Last updated on August 9th, 2023 at 11:30 am
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Colombia Trip Summary
Day 1 – Bogota
Day 2 – Bogota
Day 3 – Bogota – Caldas
Day 4 – Caldas
Day 5 – Caldas
Day 6 – Caldas
Day 7 – Caldas
Day 8 – Caldas – Departure
Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and has over 10 million inhabitants. It is Colombia’s political, economic, cultural, and tourist center, accounting for most of the national GDP. It is the third-highest capital city in South America as it sits on over 2.600 meters (8.600 feet) above sea level. With average temperatures of 7°C – 20°C (45°F – 60°F), the climate varies between cold to temperate. Bogotá has an area of 1.775 km2 (685 Square miles), which is more than twice the size of Singapore. It was founded in 1.538 by the Spaniards but was already inhabited by the Pre-Muiscas. Most of the tourist attractions are in the historic center “La Candelaria”. The city’s wide cultural offer represented in museums, theaters and libraries has granted it the name of “the South American Athens”. Some important places to visit in Bogotá are Monserrate Monastery, Gold and Botero Museums, “Paloquemao” and “La Perseverancia” food markets.
Colombia Coffee Triangle
The Colombia Coffee Triangle, also known as the Coffee Region or Zona Cafetera, is a picturesque and culturally rich area located in the central part of Colombia. It is composed of three departments: Caldas, Quindío, and Risaralda, and encompasses numerous charming towns and lush landscapes.
The Coffee Triangle is renowned for its world-class coffee production and is one of the top coffee-growing regions globally. Coffee cultivation is deeply ingrained in the region’s culture and history, and the area’s fertile volcanic soils and ideal climate create the perfect conditions for growing high-quality coffee beans.
The Coffee Triangle boasts breathtaking landscapes with rolling hills, emerald green valleys, and picturesque mountain ranges. The area is adorned with vibrant coffee plantations, colorful flower farms, and cloud forests, providing stunning views at every turn.
The region is dotted with charming colonial towns and villages, each with its unique character and architectural charm. Towns like Salento, Filandia, and Manizales feature well-preserved colonial-style buildings, cobblestone streets, and colorful facades, adding to the region’s allure.
Caldas is a department located in the central-western region of Colombia, named after Francisco José de Caldas, a prominent Colombian scientist and philosopher. With its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance, Caldas offers visitors a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.
Manizales, the capital city of Caldas, is known for its location amidst the Andes Mountains and its stunning views of the surrounding valleys. The city has a vibrant urban center, featuring a mix of colonial and modern architecture.
Caldas is part of Colombia’s renowned Coffee Triangle, and the department is home to several coffee plantations. Visitors can explore the coffee farms, learn about the coffee-making process, and taste high-quality Colombian coffee.
A portion of Los Nevados National Natural Park lies within Caldas. This protected area is characterized by snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and diverse ecosystems, attracting nature enthusiasts and hikers.
Caldas boasts several natural thermal hot springs, providing opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. The hot springs are known for their therapeutic properties.
Throughout the year, Caldas hosts various cultural festivals, celebrating traditions, music, and dance. The “Feria de Manizales” is one of the most famous events, featuring bullfighting, concerts, and parades.
The department is home to picturesque towns, such as Salamina and Filadelfia, showcasing colonial architecture and traditional charm.
Aguadas is a colorful town in Caldas, recognized for its well-preserved colonial buildings and artisan crafts.
Nevado del Ruiz
Nevado del Ruiz is a majestic stratovolcano located in the Andes Mountains of Colombia. Standing at an elevation of approximately 5,321 meters (17,457 feet), it is one of the highest and most active volcanoes in the country. The volcano is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park and is surrounded by stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems.
Nevado del Ruiz has a history of significant volcanic activity, with eruptions dating back to prehistoric times. The most devastating eruption occurred in 1985 when an eruption triggered a massive mudflow (lahar) that resulted in the tragic Armero tragedy, claiming thousands of lives.
The volcano’s summit is capped with glaciers and snow, creating a stunning and dramatic landscape. However, due to climate change and volcanic activity, the glaciers have been receding in recent years.
The slopes of Nevado del Ruiz are characterized by diverse ecosystems, including paramo, Andean forest, and high-altitude grasslands. These ecosystems are home to a variety of plant and animal species, some of which are endemic to the Andes.
The volcano attracts hikers and mountaineers seeking challenging adventures. Ascending Nevado del Ruiz requires proper preparation, and climbers often start from the nearby town of Manizales.
Given its active nature, Nevado del Ruiz is closely monitored by scientific institutions to better understand volcanic processes and mitigate potential risks to nearby communities.
Nevado del Ruiz is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, a protected area renowned for its diverse landscapes, high-altitude lakes, and unique flora and fauna.
The volcano has cultural importance for indigenous communities living in the surrounding region. It is considered a sacred site by some local indigenous groups.
In light of its volcanic activity and the potential hazards it poses, safety measures and contingency plans are in place to protect nearby populations from potential eruptions.
Day 1: Bogota
Arrival to Bogota
You will be picked up at the airport in Bogota and driven to your hotel.
The bilingual guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport.
Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Bogota.
Day 2: Bogota
Full day City tour Paloquemao, Monserrate, Museums and La Candelaria
Your first stop will be Paloquemao, an emblematic place for supplying families and businesses in Bogota. It offers with the highest quality a great variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat, groceries, dairy products, herbs and much more. There, our Colombian tradition and culture is preserved and proudly represented by offering a unique sensory experience with all the colors, smells and most delicious flavors that come from all regions of Colombia. Then you will visit ‘La Candelaria’ neighborhood and the historic center of Bogotá, full of colorful colonial buildings and stone streets. During the tour you will visit The Gold Museum and the Botero Museum, both in La Candelaria. The Gold Museum is the place to discover the largest collection of pre-Hispanic goldsmithing in the world, with approximately 34,000 pieces of gold and about 25,000 objects in ceramics, stone, bone and textiles made by several Colombian indigenous cultures, this Museum close on Tuesdays. In the Botero Museum, you will find a large art collection donated by the famous local artist Fernando Botero, including 87 pieces of universal art and 123 works made by Botero himself. Pieces from international artists such as Renoir, Monet, Degas, Dalí, Pissarro, Bonnard, among others, are present in the museum.
Finally, you will visit the Sanctuary of Monserrate, which is the most iconic point of the city and the main tourist attraction. It sits at 3,150 meters (10,334 feet) above the sea level, therefore, it offers spectacular views of the city. To climb the mountain, you can take the cable car or walk along the trail.
Day 3: Bogota – Caldas
You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel.
The bilingual guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport.
Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Colombia.
Day 4: Caldas
Half Day Coffee Tour
This coffee farm near Manizales has vast coffee fields and picturesque native trees and water springs. Here, you will be immersed in the landscape and culture of Colombian coffee, appreciating the process from the seed to the harvest by a walking tour through the plantations. You will learn about the origin, history, the different coffee varieties and qualities, as well as you will identify the aromas and features of coffee. You will have the chance to taste and see the beans with different grades of roasting to experience the different aromas, as the roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that are locked inside the coffee beans.
Day 5: Caldas
Full Day Hiking Nevado Ruiz
You will be picked up by a driver to Los Nevados National Park, approximately two hours from the hotel, upon arrival you will be accompanied during the tour by a local guide, who will take you to 4 stops where he will explain the ecosystems that you will encounter. To help you adapt to the altitude and climate you will be given a hot cup of coca tea to help you avoid altitude sickness, finally after visiting the mystical area around Los Nevados National Park and enjoying a delicious lunch, you will arrive at Tierra Viva hot springs to take a bath in hot water, where you can also find 10 species of hummingbirds that visit the feeders installed in the main garden.
Day 6: Caldas
Transfer to Nido del Condor
You will be picked up at your hotel and drive to the hotel Nido del Condor.
Day 7: Caldas
Condor’s Nest Tour
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your hotel guide and taken to your tour. You will hike for about 40 minutes to reach a local peasant house where you can drink coffee cooked on firewood, be told stories of the place and what it is like to live among the mountains and birds. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to be close to the perches where the condors nest, where if you are lucky you will be able to see the first flights of the day of these great birds. This tour has a duration of 2.5 hours with a moderate level of hiking.
Day 8: Caldas – Departure
Today is the last day of your trip. Depending on the hour of your flight, a car will pick you up at your hotel and bring you to the airport.