Trip Overview

From the Pacific Ocean to Andean mountaintops, sparkling sand beaches to mystical cloud forests, and from rural villages to bustling ports, head out on this active exploration of the best Colombia has to offer with your fellow AdventureWomen travelers.

Start your adventure in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where you’ll meet your group and begin to explore the culture, art, history, and food of the region. Your expert Colombian guide will teach you about the mix of colonial and contemporary history, and the spectacular cuisine of the area, and show you multiple unique ecosystems throughout your adventure. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure, and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way!

Bogotá, Villa de Leyva to Barichara

Villa de Leyva is one of the few towns in Colombia to have preserved much of its original colonial style and architecture. The streets and large central square are paved with cobblestones, and many buildings date from the 16th century. The valley in which Villa de Leyva sits is rich in fossils, and many fossils were used as decoration in the original buildings in the area. Walk the streets, and eat local food including the best of the “santafereña” gastronomy.

Hike about three hours through 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. Replenish yourself with more local Colombian dishes and learn to prepare some throuh a farm-based cooking school.

Stop in Villanueva, the village just before Barichara, where you’ll hop on a bike for a mellow ride to a coffee hacienda. Taste Colombian coffee and learn why local coffee is ranked as one of the best in the world.

Hike on the famous 18th-century cobblestone Royal Road, starting near your hotel in Barichara, and ending at the small village of Guane. Your three-hour hike on this excellent old road is a birdwatcher’s delight.

Pack up your bags and put on your bathing suits; it’s time to whitewater raft! Learn the ropes and safety procedures from your professional rafting guides, and then hop on your rafts to start paddling! The Class II and III rapids on this river are exciting, and the scenery as you float through the canyon is unparalleled. After seven miles of soaking in the views of verdant riverbanks, you’ll take a cable car over Chicamocha Canyon. The views from the cable car are unforgettable, and it saves you the time and twists of driving down one side of the canyon and up the other!

Bucaramanga, Tayrona National Park to Cartagena

Leave the highlands and fly to Santa Marta, home to Tayrona National Park, famous not only for its natural beauty but also as the home of the famous Tayrona tribe in the 6th and 7th centuries. Drive from the airport to your hotel for some well-deserved downtime; soak in the pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea, or stroll down to the beach to dip your toes in the ocean before savoring dinner as a group while the sun sets. Spend a full day hiking along the beach and around coves, through cloud forest searching for monkeys and colorful birds, and then to the indigenous community of Seydukwa. You’ll have a chance to sit down with a local woman and learn about community life along the sea.

You can’t visit Colombia without a stop in Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your way there, stop for a Caribbean lunch at La Cueva, known as the restaurant where Gabriela Garcia Marquez started to write the famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. When you enter the walled city of Cartagena, set out on a street food tour, tasting dishes famous with locals. Before leaving Cartagena, grab your sunglasses and head out to explore the famous landmarks in the city. Enjoy one last lively dinner as a group where you can reminisce over the active and interesting experiences you’ve had on this adventure.

Experience the joys of being active in unique ecosystems, tasting interesting and varied food, and learning about the history and culture of Colombia on this multifaceted adventure!

Main Attractions

  •  Explore well-preserved colonial-era Colombian town centers and learn about the preservation of traditional architecture
  • Hike through cloud forests, along beaches, and visit an indigenous community
  • Bike and white-water river raft (beginners welcome!)
  • Enjoy feasting on sumptuous Latin American specialties and local cuisine

What You'll See and Do

  • Cooking Class
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Hiking
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • Sightseeing
  • Spa Element
  • UNESCO Site
  • Walking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Bogotá

During your adventure, you’ll get to know your expert Colombian guide, who will teach you about the mix of colonial and contemporary history, the spectacular cuisine of the area, and show you multiple unique ecosystems throughout your adventure. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure, and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way!

Arrive in Bogotá, Colombia (BOG) today before 2:00pm. You will be picked up at the Bogotá airport and transferred to your hotel.

Get to know your guide, your AdventureWomen Ambassador, and your fellow travelers over a delicious welcome dinner this evening.

Dinner

Overnight: Hotel de La Opera

Day 2

Bogotá to Villa de Leyva

Walk in the heart of old, historic Bogotá, known as La Candelaria, which is home to a great number of restored 300-year old homes and public buildings. Visit Plaza Bolivar, the San Francisco Church, the lively pedestrian street “Calle 11” bursting with local restaurants (some family-owned for eight generations), and perhaps the 17th-century Santa Clara Convent.

Visit the famous Gold Museum, which houses over 33,000 gold pieces from Colombia’s most relevant pre-Hispanic cultures. Learn about how they used gold in political and social occasions, their metallurgical techniques, and as expressions of their Cosmo vision, myths, and offerings. 

For lunch you will try a special menu, including the best of the “santafereña” gastronomy, local from Bogotá, including the famous Ajiaco.

After lunch, drive about four hours to the lovely colonial town of Villa de Leyva, passing lush, green cattle farms and pastoral scenes. Stop briefly at Boyaca Bridge, site of the decisive battle of August 7, 1819, that secured independence for Colombia from the Spanish monarchy. Enjoy dinner this evening in the spacious Plaza de Armas and its beautifully lit Cathedral.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel La Posada de San Antonio

Day 3

Villa de Leyva
Drive north for about 45 minutes to Las Carcavas. Hike about three hours through 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.

Sample a variety of Colombian dishes for lunch. This afternoon, you’ll learn to prepare some of these dishes at a farm-based cooking school!

Enjoy dinner with the group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel La Posada de San Antonio

Day 4

Villa de Leyva to Barichara
Drive through pastoral green countryside, cattle farms, and small family homes to Barichara. After passing the steep canyon walls and cloud forest, arrive in the region called Santander, known as the adventure capital of Colombia. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way. The stunningly wellconserved colonial town of Barichara, known for its preservation of 18th-century homes and public buildings welcomes you this afternoon.

Stop in Villanueva, the village just before Barichara, where you’ll hop on a bike for a mellow ride to a coffee hacienda. Taste Colombian coffees and learn why the local coffee is ranked as one of the best in the world.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Hicasua

Day 5

Barichara

Hike on the famous 18th-century cobblestone Royal Road this morning, starting near your hotel in Barichara, and ending at the small village of Guane. Your three-hour hike on this excellent old road is a birdwatcher’s delight. Begin in bosque seco (dry forest), and hopefully see parakeets, tanagers, smooth-billed anis, sparrows, finches, vermilioncatchers, red-capped cardinals, and mot mots. Over the hike, you will descend about 1,000 feet to Guane, a lovely and quaint rural town. Enjoy lunch in Guane.

Visit a family-run paper factory to learn about the papermaking process from plant extraction to the finished product. 

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. 

Meet a local engineer who works to rescue, preserve, and promote traditional architectural techniques that are no longer practiced or are in danger of disappearing. With his colleagues at the newly founded Terrarium Creative Organization, Santiago designs and promotes the architectural cultural patrimony of the region, designing ecologically efficient homes for the upper-middleclass, using local materials and techniques. Enjoy a hands-on workshop, trying your best to recreate the tapia pisada, bahareque, and mud adobe brick walls.

Enjoy dinner and a performance of the local music of the Santander region.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Hicasua

Day 6

Barichara to Bucaramanga
Experience one of the top activities in Santander: whitewater rafting. After a safety briefing, set off down the Fonce River into the Class II rapids. Your professional rafting guides will make this a safe yet exhilarating experience. Go AdventureWomen!

Ride a cable car over Chicamocha Canyon. The views from the cable car are unforgettable, and it saves you the time and twists of driving down one side of the canyon and up the other!

Enjoy dinner as a group in Bucaramanga this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight:Hotel Dann Carlton Cucaramanga

Day 7

Bucaramanga to Tayrona National Park

Fly from Bucaramanga to Santa Marta.

Head out of Santa Marta and drive to your hotel near Tayrona National Park. Settle into your beautiful hotel and perhaps explore the beach or just relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Enjoy lunch and dinner with the group today.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Casa Barlovento Hotel

Day 8

Tayrona National Park
Spend a full day hiking along the beach and around coves, through cloud forest searching for monkeys and colorful birds, and then to the indigenous community of Seydukwa. You’ll have a chance to sit down with a local woman and learn about community life along the sea.

After your full day of exploring, take a dip in the pool, have a cocktail, or read a book before savoring dinner as a group.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Casa Barlovento Hotel

Day 9

Tayrona to Cartagena
Drive on one of Colombia’s main coastal roads for about four hours to Cartagena de Indias, a city that combines centuries of history and culture within its walls. The landing of thousands of slaves from West Africa and migrations in the late 19th century make this a very diverse region.

Stop halfway to Cartagena at the city of Barranquilla and enjoy Caribbean fare for lunch at the restaurant La Cueva. La Cueva is known as the place where Gabriel García Márquez began writing One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Walk through “Seven Paradises” of street food, unnoticed by tourists and worshipped by locals. Tempt yourself at every stop with the original recipes that inspire the new Colombian cuisine and enjoy the product of this unhurried life.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Nacar Curio

Day 10

Cartagena
Take a short boat ride to visit San Fernando, the first fortress built to defend Cartagena. Continue to the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, a masterpiece of architecture and military engineering. It was constructed by the Spaniards to defend the city during the times of the corsairs.

Spend the afternoon walking through the walls of Cartagena’s old quarter, the perfect way to round out your experience in this dynamic city.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an incredible trip!

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight:  Hotel Nacar Curio

Day 11

Depart Colombia
Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home. Departure Information Depart from Cartagena, Colombia (CTG) after 3:00PM today.

Breakfast

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants. 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Colombia



Arrival and Departure Information

May 20, 2024 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Bogotá, Colombia (BOG) on May 20, 2024 before 2:00PM

Depart: Depart from Cartagena, Colombia (CTG) on May 30, 2024 after 3:00PM

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Gratuities

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $90-$100 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip. 

Activity Level

We rate this trip as High Energy. Our High Energy adventures are designed for women who enjoy a physical challenge and crave being on the go! You should be prepared for itineraries that include (but are not limited to): a full day of biking on rolling terrain, hiking 5-8 miles on moderate to steep trails, being active at high altitudes, whitewater rafting, or skiing. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more on the FitForTrips website.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic, as they may have recommendations for vaccines and medications based on the destination as well as your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Colombia.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Preparation and Packing

Once you register for your adventure, we will send you a comprehensive preparation guide including weather information, gratuity suggestions, and a packing list.

As a reference, AdventureWomen typically suggests $200-250 for gratuities on most trips. Detailed information will be provided to you prior to departure.

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Supplemental Rafting Release
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)
  • Supplemental COVID Release Form

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

May 20, 2024 Departure Final Payment Due Date: February 20, 2024

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Professional, bilingual guides throughout the trip
  • All ground transportation
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Drinking water available in large jugs to refill personal bottles
  • Domestic airfare (priced separately from the main trip)
  • Gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff 

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Colombia
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Hotel de la Opera

An authentic delight in the heart of Bogotá, the Hotel de la Opera provides some of the best accommodations in the city in a magnificent historic setting. Enjoy the view from the top floor of the hotel, where you can look out onto endless views of the colonial roofs and the domes of the Church of San Ignacio.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

Hotel La Posada de San Antonio

Decorated with tiled floors and gabled roofs, rooms at La Posada de San Antonio feature private balconies and comfortable decor. Relax by the pool or book a massage. Set in a charming colonial-style house, this hotel is the perfect place to stay while exploring historical Villa de Leyva.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

Hotel Hicasua

A quaint boutique accommodation, the Hotel Hicasua features 22 rooms and a beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub that are open year-round.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, electricity; Wifi

Hotel Dann Carlton Bucaramanga

Located in the exclusive Bucaramanga district in the heart of Santander, the Hotel Dann Carlton Bucaramanga offers luxurious and spacious rooms with a swimming pool and spa on the property.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; air conditioning, Wifi

Casa Barlovento Hotel

The Casa Barlovento Hotel is just five minutes from Tayrona National Park and is known for its breathtaking view over Los Naranjos beach. There are two large pools at the hotel and a comfortable terrace to relax on.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

Hotel Nacar Curio

Boasting a fantastic location in the heart of the city, this beautifully restored building offers the comforts of home with a twist of luxury. The hotel features two restaurants, a pool, and a spa.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; air conditioning, Wifi

 

Please note that all amenities were current when written and are subject to change at any time.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686