Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

You won’t be in the Coffee Zone for long before you realise that guadua is very important to the region. You will see it growing in frondy copses, you will see how it is used to build some of our favourite fincas and if you come to the Coffee Zone from Pereira airport then you will pass through the stunning guadua constructed toll-booth on the Autopisa del Café.

It is then perhaps less surprising that internationally renowned bamboo expert Ximena Londoño is a Colombian and this private collection is most probably the largest international collection of bamboo that you will ever see.

Ximena will guide you personally through her private collection in a beautiful setting, imagine a relaxed and scenic walk with a scientist sharing her vast knowledge with you.

Aside from learning about bamboo and its role in an ecosystem, you will also learn of Ximena’s tale of personal circumstance and how she worked alongside authorities in Quindío to develop her own private obsession into a truly unique visitor attraction.

This is a half day tour and an ideal way to punctuate your itinerary with a dose of botany, take a day off from trekking or simply relax and be fascinated.

We offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone.

The tour

There’s no need to exert yourself to do this tour, it is a relaxing half day and you can start after a lazy breakfast at the finca. Expect the tour to last 4-5 hours including transport.

Transport

Your day includes transport and entrances to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua. Your car will wait for you to take you back to the finca or onwards to other activities that you may have booked.

Groups and private tours

Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • We are delighted to offer this tour, it is as rewarding as it is unusual. Your booking this tour directly helps continue conservation work.
  • Consider adding this tour to one of our short coffee tours or one of our longer multiple destination tours such as The Colours of Colombia.
  • Take a waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes.

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is per person based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua
  • An expert bilingual guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua.

Nevado Santa Isabel

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Parque de los Nevados is located deep within the Coffee Zone and belongs to all three of the areas’s departments, Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío. It is also possible to access the park from Ibagué, the capital of the Tolima Department.

This huge park is a true treat for trekking fanatics as it boasts a range of differing landscapes and the snowy capped peaks of active volcanoes. The most famous being the Nevado del RuízNevado el Cisne, Santa Isabel and the Nevado del Tolima.

It is not just snowy peaks that this national park has to offer, the páramo landscapes and the lagunas are populated by abundant alpine like frailejón plants which are endemic to the páramo.

The park is the perfect place to take spectacular photos, especially during the morning before the fog and clouds descend.

A trip to Nevado Santa Isabel takes you through various climatic zones and ecosystems. First you enter woodland, then the páramo, then the superpáramo. Finally you reach the snowy peaks after which the Los Nevados park is named.

We offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

The tour

You need to be an early riser, this is a full day tour with 12 hours of activities. You will be picked up at 5am if you are in the city of Manizales or Hacienda Venecia or earlier if you are in Risaralda or Quindío

Your day includes transport and you will be take initially to the park entrance at 3100 metres above sea level. From there you commence your walk taking in various ecosystems and high-mountain landscapes. The tour reaches Santa Isabel’s glacier at 4900 metres above sea level.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel or finca and take you to Santa Isabel, afterwards we will return you to your accommodation.

Groups and private tours

Nevado Santa Isabel is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Given the restrictions at Nevado del Ruíz, this is the tour that guarantees you access to a glacier.
  • Bring your trekking A-game. This is a full day of high-altitude, medium-difficulty trekking. A good level of fitness is required.
  • It’s going to be cold up there, wear layers, bring a lightweight rain jacket and gloves, and ensure you have good walking boots for the challenging variety of terrains that you are going to encounter
  • Despite being cold it is also sunny, wear a hat and apply a high SPF sunblock
  • You burn more calories when exerting yourself at altitude. Don’t skimp on the carbohydrates the previous evening and drink plenty of fluids

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is per person based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to the Nevados park
  • An expert bilingual trekking guide guide
  • Breakfast en-route and a typical lunch on the way back
  • Accident insurance

Use our contact form to book your trip to Nevado Santa Isabel.

Nevado del Ruíz

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Parque de los Nevados is located deep within the Coffee Zone and belongs to all three of the areas’s departments, Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío. It is also possible to access the park from Ibagué, the capital of the Tolima Department.

This huge park is a true treat for trekking fanatics as it boasts a range of differing landscapes and the snowy capped peaks of active volcanoes. The most famous being the Nevado del RuízNevado el Cisne, Santa Isabel and the Nevado del Tolima.

It is not just snowy peaks that this national park has to offer, the páramo landscapes and the lagunas are populated by abundant alpine like frailejón plants which are endemic to the páramo.

The park is the perfect place to take spectacular photos, especially during the morning before the fog and clouds descend.

A trip to Nevado del Ruíz takes you through various climatic zones and ecosystems. First you enter woodland, then the páramo, then the superpáramo. Finally you reach the snowy peaks after which the Los Nevados park is named.

For 5 years this tour was impossible because Parque de los Nevados was closed at the Nevado del Ruíz entrance due to volcanic activity. Now we are once again able to offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

The tour

Bank on an early start, this is a full day tour with 10 hours of activities. You will be picked up at 7am if you are in the city of Manizales or Hacienda Venecia or earlier if you are in Risaralda or Quindío

Your day includes transport and you will be take initially to El Refugio at 4800 metres above sea level. From there you commence your walk taking in various ecosystems and high-mountain landscapes. Your tour will take in such sights as Laguna Negra, Aguacerales, Arenales, Valle de Luna, Valle del Silencio, Volcán de la Olleta and finally back to El Refugio.

Bring your swimming costume because at the end of all that walking you will have a chance to relax in volcanic thermal baths.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel or finca and take you to the Nevado del Ruíz, afterwards we will return you to your accommodation.

Groups and private tours

Nevado del Ruíz is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Subject to local conditions and accessibility, this day trip may vary slightly from the description
  • Bring your trekking A-game. This is a full day of high-altitude, medium-difficulty trekking. A good level of fitness is required
  • It’s going to be cold up there, wear layers, bring a lightweight rain jacket and gloves, and ensure you have good walking boots for the challenging variety of terrains that you are going to encounter
  • Despite being cold it is also sunny, wear a hat and apply a high SPF sunblock
  • You burn more calories when exerting yourself at altitude. Don’t skimp on the carbohydrates the previous evening and drink plenty of fluids

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to the Nevados park and thermal baths
  • An expert bilingual trekking guide guide
  • Breakfast en-route and a typical lunch
  • Accident insurance

Use our contact form to book your trip to Nevado del Ruíz.

San Alberto Coffee Tour

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

San Alberto is a Colombian high-end boutique coffee brand whose estate is located in Buenavista in the heart of the UNESCO protected coffee landscape.

The San Alberto coffee tour is the most technical and comprehensive “seedling to cup” coffee tour that we offer. It is the tour that we most frequently include in our extended tours of Colombia.

If you are passionate about coffee then this is the perfect tour for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone or hotels in Salento.

The San Alberto coffee tour also affords you the perfect opportunity to see why UNESCO protects these special landscapes. Rolling mountain slopes and coffee plants as far as the eye can see.  Expect to see winding roads, crystal clear streams, exotic and colourful birds, and otherworldly flora on the roadside.

The tour

Expect to start your day at 8-9am. You will be picked up and taken to Pijao for a brief visit to the village. You will then be driven across The Andes in a 4×4 to Buenavista and San Alberto’s coffee estate.

Your expert guide will take walk you up to the nurseries initially to see the whole coffee process in chronological order. You will continue through the plantation until you get a chance to see their industrial processes and packing facilities.

After touring the coffee plantation you will be taken back to their laboratory for a highly technical coffee tasting. At the end of the tour you will have free time to enjoy a single lot coffee from San Alberto’s own café overlooking the Buenavista valley.

The tour last approximately half a day and can also be undertaken during the afternoon.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel and take you to the reserve, afterwards we will return you to your hotel or finca.

Groups and private tours

San Alberto is normally a private tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • If you are on a quick tour through the coffee zone and want a thorough immersion in coffee, then this is the tour for you
  • Coffee grows on the side of mountains, this tour involves some steep walks and a moderate level of fitness is required
  • Consider making a full day of it. San Alberto is easily combined with a trip to the Botanical Garden and El Mariposario at Calarcá

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation to San Alberto. Prices shown are for pick up from our own preferred fincas,  or accommodation in Quimbaya, Salento and Filandia
  • Entry to the plantation
  • An expert bilingual coffee guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to San Alberto.

Birdwatching at Río Blanco

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Río Blanco is broadly accepted as being one of the best birdwatching sites in the world.

The semi-private Río Blanco has traditionally been notoriously difficult to access. Now we are able to offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

Ecosystems, flora and fauna

Río Blanco is a stunning 3600 hectare nature reserve situated between 1300 and 2300 metres above sea level. The reserve is interwoven with trails and crystal clear streams.

For many Río Blanco will be all about the birds. Expect to see Buff-tailed Coronet, Speckled Hummingbird, Bronzy and Collared Inca, Mountain Velvet-breast, White-bellied Woodstar and Long-tailed Sylph. In total there are 362 species including 13 endemics in the reserve.

For those interested in glimpsing the shy and difficult to spot Andean bear, there is one that lives at the reserve under the management’s protection.

Activities

It’s an early start for anyone planning on birdwatching at Río Blanco. From Manizales expect your day to commence at 5.30am. From Armenia and Pereira expect to leave even earlier.

Your day includes transport and approximately 4 hours of birdwatching. Walks will be tailored to your own personal preferences, to hike a trail up to the reserve’s peak requires a degree of fitness. Don’t let that put you off, you can be driven up and head straight for the birds.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel and take you to the reserve, afterwards we will return you to your hotel.

Groups and private tours

Río Blanco is normally a private tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Arguably the best birdwatching anywhere in Colombia
  • Early in the morning due to the reserve’s altitude it can be cool. Wear layers for warmth and bring a waterproof jacket. If you aim to do some walking, make sure you are wearing a pair of walking shoes with good tread

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation to Río Blanco
  • Entry to the reserve
  • An expert bilingual birding guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to Río Blanco.

Puracé

This day trip is available from Popayán

About

The Puracé National Park is located on the border of the departments of Huila and Cauca and is normally best visited from Popayán. On a cloudless day it is possible to see the snow-capped peaks of Pan de Azúcar and Nevado Puracé from Popayán itself.

The national park covers a total area of 870 square kilometres and boasts a spectacular variety of flora and fauna. An absolute must-see destination for nature lovers.

Puracé was designated a national park in 1968 and its Andean forests and páramo landscapes form part of a larger volcanic system called Los Coconucos.

Geography, flora and fauna

The name “Puracé” comes from Quechua and means “Fire Mountain.” The name pays homage to Nevado Puracé, the park’s stratovolcano that enjoys a central location within the park.

The volcano assures that the park is quite literally a hot-bed of geothermal activity. Thermal springs and pools emerge from the volcanic rock throughout the park. This defines the park’s landscape and makes for some spectacular scenery, with bubbling pools, dark green mosses, sulphur vapours and large volcanic rocks.

Puracé also boasts an enviable avifauna and is a perfect birdwatching destination. Be on the lookout for Black-and-chestnut eagles (Spizaetus Isidori), Noble snipes (Gallinago Nobilis), Buff-winged starfrontlets (Coeligena Lutetiea), Rufous-vented whitetips (Urosticte ruficrissa) and many more. Contact us for a more complete list.

The park is also the home to Andean condors reintroduced to the area by the breeding programme at San Diego Zoo in California.

Itinerary

Our day trip leaves Popayán at 7.30am and takes us to our first port of call, the village of Puracé. Around the village we go to popular condor lookouts to try to spot some of the 25 breeding pairs that live in the area.

Onwards we continue through pristine páramo landscapes where we have the chance to see Laguna de San Rafael in the distance.

For many the highlight of this trip is the visit to Las Termales de San Juan, a myriad of colours, bubbling hot springs, sulphur clouds and mindblowing Andean flora.

On the way back we visit the Bedón waterfall before having lunch in Puracé village. We return to Popayán late in the afternoon.

Groups sizes

The ideal group size is 2 to 8 persons but of course larger groups can be accommodated on request. Ask us about longer stays and professional birding guides if your objective is birdwatching in the park.

We say…

  • A fantastic day excursion to the incredible landscapes, bubbling geothermal pools and sulphur clouds of the park
  • The perfect destination for photographers of all abilities, the park offers some phenomenal compositions and landscapes that simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Price includes

The price stated on this page is per person based on 4 persons and includes the following

  • Return private transport from Popayán to the Puracé national park
  • Entry to the park
  • Condor watching
  • A German or English speaking guide

Additional options

  • Visit the sulphur baths of Coconuco located in an indigenous community

Use our contact form to book your trip to The National Park of Puracé and let us know exactly how you want it organising.

Guatavita

This day trip is available from Bogotá

About

Laguna Guatavita is a former sacred site of the Muisca Indians, the former inhabitants of the central highlands of what is today known as Colombia. At Laguna Guatavita, the Muisca Cacique would cover himself i gold dust, sail out into the laguna and rinse off, fine goldwork would be thrown into the laguna as an offering for Chie, the goddess of water.

Word got back to Spain and thus was born the Legend of El Dorado. El Dorado, its literal meaning in Spanish is “the golden one” and is a reference to the gold covered cacique.

There have been numerous efforts to drain the laguna to find the gold treasures submerged below. Most of the gold made its way back to Spain however some examples are on display currently in the Bogotá Gold Museum.

Today Laguna Guatavita is a protected park and has excellent trails for hikers

The name Guatavita also refers to the nearby town of Guatavita which is unusually not very old. The town was built in the 1960’s as an architectural heritage site and replica of of the original old town of Guatavita which was sacrificed to create a reservoir.

Guatavita town is fashioned in exacting detail and pays homage to the legend of El Dorado of its namesake laguna.

Tour outline

The tour includes private transport from your hotel and gives you a chance to see both the laguna and the town, as well as to follow one of the hiking trails. Besides taking in the breathtaking scenery of the Laguna Guatavita Park, you will also have the chance to explore Guatavita town.

We say…

  • A trip to Guatavita is a must for those interested in Muisca heritage and the legend of El Dorado, especially if you have already had your imagination captured by the Bogotá Gold Museum.
  • Due to the outstanding natural beauty of the area and the photo opportunities presented by Guatavita town, this tour is available as one of our Bogotá Photography Tours.
  • For a great value day out, consider combining a half day visit to Guatavita with a half day visit to The Salt Mines of Nemocón or The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá.
  • Consider stopping off in Chía on the way back to Bogotá
  • This walk in the park is by no means a walk in the park. Although the paved footpaths are well defined, be aware that you will require a moderate level of fitness to complete the walk.

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • Return private transport from Bogotá based on 4 people sharing
  • Entrance to the Laguna Guatavita Park

Options

Include a trip to The Salt Mines of Nemocón. Two great destinations on the same day.

Use our contact form to reserve your trip to Guatavita or to ask about combined trips to Guatavita and The Salt Mines of Nemocón or The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá.

Volcán Azufral

This is a day trip available from Pasto, Rumichaca and Ipiales

About

Volcán Azufral lies in the deep south at a peak altitude of 4070 metres above sea level. The city of Túquerres is the last urbanisation before you ascend to the peak of Azufral. The trip is by car until the road stops from where you have a walk of approximately 90 minutes through immaculate páramo landscape, where the páramo ends, you find yourself in a stark rocky volcanic landscape walking amongst the clouds.

When you reach the peak you are rewarded with the spectacular view of the green, mineral rich Laguna Verde, a laguna set in Volcán Azufral’s crater.

For nature lovers and hiking fanatics alike, Volcán Azufral is one of the Colombian South’s principal attractions offering moderate trekking, a high altitude challenge and a great variety of plantlife. A great way to see abundant frailejones thriving in their páramo landscape and to experience the air tinged with the aroma of sulphur from where the volcano gets its name.

Unusually for a high altitude volcanic crater location, the laguna is surrounded by wide sandy beaches, so after the ascent, take a break and take in the beauty of this unique landscape.

Transport & guide

We organise transportation from Rumichaca, Ipiales or Pasto and include a professional guide with a vast experience of the high altitude landscape and challenges presented by Volcán Azufral.

Groups and private tours

This trip is ideal for groups of 2 to 6 people, of course individuals and larger groups can be accommodated on request.

We say…

  • This destination is not particularly well-known, for the budding explorer within it presents a unique chance to experience an incredible location somewhat off the well-trodden path.
  • Volcán Azufral is the epitome of the Andean landscape, steep rock faces, an abundance of lush green nature and pristine páramo

Price includes

The price stated on this page is based on a party of 4 people and includes the following

  • Private transport from Pasto
  • An experienced guide with expert knowledge

Prices for departures from Ipiales and Rumichaca can be provided on request. Please contact us for details.

Use our contact form to reserve your Volcán Azufral experience.

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

This is a day trip available from Bogotá

About

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is arguably one of Colombia’s most famous attractions with over 13 million visitors since its inauguration in 1995. The current salt cathedral is a replacement of the original salt cathedral which was closed as the mines became unstable.

Just 48km outside of Bogotá, the salt cathedral is buried 180m underground in the Zipa hill, a hill named after the Muisca Zipa Cacique that once ruled over the Bogotá savannah.

To construct the cathedral, some 250 thousand tonnes of salt were excavated. The Zipa hill is the world’s largest single deposit of rock salt and salt has always been central to the economy of Zipaquirá and to a lesser extent the Bogotá savannah.

Reverred by many, the Salt Cathedral seldom fails to enchant the visitor that delight in its guided tour through its exquisitely lit chambers, the cathedral itself, the brine museum, the rock climbing wall and the coffee chamber.

Tour outline

We arrange private transport from Bogotá to the Salt Cathedral, the tour of the salt cathedral is included in the entrance fee, which is in turn, included in our day trip

We say…

  • The Salt Cathedral understandably draws thousands of visitors and is one of Colombia’s top attractions
  • Be sure to stop by Zipaquirá town on your trip. Although the town is not officially noted as such, it has Colombia’s most decadent fruit salads in its fruterías
  • Like a beer? Zipaquirá has an increasingly interesting bar scene just off the main plaza, try going to the Salt Cathedral early afternoon and then having a few drinks in Ziapquirá afterwards.
  • For a great value day out, consider combining half a day at the Salt Cathedral with half a day at Guatavita

Price includes

When you see a price on our website then it is a real trip or tour that can be booked, not an unrealistically low price to lure you into contacting us. Our company policy is that for each and every tour we identify exactly what is included in the stated price.

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • Prices based on a group of 4 people
  • A private driver for up to 6 hours
  • Entry to the salt cathedral and an expert guide (In Spanish or English)

Options

Include a trip to Guatavita on the same day.

Use our contact form to reserve a tour

Cartagena City Tour

These guided tours are available in the city of Cartagena

About

If you are visiting Cartagena then you already know that it is the Jewel in the Caribbean, Colombia’s number one tourism destination and the most outstanding Spanish colonial port city anywhere in the world.

Such an incredible city did not appear overnight, its narrow streets and colourwashed walls tell countless stories and harbour centuries of fascinating and often bloody history.

We would be the first to admit that Cartagena is excellent for wandering its pretty streets without a plan, drinking cocktails in the mid-afternoon heat, watching the sun set over the Caribbean and sampling some of the city’s excellent cuisine. But to truly appreciate Cartagena is to learn about its history with an expert. Every façade, street & church tells a bewitching story.

The Colombian Way has developed a range of city tour options to suit all budgets, group sizes and interests.

Tour options

2 hour walking tour

Our 2 hour walking tour of the old city is the perfect introduction to Cartagena and focuses on the walled city itself. It includes all the principal historic sites. Your tour can terminate at one of Cartagena’s incredible museums or churches, options include Museo San Pedro Claver, Palacio de la Inquisición, Museo de Oro, Catedral Santa Catalina, Iglesia Santo Domingo, Teatro Heredia & Museo Naval.

Entrance to a museum or church at the end of your tour is not included and must be paid locally, the Museo del Oro is free to enter.

3 hour walking tour

An extended version of the 2 hour walking tour which includes Cartagena’s historic Getsemaní district. The authentic and less developed part of Cartagena’s historic old town.

4 hour comprehensive tour

The ultimate Cartagena city tour, a 4 hour experience which not only includes Cartagena’s historic centre, but also the traditional neighbourhood of Getsemaní, Castillo San Felipe and the monastery of La Popa. 

The tour includes private transport to/between San Felipe and La Popa and entrances to both attractions. Destinations in the historic centre include San Diego, Torre del Reloj, Paseo de los Dulces, San Pedro Claver, Museo de la Inquisición, Plaza Bolívar, Plaza Santo Domingo, Café del Mar and Plaza Santa Teresa.

Groups sizes

All tours are available from 1 person up to groups of 32 people. The tours are ideal for school groups and cruise ship visitors alike.

Languages

All of our Cartagena city tours are available in a wide range of languages including English, Spanish, German, Italian, French and Portuguese.

We say…

  • Cartagena is breathtaking and a city tour really brings Cartagena to life. The tours ensure that you see Cartagena rather than just look at it.
  • Our Cartagena city guides are real experts and know the city inside out, by all means ask them for information on restaurants, nightlife and other activities to make the most of your time in the city.

Prices

Walking tour prices are per person based on the number of people in the group for pick-ups at hotels in Cartagena’s Old Town. Tours commencing in the cruise terminal are listed separately.

2 hour walking tour (All languages)

Persons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 82€ 41€ 28€ 20€ 17€ 14€ 12€ 10€ 9€

3 hour walking tour (All languages, includes entrances to central attractions)

Persons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 90€ 50€ 38€ 32€ 30€ 27€ 25€ 24€ 23€

4 hour comprehensive tour (All languages, includes transport, entrances to central attractions, entrance to La Popa and Castillo San Felipe)

Persons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 174€ 95€ 81€ 65€ 55€ 53€ 51€ 50€ 48€

From the cruise terminal: 4 hour comprehensive tour (All languages, includes transport, entrances to central attractions, entrance to La Popa and Castillo San Felipe)

Persons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
 325€ 163€ 163€ 98€ 98€ 85€ 85€ 72€ 72€

Use our contact form to book your tour of Cartagena