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Colombia Family Adventure

9 Days | From


Highlights

  • Visit the Coffee Triangle
  • Walk amongst Wax Palms in the Cocora Valley
  • Relax at your secluded ecohab beach bungalow
  • Adventure into the Sierra Nevada Mountain range
  • Explore the historical Caribbean city of Cartagena

This action-packed itinerary promises nine days of immersive experiences that showcase the best of this warm, vibrant country. Your family will work alongside rural Andean villagers to build a rain stick, tube down a tropical rainforest into the Caribbean sea, explore one of the America’s most historic and strategic port cities and fish with locals in a small village near Cartagena. This adventure perfectly blends outdoor adventure, immersive educational experiences and local interaction. Everything will be coordinated by knowledgeable Andean Discovery staff so all you have to worry about is dragging the kids back on the plane home!

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH 9 Days
  • STANDARD PACKAGE
  • SUPERIOR PACKAGE
*Prices based on 4 travelers

Included
  • Private tours with professional Andean Discovery guides
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities and transfers as per itinerary
  • Most meals
Not Included
  • International round-trip airfare
  • Fees for passport and travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Cabin upgrades available

Itinerary
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Detailed Itinerary >>
Meet Andean Discovery staff and transport to hotel

Bienvenidos a Colombia!

Upon evening arrival in Bogotá, an Andean Discovery staff member will welcome your family to Colombia. After a quick drive, you’ll be dropped at your hotel, conveniently located near the airport.

 

Visit the Andean forest and interact with rural communities

This morning, you’ll be transferred to the airport so you can begin your Colombian adventure in the tropical mountains of the famous Coffee Triangle. A quick flight over the Andes will bring you to Pereira, one of three cities that form the Coffee Triangle.

Today, we will explore a fragile Andean forest in one of Colombia’s most pristine national parks, the Otun-Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary. Located alongside the Otún river, the sanctuary protects diverse Andean species that are disappearing elsewhere. A local naturalist guide will explain why Colombia has the highest number of bird species on the planet, as you see them in the foliage and hear their song. As you wander down the trail to a beautiful waterfall, look up and keep an eye out for red howler monkeys that may peering down at you.

After a morning in the breezy, humid sanctuary, get ready for an artistic afternoon. Your will visit with a family of rural artisans who will teach you to build rain sticks with local, sustainable materials, including Guadua bamboo. Later this afternoon, check in at your hacienda where the natural adventures will continue. Before dining on a dinner made with local ingredients from the property’s exotic fruit trees and intricate orchids, you’ll have time to explore the peaceful property that contains over 300 bird species.

Overnight: Hacienda Castilla (B, L, D)

Walk amongst the wax palms and tour a local coffee plantation

This morning, your family will venture into the Cocora Valley, part of Los Nevados National Park. Known as Colombia’s valley of the palms, this region hosts ethereal cloud forests brimming with natural gifts. You will encounter the wax palm, Colombia’s national tree, and marvel at its dizzying height and incredible ability to survive at such altitude. The wax palm is an endangered species, but you will do your part to ensure a sustainable future for the tree by joining locals to reforest an area with wax palm seedlings. A local Quimbaya from the community will bless a new crop of seedlings before you plant them in the rich Andean soil.

This afternoon, you visit a family-run coffee plantation and learn how the beans are grown, harvested, dried, and exported across the globe. Then, it’s time to finally taste one of Colombia’s most famous exports!   A guide will teach you how to analyze the aroma, flavor, and appreciate the body of a truly sophisticated Cup of Joe during the tasting.

Finish the afternoon off with a stroll around Salento, a picturesque Andean village known for the skillful artistry of its locals, visible with vibrant balconies that adorn the downtown. This charming town has everything you could want: tasty local dishes, lively café-bars, a pristine location at the foothills of the Andes and genuine smiles that make you feel like part of the community. Although you may never want to leave Salento, a delicious dinner will be awaiting you at your hacienda.

Overnight: Hacienda Castilla (B, L, D)

Enjoy the Caribbean sun in Santa Marta and take a short afternoon hike

This morning, get up knowing that the Caribbean sun awaits! Now that you’ve toured a coffee plantation, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the mug of coffee that prepares you for the next adventure.

You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch your morning flight to Santa Marta. Colombia’s oldest city has an exotic setting with long beaches set against the stunning Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s highest coastal mountain range. The Parque Nacional Tayrona encompasses every known ecosystem, including pristine white sand beaches and lush mangrove forests, earning the area the nickname “the heart of the world”.

Andean Discovery local guides will transfer you with a one-hour drive to your secluded “ecohab” beach bungalow. Before lunch, you can enjoy a walk along the beach or sit under the shade of coconut palms, breathing in fresh, salt air. This afternoon, enjoy a light jungle hike to El Pozo Sagrado, The Sacred Well, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Kogui people believe this swimming hole is sacred and often perform cleansing rituals and give offerings to Mother Earth here. You can also make a traditional offering or enjoy a rejuvenating swim. After relaxing to the sounds of the jungle, you’ll return to your secluded beach bungalow.

Overnight: Merecumbé  (B, L, D)

Float the Don Diego River and visit the Navio Quebrado Lagoon

This morning, you will experience the magical microclimates of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as we float down the Don Diego River in reinforced inner tubes. A Sierra Nevada glacier feeds this crystal clear river, which provides refreshing, cool water flowing to the ocean. On a clear day, you can observe all 32 peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Keep your eyes out for Howler Monkeys playing in the trees and an assortment of migratory birds and native tropical species. You will also leisurely float by indigenous Kogui people fishing and washing clothes. After an hour, you hop out at the giant sand bar that marks the confluence of the Don Diego River and the Caribbean Sea.

After lunch, we will visit Los Flamencos Sanctuary that encompasses four lagoons. At Navio Quebrado Lagoon, you will board a traditional dugout sailboat for an excursion around the lake. Float by beautiful pink flamingos that get their color from eating the lake’s special plankton. The lake is also a natural habitat for oysters and shrimp and numerous marine birds. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab the tiller and navigate the traditional sailboat yourself. Return to shore and enjoy fresh shrimp empanadas made by a local family before returning to your beach retreat for the evening.

Overnight: Merecumbé  (B, L, D)

Visit local fishing villages and the port city of Baranqilla on your way to Cartagena

This morning, you will embark on a coastal journey through remote fishing villages, seaside pools and mangroves. We will stop for lunch in the industrial port town of Baranqilla, the birthplace of Colombian pop goddess Shakira and salsa legend Joe Arroyo. Here, you will learn more about the historic and modern Colombian music, which fuses European, African, and Indigenous influences.

Then, you will continue the journey to the charming colonial town of Cartagena, whose walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known officially as Cartagena De Las Indias, this coastal city retains historic architecture from the Spanish colonial era. You will feel the diverse and eccentric cultural blend of Cartagena when you taste its food, hear its music, and stroll its cobblestone streets. Check-in at Casa Pestagua, a boutique hotel transformed from Count of Cartagena’s former mansion, located in the heart of the walled city. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Overnight: Casa Pestagua Boutique Hotel (B, L)

Visit San Felipe Fort and La Ciudad Amurallada

In the Spanish Colonial era, Cartagena served as important political and economic center and the Spanish heavily invested in impressive fortifications to guard against pirates. You will see this firsthand on a morning visit to the strategically located San Felipe Fort. Explore the archways and secret passageways of the 16th-Century fort that defended the prosperity of the port city. Here, old dungeons have been converted into artisan shops and boutiques. This afternoon, leisurely explore La Ciudad Amurallada, one of the world’s best-preserved walled cities containing a plethora of flowers, colorful buildings and intimate plazas.

Overnight: Casa Pestagua Boutique Hotel (B, L)

Kayak tour of La Boquilla fihsing village

This morning, we will visit La Boquilla, a vibrant and culturally rich small fishing community. Despite its proximity to Cartagena, the village is a true hidden gem, undiscovered by most travelers. Here, a local fisherman will teach you about the local fauna and fish of the cienaga (lagoon). In exchange, help him haul in his daily catch by assisting with fishing nets and crab boxes.

 

To continue your immersion into local village life, you will kayak through the mangroves and beautiful, tranquil lagoon. Here, you can try your hand at catching crabs, shrimp and fish using traditional methods including casting the Atarraya traditional fishing nets.

 

After reeling in your catch, help prepare lunch in a simple family kitchen. You’ll learn how to cook the town’s famous coconut rice, plantains (patacones), fried fish and garlic crabs from scratch. Then, enjoy lunch together, washing down the tasty meal with agua panela, a sugar cane drink. You’ll have some free time to take a siesta in a hammock or walk off your meal on the beach.

Then, you will be transported back to your hotel to collect your bags before heading to the airport for a late afternoon flight to Bogotá. Upon arrival in Bogotá, check in at your hotel located near the airport and reflect on your wonderful Colombian adventure.

(B, L)

Transfer to the airport for your international flight

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight.

(B)



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  • Hacienda Castilla

    A historical hacienda surrounded by lush parkland and natural beauty in Pereira, Colombia.

  • Merecumbé Hotel

    Located on the Caribbean, this secluded hotel provides you with a perfect place to escape.

  • Marriott Bogota

    A modern hotel located just 4 miles from the International Airport El Dorado.

  • Casa Pestagua

    A colonial palace with personalized service of a boutique hotel.



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Damon put together the perfect itinerary for our group of 7 - including grandparents. His knowledge of the region is superb, which is why he is able to create the ultimate trip for your family. From whitewater rafting in Peru to zip-lining in Ecuador, we truly had the trip of a lifetime! I wouldn't go with anyone else!
Carolyn Malloy
Carolyn Malloy
12:40 31 Jan 19
Our trip was fantastic and Micaela with Andean Discovery was great! Every detail was taken care of ahead of time. We just showed up and enjoyed the beauty of South America. I would use them again in a heartbeat.
marc abrams
marc abrams
23:33 23 Nov 18
We traveled with our family of 3 people. Andean did a wonderful job helping us select an itinerary that was able to accommodate our various ages. We had no glitches in a fairly complicated itinerary and everything came off as planned. Our local guide in Quito Johanna was terrific. I can't recommend Sacha Lodge more highly. Our experience in Galapagos on the Coral 1 was magical. While the crew of the Coral 1 could have been more charming and smiled on occasion they were helpful, the food was very good and the rooms were kept clean. I have no reservations in recommending Andean Discovery for your South American Holiday
Victor Elinoff
Victor Elinoff
23:26 07 Jan 19
Thanks to Andean our vacation was a wonderful experience for our entire family of 15 (8 adults and 7 grand kids aged 16 to 9).. The planning for the trip to the Galapagos was well researched; the hotels, guides and itinerary were spot on. They answered our many questions before we departed and there NO disappointments during the vacation. It was the most memorable trip our family has taken.
Mary Ann Fuller
Mary Ann Fuller
18:00 22 Jan 19
My family toured the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in Peru with Andean Discovery guides and reservations. We had a fabulous adventure! I recommend highly that "superior lodging" be chosen as an option for the best possible room accommodations. The marvelous comfort of the fine hotels Andean booked for us made all the difference.
Kathryn Fulhorst
Kathryn Fulhorst
21:36 08 Jan 19
Traveling to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu was a dream vacation for my wife. After much research we booked our trip through Andean Discovery. We are so glad we did. Everything went smoothly and our personal guides in Ecuador and Peru were wonderful. I would highly recommend Andean Discovery to anyone thinking of taking a similar trip.
Arnold Miniman
Arnold Miniman
15:29 14 Dec 18