Bogota - Caño Cristales - Cartagena - Islands - 13 days
A sample, upscale itinerary focusing on the out of ordinary experiences and small, boutique type of properties for a more intimate experience
Remember that the Caño Cristales season starts 15 June and ends in November!
Day 1: Bogota
You will have a private transfer with an English-speaking guide from the airport to your selected hotel in Bogotá.
Please be aware of the sign with your name on it.
You will spend the night at Hotel BOG in a Business Suite Room.
Included: bottle of water , arrival transfer , English speaking guide , breakfast , room
Day 2: Bogota - Breaking Borders
Learn more about the impressive history of a group of locals from the Egipto district of Bogotá. In deciding to leave their criminal past behind, they launched the Breaking Borders initiative, which takes tourists through its streets filled with works of art telling the history of the district. In this way, tourism has created a real alternative for their personal and professional development and opened the doors to a better future.
The tour starts with your local guide in La Candelaria, the birthplace of Bogotá. There you will learn more about the project over a cup of coffee or an Agua panela before going to Nuestra Señora de Egipto, the church at the entrance to Barrio Egipto.
Calle Real or Royal Street, once the only connection between people and the city, takes you deeper into the neighbourhood. Your guide will then stop with you in El Cuadrado, a central point in the history of gang fighting in the region. Once a strategic point for controlling the gangs' territory, this place is now painted with images that tell of the history and new values of the people.
As you walk uphill through the colorful streets of the neighborhood, you will see first hand how the area has changed and become a place of hope, peace and culture. Along the way you can see the history of the people represented in impressive graffiti art. You will find that the community is still underdeveloped and struggling with access to basic utilities. Despite these conditions, this place is full of life thanks to the warmth, joy and desire of the people that their children fight for their dreams.
You will spend the night at Hotel BOG in a Business Suite Room.
Included: English speaking guide, insurance, snack, breakfast, room
Day 3: Bogota- Zipaquira- Bogota
You will be taken by private transport from Bogotá to the small town of Zipaquirá, which is about 1.5 to 2 hours away.
The Salt Cathedral was built in a quiet part of a still active salt mine. On entering the salt mine you can still admire the salt crystals that have formed on the walls. The tour is divided into two parts, the first part is based on the story of Jesus Christ. The second part of the tour takes you to the impressive part of the salt mine where the actual cathedral was built. Marvel at how the huge galleries were converted and now form a capelin.
After your visit to the Salt Cathedral you will be taken back to Bogota to enjoy a coffee experience at San Alberto Coffee Shop. A coffee experience for the awakening of the senses, where we teach you to appreciate and to enjoy the particular attributes of the Colombian coffee.You will have a unique experience starting with :
You will spend the night at Hotel BOG in a Business Suite Room.
Included: driver/guide , transport (private) , English speaking guide , entrance fees , local guide , breakfast , room
Day 4:Bogota- La Macarena - Rainbow River Caño Cristales
You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Bogotá. Domestic flight Bogota - La Macarena (Charter)
Welcome at the airport in La Macarena and transfer to the office to get a brief introduction about the National Park. Afterwards we will go to the Maniguas Lodge, check in, refill our water bottles and get ready for our first hike. We will go to board a wooden canoe and leave to our first visit of the trip: the rainbow river Caño Cristales.
The trip goes upstream, were we can watch the fauna on the riverbanks until we reach our first stop after about 20 minutes, a small farm from where we will begin our first hike to the viewpoint. This walk takes about 25 minutes. At the top our guide will tell us more about the ecosystems of La Macarena and its social history. We will then either have lunch (depending on the time) or go on a 45 minute walk to the Caño Cristales where you can have a swim and have your first contact with the Macarenia clavigera, the famous plant which gives the river its colors.
We then walk back to the our canoe (45 minutes) and get transferred back to the La Manigua Lodge (15 minutes) where will have a free afternoon to relax and watch the monkeys before dinner at the Lodge.
Included: bottle of water , departure transfer , domestic flight , English speaking guide , private excursion , full board , local guide , room , transport (private)
Day 5: La Macarena - Rainbow River Caño Cristales
Our day starts early, and we leave between 7 to 9 am (assigned by the National Parks at random) to start our second day in this beautiful destination. We will be transferred again by canoe (15 minutes) to our starting point, from where we go into the Sierra de La Macarena (40 minutes) by 4x4 to arrive at the National Parks reception center.
From there we will walk to the Caño Cristales and spend our day (approx. 7 hours) there walking the trail, having lunch, swimming in the natural pools and taking lots of pictures of the wonderful river landscape. In the afternoon we will have a workshop with our neighbors on how to prepare chocolate using cocoa fruits as raw. Dinner will be served at the La Manigua Lodge.
Included: Activity , English speaking guide , private excursion , full board , local guide , room , transport (private)
Day 6: La Macarena
Our third day here starts the same way as the others by first having a nice breakfast in the lodge and then take of by boat and 4x4 to arrive to our starting point. Today we will take a different way and hike for 30 minutes were the majestic rivers enter into the jungle and give the water an intense green coloring, very different then the colors we have experienced the day before. We will have again the full day to enjoy our stay here. In the afternoon we take the same route back to start with our cultural afternoon activity that should not be missed. We are sure that you will love it! Dinner awaits you as usual at the lodge.
Included: Activity , breakfast , domestic flight , English speaking guide , private excursion , local guide , transport (private)
Day 7: La Macarena- Bogota- Cartagena
Our last day depends on the flight schedule you have. Normally we take a walk after breakfast (about 15 minutes) until we reach our horses which will take us through the plains to the Caño Piedra, another small arm of the river. Depending on the remaining time we can have a swim in the crystal clear waters before returning and then have time for lunch before heading off once again to the airport to go to our next adventure
Domestic flight La Macarena - Bogotá. Domestic flight from Bogota to Cartagena
You will have a private transfer with English-speaking guide from the airport to your selected hotel in Cartagena (Centro or Bocagrande). Please be aware of the sign with your name on it.
Included: domestic flight , transport (private) , English speaking guide
Day 8: Cartagena Walking City Tour (Historic Center)
Cartagena de Indias is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in America. Its historic center, walled by fortifications built in the colonial period, retains its original architecture and displays a full-color palette that fills it with Caribbean life and joy. Its fascinating history as "The Pearl of the Caribbean“ in Hispanic times, a storehouse for great treasures, and slave port of the colonies in America, was of important influence to this patrimonial “city of humanity”. The stories of numerous pirate attacks are present in each of the fortifications that remain intact today.
Our Walking City Tour starts from any hotel in the historic center. In a tour of 3 hours we cover the Plaza de San Diego, the Plaza Fernandez of Madrid, the Park Bolivar, the Plaza de los coches and the Plaza Santo Domingo. We also get to walk on the walls and visit the bastions of Santo Domingo and San Francisco Javier, where we will learn all about the history and defense strategy of the city. We get to see the most illustrative streets and their legends, and we visit the most important churches such as the Cathedral San Pedro Claver and Santo Domingo.
Included: private excursion , local guide , insurance , English speaking guide
Day 9: Cartagena- Islas de San Bernardo
You have a private transfer from your hotel to the harbour in Cartagena. Then Boat from Cartagena to Mucura . You will spend the night at Hotel Punta Faro, in a Junior Suite with ocean view.
Day 10-11 : Islas de San Bernardo
Included: full board , room , breakfast
Day 12: Cartagena
Private transfer from the harbour to your selected hotel in Cartagena. Please be aware of the sign with your name on it.
Tonight you will have dinner in a local restaurant. Included: transport (private) , drinks
Day 13: Cartagena
You will have a private transfer with English-speaking guide from your hotel to the airport in Cartagena.
2020 price per person in US$, double occupancy: $3720, including domestic flights (prices can change)
Prices without the Colombian VAT (19%)
The prices shown are without the extra 19% VAT on top as foreign tourists do not have to pay this tax. We can therefore only guarantee this price if we have copies of the passengers´ passports as proof of their nationality.
LA MANIGUA LODGE allows you to experiment the same comfort of your home in the middle of the natural scenario that surrounds the most beautiful river in the world, Caño Cristales. Our accommodations are completely immersed inside the tropical forest of La Serranía de la Macarena, surrounded by birdsongs and the curiosity of the squirrel monkeys and other species.
We understand and value the dynamics of the forest and it's biodiversity, that's why we protect every tree and every organism that coexists with us. LA MANIGUA LODGE prioritizes low impact on the surrounding forest by using renewable energies and building sustainable constructions, and as reward we get the protection of the trees against the strong winds and the burning sun, and the company of different wild species.
At LA MANIGUA LODGE you will find a space to get excited, reactivate your senses, relax and be amazed with whatever nature wants to show you during your visit. In this natural scene you are our major concern, your senses and emotions are our priority and your experience is our pride.
They have 3 family cabins, each one with one double bed, 2 single beds and an additional bed for children under 12. Each bed has its own mosquito net. They also have 2 couble cabins, each one with one queen bed and a single bed, each bed with its own mosquito net.
Services: Private bathroom/ Open shower / Solar energy / Amenities: Towels, blankets, biodegradable body soap and shampoo / biodegradable repellent / Medium net / Guaranteed relaxation / Sounds of nature / Pure air.
Hotel Punta Faro Islas de San Bernardo
Punta Faro´s private beach has an amazing blend of white sand and quartz creating a dazzling kaleidoscopic view. Punta Faro´s goal is to provide you with outstanding service. This is reflected in the way we relate to our guests. It is heartfelt and spontaneous from the soul. Simply put, we love what we do.
To staff Punta Faro, we draw from the residents of the local community. They are warm, kind and friendly and always willing to make the extra effort to make you feel special.
You will find genuine smiles and helpful gestures from our staff that reflect the purity of the land.
Hotel Las Islas, Isla Baru
Furthermore, there are comfortable golf carts, that will help you from the small harbor to your cabin with your luggage. Our high-class spa with professional staff is there for you and offers a big variety of treatments. On the island you can find further optional activities like kayak, snorkeling, diving and stand-up paddleboard and there are yoga classes as well as a fitness studio.
This hotel can be best described by a jungle adventure on the Caribbean coast line. For that it is the perfect place for nature lovers and people that love luxury accommodation!
The boat ride takes about 1 hour from/to Cartagena and the boat leaves Cartagena at 11am and returns from the island at 12pm which means they arrive in Cartagena around 1pm. There is also the possibility to offer flexible transfer times – in this case clients would drive to another port about 1 hour from Cartagena and take the boat for just about 15 minutes– or you just arrive directly by helicopter (additional costs apply for both options)!