Colombia Coffee Culture

Itinerary

DAY 1 - MAY 27, 2017
BOGOTA

Upon arrival at the International Airport El Dorado, at the designated time, we will be met by our representative and taken to our hotel. Our guide will assist us with check-in and give us a detailed itinerary. Bogotá is Colombia’s capital city, with approximately 8 million people. It is a cosmopolitan center of sophistication and has become an epicenter of business, politics and entertainment. The city has been transforming itself into a welcoming tourist destination. Bogotá has a thriving nightlife, superb al fresco dining and bar culture as well as international shopping. Its privileged location and international airport makes it highly accessible and functional as a main gateway to destinations throughout the country. Overnight at our hotel in Bogota.

 

DAY 2 - MAY 28, 2017
BOGOTA

We start with an early morning visit to the Paloquemao’s Market. This is one of the largest and most important markets in the country. Paloquemao presents the perfect mix of the old and new Bogotá and offers a great insight into the life and customs of the people. We will find a large variety of flowers, exotic fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, cheeses, medicinal herbs and local food. Everything is fresh and arrives daily from all regions of Colombia. We will have the opportunity to live a unique cultural experience, tasting some exotic fruits and enjoying a small snack during the visit. Afterwards, visit the famous and well preserved historical colonial quarter of La Candelaria. Steeped in history, this area is a must for photographers with its splendid colonial architecture. We will want to take the opportunity to capture the sights and sounds of this fascinating part of Bogotá. Walk through streets permeating with the heady atmosphere of the past, as revealed by the library of Luis Angel Arango. Go down to the prominent Plaza de Bolivar, the heart of Bogotá, where locals and visitors mingle among the magnificent and foreboding structures. We will discover the history of this old part of the city by visiting the Cathedral, the Congress Palace, the Cardinal’s Palace, the colonial churches of El Sagrario and San Agustin, the Independence House, the Palace of Justice and the City Hall, which are all located in this impressive square. Continuing to the east, on top of the forested mountains, we will find “Cerro de Monserrate,” This mountain has a white catholic church located at the top and has been a site of worship since 1657. On a clear day, we will have the opportunity to enjoy a spectacular view of the city. We may also might see the snow-cap of “Nevado del Tolima” on the far west side. Next, visit the “Museo del Oro”, the most important gold museum in the world and a must see when traveling to Bogotá. This museum displays one of the largest collections of Pre-Columbian gold. Galleries on three levels display exquisitely crafted pieces dating back nearly 2,500 years. Visit the vault-like room on the top floor where the most treasured pieces are displayed, as well as the Offering Room, where passengers enter a black circular area that is gradually illuminated with indigenous music playing in the background. The light begins to dawn and, finally, a remarkable gold collection is discovered. Afterwards, visit the “Museo de Botero,” housed in a renovated colonial mansion. The works on display are all donated by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous contemporary artist. Around 120 pieces of his own work are displayed at the museum, including his famous sculptures, paintings and drawings. His work is well-known for the proportionally exaggerated figures. In addition to his work, his personal collection by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Degas, Chagall, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti are also exhibited. Lunch is included. Overnight at our hotel in Bogota. (B,L)

NOTES: The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays and Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays.

DAY 3 - MAY 29, 2017
BOGOTA

This visit begins with a panoramic view of the city and the vast plateau of the northern area of Bogotá. We will arrive to the small town of Zipaquirá, where we will take an underground tour to discover the famous Salt Cathedral. There, we will have the opportunity to experience the extraordinary architecture and engineering of this remarkable underground mine. This cathedral was carved inside an active salt mine formed 250 million years ago, under the Halite Mountains. We will find 14 small chapels that represent the Stations of the Cross and Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, a sanctuary and a main cathedral. Although this is a popular site to be visited, this is also a place of pilgrimage for the local community. Afterwards, continue to the town of Zipaquirá, which was founded in 1600 and still preserves its colonial heritage. Stop at the main square where we will see whitewashed houses decorated with olive-green trim and base, as well as the most important municipal buildings. Next, enjoy a visit to Usaquén. This ancient village was founded in the XVIth century. However, it has since been diminished by the expanding city of Bogotá. Located in the northeast, this old colonial district conserves its essence and style and, throughout the years, has become a popular location. We will have the opportunity to walk through the narrow cobbled streets and observe the beautiful houses with exceptional architecture, multicolored facades and gardens. Feel embraced by the bohemian atmosphere of this neighborhood full of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and local handicrafts. Lunch is included.

Overnight at our hotel in Bogota. (B,L)

NOTE: Not recommended for people who might be claustrophobic.

DAY 4 - MAY 30, 2017

ARMENIA

Our guide will meet us at the lobby of the hotel for our airport transfer. Flight to Armenia is not included in land price. Upon arrival, we will be met by our representative and taken to the hotel. Our guide will assist us with check-in. The Coffee Triangle is a perfect name for the “Zona Cafetera,” Colombia’s principal coffee-growing area. Shaped like an inverted triangle, this region is formed by Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda. Its spectacular natural beauty makes it one of the most beautiful destinations to visit, combining lush green valleys, exotic wildlife and a balmy climate. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax, while we sit back and enjoy the freshest coffee we'll ever taste! Hacienda Combia is a family owned agricultural farm and hotel business. This 96 acre coffee farm offers the possibility to take a tour into the world of coffee production.

The course is divided into ten different stages that will allow us to experience and live the coffee culture, in harmony with nature. We will tour the coffee plantations, visit the processing plant and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee made at the hacienda. This tour is divided into stations. The first one is where the journey is described and we are given a key and tokens to be used on the tour.

The next station is the basket artisan station, where we will learn and watch how an artisan makes baskets. We will even be able to make our own, with the help of the artisan. In the next station, we pass through a tunnel, where we will observe the composition of soil and roots of coffee. The guide will explain the importance of soil in the coffee process and receive the earth token. We go to the next station where we pass through a spiral filter with different sizes and colors which represent the nature and landscape in different shades. The guide will explain the importance of color and texture in coffee selection. A magnifying glass shows us more detail of all the splendor of the flowers surrounding the station. We choose a color of the edible flower we will receive. The next station represents water, and we will use that token. It is filled with small circles of water. We can interact and even get wet. Next, is the air station, where we will enter a dome filled with bushes that represents the importance of flora and fauna in coffee production and present an air token. At the fire station, we will find super-sized bird nests where we can enter to get the feeling of being in a bird nest and present the fire token. In the next station, two activities are done. First, an explanation of the coffee process in the hacienda. Second is watching the process of an artisan building the ceramic cups where the coffee will be tasted. The last station is a small latte art demonstration followed by a cup of coffee. Overnight at our hotel in Armenia. (B)

DAY 6 - MAY 31, 2017
ARMENIA

We visit the beautiful Cocora Valley located in the department of Quindío. This majestic valley is home to the wax palm, Colombia’s national tree and the tallest variety of palm tree in the world. These palms can measure up to 190 feet tall and live more than 120 years. Be amazed by the natural beauty and diversity of fauna and flora that we will encounter throughout the valley. Upon arrival, we will be welcomed with a typical cocktail called “canelazo.” Afterwards, we will visit the misty forest where our guide will explain the importance of protecting and conserving this beautiful ecosystem. It is a great opportunity to take some pictures. The tour continues with the “Ritual de la Palma,” a way to help preserve the wax palms. People from all around the world have helped plant future wax palms at the park. We will also be able to grow our own palm tree for eternity.  Next, we will visit the town of Salento. Founded in 1842, it was one of the first settlements in the Quindío state. Today, it preserves its colonial bahareque architecture. Salento’s centuries buildings are awash in harmonious color, especially along Calle Real. This is the main street lined end to end with restaurants, bars, handicrafts shops and souvenir stores. A typical lunch with smoked trout is included at the Cocora Valley. We have the opportunity to enjoy a delightful time at one of the shops of this local family that produces artisan coffee in the mountains of this magical region. Enjoy a short explanation of the coffee process, a latte art demonstration by one of the baristas and finally a delicious cup of coffee to end our visit to Salento. Overnight at our hotel in Armenia. (B,L)

 

DAY 6 - JUNE 1, 2017
CARTAGENA

Our guide will meet us at the lobby of the hotel, transfer us to the airport and assist with check-in.  Flight to Cartagena not included in land price. Upon arrival at the Rafael Núñez Airport, we will be met by our representative and taken to the hotel. Our guide will assist with check-in. With its breathtaking colonial architecture, horse-drawn carriages and narrow cobbled streets, the city of Cartagena de Indias is one of the most exciting destinations in Colombia. This Caribbean colonial jewel was the first Spanish colony on the South American mainland and one of the main ports for the Spanish fleet. It turned the city into an important center of trade in the 16th century. It is a city full of history, which has been an inspiration for artists, writers, historians and musicians. This vibrant and colorful city, throughout the years, has enchanted people with its fairy-tale charms that one to linger and explore the city for days. Overnight at our hotel in Cartagena. (B)

DAY 7 - JUNE 2, 2017
CARTAGENA

We begin with a visit to the “Convento de la Popa,” where the city’s highest point is located. Enjoy the best view of the beautiful city of Cartagena. This convent was built in the 17th century by the Augustinian Monks. Initially, it was just a small wooden chapel but was later replaced by a strong construction which still remains. Continue with a visit to the “Castillo de San Felipe.” This castle was built by the Spaniards in the 1600s and is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built in a Spanish colony. Located at the top of San Lázaro hill, its purpose was to protect and guard the city’s landward side from any attack or invasion. This fortress provides a complex system of tunnels connected with strategic points to distribute provisions and facilitate a possible evacuation. Additionally, the tunnel’s architecture was built so that any noise would echo along them, in order to make internal communications easier. One could hear even the slightest sound of the enemies approaching. Afterwards, a walk through “Las Bóvedas” is included. These 23 vaults were built in the 18th century and are considered the last major colonial construction made within the city walls for military purposes. The vaults were used as storerooms for munitions and provisions by the Spaniards, and later on, became jail cells. Nowadays, they are used as crafts markets where one can find handicrafts, antiques, galleries, jewelry, clothing and souvenirs, amongst other things. Next, we visit the Iglesia y Convento San Pedro de Claver. This convent was founded in the early 17th century by San Ignacio de Loyola. The name of the church was given in honor to San Pedro Claver, a Jesuit priest who spent his life ministering to the enslaved people brought from Africa. This baroque church has an imposing stone facade and inside are fine stained-glass windows and a high altar made of Italian marble. We will also find a beautiful cloister surrounded with trees, a museum and the place where San Pedro Claver lived and died. Overnight at our hotel in Cartagena. (B)

DAY 8 - JUNE 3, 2017
CARTAGENA

Enjoy a delicious and colorful experience where we will be able to taste some of the local flavors of the city and learn about its culture. This walking tour, through the inner walled section of the colonial city, will let us experience Cartagena like a local resident in a neighborhood where people live, eat and shop. We discover different sites and people from the colonial city, with whom the local residents relate on a daily basis as they pass by and stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner or typical snacks. Featuring seven authentic food stops with different delicious tastings, we get to escape the crowds and taste the best of what the city has to offer. Along the way, our guide will entertain us and tell provide stories and insights into Cartagena’s culture and history.

This tour has a maximum of 10 passengers.

Dance and music are a fundamental part of the life, culture and history of Cartagena. The rhythm is felt everywhere throughout the streets of the city and the best way to soak up the culture is by taking a dancing lesson. Get ready to feel the beat and move with the rhythms of the Caribbean coast. Guided by our instructors, we invite you learn the basic Latin moves and feel the sensuality and flavor of Cartagena. Overnight at our hotel in Cartegena. (B)

 DAY 9 - JUNE 4, 2017
DEPARTURE

Our guide will meet us at the lobby of the hotel and will transfer us to the Rafael Núñez Airport, at the designate time, and assist with check-in.

NOTES:

Our transfer fee includes transportation of one bag per person of up to 23kg (50 lbs) plus one carry on. If you plan to travel with additional luggage please let us know in advance in order to assign a different vehicle capacity for the transfer. Please keep in mind that additional costs may be charged.

 

It is important to remember, when visiting churches, monasteries, and shrines, women should not wear shorts or miniskirts and men should not wear shorts.

Hotels

CITYNIGHTSHOTELROOM TYPE
Bogota3Cite HotelDeluxe Room
Armenia2Hacienda CombiaSuperior Room
Catagena3AnandaSuperior Junior Suite
Please Inquire for Additional Hotel Options.

Land Package Prices Per Person

PRICES STARTING FROMDOUBLESINGLE SUPPLEMENT
$1999$999

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