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Colombia Express

About Colombia

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Where to go if you only have a week to experience a truly unique part of the world? The answer: Colombia. If you think a week isn’t enough to tour the beaches, coffee regions, and metropolitan cities of this reemerging country, think again – we’ve made it possible. Check out the resurgence of culture, art, and food in Bogotá and Medellin, dive deep into the Caribbean vibe in Cartagena, and enjoy the Latin-Caribbean fusion of flavours in local cuisine. All this in only nine days. Start packing now.

What's Included

Zipaquira Salt Cathedral (Villa de Leyva). Coffee farm visit (Armenia). Hacienda stay. Valle de Cocora hike. Medellin city tour. Cartagena orientation walk. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Experience the unique culture of Colombia, drink world-renowned coffee in the lush mountains, people watch from a café in Medellin, soak up the sun in Cartagena.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Plane, private van, public bus, 4×4, walking

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

Accommodation

Hotels (6 nts), hacienda (2 nts).

Joining Hotel

Joining Instructions

El Dorado international Airport is approximately 30 minutes away from the joining hotel. We recommended organizing a taxi from within the airport at the registered taxi counter. The cost of a taxi to the joining hotel is approximately 65.000 COP.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.

A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time.

Arrival Complications

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610

After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film,
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocket knife
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Money belt
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sun block
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Flashlight
- First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

PLEASE NOTE – Canadian citizens must pay a reciprocity fee of 160,000 Colombian Pesos (about 70USD) per person when entering a Colombia by air. This fee is valid for a single entry into the country.

It is payable by international credit card or CASH. If made in cash, the payment must be in Colombian pesos. A dedicated counter will be available to Canadian citizens who must pay the reciprocity fee before proceeding to immigration control.

Spending Money

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

Emergency Fund

Departure Tax

USD $33

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Bogotá
Museo Nacional de Colombia – $3000 COP per person
Gold Museum – El Museo de Oro – closed on Mondays, entrance free on Sundays.
Donación Botero Art Museum – paintings by Botero, Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Dali etc – entrance free

Cartagena
Castillo de San Felipe – $17000 COP per person
La Popa Hill – $7000 COP per person
Guided boat tour to El Rosario Islands – $55000 (low season) – $65000 (high season) COP per person, lunch included
Totumo mud volcano bus tour – $40000 COP (low season) – $50000 COP (high season) per person with lunch or $35000 COP without lunch (including the entrance fee)
Chiva rumba ride – nightly 6:30pm to approx. 10:00pm – $45000 COP (low season) $50000 COP (high season) per person
Palacio de la Inquisition – $11000 COP – $20.000 COP
Sport Baru (Isla Baru)- boat tour from Cartagena $90000 COP
Modern Art Museum – $5000 COP
Naval Museum – $7000 COP
Gold Museum – free entrance

All prices are per person(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Trip Specific Safety

Please take care when wandering about the main cities on your own, as pickpockets and purse-snatchers are common. Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you don’t need in the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Colombianos are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!

Medical Form

A Couple of Rules

Travel Insurance

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Feedback

Newsletter

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Max Pax

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD240-315 for meals not included.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 0 dinners

PRODUCT_LINE: SMCQ, ID: 22735

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.


Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Bogotá

    There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

    Included Activities:
    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

  2. Day 2 Bogotá/Villa de Leyva (1B)

    Spend some time exploring Villa de Leyva, an excellent example of a colonial town in Colombia. Visit the Plaza Mayor, the town square, and check out the church, restaurants and shops.

    Included Activities:
    Paloquemao Market Visit
    Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral Visit

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

  3. Day 3 Villa de Leyva/Armenia (1B)

    Enjoy a morning in Villa de Leyva before an afternoon flight to Armenia, in Colombia’s coffee region. Spend two nights outside Armenia in a traditional hacienda.

    Included Activities:
    Hacienda Stay

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
    Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))

  4. Day 4 Armenia (1B, 1L)

    Visit Armenia town before heading out for a tour of a coffee farm in the area and learn more about this important export.

    Included Activities:
    Coffee Farm Tour
    Hacienda Stay

  5. Day 5 Armenia/Salento (1B)

    Enjoy exploring Salento and getting a feel for the town.

    Included Activities:
    Cocora Valley Hike

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))

  6. Day 6 Salento/Medellín (1B)

    Drive through beautiful landscapes to Medellín. Opt to explore the city in the evening.

    Transport:
    Local bus (8.00-9.00 hours)

  7. Day 7 Medellín (1B)

    Enjoy a neighbourhood tour of the city and learn the fascinating recent history of the city’s ongoing transformation. Spend the rest of the day with free time to explore this vibrant city.

    Included Activities:
    Medellín City Tour

  8. Day 8 Medellín/Cartagena (1B)

    Hop on a morning flight to Cartagena and arrive in time to spend the afternoon exploring the old walled city. Opt for dinner and a night out in this lively town.

    Included Activities:
    Orientation Walk

    Transport:
    Plane (1.00-1.50 hours)

  9. Day 9 Cartagena (1B)

    Depart at any time.

    Additional Notes:
    If you have another week, add on the “Caribbean Colombia Express” tour which takes you into famous Tayrona National Park and hops around some coastal islands.

    Included Activities:
    Departure Day

Contact our travel experts for more details

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