11 Days Colombia Coffee Tour

  • Bogota - Villa de Leyva - Pereira - Salento - Filandia - Cartagena - Rosario Islands

Colombia Coffee Tours

Colombia is one of Latin America's most distinctive and until recently misrepresented countries, and possibly the most beautiful. In this fascinating private journey you will explore a few of Colombia's highlights, including the rolling hills of coffee country, outside the energetic capital Bogota, and the white coral Rosario Islands off the Caribbean coast, visited from the seductive port of Cartagena. Come and enjoy Colombia's heady mixture of Hispanic, colonial, indigenous and African influences, that has left a mark on its food, music, architecture and culture.

Highlights

  • 2 scenic road journeys
  • Bogota city tour with experienced guide
  • 3 days on a coffee farm located in the heart of the coffee growing region
  • Beautiful scenery along the cities of Cartagena, Salento and Filandia
  • 2 domestic flights included
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily breakfast
  • 10 days with instruction
  • Spanish, English
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You will stay at small, mid-range friendly hotels, colonial or modern in style, with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating or air-conditioning. You will also stay on a traditional coffee farm (finca).

Posada de San Antonio

In harmony with the ambience of colonial Villa de Leyva, Posada San Antonio is a beautifully atmospheric place to stay. Made up of three adjoining mansion houses, this family-owned guesthouse is sumptuously furnished and decorated; featuring heavy polished wooden bedsteads, stone-tiled floors warmed by ornate rugs, and cozy, upholstered sofas. By night, candles create a romantic ambience. All rooms have large comfortable beds, while the gorgeous suites, with beamed ceilings, feature a sitting area and open log fire. The restaurant serves Colombian and international fare, prepared using produce from the own farms of the proprietors.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Conference room
  • Dry cleaning
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Room cleaning
  • Wireless internet

Hotel Casa India Catalina

Housed in one of the beautiful balconied colonial properties for which Cartagena is famed, the charming Hotel Casa India Catalina has an ideal location, right in the heart of the walled city. Guestrooms are individually and simply decorated (some come with balconies that offer a wonderful vantage point over Cartagenas atmospheric street scenes), the hotel's inner courtyard is overlooked by wooden galleries (dripping with ivy and other plants), and there is a small pool backed by a lovely exposed stonewall that is similarly adorned with greenery.

Amenities

  • 24-hour concierge service
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Airport transportation
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Housekeeping service
  • Internet access
  • Mini bar
  • Outdoor pool
  • Wireless internet

Day 1: Bogota

Journey Latin America will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel in the capital. Bogota is a city of sparkling prosperity, oppressive poverty, and everything in between. Its center is awash with splendid colonial churches, fascinating museums, futuristic architecture, and lively universities. Its population is diverse and engaging, and its cultural life both vibrant and seductive.

Day 2: Bogota city tour

On your first full day in Bogota, there will be a guided exploration of the city with a walking tour of the historic core, the colonial Candelaria colonial district. Starting at the Plaza de Bolivar, where the cathedral and congress buildings are located, you will continue on foot through the steep colonial streets towards the Gold Museum, for a visit to this extraordinary, well-displayed collection of pre-Columbian artefacts (housing more than 34,000 gold pieces). It is arguably the most impressive museum of its kind in the world.

In the evening, there will be an ascent of the steep hill towering over Bogota, with a white church at its peak. The path up is quiet throughout the week, but on Sundays, city dwellers depart to climb or take the funicular railway (cable car) to visit this place of pilgrimage. From here, at 3,152 meters, you will have splendid views. You will be driven to the funicular railway station at the base of the mountain. You can visit the church, the 14 stations of the cross, the handicraft and souvenir stands, and pause to enjoy the sunset. You will have the opportunity to dine, at an additional cost, in one of the two traditional restaurants. Take the funicular railway to return to the city.

Day 3: Villa de Leyva via Zipaquira salt cathedral

At a three to four hours drive from Bogota, Villa de Leyva is a well-preserved colonial highland town steeped in history; popular among Colombian and foreign visitors and busy on the weekends. You will make an en route call in at Zipaquira; home to a still functioning, centuries-old salt mine. Nearly 200 meters beneath the earth you will see an extraordinary, mysterious salt cathedral, with its vast pillars and walls made from glistening salt. There are 14 stations of the cross sculpted by different Colombian artists.

During the week, you can wander alone through Villa de Leyvas vast, cobbled main square, winding narrow streets lined with picturesque whitewashed houses bedecked with flowers. This little town sits in a hilly landscape, peppered with the sites of pre-historic remains, some of which you can visit.

Day 4: Discover Villa de Leyva

Head into the surrounding countryside and visit El Fosil, a 7-meter fossil of a marine dinosaur found in the area. Continue to the Dominican convent of Ecce Homo and the archaeological site of El Infiernito. An optional horse-riding trip to a beautiful waterfall in the surrounding hills is also available.

Day 5: Coffee region Colombia

Drive back to Bogota for the flight to Pereira. Continue by road to stay on a coffee farm, located in the heart of the coffee growing region. You will spend some time at a coffee ranch, where you will learn about fruit production and tropical flower cultivation, as well as the intricacies of the coffee production process, including the picking, de-pulping, washing, drying and bean roasting.

The coffee producing area on the western slopes of the Cordillera Central has a pleasant warm climate, and lovely bucolic scenery; with a mountainous, lush, green landscape of shiny coffee bushes interspersed with enormous bamboo jungles and banana plants. You spend 3 days in this beautiful, relaxing region, with walking trails, horse riding opportunities, zip-line canopies and a colorful flora and fauna, as well as a fresh coffee omnipresent throughout.

Days 6-7: Excursions from the coffee farm

An excursion is included to Parque del Cafe, a huge open-air museum and botanical garden that exhibits the history of coffee production in Colombia. Learn about the many different varieties of coffee grown in Colombia, and walk along the nature trails in the bamboo forest. Optional visits to the coffee show (traditional Colombian dances from the different regions), as well as the indoor coffee museum are also available.

Day 8: Salento and Filandia

Drive to Salento, which is a charming, traditional and picturesque village set in high in the Andes. The village is full of houses with balconies adorned with flowers, and wonderful views of the Cordillera Central, emerging behind elegant colonial buildings. You will hike through the forest of clouds to explore Valle de Cocora, a valley of hundreds of wax palms, which is the only palm found at this altitude in the Andes and also the national tree of Colombia. Follow a well-marked path down the valley and continue to Filandia, one of the quintessential villages of the coffee region.

Day 9: Cartagena

You will transfer to Pereira airport and fly via Bogota to Cartagena de Indias on the Caribbean coast. Founded in 1533, the city quickly blossomed to become the main Spanish port in the Caribbean, and a gateway to the north of the continent. Today, the walled city center has changed very little, allowing a glimpse of 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture and town planning. You can enjoy the shade provided by the buildings in these labyrinthine, cobbled streets, and explore the monasteries, palaces, churches, plazas and imposing mansions whose balconies are heavy with flowers.

Beyond this, the city opens up: an eclectic and seductive mix of Caribbean and African influences produces a vibrant street life, with fruit stalls lining the roads and pulsating rhythms emerging from cars and houses. A guided tour will help you soak up the atmosphere of this unique city.

Day 10: Rosario Islands

A full-day excursion takes you to the Rosario Islands, a group of around 30 offshore islets, with white, coral sand and dense mangrove vegetation. You will make your way independently (by foot or taxi) to the colonial hotel Santa Clara on Plaza San Diego in the old town. At the dock, you will continue by boat to the archipelago of El Rosario, situated 35 kilometers south of the Bay of Cartagena. The entire area surrounding the reefs was declared a national park. You can spend your time wallowing in the warm, turquoise waters, or sipping coconut milk from the husk beneath the shade of a palm tree.

Day 11: Transfer to the airport

Transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

  • 3-day trip to a coffee farm located in the heart of the coffee growing region to see the production process first-hand
  • Enjoy Parque del Cafe, a huge open-air museum and botanical garden
  • Fly to Cartagena de Indias, on the Caribbean coast
  • Trip to Rosario islands, Cartagena
  • Trip to Villa de Leyva, a well-preserved colonial highland town
  • Visit Salento: a charming, traditional and picturesque village set in high in the Andes
  • Visit to El Fosil, El Infiernito, and Villa de Leyva
  • Visit to Zipaquira salt cathedral
  • Walking tour of Cartagena

During this tour, you will travel in and around some of Colombias highlights. You will spend 2 nights in Bogota, 2 in Villa de Leyva, 3 in a coffee farm and 3 in Cartagena.

Colombia's idyllic coffee-growing region is a landscape of undulating deep-green hills adorned with towering wax palms. Within this rustic setting, dozens of coffee farms use traditional methods to produce one of the country's most celebrated exports.

  • Do horse riding
  • Experience the coffee production process
  • Explore the Rosario Islands and Cartagena
  • Explore the Cocora valley
  • Visit a coffee show
  • Visit a salt Cathedral
  • Visit Bogotas Gold Museum
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 2 domestic flights included
  • 2 scenic road journeys
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily breakfast
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • Services of Journey Latin America team of experts in the London office of Journey Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions
  • Tips and gratuities

Arrival by airplane

Please arrive at El Dorado International Airport (BOG). Journey Latin America will escort you to your hotel in the capital.

Testimonials

  • Review by A traveler
    8 out of 10

    "JLA provided great planning from the start to the end, took all the hassle out of booking flights, bus, train and mini bus travel. Included excursions were excellent and well thought out, with a great tour leader."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by Travelers from United Kingdom
    9 out of 10

    "Our 3 week holiday was a really wonderful experience throughout. We stayed in 4 countries and visited 2 others and took 10 flight in all - internal, international and transatlantic and miraculously all flights were on time, no baggage was mislaid or delayed and we were always met on arrival which is quite an achievement on such a complicated schedule. LAN and Air France airlines impressed us."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by CP from London

    "Sites but it is the colors and flavors of the cities and towns you visit and the warmth and kindness of the people, particularly in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, that really make this a wonderful trip. There are some long journeys but it is a real opportunity to see life as it is lived by the locals. Visit beautiful islands, see amazing wildlife, try fabulous local food and enjoy these wonderful countries. It's an adventure and an experience."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Dorking

    "Hannah was extremely helpful, a great asset to your company. We made quite a few of our own arrangements but would particularly recommend the wine tours in Mendoza, the free walking tours in Buenos Aires... you only pay the tip. We organised two three day outings in Bariloche. The seven lakes, a day up to my. Tronador, which was fantastic and a trip to Victoria Island, all excellent."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United Kingdom

    "This trip was our introduction to Latin America and it greatly exceeded our expectations. It was a varied and well-organized trip, which gave us a real feel for the countries we visited with our outstanding tour leader, Max. The holiday left us wanting to return and explore other parts of the continent. We will certainly travel with Journey Latin America again."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United Kingdom

    "It's been a positive experience on both holidays and we have felt well looked after and our needs put first whenever possible; particularly changes to itineraries on the ground. It was interesting going to two very dissimilar countries and cultures. We really liked the people in both who tried their very best to be helpful and informative."

    Journey Latin America website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United Kingdom

    "We have been impressed with the overall level of service and support throughout our vacation (we are experienced travelers, able to judge the overall service). Our tour leader was excellent, and we received support over the cancellation of our first flight and the missed connection that followed. Thank you!"

    Journey Latin America website, edited

London, United Kingdom

Journey Latin America is a tour company that offers unforgettable, tailor-made holidays and group tours to every corner of Latin America.

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11 days / 10 nights

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