Tailor-Made Holiday

Colombia - Highlights

A great first holiday to Colombia incorporating Cartagena & Tayrona National Park

11 days

from $3,145pp (excluding flights)

Colombia is creeping its way up the list of ‘must-visit’ countries so this is your chance to visit before the crowds arrive. This holiday idea to Colombia includes some of the better known highlights of the country, making for a fantastic holiday. 

  • Visit Bogota with its excellent arts scene, great hotels and famous Gold Museum.
  • Explore the fertile valleys of the Coffee Region with a strong traditional way of life
  • Spend time in Cartagena, a vibrant city with beautiful architecture
  • Relax on the beaches of the Tayrona National Park where jungle clad mountains meet turquoise Caribbean Sea

Do not be too quick to get out of the capital Bogota. Today there are some very good hotels in which to stay and explore the city. Whether you wish to absorb the arts scene in the bohemian parts of the city, drive out to the salt cathedral for the day or head to the Gold Museum with a vast array of pre-Columbian artefacts, spending time in Bogota will give you the best introduction to the country.

Continue your journey into the interior and the Coffee Region. This is a beautiful area where a strong traditional way of life remains. Pretty walks will take you through colourful towns and the Cocora Valley is rich in birdlife, particularly hummingbirds as well as orchids.

No visit to Colombia is complete without a few nights in the effervescent city of Cartagena with its colonial architecture, stylish hotels and impressive fortress. Explore the markets or take a boat out to the Rosario Islands. A cookery lesson is a fantastic way to explore the real Cartagena. Spend time in the local market, selecting produce with your private guide and chef, before learning how to create a typical Colombian dish. 

Finally conclude your holiday to Colombia in Tyrona National Park for some rest and relaxation where the jungle meets the rich marine waters divided by white sands.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 4245.75 $ 1147.5
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Day at leisure in Bogota

Once a byword for crime and poverty, Bogota is rapidly developing into one of Latin America's most interesting and cosmopolitan capital cities.

Rivalling London for size, this sprawling metropolis is still fringed with shanty towns to the south. However, beautiful churches, engaging museums, cultural events and gastronomic experiences fill the centre of the city, while the cool mountain air and smattering of public parks make for a relaxed and genial atmosphere. The Baroque and Spanish colonial architecture and plazas of historic La Candelaria neighbourhood is one of Bogotá's big draws while the modern uptown zone is packed with restaurants, bars and cafes that buzz with a new generation of Rolos enjoying an era of peace and stability.

You will be staying at Abadia Colonial Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Half day city tour of Bogota
Visit the historic centre known as La Candelaria. These ancient quarters are of architectural importance with their grand houses of wrought iron windows, thick wooden doors and balconies lining the narrow streets. The main focus of the old town is the main square, Plaza Bolivar. Originally the square was used to host civil and military events, markets and bull fights, but today this square is home to Simon Bolivar’s statue and a great spot for taking in city life. The cathedral, built in 1539, houses an important collection of liturgical, textile and ornamental objects collected over four centuries.

Also visit the Botero museum, which exhibits a number of works donated by Fernando Botero himself and others by Picasso, Renoir, Dali, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti. The Gold museum in Bogota is one of its show pieces with some 34,000 gold pieces and 20,000 in stone, ceramic, textiles and precious stones from ancient cultures including Quimbaya and Calima.

Finally, take the cable car to the sanctuary of Monserrate and enjoy marvellous views of the whole city and the Andean mountain range.

You will be staying at Abadia Colonial Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Fly Bogota to Armenia

You will be staying at Hacienda Combia, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Explore the Valle de Cocora
Today you will be taken on a full day excursion to the Valle de Cocora and the traditional towns of Filandia and Salento. Begin with a four hour hike through the stunning Valle de Cocora, in the foothills of the Los Nevados mountains. This is a loop-hike taking you through cattle pastures and into the temperate rainforest, which is well known for numerous bird species such as hummingbirds and the endangered parrot, the Palmero. Colombia’s emblematic tree, the Palma de Cera de Quindio which can reach 60 metres in height is also found in this area of Cocora.
Contiue to the pretty towns of Filandia and Salento. Filandia is famous for its ‘antiqueno’ architecture and basket weaving, while Salento is a colourful and vibrant place with brightly painted colonial houses and their balconies.

You will be staying at Hacienda Combia, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Fly Armenia to Cartagena

One of the most vibrant and colourful cities in South America, Cartagena should not be missed. Founded in 1533 by the Spanish, the city was one of the most important ports in South America, sending plundered riches back to the mother county whilst attracting an eclectic combination of African and Caribbean cultures. This mix lives on and can be seen through the love of music and dance that the city's inhabitants thrive on today.

A meander through the old city's labyrinth of lively streets and plazas, all encased within several miles of thick, fortified, sea walls, is like a step back in time.

This is a captivating, vibrant city and veritable highlight for any visit to Colombia.

Half Day Panoramic City Tour
Start with a visit to the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, built on the San Lazaro hill in order to defend the city from pirate attacks. Continue to the old town and visit the convent of San Pedro Claver and the artisan centre in Las Bovedas as well as exploring the city's fascinating Gold Museum.

You will be staying at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Travel to the Rosario Islands
A one hour boat transfer takes you to Islas del Rosario, an archipelago made up of 27 islands 35km off the coast of Cartagena. Formed less than 5,000 years ago when mud volcanoes lifted the ocean floor, many of the islands are big enough only for one house. The area is now a national park and its 7,000 hectares offer superb diving and white beaches, in particular Playa Blanca, Playita de Cholon, Playa de los Muertos and Playa Bobo.

You will be staying at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Day at Leisure
Spend the day at leisure.

You will be staying at Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Drive from Cartagena to Tayrona National Park

Transfer with a guide and driver approximately 4.5 hours east along the coast to your hotel in the Tayrona National Park. You may wish to stop along the way to visit the "Mud Volcano". Not (perhaps) Colombia's most exciting feature but a fun place to break the journey.  Bring along old swim wear for a dip in the heated mud pools.

You will be staying at Cabañas de Arrecifes, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

You will be staying at Cabañas de Arrecifes, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

You will be staying at Cabañas de Arrecifes, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Drive from Tayrona National Park to Santa Marta

It's a one hour private transfer from Ecohabs to the domestic airport at Santa Marta. Please note that you are exempt from paying the international departure tax but will need to present passport and reservation details at a airport office to have this fee waived. Your guide will brief you about this process.

Fly Santa Marta to Bogota

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Colombia

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

Read More

John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to a Colombia holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in Colombia

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom