MACONDO DMC S.A.S General Coordination: Mario Valencia Texts: Macondo DMC Translation into English: Daniel Rozo - Sandro Leopardi Design: Flow Creativo www.flowcreativo.com Photos: Hansa Tours, Proexport, Juliana Toro, Lorena Toro Sandro Leopardi, Igor Aldabaldetrecu, Mª Camila Carrasco Printed in Colombia by Gráficas Europa Free distribution / Not for sale
©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - MACONDO DMC S.A.S 2012 Against exploitation and sexual abuse of minors: Law 679 of August 3rd, 2001, passed by the Colombian Congress, establishes dispositions to prevent and counter any activities involving the sexual exploitation, pornography and sexual tourism, involving minors. In accordance with the dispositions of the aforementioned law, all individuals must prevent, block, fight and denounce the exploitation, hosting, use, publication and distribution of images, text, documents, multimedia files, the improper use of global information networks, or the establishment of telematic links of any kind, which are related to pornographic material, or to any material that refers to sexual activities with minors. In compliance to article 17, law 679 of 2001, Macondo DMC notifies tourists that commercial sexual exploitation or sexual abuse of minors is sanctioned with criminal and legal action according to Colombian current laws. Macondo DMC acts in accordance to the code of conduct under law 1336 of 2009.
MACONDO DMC SAS email@example.com Phone: +57 1 6379800 24 hour support: +57 300 6577014 / +57 321 3040484 Address: Carrera 17A No 106-36 oficina 101 Bogotรก, Colombia www.macondodmc.com
WE ARE MACONDO “Macondo” represents the magical essence of Colombian culture described by Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. At Macondo DMC our mission is to add some of this magic to each traveller’s experience, together with the best efficiency, quality and safety standars. We are an Inbound Tour Operator which delivers services for FIT’s, Groups and Incentives in Colombia, by developing strong partnerships with our clients and providers. From the initial analysis of every product or service we
offer, to the preparation of an itinerary or proposal, and the organization of each trip detail, our team will help you exceed the traveller’s expectations by providing personalized direct services for your travel organization. Furthermore, at Macondo DMC, we do provide the best level of quality and safety for your company and your important travellers. Our organization is made of well-established partnerships in all areas of the country, which allow us to manage directly every aspect of the trip organization and provide real 24/7 multilanguage support.
John Erik Boehlke
WE ARE COLOMBIA If one had to define Colombia using just one word, that would be “variety”. This is because the country offers a unique mix of cultures, traditions as well as the most diverse fauna and flora and different geographical characteristics; such variety is all available within one country and comes with one special extra: extraordinary people that, eager to proudly show their country, will welcome every visitor. The archeological sites of San Agustín, Tierradentro and the Lost City, the colonial cities and towns, like Cartagena, Villa de Leyva, Mompox, Popayán and the indigenous villages in Amazonas and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, are some examples of the cultural background of this country, which still remains intact.
The most diverse fauna and flora is present in the whole country, especially within the 55 protected natural areas which, according to their characteristics, have been classified as national parks and natural reserves, and some have become wildlife sanctuaries. Over 300 beaches, most of on the Caribbean coast and islands, can be visited in order to add some relax to your trip, maybe after having some fun, dancing salsa in Cali, or vallenato in Barranquilla. In conclusion, Colombia is not only a destination that can be perceived as a novelty by many visitors, but also offers the opportunity to organize perfectly combined trips that can satisfy any traveller’s expectations.
G enui n e Ho sts i n Lati n Am e r i c a Andino Royal Bogotá
Bogotá Royal Bogotá
RoyalPark Metrotel Bogotá
Radisson Royal Quito
Bohème Royal Bogotá
SmartSuites Royal Barranquilla
Radisson Santiago Petra La Dehesa
Hacienda Royal Bogotá
Radisson Royal Cali
Radisson Santiago at WTC
La Merced Royal Cartagena
Radisson Concón Chile
Radisson Royal Bogotá
Pavillon Royal Bogotá
UrbanRoyal Puerta del Reloj Cartagena
Radisson Iquique Chile
UrbanRoyal Calle 93B Bogotá
Medellín Royal Medellín
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Corporate Oﬃce +571 6578757 Bogotá, Colombia • Reservations +571 6578787 • www.hotelesroyal.com
Different Points of View
GARY STEVENS GURO
GRYTLI ALBERTO LEÓN INGE VALENCIA
Why visit Colombia? People, food and natural beauty. Colombia is the type of place where, as a visitor, you can walk down the street and return with several phone numbers and email addresses of new friends that you have just made. The people are really just that friendly. The food and its different preparation styles is as diverse as the countryside: deliciously fresh seafood, beef to rival that of Argentina and exotic alien-like fruits freely available everywhere. Colombia is full of surprising landscapes, whether it´s snow-capped volcanoes, hot and humid jungle, multi-colored rivers, cattle-filled plains and of course its famous tropical beaches of white sand and bright blue water. The best thing is, many of these places remain relatively unexplored by tourists so now is the best time to visit.
Why visit Colombia? Even though Colombia has been making much progress during the last years there are still some social issues that need to be solve. As a social worker I feel I am able to provide real value and assistance. There are volunteer opportunities everywhere: in the coastal cities, around Bogotá, Medellín, Cali or the Amazon jungle; therefore as a volunteer you will be able to spend months on the coast, then move to the Andes or to the Jungle and always find a good way to use your time and skills. However, what makes volunteering in Colombia most valuable is Colombians. They are always warm and friendly; they appreciate what you do, and they will pay you back your effort with smiles and friendship.
Why visit Colombia? Because Colombia has a history that spans for over two thousand years in which different actors have left an evident, long-lasting print. In ancient times, the national territory was inhabited by more than 200 native tribes which left beautiful samples of their art and their way of life, samples that can be viewed (and even experienced) in several locations all over Colombia. A blend of material and immaterial influences has forged for quite a long time what we now call our motherland Colombia.
Why visit Colombia? Colombia is one of the richest countries in Latin America in regard to ethnic diversity. Nowadays, Colombia´s territory is home of 82 different, officially recognized, indigenous populations and several other uncontacted peoples, making its native ethnic diversity the third largest in the region after Brazil and Peru. Colombia also hosts an astonishing number of traditional festivities all year round in its more than a thousand different cities and municipalities, which clearly reflects the influences of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Given the ideal travelling conditions and provided the permits from the government in applicable cases, discovering Colombia through its rich ethnicity and cultural manifestations gives a complete panorama of the real back of the country.
What to do in Colombia? An ideal visit to Colombia would certainly involve a stop in Bogota to witness a thriving metropolis full of restaurants, clubs and cultural activities. You can´t miss the Caribbean coast with its beautiful beaches and, of course, the magical city of Cartagena. The Coffee Triangle is a must for coffee fans, while anyone interested in cool modern architecture has to check out Medellin. San Agustin is fascinating for its archaeological parks and Villa de Leyva is the perfect colonial village to spend more than a few days relaxing. But for me, the most amazing experience is to get down to Los Llanos (the Plains), take a plane to La Macarena and explore Caño Cristales, a dream-like river of pink, yellow, green, blue, orange and white. The hearty BBQ meals, gorgeous music and dance, and the charming people of Los Llanos are all part of the experience.
What to do in Colombia? There is a large range of volunteer opportunities: Building homes, mentoring children, teaching English, protecting endangered species or support human rights efforts. Projects are sponsored by different organizations: United Nations, local government, NGOs. For example, Colombian government has a significant number of development plans that assist local communities in changing their economies from Coca growing plantations to tourist projects. For those, foreign language lessons or classes about anything from accounting to marketing will be useful. In my opinion deciding on which type of project you are best suited for can be a long and drawn out process. But the key is about knowing your most valuable skill you can bring in to this amazing country… And of course be advised of saving some free time for great parties and lots of dancing.
What to do in Colombia? The search for traces of the history of Colombia should be ideally started in Bogotá, its capital city. A huge advantage of this metropolis is the concentration of most of its museums in the old town: La Candelaria. The worldwide distinguished Gold Museum is precisely located in this area: it houses more than 45,000 native artifacts made not only of gold but also of mud, clay and different fabrics; the Santa Clara Religious Art Museum is host to a collection of hundreds of paintings and sculptures from colonial times; and last but not least, the National Museum encompasses all of the main periods that Colombian historians have established for the country’s timeline. Still, there are more samples and traces of Colombian history to discover not only in Bogotá but also in many locations all over the territory: three main archaeological parks –San Agustín, Tierradentro and Ciudad Perdida– can be visited to get in touch with our indigenous heritage; the system of Patrimony Towns, attest for a Spanish tradition that cannot be forgotten or denied. All in all, for the historian or for anyone interested in discovering our national history, there are plenty of spaces that evidence our incredibly diverse –and ancient– legacy.
What to do in Colombia? Since 1991, the Colombian government, through the Ministry of Culture, has been increasingly interested in studying the different native peoples that endured the Spanish offensive during colonial times. In accordance to this premise, all foreign professional researchers that could be potentially interested in spending time among any indigenous tribe are welcome, provided that their visit and/or stay is approved by the autonomous governing body of the chosen ethnic group. Another way to explore the vast human richness of Colombia is to enjoy and actively participate in a number of festivities which include not only the ‘big ones’ as the Manizales Fair, the Barranquilla Carnival and the Blacks and Whites Carnival, but also the traditional small festivals that celebrate the foundation of towns or promote the local cultures of the different regions that compose the country.
For the traveller open to possibilities, ALoft Hotels is a modern, fresh and fun destination. With our loft inspired design and free flowing energy you can celebrate your style in the unique openess of a no walls, no-limit space. An easy breezy adventure awaits in the Athens of South America! Aloft Bogota Airport is just steps from of El Dorado International Airport in the ultra modern Connecta Business Ecosystemâ€”and just 12 kilometers from the hustle and bustle of the cityâ€™s Financial District.
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Destination Management Company Colombia
Itinerary Planner Macondo DMC Itinerary Planner is a practical instrument for quickly understanding how to organize a logistically correct trip to Colombia according to travellers’ preferences or interests. Each destination is placed on the planner according to its geographical location and classified by categories and activities.
Are those that are a MUST for any first time visitor to the country.
Bogotá....................................................... 14 Cartagena.................................................. 22 Coffee Triangle.......................................... 32 OPTIONAL ADD ONS
Are those locations that can be either visited as full day tours or by staying a short number of nights, and that can add great value to the trip.
Providencia Island.................................... 42 Rosario Islands & Barú............................. 28 Villa de Leyva............................................ 18 ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS
Are those that can be suitable alternatives, or that can be added to complete a generic itinerary in the country.
Cali..............................................................36 Medellín.....................................................40 San Andrés Island.....................................42 Santa Marta............................................... 46 Tayrona...................................................... 48 SPECIAL INTEREST DESTINATIONS
Are those mostly appreciated by travellers that have some particular interest in their visit to the country.
Amazon......................................................50 Barranquilla...............................................52 Guajira........................................................54 Mompox.....................................................58 Pacific.........................................................60 Popayán..................................................... 62 San Agustín & Tierra Adentro................. 64 Santander...................................................66
Main Destination / Cold Andes
We recommend 14
Main activities/interests: Culture - Nightlife
gust is hot and sunny with strong winds. Bogotá has a variety of zones: the tall modern office buildings are located in the International Centre and just nearby is the bohemian Macarena district which comprises the plaza de toros -Bullfighting Square-, the National Observatory and Monserrate Sanctuary. The historic centre, called La Candelaria, is where the city was founded and the government quarters are located. This area is also the location of the world’s most impressive collection of Pre-Columbian art at the Gold Museum. To the north, Chile Avenue (72nd St and 100th St), make up the commercial, financial, shopping, entertainment districts and exclusive residential areas. Further to the north there is the Bogotá´s location means that it has year- colonial area of Usaquén and to the west, round variable weather. December, january, the Industrial District. and february are the driest months; april, Today, Bogotá is a modern city with a bubmay, june and october the rainiest and au- bling cultural scene and vibrant social life. Bogotá is the capital district of Colombia and the country’s most populated city. It is also the most important political, financial, educational, cultural city. It is located at an altitude of 2640 masl on a plateau known as the Savanna of Bogotá on the eastern range of the Andean Mountains. It was founded on August 6, 1538. Originally named Santa Fe by the conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada who arrived in pursuit of “El Dorado” gold legend and defeated the native Chibcha in Bacatá, which meant capital of the Zipa confederation. In 1717 the kingdom of New Granada was established here, and in 1819 Simon Bolivar chose it as the capital of the Grand Colombia.
Tamal & Hot Chocolate
Usaquén Flea Market
Story Tellers at Chorro de Quevedo
In Bogotá and the whole Colombian central region, Tamales are widely perceived as the finest breakfast flavor. Made of maize and chopped pork or chicken with vegetables and eggs, steamed in banana leaves, often served with home-made hot chocolate.
Every Sunday, near the Hacienda Santa Barbara and the delightful Usaquén plaza, takes place Bogota’s main flea market. Surrounded by restaurants and charming cafés; artists, designers and craftsmen display their wares, most of the time for a negotiable price.
The Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo is located at the steep end of the hill that is the heart of the Candelaria is the Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo. In front of the small chapel there is usually a “cuentero” -a story teller regaling the crowd with undoubted creativity-.
Food and flowers popular market, Paloquemao offers a great insight into the life and customs of Bogotanos. If you plan a visit, we suggest to get there early in the morning to enjoy a local breakfast including some of the freshest fruit juices you have ever tasted.
TEMPERATURE 2º C (54º F) to 18º C (64º F) ALTITUDE 2,640 meters above sea level
Accommodations ZONA ROSA AND CHICO AREA Sofitel Victoria Regia***** Charleston Bogotá***** Andino Royal***** Estelar Parque la 93***** Hotel Cité****S Bohème Royal**** Morrison Hotel**** Holiday Inn Express**** Bog Hotel**** Grand House**** BH Parque 93**** Porton Bogotá**** Blues Suites**** Best Western 93*** NH Bogota 93*** 84DC Bogotá*** Cabrera Imperial**** Celebrity Suites**** Richmond Imperial Suites***
BH La Quinta**** Real de la T*** GHL Hamilton Court*** Retiro 84*** Rosales Plaza*** Excelsior Hotel** AIRPORT AREA HOTELS Marriott***** Aloft Hotel**** Holiday Inn Airport**** Four Points Sheraton*** GHL Capital*** Hotel Habitel**** Plaza 26*** San Pablo Hotel*** Estelar de la Feria*** CANDELARIA & DOWNTOWN Hotel de la Opera****S
Casa de la Botica*** Casa Deco*** Hotel Augusta*** Crowne Plaza Tequendama**** Ibis Hotel*** Hotel María Isabel*** Hotel Muisca*** Abadia Colonial** Casa Platypus* NORTH AREA HOTELS JW Marriott*****S Radisson Hotel***** Hilton Bogotá***** Charleston Casa Medina***** La Fontana Estelar***** Lancaster House**** Hacienda Royal**** Holiday inn Express**** Embassy Suites Hotel****
Bogotá Royal**** Pavillon Royal**** Urban Royal***S Royal Park*** Morrison 114**** Dann Norte**** Casa Dann Carlton**** Cosmos 100**** Dann Carlton Hotel**** 101 Park House**** Sonesta Bogotá**** Santafé Boutique**** Bogotá Plaza Summit**** Casa Dann Carlton**** Estelar Windsor House**** Lugano Imperial Suites**** Casona Real*** Usaquén Art Suites*** GHL Comfort Los Héroes*** GHL Comfort Belvedere*** www.macondodmc.com
Tours & Excursions CITY TOURS City Tour – Candelaria City Tour With Monserrate SURROUNDINGS TOURS Guatavita Tour Salt Cathedral - Zipaquirá Tour Salt Cathedral - Zipaquirá + Guatavita Tour Nemocon Tour Salt Cathedral - Zipaquirá + Nemocón Tour Surrounding Towns Tours Villa De Leyva Tour - All Day Coffee Plantations Tour - All Day
TEMATIC TOURS Gastronomic Tour Botanical Garden Tour Religious Tour Panoramic By Night Tour Bike Tour Bar Hopping Tour Shopping Tour - Emeralds Or Leather Shopping Tour - Local Markets And Art Crafts Shopping Tour - All Day Golf Tour Gourmet Tour - Learn Colombian Recipes Coffee Testing Tour Salsa Class Tour
Paralela Autonorte # 106 B 28 Bogotรก, D.C - Colombia | www.lancasterhouse.com.co
Add on Destination / Cold Andes
We recommend 18
VILLA DE LEYVA
Main activities/interests: Culture - Relax
Canelazo At night, while you walk on the stone streets of the town, have a stop at one of the many places that offer canelazo. Served hot and made of aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol), sugar or panela, and agua de canela (water boiled with cinnamon), will be the perfect match to the peace and tranquility of Villa de Leyva.
The town of Villa de Leyva, located 207kilometers northeast from Bogotá at 2140masl, was founded in 1572 as Villa de Santa Maria de Leyva. Before the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Muiscas, a Chibchafamily indigenous tribe, who built their main astronomical observatory made of phallic stones near the town.
the Dominicans in 1620 and considered an outstanding Spanish legacy. The pavement is made of local stone embedded with fossils, and the chapel has a magnificent golden altarpiece with a small Ecce Homo image. The “El Fosil” (Fossil museum) exhibits a 120-million kronosaurus fossil and fossils from the Mesozoic and Cretaceous abound.
Villa de Leyva is considered one of Colombia’s finest colonial villages. It was declared a national monument in 1954. The stone-paved Plaza Mayor (Main Square) with 14000 square meters is the country’s largest. In the square, and its surrounding streets, all of which are made of stone, there are many stores selling handcrafted art pieces. A few kilometers from Villa de Leyva is the Convent of Santo Ecce Homo, founded by
Nearby Villa de Leyva there are many towns, each with its particular curiosity, such as Ràquira which in Chibcha language means “city of the pots” thus is known as the Colombian town that specializes in fine hand-made ceramics; Sutamarchàn, famous for its gastronomy, especially longaniza and morcilla -spicy sausages- and the Tomatina Festival, which comes from a Spanish tradition.
December Lights Festival
Handicrafts at Raquira
The Viewpoint of Sagrado Corazon
The nights of the 7th and 8th of December, each year, people gather in the stonepaved Plaza Mayor , to enjoy the show and the color of the fireworks contest that fills the colonial streets and the sky of Villa de Leyva.
The town of Ráquira, famous for its ceramics sold in shops along the main square, is at just 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Villa de Leyva. The town is busting in color, in contrast with the whitewashed buildings of Villa de Leyva.
Above Villa de Leyva there is a viewpoint called Sagrado Corazon. A white statue of Christ is looking at the town from the nearby hill. The statue is reachable by a long walk over the hill. Have a great view over Villa de Leyva, the valley and the hills around.
TEMPERATURE 19 °C (66.2° F) ALTITUDE 2.143 meters above sea level
Accommodations NEAR MAIN SQUARE Posada de San Antonio Boutique Hotel Candelaria*** La Plazuela De San Agustín*** Portal del Edén*** El Meson de los Virreyes** La Española** OUTSIDE TOWN Hotel Duruelo**
Tours & Excursions Full day Tour Villa de Leyva - From Bogotá -10 hrs Tour Villa de Leyva 2D/1N - from Bogotá Tour Villa de Leyva 3D/2N - from Bogotá (stop Salt Cathedral included)
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES Laguna de Guatavita (can be added to any tour) Visit to Nemocón (salt mines) Visit to Ráquira
let us a m a ze you 23 l u x u ry su i t e s . t e r r ac e . v i e w p oi n t r e stau r a n t . ba r . 2 4 hou r room se rv ic e busi n e ss c e n t e r . m e e t i ng room s w i m m i ng p ool . jac u z z i . m a ss ag e su i t e Calle del Cuartel No. 36-77 . Centro Hist贸rico Cartagena de Indias Cartagena: +57 5 664 4452 . Bogot谩: +57 1 520 1768 firstname.lastname@example.org . www.anandacartagena.com
Main Destination / Coast & Islads
Main activities/interests: Culture - Relax - Nightlife
Colombia’s most popular destination was founded in 1533 by Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Heredia as “Cartagena de Indias”. This beautiful colonial city rapidly became the gem of the Spanish Crown’s territories and, to protect it from continuous attacks by pirates, the largest wall fortress in America was built around it. Cartagena hides Colonial, Republican and Italian architectural treasures in its residential, commercial, religious, military and governmental constructions.
Cartagena de Indias was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site because of its colonial walled city; and just walking through to its cozy narrow streets is enough to understand why. It is divided into three sightseeing zones: 1) Historic Centre: Clock Gate, Carriage Square, San Peter Square, Palace of the Inquisition, The Cathedral
(dating back to the 16th century), Santo Domingo Square, Heredia Theatre and masterpiece San Felipe de Barajas Castle (built between 1639 and 1762) which is the greatest fortress ever built by the Spanish. 2) The San Diego zone, where the enchanting Hotel Santa Clara is located (formerly Convent of the Saint Claire Order) and Las Bóvedas (The Vaults) by the Santa Catalina. 3) Fortress and Getsemaní zone, wich used to be a slave neighborhood and now hosts Cartagena’s Convention Center and popular nightlife clubs. The real joy of Cartagena is exploring its exhilarating narrow streets by foot or on a horse-carriage, an experience that awakens all senses with the flavors and warm breeze of its sunset, making it an incredibly romantic destination and the most fascinating Caribbean hidden treasure.
Walled City by Carriage
Lemonade and coconut water, if well prepared (like most hotels and bars in Cartagena will do) is a perfect refreshing combination. Probably, the best way to enjoy it is on sunset sitting on the antique walls or on some rooftop swimming pool.
Cartagena has one of the best preserved antique walls in the world. The walls were built to protect the city from pirate’s attacks, and are now one of the city’s main attractions. A large part of the 13 kilometers can be admired from a horse carriage like during past times.
Located just outside the antique walls, Bazurto is the place where local residents go to buy fish, meat, vegetables and fruits. If properly accompanied by a local guide, you will have the opportunity not only to see the market, but also to try most of the products exposed.
Mango doesn´t have to be golden and juicy to be delicious. Here, vendors sell little baggies filled with slices of the unripe, green fruit-which taste even better topped with lemon and salt. It might sound strange to non-Colombians, but served this way, mango can be even more refreshing.
TEMPERATURE 28°C to 30°C (82° F to 86° F) ALTITUDE 2 meters above sea level
Accommodations ANTIQUE CITY CENTER Sofitel Santa Clara*****S Charleston Santa Teresa***** Royal – Torre del Reloj**** Cartagena de Indias**** Casa de India Catalina*** Don Pedro de Heredia*** Alfiz*** BOUTIQUE HOTELS ANTIQUE CITY La Passion Anandá Bóvedas de Santa Clara Casa Pestagua Tcherassi Hotel SPA Casa del Arzobispado Quadrifolio
LM Hotel Boutique Hotel Agua El Marques La Merced Bantu GETSEMANI AREA (Near the convention center) Hotel Monterrey**** Casa Canabal Boutique Casa Lola Boutique BOCAGRANDE AREA Hilton Cartagena***** Intercontinental Cartagena***** Hotel Capilla del Mar**** Almirante Cartagena**** Hotel Caribe****
Decameron Cartagena*** Regatta Cartagena*** Estelar Oceanía***
MANZANILLO AREA Las Américas***** Sonesta Hotel Cartagena**** Karmairi Hotel & SPA Boutique
Tours & Excursions CITY TOURS Half Day City Tour - Panoramic Half Day City Tour - Colonial Half Day Walking City Tour SURROUNDINGS TOURS Boquilla Or Punta Icacos Tour Totumo Volcano Tour Santa Marta Tour Tayrona National Park Tour TEMATIC TOURS Local Food Markets Tour Horse Carriage Tour Rumba En Chiva â€“ SIB FOR CRUISE PASSANGERS Half Day City Tour - Panoramic Half Day City Tour - Colonial
Add on Destination/Coast & Islands
We recommend 28
ROSARIO ISLANDS & BARÚ
Main activities/interests: Relax
Cartagena’s bay by boat or three-hour drive by land. Within its 7000 hectares are the beautiful towns of Ararca, Santa Ana and white-sandy beaches such as Playa Blanca, Punto Iguana, Playita Cholón, and Playa del This is one of 46 national parks in Colombia Encanto. All of these are blessed with clear and it was created to protect one of the turquoise waters and surrounded with mulmost important coral reefs bordering the ticolored mangroves and dreamlike landsColombian Caribbean coastline. The park capes where the locals serve up and offer comprises 120,000 hectares and extends you delicious dishes of lobster and shellfish from the underwater platform and coral while welcoming you to their home. reefs west of Barú Island, the Nuestra Señora del Rosario & San Bernardo archipe- The natives of this island are descendants lagos reefs and the underwater platform of the Caribes tribe who were the first inhain-between them, to the tesoro (treasure), bitants of the Rosario and Barú islands during pre-Columbian times. Later, at colonial Rosario, Múcura and Maravilla Islands. Three ecosystems thrive here: coastal la- period, the islands were inhabited by slaves goons, mangroves surrounding them and brought from Africa, who dedicated their time to fishing and collecting mollusks. Totropical forest. Barú Island is next to the Rosario National day the islands are a must-go destination Park at approximately 40 minutes from for every visitor. The Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Park is located in the Caribbean Sea, 45 kilometers southeast of Cartagena’s bay at approximately one-hour away by boat.
Eat in the waters of Cholón
Enchanted & Shining Lagoon
Marine Life Oceanarium
Hammock Relax & Swing
Further down from Playa Blanca, on Isla Barú, there is the bay of Cholón, a place well worth visiting. On one of the islands there is a spot with some kiosks placed on the sea. There, local fisherman arraged seats and tables in the water that allowing you to enjoy a delicious lobster sitting in the sea.
In the Island of San Pedro de Majagua, one of the most known resorts in the Rosario Islands, there is a lagoon which, thanks to the effect of large quantities of plankton, shines and sparkles at night. Swimming in the Lagoon at night is an unforgettable experience.
Going to the Oceanarium (open water aquarium) where visitor can enjoy a dolphin show, sharks, giant turtles, and all kinds of tropical reef fauna is a choice, but snorkeling just outside its ocean fences to see gigantic snails or red coral on some of the poles and fences it is also an option.
A must on Playa Blanca is to sleep in a hammock and watch the sunset. The lazy experience could be complemented by the food you can buy on the beach: Fresh mangoes, coconut biscuits, ice creams, cerviche (especially octopus ceviche) and prawns.
TEMPERATURE 28 °C (82,4°F) ALTITUDE Sea level
Accommodations ROSARIO ISLANDS San Pedro de Majagua**** Isla Pirata*** BARÚ (CHOLÓN) Royal Decameron Barú**** Sport Barú*** Aguazul Beach Resort*** Casa Navegante Cholon La Passion Barú Villa Agua Barú Hotel Boutique
Excursions Full Day At Rosario Islands – SIB Full Day At Rosario Islands-Private Fishing Tour Snorkeling Tour
FLOATING HOUSE CHOLON - BARU - BOLIVAR
The Island of Baru can be found 40 minutes from Cartagena de Indias. The island boasts beautiful beaches of white sands, crystal clear waters, narrow streams surrounded by mangrove trees and multicoloured coral. Temperature: 27º C - 30º C.
The house is situated in The Marshes of Cholon, which is located on the occidental coast of the Baru islands and considered today as one of the most extensive coastal lagoons of the National Natural Park of Corals in Rosario.
“Responsibility Clause applies - Decree 2438 of 2010.” For more information, please contact your travel agent, phone numbers: 286 5555 - 381 7111, Call Center: 382 1616 ó 900 331 2222. RNT 438. “The exploitation and sex abuse of minors is punished with imprisonment as stated in the law Ley 679 de 2001.”
Main Destination/Temperate Andes
Main activities/interests: Relax- Culture - Ecotourism
The coffee-growing zone is a geographic area that comprises three Colombian departments: Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío; and their corresponding capital cities of Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. Although the departments have a common coffee culture, its beautiful landscapes, and friendliness of their people, each city has its own characteristics: Manizales stands-out for its cultural life and its famous annual festival held during the 1st week of january; Armenia as the heart of the region, and Pereira for its commercial activity, gastronomy and famous nightlife.
fertile valleys; with their seemingly endless coffee plantations, the traditional wooden houses with brightly colored balconies and constructions in guadua -bamboo- , blend together to create the typical and vibrant landscape of this region.
The coffee’s sole commercial activity drove the three departments to become a single region where landscapes vary in shades of green due to coffee plantations, clusters of banana trees and guadua. The Wax Tree Palms (Colombia’s national tree) marks the spectacular Cocora Valley. Other bright colors can be seen in orchids, heliconia, Most coffee production in Colombia is ba- hummingbirds, parrots and rare butterflies sed here and for that reason the region is at the National Park Los Nevados (which named as the “Coffee Axis” or “Coffee Trian- reaches heights surpassing 5,000 masl) gle”. The climate, the geographic charac- and in the beautiful architecture of towns teristics, a tropical Andean forest raising like Salento or Filandia. 1300 and 1700masl; and other geological issues yield such top-quality coffee. The
Yipao Ride The Yipao is a folkloric jeep parade celebration especially during the anniversary parties of Armenia. The yeepao contest is about the ability to fill as many things into Willys vehicles as possible. Locals are creative as none in this, as they use anything from animals to furniture and religious paintings or any other object you can thing about.
Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs
Freshwater trout with patacones
Chipre Scenic Viewpoint
8 km from Santa Rosa de Cabal, at the Balneario, there is a peaceful place where you will be able to enjoy three medicinal hot springs, a mud pool and natural jacuzzis all of this surrounded by ecological paths.
At the Cocora valley you can enjoy a delicious “Patacon con Trucha” as the area is also famous for its freshwater trout. The local restaurants specialize in cooking locally-farmed freshwater trout in several ways, mainly baked and served in a variety of sauces with patacones (plantain fritters).
In Manizales, it is a must to visit one of the highest areas, the Chipre Scenic Viewpoint which is cool and foggy but beautiful and , while you enjoy a Cholado or Raspado (cold beverage made from chushed ice, fruit, fruit syrup and condensed milk) as locals do, watch over the warm and balmy La Linda neighborhood.
TEMPERATURE Manizales 18°C (64° F) Pereira 21°C (70° F) Armenia 20°C (68° F) ALTITUDE 900 to 2.150 meters above sea level
Accommodations RISARALDA (PEREIRA) Hacienda San José Boutique Casa Sazagua Boutique Ghl Hotel Abadía Plaza Hotel Intercontinental Finca Hotel El Bosque Del Samán QUINDIO (ARMENIA) Hacienda Bambusa Boutique Casa Caballero Hotel Boutique Hotel Del Campo Hacienda Combia Hotel Campestre Las Camelias Casa De Campo El Delirio Hotel Las Heliconias Mirador Las Palmas Hotel
Finca Agroturística El Laurel Finca Hotel Combia CALDAS (MANIZALES) Hacienda Venecia Termales El Otoño Estelar El Cable Estelar Las Colinas Estelar Recinto Del Pensamiento Centro De Visitantes El Cisne Hotel Varuna Casa De Huéspedes Normandía Decameron Panaca
Tours & Excursions CITY TOURS Armenia City Tour Pereira City Tour Manizales City Tour TEMATIC TOURS Interactive Coffee Process Tour (Hac. Venecia) Coffee Process & Tasting Tour (San Alberto) Coffee Process Tour (Recuca) Guadua Experimental Center Tour Guadua Architecture Tour Horseback Riding At Hacienda Palomar Horseback Riding - Paso Fino Colombiano Bothanical & Butterfly Gardens Hot Springs (Santa Rosa De Cabal) Thermal Waters (Otoño)
Orchids In Risaralda Bird Watching At Río Blanco Trapiche In Risaralda Valle Del Cocora & Salento Tour Filandia, Valle Del Cocora & Salento Tour Otún Quimbaya Reserve Tour Typical Coffee Zone Towns Tour Typical Coffee Zone Towns Tour - With Jeepao Golf - Club Campestre Armenia Parque Del Cafe Tour ADVENTURE & TREKKING Los Nevados & Laguna Verde Tour Los Nevados - Private Tour Los Nevados - Sib Tour Rafting or Kayaking
PAUTA HACIENDA SAN JOSE
Alternative Destination/Warm Andes
Main activities/interests: Culture - Nightlife
Santiago de Cali, the capital city of Valle del Cauca department is located in southwestern Colombia and it is the third largest city after Bogotá and Medellín. It has a strategic geographic location as it is Buenaventura´s gateway to the rest of the country. The pacific port of Buenaventura is the largest port on Colombia’s west coast.
activities like bullfighting, public concerts, the “salsodromo” -a massive salsa dancing runway- and Juanchito, a very well-known rumba and entertaining place- for salsa lovers.
Also, worth visiting is the “Cristo Rey” hill, where there is an opened-arms 26 meters effigy replica of the “Corcovado” in Rio de JaThe city enjoys a year round spring-like neiro, and a spectacular panoramic view of weather and is known for its friendly and the city. hospitable inhabitants. Salsa music echoes through Cali’s streets and for this reason, it is known as the world’s capital of salsa. Cali’s major industry revolves around sugarcane production and cattle ranching.
The Feria de Cali is the most important fair of the region and it is annually held from december 25th through 30th, with many
La Ermita Church
Park of Poets
Overlooking the Río Cali, Iglesia de la Ermita has become a landmark of the city and it is certainly the most photographed church. The original church, a small baroque chapel, was built here in the early 17th-century. Today stands a very different structure, a neo-gothic blue and white church that was built between 1930 and 1948.
Between two cultural landmarks of Cali, Iglesia de la Ermita and Teatro Jorge Isaacs, is found Parque de los Poetas, used as the venue for cultural presentations of all kinds. The last Thursday of each month it becomes a meeting place of poetry lovers with writers and poets as guests.
A Glass of Refreshing Lulada The word “Lulada” stems from a traditional drink originally from Cali. It is made of the pulp of the local fruit lulo, mixed together with water, sugar and ice cubes. Lulo fruit has a citrus flavor which can best be described as being a combination of pineapple and lime.
Share a Tejo Match
Club social los Amigos gives you the opportunity to try “Tejo”. It is one of Colombia’s national and most traditional games. The game is somehow similar to the French petanque or the English bowling, and was originally practiced by the Chibcha indigenous from western Colombia.
Accommodations CULTURAL CENTER AREA Four Points Sheraton Cali***** Obelisco Hotel *** MS Centenario*** Calima Real*** Las Vegas Granada** Now Hotel Boutique IGLESIA DE LA ERMITA AREA Spiwak Chipichape Cali***** Casa del Alferez**** Ofi + Hotel***
TEMPERATURE 26° C to 34° C (79° F to 93° F)
GOLD MUSEUM AREA Intercontinental Cali***** Dann Carlton Cali**** Hotel Torre de Cali*** Americana Hotel* San Antonio Hotel Boutique
ALTITUDE 1003 meters above sea level
IGLESIA DE LA MERCED AREA Radisson Royal Cali***** Santamaría Plaza**
Tours & Excursions CITY TOURS Half Day Panoramic City Tour TEMATIC TOURS Handicrafts And Traditional Market Half Day Tour Cali Zoo Tour Half Day Shopping Tour Salsa Show Tour Salsa Lessons Tour SURROUNDING TOURS Sugarcane Half Day Tour Calima Lagoon Full Day Tour Rio Pance Eco Tour San Cipriano Natural Reserve Full Day Tour Religious Tour To Buga Birdwatching Full Day Tour To Popayán
Alternative Destination/Temperate Andes
We recommend 40
Main activities/interests: Culture - Nightlife
re. After many years in which the city was considered to be the most dangerous of the world, mainly due to the famous “Carteles”, like the one of Pablo Escobar, Medellín nowdays represents the whole country’s social transformation with growing industry and commerce, textile manufacturing, fashion design, export cut flowers and projects of social integration that are a model After the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros for many other cities. de Colombia -Colombia’s National Coffee Growers Federation- was founded on 1927, The city is well worth visiting during its anthe city’s economic development began nual Flower Festival, held in july / august. with coffee boom. From thereon, it was The key events are the exhibitions of Cotransformed thanks to the resourcefulness lombian orchids, birds, flowers and, the and hardworking nature of its people; the most representative, the Silleteros parade. thriving cultural life in the fields of journa- During this event the silleteros carry floral lism, literature, urban design, and the art- displays that weigh up to 60 kilos each. work and sculptures of globally renowned Also important is the traditional world artist, some of which expose their works at guinness record cabalgata -Cavalcade- with the (Fernando) Botero’s Museum & Squa- over 10000 horse-riders altogether. Medellín, capital of Antioquia department, is located deep in the fertile mountainous Aburra valley in the Central Andean highlands. It is known as the “Eterna Primavera” (eternal spring city) due to its 20°C year-round temperature. The city was founded in 1675 as “Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín”.
A strong candidate to be Colombia’s national plate as it has representations of all the different cultures that influenced the country. The list of indigents is curious, but nothing like tasting it: red beans cooked with pork, white rice, ground meat, pork rind, fried eggs, plantain (patacones), sausage with lemon, arepa, hogao sauce, black pudding, and avocado.
In Sabaneta, about 30 minutes from Medellin, there are still places that retain their ancient “antioqueño” architecture. Nowadays, they became “rumbeaderos” where you can dance and enjoy the best food of Medellin. We recommend you La Tienda Del Tocayo, which has one of most traditional atmospheres.
It belonged to Pablo Escobar, one of the most feared leaders of the Medellin drug cartel during the 80’s. Until Escobar died in 1993, Hacienda Napoles was his headquarters, where he collected exotic wild animals. It is still possible to see the remains of his villa and his antique car collection.
This is the place to see and be seen in an evening in Medellín. Located in the upscale Poblado area of the Zona Rosa in Medellín, it is filled with restaurants, clubs, discos, boutiques, salons, specialty stores, street vendors, coffee shops, casinos, frequent live bands, fashion shows, outdoor movies, and much more.
TEMPERATURE 18° to 28° C (64° to 82°F) ALTITUDE 1,475 meters above sea level
Accommodations EL POBLADO AREA The Charlee***** Medellin Royal***** Dann Carlton Medellín***** Poblado Plaza ***** Poblado Alejandria**** Dann Carlton Belfort ***** Art Hotel**** Park 10 Hotel**** San Fernando Plaza**** Intercontinental Medellín**** Porton de Medellín**** Estelar Milla de Oro**** Travelers Orange Suites**** Diez Hotel**** Plaza Rosa*** Estelar Blue***
Tours & Excursions
Best Western Cyan Suites*** Holiday Inn Express Medellín*** Poblado Boutique Express*** San Fernando Plaza**** Points Sheraton Medellín*** Acqua Express***
CITY TOURS Half Day Panoramic City Tour Half Day Shopping Tour All Day Medellín City Tour Haf Day Panoramic Night Tour Half Day Medellín´S Social Transformation Tour
CENTRO AREA Tryp Medellín**** Botero Plaza Hotel***
SURROUNDINGS TOURS All Day Santa Fe De Antioquia Tour All Day Western Antioquia Tour Sabaneta Fondas Night Tour All Day Guatape And Peñol Tour
Alternative Destination/Coast & Islands
SAN ANDRÉS & PROVIDENCIA
Main activities/interests: Relax
The archipelago of San Andrés & Providencia is located northwest of Colombia’s mainland, in the Caribbean, and was declared by UNESCO as Biosphere reserve in 2001. It was first settled by English in 1.630. In 1670 the infamous pirate Henry Morgan established his base on the island of Providencia. There are legends that some of his treasures remain buried there.
San Andres is the largest island and the administrative and financial centre of the archipielago. It is also well-known for its beaches, some with pink coral in the sand, the seven-colors sea with its clear turquoise blue waters in varying tones, and its main points of interest, such as Morgan´s cave, San Luis and Johnny Cay (a ten-minute boat ride from San Andrés)
Providencia offers similar beautiful sceneries with the second largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere. The island is known for its colonial history, its Caribbean-style colorful wooden houses and its tranquility. The island is 20 minute-flight or 8-hour boat ride, away from San Andrés. The 17 square kilometers of bays found here make this an ideal spot for enjoying the sea and the beach, perfect for relaxing or water sports such as scuba diving or snorkeling. Santa Catalina is a much smaller island, connected to Providencia by a colorfully-painted wooden bridge. At the two islands, there are 57 different types of coral, 12 species of mangrove, three types of marine plants and four types of sea turtles that lay their eggs in this area.
Reggae at Sunset
The favorite dish of local islanders. Until a short time ago it was only prepared by men for men to eat, but today the women join in both activities. It´s a fish fillet with snails, yam, yucca, pork scratching, plantain and dumplings, prepared and cooked in coconut milk with pepper.
Sunsets are amazing at Manzanillo beach where you can enjoy the friendliness of locals, the rhythm of reggae music and a spectacular view. There, your will be hosted by Rolando, known by everyone on the island. He welcomes every visitor with a big smile.
The magical charm of the emerald hills, blue lagoons and beautiful white-sanded beaches makes San Andrés and Providencía an ideal place for horseback riding. Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Archipelago with miles of secluded romantic beaches and unspoiled meadows
Literally means “crazy coconut” and chances are that, if you have travelled to some Caribbean beach before, you might have already tasted it. However, San Andrés has a unique version of it, made of vodka, tequila y white rum, lemon juice and coconut cream.
Accommodations SAN ANDRES ISLAND CENTER AREA Decameron Los Delfines**** Casablanca**** GHL Sunrise Beach Resort**** Royal Decameron Aquarium*** Decameron Maryland*** Sol Caribe San Andres*** Decameron Isleño*** Arena Blanca*** El Dorado*** SAN LUIS AREA San Luis Village***S Cocoplum *** Decameron San Luis***
TEMPERATURE 31 °C (88° F)
OUTSIDE CENTER Casa Harb Hotel Boutique Casa Jardin Hotel Boutique Royal Decameron Mar Azul*** PROVIDENCIA ISLAND AGUADULCE BAY Solar Caribe Providencia*** Miss Elma** Posada del Mar** Cabañas Agua Dulce** Cabañas Relax** SOUTHWEST BAY Miss Mary**
ALTITUDE 16 meters above sea level
Tours & Excursions SAN ANDRES All Day Excursion To The Aquarium And To Johnny Cay Half Day Island Tour Semisubmarine Tour Nautical Therapy Snorkelling At San Andres Sunset At Sailboat Island Safari Cayo Bolivar Full Day Tour PROVIDENCIA All Day Boat Tour All Day Providencia And Santa Catalina Walk To The Peak
San Luis Village hotel
www.hotelsanluisvillage.com San Luis Village Hotel on San Andres Island has a perfect and exclusive location on San Luis beach, one of the islandâ€™s most beautiful and undisturbed beaches as it is located in a remote area far away from the cityâ€™s noise and contamination.
Alternative Destination/Coast & Islands
SANTA MARTA & TAGANGA
Main activities/interests: Relax - Ecotourism - Culture
Founded on July 29, 1525 by spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas; Santa Marta was the first city founded in Colombia and second-oldest in America. Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, it has a privileged average temperature between 27 to 35°C at sea level. Santa Marta stretches up to the snowy twin-peaks of the highest coastal mountain range in the world, the Simón Bolívar and Cristobal Colón, at 5770 masl.
jandrino which today remains a museum exhibiting personal objects of the great Liberator. Northeast from Santa Marta, a zigzag route brings you to fishing village of Taganga. Nestled deep in a bay and surrounded by green mountainous vegetation, the landscape here is one of contrasting colors: the blues of the sea washing the beach, making this a magical and unforgettable destination.
Observe the traditional fishing practices of the locals, view their canoes and see that all knowledge here has been passed down from generation to generation. This is a particularly good location for watersports such as snorkeling and diving and is the departure point for boat trips to Concha Bay Simón Bolívar passed-away here on decem- and Playa Blanca, beaches named after the ber 17th, 1830 at Quinta de San Pedro Ale- white color of their sand.
The city is a popular tourist destination due to its wealth of history, colonial architecture, beaches and nearby Tayrona National Park, which make it a supremely attractive and desirable place to visit.
One of the most known restaurants in the area as it combines good service with quality food. However, what will most impress you is the view from its panoramic terrace: the extraordinary and beautiful el Rodadero bay with its unique combination of modern buildings and natural landscapes.
Cayeye a delicious dish, very nutritious and easy to do, is always eaten at breakfast. Made out of green and pintonas (ripe or not workout) bananas, salt, vinegar, salty cheese, butter and warm milk (just a bit) might be helpful especially after partying in Taganga, Santa Marta or El Rodadero.
Floating down the river
At the Don Diego River, located an hour north from Santa Martha, it is possible to rent rubber rings to float down the river’s crystal clear water. When doing so, see monkeys swinging on the trees, feel and hear the rhythm of the water. At the end, enjoy the spot where the river meets the ocean.
Bolivar´s House At 1:03 a.m. on December 17, 1830, Simón Bolívar exhaled his last breath at the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino front room. Restored to its original condition, ”La Quinta” preserves the liberator’s death bed, the carriage that brought him from Santa Marta to the farm and other artifacts.
TEMPERATURE 28 °C (82,4° F) ALTITUDE 2 meters above sea level
Accommodations SANTA MARTA Zuana Beach Resort**** Tamacá Beach Resort*** La Casa de Santa Marta Boutique La Casa del Farol NEAR SANTA MARTA Irotama Resort***** Decameron Galeon*** BELLO HORIZONTE Santorini Hotel Boutique**** Hotel & Resort Santorini****
Tours & Excursions CITY TOURS Santa Marta Half Day City Tour Barranquilla Full Day City Tour Sun & Beach Tours Acuario And Playa Blanca Tour Tayrona - Neguanje And Playa Cristal ECO & TREKKING TOURS Tayrona - Trekking Arrecifes Tayrona - Trekking Pueblito Tayronaca Full Day Tour Minca Coffee Farm Tour TEMATIC TOURS Aracataca/Gabriel García Márquez Tour
Alternative Destination/Coast & Islands
We recommend 48
Main activities/interests: Relax - Ecotourism
prove the existence of ancient cultures such as: Tayrona village, “Chairama” or Pueblito (reachable from Cañaveral bay on a three-hour hike over stone pathways) where it is believed that a community inhabited during the pre-columbian period and The National Park covers an area of 150 there are sacred sites for the Koguis, Arhuasquare kilometers [58 sq mi] of land and 30 cos (descend tribes from the ancient Tayrosquare kilometers of sea (12 sq mi). Predo- na culture). Usually villages were commuminant climate is tropical-humid with ave- nicated by Stone pathways which extended rage temperatures between 25 ºC to 30 ºC. from populous mountainsides up to the One of the main entrances to the Park is at peaks at the Sierra. They were built upon 34 kilometers from Santa Marta, from here terraces that were first used for agricultural it is possible to gain access to natural bea- purposes and then for housing. ches, coral reefs, mangroves, mountains and exuberant vegetation. The fauna in- Its most acclaimed beaches are: Arrecifes, cludes more than 100 mammals, 200 birds La Piscina, Cabo de San Juan del Guia y Castilletes, all of which are within reach from and numerous reptiles. Cañaveral. There are several archeological sites that Tayrona National Park is located on the Colombian Caribbean coast near Santa Marta. It extends from Taganga bay, a small fishermen village upstream, to where “Piedras River” runs into the sea.
Arimaka is the Kogis sacred place where all of your prayers shall be heard. The area is also known as one of the most intriguing birding regions with more than 600 species of birds. For the regular traveller, taking a bath at the waterfalls and doing some Kogi meditation, will be more than enough for an unforgettable experience.
The Arhuaca shoulder bag (Mochila) is a native manually knitted bag, made by the Arhuacos (ethnic group of the Sierra Nevada) from sheep or goat wool. Its design, always different, usually contains the indigenous cosmogony of the creation. It is the perfect souvenir to take home from “La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta”.
Arrecifes is a breathtaking beach with a beautiful landscape of white sand, palm trees, huge rocks, shaped by rolling waves, and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the background. But the most amazing view is the sky at night. Spend hours star gazing, picking out different constellations and counting all the shooting stars.
A variety of marine life, including tropical fish, can be observed near the rocks and on the reef at El Cabo. Around, there are a number of gorgeous beaches within easy walking distance; hanging out the day is advisable. There are also many trails to hike including up to the ruins of El Pueblito (a two to three hour hike).
TEMPERATURE 28 °C (82,4° F) ALTITUDE Sea level
Accommodations TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK Ecohabs in Cañaveral Cabañas in Arrecifes SIERRA NEVADA Posadas Ecoturisticas Hostel BEACHES NEAR TAYRONA PARK Playa Koralia Hotel Boutique Merecumbè Hotel Boutique
Tours & Excursions NEARBY CITY TOURS Santa Marta Half Day City Tour Barranquilla Full Day City Tour SUN & BEACH TOURS Acuario and Playa Blanca Tour Tayrona - Neguanje and Playa Cristal Tour ECO & TREKKING TOURS Tayrona - Trekking Arrecifes Tayrona - Trekking Pueblito Tayronaca Full Day Tour Minca Coffee Farm Tour Trekking to Ciudad Perdida (6 N) TEMATIC TOURS Aracataca/Gabriel García Márquez Tour
Special Interest Destination/Amazon
Main activities/interest: Culture - Ecotourism
Located on the Amazon River at the heart of the most resplendent and exuberant forest on earth, Leticia is the departure exploration point. As capital of Colombian Amazon, founded in 1867, it is port to flights from Bogotá and Colombia’s access to “Earth’s Green Lung”. An imaginary line is drawn here creating a frontier between three countries: Colombia, Brazil and Peru (Amazonian Trapezium).
The rainny season from February through June, is the best time for bird-watching, sport-fishing and sightseeing the Victoria Regia, an enormous aquatic lily plant with floating leaves that reach up to two meters in diameter. It is easy to see tropical rainforest animals and reach most places by boat. The driest months are july and august. Rivers are at the lowest level from August to
Basketry, weaving, and wood carving When planning your vacation, make sure you stop at San Martín, an ethnic comunity where visitors are able to participate in basketry, weaving, and wood carving activities where handcrafted products are manufactured.
November, when many beaches are created by retreating waters at the riverbanks, and river turtles lay their eggs. Numerous indigenous communities live in these areas including the Huitotos, Yaguas and Ticunas, who passed-on their culture and traditions, knowledge of medicinal plants, ceremonies and aptitudes for survival from generation to generation. Puerto Nariño is Amazon’s source of life for its natural and cultural setting. Located in the upper Amazon River, 2hrs by boat from Leticia, this community banned motor vehicles and the only way of getting around is by foot. People are committed with preservation of fauna and green-life. The Tarapoto Lake is nearby and its waters create a natural aquarium, home to grey and pink river dolphins.
Learn from Huitotos, Makunas or Yakunas customs, sacred rituals (Tobacco and Yage), ways to conserve the jungle and cultivate in it, also medical plants, typical food and history of their ancestors while you share with them in Malokas. Maloka is an indigenous word for house used by Colombian aborigines.
In traditional Amazon River folklore, at night, an Amazon river dolphin becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, and then returns to the river in the morning to become a dolphin again. They are commonly known as Pink dolphns, and, if you are lucky, you will observe them.
The path to Tarapaca, a Huitoto Indian village, leads to the Tanimboca reservation, part of which is a 45-meter high platform built of amid trees. In Tanimboca you can climb 35-meter high trees and slide 80 meters from one tree to another through the beautiful forest canopy.
TEMPERATURE 27°C (80,6° F) ALTITUDE 96 meters above sea level
Accommodations LETICIA Decalodge Ticuna*** Waira Suites Hotel*** Hotel Anaconda** Malokamazonas Hotel* The Amazon B&B* AMACAYACU NATIONAL PARK Hotel Amacayacu NATURAL RESERVES Ecolodge Palmari Natural Reserve Heliconias Reserva Natural PUERTO NARIÑO Casa Selva*
Excursions & Packages TOURS Half Day Isla De Los Micos Natural Reserve Tri Frontier (Colombia Brasil Perú) All Day Puerto Nariño & Lago Tarapoto All Day Parque Nacional Amacayacu Leticia City Tour All Day Marasha Natural Reserve Night Safari In Saraiva Lakes PACKAGES Amacayacu National Park Natural Reserv Palmari Natural Reserv Heliconia
Special Interest Destination/Coast & Islands
We recommend 52
Main activities/interests: Nightlife
Barranquilla is known as Colombia’s Golden Gate due to its importance as the Colombian Caribbean seaport. In the XIX century, Barranquilla was Colombia’s main harbor and by mid-XX century it quickly became Colombia’s fastest growing and most cosmopolitan city, welcoming immigrants from all over the world, especially from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its people are well-known for their witty, friendliness and idiosyncrasy.
sanctuary of Colombian fauna. Also it is worth to visit “The beautiful Santa Veronica” (white-sand beach) and “Puerto Velero”, a restaurant emulating colombian traditional lapped hat (sombrero Vueltiao).
The city is most famous for its worldwideknown Carnival, held annually preceding Ash Wednesday. It is one of the main festivals in Colombia and the second largest Carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro´s. During the carnival, streets are transforBarranquilla hosts the Historic Centrer with med into a mainstream of popular dancing its “Paseo de Bolívar” (Bolivar’s Path), buil- (Cumbiamba), characters as Joselito Cardings and structures from the Republican nival (main character), dancing schools, period of immense historical value and El Diablo (the devil) and the popular “Mathe barrio El Prado with its neo-classical rimondas”. It was declared Masterpiece of architectural buildings, one of which is Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity the famous Hotel El Prado. Nearby Puerto by UNESCO. Colombia, Barranquilla zoo, is a wildlife
Afternoon at Salgar Castle
Fun and Dance at the Carnival
Handycrafts Center of Usiacurí
Typical Street Food La tiendecita
The Castle is one of the last buildings that still retains architectural features of the colonial era, near the delta of the Magdalena river. Admire the view and delight yourself while you enjoy a delicious dinner or a cocktail.
Barranquilla’s Carnival is one of the largest in the world. It occurs each year at the start of Lent (40 days prior to holy week) and features dancing, music, and masquerade, with spanish, African, Cuban, and indigenous influences.
One hour from Barranquilla, Usiacurí a typical handy crafts center, is mostly known for the works on the Palma de Iraca, a tradition that has been passed on for generations. This plant, common in the nearby areas, is used to create amazing pieces of art.
Enjoy a traditional colombian coast line meal in La Tiendecita Barranquillera. There, you can eat freshly made food like chicharron” the traditional “arepa e´ huevo” and much more. Ask any Barranquillero, and they have most probably been there to eat.
TEMPERATURE 28 째C (82,4째 F) ALTITUDE 2 meters above sea level
Accommodations EL PRADO AREA Smart Suites Royal***** Country International***** Estelar Alto Prado**** Barranquilla Plaza**** El Prado Hotel*** Majestic Hotel*** Howard Johnson Versalles*** Barranquilla Plaza*** BUENAVISTA C.C. AREA Dann Carlton Barranquilla***** Sonesta Barranquilla***** BW Atlantis Suites**** Dorado Hotel & Suite***
Tours & Excursions Day Tour Barranquilla | Half Day Tour Barranquilla | Half Day Tour To Usiacuri | Half Day Tour To Totumo Mud Volcano
Special Interest/Coast & Islands
Main activities/interests: Adventure - Culture
The Guajira Peninsula occupies the northeastern area of the country, bordered by the Caribbean Sea and Venezuela. It is divided into three regions based on geographic characteristics: the Southern Guajira where its capital Riohacha, founded in 1545, is located; Mid Guajira with mostly flat and arid environment and the Upper Guajira mostly semi-desertic where the ocean creates amazing sceneries such as Cape of la Vela and Punta Gallinas.
with cactus that enhance the scenery and sand dunes that are a reminder that this is a land of myths and legends. The Wayuu indigenous people of La Guajira and their legends make this territory intriguing. The Wayuu live in what are known as “Rancherias”; small communities that spend their time fishing and weaving colorful handcrafted hammocks and mochilas (woolen bags) of resounding beauty and artistry.
La Guajira pleasantly surprises with its extreme contrasts: the shiny white of the vast Visiting La Guajira is an immersion into salt flats at Manaure, pink flamingos can fascinating traditions, cultures, myths and be observed flying between lagoons at the native customs. Flamingos Fauna & Flora nature sanctuary; and the black deep coal extracted at El Cerrejón coalmine. Aside from salt and coal, La Guajira is bathed by a crystalline blue sea upon golden beaches of desert sand
Knitting in Uribia
Healing cactus fruit
Cabo de la Vela is a site to visit; a mystic encounter between the desert and the sea creates unique sceneries in this splendid spot. Nothing better than witeness a sunset in Cabo de la Vela on a hammock at the beach. The perfect setting for meditation or sharing the moment with someone special
Each year, sometime between May and June, The Wayúu show the world their enormous cultural wealth through a mix of traditional music, rituals, customs, handicrafts, forums, expeditions, and games, all of which have fostered the preservation of ancestral customs, traditions, and folklore.
Uribia is the locality with the largest Wayúu settlement and, also, the right place to admire their most representative handicrafts, hammocks and shoulder bags (mochilas). Typical motifs are geometrical figures that represent the natural elements (animals, plants, stars, tracks) that surround Wayúu life.
Since Guajira is a desertic area, there are many cactuses. The fruit of the Guajira Cactus is known as Iguaraya and seems to have healing properties for digestion. It is traditionally used by locals to make juices and wines with a distinctive Wayuu taste.
Accommodations RIOACHA Gimaura Hotel** Arimaca Hotel** Majayura Hotel** Barbacoa Hotel** Los Mangles Visitors Center* CABO DE LA VELA Rancheria Utta* Rancheria Jarrinapi* TEMPERATURE 28째C (82,4째 F) ALTITUDE 2 meters above the sea level
Tours & Excursions Half Day Santuario De Flora Y Fauna De Flamencos Rosados (Pink Flamingos Sanctuary) Afternoon At The Rancherias Full Day Cabo De La Vela Tour
Special Interest/Coast & Islands
We recommend 58
SANTA CRUZ DE MOMPOX
Main activities/interests: Cultural - Adventure
Santa Cruz de Mompox is a remote and hidden town where time stands still. This town, that inspires tales of romance and nostalgia, is situated on an island of the same name on the western bank of the Magdalena River, 200kilometers southeast from Cartagena. It was founded by Alonso de Heredia in May 3, 1537 as Santa Cruz de Mompox after a ferocious confrontation with Kimbay tribe leader “Cacique Mompoj”. Mompox became a key commercial center for merchandise that traveled upstream from the interior en-route to Cartagena; since then the town has remained architecturally and traditionally intact and in 1995 it was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Central Cemetery is perhaps the most interesting place to visit. The white tombs are lined up one above the other and form
walls of memories around a central chapel: San Francisco church built in 1564. Other places to visit are: the city hall where on August 6, 1810 the Act of Independence from Spain was first signed under the cry “Freedom or death” and church of Immaculate Conception built by Pedro Heredia in 1541. A tradition in Mompox, passed down from generation to generation, becoming world famous, is filigree art (delicate jewerly made by intricate threads of silver and gold). The Colombian Nobel Prize author Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote in his novel, “The General in his Labyrinth”, a phrase he attributed to Liberator Simón Bolívar: “Mompox does not exist, sometimes we dream of it, but it does not exist”.
Gold & Silver Jewerly
Relaxing Rocking Chairs
Around The Town On a Mototaxi
Mompox handicrafts workers are known for their fine precious metalsmithing, especially their filigree art. When strolling along the streets of Mompox, it is impossible not to hear the tapping of hammers. It is a must to stop and see this valuable work.
Most people in Mompox leave their front doors open, and in the first room, easily viewed by anyone passing by, they place some rocking chairs. The rocking chair experience can be complemented by a fruit juice guava or zapote and a good book.
A wise way get around Mompox is hiring a motor taxi. Moto taxi drivers will show you places you would otherwise not find. The cemetery is one of those places which momposinos are most proud of. The motor taxi ride will provide not only a spectacular view but also some fresh breeze.
Holly Week On the afternoon of Good Wednesday, the inhabitants of Mompox dress in their best clothing and go to the municipal cemetery for the famous “serenata a los difuntos” -serenade to the dead-. Mompox Holly Week is the incredible fusion of Catholic religious customs with mythical and pagan practices of the region.
TEMPERATURE 31 °C (88° F) ALTITUDE 16 meters above sea level
Accommodations La Casa Amarilla Hostal Doña Manuela
Packages Mompox By Land From Cartagena (3N - 2D) Mompox By Private Flight From Cartagena (10 Hrs)
Special Interest Destination/Coast & Islands
We recommend 60
Main activities/interests: Ecotourism
Colombian Pacific Coast combines the exuberant tropical forest, exotic beaches, fauna and flora, with hospitality and rich cultural background. Annually, between July and October humpback whales arrive with their newborn from the north in search of warm waters, along with migratory birds and marine turtles.
was declared National Natural Reservation Park to preserve its ecosystem’s endemic species, fauna and flora and coral reefs offshore.
Nuquí is located in the northern region of the Pacific coast in the Chocó department and can be reached by flight from Quibdó or Medellín and by boat from Bahia SolaThe Gorgona National Park is one of the no. It’s a paradise for bird watchers, water jewels of the Pacific Coast, a paradise for sports enthusiasts, fishing and unspoiled nature lovers and adventurers. It is an is- nature lovers. Nuquí offers incredible views land located off-shore from the town of of an exuberant rainforest, beaches, and Guapi, approximately one hour-45 minu- waterfalls, stones of many colors, exotic tes by boat. The island has an extension of plants and rare animals in one of the most 2,600 hectares of land, and 61,687 hectares biodiversity ecosystems on earth. At Bahía Solano you can admire beaches are marine areas. with fantastic waves and the exuberance of Spanish conquistador Pizarro arrived in tropical rainforest; its waterfalls and biodi1527 and named the island: Gorgona. It- versity make it a favorite destination in this functioned as a prison until 1985 when it region.
Currulao One of the most African influenced Colombian music styles. The main instrument is the Colombian marimba, a wooden xilophone which resembles the African balafon also for the style of playing. Currulao has been added to the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Surf at “El Valle”
There is a fantastic surfing spot (probably the best surfing spot in Colombia) at El Valle, a small village south to Bahía Solano, which has great beaches and rainforest nature. The two to three hour walk to the Cascada del Tigre (waterfall) is worth it.
This unforgettable experience allows you to take part in the preservation of a species in danger of extinction. Night walks are organized to admire artificial turtle nurseries where turtles lay their eggs (from September to December). The Turtle Nesting Sactuary “Estación Septiembre” at Playa Cuevita is the place.
Diving at Punta Huina
Punta Huina is a solitary land of dark sand and majestic cliffs lined with coconuts palms. Diving at Punta Huina is a must: Divers are able to go 110 feet down to see the ruins of Arc Sebastián de Belalcázar, a sunken ship that survived Pearl Harbor and later became a Colombian Naval ship.
TEMPERATURE Bahía Solano:21°C (70° F) Nuquí:28°C (82,4° F) ALTITUDE Sea level
Accommodations GORGONA NATIONAL PARK Isla Gorgona Lodge NUQUÍ El Cantil Ecolodge BAHÍA SOLANO El Almejal Rainforest and Beach Lodge
Tours & Excursions GORGONA NATIONAL PARK La Chonta Trail Half Day Tour Half Day Tour To Gorgona Former Prison Casa Museo Payán Half Day Tour Snorkelling At Cristiano De Yundigua Natural Aquarium Half Day Palmera Beach Hiking Gorgona Island Half Day Boat Tour NUQUÍ Nuquí Full Day Tour Rio Terco Hiking Half Day Tour Whale Watching Half Day Tour El Cantil Hiking Half Day Tour Cabo Corrientes Half Day Boat Tour Ensenada De Utría National Park Half Day Tour BAHÍA SOLANO Half Day Cascadas De Chado Tour Half Day Cascada Del Tigre Tour Ensenada De Utria National Park Half Day Tour Whale Watching Half Day Tour El Almejal Full Day Tour Tundo River Full Day Tour www.macondodmc.com
Special Interest/Temperate Andes
We recommend 62
Main activities/interests: Culture
The city of Popayán is well-known for its beautiful colonial architecture and is often referred to as the “White City” due to the prevalence white-walled homes, buildings, and several churches in the historic center. Founded in 1537 by Spanish Conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, it played an important role during the colonial period as it was the mid-point of gold in the journey between Lima, Quito and Cartagena on its way to Spain. As result of its colonial importance, Popayán’s historic center is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved in Colombia. There are stunning churches such as: San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San José, La Ermita (which dates back to 1546), the Cathedral Basilica Nuestra Señora La Asunción (neoclassical style) and the attached Clock Tower, main symbol of the city.
Although the city was damaged by an earthquake in 1983, most historic colonial architecture was completely restored. Popayán is also widely-known for the solemnity of its Easter Week sacred processions, a tradition dating back to colonial times (1558). In 2009 Popayán’s Easter Week celebrations were declared by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. During Easter Week, Popayán also hosts the Religious Music Festival. The ‘Morro de Tulcán’ is the main archeological site, an ancient pre-Hispanic pyramid. Nearby is the Puracé National Natural Park a geothermal land of waterfalls, and an inactive snow-peak volcano of the same name.
El Morro de Tulcan
Popayán has been declared a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in tribute to its significant tradition of regional cooking. Typical dishes integrate components of local origin with fruits brought from Spain. Among them you can find Carantanta, a type of fried snacks that comes from corns sticked in the pot.
For impressive views of the city climb El Morro de Tulcan, an antique piramid that was used by the first inhabitants of the region for religous rituals. At the top there is a statue of Popayan’s founder Sebastian Belalcazar. The true entrance is at the rear where there are steps that lead to the hill’s top.
This 400 years old ritual has been inherited from the spanish, and is now one of the most traditional events in the area. During this celebration, there are processions and people line the sidewalks to watch as floats pass by with religious motifs, carried by volunteers who are proud of the honor to carry the 500 kilos weight.
Silvia is mainly populated by Guambiano’s descents, who maintain their traditional ways of life, since pre-Incan times. They weave their own clothes, grow their own food, and build their own dry-brick houses. Their culture can be mostly appreciated on the farmer’s market day, every Tuesday in the town of Silvia.
TEMPERATURE 31 °C (87,8° F) ALTITUDE 16 meters above sea level
Accommodations HISTORIC CENTER Dann Monasterio**** Camino Real*** MS la Herreria***
Tours Half Day City Tour En Popayán. Half Day In Silvia. Full Day Purace National Park.
Special Interest / Warm Andes
SAN AGUSTÍN & TIERRADENTRO
Main activities/interest: Culture - Ecotourism
The San Agustín Archaeological Park, Colombia’s most important archaeological reserve declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, is located in the southern department of Huila. The region was inhabited by a mysterious and enigmatic civilization that created fantastic sculptures using volcanic rocks: approximately 5000 years ago, one of the oldest pre-Columbian cultures arrived to the region. Their name, political and social structure remains unknown as well as their subsequent disappearance (which was centuries prior to arrival of Spanish Conquistadores). This was a flourishing time of monumental lithic art and the era of the so-called Agustinian Culture whose members were master sculptors, designers and erected enormous stone statues creating sacred grounds.
San Agustín archaeological park and nearby sites. Today, statues stand in forms of pumas, snakes, eagles holding snakes, warriors, good and evil and women in childbirth; all of which seem to be silently watching over us.
Traveling two hours from San Agustín there is another archaeological pre-Columbian hypogeum attraction called Tierradentro which is found half way up a mountain at an altitude 1750masl. If San Agustín is known for its statues, then Tierradentro is famous for its burial chambers painted with geometric anthropomorphic and zoomorphic patterns in red, black and white. This location has been declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, particularly for these subterranean funeral galleries that are extensive and seems have been created by The park covers a total area of approxima- indigenous cultures inhabiting the region tely 500 square kilometers that includes from 600 to 900 AD.
Achiras Gastronomy in Huila is abundant and diverse due to its varied agricultural production and the confluence of cultures. The “bizcochos de achira” (arrowhead biscuits) recipes carried down from one generation to another stand out among the most representative food preparations.
Bambuco Dancing Festival
Hot Natural bath at Los Hoyos
Carved Rock La Chaquira
Since colonial times, the department of Huila has been celebrating the feasts of Saint John & Saint Peter. These festivities are not only a large cultural sample full of music, dances, and costumes street marches, but a remembrance of very old traditions of this Colombian region.
Los Hoyos at the Tatacoa Desert is an area where wind and rain have created natural pieces of art.
With divinities carved into the mountain face overlooking the stunning gorge of the Magdalena river, la Chaquira is part of a horseback riding tour where you can also explore amazing lagoons, waterfalls, and El Tablón, la Pelota y el Purutal. We advice to park the horse before the stairs.
You can admire hundreds of mystic masterpieces while refreshing in the natural water swimming pool you will find there.
TEMPERATURE 23°C (73,4° F) ALTITUDE 1.730 meters above sea level
Accommodations NEIVA Chicalá Hotel*** Tumburagua Hotel*** SAN AGUSTIN Hacienda Anacaona** Finca el Cielo** Yuma Hotel**
PITALITO El Timanco** TIERRADENTRO Albergue El Refugio**
Tours & Excursions / Packages San Agustín & Tatacoa Desert Package (4D/3N) Tatacoa Desert, San Agustín, Tierradentro & Popayán (6D/5N) The Amazing Culture Of San Agustín (3D/2N) Sacred San Agustín (4D/3N) San Agustín Star Waching (5D/4N) San Agustín & Tierradentro: Unesco World Heritage (5N/6D) San Agustín, Tierradentro & Popayán: Jewels In The Andes (9D/8N) Tierradentro Pre-Colombian Architecture´S (3D/2N) Popayán: Culture & Nature OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES Alto De Los Idolos & Salto Del Mortino Tour Rivera Spring Water Biking The Tatacoa
Special Interest/Cold Andes
Main activities/interest: Adventure - Culture - Ecotourism
visiting the town of Barichara, known as it has totally preserved all of the colonial Spanish stonework and architecture. The Chicamocha Canyon National Park, which borders the majestic Chicamocha canyon, was shortlisted to be voted as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. By cable-car visitors can travel from All through the different towns in the re- one side to another during a 30 minute gion, it is possible see spanish colonial ar- journey, covering a distance of 6.3km. chitecture. The small town of San Gil, located at 1110 masl and along the Fonce River, Enjoy Santander, land of adventure and can be easily reached from Bogotá, Villa de culture, well known for deep canyons, bubLeyva or Bucaramanga. It is the Mecca of all bling rivers of varied colors, mountainous extreme sports in Colombia and has gained landscapes, waterfalls that break through the reputation of being adventure land.: sub-andean forests and tumble into uncanoeing, rafting, hiking, trekking, caving, derground caverns blended with the exrappelling and paragliding are just some of tensive network of ‘Caminos Reales’ (Royal the options available. Pathways) that connect towns. Approximately 20km from San Gil is worth
Santander is a located in the northeastern Andean region of Colombia. The capital Bucaramanga is known as the “City of Parks” for its abundant trees and its spring-like climate. The region has different micro-climates and the temperature varies, according to area, between 15º and 28ºC.
Road to Guane
The first loud crackle tastes and feels like popcorn, but by the time the juices spray wildly in one’s mouth and the filament-like legs slide down the throat… The people of Santander have been eating ants for centuries. Restaurants in Barichara offer an ant-based spread for bread and an ant-flavoured lamb sauce.
On the road to San Gil, there is La Antigua Cave, perfect for caving, watching mineral formations, swimming in a natural pool and getting covered in mud. The area close to Socorro is ideal for waterfall rappelling in the Juan Curí waterfalls. For rafting there is the 10 km down the Fonce River. Also paragliding in Curí is an option. it´s only a matter of jumping.
Close to Barichara is Guane, a small village accessed by a historic path: The Royal Road. The population maintains the colonial architecture and offers a palaeontology museum with a collection of fossils, including dinosaur bones. Guane is also known for its fabrics made from sisal hemp and paper, which are turned into rugs and baskets.
Cross the Chicamocha canyon from one extreme to the other on the aerial tramway. A 6.3 kilometers long experience that crosses the entire canyon from one end to the other. During the trip, stop at any of the three stations to take a picture of one of the candidates for the seven natural wonders of the world.
TEMPERATURE Bucaramanga:24°C (75,2° F) San Gil: 23° to 29°C (73° F to 84° F) Barichara:21°C (70° F ) Chicamocha:24 °C (75° F) ALTITUDE Bucaramanga:959 masl San Gil:1117 masl Barichara: 1280 masl Chicamocha: 1803 masl *Meters above sea level
Accommodations BUCARAMANGA Dann Carlton Bucaramanga***** Hacienda El Roble Eco posada Viña de Aldana SAN GIL Mesón del Cuchicute. Verano Hotel BARICHARA La Nube Posada Hostal Misión Santa Bárbara
Tours & Excursions CULTURAL Half Day Socorro Half Day Barichara & Guane Half Day Visit To San Gil Full Day Visit To The Parque Nacional Del Chicamocha ADVENTURE Haf Day Rafting Ecological Walk To The Waterfalls Of Juan Curi
Itinerary Ideas Macondo DMC is about creating the best travel experience for every visitor. Here are some itinerary examples which can respond to travellers different needs and expectations.
DISCOVER COLOMBIA 8 Nights / 9 Days
DANCING IN COLOMBIA 4 Nights / 5 Days
A package with the essential destinations for any first time visitor. The contrasts of the country will be evident from visiting the modern and cosmopolitan Bogotá, the tranquil and traditional Coffee Zone, the essence of Spanish colonialism in Cartagena and, finally, the indigenous cultures that still live in the Santa Marta area.
This is the perfect experience to discover Colombia´s nightlife and entertainment. Visit the main dancing destinations and enjoy Salsa, Vallenato, Cumbia, Mapale and more. Start from Cali, called “Heaven´s Branch”, where people feel salsa in their heart. Then move to Barranquilla, vibrant during the day and unstoppable at night, a very well-known city for the ‘’Vallenato’’. Whether you are in the south of the city or the more sophisticated north, particularly at the weekend, nightlife in Barranquilla is varied and enjoyable.
BOGOTA (2N) City Tour Salt Cathedral and Guatavita Tour COFFEE ZONE (2N) Valle del Cocora & Salento Tour Coffee Process Tour
CARTAGENA (2N) Half Day Panoramic Tour SANTA MARTA (2N) Full Day to Playa Neguanje
CALI (2N) Bar Hopping Tour Salsa Tour
BARRANQUILLA 2N Bar Hopping Tour Vallenato Tour
NOTE: It is suggested to begin the package on a Wednesday
CULTURES & TRADITIONS 10 Nights / 11 Days
IDYLLIC FOR TWO 11 Nights / 12 Days
Discover the many ethnic backgrounds of Colombia. First, visit the Gold Museum at Bogotá and live El Dorado legend at Guatavita. Then, move to San Agustin to visit the Park of the Stone Gods, where volcanic rock statues tell us about ancient indigenous rituals. Continue to Cartagena, a colonial city where history is kept in its walls, balconies, doors and narrow cobbled streets. Finish at la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and experience a complex network of ecosystems and the archaeological remains of the Tayrona culture at ‘’El Pueblito’’ and “The lost city”.
A package with no stress! The most romantic and relaxing Colombian destinations for couples willing to share unique moments of romance and tranquility. Start by celebrating the arrival with a night out in Bogotá. Then move to the nearby Villa de Leyva with its antique colonial atmosphere, before arriving to the Coffee Zone for some peaceful walks in the green and red coffee fields. Continue to Cartagena with its unforgettable sunsets on the antique walls, and finish the trip with a massage on the beaches of Barú or Playa Koralia.
BOGOTÁ (2N) City Tour Guatavita Tour SAN AGUSTÍN (3N) San Agustín Arqueological Park (Mesitas, Bosque de las Estatuas, Fuente de Lavapatas and Alto de Lavapatas)
‘’El Alto de los Ídolos’’ & ‘La Cascada del Mortiño’’ CARTAGENA (2N) City Tour SANTA MARTA (3N) Full Day Tour Tayrona Park Trekking to Pueblito
BOGOTÁ (2N) Emerald Museum Dinner at Monserrate VILLA DE LEYVA (1N)
CARTAGENA (2N) Horse Carriage Night tour BARÚ OR PLAYA KORALIA (3N) Massage on the Beach
COFFEE ZONE (3N) Valle del Cocora and Salento
BEACH &11SUN IN COLOMBIA Nights / 12 Days
RICH & FERTILE COLOMBIA 10 Nights / 11 Days
A sun & beach package for travellers that want to enjoy the best of the Colombian Caribbean Sea. Start from the famous 7 colours sea of San Andres and follow to the unspoiled beaches of Providencia, both islands with a strong british influence. Continue to the main coast to visit Cartagena, the Caribbean jewel that has fascinated visitors for centuries, and end up in Barú or Santa Marta, both with a combination of tropical beaches and jungle paths.
Colombia is known for its rich store of natural resources, ranging from minerals to agricultural products. The journey begins exploring the emerald mines of Chivor with a firsthand experience in an emerald mine. Continues to the legends of precious gold, preserved in Guatavita, and the Salt Mine of Zipaquirà, built in gratitude to salt production in the area. Next, follows a visit to a flower hacienda in Medellin, to learn how the country creates one of its main incomes, together with Coffee produced mainly in the coffe triangle. The tour ends visiting Cali for its Sugar Cane plantations.
Arrival city in Colombia (1st night Bogotá/Cartagena or any other arrival city) (1N)
SAN ANDRÉS (3N) Nautical Therapy Submarine Tour PROVIDENCIA (3N) All Day boat tour
CARTAGENA (2N) Boquilla or Punta Icacos Tour
CHIVOR (2N) Emerald Mine
MEDELLÍN (2N) Flower production hacienda
ROSARIO & BARÚ ISLANDS OR SANTA MARTA (2N) Casa navegante (Barú) Playa Cristal (Santa Marta)
BOGOTÁ (2N) Gold Museum Guatavita and el Dorado Legend Zipaquirá Salt Mine
COFFEE TRIANGLE (2N) Coffee Farm CALI (2N) Sugar Cane Plantation
Colombian Main Festivities JANUARY Carnival of Blacks and Whites – Pasto January 4th to 6th
Yipao Parade and Contest – Calarcá, Coffee Zone June, dates vary every year The Joropo International Tournament - Los Llanos June, dates vary every year
The Manizales Fair – Manizales January 4th to 11th
JULY Colombiamoda – Medellín End of July, dates vary every year
The Hay Festival – Cartagena January 29th to February 1st
FEBRUARY The Flower Fair – Medellín First weeks of August, dates vary every year
The Barranquilla Carnival – Barranquilla Four days before Ash Wednesday, lasts 4 days
Wind and Kite Festival – Villa de Leyva A weekend in August, dates vary every year
International Film Festival of Cartagena – Cartagena Dates to be defined every year
Holy Week in Pamplona – Santander According to Christian calendar
Jazz in the Park Festival – Bogotá September, dates vary every year
Holy Week in Mompox – Mompox According to Christian calendar
San Pacho Feasts – Quibdó, The Pacific September 20th to October 4th
Holy Week in Popayán – Popayán According to Christian calendar
NOVEMBER National Beauty Pageant – Cartagena First 2 weeks of November
Holy Week in Sabanalarga – Caribbean coast According to Christian calendar
International Amazonian Folk Music Festival The Amazon – Late November, dates vary every year
Festival of the Vallenato Legend – Valledupar April 26th to 30th, or the last week in April.
Wayúu Culture Festival – Guajira Between May and June Bambuco National Folk Festival and Beauty Pageant Neiva / San Agustín – June 22nd to July 2nd 72
Festival of the Lights – Villa de Leyva December 7th to 8th The Cali Fair – Cali December 25th to 30th
Colombian Official Holidays 2012 JANUARY
Sunday, January 1st Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day) Monday, January 9th Día de los Reyes Magos (Epiphany)
Monday, March 19th Día de San José (Saint Joseph)
Thursday, April 5th Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday) Friday, April 6th Viernes Santo (Good Friday) Sunday, April 8th Domingo de Pascua (Easter)
Tuesday, May 1st Día del Trabajo (Labour Day) Monday, May 21st La Ascensión del Señor (Ascension Day)
Monday, June 11th Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi) Monday, June 18th El Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (Sacred Heart)
Monday, July 2nd San Pedro y San Pablo (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) Friday, July 20th Grito de Independencia (Colombian Independence Day)
Tuesday, August 7th Batalla de Boyacá (Battle of Boyacá) Monday, August 20th Asunción de la Virgen (Assumption of Mary)
Monday, October 15th Día de la Raza (Columbus Day)
January 1st - Tuesday Año Nuevo (New Year’s Day) January 7th – Monday Día de Reyes Magos (Epiphany)
March 24th – Sunday Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) March 25th – Monday Día de San José (Saint Joseph) March 28th – Thursday Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday) March 29th – Friday Viernes Santo (Good Friday) March 31st – Sunday Domingo de Pascua (Easter)
Monday, November 5th Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day)
Monday, November 12th Independencia de Cartagena (Independence Day of Cartagena)
May 13th – Monday - La Ascensión del Señor (Ascension Day)
Saturday, December 8th Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception) Tuesday, December 25th Navidad (Christmas)
May 1st – Wednesday Día del Trabajo (Labour Day)
July 1st – Monday San Pedro y San Pablo (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) July 20th – Sunday Grito de Independencia (Colombian Independence Day)
August 7th – Wednesday Batalla de Boyacá (Battle of Boyacá) August 19th Monday Asunción de la Virgen (Assumption of Mary)
October 14th – Monday Día de la Raza (Columbus Day)
November 4th – Monday odos los Santos (All Saints’ Day) November 11th – Monday Independencia de Cartagena (Independence Day of Cartagena)
June 3rd – Monday Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi)
December 8th – Sunday Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception)
June 10th – Monday El Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (Sacred Heart)
December 25th – Wednesday Navidad (Christmas)
When deciding to include Colombia into your offering and when selecting your partner to help you on this, there are some questions which you would probably ask: WHY VISIT COLOMBIA?
Colombia, for many, is a new destination. Travellers have visited most Latin America countries and are waiting for the right opportunity to travel to Colombia. The country offers a unique mix of cultures, landscapes and activities that will exceed most travellers’ expectations.
WHEN IS IT THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE COUNTRY?
In conclusion, while we believe that most of the country is safe, we will be as strict as possible when providing our personalized advice to our clients, and will not recommend or organize any visit to areas not considered 100% safe.
There are two main factors to take into account when planning a visit to Colombia. The weather and local seasonality and festivities. In terms of weather, the driest months are December to March and June to August. Local seasonality is mainly affected by traditional vacation periods like Easter Week, June (school vacations) and Christmas, on which availability of hotels and services might be a problem. Local festivities, on the other hand, can be an opportunity to experience some unique festivals and local traditions (see local festivities calendar). However, as most festivities are moved to Mondays, they are also occasions on which most Colombians will travel to short distance destinations within the country.
WHY WORK WITH MACONDO DMC?
IS IT SAFE?
We cannot say that the whole country is totally safe, but we can surely affirm that all the destinations included in this catalogue, and others, are constantly visited by foreigners whose feedback, when they return, is always positive. However, we believe that it is our responsibility not to rely on personal opinions when it is a matter of safety, and
therefore we do respect each country’s travel advice.
Reasons that make Macondo DMC the right choice when selecting a partner in Colombia are many, we will list five: • • •
The owners of the company are directly involved in day to day operations and have a combined experience of over 20 years in tourism . We are a small company that pays attention to every detail and we have the ability to modify our processes to respond to clients’ needs. We have direct knowledge of product and services offered, as we constantly inspect properties, interview guides and visit new destinations. We have exclusive guides and an owned fleet of vehicles in Bogota, and well established alliances throughout the country with partners that work with our same standards. We are able to innovate and surprise every client with new travel ideas.
Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism Republic of Colombia