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Vibrant Colombia

Learn the art of salsa, bask on private boats and taste award-winning food

Vibrant Colombia

9 Days | From £1795

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation

About your trip

Forget the tourist trail: this Colombia trip is about venturing deep into the soul of one of South America’s most captivating countries. 

Think street art tours with a local photographer, rum tasting and salsa dancing in the rooftop bars of Cartagena and community cooking with the women of Medellín.

This is a holiday for foodies, featuring award-winning Ajiaco soup from Mama Luz (catch her on Netflix) and a 22-moment molecular meal from rising star chef Juan Manuel Barrientos. It’s also a getaway for those who love to venture off the beaten track: we’ll visit a family-run coffee farm deep in the mountains and zip between beaches in the idyllic Rosario Islands by private boat. 

What's Included

  • Max 14 travellers per group
  • Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
  • All activities mentioned on the itinerary
  • 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Hand-picked 4 star hotels
  • Two domestic flights
  • We offset your carbon emissions
  • Tips for the guide & driver
  • Private minibus & speedboat
  • Arrival Airport transfer
  • Accommodation in twin rooms

**UK customers can’t currently book this trip** Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team

Itinerary

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Your Itinerary

  • Day 01 BOHEMIAN BOGOTÁ

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    Welcome to Bogotá. You’ll be met with a private transfer to your hotel in Zona Rosa, one of the capital’s most vibrant neighbourhoods lined with restaurants and eclectic bars. You’ll enjoy a welcome cocktail together and get settled in before heading for a meal at Andrés Carne de Res.  This fabled Colombian night spot is the place to be if you want to party like a Bogotano. A huge space packed with neon signs and cultural memorabilia, it’ll be heaving on a Saturday night and the carnival-like vibes are infectious. Soak in the atmosphere with a live band, delicious local cuisine and performance art. 

  • Day 02 Graffiti art & gunpowder games

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    You’ll begin today with a graffiti tour around La Candelaria with photographer Andres Trujillo. Leave the tourists far behind as you wander around this evocative district filled with ancient colonial buildings and hidden works of art. Later you’ll stop for lunch with Mama Luz, whose award-winning Ajiaco soup made her a Netflix documentary star. Afterwards, it’s on to Tejo La Embajada. Teja is a local drinking game that involves throwing a metal disc at a gunpowder target. With plenty of Colombian craft beer, this past-time promises excitement.

  • Day 03 Colombia’s most colourful town

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    This morning you’ll fly one hour to Medellín, known as “City of Eternal Spring”. We won’t have time to stop at the hotel, so dress ready to climb El Peñol de Guatapé, a giant and ancient rock with incredible views. It’s 654 steps to the top; or you can stay at the café at the foot of El Peñol if you prefer. After, you’ll take a look around Guatapé, one of the most colourful towns in Colombia filled with pastel-coloured homes. You’ll stop for lunch and then hop aboard for a private 30-minute boat ride across Guatapé reservoir, which is overlooked by the ruins of one of Pablo Escobar’s estates. After, you’ll all return to Medellín and check into your hotel.

  • Day 04 Award-winning molecular dining

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    Today you’ll get under the skin of Medellín, getting to know its people and stories. Once one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Medellín is now filled with beautiful parks, welcoming people and a world-class cable car system. We’ll head to Comuna 13, a  hillside favela known for its vivid street murals and electric stairs and you’ll share a cooking lesson and lunch with women from Las Berracas, a local community project that empowers single mums and domestic violence survivors.  Tonight you’ll dine at El Cielo Restaurant, run by Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos. It’s part culinary adventure, part work of art – offering 22 “moments” of  Barrientos’ molecular cuisine.

  • Day 05 The secrets of coffee production

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    Coffee-lovers, listen up: today is all about the good stuff. You’ll buckle up on a convoy of classic Jeep Willys for an off-road trip across the mountains to a family-run coffee plantation. Learn all about coffee production at this local hacienda, with tastings and a traditional lunch cooked by the farmer’s wife. This is a great, authentic experience with a real taste of how small families sustainably produce coffee in Colombia’s more remote mountain regions. Get to know all the flavours and stories from the coffee farm, with an unfiltered view of the farmers’ daily lives.  You’ll return to Medellín in the evening for free time and an overnight stay.

  • Day 06 Street food in Cartagena

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    Today you’ll all board a one-hour flight to Cartagena – the Caribbean heart of Colombia. You’ll begin with a bike tour around the scenic old city, before arriving at Getsemaní, the buzzing downtown neighborhood that inspired Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Love in the time of Cholera.  We’ll then embark on a Colombian food safari in Getsemaní – stopping for fresh fruit, arepas (pancake-style cakes with different fillings) and Costeñita beers.  Later, you’ll head to one of Cartagena’s best rooftop bars to watch the sunset over the sea.

  • Day 07 Salsa class & Rum tasting

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    Today is free to explore Cartagena however you please. From ancient sights to Colombian food delights, there’s so much to see and do here.  You may find time for a cocktail en-route. With 365 fruits growing in Colombia, it has a different one for every day of the year: and they go particularly well in fruit syrup mixers – perfect for your five-a-day.  In the early evening, you’ll gather for a premium rum tasting at Alquímico, a bar located in a grand colonial palace. You’ll delve into the history of this legendary beverage before sampling another famous Colombian past-time: salsa. 

  • Day 08 Rosario Islands by private boat

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    Now for beach beauty. You’ll take a private boat with a fridge of ice-cold beer around the Rosario Islands, one of Colombia’s 48 National Parks.  Your first stop is Cholon, a party island that Colombians flock to at weekends – mooring around the thatched swim-up bars. Later on, you’ll have time for snorkelling before arriving at Gente De Mar beach. Tonight, you’ll gather for a farewell dinner at Lobo De Mar, one of the city’s trendiest seafood restaurants with a VIP entrance to La Jugada gin bar (which normally books out weeks in advance).

  • Day 09 So long, Colombia

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    It’s a sad morning, as today signals the end of your whirlwind Colombia trip. After a final breakfast, it’s time to say your farewells and arrange your own transfers back to the airport. Wherever you head next, you’ll be sure to leave on a high – with new friends, stories and the spirit of Colombia spurring you on.

Our Favourite Hotels

Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.

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AC Hotel by Marriott, Bogotá

This brand new hotel is brilliantly located in the heart of Bogotá’s Zona Rosa neighbourhood, with many great restaurants, bars, parks and shops in easy reach. Its cosmopolitan setting is matched by contemporary, spacious rooms with free wi-fi and a fitness centre on-site.

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Diez Hotel, Medellín

Diez Hotel is filled with greenery, art work and charismatic design touches: each of its five floors are inspired by different regions of Colombia. It has a rooftop restaurant, a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna, and a rooftop hot tub with magnificent views of Medellín. It’s located in chic El Poblado, with boutiques, restaurants and museums nearby. 

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Nacar Hotel, Cartagena

This beautiful colonial hotel has all the charms of Old Town Cartagena right on its doorstep. Housed in a restored historic landmark, its rooms are elegant and charming, and its amenities are top-notch. Enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool before indulging in some food and cocktails from the terrace bar that overlooks the city.

Important Notes

Which airport do I need to fly into? Plus airport code

Fly into Bogotá Airport (BOG) and fly out of Rafael Nuñez International Airport in Cartagena  (CTG)

Do I need a visa?

No, if you’re visiting Colombia as a tourist you don’t need a visa if you’re coming from the UK or US, for a stay up to 90 days. However, you will need to provide evidence of return or onward travel. Check the latest entry requirements with the Colombian Consulate General residing in your country before you travel.

What time should my flight arrive? (so arrive in time for the welcome meeting)

Before 5 pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 7 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 30 minutes away from the airport.

What time should my flight depart on the last day?

There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.

Are airport transfers included?

Yes. The arrival transfer is private to Flash Pack and will be in a group depending on flight times.

We don’t include departure transfers however, the airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel, with the cost of a taxi being around 30,000 Colombian Pesos for 1-2 people, the equivalent of approximately £6 / $10.

If you and some other flashpackers are all getting the same flight, we recommend splitting the taxi journey.

How much should I budget per day for extras?

We already include guide and driver tips and most meals however we recommend around 150,000 COP, the equivalent of 30 GBP / 40 USD per day.

What fitness levels do I need for this trip?

We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness.

Overall, the trip is relatively relaxed so only a moderate level of fitness is required. However, there is a good amount of walking (at your own pace) and a climb up Piedra del Peñol on day 3 which has 654 steps to the top, so good, worn-in walking shoes are advised.

Will the itinerary change?

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 – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting

What Flashpackers say

OUR PROMISE

Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees

THE PEOPLE

Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH

THE SECURITY

We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

THE TRIPS

Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS

THE GUIDES

We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone. We include guide and driver tips to make sure that our team are well looked after

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