Colombia Caribbean Coast Tour Regular

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Day 1: Cartagena

Private Guided transfer from Rafael Nuñez International airport in Cartagena de Indias to hotel. Free time to rest & settle in.

Included

Spanish Speaking Driver

English Speaking Guide

Day 2: Cartagena

The day begins with a walk through the heart of the old walled city districts, which is a great introduction to the history and way of life in Cartagena de Indias. It is impossible not to be drawn-in and inspired by the churches, the cathedral, and the Puerto del Reloj (clock tower entrance) amongst other magnificent buildings. Marvel at the stunning colonial architecture or simply absorb the local atmosphere… it is like stepping through the pages of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. During its 500-plus year history the city has a wealth of myths, legends and stories to enthral visitors. But this is not a neighbourhood frozen in time: the old town is very much a living part of modern-day Cartagena. The city’s main university has its principal faculty here and during the daytime students rub shoulders with visitors, while local workers hurry along the cobbled streets about their business. Carved from a colourful history rife with piracy, sultry Caribbean heat, and a fascinating fusion of African, indigenous and European culture, Cartagena is truly a living, breathing and pulsating heart of Colombia. Looming over the historic centre of Cartagena, the next stop is the fortress of San Felipe that dominates the city skyline. The largest fortification built by the Spanish anywhere in the Americas, it stands as an imposing example of military might and architecture. The first construction on the site was started in 1586, but work continued and the fortifications and ramparts were strengthened during the next 200 years, mostly by African slave labour. Underneath this amazing structure are a labyrinth of tunnels, many of which are lit and accessible to visitors. Cartagena’s history owes much to this fort and the stories surrounding it are fascinating. Without it the Cartagena and Colombia we know today could well have be a very different place. The other dominant landmark and final visiting site in the city is the hill top convent of La Popa. The hill, at 150m (500ft) above sea level, is the highest point in the city and commands excellent views of the bay, old town and Caribbean Sea beyond. Started initially as a humble wooden chapel it was later replaced by a more solid construction that was fortified two centuries later. The convent still plays an important role in the life of the city’s Catholics and is often full to bursting on religious holidays.

Activities and Services

Puerto del reloj

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

English Speaking Guide

 

Day 3: Cartagena

You will have a free day, or you can choose an optional additional activity: Either a day trip in Gente de Mar Hotel. Or a full day private island hopping tour in the Rosario Islands.

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Excluded

Day trip in Gente de Mar Hotel, Cartagena: $120 per person.

Full day private island hopping tour at the Rosario Islands, Cartagena: $625 per person.

Day 4: Santa Marta

Private Guided transfer from Cartagena de Indias to hotel at Santa Marta.

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Spanish Speaking Driver

English Speaking Guide

 

Day 5: Santa Marta

This tour is a perfect introduction to Santa Marta, the oldest Spanish Colonial city in continental Americas. Having been neglected for many years, the city is now undergoing a restoration programme and you will get to see the results of this as you stroll through the atmospheric plazas and narrow streets of this beautiful and unique city. Colombia is synonymous with Gold and departing with your guide your first visit will be the small Gold Museum which houses some interesting gold and pottery objects from the indigenous cultures that inhabit the Sierra Nevada Mountains which rise up behind the city. From here you will continue on foot accompanied by your guide through the Bolivar Plaza and the bustling streets to the Cathedral, Colombia’s oldest church. From here it is a short stroll to the beautiful Parque de los Novios (lovers’ park) where you can sip a refreshing cold drink in the shade. You then drive away from the historical centre of Santa Marta to one of Latin America’s most revered sites, La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino. Originally a working farm and set in beautiful grounds, this hacienda was built in the 17th century and was where Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Colombia spent his final days and died in 1830. Bolivar, born in Caracas, led the fight for independence from Spain and gave Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru their liberty. You will visit the house with some of the original furniture including his deathbed as well as works of art. The vast white marble altar.

Activities and Services

Gold museum

Bolivar Plaza

Parque de los novios

Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

English Speaking Guide

Spanish Speaking Driver

Day 6: Tayrona National Park

Full-day tour to Tayrona National Park. This place is everything you could want from a picture post card beach location. Palm fringed beaches and golden sand that stretch out in front of you. This tropical beach paradise has a back drop of lush green rain forest. There are numerous paths that link the various beaches and bays, which make perfect walking trails for the days in paradise. Driving north east from the city of Santa Marta you will pass along the foothills of the famous Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta the highest costal mountain range in the world. After passing through the main park entrance and check point you will continue for an additional 10 to 20 minutes along a rough gravel track to the end of the road trail. From here it’s time to get your walking boots on and get ready to hit the costal paths, for those who prefer a more sedate pace horses can be arranged to carry you or your bags. Depending on your exact requirements the walk can be 30 minutes or so to one of the main beaches, where you can sit under hanging palms and watch the waves roll up the shore or a walk of a couple of hours or so to one of the main swimming beaches. Also located here are a number of great locally run restaurants for a nice lunch. Remember that during your walk you can look out for some of the Kogi tribes’ people who still live in the park, plus the array of flora and fauna that you will pass during your trip. As you walk your guide will be on hand to explain not only the culture and history of the park but also about the wildlife that you may see on the way. Wherever you finish your walk you have the same trip back to the pickup point then transfer back to the hotel and time to reminisce over your trip to on one of the most unspoilt beaches of the region.

Activities and Services

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

English Speaking Guide

Spanish Speaking Driver

Day 7: Tayrona National Park

On the drive from Santa Marta you pass through villages and glimpse the locals going about their daily business before arriving at the Tayronaka trail, where you embark on the gentle, 30-minute guided trek through tropical vegetation to the site of indigenous ruins. See the remains of terraced settlements dating to between 800 and 1600 AD and your guide will explain how the structures were built and how they provided a home for the Tayrona people amongst the natural surroundings, alive the tropical flowers and the sights and sounds of peacocks, toucans and parrots. For a deeper understanding of the Tayrona culture, step into a small, one-room museum, a reconstruction of an original round house still used by a different group of indigenous people, attesting to the utility of this ancient form of construction. Get a real taste of the culture with a lunch of sancocho, a hearty stew of meat and local vegetables, fried green bananas, accompanied by agua panela con limon, or sugar cane juice with lemon. Return along the jungle trail bordering the Don Diego River, which served as the setting for the film, The Mission

Activities and Services

Tayronaka trail

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

English Speaking Guide

Spanish Speaking Driver

Excluded

Full-day tour Kogui Tungueka town, indigenous ethnic experience at Tayrona: $285 per person.

Day 8: End of Itinerary

After breakfast, you will take a private transfer from hotel to Simon Bolivar International airport in Santa Marta for your international departure flight.

Included

Breakfast

Spanish Speaking Driver

English Speaking Guide

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