3 domestic flights; 4 scenic private road journeys (longest 5 hours), motor launch transfers in the Amazon (90mins)
You will stay at small, mid-range, friendly hotels, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating or air-conditioning. The lodge in Tierradentro is basic but guest rooms have private bathroom. In the Amazon you stay at a beautifully crafted rustic jungle lodge.
Breakfast daily; full board days 11,12.
We carefully select our local partners, most of whom we have worked with for many years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return. Owing to the underdeveloped tourist infrastructure in these emerging destinations, you may have a translator as well as a local guide. In the Amazon you have the attention of an English speaking guide to accompany you on your adventures who will also translate for local indigenous guides.
• Villa Vieja: excursion to Tatacoa desert.
• Villa Vieja: boat trip on the Magdalena river.
• San Agustín: tour of archaeological park.
• Tierradentro: tour of archaeological park.
• Popayán: Guambiano indian territory
• Popayán: guided city tour
• Bogotá: Walking city tour with gold museum.
• Leticia: guided city tour.
• Guided jungle hike.
• Visit to Mocagua indian community.
• Guided day trip to Puerto Narino.
Summary of nights
13 days, 12 nights: Villa Vieja 1; San Agustin 3; Tierradentro 1: Popayan 2; Bogotá 2; Leticia 1; jungle lodge 2.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
• All land and air transport in Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified
• Leticia tourist tax (about $US 10-14)
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions
The unit of currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns of Colombia, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash which you can exchange into local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money. Never change money on the street.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. For a guide who is with you the whole day, a tip of about $US 25 pp each (if there are two of you) is appropriate. Your driver would normally expect half that amount. If you have the same driver for several days, maybe $US50pp for the period would be appropriate.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
Generally this holiday is suitable for most visitors, including families with children. Walking around the archaeological sites at Tierradentro and San Agustin does involve some steep hills on rural paths, especially in Tierradentro, so you should be fit enough for a 4 hour exploration. Should you have a disability, please contact us. Wheelchair ramps are gradually being inserted at San Agustin.
The dry season in highland Colombia is from December until March and then June to September. Bogotá has a spring-like climate and can be chilly at night.and the San Agustin area can be hot during the day, up to 28°C; it can rain at any time of year. In the Amazon, the wettest period is October - June, also the period of highest cloud cover, but it can rain at any time. The sunniest but also the hottest weather is in June-September. Temperatures throughout the year seldom fall below 30°C, with occasional lows of 20°C
The only day when you are at an altitude of over 2.500m is when you are in Bogota. You may notice the effect of high altitude; symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches and breathlessness. If you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise - don’t over exert yourself - you will minimise your chances of being adversely affected.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
Temperatures will be relatively high throughout this holiday. Bring plenty of light clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. A couple of warm items and a good waterproof jacket or umbrella are also useful. We suggest that you plan to 'layer' your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper. Sandals are a good informal option for evenings. Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential and you should bring swimwear.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person and must be applied for by you personally.
Passports must also be e-passports with a digital chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.