A brave new world in Colombia
Days
13
Next group trip
28 Dec
Deposit
£200
Prices between
£2799 - £3298
  • Prices between £2799 - £3298
  • 13 days
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Trip Highlights

Rosario Islands
Island idyll

Cruise around the Rosario Islands by private boat, with coral reef and white-sand beaches

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Piedra del Peñol Piedra del Peñol
Hiking and boating

Climb the iconic Piedra del Peñol near Medellín and kayak across Guatapé reservoir

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Cartagena Cartagena
Party nights

Learn to salsa over rum in colourful Cartagena and play a Bogotá sport with gunpowder and beer

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Tayrona National Park
Terrific Tayrona

Trek through the striking rainforest of Tayrona National Park, with a beach picnic and wild swimming en-route

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Caffeine fix Caffeine fix
Caffeine fix

Hand-pick coffee beans on a family-run farm in the hills, and sample some of the world’s best coffee

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Palomino River Palomino River
Glide the river

Float downstream on the remote tropical waterways of Palomino River on a fleet of rubber tubes

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What's included

  • 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

About the trip

Our Colombia adventure is a masterclass in delicious contrasts, from powdery-white beaches to provocative street art and pulsating rooftop bars.

Join us as we climb the giant rock of La Piedra del Peñol, kayak across Guatapé reservoir and trek the mangroves of Tayrona National Park. We’ll hop on a private speedboat to zoom around the Rosario Islands and tube along Palomino River, floating downstream in a tropical wilderness. Have your free-spirit handy as you play an eccentric Bogotá sport involving gunpowder and beer, and learn how to salsa over rum shots in colourful Cartagena.

Whether it’s alleyways that whisper tales of a pirate-filled history, or artistic cities that have entirely re-invented themselves from a drug-addled past, this is a country that delivers wonders at every new turn.

Like a vigorous salsa shimmey, Colombia is shaking off its dangerous reputation as it enters an AMAZING new era: now is the moment to go. Pablo who?

Where you will stay

Casa Carolina, Santa Marta Casa Carolina, Santa Marta

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.

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Hotel Casa Lola, Cartagena Hotel Casa Lola, Cartagena

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.

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Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogotá

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.

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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.

Itinerary

Day 1

Hola Bogotá

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!

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Bogota

Day 2

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!

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Bogotá

Day 3

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.

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Medellín

Day 4

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.

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Medellin

Day 5

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!

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Day 6

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.

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Santa Marta

Day 7

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.

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Palomino River

Day 8

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.

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Tayrona National Park

Day 9

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!

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Cartagena

Day 10

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.

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Cartagena

Day 11

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?

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Salsa

Day 12

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.

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Rosario Islands

Day 13

Adiós Colombia

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!

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On the map

Important notes
  • 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 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.

Trip dates

12 Nights
Deposit
£200
Total
£2999
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12 Nights
Limited
Deposit
£200
Total
£2949
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12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
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£2799
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12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
Deposit
£200
Total
£2899
Guaranteed
12 Nights
Deposit
£200
Total £2899
£2799
Guaranteed
12 Nights
Deposit
£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£3298
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12 Nights
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Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£200
Total £2899
£2799
On Sale
12 Nights
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£2799
On Sale
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On Sale
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Total £3199
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