Colombia

Colombia: From the Andes to the Pacific

Get off the beaten path and travel through an incredible natural and cultural landscape revitalized by a long-awaited peace.


icon
Starts At
$183

icon
Length
2 Days




icon
Your Itinerary


View Larger Map


Tour Difficulty:

Tour Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the culture of the Andes mountains, from women's handicrafts cooperatives in Cartago to the famous abstract art of local hero Omar Rayo.
  • Explore the spectacular La Vieja Canyon where the Cauca River is born, and marvel at the natural beauty in the renowned botanical garden in Tuluá.
  • Spend a day with the inspiring Afro-Colombian community in San Cipriano, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, with leaders who have forged the resistance against exploitation of natural resources and towards the preservation of local traditions.
  • See a slice of Colombia that few outsiders do, from the Andes to the Pacific.
Day Briefing

 

7:00 a. m.

Meeting point (Pereira): Plaza de Bolívar.

7:00 am to 7:30 am

Initial talk in Pereira: comprehend the history that shaped the uniqueness of the Coffee Axis region and its relationship with the Valley.

7:30 am o 8:00 am

La Vieja River Canyon: on the way to Cartago, learn about the geographical, historical, and social context of the Cauca River Valley.

8:30 am to 10:30 am

Cartago and its handicrafts: At ‘Casa del Virrey’ and ‘Museo del Bordado’, learn about colonial history and the current challenges in the city of Cartago, where women’s cooperatives are using handicrafts to maintain their traditions and independence. Head to Roldanillo afterwards.

11:30 to 1:00 pm

The Rayo Museum: watch the work of the late Omar Rayo, one of the most fascinating Colombian artists. See how his memorial museum is shaping the present and future of the city through access to culture. On to Tuluá. http://museorayo.co/

2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

A local botanical garden: have lunch and explore the local and fragile biodiversity at the Juan María Céspedes botanical garden, one of the few which exist in rural areas of the country, also an important research facility. Head to your hotel.

7:00 pm onwards

Have dinner and have a quiet evening in an eco-friendly hotel and sleep with the sounds of nature all around you.

Hotel

Ecolife Calima


Day Briefing

7:00 am to 2:00 pm

After breakfast, head to the town of San Cipriano. Just a few kilometers from the Pacific Ocean, in this natural reserve, an Afro-Colombian community is organized around the sustainable management of their natural resources, especially of water.

2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Return to Pereira, with a lunch stop along the way. End of the tour.


Ask your friends

Ask your friends whether they want to join you on this meaningful adventure.

Accommodation
icon

1 night of accommodation is included

Guide
icon

Experienced, bilingual guide

Meals
icon

All meals included: Lunch on both days, dinner on the first day, breakfast on the second day.

Transportation
icon

All ground transportation is included, to and from Pereira. All pickups are in Pereira. Please inquire if you do not wish to return to Pereira at the end of the trip.

Travel insurance
icon

You must purchase travel insurance separately

icon
Departure dates

Prices displayed below are based on per person, double occupancy.

Start End Price Action
Friday
October 26, 2018
Pereira
Saturday
October 27, 2018
Pereira
$183
Friday
November 16, 2018
Pereira
Saturday
November 17, 2018
Pereira
$183
icon
Understand Before You Go

Colombia is a hectic, complex, beautiful country currently facing a turning point in its history. Without exaggerating, it is one of the most exciting countries on the planet today. Change can be felt and seen in every corner, as a new country is reborn after decades of conflict. The UN Secretary General recently said that Colombia is one of the few sources of good news in the world, as a result of the recently concluded peace deal between the government and the FARC.

Dare to adventure into Colombian diversity, which stands out as the only country in Latin America touching the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Andes, and the Amazon Rainforest! Each region invites you to discover a new world of different flavors, rhythms, landscapes and traditions.

History

Even though Colombia is one of Latin America's oldest and most stable democracies, decades of violent conflict prevented it from flourishing as a prosperous nation - to the point that back in 2005 it was labeled as a “failed state”. Fast forward to the present and the difference is remarkable. Since 2002 the country has been making significant progress towards improving security (according to government figures, 2017 was the safest for the country in the past 40 years) and building the foundation of a new country.   

Colombia seems to be ready to turn the page of conflict, which is great news if it leads to realizing the full potential of the country. In Colombian civil society, voices are increasingly demanding a political agenda focusing on bridging inequality divide and leveraging the rights of the traditionally excluded indigenous and afro-descendant communities. Justice Travel will guide you into some of the most fascinating stories in the country, of brave activists breaking with violence and pointing the way towards a prosperous future.   

Read: Oblivion: A Memoir

Watch: There was no time for sadness

 

People

Colombia is a multiethnic country with an estimated 49 million people - the third most populous country in Latin America. Colombians have a diverse cultural heritage, descending from original indigenous communities, European immigrants primarily from Spain, Africans originally brought as slaves, and immigrants from the Middle East. Spanish is the most commonly spoken language but there are over 60 living indigenous languages. 

Although diverse overall, there is a clear divide in the country, with the indigenous and afro-descendant populations inhabiting mainly rural and historically neglected territories, and areas where the armed conflict has been lived with greater intensity. These communities face death threats and violence, and they most affected by forced displacement - Colombia has the world’s second-largest population of internally displaced persons after Syria.

Read: ¡Basta ya! Colombia: memories of war and dignity 

Watch: “Los Colores de la Montaña”

 

Culture

Colombian culture reflects the diversity of its peoples and variety of landscapes. Because of its natural structure, it can be differentiated six very distinct natural regions (Andean, Caribbean, Pacific, Orinoquia, Amazon and Insular regions), each one with unique traditions and cultural expressions. Clothing, cuisine, handcrafts, rhythms, even the character of people changes based on the region in which they live. Colombians often joke about how hard is to believe that they all belong to the same country.

Art is a key element for Colombian society, one of the few spaces allowing common ground and dialogue among people from different regions and backgrounds. Artistic expression allows people to tell their own stories, all sharing an essential Colombian quality: A country of extravagant beauty where violence has been a persistent sickness; a country full of creativity which often has been used for the wrong purposes; a country where the surreal and the real get mixed together. It is no coincidence that “magical realism”, literary genre found in the novels of Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was born here.

Read: A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1982 Nobel Prize in Literature)

Watch: Doris Salcedo's Public Works

 

Land

Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. It is about the same size as France, Spain and Portugal combined, or Texas and California put together.  Colombia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean to the north, the only country in South America that has coastlines on both seas. The Amazon rainforest runs along its southern border, and the Andes mountains run north to south, giving the country a significant variation of climates and ecosystems. Among other amazing facts, you may find it interesting that:

  • Per square foot, it is the most bio-diverse country in the world
  • It has more species of birds and frogs than any other country
  • Colombia has the sixth-largest renewable freshwater supply in the world
  • Certain parts of Chocó, on the Pacific coast, receive more rainfall than anywhere else on Earth
  • It is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal

With the end of over 50 years of civil war, there are great expectations for Colombia as an ecotourism hub. Nevertheless, there are huge challenges due to the strong link between conflict and environment. Large portions of the country have been left unexplored for decades because of the violence, and with peace a national debate has been ignited about land rights and land usage. At the core of that discussion is the return of indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations who were violently displaced from their ancestral territories, as well as the creation of sustainable alternatives to guarantee their livelihoods.        

Read: Peace and environmental protection in Colombia

Watch: Colombia wild magic

 

Food

Variety of climates and ecosystems make of Colombia a mecca for foodies. Exotic fruits are a delight for the senses, an extravaganza of flavors, shapes and colors. Colombian cuisine benefits from fresh and organic products coming from the different regions all year round, resulting in magnificent autochthonous dishes which blend food preparation traditions brought by migrants from around the world.

Colombia is one of the seven countries that the UN has identified as major future food producers. The post-conflict progress and further development of the country depend on how successful Colombia is at creating jobs and sustainable productive projects for the a burgeoning food industry, capable of raising living standards in rural areas and reaching new foreign markets to guarantee a stronger local economy.

We will have a unique opportunity to learn first-hand how the transition to peace is being paved by local producers. We will visit Granada, a small town outside of Medellín, where our partners Urbania Cafe and Tejipaz are supporting coffee-growing livelihoods for families forced to flee their homes during the decades of violence in the region.      

Read: 23 Food Reasons Colombians Know What’s Good

Watch: Anthony Bourdain No Reservations - Colombia

 

Climate

Colombia is located on the Equator, meaning that in each region the temperature varies little throughout the year. However, Colombia's different regions are quite diverse and weather can change rapidly, so packing can be tricky. It also varies according to altitude so expect a cold climate in the mountains, and warm and tropical on the coasts and the north. Bogota is 45 to 67 Fahrenheit so you will need a jacket, especially during the nights when it can get really cold. Do not show up in shorts and flip-flops! Cali and Medellin (known as the city of eternal spring) have warmer temperatures between 63 and 87 Fahrenheit; while Cartagena and Santa Marta have temperatures rising up to 91 Fahrenheit so light clothing will be needed. It's always handy to have a light rain jacket with you throughout the tour. 

icon
Tour Operator
360 Conscious Tourism

We believe tourism is an opportunity to create consciousness and real change. 360° was born out of the leaders’s restlessness about how unsustainable and absent of depth tourism has been growing in Colombia. Our company aims to promote a responsible and conscious tourism that generates positive impact in communities around Colombia, provides travelers the whole complexity of our country’s dynamics while offering environmentally friendly experiences. We believe a whole tourism experience can change a traveler’s life, come and be part of the tourism revolution!
icon
Our Partners

Afrodes

Read More

icon
Tour Operator
360 Conscious Tourism

We believe tourism is an opportunity to create consciousness and real change. 360° was born out of the leaders’s restlessness about how unsustainable and absent of depth tourism has been growing in Colombia. Our company aims to promote a responsible and conscious tourism that generates positive impact in communities around Colombia, provides travelers the whole complexity of our country’s dynamics while offering environmentally friendly experiences. We believe a whole tourism experience can change a traveler’s life, come and be part of the tourism revolution!

Brand New Trip

No reviews yet! 

Sign up now

icon
Country Representative
Juan J. Orjuela
Country Representative

Juan has a Masters in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex (UK); a postgraduate degree in Development, Social Responsibility and Organizations from Universidad de Los Andes; and a B.A. in Government and International Relations from Universidad Externado de Colombia. He has over nine years of professional experience while working for UNDP, International IDEA, the Pacific Alliance, the Colombian national government and local NGOs. He enjoys travels, politics, books, sports, music, photography, new flavors. He believes in the power of curiosity; aroused by the puzzling Latin America and the ongoing transformation of Colombia.

Ask your friends

Ask your friends whether they want to join you on this meaningful adventure.