Colombian Coffee & Culture9 days & 8 nights, Private Journey
Handcrafted itineraries for one or more travelers with on-the-ground support, a private guide, and a private vehicle. Private Journeys represent the best of the custom programs we've designed over the years. Our insider knowledge and destination expertise make these innovative journeys truly unique experiences.Private Journey
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Day 1Arrive Bogota
After arriving at Bogota El Dorado International Airport, you will be met and assisted with customs and immigration before being escorted to your hotel, Morrison84, by a private car.Morrison84 - 2 Nights
Upon checking in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to take advantage of the amenities of your hotel or begin your explorations of the city. Located in northern Bogota, Morrison84 is within walking distance of upscale shopping centers, exclusive restaurants, boutiques of renowned designers, and an unforgettable business and entertainment district.
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day tour of the highlights of Bogota. Pick what catches your interest most from the endless options offered. Perhaps you wish to visit a religious monument, or a celebration of engineering, or an artistic masterpiece.Morrison84 (B, L)
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is well worth a visit. For the beauty of its landscapes, the richness of its earth, and the hidden jewel beneath the earth's surface, Zipaquira is something of a must-see during your stay in Bogota.
La Candelaria Historic Centre is Bogota's heart and soul, as the oldest part of the city. The Plaza Bolivar (main square) is the focal point of this historic part of the city. Visit the gold museum with the largest collection of gold pieces, and the Botero Gallery which has a permanent exhibition of works of art by Fernando Botero, Colombia's most famous artist whose "oversized" art is instantly recognizable. There are several rooms over two floors with displays of his work both on canvas and sculpture. The museum also houses work by Dali, Monet, and Van Gogh.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, perhaps trying some of Colombia's traditional foods.
After breakfast, enjoy a private guided transfer to La Palma y El Tucan Ecolodge. This two hour overland journey will take you through a scenic region and give you more of a taste of Colombia's scenery. Upon arrival at your hotel in the Andean mountains, partake in lunch.La Palma & El Tucan - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
After your meal, you will participate in a comprehensive educational coffee experience around the agricultural estate led by a tour guide. Your guide will escort you through the farm's nursery, central wet mill, drying beds, selection station, and compost. Learn about local coffee growing techniques and taste one of the most exclusive cups of Colombian coffee.
After this educational experience, eat dinner at your hotel and have a leisurely night enjoying the amenities of your accommodations. La Palma y El Tucan is a lodge located in the middle of a coffee plantation. Each of the 9 cabins feature a sleeping area, private bathroom, and outdoor wooden deck with breathtaking views of the coffee plantation and mountains, perfect for morning yoga, or just sipping a cup of local coffee.
This morning, you will join a horseback riding tour through the cloud forest located near the coffee hacienda. Cloud forests are characterized by a low cloud cover, as well as an abundance of mozzes and vegetation. End your ride in time for lunch at your hotel.La Palma & El Tucan (B, L, D)
In the afternoon, learn about the coffee pickers of the region, with a visit to the traditional house of a local coffee picker located near the hotel. On this activity, you will be able to have a conversation with a coffee picker, and listen to some of his stories.
Next, you will participate in a coffee tree planting activity in order to learn even more about the farm to table experience of the coffee beans you saw yesterday.
After dinner at the hotel, enjoy a cozy evening fire with marshmallows.
Day 5Caldas-Coffee Region
After breakfast, you will have a private transfer to the airport with your bilingual guide, where you will catch a domestic flight from Bogota to Pereira. Today you will journey to the Coffee Region of Colombia. Many consider this area the cultural epicenter of Colombia. With it's spectacular panorama views, rolling hillsides of fertile coffee plantations, and plunging valleys, it certainly is a stunning place to visit. Campesino (rural life) continues now, as it has for centuries, as people harvest coffee, plantains, and other fresh fruits in this lush landscape. A visit to the coffee region permits you to experience the tranquility of the region, and offers the opportunity for adventure. Get a sense of the ambience and harmony of this beautiful area as you rest after a day of exploration.Hacienda Venecia - 2 Nights (B, L, D)
Upon arrival in Pereira, you will have another private transfer to Hacienda Venecia, your hotel for the next two nights. This traditional farmhouse is rustic but stunning, with amazing views.
Enjoy lunch at your hotel, and the afternoon is at your leisure to explore in the Caldas region, which is in the most northerly part of the "Triangulo de Cafe." Dinner is also included at your hotel.
Day 6Caldas-Coffee Region
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Hacienda Venecia before embarking on a full day coffee tour and experience.Hacienda Venecia (B, L, D)
Coffee is what makes this region tick, and this journey will take you through stunning scenery, carpeted rolling hills of lush green coffee, plantains, and yucca. As campesinos (local rural workers) pass by on their way to work in the fields and children walk to school or wait for the morning bus, you can start to imagine how life is for these rural Colombian populations. Today, you will see the plant that keeps the world energized up close. From planting to picking to toasting to tasting, your life as a coffee drinker will never the same after experiencing the elixir of life from Colombia.
Witness the entire coffee process today, including a tasting at Hacienda Venecia, and a tour of Manizales, the city you are near. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, and dinner at your hotel
Day 7Salento-Coffee Region
Today take in the culture of the Coffee Region as well as the stunning natural beauty of the Cocora Valley. This tour will take you to the town of Filandia, in the far northeast of Quindio in the beautiful Valle Cocora. Enjoy the magnificent wax palm growing in one of its few natural habitats as you enter Filandia. The main square has not changed in appearance or character in decades, and in itself is an attraction. Take a coffee break in one of the many small coffee shops and take in the quaintness and uninterrupted lines of brightly painted houses in this traditional Pueblo of the region. Your guide will explain the culture and people of the region, and how the small pueblos (villages) like this form the backbone of the rural agricultural life.Salento Real - 2 Nights (B, L)
Next, venture to Salento, a municipality in the north eastern part of Quindio. This picturesque town boasts a number of fine houses of the traditional architectural style. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before participating in a latte art activity in Cafe Jesus Martin. Check into the Calento Real Hotel.
This charming and modern hotel is located a two minute drive from the commercial area. Arrange optional bird watching, hiking, or horseback riding activities with the hotel.
Day 8Salento-Coffee Region
Delve deeper into the "Triangulo del Cafe" with a full-day tour to Pijao, Buenavista and Cordoba, traditional coffee towns. Enjoy a typical lunch and learn about the coffee process on today's adventure. Make your way through coffee covered hills and valleys.Salento Real (B, L)
Start your journey in Cordoba. With a sense of time stopped still, the buildings are arching under their own weight, and the atmosphere is one of calm. Pijao, the next stop, is known as "The place where the herons come," for every night, herons come to roost on the highest branches of the trees, according to the stories of the region. The residents of this quaint town will be picking coffee, or else resting in the plaza to sip coffee and chat.
After a tour of the surrounding countryside, stop in Hacienda Cafe San Alberto. This coffee hacienda takes their coffee very seriously, and has built their entire existence around the germination, classification, and preparation of Colombian coffee. Have the pleasure of experiencing a Molecular Coffee activity and taste different products they have created with their coffee.
Day 9Depart Colombia
As you finish up your time in Colombia, take a private guided transfer to the airport to catch your international departure flight or domestic connection.(B)
Generally, road travel in Latin America is reasonably good, however conditions vary greatly between the modern capital cities and the more remote areas. When traveling off the beaten track, roads are frequently narrow, bumpy, pot-holed and have stretches which are not paved, or which are under reconstruction. In Costa Rica, northern Chile and Bolivia particularly, conditions are very dusty and / or bumpy, and the road journeys tend to be quite strenuous. Road conditions change throughout the year and heavy rain and extreme weather patterns can affect journey times. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour: on escorted groups, transport will usually be in the form of a European-style coach or, for smaller groups, may be by mini-bus. On individual journeys, transport will generally be by sedan car. In destinations where conditions require it, off road driving will be in 4 x 4 vehicles.
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Many countries within Latin America have their own air pass and, wherever possible, our tours will be constructed with the appropriate air pass, which will minimize the costs of the internal flight. Please note that the majority of air passes have restrictions; therefore if you require an itinerary with full flexibility, please contact your tour consultant who will advise the additional cost to provide you with a more flexible ticket. Please also note that in certain cases we may not be able to book internal flights under an airpass. In this event a supplement may be payable.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and/or changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your holiday arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly advise that you are insured against such eventualities.
Flight Amendments: Flights on these tours are in general quoted separately and use special airfare. These have certain conditions, which normally restrict changes of date, route and airline. Any such change made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Airport Departure Taxes: Most cities in Latin America levy a departure tax for passengers departing on international flights, which have to be paid in local currency or the equivalent in US dollars. Other cities within a country may also levy a small charge for departures on domestic flights. Occasionally, taxes may be included on your ticket and we will advise you accordingly. Since there is no standard charge between countries, and taxes are subject to change, it is not possible to list the taxes in this brochure. We will advise you of the current charge with your final documents, and our local agents will confirm the amount payable on arrival. Please ensure you keep enough local currency or US dollars to cover these taxes.
During some itineraries, it may be necessary to depart for excursions or transfers to the airport very early in the morning, sometimes before dawn. This is normally either due to the flight schedules within Latin America, or in order for us to maximize the opportunities for sightseeing during your tour. A number of flights to Latin America arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Latin America. In the larger cities, the hotels we use are fully modernized and have excellent facilities, unless you choose to opt for the more colonial style property, where facilities may be limited. In some smaller cities and more remote areas, we try to offer the best hotels available. However, these may be quite simple - sometimes small colonial-style properties, in which rooms may vary in size - and often have relatively basic facilities. Please note, all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g. to a lake or falls view, deluxe or suite etc.), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in / out time is normally 3:00 pm, but this does vary between hotels.
Jungle Lodges & Remote Areas: Accommodation in some wildlife lodges in the Amazon rainforest, are not comparable to the better properties found in parts of Africa and Asia. Accommodation is often reached via narrow and unpaved roads, or by boat, and can be a long way from other civilization. Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings, you can be sure that your accommodation is the best available; however sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases, we feel that the inconvenience of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience of staying in these more remote areas.
Currency: Colombian Peso
Official Language(s): Spanish
Colombia offers an intriguing mix of forgotten ancient cultures, colonial architecture and Caribbean beaches. The country is much safer now than it has been in recent years. The most popular place to visit in Colombia is the colonial city of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast - one of the best preserved in all of Latin America.
What To See
Colombia is the only country in South America with coasts on the Pacific and Caribbean. It’s a beautiful country, with the Andes, beaches, colonial cities and archaeological treasures.
When To Go
Colombia’s proximity to the equator means its temperature varies little throughout the year. The temperature does change with altitude, creating various climatic zones from hot lowlands to freezing Andean peaks, so you can experience completely different climates within a couple of hours of travel. The most pleasant time to visit Colombia is in the dry season, between December and March or in July and August.
Colombian Coffee & Culture
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