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Discover Colombia

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
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Discover Colombia - Exodus Travels
Discover Colombia - Exodus Travels
Excellent
8 reviews
Starts
Bogota
+9 Destinations
Andes Mountains
Ends
Bogota
Map

Highlights

  • See Bogota from up above
  • Experience the unique taste of Colombian coffee
  • Walk through Cocora Valley's wax palm trees
  • Discover the old town of Cartagena
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Stateroom / Suite
Max Group Size
16
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
Discovery
Start and end in Bogota! With the discovery tour Discover Colombia, you have a 13 day tour package taking you through Bogota, Colombia and 7 other destinations in Colombia. Discover Colombia includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

8 Reviews

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  • JG
    Written on October 20, 2017
    4.0 - Good

    When my friends suggested an organised tour of Columbia although I accepted, I had many reservations ,mainly the issue of security and my lack of knowledge of the Spanish language. My friends toured Cuba with Exodus, but as I had visited there in 2013 I met them in Bogota two days prior to the commencement of the official tour . My protracted flights Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and an overnight stop over in Santiago and then the final leg to Bogota were well organised and I was met at Santiago and then Bogota by efficient and friendly Akron representatives. Our accommodation at Hotel Augusta was comfortable and the staff were helpful in assisting us to organise a tour of the Botanical Gardens and then the Emerald Trading Centre prior to our Exodus tour. Taxis are an extremely inexpensive means of traversing this large and busy metropolis. The presence of law enforcement personnel near the hotel and surrounding local was impressive and alleviated many of my preconceived issues The tour was interesting and informative and well organised which provided me with a fabulous photo opportunity. The scenery in the Cocora Valley was stunning and the delightful city of Cartagena was interesting. Our accommodation near Palomino situated in the rainforest and Caribbean Coast was fabulous and the staff obliging and quite delightful Our tour guide Juan Carlos Henao was extremely pleasant and his assistance to us was exemplary and his knowledge of Columbia most impressive and informative. We also visited the world class Gold Museum and inspirational National Museum located near our accommodation. I would not hesitate in recommending Columbia and Exodus Tours to my friends but I would suggest to take a course of Diamox tablets to allieviate the effects of the altitude as the altitude of Bogota is 2640 metres above sea level and may affect some individuals Hopefully I would like to make a return visit in 2018 and participate in another tour JOSEPHINE Goss visited in August 2017
    Show detailed ratings

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 2
    Written on October 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This trip is ideal for someone caught up in the western world with bad media coverage. Colombia is anything but dangerous and scary. This place stole my heart and this Exodus tour captured just a small portion of Colombia's natural beauty. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Being grounded in Bogota for 2 additional nights due to farming protests and roadblocks restricted us from travelling to Villa De Leyva, which enabled me to see, firsthand, the people's resistance against its own government.  Waking up surrounded by mountains in Manizales at the Palestina Ecohotel left me breathless. Arriving in the Caribbean, in beautiful Cartagena and being welcomed by a wet, yet very warm tropical storm. The rain at no point could get in the way of this perfect city.  Tayrona NP and the hammock experience ! Apart from the hammock not being the most comfortable bedding I’ve ever slept in, this experience is unforgettable - as you fall asleep to the sound of wildlife and nature. Topped off the following day by a swim at a pristine, secluded beach. Absolute paradise !What did you think of your group leader?Juan really was perfect for this trip. He is so passionate about his country and is incredibly experienced. His local knowledge in all cities was the best I’d ever had on any tour. He knew the best restaurants (very well priced), hideouts and most importantly he knew where to find the best coffee. He became one of the group members early on yet remained aware of each group member's whereabouts at all times. There's no doubting our experience was made better with Juan leading the way !!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Remember, Colombia is only just opening up to tourists ! Be flexible for itinerary changes, lack of water pressure and on the odd occasion, no hot water (Mostly in the Caribbean areas)  Take a wet proof jacket and a lot of sunscreen. The climate is very different from North to South.  **IMPORTANT ADVICE** DO NOT go horse riding in the Cocora Valley !! This is the alternative to a 5 hour hike and not worth the risk even if you are an experienced rider. It is very wet, slippery, muddy, rocky and STEEP terrain. It's certainly not the best ground to fall on, let alone from a further 2 meters up !! (Pack hiking shoes)Is there anything else you would like to add?Although this tour doesn’t include places like Cali, Medellin, San Andres, Providencia, San Agustin, Popayan, the Amazon, Ciudad Perdida etc etc etc. it STILL offers so much !! Take some extra time and see more if you need to, or simply go back the following year.  As they say over there, "The only risk is wanting to Stay !"

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 3
    Written on September 20, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    The trip was varied and Colombia is a great country, but you need to be flexible and understanding to potential changes.We had a few issues due to strikes (by the farmers and lorry drivers) and a few flight delays, but the trip leader did everything he could to ensure our safety and that we were kept aware of the frequently changing situations which were out of the control of anyone.  What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The intensity of the electrical storms in the Coffee Region and Tayrona National Park.   Colombia and it's people are lovely and there is wide variations between the different regions, it really is magical.What did you think of your group leader?Juan took a lot of time to ensure we are all OK and looked after.  He did an amazing job at helping us at restuarants to ensure we all ordered what we wanted and had separate bills.Juan talked a lot about Colombia, it's people and cultures and was very knowledgeable.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared to be flexible.

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 4
    Written on September 16, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Well organised and varied trip which encompasses the highlights of Colombia.  Colombia is not at all dangerous - I think you are less likely to have your bag stolen than in Rome or Barcelona - and the people are great.  Highly recommended as a destination.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The whole trip was enjoyable (though I'm not sure I would use the word inspirational - it's a big word).  Cartagena was beautiful and atmospheric, Tayrona national park had stunning beaches. What did you think of your group leader?Juan was a fantastic leader.  Extremely friendly, engaging and interesting.  He was always prepared to go the extra mile and has the perfect personality to be a tour leader.  We loved him.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Colombia isn't at all dangerous, so no need to worry about that at all.  The people are great and very happy to see tourists.  I would recommend this trip.I spent more money than I expected, primarily because I drank wine, which is not really drunk out there and is expensive.  You are better sticking to beer if you are economising (or water!). Not all the hotels had hot water (I'd been told they had) which is why I haven't put the holiday down as five stars.  We had hot water only half the time, which didn't matter to everyone, as it wasn't cold, but I am keen on hot water.I did the riding in the coffee region along with a fellow travelling companion (instead of the walk).  We had told them we were inexperienced riders.  The riding is unsuitable for inexperienced riders.  No helmets provided, but also on very rocky terrain, across rivers and up steep climbs.  My companion got thrown off twice (amazingly she got back on after the first time).  It was very dangerous and I would only recommend this ride to very experienced riders with riding hats. On the walking day in the coffee region we set off at 11 and didn't get back until around 5, so I would recommend eating something before setting off.  Otherwise you will be very hungry.Take insect repellant - quite a lot of bitey things around.In Tayrona national park, five of us rented a cabin to share there and then (we decided we couldn't face the hammocks).. It was fabulous and excellent value between the five of us.  And it had hot water!Not too many early starts, which was great.Is there anything else you would like to add?If you have been to Peru and Argentina and want to see another South American country, I would really recommend this trip.

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 5
    Written on April 9, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Interesting trip that offers an insight into the geographic and cultural diversity of Colombia. Large distances mean internal flights and time spent at airports but the latter are efficient and its worth it to see the contrasting areas of the country. Colombians are very welcoming - delighted that people are willing to challenge the country's negative image by travelling there.  Only disappointment was being unable to trek in Los Nevados National Park (closed for 8m+) due to the activity of Nevado del Ruiz volcano. Cocora Valley was a pleasant hike but Ruiz would have been special.......a good reason, amongst several, to go back!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Hiking to the well preserved ruins of Chairama (El Pueblito) in Tayrona National Park as an optional activity with our guide, Juan. There is a steepish paved path that leads from from Cabo San Juan del Guía (a couple of beach bays from where we stayed) that consists of boulders which were put together in a manner that allowed the sound of footsteps to carry. This alerted the indigenous peoples of Chairama to the approach of visitors. I had learned a little about these ancient people and their current descendants -the Kogi and Arhuaca- from the episode on Colombia of the BBC documentary-"Lost Kingdoms of South America". There was something truly magical about climbing to this isolated place with very few other tourists around. We were also very lucky to meet two Arhuaca near our base camp. They rarely come near tourists other than when they have mochilas to sell. A mochila is the traditional bag the Arhuaca use, amongst other things, to carry cocoa leaves and popora. It has an important historical and cultural significance to the Arhuaca and I had wanted to purchase one since watching the documentary. It was thus very special to meet the Arhuaca,  purchase the mochila, and walk to Chairama. Tayrona itself is very beautiful. The beaches are magnificent though potentially dangerous because of currents and shelving. I would have happily spent at least another day here despite the hammocks (which arent the most comfortable things to sleep in!).In a different way, the Gold Museum and the National Museum in Bogata were also inspiring - largely because of the rich cultural history of the pre-Colombian peoples that are represented in the artefacts in both places. The Gold Museum is world class, with audio guides in English available. It is worth exploring in your own time in addition to the organised group tour. Finally, Villa de Leyva - the beauty of the old hotel we stayed in, the weird phallic monoliths and astrological observatory of the Muiscas at El infiernito and the 120 million year old fossilised Kronosaurus were special. Again they evoked a past that little is known about.What did you think of your group leader?Juan was a very engaging, helpful and pleasant person who was very interesting to talk to about Colombia but who was perhaps not as forthcoming as he could have been about the country to the group as a whole. On some of the longer drives it would have been good if he had talked more about the country in general and the place we were visiting in particular .....you get used to Exodus guides being good at doing this so miss it when it doesnt quite happen in the way you expect!! He was a good guy though and great at being willing to take us to Chairama in Tayrona. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Vegetarians are not well catered for in Colombia so if you can compromise at all -for example by eating fish- it would increase the enjoyment of the trip. The trout is fantastic in the mountains. Its easy to change cash -the airport rate is slighly lower than elsewhere but its very convenient. There are ATMs but our card and that of another traveller were blocked by our respective UK banks from withdrawing cash despite the fact we both had notified our banks that we would be travelling to Colombia and using our cards there. We had to phone the UK several times to sort the matter. I would personally now only rely on a card as a back up to cash. Pick up a map of Bogata from the tourist office, La Candelaria: Plaza de Bolívar. It very clearly shows all the stops on the Transmilenio. The start hotel is near the Transmilenio which makes it easy to get in and out of Bogata cheaply and -relative to cars-quickly. Hotel staff showed us how to use the Transmilenio which was very good of them. Worth getting used to especially if you have extra time in Bogata. The museums are great. Botero's work is fun and interesting. If you want to purchase a mochilo speak to the guide and probably wait till you get to Tayrona. There are synthetic imitations around. Its worth learning some Spanish, no matter how little. Not many local people speak English.Is there anything else you would like to add?The owners of the hotel in the Coffee area threw an impromptu party for us to thank us for visiting Colombia. Really nice. I was sorry I didnt have a small souvenir from the UK to have given them.If you travel independently, the start hotel looks as if its in a grotty area but Zona Rosa is a great area for restaurants. Fine to walk around and lots of students. Good location for getting Transmilenio from Heroes Station into La Candelaria.I personally wouldnt recommend Isles de Rosario as there is nothing there other than beach. If you want to snorkel its important to know that you need to pay extra and stay on the boat to another place. This wasnt clear to our party.Really glad went on this trip. Good with a great crowd of people. If I could have walked in Los Nevados at high altitude in the paramo I guess I would have given it five star!!

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 6
    Written on March 20, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    Colombia was a beautiful country and away from Cartagena was almost entirely free of other tourists. Villa de Leyva was a beautiful town and the Coffee Region was just beautiful. We mainly found the people welcoming, many just grateful that we were prepared to visit the country at all. Bogota was a Bustling city and around our hotel was busy with upmarket restaurants and chic bars - all of which was a bit of a (welcome) surprise. Public transport into the historic centre was quick and efficient, if inclined to be rather crowded. In the centre Bogota had a good selection of museums but not much else. Bogota, Villa de Leyva, Coffee Region and Cartagena were all so different that the trip could fairly be described as 'varied and interesting.' The only thing that let the trip down was timekeeping. So often we were exceptionally late arriving at places and everything took much, much longer than it was supposed to.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The scenery in the Coffee Region was fabulous and the visit to the coffee plantation was the undoubted highlight of the entire trip. The hotel in Villa de Leyva was amazing and a destination in itself and the town was very pleasant to walk around. There wasn't an inspirational moment, but the more I saw of and learned about Colombia the more inspired I became.What did you think of your group leader?The group leader was full of enthusiasm and very easy to get along with, a really great guy, but his timings were so way off as to be ridculous sometimes and his instructions and directions (like how to get back to the hotel by Transmilenio bus) could be a little inaccurate.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go to Colombia! But if you are a vegetarian watch out. It is possible to get vegetarian food but you generally get thoroughly ripped off for it. A normal meal of meat, salad and chips can cost 50% more if they leave the meat off. In one restaurant I paid way more than everybody else did for a two course meal of soup and a meat course, and I just got a vegetarian lasagne that was served up in the foil dish it had come from the supermarket in.Is there anything else you would like to add?The walk in Cocora Valley was really hard with slippery mud, big rocks to scramble over and some long, steep climbs. It took over twice the 3-hours predicted for it and we got lunch at about 6:00pm. If you are going on that walk take some food with you and plenty of water. However, the humming birds at the top made it worth it!The hammock experience didn't work for me. The hammocks were crammed into something the size of a bamboo aircraft hangar with a concrete floor and I just found them uncomfortable and not in any way the charming experience I was expecting.

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 7
    Written on January 2, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    This was the first time the trip was run. Colombia seems to be a country of enormous geographical variety from mountains and coffee bush covered high hills stretching to the horizon, to tropical beaches and sophisticated cities. You have to be careful in Bogota with your valuables but the police were friendly and helpful. It was a lovely country.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The Gold Museum was unbelievable for the amount on show. The Botero Gallery has in its collection examples of the work of most of the famous artists of the late nineteenth and twentieth century including Picasso, Lucien Freud, Sisley and many others, probably never seen in Europe, though I am not an expert. I spent 2 hours in there and could have gone back for more. And they let you take photos, though no flash. The mountain and the coastal walk amongst lush vegetation, the historical architecture of Cartagena de los Indies, the cobbled streets, the relaxed way of life was a joy. Meeting the children of the coffee workers on their last day before return to school,  flying their kites with the community policeman in tow was unexpected. A good tour round the picturesque Villa de Leyva told you lots about  the historical background. What did you think of your group leader?Juan was a very good leader with good English, though needing to be more forward in his explanations of the countryside on the long coach journeys. When asked he knew the answers.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for the long journeys and two or three days at airports. In places very hot and humid, and sometimes the hot water supply was questionable.Is there anything else you would like to add?The salt museum though dramatic struck me as a bit theme park like.

  • Discover Colombia reviewer 8
    Written on October 7, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A varied and well paced trip showing just some of what this beautiful country has to offer. Colombia has beautiful scenery, great variety of food, friendly people and a relaxed atmosphere. Foreign tourism is just beginning to take off, so go now! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Being a lover of the great outdoors I particularly enjoyed the varied scenery and took any chance to get out and go for a walk. One walk took us behind a waterfall into an amazing amphitheatre which used to be used in cultural ceremonies.We were not able to do the glacier walk due to the volcanic activity in the area, but the alternative walk through the Cocora valley was stunning and gave a close encounter with humming birds as a reward!Overall the most inspiring thing was the warm welcome of the local people who were genuinely thrilled that we had chosen to visit Colombia. What did you think of your group leader?All the local guides and the tour leader were incredibly knowledgeable. They provided an excellent service and went the extra mile to ensure everyone was happy. They enjoyed showing off their country and all it has to offer and inspired you to want to discover more!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?In a word, GO!Don't hesitate to visit this beautiful country. At no point did I feel at all unsafe or uncomfortable. Colombia has so much to offer, and as foreign tourism is in its infancy, you will get it all to yourself! Is there anything else you would like to add?The trip is very good value for money as it includes four internal flights. Costs while you are there will be very low as everything is so cheap. I spent much less than I expected and still did everything I wanted to while I was there.The accommodation and transport included was all of a good standard. In fact the hotel in Bogota was so nice I wondered if I was on the right trip!!! All the local drivers were safe and courteous, and the hoteliers all welcoming and helpful.This trip has something to offer everyone! Colombia has the great outdoors, food, culture, history, music and a very warm welcome!

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Bogota.
  2. Day 2: Free morning; afternoon tour of La Candelaria district.
  3. Day 3: Morning walking tour including Monserrate viewpoint; free afternoon.
  4. Day 4: To Villa de Leyva via the salt cathedral in Zipaquira.
  5. Day 5: Walking tour of Villa de Leyva; visit fossil museum.
  6. Day 6: Fly to the 'Coffee Zone'; travel to Salento.
  7. Day 7: Walk amid the wax palm trees of Cocora Valley.
  8. Day 8: Coffee tour; orchid farm visit; fly to the port city of Cartagena.
  9. Day 9: Walking tour of Cartagena old town.
  10. Day 10: Morning mangrove canoe tour; free afternoon.
  11. Day 11: Morning at leisure; transfer to Palomino on the Caribbean coast.
  12. Day 12: Free day to relax on the beach; optional day visit to Tayrona N.P.
  13. Day 13: Transfer to Santa Marta; fly to Bogota; trip ends.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Good by past passengers
  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

Peso
Colombia

Plugs & Adapters

Colombia

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Rabies
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 1 month before travel.
Yellow fever
Recommended for Colombia. Ideally 10 days before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Bogota.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 21 November 2018 the full payment of $2,808 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $2808 for Discover Colombia, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 2,207 km.
  • Bogota (Colombia)
  • 48 km
  • Zipaquira (Colombia)
  • 86 km
  • Villa De Leyva (Colombia)
  • 130 km
  • Bogota (Colombia)
  • 165 km
  • Salento (Colombia)
  • 9 km
  • Valle del Cocora (Colombia)
  • 156 km
  • Bogota (Colombia)
  • 666 km
  • Cartagena (Colombia)
  • 189 km
  • Tayrona National Park (Colombia)
  • 17 km
  • Santa Marta (Colombia)
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