About your trip
From pristine beaches to snow-capped mountains, discover the majestic landscapes of Colombia’s Caribbean coast on this eight-day adventure. Wander the cobblestone streets of Cartagena’s walled city, sample authentic street food and canoe through mangroves in La Boquilla before taking a day trip to the tropical Rosario Islands. Your journey continues north towards the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where you’ll trek to deserted beaches in Tayrona National Park before finishing off your trip with a farewell dinner in Palomino. All of our trips are flightless in destination, with 100% of all carbon emissions offset. It's just part of how we see the world while being good to it. For important flight information for this trip, please see the Important Information section at the bottom of the page. PLEASE NOTE - THE 2024 VERSION OF THIS TRIP'S DETAILS ARE IN THE IMPORTANT INFO SECTION BELOW
- Discover the colorful colonial architecture and delicious street food of Cartagena
- Canoe through mangrove forests in La Boquilla
- Visit San Basilio de Palenque, the first free African town in the Americas
- Explore the idyllic Rosario Islands by boat
- Spot wildlife on a beach hike through Tayrona National Park
Touch down at Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) and make your way to the hotel in Cartagena where our Local Insider will greet you at 7pm. They will accompany the group throughout the trip. Before dinner, explore the colorful colonial buildings and cobbled alleys of the Old Town. In the evening, get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner at La Vitrola restaurant. Expect a convivial ambience and live music. Afterwards, venture out for a rum on the rocks at one of Cartagena’s vibrant array of bars.
This morning, you’ll visit the nearby fishing village of La Boquilla and explore the surrounding mangroves by canoe. Learn about the environmental importance of this ecosystem as you drift through the natural labyrinth before returning to Cartagena. In the afternoon, join a guided stroll through the historic walled city before hopping onto a street food tour. Here you’ll have the chance to sample local delicacies such as arepas (fried corn patties) and ceviche (fish marinated in lime juice), followed by a rum-tasting session.
Today, you’ll visit San Basilio de Palenque – one of the most historically important settlements in Colombia. It was here that Benkos Biohó led a rebellion of enslaved Africans against the Spanish during the 16th century, forming an army of escapees who eventually established the first free African town in the Americas. You’ll learn about the fascinating heritage of the town, including the unique local language, and enjoy a traditional lunch in the company of the residents. Later on, back in Cartagena, get your dancing shoes on and take a lesson in champeta – a style of dance integral to the city culture.
Wave goodbye to the mainland temporarily as you take a boat trip to explore the Rosario Islands – an archipelago of 27 islands within a national park about 62mi (100km) southwest of Cartagena. Here, you’ll find alluring Caribbean beaches without the crowds, and calm, clear waters teeming with marine life and coral reefs. Swim, snorkel and relax on the pristine white sands of this tropical haven (bring your own mask and fins). Return to Cartagena and spend the evening at leisure.
Ready to hit the road? After breakfast, you’ll depart from Cartagena and travel nearly 300km (186mi) up the coast towards the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – the highest coastal mountain range in the world. Snow-capped peaks, exceeding 5,700m (18,700ft) above sea level, sit just inland from the Caribbean Sea. En route, you’ll stop for a boat ride along the Magdalena River, just outside the Vía Parque Isla de Salamanca, followed by lunch. If you’re lucky, you might spot an elusive river turtle. Continue to the hotel, near the laid-back beach town of Palomino, where you’ll spend the next three nights.
There aren’t many places where tropical rainforest and palm-fringed beaches sit against the backdrop of snowy mountains, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in Tayrona National Park – a short drive from Palomino. Keep an eye out for howler monkeys and iguanas as you hike through the jungle. A small population of jaguars also live here, although you’re unlikely to encounter one. You’ll stop halfway at Cabo San Juan for lunch – the beach is primed for a swim – before finishing back in Cañaveral. This evening is yours to do as you please - some stargazing, cocktails with your trip mates or simply taking in the ambience.
Today you'll be following in the footsteps of indigenous tribes in Tayronaka, learning about their ancient civilization and visiting several significant archaeological sites. After a guided hike, you’ll have the opportunity to try river tubing on the Río Don Diego; appreciate the rich biodiversity as you gently drift towards the sea. Return to Palomino and spend the afternoon as you please – perhaps relaxing by the beach with a cold refajo (a Colombian cocktail made with lager and soda). Come nightfall, we'll celebrate our adventure with a Farewell Dinner on our final night in paradise.
The time has come to pack your bags and bid farewell to your fellow travelers as your Colombian experience comes to an end. After breakfast you'll jump aboard the group transfer to Cartagena to catch your flight home – or choose to extend your stay.
- Three nights ecohotel accommodation
- Four nights standard hotel accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Seven breakfasts, five lunches, four dinners
- Local Insider
- Return airport transfers from Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)
- Mangrove canoe tour
- Cartagena orientation walk
- Street food tour
- Rum tasting
- San Basilio de Palenque visit
- Rosario Islands trip
- Magdalena River boat ride
- Tayrona National Park trek
- Champeta Dancing Excursion
- Tayronaka Hike and River Tubing
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Don Pedro la Heredia
With a privileged position, right in the centre of magical Cartagena, this traditional hotel has been restored to some of its former glory from the colonial era. The 34 rooms have air-conditioning, comfy beds and all you need for a relaxed stay in Cartagena. No doubt you'll find yourself on that roof terrace for a sundowner or two or cooling off in the pool after a day of exploring!
Playa La Roca Ecohotel
Designed with sustainability at its heart, this secluded ecohotel in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta features a wellness spa, pool and private garden. Savor authentic local cuisine at the restaurant and grab a drink at the beachfront bar.
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
- Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
- We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
- Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
- Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
- If flying straight home at the end of the trip, do not book your flights from Cartagena before 3pm local time, as you will need time to be transferred from Palomino in the mornng.
- THE 2024 VERSION OF THIS TRIP DIFFERS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS: (1) CHOMPETA DANCING AND THE TAYRONAKA HIKE/TUBING WILL BE OPTIONAL, TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK WILL BE VISITED ON DAY 7 INSTEAD OF DAY 6 AND THE CARTEGENA HOTEL WILL BE CHANGED TO HOTEL TRES BANDERAS.
The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.
You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure.
Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you.
For the full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.