Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

Send an Enquiry
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

This inspiring holiday plunges you into the unique cultures of historical and modern day Colombia, travelling by road through exquisite natural landscapes only recently made easily accessible to visitors. From the typically quirky little town of Villa Vieja on the banks of Rio Magdalena admire the star-speckled skies of the Tatacoa desert and travel on through spectacular mountain scenery to San Agustín where fascinating pre-Columbian statues dot the fertile countryside of coffee and cattle farms.

From this bucolic idyll you’ll continue by road to Popayán, a restored Spanish colonial city of graceful white colonnaded buildings, from where you can visit the villages of the Guambiano indians, a community with a proud heritage.

Then fly to Leticia in the Colombian Amazon. While sharing a common culture with the Amazon region in the neighbouring countries, life here has a personality of its own.  As well as looking out for monkeys, parrots and pink dolphins, you will visit charming and welcoming indigenous communities, with a chance to admire of even buy some of the work of their talented artisans. 

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Bogotá and continue to Villa Vieja.

Day 2

Boat trip on Rio Magdalena, continue by road to San Agustin.

Day 3

Explore San Agustín archaeological site.

Day 4

At leisure in San Agustín.

Day 5

By road to Popayán via Alto de los Idolos and Purace National Park

Day 6

Visit Guambiano communities; guided city tour of Popayán.

Day 7

Fly to Bogotá

Day 8

Guided city tour of Bogotá and Gold Museum.

Day 9

Fly to Leticia in the Amazon.

Day 10

Along the Amazon to Calanoa Lodge; jungle hike and indian community visit.

Day 11

Day trip to Puerto Narino.

Day 12

Fly to Bogotá and connect with international flight.

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
Read more

Visit Us

Places visited on this holiday

Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

Back to list of places visited
San Agustin, Popayan and Cali
Popayan

The area of southern Colombia leading off from the Cauca valley south of Cali and embracing the cultured city of Popayán and pre-Colombian archaeological sites was lamentably off limits for visitors during the recent era of guerrilla activity. Fortunately nowadays the security situation has improved and many of the highlights of this region of quiescent volcanoes, steep emerald green valleys, pastures, sugar plantations and attractive villages can be safely explored.

The Spanish colonial university town Popayán is a delightful stop, its lanes resonating with both salsa and classical music, while the mountain village of Silvia is famous for the striking costumes worn by the friendly Guambiano Indians. The UNESCO-listed archaeological site at San Agustín is the must see of the region, with its remarkable ‘Bosque de las Estatuas’ consisting of a number of enigmatic statues dating from 3,300BC.

Prosperous Cali is the second largest city in Colombia after Bogotá and is famed for being the country’s party capital: salsa really rules the roost here.  It’s a tropical city with a tropical vibe, surrounded by a fertile agricultural land with plantations and cattle.

When's the best time to visit San Agustin, Popayan and Cali?

Sitauated in the sweltering Cauca valley, Cali is hot and humid all the year round though it can rain at any time. Popayán, Silvia and San Agustin are at a higher elevation and so substantially cooler, with a drier feel to the air: all in all the climate is sunny, warm and pleasant. Most rain falls Apr-Jun but it can rain here at any time too, which explains the verdant landscape.This region can be busy with visitors at holiday times: Christmas, Carnival and Easter, and there are other festivities throughout the year when the towns and cities are very crowded..

What's the official language of San Agustin, Popayan and Cali?

Spanish

How do I get local currency in San Agustin, Popayan and Cali?

Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in major cities using a UK credit or debit card, though you may have to advise your bank first and amounts that can be withdrawn may be lower than in the UK. Be aware that some ATMs are often out of service but there should be a working one nearby.  Banks will offer advances on a credit card, but with a lot of paperwork.  Money exchanges (casas de cambio) change US dollars cash (very few accept euros or sterling and the rate will be poor). 

What's the time difference between San Agustin, Popayan and Cali and UK?

GMT - 5 hrs

How do I get to San Agustin, Popayan and Cali?
There are daily flights from Bogotá to and from Popayán.
Cali receives flights from Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena and other cities.A road journey between Cali and Popayán takes 2-3hrs; from Cali to San Agustin 9hrs; from Popayán to San Agustin 7-8hrs, from Popayán to Silvia 90mins. 
What are the cultural events in San Agustin, Popayan and Cali?

Cali: 

25Dec - 3Jan - Cali International fair.
Variable Feb-Mar - Carnival.
Holy week - Easter, variable.
June - artisan fair.
Aug - Festival of Music from the Pacific.
Sep - International Art festival.

Popayán:
5-6 Jan - Dia de los |negros y Dia de los Blancos.
Variable Feb-Mar - Carnival.
Holy week - Easter, variable; spectacular processions throughout the week.
International Sacred Music Festival.
Sep - Gastronomic fair.
Back to list of places visited
Colonial houses

Colombia’s edgy capital is a microcosm of the country’s complex society. Huge, anarchic, choked with undisciplined traffic, it also has a lovely colonial core, La Candelaria, and modern suburbs cluttered with upmarket boutiques, nightclubs, glamorous restaurants and plush apartments. Further away, the hills are pitted with the self-built, ramshackle homes built by people arriving in the city looking for work.

A centre for the intellect, Bogotá has many excellent museums, cinemas, theatres, music venues and universities, along with a vigorous café society. The urban sprawl is overshadowed by Andean peaks glowering over the city which, at 2,640m, enjoys a climate of perpetual spring.
When's the best time to go to Bogota?

The city is an all-year destination. Set in a highland bowl it has a permanent spring-like climate with an average temperature of 14°C and a mixture of sunshine, cloud and showers during the day. There’s a dry season from Dec-Mar and it is also drier Jul-Aug. Many museums are closed on Mondays.

What's the official language in Bogota?

Spanish

How do I get local currency in Bogota?

Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card, though you may have to advise your bank first and amounts that can be withdrawn may be lower than in the UK. Be aware that some ATMs are often out of service but there should be a working one nearby. Banks will offer advances on a credit card, but with a lot of paperwork. Money exchanges (casas de cambio) change US dollars cash (very few accept euros or sterling and the rate will be poor).

What's the time difference between Bogota and UK?

GMT - 5 hrs

What places combine well with Bogota?

An excursion to the lovely rural colonial town of Villa de Leyva, 129km; a few days in Colombia’s most graceful and atmospheric cities, Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, 1.5hrs by air; a wind-down in the country’s tranquil coffee country, glorious bucolic scenery and friendly people, 167km or 1 hr by air

How do I get to Bogota?

Average flight time to Bogotá is 14 hrs. There is a direct flight from London Heathrow to Bogotá (11.5 hrs) and popular non-direct routes involve a change of plane in Europe or the USA.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Bogota?
Carnival de Bogotá, Aug 5 -6, annually. celebrating the anniversary of its Spanish foundation. Most of the cultural events take place in the heart of Parque Metropolitano Simón Bolívar. The festivities include pre-carnival celebrations during Jul.
Ibero-American Theatre Festival of Bogotá, Mar-Apr, biannually. One of the most comprehensive and best respected celebrations of the performing arts in Latin America. 2 million spectators attend 450 performances in theatres and around 150 street performances.
International Jazz Festival, Bogotá, Sep, annually. World renowned artists performing to thousands of jazz enthusiasts.

Back to list of places visited
The Colombian Amazon

As with the other Andean countries which share territory in the Amazon basin, Colombian Amazonia occupies a third of the national territory but is cut off both physically and culturally from the rest of the country. But with a rich ecosystem hosting a staggering array of tropical flora and fauna, and distinctive indigenous communities sprinkled along the river banks, it’s a beguiling destination for adventurous travellers.

With a history of disputed borders, the region has passed through turbulent times is now regarded as safe and peaceful, and tourism - still in its infancy among foreign visitors - is on the up. Little English is spoken, but the people are very friendly, and offer a genuine welcome.

There are no roads here. The only municipalities in Colombian Amazonas are the jumbly river port Leticia - accessible only by a two-hour flight from Bogotá and locally by river - and the idiosyncratic eco-village Puerto Nariño, reached solely by boat. The remaining 22 mostly riverside indigenous settlements - where there is no concept of private property and where evangelical churches thrive - earn a living from fishing, farming and a little tourism and are run by traditional self-governing councils. 

The timeless, languid pace of life here in the sultry rainforest, where the seasonal rising and falling of the river’s water level is the most significant annual event,  contrasts markedly from the rest of Colombia. Perhaps there is more in common here with the Amazonia of Brazil and Peru, the borders with which converge on Leticia, and which you can visit on the same day. 

When's the best time to visit Colombian Amazon?

The high water season runs from December through June. It is hot in the Amazon any time of year. During the high water season the average temperature is over 30°C. During the drier season when water levels are lower, especially September to November, it can be very hot - over 40°C - and the sun very strong.

The high level of the rivers means that every river, creek and lake is navigable. You will get to explore more of the waterways of Amazonia, and will have access to plant life and wildlife area that you might miss during the low water season You are likely to see many more mammals, both monkeys and others, during the high water season.

The low water season runs from July to November. Trails and jungle paths that are flooded from December to May are now easily accessible, allowing you to explore deep in the jungle (accompanied by fewer mosquitoes than during the high water season). 

What's the official language of Colombian Amazon?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Colombian Amazon?
Colombian Peso. There are banks and ATMs in Leticia where notes in local currency can be withdrawn using a UK credit or debit card. However we recommend that you bring pesos with you from your previous destination, and US dollars cash which can be exchanged locally.
What's the time difference between Colombian Amazon and UK?

GMT -5 hours.

What places combine well with Colombian Amazon?

Bogotá (2 hours by air to Leticia) with connections to many cities in the country, so you can fly in one day from the Amazon to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, Medellin, the up and come entertainment and gastronomical city, Cali, the salsa capital of the world or Pereira and Armenia in the coffee region. 

How do I get to Colombian Amazon?

From Bogotá to Leticia a flight takes 2 hours.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Cartagena

Signature Colombia: Culture and coffee

Private journey

11 days from £2,335pp

Rural Colombia

Undiscovered Colombia, Providencia and Panama City

Private journey

18 days from £4,672pp

Car

Self-drive Colombia: Exploring the coffee region and beyond

Private journey

12 days from £2,570pp

Weaverbird

Weaverbird: Spirit of Colombia

Group tour

16 days from £2,528pp

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour:

Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

Departure date:

Travellers:

Room type:

Total:

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

12 days from £2,517pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 
Close

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/colombia/holidays/Off-the-beaten-track-colombia-san-agustin-and-the-amazon

Page ID: {B7704D99-D132-4E76-9CC3-B4AEC7EB3BE2}

Page Name: Off-the-beaten-track-colombia-san-agustin-and-the-amazon

Page Display Name: Off the beaten track Colombia: San Agustin and the Amazon

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {F55769A5-EED3-46CE-85C9-6132126ADB11}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}