Bogota
- Day Two: City Tour & Gold Museum
- Day Three: Travel to San Agustin
- Day Four: Tour of San Agustin Archaeological Park
- Day Five: Travel to Popayan
- Day Six: Tour of Popayan and Morro de Tulcan
- Day Seven: Free Day
- Day Eight: Tour of the Coffee Triangle
- Day Nine: Valle del Cocora Tour
- Day Ten: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Start of your Holidays to Colombia
We will meet you at the airport in Colombia's vibrant capital of Bogota and take you to your hotel in the city's metropolitan north side as your holidays to Colombia begin. After you’ve checked in why not take a stroll to one of the area's many restaurants and bars where you can enjoy your first taste of Colombian food... or maybe just the rum!
Day Two - Tour of Bogota
We’ve kept this morning free to give you chance for a leisurely breakfast and some time to introduce yourself to the city. In the afternoon we will pick you up from your hotel and give you a guided tour of Bogota's historic centre, known as La Candelaria. On the tour we will visit the grand Plaza de Bolivar, as well as the city's astonishing Gold Museum. After an afternoon exploring Bogota's culture and history we will take you back to your hotel, so you can head out for dinner. (Breakfast included)
- There is plenty more to do in and around Bogota, so if you have an extra day to spend, you could go and visit the eerie Guatavita Crater Lake.
- Or if you have a little longer, then why not take a couple of days to visit the lovely colonial town of Villa de Leyva?
Day Three – Travel to San Agustin
This morning we will pick you up and take you to the airport for your flight south to Neiva. Upon arrival at Neiva airport we will head south along a paved road until we reach the small town of San Agustin, enjoying terrific views of the stunning Rio Magdalena Valley. You will have the rest of the day free to relax and enjoy the scenery. (B)
Day Four - San Agustin Archaeological Park
After breakfast this morning we'll set off to visit the San Agustin Archaeological Park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995. The site is home to enormous pre-historic stone statues which are reminiscent of both Aztec sculpture and the Easter Island Moai, and today we'll learn how they were made and find out more about their cultural significance to the indigenous communities of the area. We will also enjoy a short walk up to the ceremonial Fuente de Lavapatas site, where a labyrinth of carved water channels and pools shows the sophisticated engineering skills of the prehistoric inhabitants, before heading up the hill to the Lavapatas terrace from where you can enjoy some beautiful views over the surrounding countryside.
In the afternoon, we will travel further into the hills of the Colombian Massif, and the higher reaches of the Rio Magadalena, where we'll see a spectacular rocky gorge which forces the river to pass through a tiny gap in the rocks. From here we will drive back through the Archaeological Park to San Agustin and our hotel. (B)
- Why not extend your holidays to Colombia with an extra day to visit the Altos de los Idolos de los Piedros sites?
- Or add another day to visit the amazing and enigmatic rock tombs of the Tierradentro Archaeological Park?
Day Five - Travel to Popayan
Today we will enjoy a spectacular journey through the Andes mountains as we head west towards the lovely colonial town of Popayan, the capital of the department of Cauca. The scenery is much higher and more dramatic but still lush and green, and we'll be able to get some fantastic photos before arriving in Popayan in the late afternoon. (B)
Day Six - Popayan and Morro de Tulcan
This morning we will pick you up for a tour of Popayan. We'll visit the city's historic centre, the Parque Caldas, where we’ll learn more about the area's religious monuments and the pilgrims that visit the city every year. Then we'll head to the pyramid of Morro de Tulcan, a major prehistoric site right in the heart of Popayan. You'll get great views of the city from the top of the pyramid, so don’t forget to bring a camera! Lastly we'll make a visit to the Santo Domingo church, a baroque style church designed by the Spanish architect Antonio García, which is considered to be the most beautiful church in the area.
In the afternoon, we'll hit the road again and make our way north to Perrira, in the heart of Colombia's beautiful Coffee Triangle. We will arrive in the late afternoon at our traditional hacienda on a coffee plantation, where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views and balmy climate. (B)
- The weekly indigenous market at nearby Silvia is one of the best in South America, so if that's of interest, we can plan your visit to Popayan around it?
Day Seven - Free Day At Your Colonial Hacienda
We've given you a full free day to relax into the pace of life here in the Coffee Zone. Just lie by the pool and enjoy a good book, or head out for a stroll around the hacienda's grounds and take in the area's magnificent scenery. However you choose to spend today you can be sure that the views won't disappoint and your batteries will be thoroughly re-charged. (B)
Day Eight - Coffee Triangle Tour
After breakfast this morning we will head out to explore the coffee plantations that make Colombian coffee so famous. We will visit a traditional coffee hacienda where we'll learn all about the processes involved in producing Colombian coffee. We will discover how the farm dries the coffee and why the volcanic soil is the perfect place to grow it. After we've learnt a little about the coffee growing process we'll head indoors to sample some of the world-famous brew! After the tour we will head back to your hotel where you'll have the rest of the afternoon free to relax. (B)
Day Nine - Valle del Cocora
This morning we will leave the hotel and head into the Valle de Cocora which is located in the mountains of Quindio. The valley is at the heart of the Nevados national park and is the ideal place to see Colombia’s national tree, the Quindian Wax Palm. The Wax Palm can grow to reach a staggering sixty metres tall and they are nesting-sites for some of Colombia's most beautiful birds. Whilst we move through the trees we'll get a chance to see a number of different bird species including hummingbirds and the endangered Palm Parrot.
As we continue along the valley we’ll head up into the cloud forest, where our expert guide will show us the local fauna and flora. After spending some more time in the cloud forest we will head back down the path and cross the river Quindio, where we will stop at a local trout farm to enjoy some freshly smoked trout. After lunch we'll travel on to the picturesque town of Salento, where we will have some free time to wander before heading back to the hacienda for your last night on holiday to Colombia. (B/L)
Day Ten - Last day of your holidays to Colombia
Sadly, today marks the end of your holidays to Colombia. After a final free morning here in Pereira, we will pick you up and take you to the airport for a short flight back to Bogota. Most flights to the UK leave in the evening, so you’ll arrive with plenty of time to check-in for your international flight home. (B)
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Our standard price for these holidays to Colombia is £2095 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees, plus breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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