The Colombian Pacific Explorer

Colombia is the only South American nation with two ocean coastlines, so be an explorer and visit them both.

Tour Plan

Although this tour visits both coasts, it takes its name from the largely unexplored Pacific Coast and you will spend 3 nights in Bahía Solano or Nuquí. Flights to Bahía Solano only depart from Medellín so this tour also give the visitor the chance to know this innovative and forward looking city with its pleasant year-round spring like climate and friendly people.

The Coffee Zone is a logical stopover on the way to Medellín. Whilst it is popular and firmly on the well trodden trail, this tour offers the chance to experience it in the most authentic way possible, staying in a working coffee finca. For the newcomer to Colombia, the Coffee Zone is unmissable.

The tour concludes in the city of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Contrast the two coasts, the isolated exclusivity of Bahía Solano with the hustle and bustle of the  walled city of Cartagena, Colombia’s most popular tourist destination. Cartagena’s popularity is by no means a lucky coincidence, its romantic narrow colonial streets, spectacular sunsets and great restaurants are going to ensure its position as Colombia’s number one destination for many years to come.

Climate

This tour takes you from the cool highland climates of Bogotá, onwards to the slightly warmer climate of Villa de Leyva. Through the spring-like climate of the Coffee Zone and Medellín. On to the tropical destination of Bahía Solano and finally to the Caribbean where temperatures can reach up to 40ºC

Group sizes

This trip is available for groups of 2 people and upwards. Local English or Spanish speaking guides will be provided at the destination.

Day 1

You will be met by one of our representatives at Bogotá’s El Dorado Airport and taken by private transfer to your hotel in La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic colonial centre.

Bogotá is 2640m above sea level and if you happen to have arrived on a flight from Europe, you will have landed early evening. The evening of day 1 has no formal plans to allow you to relax, aclimatise to the altitude and adjust to the time difference.

Day 2

Your chance to get to know our capital city, we begin the day with a journey to the top of Monserrate, the Cerro overlooking the Bogotá Savannah. At a height of 3150m the mountain affords spectacular views across Bogotá and great photo opportunities. Normally we will ascend the Cerro by cable car, subject to local conditions we can also guide you up to the peak by foot.

We continue in the afternoon with a walking tour through the colourful façades of La Candelaria including an extended stop at the Botero Museum, an intimate art museum housed in colonial buildings that boasts not only many great works by Colombia’s Fernando Botero but also his own collection of masterpieces by Chegall, Max Ernst, Renoir, Picasso and Monet.

Onwards through Bogotá we take in the impressive Plaza Bolívar, Casa Nariño and Bogotá’s Gold Museum before taking you back to your hotel.

Day 3

villa-de-leyva
Villa de Leyva

We depart by coach in the morning towards Villa de Leyva. On the way we stop of at the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá. An amazing underground cathedral built in a disused salt mine. We arrive in the charming town of Villa de Leyva in the afternoon where you will spend the night in a charismatic colonial hotel in the town centre. The evening is yours to explore this equisite colonial town and to take advantage of one of the many great restaurants that the town has to offer.

Day 4

At 9.30am your English speaking guide will meet you at your hotel for a half day tour to the attractions within the vicinity of Villa de Leyva. Depending upon the preferences of your group, we will focus the tour around nature, with a trip to El Paso de Ángel or La Pericera or if you prefer a cultural experience, we will take you to the monastery Ecce Homo or El Fosil.

Day 5

In the morning we will collect you from the hotel and drive you back to Bogotá’s airport from where you will fly to Pereira, the capital of Colombia’s Risaralda department and one of the city cornerstones of the Coffee Zone. From the airport of Pereira you will be transferred to your home for the next 3 nights. A delightful coffee finca set in a valley. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the warmer climate, walk around the finca or relax in the pool.

Day 6

kaffeezone
The Coffee Zone

A full day outing to the town of Salento and the imposing Cocora Valley. Salento is one of the quaintest towns in Colombia with its well preserved colonial houses, handicrafts shops and traditional restaurants, many of which serve excellent local trout.

You have the option to walk or travel on horseback through the Cocora Valley, be sure to take your camera because Cocora is a sight to behold. It is one of the only habitats of the wax palm, the world’s tallest variety of palm tree and the national tree of Colombia.

After the full day outing we return to your finca. We aim to get you back by 4.00pm so that you can see the workers return from the hills with the day’s harvest of coffee.

Day 7

Your chance to immerse yourself in the coffee culture. We take you to Hacienda Venecia, an impressive coffee farm on the road to Manizales. Take in the many acres of coffee plantation and have the processes explained to you by experts. Spectacular landscapes and a captivating introduction to the world of coffee make this an unforgettable day.

Day 8

medellin
Medellín

After breakfast we transfer you back to the airport for a flight to Medellín, the city of the eternal spring and the home of all things Paisa.

Formerly infamous for its cocaine fueled gangsterism, those days are long gone and now Medellín is a thriving innovative city that is more commonly known for its culture, the artist and sculptor Fernando Botero and the multi-grammy winning Juanes.

From the city’s airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the upscale Poblado neighbourhood. In the afternoon you will be collected from your hotel for a tour of El Pueblito Paisa a small model village where the Paisas celebrate their own culture.

The evening is yours to enjoy the mild weather and sip a drink in cool Parque Lleras as Medellín’s high society passes you by

Day 9

A full day outing Guatapé and El Peñol Guatapé is one of Antioquia’s many charming towns and is surrounded by lakes. El Peñol is a huge monolith which rises from the lakes. El Peñol can be scaled by stairs. Those that reach the peak can experience the vast and beautiful Antioquia landscape.

Afterwards we return you to Medellín once again for another chance to make the most of the city’s lively and sophisticated nightlife.

Day 10

bahia-solano
Bahía Solano

Hotel pick up and transfer back to the airport. From there you will fly to Bahía Solano airport and be met by the staff of the El Almejal lodge. They will take you to your accommodation for the next 3 nights. The wooden cabins of El Almejal eco-lodge on the immaculate El Almejal beach.

Whilst there you can visit the lodge’s turtle conservation project, walk through the lush green coastal jungle, whale-watch (between July and October) or simply relax on the deck in a hammock.

Day 11

In Bahía Solano time seems to stand still, and day 11 is yours to take advantage of the facilities and activities of El Almejal, walk barefoot along the dark sandy beaches and make the most of this absolutely unique destination.

Day 12

Another day to pick and choose which of the lodge’s activities you want to fill up your day.

Day 13

Your last chance to make the most of Bahia Solano before we fly you back to Medellín where you spend one more night.

Day 14

cartagena
Cartagena

Transfer back to the airport for you flight to Cartagena. From Cartagena’s airport you will be collected and taken to your accommodation in the walled city. A well preserved colonial hotel.

The night is yours to explore the cosy alleys and character-filled streets of the city. Watch the dancers in Plaza Santo Domingo or check out the city’s excellent bars and restaurants.

Day 15

A day in Cartagena with an optiona tour of the city guiding you through the streets of the old town, the Getsemaní district, Plaza Trinidad and the San Felipe castle

Day 16

The last full day of the trip and you are taken on a full day boat excursion to the Rosario Islands and Playa Blanca. In the Rosario Islands there are great opportunities for snorkelling before heading to Playa Blanca, pristine white sandy beaches that gently fold into a crystal blue Caribbean Sea. You return to the Marina at about 5.30pm leaving you enough time to walk to Cartagena’s iconic Café del Mar to watch the sun set.

Day 17

The end of the tour and we transfer you from your hotel back to Cartagena for onward flights.

Day 3

Visit the Salt Mines of Nemocón instead of the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Day 8

Spend a third night in the Coffee Zone and visit the Thermal Springs of Santa Rosa

Day 10 or 14

Spend an extra night in Medellín and visit Santa Fé de Antioquia and Puente de Occidente

Days 10 to 13

Stay in the El Cantil lodge at Nuquí instead of the El Almejal lodge in Bahía Solano

Day 17

Extend your trip with a visit to Parque Tayrona or Mompox

Included in the price of this tour is the following.

  • Private transfers from the airport to your accommodation,
  • Private transfers between land destinations
  • Accommodation based on two people sharing a double or twin room
  • Breakfasts in all destinations apart from Bahía Solano (or Nuquí) where 3 meals per day are provided
  • Local Spanish or English speaking guides at the destinations
  • All tours and activities included in the programme
  • Domestic flights Bogotá to Pereira to Medellin to Bahia Solano to Medellín to Cartagena
  • All local taxes, hotel insurance fees and entrance fees

NOT included in the price.

  • Sundry personal costs as listed in our Terms and Conditions
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the schedule
  • Optional items not listed in your travel booking schedule

Destination information

This tour visits the following destinations. Click the links below for more comprehensive information on each destination.

Bogotá

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá

Villa de Leyva

Coffee Zone

Salento and Cocora

Medellín

Bahía Solano

Cartagena

Islas del Rosario and Playa Blanca