Extend Your Trip
Chiriqui Highlands, Panama
3 nights from only $845
Colonial Cartagena, Colombia: The Emerald of the Caribbean
3 nights from only $845
NEW! Colombia: Bogotá & Medellín
6 nights from only $1995
6 nights from: $1995 Single Supplement: FREE
Experience Colombia’s colonial past and vibrant future in two contrasting cities. You begin your adventure in Bogotá—the urban, cultural soul of the country. Explore this capital in the clouds, uncovering Bogotá’s pulsing markets and graffitied streets. Then, travel to Medellín to witness a city in the midst of an economic and cultural rebirth. Learn about Colombia’s decades of turbulence, and meet the resilient Colombianos who are forging a bright path for this rich and welcoming country.
- It's Included:
- Airfare from Quito to Bogotá and from Bogotá to Medellín
- Accommodations for 6 nights
- 11 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 2 dinners
- Included tours: Bogotá • Guatape • Medellín
- Services of a local Trip Leader
- Gratuities for local guides, drivers, and luggage porters
- All transfers
After concluding your Panama Canal Cruise & Panama: A Continent Divided, Oceans United Small Ship Adventure, you'll fly to Bogotá—Colombia's energetic capital city. You'll check in to your hotel, and then embark on a brief orientation walk to acquaint yourself with the area. Then, return to the hotel for an included dinner.
After breakfast this morning, set off on a walking tour of the largest city in Colombia. Originally a settlement known as Bacatá by the indigenous people who inhabited this area on the high plains of the Andes, the site became a full-fledged Spanish colonial outpost by 1550. Bogotá remained under the control of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1717, when it became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, a vast stretch of land encompassing the modern countries of Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Since then, the city has served continuously as a political and social center; today this bustling capital city has a population of more than eight million people.
Today, you'll learn about Bogotá's history and culture as you explore the city's streets and plazas, ending at the famous Gold Museum (Museo del Oro). Spread out over three floors, this fascinating museum contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold from pre-Hispanic Colombia. Next, try your hand at tejo, Colombia's explosive national sport. Tejo combines lawn bowls with gunpowder to a conflagrant effect, and Colombianos' passion for the sport is mirrored in its volatility.
After working up an appetite playing tejo, head to a local restaurant for lunch before embarking on a graffiti tour of Bogotá. The city has a casual attitude toward graffiti; as a result, Bogotá's walls are covered in everything from tags and amateur scrawls to elaborate murals.
Spend the day in Bogotá, exploring the city at your leisure.
Or, join our optional tour to a local market and Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá—an area located in the mountains north of Bogotá. First, you'll visit a local market in Bogotá. Then continue to the cathedral, which is built into the tunnels of a salt mine, stretching more than 600 feet underground, with statues and ornaments carved out of the mine's rock walls. The complex features an entryway lined with 14 small chapels that depict the Stations of the Cross, and is considered a highlight of Colombian architecture. More than just a monument, this site is an active Roman Catholic church, drawing up to 3,000 visitors to its Sunday services. Following your tour of the cathedral, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant that features dishes cooked using salt from the Zipaquirá mine, as well as ajiaco, a traditional Colombian soup of chicken, potatoes, and corn. Afterwards, return to the hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Your travel in Colombia continues with a flight from Bogotá to Medellín this morning. As you explore the city, you'll see how it is undergoing an economic and cultural rebirth. Enjoy an informative discussion on Pablo Escobar's rise to power as one of the most recognized and infamous drug cartel leaders in history before ascending the Antioquia Mountains via the Metrocable (an aerial tram) for panoramic views. Here, you'll visit the comuna (a small traditional community) of Santo Domingo and interact with its residents. Then, gain a richer understanding of Colombia's recent history during a lively discussion with a local expert on some controversial topics. Learn about the Colombian government's lengthy conflict with guerrillas and the role that drug cartels played in the country in the late 20th century.
This evening, check into your hotel and take a brief orientation walk. Dinner tonight is on your own.
This morning, head east out of Medellín to Guatape, hailed as "the most colorful town in Colombia." Along the way, you'll stop at Alto de las Arepas, where you'll sample arepas, or traditional, thick corn tortillas.
Continue on to Guatape, a pueblo town situated on the shores of a man-made lake. Guatape is perhaps best known for El Penon, a mammoth rock on the lake's edge that rises more than 650 feet into the air and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. You'll take a boat ride on the lake before arriving in the town proper, where you'll have lunch at a local restaurant.
This afternoon, take a walking tour of Guatape, stopping along the way to admire the brightly colored homes that line the streets. Each house has its own unique zócalo, beautifully crafted tile placards. You'll meet a local artist to learn more about this tradition and explore the town by moto taxi—the locals' transportation of choice. After some free time in Guatape to make your own discoveries, head back to Medellín. Dinner tonight is on your own.
After breakfast, set out for Comuna 13. Once considered one of the most dangerous comunas in the city, Comuna 13 is now a model example of Medellín's transformation. You'll get to see firsthand the thriving street art scene and innovative urban design that is quickly reshaping this neighborhood.
Next, visit Plaza de Botero in central Medellín. The plaza has an open-air collection of 23 sculptures by Medellín-born Fernando Botero, whose exaggerated figures have been shown in the world's greatest museums and galleries. You'll have lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Botero Museum.
This afternoon, enjoy some free time in the city. Perhaps you will explore El Poblado, the city's wealthiest neighborhood whose main street is nicknamed the Milla de Oro—the Golden Mile. This evening, you'll gather together with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
This morning, you depart the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.