Hike, Bike and Raft Colombia

11 - 14 Days
DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

12 Years

£ 3395

Discover Adventure In The Colombian Andean Mountains

The Hike, Bike and Raft Colombia trip allows us to discover adventure sport in the Colombian Andean Mountains as well as take in the vibrant Colombian culture and the country’s fascinating history. We’ll get the chance to hike and bike through world-renowned Andean Páramo, raft the famous Chicamocha river, hike and bike into the second biggest canyon in the world, hike within a stunning piece of Colombian jungle forest, discover the Caribbean coast, visit beautiful colonial villages as well as explore the cites of Bogota and Cartagena.

Price £3,395 / $4,250

Based on 2 pax. Excludes international flights.

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Day by Day

Upon your arrival to Bogotá we´ll transfer you to your hotel. Bogota is one of the most important cities in South America, settled in an Andean savanna and connected to the Caribbean by the great Magdalena River. Bogota was once the main trade centre between South America and Europe – Visit the colonial quarters to learn about its Spanish and pre– Columbian heritage. We can look forward to learning a lot more about Bogota during tomorrow’s excursion around the city!

Overnight – Hotel

We’ll start our day by walking along the Carrera Séptima, which passes through many of Bogota’s main points of interest; our guides who we’ll be walking alongside, will provide us with interesting facts about Bogotá, as well as Colombia’s history and culture. During the tour we’ll visit the gold museum of Bogotá which is a top attraction in the city where we can see more than 34,000 pieces of pre-Columbian gold as well as learn about the heritage of the ancient civilizations. We’ll also have time to admire the renowned beautiful graffiti art of the city.

Following our tour of Bogotá excursion we will leave the city and make our way to the Salt Mines of Nemocón, a place off the beaten path where we will experience the mining process used in order to extract this mineral from the mountains. The mines are very well preserved and are made up of a unique assortment of tunnels and chambers. Afterwards, we will continue to make our way to the quaint Villa de Leyva, one of the enchanting patrimonial villages of Colombia and our last destination for today.

Overnight – Hotel

This morning we will visit Iguaque National Park, a 6,750 hectare flora and fauna sanctuary. Iguaque was a sacred site to the Muisca indigenous people, according to their legends mankind originated in the Iguaque Lake. We will explore a section of the cloud forest reserve on the lookout for some of the hundreds of species of orchids, bromeliads, lichens and ferns, many of them endemic. We will also be searching for many of the rare tropical birds which we will be hearing during our walk. In the afternoon, we will prepare our mountain bikes and explore the area around Villa de Leyva. We will be riding through the beautiful countryside along dirt trails and lazy paved roads. Eventually we will reach the Paleontological Museum which displays the most important assortment of fossils in South America and the most complete Kronosaurus fossil known to date. Our ride ends at El Monasterio, a Dominican historic building with a collection of religious and colonial art.

Overnight – Hotel

Barichara awaits us, but not before we stop at the town of Socorro. Socorro is a well preserved colonial settlement, where we’ll enjoy a typical breakfast of Arepas Santandereanas – to further immerse ourselves in the local culture.

Our journey today will continue to the waterfall of Juan Curí surrounded by a stunning cloud forest, where you can either walk around the area and enjoy the nature or even practice some thrilling waterfall rappelling – a must-do for adrenalin junkies. This remarkable waterfall stands at 180m high and at its base lies a natural pool, perfect for a swim. After our Juan Curí adventure we will then make our way to the colonial town of Barichara where adventure meets tranquility, in the early evening we will be walking along the streets of this colonial village. This perfectly preserved and charming colonial town is famed for its unique cobbled streets, colonial architecture, and picturesque chapels.

Overnight – Hotel

Today is guaranteed to be a real action-packed Colombian adventure. Our spectacular mountain bike ride starts at 6,000 feet (2,000 meters) and dives down into the second largest canyon in the world, the Chicamocha Canyon “The Grand Canyon of South America”. Passing waterfalls, coffee and tobacco farms, we will be riding to Jordan, a historic pueblo (town) 1000 feet above sea level. This is one place most tourists don’t have an opportunity to see! Here we stop at a refreshing natural pool to cool off, have a swim and enjoy a fantastic lunch.

After our lunch, we will experience one of the top activities in Santander – Whitewater Rafting.  We’ll be leaving our bikes behind in order to conquer the Chicamocha River. Here we will experience the thrilling rapids and huge waves, starting with some Class III’s and getting increasingly larger until the last section of Class IV’s. Rafters have been known to experience huge waves, depending on the weather and the water levels. However, this is nothing to be afraid of; as in the case of wipe-outs, there are pools at the end of each rapid which makes this river a safe, commercial-grade run.

Overnight – Hotel

Our morning will be spent hiking through some of the area’s most incredible scenery and exploring one of the region’s historical and architectural gems. We’ll hike along the famous Royal Road (Main Andean Road), a historic trail that was  originally built by the Guane Indigenous people. During the colonial period, the trail was rebuilt in stone by the Spanish Crown to gain access to the Atlantic for the export of gold and exotic South American products. This scenic trail has been declared a National Monument and has preserved its authentic feel. This easy walking hike will be framed by old stone walls and a classic farmland backdrop. Along the walk we will encounter great views and good birding opportunities, as a high concentration of species feed and inhabit this area.

Arriving in Guane is like stepping back in time and into a dreamlike atmosphere. Although the original inhabitants are nowhere to be found, the remains of their culture indicate a truly majestic past and uniquely leave the town suspended in time. We will learn a lot more about the extinct Guane culture at the anthropology museum as well as marvelling at the evolution of the town from pre-hispanic, to colonial, to modern times.

Continuing on we will make our way to the charming Hacienda el Roble. Here we will gain an insight into how Colombia’s famous coffee is produced, starting from the seed; along with a fascinating walk around its beautiful grounds and plantation. A coffee-lover’s paradise, this coffee hacienda is home to some of Colombia’s greatest coffee!

Overnight – Hotel

Today we will be leaving this region and making our way to Santa Marta on the stunning Caribbean coast of Colombia. Upon arrival we will transfer to our beach hotel which will take around an hour and a half, as it’s located in the region of Tayrona. The rest of our day can be spent on the beach taking in the dramatic Caribbean coastline, at our leisure.

Overnight – Hotel

Today finds us at Tayrona National Park, a paradise Caribbean jungle which stretches along the coastline. We will be walking along several steep and rough trails through the tropical rainforest before arriving at the beach area of Arrecifes, which offers outstanding coastal scenery.

Our hike will be continuing towards the area of Arenilla Beaches and the natural swimming pool, then onto Cabo San Juan where we’ll be able to enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea with white sandy beaches.

Overnight – Hotel

Today we’ll be leaving the region of the Tayrona National Park and be making our way to the city of Cartagena, further along the Caribbean coastline. Before reaching Cartagena we’ll make a stop for lunch at the restaurant La Cueva in the city of Barranquilla, a place of which has encountered much fame as it is where the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez started his novel “Hundred years of solitude”.

Upon reaching our new destination of Cartagena, we will get to explore the city by bike and discover the undiscovered gems of Cartagena. We’ll get to know the area of Getsemani very well during our stay in the city – It’s Cartagena’s new up-and-coming neighbourhood with its narrow streets featuring bright Caribbean colours, people welcoming us to their city on every corner and the best places to eat, drink and dance. Getsemani is certainly a best place to soak up the vibrant Colombian culture.

Overnight – Hotel

We’ll start our day with a visit to the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, a masterpiece of Spanish architecture built to defend the city. We’ll then visit the Monastery of “La Popa”, a church located in the highest place of the city where we can experience a 360° view of Cartagena. They’ll be many other places to admire and sight-see during our exploration of the city.

Afterwards, we will make our way back to the walled city and walk the streets to find the very best street food Cartagena has to offer. Amongst the food on offer will be the famous “arepas” which can’t be missed, along with the taste of the Colombian sweets – el “Portal de los dulces”, among many other specialties of the Caribbean region.

Overnight – Hotel

Day 11 means that it’s sadly time to end our Colombian Hike, Bike and Rafting adventure. We will be transferred to the airport and assisted with our onward journey. For those returning to the UK, we can arrange an extension for a domestic flight to Bogota.

This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes and inclement weather.

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