Villa de Leyva, is a Colombian town northeast of Bogotá. Its known for its vast Plaza Mayor, dominated by the 17th-century Our Lady of the Rosary church, surrounded by whitewashed colonial buildings and cobbled streets. Here, two prominent buildings are worth a visit; the house of Antonio Nariño, who translated the Rights of Man into Spanish and the House of the 1st Congress of The United Provinces in which new laws were drafted after its independence in 1812.
Starting in Bogota, explore its fascinating Old Town, then continue to Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia. Nearby is Convento del Santo Ecce Homo, founded in 1620, the most outstanding Spanish legacy. Transfer to the colonial city of Cartagena, once a jewel of the Spanish crown and now known for its architectural beauty. Perfectly located in the Caribbean Sea is Islas del Rosario, a coral island archipelago with beautiful beaches.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 08-DAY COLOMBIA HOLIDAY…
And, experience Spanish legacy in its colonial towns.
The private tour starts in the capital, Bogotá where you will explore its fascinating Old Town, then continue to Villa de Leyva, one of the most beautiful towns in Colombia. Villa de Leyva was declared a national monument in1954 and it has remained practically intact with very few modern constructions. It is best seen on foot, and one can still breathe the atmosphere of colonial times with cobblestone streets, the cathedral and the country’s largest Plaza Mayor. Not far from Villa de Leyva is the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo a must see. Founded by the Dominicans in 1620 and considered a most outstanding Spanish legacy.
Next to Cartagena. Founded in 1533 with the name “Cartagena de Ponente” to distinguish it from “Cartagena de Levante” in Spain, it rapidly turned into a jewel of the Spanish crown. Inhabited by the warlike Caribe Indians, before colonisation by the Spaniards, the colonial city was built throughout the 15 to 19 centuries to protect it from the constant attack of pirates and buccaneers. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Cartagena’s history is evident by just walking through its alleys and streets. The cultural wealth resulting from the mix of races, its architectural beauty, the sea and the warm evening wind make Cartagena one of the most fascinating towns in the Caribbean.
This ancient walled city is perfectly located for you to access the protected coral island archipelago, Islas del Rosario, or just to soak up the atmosphere in this beautiful part of the world.
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.
Bogota, Villa de Leyva, Cartagena
(8 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
Bogotá Meet and greet at El Dorado airport in Bogotá and private transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Overnight at Grand House.
Day 02 – City Tour
Bogotá Enjoy a half day private tour to La Candelaria (Old Bogota), a lively section of the city that features small shops and ancient churches. Highlights include The Plaza de Bolivar and The Bogota Cathedral. Your afternoon is free to explore and a visit to The Gold Museum is recommended.
Overnight at Grand House (B)
Day 03 – Salt Cathedral Tour
Bogotá With your private guide and driver, take a 50km trip to Zipaquira, an area known for its many salt mines. The main attraction is the Salt Cathedral, an immense excavation capable of accommodating 8400 people. The central nave houses the main altar, a 16 meter cross, and the Creation of Man, a marble statue by the sculptor Carlos Enrique Rodríguez. In the afternoon we will continue to the beautiful colonial town of Villa de Leyva , considered one of the finest in Colombia.
Overnight at Hotel La Plazuela de San Agustín (B)
Day 04 – Transfer
Cartagena Today enjoy a free morning to explore this lovely town. Return later to Bogotá with a stop in the Convento Ecce Huomo. Founded in 1620, it was an important point of evangelization in a region populated by infidel Indian communities. Later, take a flight to Cartagena on the north Caribbean coast. Upon arrival, private transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Overnight at La Passion (B)
Day 05 – City Highlights Tour
Cartagena Cartagena is an ancient walled fortress city and today we’ll have a look around the fascinating Old Town, starting in Parque Bolívar with a statue of El Libertador in the centre. Visit Museo del Oro, which exhibits archaeological objects of the pre Hispanic culture and the Palace of the Inquisition, recognisable from its baroque entrance door. The meetings of the tribunal took place in the palace, and it housed the prison and torture chambers for the alleged opponents of the Catholic Church. The visit continues to the Santo Domingo church and the cathedral to end in the Ramparts and the Museo de Las Fortificaciones. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.
Overnight at La Passion (B)
Days 06 & 07 – Explore the Surrounds
Cartagena Today is free and you might consider visiting the Islas del Rosario, an archipelago of around 25 small coral islands or, further afield, the islands of San Andres, once the headquarters of the pirate Henry Morgan, ‘the scourge of the Caribbean’.
Overnight at La Passion (B)
Day 08 – Depart
Bogotá Private transfer to the airport for the your flight to Bogotá and connect with onward flight. (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