Highlights of Colombia | EF Ultimate Break

Highlights of Colombia

12 Days  •  3 Cities

Why Go?

When we say Colombia has it all, we mean it. Explore big cities (Hello, Bogotá), hike through tropical rainforests, drink all the coffee you can get your hands on, and look deep in thought as you study the array of Spanish Colonial architecture. In Colombia, the colors—both natural and man-made—will stop you in your tracks, the history will captivate you, and the food will make you turn to your neighbor and say “are you gonna finish that?” You want adventure? Colombia’s got it. Relaxation? Yup. Mud volcano? Actually, yes. Saying there’s a lot to do is an understatement. Now get out there and see it. All of it.

What are the top highlights?

  • Hike, zipline, and wave to sloths in Chicaque Natural Park
  • Climb 650 feet to the top of the Rock of Guatapé and score some serious Colombia #views
  • Immerse yourself in Bogotá’s open-air museum AKA street art scene
  • Treat your taste buds to all kinds of Colombian cuisine, and by all kinds of Colombian cuisine we mean arepas
  • Lounge in the sun on a sandy beach and snorkel in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters of Barú Island
  • Take the plunge into an active mud volcano and cover yourself in Colombia’s finest…mud
  • Visit Comuna 13, a once dangerous neighborhood in Medellín that has transformed into a center of art and culture

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private motorcoach
  • 11 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Dinner with food & drinks
  • Dinner on first night in Medellín
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Entrance to national parks, Medellín Botanical Garden & other select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.


Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:


  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Bogotá

Here we go, people. Time to brush up on that Spanish, prep all five of your senses, and board your flight to Bogotá, Colombia.


Today's Highlights:


  • Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
  • Transfer to your hotel, check out your room, and start to meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
  • Settle in for the night and get ready for a full day in Bogotá tomorrow.

Day 2: Tour Bogotá

Has it hit you yet? You’re in Bogotá, Colombia, the third-highest capital city in the world (8,660 ft above sea level). Which makes sense when you realize you’re actually chillin’ in the Andes mountains. One look at the city’s architecture reveals that Bogotá is new and old. It’s lively and peaceful, a true microcosm of Colombia and one of South America’s greatest urban destinations.


Today's Highlights:


  • Join your Tour Director on a tour of La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic quarter.
  • Feast your eyes on the impressive array of (legal) street art and then walk through Bogotá’s (also legal) main square, Plaza Bolívar.
  • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
  • Take the funicular up to Monserrate, a hill that overlooks the city, and enjoy some free time with a side of views.

Free Time Suggestions
Museo del Oro: Have you ever wanted to see 55,000 pieces of gold in one place? It’s your lucky day, because Bogotá’s most popular museum can provide exactly that. It’s not as good as gold. it’s better.
Azahar Café: Colombian coffee is considered some of the best on the globe, supplying 15% of the world’s coffee. You’ve most likely tried Colombian coffee…but have you ever tried it in Colombia? Now’s your chance.


In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Dinner. Enjoy an authentic meal and drinks at one of Bogotá’s renowned restaurants popular for live music and dance.

Day 3: Tour Chicaque Natural Park + Optional Chiva Ride

Yeah rainforests are cool but have you ever been to a cloud forest? These rare habitats stand out from the rest due to the low-level clouds that sit right above the trees. And Chicaque Natural Park is a prime example. Throw on your comfiest walking shoes, eat a good breakfast, and douse yourself in bug spray—you’ve got a front row seat to the nature show: Colombia edition.


Today's Highlights:


  • Arrive at Chicaque Natural Park and join a local guide on a leisurely 2–3-hour hike through the forest.
  • Zipline high above the trees, keeping an eye out for friendly-looking sloths who deserve a courtesy wave at the very least.

Chiva Ride(extra cost)

Have you ever been at the club and said to yourself, “This is great but I wish this club was on wheels.”? With a chiva ride through Bogotá, consider your wish granted. The chiva bus is a colorful, rustic, nightclub on wheels. A live band will join you as your drive around Bogotá, partying your face off with your group. You’ll get two drinks on board, as well as one at the mid-way bar pit stop. If this isn’t the best way to travel around the city, we don’t know what is.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 4: Travel to Medellín & Tour the City

When you hear Medellín, you might think of Pablo Escobar, one of the world’s most infamous drug lords. But trust us when we say that over the last 20 years, Medellin has completely reinvented itself, garnering a reputation as a city of innovation. Plus, it’s nestled in the Aburrá Valley and surrounded by verdant mountains, making Medellín straight-up beautiful.


Today's Highlights:


  • Transfer via bus and plane to Colombia’s second largest city, Medellín.
  • Stop and smell the roses at the Botanical Garden of Medellín.
  • Walk through Botero Plaza, where you’ll find 23 sculptures by Colombian artist, Fernando Botero (perhaps you know his work from the ever-popular “y tho” meme).
  • Put your skills to the test during a graffiti workshop and dance lesson.
  • Enjoy an included dinner with your group at a local spot.

Day 5: Tour Guatapé and the Rock of Guatapé

You know those big boxes of crayons you always wanted as a kid? The ones with ever color imaginable? Well once you step foot in Guatapé, you’ll forget all about those crayon dreams because this town might just be the most colorful place you’ve ever seen.


Today's Highlights:


  • Hop on the bus and head to Guatapé, where you’ll spend the day trying to figure out how one town could possibly be so colorful.
  • Climb the 740 steps of the Rock of Guatapé for insanely picturesque views of the lake and town below.
  • Work on that friendly but effective splash as you kayak around the man-made lake with your group.

Day 6: Free Day in Medellin or Optional Coffee Plantation & Whitewater Rafting

Ahh, time to relax. Or not, it’s totally up to you. Spend the day exploring the city of Medellín and treating your taste buds to as many Colombian dishes as you can find, or opt in for a caffeine—and adrenaline—fueled day touring a coffee plantation and rafting down a river. Two options. No wrong answer.


Free Time Suggestions
Pueblito Paisa: This landmark is culture meets history meets your Instagram feed. Pueblito Paisa is a replica of a typical turn-of-the-century town, and it happens to be located at the top of Nutibarra Hill, which is the perfect spot to score some panoramas of Medellin.
Arepas: Foodies unite: the arepa is quintessential Colombian food and you have to try it. Luckily it won’t take long to stumble upon your fair share of these tortilla-pancake hybrids. Some have cheese. Some have meat. All are delicious.

Coffee Plantation & Whitewater Rafting (extra cost)

Learn how coffee goes from plant to bean to brew during a visit to a Colombian coffee plantation. If you’re planning on feeling sleepy at any time during this trip, today would be the day. Shop for local coffee until you drop, and then drink more coffee. And once you’re nice and energized, it’s time to change gears and get your whitewater rafting on. Lunch is included.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 7: Travel to Santa Marta + Optional Salsa Dance Lesson

You’ve spent quite a bit of time inland during the last six days, so it’s about time you hit the coast. Colombia’s Caribbean coast is one of the country’s most alluring destinations, and you’re about to find out why.


Today's Highlights:


  • Fly from Medellin to the coastal city of Santa Marta.
  • Settle in to your hotel and join your Tour Director for an introductory walk of the city.

Free Time Suggestions
Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino: This is where Simon Bolivar, the man responsible for liberating Colombia from the Spanish empire, spent his final days. Today, it’s a museum where visitors can learn about one of the most influential men in Colombian history.
Parque de Los Novios: If you’re looking for a spot where the locals hang out, this square is it. You’ll find vendors, along with plenty of restaurants and cafes. If nothing else, it’s a great place to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of Santa Marta.

Salsa Dance Lesson(extra cost)

Fact: Colombians love to dance. And your trip wouldn’t be complete without a Salsa dance lesson. First, sit back and watch the professionals shake their…everything, and then partake in a group lesson. Start warming up your hips because once you’re there, you’re hitting up the pista (dance floor). Don’t be afraid to go all out; what happens on the Salsa dance floor, stays on the Salsa dance floor.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 8: Tour Tayrona National Park

Another day, another national park at your disposal. Long stretches of pristine beach on the coast, lush rainforests just behind, and if you look up—the world’s highest coastal mountain range, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. You know what they say…so many diverse ecosystems, so little time.


Today's Highlights:


  • Enjoy a panoramic bus tour of Tayrona National Park, with stops at some of the park’s top highlights.
  • Snap the perfect photo of the sea at 7 waves beach.
  • Gawk at the crystal-clear water at Neguanje, the largest beach bay in the area.
  • Hop on a boat and take a quick ride to Crystal Beach where you can snorkel to your heart’s content.

Day 9: Travel to Cartagena via Volcan de Lodo El Totumo

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, another Colombian city beckons: Cartagena (pronounced “carta-hey-na”). But before you get there, make some time for a nice relaxing bath…in the mouth of a volcano…that’s filled with mud. Locals say the mud in Volcan de Lodo el Totumo has therapeutic health benefits. Whether or not that’s true, everyone can agree that taking a volcanic mud bath in Colombia is an experience not to be missed.


Today's Highlights:


  • Say buh-bye to Santa Marta as you begin the journey to the final city on your Colombian adventure.
  • Grab your favorite bathing suit—and then put it somewhere safe while you get one you don’t care about for a one-of-a-kind bath in a mud volcano.
  • Wash off the mud (but not the memories) and continue to Cartagena, where your Tour Director will give you a brief walking tour of the Bocagrande neighborhood.

Day 10: Tour Cartagena + Optional Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of old and new as strong as it is in Cartagena. There’s the beachside neighborhood of Bocagrande with an array of high-rise hotels and restaurants, and then there’s the historic Old Town, home to walls and structures that are over 500 years old. This contrast of ancient and modern is what makes Cartagena one of the most popular places to visit in Colombia.


Today's Highlights:


  • Walk through Cartagena’s Old Town with a local guide.
  • Visit the Church of San Pedro Claver, named after a priest who became the patron saint of slaves after dedicating his life to alleviating the suffering of slaves arriving in Cartagena.
  • Stare in awe at the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, considered to be the greatest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies.

Free Time Suggestions
The Walls of Cartagena: The Old Town walls were built in the 1500s by the Spaniards to keep pirates from attacking. And due to exemplary preservation efforts, they look pretty darn good for 500 years old. Feel that cool, ocean breeze as you walk along the larger sections of the wall.
Getsemaní: If you want to go where the cool kids go, Gersemani is the place for you. There’s street food (hello, arepas), dance halls, live music, and tons of friendly locals to show you how it’s done.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise(extra cost)

When the sunset’s on its way, the catamarans will play. Hop aboard a boat that’s actually two boats in-one, grab a drink or two (included) and prepare to be dazzled by the unbeatable spectacle of the sun going down over Cartagena Bay. And when you’re not being hypnotized by the sun, make sure to give views of the city skyline and the Old Town some love.


Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

Day 11: Visit Barú Island + Farewell Dinner

Your final full day in Colombia should be one to remember. Which is why you’re going to spend it on an island paradise, Barú Island. Once you arrive, you’ve got some decisions to make. Is it a lounge by the beach kind of day? Or an action-packed, swimming and snorkeling kind of day? The choice is yours.


Today's Highlights:


  • Travel by speedboat on your way to sunny Barú Island.
  • Enjoy a full day in paradise doing everything from beach lounging and hammock napping, to snorkeling and swimming.
  • Chow down on an included lunch with nothing but time and beach beauty on your side.

Farewell Dinner
Share some laughs and any stories you may have missed along the way at this included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 12: Fly Home

¡Adiós, amigos!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.


EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS


1. Double the fun
Many of our trips line up back to back. Give us a call and we’ll help you add another destination—and save big while you’re at it.


2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy. During checkout, you’ll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We’ll adjust your flights accordingly, but you’ll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside the tour.


Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

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61 people have priced this trip today.

Date: November 3, 2020
    Travel Protection
    Excursions
Trip Fee$3389
Total Price with Flights $3389

Stress-free Booking You have 48 hours to cancel and receive a full refund. You can also switch trips up to 99 days before you leave.

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