Colombia Coffee Tour
The Zona Cafetera, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle, consists of three departments; Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia. It lies in the country’s southwest which now supports a well-trodden tourist trail between luxury lodges and coffee farm tours. Most farms look out on lush slopes, interspersed with banana plants and bamboo-like guadua forests. Many will also arrange hiking and horseriding in the surrounds, and make an ideal base to explore the region’s many attractions.
This tour begins in Bogota, the vibrant capital city, known for its colonial architecture. Journey into Colombia’s coffee region and visit coffee farms and Parque de Nacional de Café, a theme park dedicated to coffee. To the north-west, is the ancient walled city of Cartagena on the warm Caribbean coast. Nearby, Tayrona National Park has some of South America’s most beautiful beaches. Wildlife includes Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, parrots and even the occasional jaguar.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY COLOMBIA COFFEE ADVENTURE…
And, experience tasting the world’s best coffee.
Your journey begins in the capital, Bogota, once a dangerous no-go for travellers, but now a clean and vibrant city, perfect for sightseeing and shopping. From there you will journey to visit Colombia’s coffee region known as “zona cafetera”. This coffee farming region is a geographical area that comprises three Colombian departments: Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío which are respectively represented by the capital cities of Manizales, Pereira and Armenia, the most important towns.
Travelling to the heart of this region, we will visit farms around Pereira and Chinchina to discover the bigger picture surrounding Columbian coffee production and to meet local workers and artisans. With the smell of roasting coffee beans fresh on your pack you’ll head to the far north-west of the country to the ancient walled city of Cartagena on the warm Caribbean coast. Next visit the fabulous coastline at the Tayrona National Park. Here you will discover some of South America’s most beautiful and unspoilt beaches amongst exotic fauna including Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, parrots and even the occasional jaguar.
Colombia’s biggest international airport is Bogatá’s Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado. Direct services from Europe to Bogotá are offered by Iberia (Madrid and Barcelona), Air France/KLM (Paris), Avianca (Barcelona and Paris) and Lufthansa (Frankfurt). Avianca also operates flights from Madrid to Cali and Medellín. In South and Central America, Lan links Bogotá with major Latin American cities.
By boat from Brazil, Peru and Panama: From the Amazon region it’s possible to cross to or from Colombia into Manaus, Brazil, and Iquitos, Peru, by taking a riverboat.
Armenia, Pereira, Cartagena, Tayrona National Park
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
Bogotá Arrive in El Dorado airport in Bogotá. Meet our representative and take a private transfer to your hotel in Bogota for two-night stay.
Overnight at Hotel de la Opera.
Day 02 – City Highlights Tour
Bogotá Bogota is a great place to start your journey and acclimatise to the country. No longer the dangerous land of drug mafia, the streets have been cleaned up and travellers are again able to enjoy the many fabulous buildings and attractions. With your private guide explore the most important attractions and take the afternoon free to explore further should you wish.
Overnight at Hotel de la Opera (B)
Day 03 – Transfer
Armenia Transfer to the airport for your flight to Armenia, one of the three cities that form the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis. Upon arrival, private transfer to your hotel. Later, visit the Quimbaya Museum, which houses an interesting collection of gold, ceramic and wooden objects dating back to the first settlements in the area.
Overnight at Hacienda San José (B)
Day 04 – The Surrounds
Armenia/ Pereira Today enjoy a full-day visit the traditional village of Filandia, famous for its “antioqueño” architecture and basket weaving, and the Valle del Cocora. Located within the central mountain range, they are part of Los Nevados National Park, and form an ideal location to admire the “palma de cera del Quindío”, Colombia’s native tree which can reach a height of 60m. Numerous bird species inhabit the area including the hummingbird and the “orejiamarillo” or “palmero” parrot which is on the brink of extinction.
Later, travel for 10 km by road road to the town of Salento- characterized by old and colourful houses originating from Colonial times. Spend time in the peaceful countryside before returning to Pereira.
Overnight at Hacienda San José (B)
Day 05 – Coffee Plantations Tour
Pereira Delight in a full-day excursion through the coffee plantations set on the steep hills of this area. Observe a horizon of green carpet- the coffee plants- interrupted only by “fincas” covered in vibrant flowers.
Visit one of the area’s coffee producing farms to see the plantation and production system, including the harvest, sun drying and processing. Harvesting in Colombia takes place year round although the main season is in October, May and June. Plants are mainly of the Arabica variety which yields a delicate and light coffee appreciated worldwide. Once the fruit is picked, the pulp is removed and the beans are washed and sun dried (big producers nowadays use machinery to clean and dry the beans in record time). The beans are roasted on-site, sold in grains, ground and exported ready for consumption. After lunch, observe the manual selection process of the coffee grains, as well as the tasting to insure good quality flavour.
Overnight at Hacienda San José (B, L)
Day 06 – Transfer
Cartagena Transfer to the airport today for your departure by flight to Caratagena. Arrival, transfer and hotel check-in.
Overnight at El Marqués Hotel Boutique (B)
Day 07 & 08 – City Highlights Tour
Cartagena Start the day with a panoramic view of the city from the monastery and church of La Popa. Built in 1606, it is perched on the area’s only important elevation and was formerly called “La Popa del Galeón”, for its resemblance to the stern of a galleon. Visit also the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas- built on the San Lázaro hill in order to protect the city from pirate attacks. Continue on to the old town to visit the convent of San Pedro Claver and the artisan centre in Las Bóvedas.
Next day is free for individual activities. We recommend an excursion to Islas del Rosario.
Overnight at El Marqués Hotel Boutique (B)
Day 09 – Transfer
Tayrona National Park Take a four to five hour transfer to Tayrona National Park after breakfast. Plunging down to the Caribbean Sea from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, one of the highest coastal mountain ranges in the world, Tayrona National Park is one of the wildest and most beautiful corners of South America.
Overnight in Ecohabs (B)
Days 10 & 11 – Beach Activities
Tayrona National Park Take advantage of a free day for relaxation, beach activities or to organize excursions such as a walk to Pueblito, snorkelling or horseback riding. Bike rentals are also available.
Overnight in Ecohabs (B)
Day 12 – Depart
Santa Marta Morning transfer to Santa Marta airport after breakfast. (B)
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Most of Columbia is an unknown territory and some of the Columbians. Although there is mist and mystery about Columbia, it is without a doubt, a dramatically beautiful country with diverse terrain and weather. It is the only country in South America to border the Pacific and the Caribbean, Colombia offers a huge range of ecosystems, from the Amazon rainforest near Leticia to the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the tropical islands of San Andrés and Providencia.
Where to go Colombia’s three major cities; Bogotá, Medellín and Cali are cosmopolitan in nature, with a vibrant cultural scene and festive nightlife. But it is the small towns scattered throughout the country that are more interesting. Colombia’s coffee-growing region, the Zona Cafetera, offers breathtaking walks in the foothills where the bean is grown, accommodation in authentic fincas (coffee farms) and excellent trekking.
In the West, the Andes Mountains extend into the country in three ranges running north-south. In the southeast are the grassy prairies, the jungles and the rainforests of the Amazon. The country’s jungles also hide wondrous archaeological treasures, like the ancient city of La Cuida Perdida and the monuments, tombs and burial mounds at San Augustin and Tierrodentro.
In the centre of the country lies its capital Bogotá; the city blends Colombian tradition with Spanish colonial influences. A major drawcard for tourists is the Spanish colonial port of Cartagena with its spectacular walled old town, a medieval wonderland of palaces, monasteries, plazas and overhanging balconies. Historical landmarks include the Capitol Municipal Palace and the Plaza Bolivar cathedral; Santa Marta’s modern hotels and white beaches. The two are also great bases for a five-day trek to the archaeological ruins of La Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City.
Almost un-Colombian in their feel, the remote Caribbean islands of San Andrés and Providencia both offer great diving, crystal-clear waters and – particularly in Providencia’s case – a unique Raizal culture.
When to go December through March is Colombia’s high season with plenty of sunny days; ideal for exploring the country’s charming towns and cities, the coffee district, and relaxing on the beach. April brings sporadic rain but persistent rainfall is very unusual. Remember, Easter is a popular time for regional tourism.
July and August brings a short dry season and a good time to visit Colombia. September onwards, tourism begins to decline but it can still be a good time to visit as dry weather can still be enjoyed, and the advantage of off-peak travel should not be overlooked.
Visas 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.
If you enter Colombia by land from either Ecuador or Venezuela, make sure you have your passport stamped by the immigration authorities. Failure to do so may result in a fine on departure. If the immigration office on the border is closed, seek help at the nearest office of Migración Colombia.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Colombia.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk