- Prices between £2799 - £3199
- 13 days
12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners, including a beach picnic
12 nights’ accommodation in twin room boutique hotels
All activities, from rainforest hiking to river tubing, included. Local Flash Pack guide and driver
Max 14 Flashpackers
2 internal flights to Medellín and Santa Marta
Private airport transfers anytime on Day 1, country travel in private minibus
Casa Carolina, Santa Marta
Courtyard hotel in Santa Marta’s historic downtown
An 18th Century townhouse, centred around three (yes, three!) pools, plus a roof terrace and a spa. There’s also free wifi and air con.
Why we stay here
The whitewash facades and boutique décor create an oasis of calm, best appreciated from the rooftop jacuzzi. Plus, you’re just a five-minute walk from the sea here.
Hotel Casa Lola, Cartagena
Super-stylish hotel in hip Getsemani
This hotel is stuffed with curiosities, from interesting artwork in the bedrooms to vintage furniture in the lobby. The foliage-filled courtyard and gorgeous rooftop pool are heaven on a warm day.
Why we stay here
Because it’s right in the middle of trendy Getsemani and its great foodie scene, and a short walk to the Walled City.
Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá
City hotel close to El Virrey Park
Well-maintained ensuite rooms in a modern hotel in the heart of Bogotá. Everything you need is here, from a restaurant and bar to a 24-hour fitness centre. There’s also free wifi.
Why we stay here
So you’re placed within walking distance of some of Bogota’s best bars and restaurants.
The Flash Pack Promise
Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.
BOOM you’ve landed in Bogotá. The endlessly vibrant capital of Colombia is where your 13-day adventure begins. Please arrive by 2pm where you’ll be met by a private transfer at the airport, ready to be whisked off into a Colombian world of colourful cities, tropical rainforests and paradise beaches. First up, settle into your boutique hotel, where your expert guide will be waiting in the lobby. This evening, we’re heading to the legendary and riotous Bogotá hot spot of Andrés DC. The insane décor, amazing food and sizzling party atmosphere at this circus-like restaurant are perfect for kicking off your Colombia escape in style. Get the cocktails in with your new Flash Pack crew, and say bienvenidos to your new South American home!Read more
Cycling and a gunpowder beer game
Every Sunday, downtown Bogotá is filled with bikes, as the streets are shut off from traffic in favour of some serious pedal power. Here at Flash Pack, we like to get involved with local culture, so this morning we’re hopping on bikes for a three-hour cycling tour around the city. We’ll then leave the saddle behind and head to La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic heartland. You’ll get to explore the impressive Plaza de Bolivar, the renowned Botero Museum and the dazzling Gold Museum. Culture isn’t all statues and paintings though, so next up it’s time for an eccentric Colombian game involving gunpowder and beer. Known as “Tejo”, this health and safety nightmare of a past-time is actually a traditional sport. The aim is to create a mini-explosion by throwing a metal disc called a “tejo” towards a gunpowder-lined target. What could possibly go wrong?! The only currency is beer so BYOB and let the chaos begin!Read more
A rockin’ good climb and kayak
From one buzzing city to the next, after breakfast we’ll take a one-hour flight to the mountainous city of Medellín. Unless you’re still mid-Narcos, this creative hub is no longer run by Pablo Escobar and has firmly shaken off its notorious reputation. We’re heading out of town to Guatapé, where the huge rock of La Piedra del Peñol and its iconic zig-zag staircase can be found. A mere 740 steps, a climb to the top is definitely worth it once you catch a glimpse of the horizon across Guatapé reservoir. The panorama from “the top of the rock with the best view in the world” will take your breath away (and not just because you’ve climbed up there). Drink in the stunning views of the basin, because next up you’re kayaking across its shimmering surface. You’ll then be whisked back to your hotel in Medellín, just as the eclectic nightlife begins to heat up.Read more
Medellín’s marvellous makeover
Today we’ll get under the skin of Medellín, to understand how it has transformed from “The Most Dangerous City on Earth” to “City of Eternal Spring”. Since the early 2000s, things in this drug-plagued city have started to change for the better. With huge investments into infrastructure and public education, a new era of hope and positive developments began. Fast-forward to the current day, and Medellín is heralded as one of the most innovative and exciting cities in the world. Today, we’ll learn more about its regrowth by checking out its latest invention; the giant escalators of Comuna 13 – a mountainside district once considered a no-go area. We’ll also explore different neighbourhoods of this sprawling city via the awesome cable car system: the beating heart of Medellín that’ll give insight into community life far beyond the tourist radar.Read more
Time for a caffeine hit
Forget Escobar and his drug trafficking. Today is all about another of Colombia’s most famous exports. Coffee anyone? We’re kicking off a day of caffeine heaven with an interactive tour through a typical coffee farm (and by interactive we mean plenty of coffee-tasting, of course). You’ll meet the family that runs this sustainable practice and learn about germinating and harvesting the precious coffee beans, as well as helping to pick them. This is an awesome chance to see the daily life of a coffee farmer, before enjoying a homemade lunch freshly prepared by his wife. You’ll learn about toasting, threshing, selection and packaging…your Starbucks coffee will never be the same again!Read more
Sun, sea and sand in Santa Marta
After breakfast, we’re moving on from Medellín and hopping aboard a 90-minute flight to the sparkling Caribbean coastline of Santa Marta. You’ll be whisked from the airport to your next hotel. Settle in and freshen up before exploring this sizzling beach city. Sandwiched nicely between the Caribbean Sea and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, Santa Maria is South America’s oldest European-founded hub. Framed by pristine beaches and towering peaks, it’s a lovely place to wander around. Stroll through tropical parks and people-watch on the plazas and lively waterfront. Pass by colonial buildings framed by bright bougainvillea and stock up on local street food, from ceviche to exotic fruit. After a happy few hours of meandering, find a patch of beach to call your own and soak in your quota of Caribbean-fuelled vitamin D.Read more
Tube down Palomino River
Wake up to breakfast in the sea air of Santa Marta. Today we’re heading out of the city to the quiet Caribbean coastline. Here the golden beaches run parallel to the rainforest teeming with biodiversity, complete with endless palm trees and distant mountains. We’re taking you to the middle of nowhere, where you’ll find the tropical Palomino River, which is perfect for tubing. For any tubing newbies, it’s basically just floating along in an inflatable ring as the gentle current pulls you downstream. It’s super-relaxing and a great way to soak in the stunning beauty of Tayrona – with a beer or two along the way if you wish. Drink in the jungle terrain as you unwind in your own slice of wilderness. Tonight, we’re heading for the palm trees of Koralia beach, with swaying hammocks and sunset views. Dig into a delicious dinner of local seafood and veg at your new hotel and toast to the day’s adventures.Read more
Trek through Tayrona National Park
Today we’re exploring the bucket list destination of Tayrona National Park; a wonderland of golden beaches, tropical rainforest and dazzling coral reef. This park was once the sacred home of the pre-hispanic Tayrona tribe, and descendants of the indigenous group still live in the area. Trek around egg-like boulders, mangrove swamps and lush green bush in this glorious coastal haven, and keep an eye out for wildlife including red howler monkeys and bats. Mosey around secluded little caves and coves, stopping along the way for a private picnic on a secluded beach. As you’re there, why not take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, filled with tropical fish, rays and over 100 different types of coral? It would be rude not to. After a day of dialling down to nature in the most spectacular of settings, it’s time for a sunset dinner with your fellow Flashpackers and another night’s sleep by the rolling waves.Read more
Rooftop cocktails in Cartagena
The time has come to leave this ocean oasis and head to the party city of Cartagena. It’s a six-hour drive to reach this Colombian hotspot, so we’ll stop for lunch along the way. The journey is definitely worth it, once we arrive at an ancient port bursting with colour and culture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site combines ancient history with a cosmopolitan streak, promising all the cool cafés and backstreet bars you could possibly hope for. After settling in at our new hotel, it’s up and on into the night. Cartagena’s Caribbean sea views and brightly-coloured buildings create an endless holiday atmosphere, and its restaurants and nightclubs are some of the best in Colombia. We’ll arrive in time to watch a blazing sunset from a panoramic rooftop. Welcome cocktails all round!Read more
Salsa up a storm
It’s not for nothing that residents call this city “La Heroica” (The Heroic City); the streets here are positively simmering with a tangible sense of history, from the legacy of the first free town in the Americas (founded by slaves who escaped their Spanish captors) to the magical passages that appear in the Nobel-winning work of Gabriel García Márquez. Today, you’ll dig beneath the surface of Cartagena’s rich treasures, as your local guide leads you on a vibrant tour – giving you the full low-down on the city’s pulsating food and culture scene. Along the way, you’ll taste delicious regional cuisine and learn of the area’s pirate-filled past. We’ll then move onto some rum-tasting, perfect for getting you in the party mood for your crash-course in salsa dancing with lively locals – followed by drinks at a happenin’ local bar. You’re a salsa pro now: why not bust a few of your newfound moves?Read more
Street food and history
Today is free for you to explore Cartagena as you please. Lose yourself in the vivid alleyways of Cartagena de Indias, the city’s 16th Century walled centre, and the beating heart of a city that inspired novelist Gabriel García Márquez. Make like the locals and order coffee in one of the lively pavement cafés, as you soak in the pace and rhythm of life here. Check out the Palacio de la Inquisición or the San Felipe de Barajas Castle for a greater understanding of the city’s rich architectural heritage. Or, for a visceral sense of place, sprawl along the hefty murallas (bastions) that form the gateway to the old city. As you stroll the colourful streets, make room for street food – fluffy arepas filled with cheese or cassava hit the sweet spot, as do papas rellenas (deep-fried potatoes stuffed with different fillings). You could also check out Bocagrande, Cartagena’s new town and a beacon for chic beach clubs.Read more
Boat between the Rosario Islands
Not many days can you wake up, step into your private car and be whisked off to your private speedboat. But today is that day. The sparkling Rosario Islands await you for a blissful day of cruising between the islands. This labyrinth of 27 islets, some uninhibited and others private, forms a Caribbean paradise off the coast of Cartagena. Snorkel around magnificent coral reef in warm turquoise waters, and discover hidden beaches framed by tropical foliage, as we zip across this oceanic maze. The rich ecosystem here means you may even spot sea turtles or reef sharks. Along the way, we’ll stop off at an island for lunch, where there is kayaks and jet skis available for you to zoom around your aquatic playground to your heart’s content. This day of idyllic island-hopping is the stuff that dreams are made of; you’ll never want to return to dry land.Read more
The time has come to say a heartfelt adiós to this compelling land of colour and culture. After breakfast, you’ll need to make your own way to the airport. Wherever you head to next, let the fiery crackle of Colombian spirit burn strong within you. You’ve dived headfirst into the dazzling nightlife of Bogotá with an explosive game involving beer and gunpowder. You’ve climbed the zig-zag staircase of La Piedra del Peñol and kayaked across Guatapé reservoir. You’ve marvelled at the renaissance of Medellín, once the most dangerous city in the world, and picked coffee beans at a family-run plantation. You’ve tubed down Palomino River, boated the secret beaches of the Rosario Islands and trekked through mangroves in Tayrona National Park. From rum-tasting to salsa classes and like-minded travellers, it’s been one helluva fortnight. Colombia, you’ve captured our soul!Read more
- Fly into Bogotá and fly out of Cartagena.
- Please try and arrive in Bogotá by 2pm on Day 1 of the adventure and you’re free to leave anytime on Day 13, in Cartagena.
- During February, Tayrona National Park may be closed to help it recover and maintain its wild beauty. If your adventure occurs during this period then please get in touch to find out what else we have in store for you!
- Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control. During the rainy season the locations visited may change due to some routes being covered by water.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
- We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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