From the Pacific Ocean to Andean mountaintops, sparkling sand beaches to mystical cloud forests, and from rural villages to bustling ports, this very special women’s adventure tour to Colombia in October of 2018 offers “a little of a lot”, and “a lot of a little” – from rafting, wildlife and botany, to cooking and hiking in this Andean paradise!
Colombia contains 59 designated areas which are nationally-protected and its biodiversity and ecological richness rank it second in the world behind Brazil. As of 2016, the country of Colombia in South America hosted habitats for 56,343 species with 9,153 endemic to the country. With abundant populations of orchids and birds, plants, amphibians, butterflies and fresh water fish, Colombia is ranked fourth internationally, in terms of the biodiversity of its populations of mammals.
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia and home to 8 million people, is your starting point and is an excellent introduction to Colombia’s art, culture, history, and food. Visit the famous Gold Museum, which houses over 33,000 gold pieces from Colombia’s most relevant pre-Hispanic cultures. For lunch, you try a special Colombian menu, including the best of the “santafereña” gastronomy, local to Bogotá, including the famous “Ajiaco”.
Next, we drive to Villa de Leyva, one of the few towns in Colombia to have preserved much of its original colonial style and architecture. On your way, pass lush, green cattle farms and pastoral scenes. This pastoral village is located in a high altitude valley at 7,050 feet, which was once covered by sea, leaving fossil remains from the Mesozoic Era, some 250 to 65 million years ago.
Onward we head to Iguaque National Park to hike through an Andean cloud forest, a unique ecosystem found in only 28% percent of the world. Over 1,700 species of birds are found in Colombia; look for some of the more exotic ones, including the Toucan Barbette, Mountain Tanagers, and colorful hummingbirds. You will see a variety of cloud forest plants, such as giant tree ferns, large bromeliads, aricacia owers, various types of orchids, and endemic Andean bamboo. Then you learn about local veggies, condiments and spices as you prepare for our cooking class at Verde Olivo Culinary School.
For the next two nights, you will have the chance to explore Barichara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Colombian region of Santander known as “the adventure capital of Colombia”. When you walk through Barichara’s peaceful cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and red-tiled roofs, there is a feeling of going back in time, maintaining the ambiance of the colonial era. Here you will get off the beaten path riding dual suspension mountain bikes, learn about the paper-making process visiting a family run paper factory, hike along the 18th century cobblestone Royal Road, and try your skills at replicating traditional Colombian architecture in a hands-on workshop.
Experience one of the top activities in Santander: whitewater rafting in the Chicamocha Canyon. Set off down the Rio Chicamocha (Chicamocha River) into bouncy but easily manageable Class III rapids. Your professional rafting guides will give you all the tips you need to ensure this a safe yet exhilarating experience. Go AdventureWomen!
On your way to Tayrona National Park, you’ll enjoy an insider’s tour of a private, 3rd-generation, family-owned coffee plantation. The organic shade-grown coffee includes 72 varieties of the 320 in existence. As we enter Tayrona National Park, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain in the world, plunge into the sea like the fingers of a gigantic hand forming beautiful bays and coves. The Park offers magnificent beaches and the relaxing panorama of an intensely blue sea.
Explore this area on foot, witnessing the diverse landscape it has to offer. Hike next to pristine blue water coves and cliffs lined with vivid green wooded areas, sometimes along the beach. Then begin a steep, challenging uphill climb on an ancient stone-paved road through a beautiful cloud forest, with monkeys and exotic birds and bird calls. You will be rewarded with the extensive Tayrona ruins called “El Pueblito,” an incredibly vast system of stone terraces, aqueducts, and round platforms where round stone homes were built. On this latter section of the hike you may see some Kogis, the indigenous group still living in this area, known for their white woven clothing and caps.
Your last stop in Colombia is Cartagena. Founded in 1533, the vast riches plundered by Spanish colonists turned piedra corralina (coral stone) into the most breathtaking city in the New World. Over four hundred and seventy years later, Cartagena’s colonial architecture provides a stunning backdrop to one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the Americas. There’s more to the city than just the picturesque streets. Each corner of “La Heroica,” as the city became known for its rich history of resistance and rebellion, hides a cultural treasure ready to be discovered.
Join AdventureWomen for rafting, wildlife, botany, cooking and hiking in the Andean paradise of Columbia in October 2018!
- Colombia Adventure Travel Tour for Women: Day-by-Day Itinerary
- What’s Included on your Adventure Tour to Colombia
- What to Pack for Your Rafting & Hiking Vacation in Colombia
- Travel Tips & Information: Getting to Bogotá, Colombia
- Detailed Itinerary: Colombia Adventure Tour for Women
- Photograph monkeys, butterflies, orchids, cloud forests, birds, birds, and more birds
- View almost 34,000 gold artifacts preserved from the past
- Get outdoors and get active with mountain biking, hiking, and white-water river rafting (Class II and III, beginners welcome!)
- Tour a family-owned coffee plantation and taste fresh Colombian coffee
- Enjoy feasting on sumptuous Latin American specialties and local cuisine
What You'll See and Do
- Cooking Class
- Cultural Exploration
- Cultural Performances
- Historical Sites
- Local Delicacies
- National Parks
- Natural History
- Spa Element
- Wildlife Viewing