From Caribbean coasts to thick canopies, this sun-soaked adventure through Colombia is all about biodiversity, with a healthy spot of beachside relaxation along the way. With included hikes through jaw-dropping national parks, an Afro-Caribbean cooking class and a tour through the 'City of Eternal Spring,' Medellin, you'll also have a chance to visit the ridiculously cute Disney-esque paradise of Guatape. This one's for adventurers looking for sun, culture, spectacular natural beauty and the best people to share this intoxicating country with.
Today you'll link up with your Contiki fam in the colourful 'City of Eternal Spring.' We've got a full day to explore this sun-soaked city, and a locally guided city tour is the perfect way to get stuck in. We'll learn all about the way Medellin has bounced back from a tumultuous past, checking out Plaza Botera, Santo Domino and the local markets. As the balmy evening draws in, anyone up for some Tango lessons?
Now that you know Medellin so well, it's your day to do your own thing! Check out Arvi Park for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city (easy on public transport) or stay local and wander the city - the Museo de Antioquia or Casa de la Memoria are equally impressive. For an incredible day getaway, take a day trip to Guatapé, a vibrant, cute and impossibly colourful disney-like town. Climb the 650+ stairs for peerless vistas of the surrounding landscapes, or just wander the colourful town - trying the regional badeja paisa, and a cerveza, naturally.
Adios Medellin! The coasts of the Caribbean are calling, and our flight today takes us to the storybook beauty of Cartagena, considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas.On arrival we'll head straight to the fortress Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Built strategically by the Spanish in 1536 on the hills of San Lazaro, it dominates the landscape whether you approach on land or by sea. Today, there's no need to defend against pirates and foreign invaders, but the awe-inspiring fortress still sparks the imagination, offering dreamy views of the city below. In the afternoon we'll head to the walls of the Old City, where we'll have an authentic dinner at Cafe del Mar and watch the sunset. Pure bliss.
This morning we’ll beat the heat on a walking tour of the Old City. Steeped in history and fables, this city was once among the most important trading ports in the colonial Americas. It's an invigorating overload of the senses as we wander through the Old City – colourful buildings, riotous blooms of flowers, iconic plazas and vibrant street vendors everywhere you look. It's little wonder that the Pulitzer Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writings were influenced by this city's mystery and romance. Grab a delicious limonada de coco (Coconut Lemonade) to cool off before we head to the local market to pick up our supplies for our Afro-Caribbean cooking class. Delicious.
With Cartagena in the rear-view mirror we head out of Palomino Beach, where we'll enjoy laid-back vibes and cafes and chill out. Driving north along the coast, we'll be floored already by Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on one side and the Caribbean on the other.This afternoon, we'll unpack, unwind, and compare snaps of all the spectacular sights we've seen.
Rise and shine - just kidding, in this place life moves at a decidedly slower pace. No ATMS, limited Wi-Fi - just poolside bliss, cold cocktails, pure white beaches and stress-free vibes. If you're looking for a bit of activity, rent bikes or opt in for some tubing down the Palomino River.
Strap on your hiking shoes and lather on the sunscreen, because today we're visiting the spectacular Tayrona National Park.Famed for its stunning white sand beaches, lush green jungle and turquoise waters framed by the iconic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, this place is simply unmissable. Our hike, the Pueblito Trail, winds through the jungle (eyes peeled for monkeys, parrots and the ever-elusive jaguar) to a small indigenous community, before snaking up to Cabo San Juan beach. Here you can jump in the crystalline waters to cool off. Tayrona's our home for the night, where we'll sleep in tents under the starlit skies. Does it get any better than this?
Soak in all that beauty for the last time as we leave Tayrona behind and head south to Santa Marta.Upon arrival, we'll visit the 17th Century Hacienda, La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandro, the place where Simon Bolivar (the revolutionary who lead Latin America to Independence from Spain) famously died. We'll then walk the historic city centre, before sharing some laughs and memories over dinner tonight.
This adventure wraps up this morning where we'll say hasta luego to our new friends. Colombia, thanks for the memories. We'll never forget you.
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Trip Name: Colombian Coasts and Culture
Duration: 9 Days
From Price: ₤1,179
Supplier Tour ID: 324/251057
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