Colombia

SUN-KISSED BEACHES TO TOWERING FORESTS

Code: CLWHW

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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • High Mountains
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £4,235.00 - 13 to 14 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Trip notes will be available to download soon

Explore landscapes ranging from white Caribbean sands in the north to the high peaks of the Andes, via the green plantations of the Zona Cafetera. Vibrant Bogota stands in contrast to the awe-inspiring cloud forest of the Otun River basin and dizzying heights of the Los Nevados National Park

Holiday Highlights

  • Excellent walks – exclusively designed – ranging from winding country back roads to high-altitude trails in some of the world’s most beautiful and unique ecosystems, all capture the dramatic landscapes and diversity of Colombia
  • Visits to the UNESCO sites of The Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape and the Walled City of Cartagena de Indias
  • Visits to National Natural Park Los Nevados and Tayrona amongst others
  • Excellent hotels and guesthouses
  • Cooking class in a Cartagena restaurant
  • Time on the Caribbean coast to relax and visit some of the best beaches in the world

In pictures...

Accommodation

All accommodations on this tour have been selected for their location and character, some of which may be the best available in a specific location. They range from colonial style hotels in city centres, to basic, but comfortable mountain haciendas and ecolodges. We also stay at a secluded beach hotel

hotel de la opera

Hotel de La Opera, Bogota - 2nts

An excellent colonial style 3 star plus hotel located in the Candelaria district, beautifully renovated, and centrally located, perfect for the end of our city tour, and within easy reach of some great restaurants in La Macarena neighbourhood. (Note, the hotel website shows it as a 5 star hotel, this is Colombian star rating). Bedrooms are comfortably furnished with wifi, minibar, and safes. There is a bar, 2 restaurants, and a spa centre (treatments payable locally) 

 Salento real

Hotel Salento Real, Salento - 2nts

3 star hotel located in the centre of Salento, 20 minutes to the Corcora Valley. This is an eco-friendly hotel offering friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere. Bedrooms are designed in colonial style, with safe, minibar and free wifi. 

 SFFOQ

Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, Otun-Quimbaya - 2nts

This flora and fauna sanctuary, located in the remote Otun river basin, is a 489 hectare Colombia National Park, offers basic yet comfortable ensuite rooms that are typical of an ecotourism lodge. The local community association Yarumo Blanco won the national sustainability award in 2014 for their work at the sanctuary.

 Hacienda Termales La Quinta

Hacienda Termales La Quinta, Manizales - 3nts

This is a real ‘get away from everything’ place, an original period farmhouse and extensive hacienda, nestled in the high Andes, above Manizales, enroute to the Los Nevados national park. The farmhouse is in a stunning location, surrounded on all sides by forest-covered mountains. The house is heated by hot springs as is the outdoor thermal pool. Comfortable public areas, together with breathtaking views make this farmhouse hard to beat when it comes special stays in this region. Note, wifi is available, but phone signal is dodgy, and some bedrooms are en-suite, and some bedrooms will share bathrooms. More rooms in 2018 will be en-suite. The transport can’t reach this property so we’ll walk down to the accommodation whilst our bags are transported on the backs of mules. Alternatively ride a horse to the hacienda.

Casa La Fe Lobby

Casa La Fe, Cartagena - 2nts

A small boutique hotel developed by a British man who fell in love with the city. It is located within the ‘walled city’ of Cartagena, offering a relaxing atmosphere but with the convenience of the major attractions within walking distance. The hotel has a small rooftop swimming pool and bar with views over the city. Bedrooms are all ensuite, some are with balcony, and there is wifi, airconditioning, safe, hairdryer. 

Playa Koralia room

Playa Koralia, Magdalena - 2nts

A remote and secluded private beach hotel approx one hour from Santa Marta. This hotel has been selected for its concept, location and overall excellence. There is no hot water, though water comes out luke-warm to warm due to the heat of the Caribbean coast. The hotel offers a spa, cabanas with private hammocks, a bar and stunning beaches. Another place to get away from it all with sun, sand, sea, fresh air, palms and shade. Food here is locally sourced, so the focus is on seafood and great vegetarian food and locally grown fruit. There is no beef or pork served here. Rooms are all uniquely designed, ensuite and have mosquito nets, safe, fan.

 

Itinerary

Trip notes will be available to download shortly

Colombia itinerary

A fabulous up and coming destination, this tour is definitely for those wanting adventure! A walking tour of Colombia is as unique as it gets. Whilst most tours are just beginning to understand the endless potential of this vibrant and magnificently diverse country, this walking holiday has attempted to include not only the most important sights of this once dormant culture and nature tourism giant, but also includes some of its most startling locations, that are only accessible by walking.

There is a choice of walks on most walking days with a harder and easier option. Some of the harder walks are at the very top end of our level 3 if not level 4. Walks range from city tours, to full day hikes at altitude in the Los Nevados National Park, and walks through the cloud forest. Distances are up to a maximum of 12.5 miles (19.5km) with max 3600ft (1100m) ascent – much of this will be at altitudes of over 8200ft (2500m)

Cathedral in BogotaDays 1-3 Bogota

Arrive in Bogota (2 nts) early morning after an overnight flight. Our walking tour of Bogota cityincludes the Gold Museum, Botero Museum, Plaza de Bolivar and La Candelaria. Take a trip up Cerro Monserrate for panoramic views over the city. Early morning we’ll visit Paloquemao market, Bogota’s largest market. Explore and walk around the market and sample local foods. A drive of just over 1hr takes us to the underground Zipaquira Salt Cathedral where we’ll see its 14 chapels. 

Picking coffeeDay 4 Manizales & Salento

Early start for an internal flight to Manizales and the UNESCO Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape. We’ll visit the Fundacion Huellas de Vida (footprints of life) in urban Manizales and spend time at this excellent local NGO that has worked with one of Manizales’ most needy neighbourhoods, using social actions to generate change. We’ll have lunch at a working coffee hacienda, and a tour with the entire process being explained from seed to cup. Travel to Salento, a small and brightly coloured town sitting on a small plateau some 6500ft above sea level, where we’ll stay for 2 nights.

Jeep laden with fresh produceDay 5 Walks in the Corcora Valley

A choice of walks today – we’ll leave our hotel in typical ‘Jeep Willys’, the traditional army surplus workhorse with sufficient horsepower to tackle the mountain roads. Both walks will be in the fairytale landscape of the Corcora Valley, a mixture of mountains cloaked in lush green pastures, patches of cloud forest, and towering waxy palms. After the walks return, and a freshen up we’ll take part in a game of ‘Tejo’ unique to Colombia.

 

Walking in the Ucamari Cloud ForestDays 6-7 Otun-Quimbaya National Park

A morning at leisure in Salento before a drive takes us to the Otun-Quimbaya National Park where we spend the next day and a half walking the trails around our lodge (2 nights) and along the course of the river Otun and up into the Ucumari Natural Regional Park. We’ll also spend time looking for the red howler monkeys and local Red-ruffed Fruitcrow. A birding breakfast will introduce us to birding action in one of the world’s best sites. 

Los Nevados National ParkDays 8-10 Los Nevados National Park

We leave Otun Quimbaya and after a 4 -5 hour drive, arrive at our next stop high in the mountains at the Hacienda Termales la Quinta (3 nights). Afternoon at leisure to relax, perhaps take a soak in the hacienda’s private hot springs. We spend a full day on the highest point of the tour in the sub-paramo and paramo proper of Los Nevados National Park, this has to be one of Colombia’s jewels in the crown. Look out for the endemic Buffy Helmetcrest hummingbird and the emerald green Rufous-fronted parakeet. We also include a free day where there is a choice of walking trails or horse riding available directly from the hacienda.

Clock Tower Plaza in CartagenaDays 11-12 Cartagena

A later start this morning before a transfer takes us back to Manizales for our internal flight to Cartagena via Bogota. On arrival at Cartagena we transfer directly to our hotel (2 nights) within the Old Town or ‘Walled City’. Try out your cooking skills at a cooking class in a local restaurant in the centre. We’ll explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old colonial city on a morning walking tour where we’ll discover the Barrio Manga, Popa Monastery, Saint Philip Castle, The Vaults and various battalions. Afternoon at leisure.

Beach in the Tayrona National ParkDays 13-15 Playa Koralia and Tayrona National Park

A morning drive (4.5 hours) will take us north-west along the Caribbean coast towards the second oldest city in South America – Santa Marta. Continue past Tayrona National Park where we come back to tomorrow, and arrive at our beach hotel (2 nights). Rest of the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the breaking waves of the Caribbean on the remote beach.

We’ll have an early start the next day for our day’s walk in the Tayrona National Park, an area which has been described as the ‘most irreplaceable concentration of biodiversity on Earth’ Hopefully on our walk we’ll see Cotton-top Tamarins, Capuchin Monkeys and the majestic King Vulture. The National Park is named after the pre-Hispanic people that once inhabited the coastal lowlands in and around Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Tayronas built stone cities along the coast. Our walks today will visit the ruins of Pueblito and give us great insight into this ancient culture.

Days 15-16: Return flight

Today is the final day in this beautiful country, time to reflect on the adventure, the people and places that you have met and seen. Transfer to Santa Marta airport for your flight to Bogota and on to the UK.

General Information

Passport.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Colombia

Visa

British nationals can enter Colombia for up to 90 days as a visitor without a visa at the discretion of the Colombian Immigration Officer on arrival. You may need to provide evidence of return or onward travel. Check the latest entry requirements with the Colombian Consulate General in London before you travel. Nationals from North America, New Zealand, Australia and most of Europe currently do not require visas, but please check with your local embassy.

Health advice

Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever are present throughout the country, although the coastal and southern states with lower altitudes are the most affected, especially during or shortly after the rainy season between April and November. Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Colombia. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Our local agent advises that a Yellow Fever certificate, along with antimalarial tablets are required for the time spent in the Tayrona National Park at the end of the tour.

Tap water is safe to drink only in Bogota and in the Hacienda La Quinta. You should drink only bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.

This tour goes to over 13000ft/4000m above sea level, so you may experience some slight affects of altitude such as headache/feeling nauseous.

Climate

Colombia’s equatorial location means temperatures change by altitude, not by season, so any time is good for a visit. Our tours depart in February, August and December, thus avoiding the main rainy season. It will be cool in the higher altitudes, and possibly chilly in the evenings, then hot and tropical as we arrive at the coast at the end of the tour.

Money

The unit of currency is the Colombian Peso (COP$). ATMs are common in the major cities and towns, and if you need to exchange cash, take US dollars. Credit cards are also commonly accepted in major cities and towns.

Time

Columbia is 5 hours behind GMT, 6 hours behind during British Summer time.

Tips

Tips are included on this holiday

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.

Dates & Prices

Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
14 Feb 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 14 Feb 2018, 10:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 15 Feb 2018, 4:05 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Bogota Eldorado

Flight - Return

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 28 Feb 2018, 11:04 p.m.
  • Arrive: 1 Mar 2018, 3:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Bogota Eldorado
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,559.00 Book Now
15 Feb 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia - Without Flights 13 £4,235.00 Book Now
9 Aug 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 9 Aug 2018, 10:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Aug 2018, 4:05 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Bogota Eldorado

Flight - Return

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 23 Aug 2018, 11:04 p.m.
  • Arrive: 24 Aug 2018, 3:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Bogota Eldorado
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,559.00 Book Now
10 Aug 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia - Without Flights 13 £4,235.00 Book Now
6 Dec 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 6 Dec 2018, 10:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 7 Dec 2018, 4:05 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Bogota Eldorado

Flight - Return

AVIANCA

  • Depart: 20 Dec 2018, 11:04 p.m.
  • Arrive: 21 Dec 2018, 3:45 p.m.
  • Depart from: Bogota Eldorado
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £4,559.00 Book Now
7 Dec 2018 CLWHW - Andes, Coffee & Coast Colombia - Without Flights 13 £4,235.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Price includes

  • 13 nights’ ensuite hotel accommodation (see accommodation tab for more info)
  • Full Board from lunch on arrival (day 2) to lunch on departure (day 15)
  • A full programme of guided walks (choice on most days) led by a local tour director, local guides and an HF Holidays’ leader
  • All sightseeing, and entrance fees
  • All internal transport, including internal flights
  • Snacks and water on day activities
  • Tips

Other important information

  • Single room: £555
  • Non-member associate fee £10

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