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We may need to adjust the cost of your trip to reflect any seasonal differences. Sometimes non-refundable deposits are required by local suppliers, which would be specified prior to booking. If you are unable to travel, we would secure a credit note for future travel from these suppliers, but you would not get a cash refund for these items. Flights that have already been issues will be subject to the rules of your airline & therefore may not be refundable or changeable. All other terms and conditions remain as standard.
 
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Claire Farley, Managing Director
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Colombia Wildlife Holiday: Amazon + Tayrona + Birds, Otun Quimbaya + Cocora

Amazon + Corcora Valley + Tayrona + Cartagena
GPS14B
13 NIGHTS
FROM £3,495
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Colombia Wildlife Holiday Amazon Tayrona Birds Otun Quimbaya Cocora

This wonderful Colombia Wildlife holiday explores the rainforests of the Amazon Basin & Tayrona National Park, the birds of Otun Quimbaya & the wax palms of the beautiful high-altitude Cocora Valley. Also visit the capital city of Bogota, the quaint colonial town of Ville de Leyva & the historic walled city of Cartagena. English speaking guides & all transfers included.

Colombia Wildlife Holiday Amazon Tayrona Birds Otun Quimbaya Cocora
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Colombia Wildlife Holiday
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Bogota
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Salt Cathedral
• 
Villa de Leyva
• 
Amazon Basin
• 
Pink Dolphins
• 
Cocora Valley
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Birds of Otun Quimbaya
• 
Tayrona National Park
• 
Cartagena
• 
Colombia Wildlife Holiday
• 
Bogota
• 
Salt Cathedral
• 
Villa de Leyva
• 
Amazon Basin
• 
Pink Dolphins
• 
Cocora Valley
• 
Birds of Otun Quimbaya
• 
Tayrona National Park
• 
Cartagena
Day 1
You will be met at Bogotá Airport by your guide and transferred into this sprawling high altitude city, located in a valley between the eastern and central Andes mountain ranges at 8,660 ft (2,640 m).
 
On arrival enjoy a private tour of the city. We start with a visit to the Gold Museum, the most important gold museum in the world, with a splendid collection of over 36,000 pre-Colombian gold and emerald pieces. Galleries on three levels display exquisitely crafted pieces dating back nearly 2,500 years. Two large carved stones from the San Agustin archaeological site can also be seen here. Visit the vault-like room on the top floor where the most treasured pieces are displayed, including the famous miniature golden raft.
 
We then walk through the cobbled alleys of La Candelaria, the historic Old Town. Here you will see many beautifully preserved Spanish colonial houses and churches that date back centuries, such as the church of Santa Clara that today contains the Museum of Colonial Art and the 17th century Church of San Francisco, the oldest surviving church in the city. View the library of Luis Angel Arango as we head for the main square - Plaza Bolívar - where you can see a statue honouring Simon Bolivar, a Venezuelan military leader who played a key role in the revolution against Spain. View the Metropolitan Cathedral, Colón Theatre, Casa del Nariño (the presidential residence, which has an observatory in its gardens), the Congress Palace, the Palace of Justice and the Cardinal's Palace.
 
Time permitting we can also visit the small Botero Museum. Housed in a beautiful colonial mansion, it showcases a collection of artwork donated to the city by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous contemporary artist renowned for his proportionally exaggerated chubby figures. Around 120 pieces of his work are display here, including paintings, drawings and miniature sculptures. He also donated his personal collection of original artwork by Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Degas, Chagall, Matisse, Monet and Giacometti which are also on display here.
 
Note: Let your guide know if you are suffering from jetlag and want a shorter tour. When visiting churches and monasteries, women must not wear shorts or miniskirts and men must not wear shorts. The Gold Museum is closed Mondays and Botero Museum is closed Tuesdays.
Day 2
This morning your guide will drive you 1.5-hours to the small town of Zipaquirá, which was founded in 1600 and still conserves its colonial heritage.
 
Here we visit the amazing underground Salt Cathedral, built in a cavernous series of tunnels in the worked-out section of a productive salt mine. In this darkened underground environment, you will walk past 14 small chapels, each representing one of the 'Stations of the Cross' that tells the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Once you reach the main Roman Catholic cathedral, you can marvel at the workmanship that went into creating this remarkable church.
 
Afterwards we walk through the charming main square of Zipaquirá, which is the home of Tour de France winner, Egan Bernal. Here you can enjoy lunch (own account) and spend time exploring the town, before we return to Bogotá.
 
At the end of the day we ascend Monserrate Hill by funicular or cable car, for panoramic views. The chapel atop this hill can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
 
Note: Please be aware that the Salt Cathedral will be extremely busy with local visitors over weekends.
Day 3
Transfer to Bogota Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Leticia Airport and transferred to the market place, where you can enjoy a simple included traditional lunch.
 
Afterwards we depart from the dock on a 1.5-hour shared ride up the Amazon River, travelling by motorised canoe to your lodge situated deep in the Calanoa Reserve.
  
On arrival settle into your lodge, with free time to explore the surrounding reserve.
 
Note: A yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling to this region. Your flight must arrive before 13.00 to avoid having to overnight in Leticia.
Day 4
Today is devoted to exploring the amazing Amazon Basin - a 2,7-million square mile (6.7 million sq. km) conservation area that is the largest in the world, spreading across nine countries - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.
 
In the morning we hike through the jungle to visit an indigenous Mocagua family, members of the Ticuna tribe, who live in colourful painted houses. You can view their handcrafts, which include pottery and baskets made from the Chambira Palm and learn about their medicinal plants. You will also see the Amazonian Lotus and have lunch with the community.
 
Afterwards we walk back through the jungle and return to Calanoa by motorised canoe, travelling through the Matamata Gorge - the natural boundary between the Calanoa Reserve and neighbouring Amacayacu Park. Here we may see hoatzin (stinkbirds), otters, macaws and other lakeside wildlife.
 
Note: Daily programme is subject to change, according to weather conditions.
 
A headlamp is essential in the Amazon. Please be aware there is no hot water, air conditioning or fans in the Amazon. Assume there will be no mobile phone coverage and weak (or non-existent) WiFi.
Day 5
This morning we visit the Maikuchiga Foundation, an animal sanctuary and rehabilitation centre dedicated to rescuing monkeys and other wildlife rescued from illegal trafficking.
 
Afterwards we transfer 30-minutes by motorosed canoe to the tiny Amazonian village of Puerto Narino. From here we follow a jungle trail to where you can see various Amazonian fish species including the Pirarucus, a giant fish that grows up to 10 ft (3 m), making it one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. We return to the village for a typical local lunch.
 
In the afternoon we visit the Tarapoto Lakes, where we hope to see pink or grey river dolphins. You can also try your hand at artisanal fishing, using traditional fishing techniques.
 
Other wildlife you may see today include caimans (related to alligators), turtles, woolly monkeys, tufted brown capuchin monkeys, a variety of frogs and many other forest reptiles and insects. You will also see some of the over 400 different species of colourful rainforest birds - such as the brilliant golden-headed quetzal, grey-breasted mountain toucan, blue-crowned motmot, umbrella bird, blue-banded toucanet, fruit-eating tanager, red-crested cotinga, banded-tail fruit-eater and a variety of flycatchers.

You will be met by your guide at Pereira Airport and transferred to your hotel in the extremely fertile Coffee Region, with its year-round greenery, over-sized palm trees and magnificent bamboo forests.
 
Situated in a high valley between the central and western Andes mountain ranges, this verdant region receives a high rainfall and is an abundant producer of coffee, bananas, plantains, papaya, avocados and many other agricultural products. Farmers from this region are known as Paisas and have a reputation for hard work and getting things done.
Day 6
Today enjoy a full day excursion to the cloud forests of the Cocora Valley and the colourful colonial towns of Filandia and Salento, high in the Andes.
 
Our first stop is at the charming village of Filandia, where you can climb an observation tower for 360 degree views over the whole valley. Enjoy wandering through the cobbled streets to the town square, which is surrounded by brightly painted houses and has a beautiful church. The film ’One Hundred Years of Solitude’ based on the book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was filmed here, as well as a popular soap opera called ’Coffee, with the Scent of a Woman’.
 
We then continue 1-hour to the striking landscapes of the Cocora Valley, where Colombia's national symbol - the gigantic wax palm - can be seen. These are the largest palm trees in the world, measuring up to 200 ft (60 m) and living for more than 120 years, making for spectacular scenery. Enjoy a 2-hour hike through this magnificent reserve to a viewsite where, if you are fortunate, you may see Bolivia’s national bird - the enormous Andean condor - soaring on the thermals. The critically endangered Yellow-eared parrot is also found here.
 
After an included restaurant lunch we drive back to Salento, one of the first settlements in Quindío state. Here you can explore the Plaza de Bolivar with its church and colourful balconies and the main street, Calle Real, with its many handicraft shops. This town is famous for its annual Yipao festival, when farmers parade and perform acrobatic tricks in their iconic (and hugely overloaded) Willy’s Jeeps.
 
Note: Wear good walking shoes today, as the descent from the viewsite is down a steep hill. If you do not wish to do the hike, you can still view the palm trees along the first part of the trail. Alternatively you can ride most of the way to the viewpoint, if requested in advance. A full day 7-hour hike is also available, including three viewpoints and seven hanging bridges, but this needs to be booked in advance and you will not have time to visit Filandia. Try and avoid weekends, when the park is very busy with local visitors.
Day 7
Today we depart early to visit the Otún Quimbaya Reserve in the Risaralda district in the heart of the Andes. With its river, waterfalls, orchids and bromeliads, this lush sanctuary is a wonderful place to enjoy nature and, with over 300 recorded species, it is a bird watchers delight..
 
We drive into the Otún Basin, where we will meet our naturalist guide. Here there is a choice of two relatively easy 3-mile (5-km) level trails through this amazing flora and fauna sanctuary, each taking about 2-hours. Here we can view more of Colombia's iconic wax palms and see a great variety of butterflies and birds including the Torrent duck, Cauca guan, Black-billed mountain toucan, Booted racket-tail hummingbird and many more. If you are fortunate you may see a family of Red howler monkeys, a sloth or other small mammals.
 
After an included lunch at a local restaurant, we drive back to your hotel.
Day 8
This morning we drive to a Coffee Farm to give you more insight into how coffee is grown and the lifestyle of the workers. Colombia prides itself on producing the finest Arabica coffee in the world, all of which is hand-picked. Learn how the plants are cultivated and how the beans are harvested, processed, sorted, dried and ultimately roasted before enjoying an excellent cup of Colombian coffee.
 
Afterwards transfer 1-hour to Pereira Airport for your onward flight.
 
Note: The coffee fields are located on a mountain slope, so let us know in advance if you have any walking difficulties and we will arrange for you to be driven in a vehicle. Your driver today will only speak Spanish.

You will be met at Santa Marta Airport - the oldest city in Colombia, founded by the Spanish in 1525 when the country was known as New Granada and transferred 1-hour to Tayrona National Park.
 
This park is spectacularly situated on the Caribbean coast, where a dense rainforest plunges into the Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area of over 15,000 hectares, it is one of the most famous reserves in Colombia. Overlooked by the stunning Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, this is the only place in the world where you can see a mountain by the sea permanently capped with snow.
 
On arrival check into your lodge and relax in your wonderful surroundings.
 
Note: A yellow fever vaccination will be required to enter Tayrona National Park.
Day 9
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Cañaveral Beach, the starting point of your 4-hour privately guided hike through Tayrona National Park.
 
The rainforests of Tayrona are home to nearly 400 different bird species including the Little tinamou, King vulture, Sparrow hawk and Purple macaw. They are also home to 40 bat species and 59 different mammals including the howler monkey, titi monkey, noctural monkey, maic monkey, sloth, peccary, armadillo, anteater and red deer. You may also see up to four species of sea turtles, the endemic Needle cayman and Boa constrictor snake. Jaguars, ocelot, tigrillo and puma also live here but are rarely seen. The dry and humid forests between them contain over 770 different plant species, including the Cattleya Trianae orchid, which is Colombia's national flower.
 
Enjoy hiking through this park with its tropical landscape, coral formations, white beaches, rocky coastline, mangroves and lagoons. After an hour's walk along miles and miles of magnificent black, yellow and white sandy beaches we reach famous Arrecifes (Reef) beach. You may not swim here due to the strong currents, but you can swim at Piscina Natural (Natural Pool), which we reach after another 20-minutes. Finally we continue another 25-minutes to Cape San Juan, where we enjoy an included picnic lunch.
 
Note: A yellow fever certificate is required to enter the park. When hiking, wear good walking shoes & carry a small backpack with water, sandals, swimming costume, insect repellent and sunscreen.
Day 10
At leisure to explore more of the area surrounding Tayrona National Park with your guide.
Day 11
This morning transfer 4-hours from Tayrona National Park, travelling along the Caribbean coast to the tropical port of Cartagena.
 
On arrival in Cartagena check into your hotel in this colourful city, whose magnificent 16th century walled Old Town is a World Heritage Site.
 
Note: If requested in advance, you can travel along the slower coastal route to see El Totumo Mud Volcano, whose small crater contains a pool of therapeutic mud - but be aware it it is always extremely busy with local visitors.
Day 12
This morning enjoy a half day private tour of the city of Cartagena de Indias, starting with a visit to the 17th century La Popa Monastery situated outside the Old Town on a hill that marks the highest point in the city, with spectacular views over Cartagena Bay and the modern high-rise city, as well as the Old Town. Dedicated to Our Lady of La Candelaria, this charming Augustinian monastery has a beautiful chapel with an ornate gold altar.
 
We then visit San Felipe Castle located on San Lazaro Hill, the largest Spanish military building in the New World dating back to 1536. It was built to guard the city’s landward side from invasion and has a complex system of tunnels connected to the Old City, used to distribute provisions and for a possible evacuation. The tunnels were built so that any noise would echo along them, making internal communications easier and allowing the citizens to hear even the slightest sound of an enemy advance.
 
Afterwards we enter the old walled city and walk through Las Bóvedas, a series of 23 vaults built in the 18th century and considered the last major military colonial construction within the city walls. The vaults were used as storerooms for munitions and provisions by the Spaniards and later they became jail cells. Nowadays they are used as crafts markets where you can find handicrafts, antiques, galleries, jewellery, clothing and souvenirs.
 
Our last stop is the church and monastery of San Pedro Claver, built in the early 17th century by the Jesuits. Pedro Claver, a Jesuit priest, was a defender and protector of slaves and lived in this monastery until his death. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the charming Old Town independently.
 
Note: Short skirts should not be worn when visiting churches, monasteries and religious shrines. Colombia is the world’s largest producer of emeralds, so let your guide know if you would like to buy one and he will take you to a reputable store.
Day 13
Transfer to Cartagena Airport for your onward flight.