Colombia Tour Itinerary

 

Day 1

Arrive Bogota

Fly independently to Bogota, Colombia. Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to your home for two nights, Hotel Estelar Parque de la 93. Consider taking one of our optional extensions to enhance your experience in Colombia.

Day 2

Bogota

Bogotá is the capital and largest city in Colombia. A melting pot of people from around the country, it is diverse and multicultural, with a blend of modern and colonial architecture. The predominant colors in Bogotá are the green of the city’s many parks and the eastern mountains overlooking the sanctuaries of Monserrate and Guadalupe, and the rich red of its many brick buildings. Explore La Candelaria neighborhood to admire the many colonial and Republican-era buildings. This neighborhood is home to hundreds of art galleries, museums, theaters and universities. Pay a visit to the gold museum which houses an important collection of pre-Hispanic objects before seeing the priceless works of art at Museo Botero. (B,L,D)

Day 3

Bogota / Leticia

Fly to Leticia, a town considered part of Peru until a 1922 treaty ceded it to Colombia. Spend the afternoon exploring the Peruvian side of the Amazon River by boat. Overnight Waira Suites. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Leticica / Puerto Nariño

Visit Camilo Torres indigenous community for birding along the banks of the Amazon, watching for hoatzin, curassow, mountain paujil, grey-winged trumpeter and some of the area’s three macaw species. Board boats heading into the Colombian Amazon and the town of Puerto Nariño. Tonight, our naturalist guide takes us into the rainforest looking for nocturnal creatures. Spend the next two nights of your Colombia tour at Hotel Lomas del Paiyu. (B,L,D)

Day 5

Puerto Nariño: Amazon & Lago Tarapoto

Delve deep into the Colombian Amazon as we explore the region called “Amazonian Trapezium.” Our naturalist-guided excursions take in one of the region’s diverse habitats, Lago Tarapoto. This region is home to 468 bird species, 150 aquatic and land mammal species, 12 species of primates and Colombia’s largest number of reptiles. Most notably, the region is home to charapa, the world’s largest freshwater turtle. Along the way, watch the waters for Amazon River dolphin, manatee and tucuxi — three of Colombia’s four species of freshwater mammals call these waters home. Meet members of the Ticuna tribe, whose communities have inhabited the Amazon riverbanks since 2930 B.C. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Puerto Nariño / Leticia / Pereira

Travel down river by boat to Leticia where you'll enjoy lunch before an afternoon flight to Pereira. Spend tonight at Hotel Movich Pereira. (B,L,D)

Day 7

Otún Quimbaya / Manizales

Venture to Otún Quimbaya, the ideal location for observing birdlife such as Cauca guan, Monte toro and carriquí, along with howler monkeys, mountain tapir and guatín — though these mammals can be difficult to spot. Enjoy a picnic breakfast, surrounded by lush slopes where your naturalists point out ficus, yarumo, bromeliad, orchid and other flora native to the cloud forest. Drive this afternoon to Hotel Termales el Otoño, your home for three nights, in the lush hills surrounding Manizales. Before or after dinner, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s hot springs, which are fed by underground volcanic activity. (B,L,D)

Day 8

Manizales: Los Nevados Area

Spend a full day exploring the paramo and other high-altitude vegetation of the Los Nevados area. Located in the Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes, the landscapes of Los Nevados are dominated by the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. In addition to Nevado del Ruiz, seven other volcanoes are located in the area. This entire region was shaped by glacial activity, leaving U-shaped valleys and moraines behind. The area's hydrographic networks supply water to over 2,000,000 coffee-growers in the region and to most of the rice and cotton crops in the Tolima Department. Los Nevados is home to 1,250 species of vascular plants, 200 bryophytes, 300 lichens and 180 macroscopic fungi. On the lower slopes and in the valleys, you find the distinctive Andean wax palms along with rich birdlife. During your nature hikes, watch for blue-crowned motmot, yellow-eared parrot, Fuertes's parrot, rufous-fronted parakeet, Andean condor, brown-banded antpitta and ruddy duck. The bearded helmetcrest hummingbird is endemic to the region. A variety of mammals also call the area home, including mountain tapir, spectacled bear, Northern pudú, oncilla, cougar and white-eared opossum. (B,L,D)

Day 9

Manizales: Rio Blanco Reserve and Hacienda Venecia Coffee Plantation

A "must see” for any birding enthusiast, today our Colombia tour takes in the varying altitudes of Rio Blanco Reserve. A wide variety of flora and fauna can be found in the park. Three endemic bird species are found here: brown-banded antpitta, bicolored antpitta and rufous-fronted parakeet. The area also boasts a number of other sought-after species. Our naturalist will be on the look-out for tyrannine woodcreeper, golden-faced redstart, dusky piha, black-billed and buff-breasted mountain-tanagers, grass-green and white-capped tanager, chestnut-naped antpitta, rusty-faced parrot and powerful woodpecker. Lucky and observant groups may even spot the hard to see ocellated, blackish and Spillman’s tapaculos, black-billed peppershrike, plushcap, mountain cacique and golden-plumed parakeet. The reserve boasts well-maintained feeders that attract various species of hummingbirds, including tourmaline sunangel, buff-tailed coronet, speckled hummingbird, bronzy and collared Inca, mountain velvetbreast, white-bellied woodstar and long-tailed sylph. Plus, an ingeniously installed antpitta feeder attracts two endemic antpitta and two species of brush-finch. Spend your afternoon touring Hacienda Venecia and learning about the coffee process from bean to cup. (B,L,D)

Day 10

Manizales / Cartagena

Fly to Cartagena de Indias, on the Caribbean coast. Long known as one of the loveliest old Spanish colonial towns in Latin America, Cartagena has never looked better or had more to offer. Spend your afternoon on a guided walking tour of the charming streets of Cartagena’s Old Town, including the city walls. Your home for two nights is the elegant and historic Ananda Boutique Hotel. (B,L)

Day 11

Cartagena

On a private morning excursion, board small boats with local guides to explore the rich coastal life of the mangroves swamps of La Boquilla, just outside Cartagena, an important nesting and migratory spot for many birds. Local guides point out the many species as we make our way through the channels and canals of Cienega de la Virgen (Swamp of the Virgin). Water species such as kingfishers, white herons, common lauras, pink spatulas and pelicans are found in this fascinating ecosystem. After a wonderful lunch of local specialties, enjoy touring this atmospheric city, including the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas and la Popa, the town’s highest point. Tonight, say goodbye to your Colombia tour friends during a festive farewell dinner is in a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 12

Depart Cartagena

Transfer to the airport for your independent flights home, arriving the same day. (B, Meals Aloft)