THE SPIRIT OF COLOMBIA
THE SPIRIT OF COLOMBIA Flyer
10
Days
9
Nights

Day 1 I USA I Bogota
Depart the US and arrive in Bogota, Colombia the same day. Situated at more than 8,600 feet above sea level, and bordered by the Andes to the east, Bogota is the capital of Colombia, and thirdhighest capital in the world. It is also home to a dazzling array of museums, churches, colonial mansions and stately buildings and has a fine balance between its historical past and its movement into the future.

Day 2 I Bogota 
After breakfast, depart for a full day city tour. Start with a visit to Bogota's colorful flower and food market, Paloquemao, and experience the shapes, colors and smells of the variety of fruits and vegetables and learn about the selection of produce Colombian people buy on daily basis. Afterwards take a funicular railway or cable car to the Sanctuary of Mont Monserrate, an inspiring pilgrim destination, located about 10,300 feet above the city. Tour the church at the top and marvel the stunning views. After a traditional lunch at a local restaurant, explore Bogota's historic center, La Candelaria. Its highlights include the Palace of Justice, Colombian Congress and Bogota Cathedral, which dominates an entire corner. Visit the Gold Museum, with the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold objects, and the Fernando Botero Museum, created in 2000 after a generous donation by the world famous artist himself of 123 pieces of his own art. The museum also features works of art by Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Monet, Chagall and many others. Evening is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 3 I Bogota I Armenia 
After breakfast transfer to the airport and take a short flight to the coffee region of Colombia. This area known as the Coffee Triangle, provides a spectacular panorama of extremes, from the rolling hillside of fertile coffee plantations to plunging valleys and snowcapped peaks. Rural life here continues as it has done for centuries, with campesinos, or workers, harvesting coffee, plantains and many other fruits in this lush and fertile land. Visit a coffee farm at Finca El Horizonte, and enjoy a typical local lunch sancocho. After lunch, learn about the process of the coffee seed, from planting and roasting to tasting, when a master of coffee will lead you to taste and identify the different flavors of top quality, freshly brewed cup of coffee. Check-in at the hotel, and enjoy time at leisure before joining your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 4 I Armenia 
Today we explore the striking beauty of Cocora Valley, a nature reserve and home of the protected Wax Palm, the national tree, whose oils are used to make candles. A three-mile hike through the park offers a chance to see more of these majestic tress, some of which are 200 feet tall. After a brief Colombian ritual that will help you understand the history of these unique palm trees, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue the tour driving through a beautiful region of Quindio, and spend some time exploring the historic and colorful town of Salento, known for its charming colonial buildings. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 5 I ArmeniaI Medellin 
After breakfast, embark on a drive through a spectacular mountain landscapes of middle Andean chain to Medellin. Enroute, visit a local farm, Finca Romelia, for a tour of an orchid garden and typical local fare. Continue through these amazing rural backdrops and arrive in Medelln in the late afternoon. Medellin has undergone a remarkable turnaround since its dark days of drug cartels, and it is now one of the nation's most important cities in business, politics, fashion and nightlife. Medellin is also the hometown of Fernando Botero, Colombia's most recognized artist, whose oversized depictions of Colombian life and people are exhibited throughout the world. Medellin is also famous for its cable car, a remarkable piece of engineering, emblematic of how local government revived a previously underdeveloped part of the city. Checkin at your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 6 I Medellin 
Today your sightseeing begins with a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia. Climb the Peiol Boulder, take a boat ride across the lake and enjoy a typical Colombian lunch on Guatape waterfront. Take the time for a leisurely stroll along the lake, and enjoy a relaxing time at this spectacular landscape. (B,L)

Day 7 I Medellin I Cartagena 
Medellin's transformation of the past 10 years is visible in its urban architecture. The construction of parks, pedestrian zones, museums, transport systems, public spaces and libraries and schools has not only improved the city's public spaces, but has also had a strong positive influence on its social dynamics. During your morning city tour, explore downtown Medell'n and its historical center. Visit Berrio Park, a gathering place for centuries, with its many Botero sculptures. Ride on the city's metro and cable car system past Parque Biblioteca Espana, in disadvantaged areas of Medellin. Transfer to the airport for your short flight to Cartagena, Colombia's tropical city on the Caribbean coast. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel. Later on attend a private dancing lesson, and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 8 I Cartagena 
Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Venice of Colombia and the country's most romantic city, with one of the most impressive old towns in the Western Hemisphere. Cartagena's inner walled city feels like stepping onto the set of a 16th-century telenovela, complete with cobblestone streets and grandiose balconies overflowing with flowers. Start your city tour with a visit to the Bazurto market, shop for the fresh ingredients and learn how to prepare a traditional Colombian lunch during a cooking class. After lunch visit Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the largest Spanish fortification in the Americas, and its labyrinth of tunnels. It was in Cartagena where the Spanish would store the riches plundered from the interior before transporting them back to the old world. The city was a draw for buccaneers and pirates who attempted on many occasions to take the city, most notably by Sir Francis Drake in 1586, who agreed not to level the city in return for 10 million pesos. Drake's attacks led to the plans to fortify the city. These walls still stand today and mark the boundary between the old and new parts of the city. Tour the historic center, view the major landmarks and visit the San Pedro Claver convent. Evening is at leisure for you to explore this amazing city at your own pace. (B,L)

Day 9 I Cartagena 
Enjoy a full day at leisure, take the time to go shopping, or just relax in in these superb surroundings. Tonight, join your fellow traveler for a Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 10 I Cartagena to USA 
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)
  • Hotel accommodation for 9 nights
  • 18 included meals consisting of daily full breakfast, 6 lunches & 3 dinner
  • All-inclusive sightseeing, including guiding and all entrance fees as per the day to day including: tours of Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena, a coffee tour, Full day tour including Cocora Valley and Salento, full day tour from Armenia to Medellin and much more
  • Our program encompass cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy, social systems and interaction with locals ? such as Salsa dance class, cooking lesson, shopping in local markets, meet coffee plantation workers, and banana produce workshop
  • Assistance of a professional local guide/tour director/Host upon arrival in Bogota
  • Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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