I have just returned from a wonderful 3 weeks tour in Colombia that I organized myself (august 2018).
I thought that my blog is an opportunity to show step by step the organization and the progress of this Colombia tour.
So I fed the articles as and when the progress of my project. You will find below the questions that I asked myself for the construction of this tour. They are classified chronologically.
3 weeks tour in Colombia – Why Colombia?
After my wonderful trip to Peru, I had only one desire: return to Latin America! And, I wanted to discover a country with multiple landscapes, that it is rich culturally, that it brings me expatriation and wonder … but where the cost of the life is not too high and where it will be easy to find cheap accommodation …
Firstly, I had a good time on Argentina but doing Patagonia in August is very bad advice because of the freezing temperatures. Moreover, it is one of the countries of Latin America where it is very very expensive to travel (high prices, long distances to travel …).
Finally, my choice fell on a circuit in Colombia. Indeed, the landscapes are very varied: Pacific coast, desert, Andes, Amazon rainforest, Caribbean coast …
In addition, the average cost of the trip is estimated at 35 Euros per day. Perfect for my little budget!
3 weeks tour in Colombia – When to go to Colombia?
The month of August is really not the ideal time to visit Colombia (school holidays so many people on the sites, the highest prices of the year, heat in the Caribbean part …).
But as I wanted to leave more than 3 weeks, other constraints pushed me to choose despite all this period that is not the most propitious …
3 weeks tour in Colombia – What to see in Colombia?
After consulting dozens of catalogs, read a lot of blogs and received some quotes, I decided to skip the AMAZONIE area because it is not very secure … and to do a South – North circuit starting from Bogota.
3 weeks tour in Colombia – Which transport in Colombia?
First of all, the plane of course. This is the most expensive part of the trip!
In total: 1,227 Euros (flight A / R + 2 domestic flights). I will leave with LUFTHANSA from Toulouse via Frankfurt to get to Bogotá. For the return, I will leave Cartagena to go to Bogotá then Frankfurt and Toulouse. A Medellín-Santa Marta flight is included in this price.
For my bookings on the Internet, I usually go through: Expedia
Then, I estimated on GOOGLE MAP the distances and time of transport between the various sites and stages of my route. Many trips are quite long (between 7 and 10 hours). The most economical solution is the bus.
But given the time of bus transport with the many stops, delays, discomfort … I preferred to plan (but only for some long trips) a private driver (see quote below). It was the best compromise!
I still booked a domestic flight to Medellin-Santa Marta. The ticket with Avianca cost me 146 Euros via lastminute.com.
3 weeks tour in Colombia – Find a local guide for part of my tour in Colombia
This is the longest part of the trip organization : find a local agency that can provide only some trips with private drivers and French speaking guides.
The services guide and / or private driver concern only 12 days out of 25 (mainly large cities and long distances). I had to organize the visits and transport on the other 13 days.
Here is the agency I chose: Colombia Infinita www.colombiainfinita.com (57) 3208125670
This agency has been very serious, professional and responsive. Pierre Verger knew how to understand us and adapt to our requests. We were completely satisfied with his services.
3 weeks tour in Colombia – Program with local agent for 12 days over 26
- DAY 2: 9H30 Visit of the historic center, La Candelaria with your French speaking guide. Visit the Botero museum in the morning. Lunch (your guide will advise you to taste the typical dishes) then following the visit of the Candelaria before going to the mirador Monserrate (the link of the Museum of Gold, closed on Monday). End of the visit around 17h
- DAY 3: Trip Bogota – Tatacoa (Villavieja), between 6am and 7am depending on the traffic coming out of Bogota. Departure MORNING (before 10am)
- DAY 5: Villavieja – Armenia route (about 6h30 of transport). Departure MORNING (before 10am) according to the schedules of your convenience.
- DAY 7: Private vehicle and French speaking guide to visit the sites of the Cocora Valley, the village of Salento and Filandia. Departure in the morning between 8h and 9h depending on the location of your hotel in Salento.
- DAY 8: Private vehicle and French speaking guide in the morning (departure around 9am)
- DAY 9: Trip Salento – Medellin, about 6h30 of transport. Departure MORNING (before 10am) according to the schedules of your convenience.
- DAY 10: Excursion Penol de Guatapé with your guide / driver francophone specialist of the region (private transport). Departure around 9am. About 4h go back to Medellin – Guatapé.
- DAY 11: Departure in the morning around 8.30am for a visit of the historic center and commune 13 with your French speaking guide / translator. End of the visit around 13h.
- DAY 17: Departure planned around 9am with your French speaking guide. Adaptable trekking, along rivers and in the heart of beautiful mountains. Typical lunch included. Visit finca of coffee and cocoa, visit a Kogui house with explanation of the therapeutic uses of coca. End of the day around 17h.
- DAY 19: Trip Minca – Cartagena (about 4 hours of transport). Departure around 9am.
- DAY 22: Departure at 9am from the port of Cartagena (center) to your hotel in Mucura (2h by boat).
- DAY 25: Departure from Mucura around 10am. Return to the port of Cartagena center around 11am.
3 weeks tour in Colombia – My impressions about Colombia
Back in France, you will find below my general impressions of my 3 week circuit in Colombia.
- Extreme kindness of Colombians who are always caring and disinterested. They are generous and have the heart on their hands; They know how to make their country endearing.
- Very varied and wild landscapes with preserved nature (many flowers and birds). Mass tourism is almost non-existent at some sites (outside the Caribbean zone).
- Bright colors everywhere: on houses, on clothes, on buses …
- Very pronounced musical and festive culture: you can hear salsa everywhere and all the time (from breakfast to bedtime, by bus and taxis!).
- No insecurity except in big cities where you just have to avoid some neighborhoods especially at night.
If you want to live step by step my tour,
go to our Arrival in Bogota
to discover our first day
and continue following day by day !!!