Colombia Colonial Towns

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Colombia Colonial Towns

Colombia has a rich colonial history and many of its towns and villages have still conserved it colonial architecture. After a comprehensive tour of its capital, Bogota, visit its astounding pre-Colombian archaeological sites in San Agustín and Tierradentro. Here, you will marvel at huge monumental stone sculptures and magnificent underground tombs and temples that date back to the 1st-century AD. Also visit local villages noted for their strong indigenous culture and lack of mass tourism.

Next, travel to Popayan, known as “White City” and the “American Jerusalem” because of its many churches. It is the second most beautiful colonial town in Colombia after Cartagena. Finally, travel to the ancient walled city of Cartagena on the warm Caribbean coast. Here you can get an understanding how towns needed to protect themselves from the menace of pirates, the most notorious in the region being the feared ‘king of pirates’, Henry Morgan.

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY TOUR OF COLOMBIA’S COLONIAL TOWNS…
And, experience its unique archaeological wonders & strong cultural traditions.
 

What We Love
  • Discover the magnificent pre-Colombian underground tombs and temples of San Agustín and Tierradentro.
  • Discover  Bogota and the immense underground ‘Salt Cathedral’ in Zipaquira 
  • Venture into ‘The White City’, Popayán, famous for its Easter celebrations and unique architecture.
  • This tour is designed with the best luxury accommodation and services available.
  • This tour is designed to provide maximum outdoor experience.
What to Know
  • This is a relaxed tour but may require walking on rough surfaces.  
  • We carefully select the world's best boutique tour companies in each destination.
  • We offer 24/7 support to give you complete peace of mind during your holiday.
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday.

Review

After an excellent introduction to the country in its capital, Bogota, you will fly across the country to visit astounding pre-Colombian archaeological sites in San Agustín and Tierradentro. Here you will marvel at huge monumental stone sculptures and discover magnificent underground tombs and temples decorated with paintings and geometric motifs dating back to the 1stC AD.

From there you will have the opportunity to absorb modern-day culture and traditions when we visit two specially selected villages – notable for their strong indigenous culture and lack of mass tourism. Next travel to Popayan; known as “White City” and the “American Jerusalem” because of its many churches. It is the second most beautiful colonial town in Colombia after Cartagena.

Finally you will travel to the ancient walled city of Cartagena on the warm Caribbean coast. Here you can get an understanding how towns needed to protect themselves from the menace of pirates, the most notorious in the region being the feared ‘king of pirates’, Henry Morgan.

Getting There

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.
 

 
Colombia Colonial Towns Colombia

Colombia History

San Agustín, Tierradentro, Popayán, Cartagena
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)


Day 01 – Arrive
Bogotá Meet and greet at El Dorado airport in Bogotá and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at Grand House.

Day 02 – City Highlights Tour
Bogotá Enjoy a half day visit to the historic centre known as La Candelaria. The city highlights include the Plaza de Bolivar, the Bogota Cathedral. the Gold Museum, the Fundacion Botero, the Religious Art Museum, the Coin House and the Library Luis Angel Arango. With your private guide explore as many of these attractions as possible and catch up with the rest at your leisure, should you wish, in the afternoon.
Overnight at Grand House (B)

Day 03 – Transfer
San Agustín Transfer to the airport for your flight to Neiva where you will then transfer to San Agustín. In the afternoon visit the San Agustín archaeological park, an area renowned for its pre-Colombian sites.

Here you will discover the largest collection of megalithic sculptures on the continent. They were constructed during the Agustinian Culture, which flowered from the 1st century AD.
Overnight at San Augustin (B, D)

Day 04 – World Heritage Sites
San Agustín Enjoy a full-day visit to the two other parks listed as UNESCO World Heritage: Alto de los Idolos and Alto de las Piedras. Here you will discover the best-preserved funerary complexes of the Augustinian culture and amazing sarcophagi and ceremonial baths.

Later, visit the majestic landscape of the Colombian Massif and the spectacular Mortino waterfalls and Salto de Bardones.
Overnight at hotel (B, D)

Day 05 – Archaeological Sites
San Andrés de Pisimbala Take a morning departure to the Tierradentro archaeological area, ascending the central mountain range and meandering along the banks of the Páez river until you reach the town of San Andrés de Pisimbala.
Overnight Casa Campesina, a simple peasant house (B, D)

Day 06 – The Surrounds
San Andrés de Pisimbala In the morning, visit the Parque Arqueológico Tierradentro to see the magnificent underground tombs in Alto de Segovia and Alto del Duende. These large underground temples excavated in the rock characteristically have a vaulted ceiling, are elliptic or oval shape with columns, and are a unique architectural example of pre Columbian funerary art. Many are decorated with geometric motifs and sculptures in red, black and white. In the afternoon, visit the Museo Arqueológico y Antropológico.
Overnight Casa Campesina, a simple peasant house (B, D)

Day 07 – Transfer
Popayán In the morning, depart towards Popayán, a gem of a town known as the White City for its white gesso facades. The original town was damaged by the 1983 earthquake, but all the historic buildings were completely restored. Popayán is famous for its Easter celebrations, a tradition from colonial times which inhabitants have lovingly preserved. In the afternoon,  walk through the colonial centre- visit the Casa Museo Valencia, the colonial art museum, various churches and the Puente del Humilladero bridge.
Overnight at Hotel Camino Real (B)

Day 08 – Cultural Tour
Popayán Today you will continue your journey to visit the small town of Silvia where the locals take enormous pride in the preservation of local identity and traditions. Every Tuesday, on market days, Silvia transforms into a colourful and picturesque place.  The Guambiano Indians, dressed in their traditional “anacos” (blue knee-length sarong-like attire), come to town to sell their fruit, vegetables and artisan work. Return to Popayán for an overnight stay.
Overnight at Hotel Camino Real (B)

Day 09 – Transfer
Cartagena In the morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Bogotá where you will continue on  to the ancient walled city of Cartagena on the warm Caribbean coast. Upon arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your own leisure.
Overnight at La Passion (B)

Day 10 & 11 – 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 incredible resemblance to the stern of a galleon. Visit the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, built on the San Lázaro hill in order to defend the city from pirate attacks. Continue to the old town to visit the convent of San Pedro Claver and the artisan centre in Las Bóvedas. Enjoy a free afternoon for individual activities.

Next day free for individual activities. We highly recommend an excursion to Islas del Rosario.
Overnight at La Passion (B)

Day 12 – Depart
Cartagena Transfer to the airport today for your outbound flight. (B)
 

 

Recommended price

  • 5-star: From GBP 250 per person per day
  • 4-star: From GBP 200 per person per day
  • 3-star: From GBP 150 per person per day

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

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199


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