AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Treasures of El Dorado + Tayrona

Treasures of El Dorado + Tayrona

Treasures of El Dorado + Tayrona Overview

This 17 day holiday combines the lush greenery and spectacular scenery of the Colombian Coffee Region with the bright lights and culture of capital Bogota and colonial jewel Cartagena, and culminates with the idyllic white sand Caribbean beaches of Tayrona National Park.

Treasures of El Dorado + Tayrona Beach

Itinerary

Day 1 (Friday) - Fly overnight to Medellín
Meal included on the trans-atlantic flight

Fly overnight from the UK to Bogotá and on to Medellín. Dubbed the "City of Eternal Spring", Medellín is Colombia's second city. Nestled in a narrow valley, the high rise buildings sit against a backdrop of the Andes, and at ground level you will find a lively city bursting with creativity and industry.

Day 2 (Saturday) - Arrive in Medellín. Free afternoon
Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

Arrive in Medellín and after being met at the airport, transfer to your hotel in the neighburhood of Poblado. Medellin is often touted as one of the world’s most innovative cities, and arguably El Poblado is its beating heart. You will find top class restaurants, cultural attractions and parks all within easy walking distance of one another.

Day 3 (Sunday) - Free day in Medellín or optional Inspirational Medellín excursion
Breakfast at the hotel.

Take an optional half day Inspirational Medellín, which focuses on the city’s transformation from the days of Escobar’s rule to the current vibrant and innovative city it is today. Begin the tour with a visit to Pablo Escobar’s former home and his grave then continue to the Parque de las Esculturas (sculpture park) in the city centre to see some of Fernando Botero’s work, which depicts life during Escobar’s reign. Next, ride on the Metro Cable for views of the city, then visit one of the transformed districts and ride on one of Medellín’s famous innovations, the public escalators that go up the hillside in poorer districts, connecting them to the city.

Day 4 (Monday) - Fly from Medellín to the Coffee Region
Breakfast at the hotel in Medellín. Lunch in Santa Elena.

In the morning, visit a flower farm near Santa Elena before catching a flight to Pereira in the Coffee Region (via Bogotá). Colombia's Coffee Triangle is a part of the Colombian Paisa, a region famous for growing and producing Colombian coffee, considered by many to be the best in the world. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hacienda-style hotel, located in the hills near Pereira, in the early evening.

Day 5 (Tuesday) - Take the optional Coffee Plantation excursion, or enjoy a free day
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch included on the Coffee Plantation excursion.

Take the optional Coffee Plantation excursion, heading out to a working coffee plantation to learn about the journey of coffee, from bean to cup. A guide will take you through each stage in the process, giving you an insight into the inner workings of a Colombian coffee farm. End the tour off with a coffee tasting, before you lunch at the hacienda, then return to your hotel. Alternatively, spend the day relaxing in and around your hotel, wandering in the garden and lazing by the pool.

Day 6 (Wednesday) - Take the optional Cocora Valley excursion, or enjoy a free day
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch included on the Cocora Valley excursion.

The Cocora Valley is one of Colombia’s most surreal landscapes, where the Quindio wax palms, Colombia’s national tree, dominate the skyline. The Cocora Valley excursion includes a guided tour of the cloud forest, with the opportunity to spot local bird life like hummingbirds and condors. It also visits the charming town of Salento with its pretty streets and craft shops, where you have lunch before playing the traditional Colombian bar game of Tejo. Alternatively, enjoy the day lazing in and around the hotel.

Day 7 (Thursday) - Fly to Bogotá. Have a free afternoon in the city
Breakfast at the hotel.

Fly to Bogotá in the morning. After landing, transfer to your hotel. After settling in, either relax or head out to explore this vibrant capital. Your hotel is located in Zona T, a trendy, modern part of the city with many dining options and bars. During the day there are plenty of cafes to frequent, as well a large park where you can people-watch as Bogotá’s well-heeled residents parade past. You can also head into the old town to get a feel for the city’s colonial past.

Day 8 (Friday) - Free day in Bogotá or take the optional Historic Bogotá excursion
Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy a free day to explore the city independently or take the optional Historic Bogotá excursion. Start with a funicular or cable car ride up Monserrate Hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Then visit the spectacular Gold Museum, the historical quarter of La Candelaria in the colonial downtown, and the fantastic Botero Museum, home to a superb collection of Botero’s works, as well as many pieces of European art.

Day 9 (Saturday) - Travel to Villa De Leyva via Lake Guatavita
Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in a rural restaurant.

Depart Bogotá in the early morning, travelling overland to the town of Villa De Leyva, set in one of the most beautiful rural landscapes in Colombia, with lakes, hills and semi-arid deserts. The first stop on the journey is Lake Guatavita, where the famous Colombian legend of El Dorado originated, as the indigenous people threw gold pieces into the lake as an offering to the gods. Hike to the lagoon and hear about the famous story, before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant. You continue to Villa de Leyva, arriving in the late afternoon. You check in to your hotel before heading out for an evening walking tour though the colonial streets, passing the main plaza and plenty of interesting architecture. The town’s quiet, traditional atmosphere makes it feel like a place where time has stood still.

Day 10 (Sunday) - Visit the salt cathedral of Zipaquirá, and then fly to Cartagena
 Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in a rural restaurant.

Depart Villa de Leyva mid-morning for the pretty town of Zipaquirá, situated on the vast plateau north of Bogotá, where you explore the famous salt cathedral. The cathedral is a subterranean marvel, carved into the salt walls of an active salt mine. The cathedral, which is comprised of various chapels in cavernous spaces, is both a popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage site for the local community. After lunch, continue to the airport in Bogotá for your evening flight to Cartagena.

Day 11 (Monday) - Take the optional Colonial Cartagena excursion or enjoy a free day
Breakfast at the hotel.

The city of Cartagena is a colourful, well-preserved sea-port town, with a vibrant energy bursting from its winding cobbled streets. Explore the former jewel of the Spanish Empire independently, or join the Colonial Cartagena excursion, which visits significant points of interest, such as the formidable San Felipe Fort, built in the 17th century to protect the city from pirates, and the Convent of La Candelaria with its stunning views of the bay. Along the way, learn about the city’s historical influences and cultural heritage.
Day 12 (Tuesday) - Enjoy a free day in Cartagena
Breakfast at the hotel.

Wander along the city streets or walk along the ramparts of Las Murallas, a sea wall lined with cannons and watch towers, built to defend the city from pirates. You could also visit the Inquisition Palace, where instruments of torture are on display. Alternatively take a short boat ride to the white sand beaches of Islas Rosario.

Day 13 (Wednesday) - Transfer to your hotel close to Tayrona National Park
Breakfast at the hotel.

The day begins with an early five-hour transfer from Cartagena along the Caribbean Coast, arriving at your hotel by lunchtime. The Hotel Villa Maria has a swimming pool, is five minutes away from a beautiful sandy beach and is located around three kilometres from the entrance to Tayrona National Park. The park entrance is about a ten minute local bus ride away (the entry fee for the park is around $20 USD). Tayrona is known for its fabulous collection of beaches and high temperatures and is one of the most beautiful and idyllic areas of Colombia, where Caribbean beaches, tropical rainforest and enormous rounded boulders blend together to form a lush tropical paradise. You have the afternoon free to explore and relax on the beaches.

Day 14 (Thursday) - A full day at your leisure, perhaps visit Tayrona National Park or relax around the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel.

During your stay in Tayrona you are entirely at your leisure. The Hotel Villa Maria has a swimming pool with shaded hammocks and sun loungers, and drinks can be brought from the restaurant, for total relaxation. The beautiful and peaceful Los Cocos beach is a five-minute walk from the hotel; perfect for carefree walks beside the sea, listening to the gentle splash of waves hitting the sandy shore. Your hotel is just three kilometres from the entrance to the Tayrona National Park, one of the most idyllic areas in Colombia, where the tropical jungle cloaking the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains comes to an abrupt end as it meets the fine sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean. You can take a ten-minute local bus ride to reach the park.

Day 15 (Friday) - A further full day to relax around the hotel, or perhaps visit some of the nearby waterfalls
Breakfast at the hotel.

Perhaps have a day relaxing with a cocktail and basking in the rejuvenating sunshine, or you may like to venture into the national park today. Most of the beaches in the park are reached by walking on a well-marked and mostly shaded trail which winds its way through the edge of the coastal forest. Each beach has its own character, and some are ideal for swimming and snorkelling with tropical marine life. In addition to the rich wildlife found here, which includes dusky titi monkeys, red woodpeckers, iguanas, a variety of lizards, tropical marine life, and more than 400 species of birds. There are various walks in and around the park, and waterfalls and hidden beauty spots can be found amongst the vegetation. Tayrona has been home to several indigenous communities for hundreds of years. Day trips to El Pueblito archaeological site can be booked locally.

Day 16 (Saturday) - Free morning. Fly overnight to the UK via Bogotá
Breakfast at the hotel. Meal included on the transatlantic flight

Depending on your flight time, enjoy your final morning in Tayrona before taking a one-hour transfer to Santa Marta airport for your flight to Bogotá, where you connect to your international flight to the UK.

Day 17 (Sunday) - Arrival in the UK

Your flight arrives in the UK.


Date of Departure & Approximate Holiday Prices

Prices are in £ per person
July, 2019 - £2679
November, 2019 - £2579
January, 2020 - £2629
February, 2020 - £2629
April, 2020 - £2629
November, 2020 - £2629

Single Supplement - £905
Full Excursion Package from £399, please visit our website or contact us for more details

Please visit our website or contact us for more details.



Find out more about the El Dorado & Tayrona Beach Holiday