In this active and diverse incentive trip we start in the capital of Colombia, Bogotá, full of culture and history where we will walk through its Colonial center, visit the Gold Museum and get a bird’s eye view from Monserrate. We will spend a few days exploring its majestic rural surrounding including the legendary lake Guatavita and the nearby Salt Cathedral and Salt Mines. After, your adventure takes you to Cartagena, famous for its historic walled city and its Caribbean culture. We will spend the night on a beautiful, private island- one of the 27 that make up the Archipelago of Rosario. We then head for the most famous national park in Colombia, Tayrona National Park, where you will have the chance to relax, see beautiful beaches guarded by the Colombia jungle and the opportunity to observe an abundant of flora and fauna including lizards, snakes, crabs, exotic birds and even caiman. To finish off your adventure, we head to Santa Marta to visit one of the oldest city in South America and to have one final day of relaxation on the beaches of the fishing village, Taganga.
DAY 1: Welcome to Colombia!
Arrive to Bogotá at any time. Private transfers Airport – Hotel. Check-in to your hotel and meet with your DMC leader. Welcome dinner.
DAY 2: Tour- La Candelaria
Casa En La Candelaria
The Candelaria is the historical and cultural heart of Bogotá. Its colorful colonial architecture has remained almost fully intact and one of the best preserved historic centers in Latin America. This interesting glimpse into history has attracted artists, foreigners, writers and intellectuals who have filled its theaters, library and universities. Visitors will be delighted to see the colonial houses with their latticed windows, carved, wooden door and red-tile roofs. Most recently, the mayor of Bogotá has created plans to preserve the houses and cobbled streets of this historic section.
You will experience a taste of Colombians past with this tour that includes a scenic walking tour through the streets of the bohemian Candelaria, charming strolls through the Botero and Gold Museums, and the important and impressive Plaza de Bolivar among others. An experienced and bi-lingual tour guide will take you through the history of the colonial and republican architecture and will explain to you about daily life during colonial times. (L)
DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS
- 6 Hour Tour of the Historic Center of Bogotá
- We will visit the following:
- The Candelaria
- The Gold Museum (entrance included)
- The Botero Museum (entrance inc.)
- Bolivar Plaza
- The Place of Justice
- The Place of Liévano
- Monserrate (entrance inc.)
- And much more!
DAY 3: Tour- Lake Guatavita
This fantastic trip to the town of Guatavita and the nearby Lake Guatavita is great for those looking to see a piece of Colombian history as well as a unique, white-washed, Colombian town. Located just 35 miles northeast of Bogotá, it is a convenient day trip from Bogotá or as a stop-over while you continue further North.
Lake Guatavita was reputedly one of the sacred lakes of the Muisca, and a ritual conducted there is widely thought to be the basis for the legend of El Dorado. The legend says the lake is where the Muisca celebrated a ritual in which the Zipa (named “El Dorado” by the Conquistadores) was covered in gold dust, then venturing out into the water on a ceremonial raft made of rushes; he dived into the waters washing off the gold. Afterward, trinkets’, jewelry and other precious offerings were thrown into the waters by worshipers.
Since 1545 treasure hunters have been searching for gold at the bottom of the lake making it the site of one of the longest running treasure hunts in history.(B,L)
Guatavita Tour HIGHLIGHTS
- 8 Hour tour to Lake Guatavita and the town of Guatavita
- 3 Hour walk around Lake Guatavita
- Optional: Horseback Ride
DAY 4: Tour- The Salt Cathedral & The Salt Mines
The Salt Cathedral- One of the marvels of Latin America, the Salt Cathedral located in Zipaquira is a gigantic cathedral constructed within a salt mine. To visit this unique work of engineering, we will travel underground where we will find rich collections of salt and marble structures. The Salt Cathedral has a great religious importance that has attracted pilgrimages and leisure trips. Following this, we will have lunch in the town of Zipaquira with its picturesque and conserved colonial architecture, and which is considered a national monument.
The Salt Mines- Recently renovated, and quite unforgettable the Salt Mine of Nemocon (Minas de Nemocon) is a spectacular subterranean experience taking you 60 meters underground where we will visit various beautiful formations of salt. The mine represents an interesting piece of Colombian history as the mine has been used over the past 500 years to extract salt from the earth. The salt displays and especially the ´mirrors of water´ which form an optical illusion are beautiful and make a great tour for all group demographics. (B,L)
Salt Tour HIGHLIGHTS
- Visit to the Salt Cathedral
- Town of Zipaquira
- Visit to the Salt Mines of Nemocon
DAY 5: Tour- Flight to Cartagena & City Tour- Cartagena
Flight to Cartagena- Your Trip Leader will accompany you in your private transportation to the airport and assist you will the check-in procedures. After your 1 1/2hr flight to Cartagena, you will be greeted by your new Group Leader for your Caribbean Adventure. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel in Cartagena via private transportation. After checking into your hotel and relaxing for a short while, we will gather the group together to begin a 2 hour city tour of the historic-walled city of Cartagena.
City Tour Cartagena- On this city tour of Cartagena, we will walk through the old-city famous for its colonial mansions and cobbled stones streets. Besides the beautiful and well preserved mansions, throughout the walk you will have the opportunity to admire the churches, convents and large plazas that are found scattered within the old-city. (B,L)
Cartagena Tour HIGHLIGHTS
- 2 Hour Walking Tour
- Plaza de los Coches
- Plaza de la Aduana
- The Church of Cartagena
- The Government Building
- Santo Domingo
- The Mayor’s Office of Cartagena
DAY 6: Free Day- Optional* Tour- Explore Cartagena
With this optional tour you have the opportunity to explore more of the historic, walled-city and know one of the most important man-made constructions in Latin America, The Castle of San Felipe de Barajas. We will also visit the Monastery of the Candelaria situated on very top of “the Pope’s Hill”, where you will see a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Afterwards, we will head to the old-city to visit old dungeons, now used as art shops, and visit the Plaza of San Pedro Claver. This optional tour includes lunch. (B)
Explore Cartagena HIGHLIGHTS
- 4 Hour Tour with Private Transportation
- The Castle of San Felipe
- “The Pope’s Hill” (El Cerro de la Popa)
- Panoramic View of the City
DAY 7: Tour- The Rosario Islands- Overnight at Pirate Island
Swimming off of Pirate Island
Enjoy the sun, air and open sea while you discover this beautiful archipelago with so much to sea and so many activities to do. After a one hour boat ride crossing the Bay of Cartagena, you will be in paradise while taking in the crystal-blue water, bright coral reefs and white-sand beaches which is characteristic of the 27 islands that make up the Rosario Islands.
Our first stop will be Pirate Island where we will also be spending the night. On arrival you will have the chance to relax and take in the amazing surrounding while enjoying fresh, local fruit and a welcome cocktail or Colombian coffee. We will then head back on the boat for a tour of the 27 islands and a stop at the aquarium ($12) that features a wide variety of marine life and a dolphin show. Upon our return to Pirate Island you will be invited for a fresh, Caribbean style buffet. Free time in the afternoon.
Pirate Island Hotel- We will spend the night at a small hotel located on Pirate Island. Its grounds are filled with coconut trees and the island itself is protected by coral reefs. You will have plenty of time to discover this island and enjoy the activities available, Some of which include snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and volleyball. (B,L,D)
Rosario Islands HIGHLIGHTS
- Overnight at an Eco-Hotel on Pirate Island
- Activities such as kayaking, ecological walks, snorkeling, and volleyball.
- Aquarium and dolphin show (optional)
DAY 8: Morning on Pirate Island & Return to Cartagena *Optional Chiva Party
Pirate Island Eco-Hotel
The next day we will have the morning to appreciate and contemplate the paradise you are in the midst of. After a tasty lunch on Pirate Island we will embark on our 1 hour ride back to Cartagena where you will be transferred to our hotel in Cartagena. You will have the rest of the day free to enjoy Cartagena and discover more of the magic behind its great walls.
At night you have the option to join in on a typical, Colombian style party on a “Chiva,” a large open air and colorfully decorated bus. The 3 1/2 tour includes an MC, a Gaita or Vallenato band, an open bar with national liquors and a one hour ride around some of the most traditional parts of Cartagena. The group will make a stop to integrate with other Chiva Parties where the bands from respect parties will have a turn to show off their musical talents. We then head to an energetic club where the cover is included. You will have one hour to party in the club before the Chiva returns to the hotel. Feel free to stay and continue partying but you will have to take a taxi back to the hotel at your own expense. (B,L)
Optional Chiva Party HIGHLIGHTS
- Live Vallenato or Gaita Band
- Music integration with other Chivas
- Chiva Ride
- Free Cover into Club
DAY 9: Transfer to Tayrona National Park
After breakfast our group will take a five (5) hour ride in our private transportation to Tayrona National Park. We will register at the entrance and continue a few more minutes down the road until we come to our hotel and campsite. Upon arrival you will be served a freshly prepared lunch with a tropical fruit drink. You have the afternoon free to walk along the 1 1/2 kilometer stretch of private beach owned by the hotel, start up a game of volleyball, or admire the varied flora and fauna of the region. At night we will enjoy dinner as a group. (B,L,D)
Tayrona National Park HIGHLIGHTS
- Hotel with 1 1/2 km of private beach
- All inclusive
- Ecological Walks
DAY 10: Tour- Tayrona National Park
We will wake early so that you can have the full day to delight in one of the most beautiful and famous national parks of Colombia. A local guide will lead you on a full day hike spanning most of the walk able parts of the park. Your journey will take you through crab and lizard loaded jungle, pristine, white-sand beaches surrounded by a endless ocean on one side and a wild jungle on the other. Giant, smooth rocks and rolling hills will help to complete this picturesque destination. Through-out the hike you will have various opportunities to swim in the inviting sea or to sit and contemplate the beauty around you. If time permits, we will also hike a 1 1/2 hour loop with the principal attraction being the remains of an ancient settlement where you will also likely see and have the chance to interact with local indigenous people. (B,D)
Tayrona National Park Hike HIGHLIGHTS
- Full-day hike exploring Tayrona National Park
- Destinations include
- 9 Rocks
- Cabo San Juan
- The Pool
- The Village
DAY 11: Transport to Taganga
Bays of Taganga
You will have the opportunity to visit Taganga, a small town set in front of two gorgeous green bays. Taganga is a very popular destination year-round for travellers and swamped by Colombians during holiday season. Although very recently it was known to be a tranquil and sleepy fishing village, it has very recently received a massive tourism face-lift and this new wave of foreign investment has brought in new restaurants, diving companies, clubs and shops.
Taganga is surrounded by a unique setting where you will find a dry, desert-like environment along the shores of a stunning, blue-green bay. Enjoy a delicious, whole-fish in front of the sea (where the fish was caught) on Taganga´s principle street or head of to one of its more hidden beach to relax in the sun or refresh in the sea. Also, don´t miss the opportunity to snorkel as Taganga is one of the best places in Colombia to do it!
We´ll also check out another beach in Taganga which is hidden from the main town of Taganga. You will have the option to take a boat (5 minutes) or walk to arrive at this other impressive, yet less crowded and touristy beach. This precious bay is perfect for swimming and snorkeling with is clear, calm and green water. (B,L)
- Bays of Taganga
- Snorkeling (optional)
- Visit to other secluded beaches of Tayrona National Park (optional)
DAY 12: Departure- Hasta Luego!
Lo unico riesgo es que te quieras quedar!
Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end. Although, your 12 day adventure ends here we hope to take you and your incentive group on another amazing journey through one of Colombia’s other exotic destinations!
Transfer Hotel – Airport Santa Marta – Flight to Bogotá and connection for International Flight. (B)