Classic Colombia

This 10-day itinerary takes in the sights, sounds and smells of Colombia’s finest attractions. Start in Bogota where you will explore some of the capital’s most beautiful cathedrals and museums. Next head to one of the country’s most charming little towns, Villa de Leyva. Wander the cobblestone streets and get lost in this bygone town. Lastly, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cartagena with its 500-year history and pretty coastal setting.

Day 1: Bogota

Arrival at Bogota´s International Airport and transfer to the Sofitel Victoria Regia.

For the next 2 nights you will be staying at Sofitel Victoria Regia in a Superior Room on a Bed & Breakfast basis. The rooms are well-equipped, modern and spacious and although a little corporate, the hotel is slick, and being close to the city’s main financial and business districts, has a great range of restaurants and upmarket boutiques nearby. A ground floor gym and Jacuzzi are among the facilities available at the hotel, which also include a roman-style heated pool, sauna, and massages on request. The hotel’s restaurant, Basilic, serves refined French cuisine and fusion dishes from around the world which can be eaten on the covered deck at the front of the hotel as well as in the restaurant.

Stay: Sofitel Victoria Regia

Day 2: Half-Day Bogota City Tour with Monserrate

A half day private tour of Bogota today. Start the day with a bike tour through the historic quarter known as La Candelaria. This antiquated barrio is of great architectural and cultural heritage and is made up of old “stately homes” or large Spanish colonial buildings with iron windows, thick and sturdy wooden doors, balconies and internal patios with beautiful yet hidden gardens. Visit the Plaza de Bolivar, originally called the Plaza Mayor when used for civil and military purposes, as a marketplace, a bullring and a gallows.

The visit continues to the Gold Museum which has a permanent exhibition of some 32,000 pieces of gold, 20,000 stones, ceramics and textiles all precious to pre-Columbian cultures. The gold artefacts housed within the museum in fact make up the country’s gold bullion reserves. Towards the end of the tour you will be taken by cable car up to Monserrate mountain, located at 3,152 metres above sea level, this is something every visitor should do to take advantage of the views of the city and surrounding mountains to understand this huge metropolis of 20 districts and more than 1,200 quarters.

Stay: Sofitel Victoria Regia

Day 3: Bogota to Villa de Leyva via Zipaquira

Depart from Bogotá and head north, towards Zipaquirá. Travel through the Bogota Savannah and as you travel by, glance at the many flower crops along the way.

After a journey of roughly 1.15 hours reach the impressive Salt Cathedral, a true achievement of engineering. The excursion will begin by visiting the cathedral in a tunnel that passes the fourteen Stations of the Cross and continues on to the dome.Later, reach the enormous cross carved into the saline rock and finally the three naves of the Cathedral that represent the birth, life and death of Christ.

Continue on a 2 hour trip to Villa de Leyva in the afternoon. Upon arrival to Villa de Leyva check in at the hotel.

Villa de Leyva, one of the area’s most beautiful towns, was founded in 1572 by Hernàn Suàrez de Villalobos who named it after Andrès Dìas Venero de Leyva, the first president of Nueva Granada. In colonial times, Villa de Leyva played a central role in independence developments and the Viceroy and his entourage spent much time here. Today, the city is a colonial jewel with a main square measuring 14.000 m2 surrounded by Spanish style houses, small alleys, cobblestone streets and the XVII century parochial church.

Tonight you will be staying at Posada San Antonio in a Superior Room on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Wonderfully located behind the cathedral in the historical centre, this intimate boutique lodging is evocative of the colonial past with a lovely open courtyard, exposed beams and decorative flourishes and splashes of colour. It is a relaxed informal affair, with pleasant, pretty rooms and a reliable restaurant. There is antique furniture dotted around and no two rooms are alike, the staff are also friendly and helpful.


Stay: Posada San Antonio

Day 4: Villa de Leyva Tour and Bogota Drop Off

After breakfast, return to Bogotá. On the way, break at the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo. Founded by the Dominicans in 1620, this was an important point of evangelization in a region populated by infidel Indigenous communities. The tour ends in Bogotá Airport for departure flight to the Colombian department of Quindio. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Armenia Province.

For the next 3 nights you will be staying at Hacienda Bambusa in a Superior Room on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Hacienda Bambusa is a traditional farm or finca in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region, set on a prominent overlooking a valley, in the province of Quindío, it is 30 minutes from Armenia airport, yet there is a feeling of remoteness thanks to its vast grounds. The property’s construction uses the local ‘guadua’ bamboo to create a charming feel. Each of the seven rooms is simply but attractively decorated, several with balconies overlooking the pool. Guided nature walks, bird watching, and horseback riding can be arranged. You could also simply borrow a map and explore the property – over 250 acres of pineapple, plantain, ginger, orange and cacao plantations, as well as herds of cattle.


Stay: Hacienda Bambusa

Day 5: Full Day Cocora Valley

In the morning leave for the Valle de Cocora which is located in the central mountains of the department of Quindío. This makes part of the Parque Nacional de los Nevados and is the ideal place to marvel at the “Quindian wax palm” (Ceroxylon quincense), the national tree of Colombia. Around here a great number of species of birds live, in particular some types of hummingbird and the orejíamarillo or the palm parrot (Ognorhynchus icteroti) which is endangered.

Upon arrival in the valley, either hiking or on horseback (not included), head into the cloud forest to enjoy the biodiversity of flora and fauna. On the return journey, cross the River Quindío while walking along an ecological pathway which takes one past the tallest wax palms in the world. Learn why the indigenous people here worshipped this tree. Stop at a trout farm and then enjoy a traditional meal of smoked trout. Enjoy some free time here.

In the afternoon, continue 10km towards the traditional town of Salento to enjoy a city tour that visits the Plaza de Bolívar with its colorful balconies, the calle real, the handicrafts shops and the Cocora viewpoint. Then, transfer to the traditional village of Filandia to enjoy a city tour that includes the viewpoint, the colonial homes, the Plaza de Bolivar and the coffee shops. Here, enjoy some time soaking up the regional atmosphere and perhaps some local spirits before returning to the hotel.

Stay: Hacienda Bambusa

Day 6: Half Day Coffee Tour

Half day visiting the coffee plantations along the steep hills typical of this area. On a secondary pathway view the green carpet of coffee plants that spread out as far as the horizon interrupted only by fincas and heliconia flowers.

Visit to Hacienda San Alberto one of the coffee estates typical of the region and located near the town of Buenavista Quindío. The tour begins with a visit to the main house where you will be able to appreciate local typical architecture and history while at the same time enjoying an introductory chat about coffee, its preparation, toasting, the characteristics of quality and the properties that allows for such a variety of coffees in the world. The route continues through the plantations, appreciating the work of the coffee pickers as well as understanding the famous humid coffee that is characteristic of Colombian coffee. Walk through the coffee plantations and learn about the production system in minute detail, including the harvest, the drying to the sun and treatment in this land of volcanic terrain along the Central Andes Mountain Range which has been declared a world Heritage site by UNESCO and that offers the perfect climatic conditions for coffee growing.

Stay: Hacienda Bambusa

Day 7: Quindio to Cartagena

After check out you will be transferred to Armenia Airport in time for your departure flight to Cartagena.

On arrival in Cartagena you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel.

For the next 3 nights you will be staying at Ananda Boutique Hotel in a Deluxe Room on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Set in the heart of the old town this boutique hotel offers all the luxury and service one would expect. Larger than some of the boutique hotels of Cartagena it retains a personal feel, yet has the space to incorporate 3 patios, a pool and jacuzzi, plus 24 hour restaurant and room service plus mirador (lookout) for good views of the old town.

Stay: Ananda Boutique Hotel

Day 8: Half Day Tour of Cartagena

Morning private city tour including walking tour around the old town, exploring the cobbled streets with their pretty colourful houses and churches, many of which are covered with with bougainvillea. Follow this by a visit to ‘San Felipe’ castle-fortress built on ‘San Lázaro’ hill to defend the city from pirate attacks. Walk-around the fortress and see the castle tunnels, underground galleries and passageways.

Stay: Ananda Boutique Hotel

Day 9: Cartagena Street Food Tour

Afternoon private street food tour. Cartagena’s vibrant historic center hosts a huge a variety of cuisine, combining Spanish flavours with African influences brought across by the slaves and migrants of 19th century. Locals have taken over this culinary tradition and culinary artisans are found throughout the streets of Cartagena.

During this walking tour, there will be 10 different stops in the historic center. In addition, you will learn about Cartagena’s typical food by tasting 15 different types of food, all prepared by local cooks in different places along the streets. You will also have the possibility to prepare a selection of typical food in a class given by local women.

Stay: Ananda Boutique Hotel

Day 10: Departure

After checking out you will be picked up and taken to the airport by private transfer in time to check-in for your flight home as you reflect on your adventure of a lifetime.


Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Bogota Sofitel Victoria Regia
Day 2: Half-Day Bogota City Tour with Monserrate Sofitel Victoria Regia
Day 3: Bogota to Villa de Leyva via Zipaquira Posada San Antonio
Day 4: Villa de Leyva Tour and Bogota Drop Off Hacienda Bambusa
Day 5: Full Day Cocora Valley Hacienda Bambusa
Day 6: Half Day Coffee Tour Hacienda Bambusa
Day 7: Quindio to Cartagena Ananda Boutique Hotel
Day 8: Half Day Tour of Cartagena Ananda Boutique Hotel
Day 9: Cartagena Street Food Tour Ananda Boutique Hotel
Day 10: Departure



  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Excursions
  • Transfers
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa if applicable
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)


Bogota Villa de Leyva Cartagena

From USD 2,740 per person based on two persons travelling and including domestic flights

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant