Colombia Journey

About Colombia

View Itinerary

Discover Colombia – a corner of South America that’s once again becoming a must-see destination. Spend two nights at a traditional hacienda on a working coffee farm, ride the famous hillside escalators of Medellín, indulge in the Caribbean beauty of Tayrona’s lush jungle and perfectly pristine beaches, and wander the cobblestoned streets of historical Cartagena. Get to Colombia before the rest of the world catches on.

What's Included

Arrival transfer. Stay at a traditional hacienda with coffee tour and tasting. Excursion to Salento and Cocora Valley. Medellín community walk. Santa Marta orientation tour. Admission and hike in Tayrona National Park. Gabriel García Márquez Old City walk. Salsa dance class. Internal flights. Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Spend two days in Colombian coffee heaven at a traditional hacienda, learn the basics of salsa with a private lesson from two local dancers, discover another side of Medellin with a visit to Comuna 13, explore the lush jungle and white-sand beaches of Tayrona National Park, wander the cobblestone streets of historic Cartagena

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, Avg 6.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Bus, van, jeep, plane, walking.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (9 nts), hacienda/farm (2 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

Joining Hotel

Hotel Augusta
Av. Jiménez No. 4 – 77
Bogota, Colombia
Tel: +571 283 8300
[email protected]

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included on this trip when you arrive on Day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
From within Ecuador: 022 506 610

After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
From within Ecuador: 0999 506 000

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. Remember that although near the Equator, the higher altitude on some parts of the trip make for cool evenings and you will need a warm sweater or pullover. It’s best to layer clothes rather than bring a heavy parka so that you can take layers off.

We recommend the use of a medium sized duffel bag, soft rolling bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film,
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocket knife
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Money belt
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sun block
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Flashlight
- First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.

IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

PLEASE NOTE – Canadian citizens must pay a reciprocity fee of 160,000 Colombian Pesos (about 70USD) per person when entering a Colombia by air. This fee is valid for a single entry into the country.

It is payable by international credit card or CASH. If made in cash, the payment must be in Colombian pesos. A dedicated counter will be available to Canadian citizens who must pay the reciprocity fee before proceeding to immigration control.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

Emergency Fund

Departure Tax

USD $33

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

BOGOTA
City Tour S/. 40 000 pesos
Monserrate Hill: Day: 14 000 pesos, Night: 17 000 pesos
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral trip : S/. 25 000 pesos
Bike Tours : Half-Day Rental S/.15 000
Full-Day Rental S/. 25 000 pesos

ARMENIA
Quindio Botanical Garden S/. 14 000 pesos
Coffee Park Recuca S/. 24 000 pesos (includes typical lunch)
Coffee National Park S/. 17 000 pesos admission fee

SALENTO
Bike Rental S/. 8 000 pesos per hour: S/. 30 000 pesos a day

MEDELLIN
City Tour S/. 45 000 pesos
Explora Park Medellin S/. 16 000 pesos
Modern Art Museum: Free Admission
Canopy S/. 20 000 pesos
Rafting Class III: Cauca River S/. 35 000 pesos
Arma River S/. 25 000 pesos
Paragliding: S/. 80 000 pesos (20 minutes)
S/. 100 000 pesos (30 minutes)

CARTAGENA
Rumba Bus Party S/. 45 000 pesos
Rosario Islands Tour S/. 165 000 pesos
Totumo Mud Volcano S/. 65 000 pesos
Playa Blanca Beach Tour S/. 60 000 pesos
Mangroves Cave S/. 50 000 pesos

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Please take care when wandering about the main cities on your own, as pick pockets and purse-snatchers are common. Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you don’t need in the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Colombianos are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

Newsletter

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

Max 16, avg 12

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD330-430 for meals not included.

Meals Included

11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: SMCNG, ID: 23762

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.


Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Bogotá

    Modern Bogotá offers visitors a wide variety of activities combined with the picturesque beauty of its cultural and architectural past. Colonial churches and pre-Columbian art contrast with the futuristic high-rise buildings of a busy metropolis.

    If you arrive early, take a walk around some of the interesting neighbourhoods including La Candelaria, La Macarena, Parque de la 93, La Zona T, La Zona Rosa (bars and restaurants), La Zona G (international cuisine), or visit the Monserrate Santuary and enjoy great views of the city.

    Additional Notes:
    We recommend booking pre- or post-accommodation to experience all this city has to offer.

    Included Activities:
    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle

  2. Day 2 Bogotá/Armenia (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Catch a flight to Armenia where we Immerse ourselves into coffee culture staying two nights at a traditional Hacienda on a working coffee farm. Spend the afternoon with a coffee expert tasting and exploring elements that inspire coffee production including earth, water, fauna, flora, sun, and shade.

    Included Activities:
    Coffee Immersion
    Hacienda Stay

    Transport:
    Plane (1.00 hour(s))
    Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))

  3. Day 3 Armenia (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Enjoy a full day excursion to Salento and hiking the Cocora valley. Enjoy some free time to visit shops and the village.

    Included Activities:
    Salento and Cocora Valley Excursion
    Hacienda Stay

  4. Day 4 Armenia/Medellín (1B)

    Experience all that Medellín has to offer with free time this evening and tomorrow.

    Included Activities:
    Medellin Community Walk

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))

  5. Day 5 Medellín (1B)

    Enjoy time to explore this historic city. Option to take a historical tour, visit museums or go shopping.

  6. Day 6 Medellín/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (1B, 1D)

    Morning flight to Santa Marta then continue to our beach lodge near Tayrona National Park, on the Caribbean coast. Enjoy fresh seafood and some of Colombia’s most pristine and beautiful white sand beaches.

    Transport:
    Plane (1.50 hour(s))
    Private Vehicle (0.75-1.00 hours)

  7. Day 7 Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Spend the day swimming and enjoying the beach or opt to hike into the national park or into the jungle to see the ruins of Pueblito.

  8. Day 8 Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona/Cartagena (1B)

    Drive to tropical Cartagena and experience the Caribbean charm and beauty of the city.

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours)

  9. Day 9 Cartagena (1B)

    Enjoy a walking tour through the old part of Cartagena visiting key sites throughout the historical centre of the city that were inspiration for Colombia’s most famous author, journalist and Nobel Prize winner; Gabriel García Márquez. Relax in the afternoon before we learn the basics of Colombian Salsa, known as Cali style in a private lesson by 2 local dancers.

    Included Activities:
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez Old City walk
    Salsa Dance Class

  10. Day 10 Cartagena (1B)

    Experience the Caribbean charm and beauty of the city. Free time for optional activities such as a visit to Playa Blanca, a boat tour to Islas del Rosario National Park, or to explore nearby beaches.

  11. Day 11 Cartagena/Bogotá (1B)

    Fly back to Bogotá with free time for optionals including a visit to the National Museum of Colombia, the Gold Museum, or just wander one of the many quaint neighbourhoods.

    Transport:
    Plane (1.50 hour(s))

  12. Day 12 Bogotá (1B)

    Depart at any time.

    Additional Notes:
    We recommend booking additional post-trip accommodation if you want more time to explore the city.

    Included Activities:
    Departure Day

Contact our travel experts for more details