Colombia Tours & Holidays
Small Group Tours & Tailor-Made Holidays
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Having languished in the tourist wilderness for almost two decades, Colombia has come back with a vengeance, rapidly earning a reputation as one of the most exciting new travel destinations in South America. Discover the countries palm-fringed Caribbean beaches, snow-capped Andean peaks, national parks and rainforests that beggars belief, with one of our Colombia tours. From the cosmopolitan streets of Bogotá, to the cobbled alleys of its colonial outposts, you can indulge in everything ...
Having languished in the tourist wilderness for almost two decades, Colombia has come back with a vengeance, rapidly earning a reputation as one of the most exciting new travel destinations in South America. Discover the countries palm-fringed Caribbean beaches, snow-capped Andean peaks, national parks and rainforests that beggars belief, with one of our Colombia tours. From the cosmopolitan streets of Bogotá, to the cobbled alleys of its colonial outposts, you can indulge in everything on your Colombia holidays, from mud bathing in volcanoes, trekking on glaciers or sipping Cuba Libras in the bars of Cartagena. The only South American country with a coastline on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, Colombia lies just to the south of Panama, providing the gateway between South and Central America. Hemmed in on three sides by Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador, it was named in honour of Christopher Columbus, despite the fact that Columbus never actually visited the country. Infused with an almost dream-like quality that obviously inspired the author, Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia offers up a vast array of activities from jungle walks and archaeological ruins, to mountain treks, whale watching and coffee plantations. After so long in the wilderness, a trip to Colombia is a must for any traveller.
Start your journey
Travel to Colombia with like-minded people on one of our small group tours (usually max size 12), featuring knowledgeable local guides and an expert tour leader.
Whether you want to travel on one of our award-winning itineraries or build your own journey from scratch, our expert consultants will help create the perfect tour for your tastes and budget. Below are a few suggestions of the kind of trips we can offer, all of which can be tailored to you.
HIGHLIGHTS OF COLOMBIA
DAYTRIP TO CHINGAZA NATIONAL PARK
Take a private guided visit to Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza, one of the most important national parks within reach of the capital that preserves the unique paramo ecosystem. During the hike look out for hummingbirds, deer, the Andean Condor.
ENJOY A HISTORIC TOUR OF BOGOTÁ
Take a walking tour around the city’s histoic centre, La Candelaria, admiring its Spanish colonial buildings admiring the architecture the churches and cathedral. You can also stop for a visit at the excellent Gold Museum for a lesson in pre-colonial history.
Island hop in Rosario
The Rosario Archipelago is a far cry from the uninspiring beaches of Cartagena. Hop between the islands’ secret white sand beaches and snorkel in the turquoise surrounding this national park.
ATTEMPT THE LOST CITY TREK
This five-day trek isn’t for the faint of heart as the heat and humidity make it quite a challenging journey through the tropics in search of Colombia’s “Machu Picchu”, known as La Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City).
GET MERRY DURING A RUM TASTING
Enjoy a rum tasting at a local bar whilst learning about the history of the drink in the Americas and Colombia. Whilst witnessing part of the distillation process, you will also become familiar with the differences in flavour and strength.
EXPERIENCE A COFFEE FARM TOUR
Witness and learn each step required to grow and process coffee beans. Walk around the plantation at one of the area’s long-standing coffee fincas (farm) and round off the experience with tasting of different coffee preparations, grinds and roasts.
TRY YOUR HAND AT A POTTERY CLASS
Visit a local workshop in quaint Raquira village, famous for its ceramics by the Muisca culture established well before the arrival of the Spanish. Learn the techniques of this centuries-old tradition in an optional pottery class.
WALK AROUND A RURAL COLONIAL TOWN
Take in the hidden corners of this quaint colonial town with its white-washed buildings and cobbled streets via a walking tour. As well as offering a glimpse into a traditional rural town, this is also one of Colombia's best-preserved historic villages.
ENJOY TAYRONA’S PROTECTED BEACHES
With rainforest meeting Caribbean beaches and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background it's no surprise that Tayrona National Park is Colombia’s most visited national park. Hike through the forest to reach its protected beaches.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT
OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY
WHEN TO GO
The dry seasons (November to March and July to August) are the most comfortable times to visit (especially if trekking) although travel is possible at any time of the year. The country enjoys an equatorial climate and can get hot and humid, but thanks to the Andean Mountain range there are many areas at an elevated altitude, which experience a more temperate climate. (It can be very cold in the mountain tops on the Los Nevados day trip). The coastal regions are also cooled by the sea breezes.
Health and Vaccinations
There are no mandatory immunisations for travellers to Colombia though you should be up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. For some regions you require a Yellow Fever Certificate. There are mosquito borne diseases presently in Colombia such as Malaria and Zika is present in some parts of Colombia so we recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and/or preventative treatments.
Officially visitors to the Tayrona National park only need to show a Yellow Fever certificate if they have visited Brazil or certain West African countries in the previous 6 months. However, on occasions overzealous park wardens can request this documentation from all visitors. As a precaution we suggest that guests are up to date with their YF vaccination and must present their certificate if requested. Although unlikely to happen, there is a small risk that failure to have your certificate may hold up the entrance process to the National park or entry could be denied.
In Colombia the official unit of currency is the Colombian Peso (COP).
To check out the latest exchange rate for the places that you are visiting you can go to www.oanda.com.
On our tours you will frequently interact with local people, each with their own distinct customs and traditions. We therefore ask you to be considerate and to treat them with respect. Your tour-leaders and guides will always be able to advise you accordingly.
In the churches and cathedrals women should cover their heads with a scarf or hat, while men should take their hats off.
Language & Religion
Colombia’s official language is Spanish although those dialects and languages spoken by other ethnic groups are also considered official in their territories. The dominant faith in the country is Catholicism and although the country has a very colourful history they are often very devout in their beliefs.
Colombia is 5 hours behind GMT.
A useful website to check the time zone differences is www.worldtimezone.com.
Food and drink
Food and drink play a big part in Colombian culture – please do not expect to lose any weight on this trip! But do just be prepared as breakfast can be a bit repetitive usually eggs, bread and coffee. The diet is also quite meat orientated, so vegetarians may struggle. In Colombia, hot chocolate is still a staple in almost every Colombian home, accompanied by Colombian pastries, bread, cheese and even eggs.