Bogotá is situated high in the Andes, and as the capital of a diverse country, truly has something for everyone. Board a cable car to the cloudy summit of Mount Monserrate, lunch in one of Usaquén's many trendy restaurants. The holy Guatavita Lake, Zipaquira's mythical salt cathedral are more spots to experience near Bogota.
Medellín, known as the “City of Eternal Spring,” has been transformed into one of the most livable and innovative metropolises in Latin America. Colorful, friendly people and a highly pleasant climate entice visitors to cultural events around the city's attractive streets and squares.
Day 1: Bogota
Upon arrival at Bogota airport you’ll be welcomed by you guide who will provide a private transfer to your selected hotel in downtown Bogota for check-in and overnight.
Day 2: Bogota
You will be met by your guide, who will take you on a private walking tour of downtown Bogotá. Start at Bogota's historical center called "La Candelaria" with its impressive churches, Governmental palace and "Plaza de Bolívar". Then, you have the option to visit different museums, depending on the weekday, like the world-famous "Museo del Oro" (museum of gold), Emerald Museum and the gallery of the famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero. In the afternoon, we head to Cerro de Monserrate, a mountain that rises over downtown Bogotá, dominating the skyline of Colombia‘s capital accessible either via panoramic aerial tramway or via funicular. A church high up on the mountain is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. We return to Candelaria district for a tour of craft Colombian breweries visiting at least 5 of the most authentic ones but, before, start by having a chicha, a centuries old drink, fermented by our indigenous people. Return to the hotel for overnight. [B]
Day 3: Bogota (Guatavita, Zipaquira)
This morning you’ll be driven to the Sacred Guatavita Lagoon (about 90 min.) located at 9,850 ft. of altitude. Tour the lagoon and learn about the El Dorado legend concerning the royal heirs’ coronation when, according to the legend, golden offerings like alligators, toads, fish and monkeys of pure gold were sunk. Later, these treasures were fished out of the lake, creating the "El Dorado" legend still undetectable. After the hike around the magical lake continue to the town of Zipaquirá to visit an underground Salt Mine that has a Cathedral inside. Walking inside the Salt Cathedral is a very special experience with a catholic taste due to the country´s traditions and the miner’s devotion for The Holy Virgin of Guasca who protects them. Once at the bottom of the Cathedral you will see the 3 sections and the big cross in the main one. A simple but complete movie will show you the dimensions of the mine as well as the history behind it. You’ll be impressed by one of the biggest religious constructions worldwide! Return to Bogota for overnight. [B]
Day 4: Bogota, Medellin
Morning private transfer to the airport to board your domestic flight to Medellin. You’ll be met on arrival and to your selected hotel in Medellin. After settling in meet your guide for a tour focusing on Pablo Escobar Gaviria, sadly the most famous son of the city of Medellin. The history of Escobar and the “Cartel of Medellín” is a unique example of how organized crime impacted a whole country. During the 1980s Escobar controlled huge parts of the international cocaine traffic giving him an impressive financial revenue that allowed the creation of a powerful network of corruption and social control over the population of Medellín. In the early 1990s, when the hunt for Pablo Escobar took place, the head of Medellín's drug cartel was at its peak, but it came to its end with his death in 1993. Get some insight on the historical dimension of the phenomenon of Pablo Escobar visiting some of the most emblematic sights of Escobar’s life. Return to the hotel for overnight. [B]
Day 5: Medellin
Medellín - the “City of Eternal Spring” – located in the Andean highlands of Antioquia, is nowadays the most innovative city of Latin America. An innovative program of urban development that combines modern means of public transport and the construction of public parks and areas of recreation for the local people turned Medellín from the most dangerous city in the world to a modern example of urban transformation. Get an insight of the city’s history by visiting the “Pueblito Paisa” and enjoying perfect views of the city. Explore the famous Botero Plaza downtown with an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, whose sculptures have become a landmark of the city. Take the Metro Cable up to Santo Domingo, which was once a notorious area of gang violence in Medellín. The cable car was constructed to make the inner city more accessible to people from the outskirts and allows visitors a glimpse into the lives of the marginalized population. At the Comuna 13 district with its unique escalators you observe another innovative project that improved the quality of life of the people of Medellín. Return to the hotel for overnight. [B/L/S]
Day 6: Medellin (Guatapé & Piedra del Peñol)
On this day trip we’ll take you on a scenic drive through the Eastern Highlands of Antioquia. You can climb the Peñol Boulder, enjoy a delicious typical Colombian lunch on the waterfront of the Guatapé reservoir, explore the lake on a boat ride and take time to stroll and relax. The Peñol Boulder is one of the most spectacular destinations in the surrounding area of Medellín. The 656-feet-high monolith can be climbed through a staircase of 740 steps. Enjoy breath-taking views over the stunning surroundings full of green mountains and blue lakes. The village of Guatapé is famous for its church and its beautiful, colorful paintings that decorate the houses of the village. [B/L]
Day 7: Medellin (Graffiti Tour & Casa de la Memoria)
The City of Medellin offers countless artistic expressions of street art, especially graffiti that is not only about strong artistic and cultural elements, but also a way of political expression. See the graffiti of the Comuna 13 guided by some of the local artists themselves. This tour gives you an insight on history and daily life in this area and the importance of street art for social communication and identity. The museum “Casa de la Memoria” is an research center of the urban conflict of the last decades and offers exclusive insights into this controversial part of the city’s history. Unlike other memory museums “Casa de la Memoria” is concerned with the memory of a conflict still alive. It is nowadays a place of hope and a landmark of social transformation in Medellín. Some free time to rest and relax until this evening’s venture into the famous tango culture of Medellín visiting the city’s tango hot spots. Follow the footprints of Carlos Gardel who turned Medellín into the biggest tango metropolis outside of Argentina. Get to know the Tango Culture of Medellín and be impressed by that little-known cultural part of Colombian dance and music and experience Medellín in a different way. Return to the hotel vor overnight. [B/L]
Day 8: Medellin, USA
The Tejo game is probably one of the most authentic games of the Colombian culture. This tour is perfect to get closer to Colombian culture while drinking a few beers and having a lot of fun. The origin of Tejo is pre-Columbian – the Colombian native indigenous people used to play Tejo as a ritual long before the Spaniards arrival in the 16th century. Back in the days, the natives played it with discs made of gold and competed, according to the legend, for the love of a woman. One had to throw a golden disc as close as possible into a golden ring located at a certain distance. As it is the game with the longest tradition in Colombia, it has become a national sport nowadays. Today’s Tejo game includes gunpowder and usually a lot of beer, and the modern discs (tejo) are made of metal. The ring is located in a corner filled with clay and decorated with papers filled with gunpowder – this makes it the most explosive and funny game in Colombia. After the tour you’ll be driven to José Maria Córdova Airport in Medellin to board your connecting flight back home. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch | [B/L/S] = Breakfast, Lunch and Snack