DAY 1 | Bogotá
Arrival to El Dorado airport in Bogotá on an intercontinental flight. Reception and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 2 | Bogotá
Half Day visit to local markets and cooking lesson and half day City Tour. Head to La Plaza de Mercado Paloquemao, one of the biggest and most recognized local markets in Bogotá, where all traditional produce and ingredients of Colombian cuisine can be found. Try some of the exotic fruits, local doughs, and Colombian cheese. At the end, buy the ingredients to cook a traditional dish. Head to La Candelaria for a cookery class and lunch.
In the afternoon, enjoy a half day visit to the historic centre of Bogotá, La Candelaria. The Capitol shows its renaissance and neoclassical influences with its carved stonework and tall columns. Around the Plaza de Bolivar are buildings such as the Palacio de Justicia, the Mayor of Bogotá’s offices called the Edificio Liévano, the oldest school in the county called San Bartolome and the Casa de los Comuneros, named after the leaders that participated towards the end of the XVII Century in some of the first movements towards independence from Spain.
The visit continues with the Botero Museum, a colonial house exhibiting some of Fernando Botero´s works of art and in addition pieces from his own personal collection that includes works by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí Matisse, Monet and Giacometti. Next is the Gold Museum which has a permanent exhibition of some 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles. Overnight stay.
DAY 3 | Bogotá – Half Day art tour – Pereira
After breakfast, enjoy a half day art tour with Federico Ruiz, an Art Dealer and specialist with a 12 year experience in Colombian modern and contemporary art market. He represents a portfolio of 12 artists and is well established as one of the most solid and respected actors of the field. He has clients and collectors in New York, Tokyo, Brazzaville, Miami, Caracas, Buenos Aires and Bogota.
The tour includes the visit to 3 galleries (modern and/or contemporary art). The day starts by visiting downtown galleries. Then, departure to El Dorado airport to take a flight to Pereira. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel and check in. Overnight stay.
DAY 4 | Pereira – Hot air balloning – Valle del Cocora
This is the ultimate experience in the coffee region, overflying it on a Hot Air Balloon. Participate in the process of inflating the balloon which takes around 30min to complete while tasting a hot cup coffee with typical pastries from the region. Then, start your journey above the beautiful landscape of the Colombia Coffee Region. The flight takes approximately 45 min.
Leave for the Valle de Cocora which is located in the central mountains of the department of Quindio. This is the ideal place to marvel at the “Quindian wax palm”, the national tree of Colombia. This tree can reach a staggering height of 60m. Around here a great number of species of birds live, in particular some types of hummingbird and the orejíamarillo or the palm parrot which is endangered.
Upon arrival in the valley, head into the cloud forest to enjoy the biodiversity of flora and fauna. On the return journey, cross the River Quindio while walking along an ecological pathway which takes one past the tallest wax palms in the world. Stop at a trout farm and then enjoy a traditional meal of smoked trout.
In the afternoon, continue towards the traditional town of Salento to enjoy a city tour that visits the Plaza de Bolívar with its colorful balconies, the calle real, the handicrafts shops and the Cocora viewpoint. Return hotel and overnight stay.
DAY 5 | Pereira – Half day Coffee process – Cartagena
Half day visiting the coffee plantations along the steep hills typical of this area. On a secondary pathway view the green carpet of coffee plants that spread out as far as the horizon interrupted only by fincas and heliconia flowers.
Visit to Hacienda San Alberto one of the coffee estates typical of the region and located near the town of Buenavista Quindío. Learn about the production system, including the harvest, the drying to the sun and treatment in this land of volcanic terrain along the Central Andes Mountain Range and offers the perfect climatic conditions for coffee growing. At the end enjoy a coffee tasting session. In the afternoon, flight to Cartagena. Upon arrival, check in and overnight stay.
DAY 6 | Cartagena – Panoramic City Tour & Half day
Start with a panoramic view of the city from the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa. Constructed in 1606 this church and monastery are located at a height of 140masl from where one can enjoy 360º views of the city. Continuing to the San Felipe fortress, erected in honor of the poet from Cartagena, Don Luis Carlos López, made famous for his sonnet “A mi ciudad nativa”. Then, go on to the Ciudad Vieja to visit the Convert and Church of the San Pedro Claver. Lastly, follow to the handicrafts zone of the Bovedas, a collection of archways built into the city wall of Cartagena and that were used until the end of the 1700s. Nowadays it’s an artisan center where you can appreciate local handcraft.
During this 4 hours walking tour visit 13 favorite places of Gabriel García Márquez. In 9 different stops, taste traditional food referenced in literary works by “Gabo”. Overnight stay.
DAY 7 | Departure