Group - Discovery

Weaverbird: Spirit of Colombia

16 days from £2,701pp

Colombia

Tom Parrott ©

Essentials

About Our Group Tours

To find out more about how our group tours including group sizes, solo travellers and why to choose us. Please click here.

Tour Leader

On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.

Transport

3 flights (longest 3.5 hours), 8 road journeys (longest 8 hours), 1 boat journey (2 hours).

Accommodation

For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation. The properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom.

The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore not all hotels will have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see the Classic Journeys on their respective pages on our website.

In Mompos, Santa Marta and Cartagena there may well not be hot water. This is due to the local climate and the perceived needs for it and the fact that many properties/areas may not have the infrastructure.

Examples of hotels used on this journey include:
• Bogotá: Casa Deco
• San Agustín: Hacienda Akawanka
• Coffee region: Finca La Cabana
• Popayan: La Plazuela
• Santa Marta: Hotel Boutique El Cactus
• Mompós: Casa Amarilla
• Cartagena: Don Pedro de Heredia

On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Meals

Breakfast daily.

Summary Of Nights

16 days, 15 nights: Bogotá 2; San Agustín 3; Popayán 1; Coffee farm 3; Santa Marta 2; Mompós 2; Cartagena 2.

Optional Excursions

There are optional excursions available throughout this tour, which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $200 should cover participation in most of the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences.

• Bogotá: visit the Mint which houses the Botero Museum
• Bogotá: visit Zipaquira salt mine with a stop at the Guatavita Lagoon
• Coffee region: visit traditional Finlandia with its artisan shops and local markets
• Mompós: guided walking tour

Budget

A budget of around $45USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir.

Currency

The unit of currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN 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 you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3 USD(or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.

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.

If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6 USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

International airport tax is included in the cost of your ticket.

Journey Grade

All walks on this journey are optional and you should discuss with your tour leader which are suitable for you. There are some long days spent travelling, in the heat, however many comfort stops are made to enjoy the scenery on route.

Climate

The dry season in Colombia is from December until March and then June to September and temperatures during this period average around 30°C, although are more or less consistent throughout the year. Bogotá, and towns in the coffee growing region have a spring like climate and can be chilly at night. Cartagena and the Caribbean coast are hot throughout the year, with rainy seasons typically in April, May, October and November.

Altitude

Several days are spent at high altitude (over 2.500m). 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 exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of being adversely affected.

Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. Warm items and a good waterproof jacket are also necessary for all departures. 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 (sun block, sun hat) and mosquito repellent are essential and you should bring swimwear. A backpack or soft holdall is the most sensible and comfortable way to carry your belongings. Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for your visit to the coastal region please consult your GP for advice on this and malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Cases of Zika virus have been reported in parts of Latin America. If you’re pregnant, or planning to be, you should follow the advice of the  National Travel Health Network and Centre

Visas

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.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Travelling Alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single supplement places available, which carry a surcharge.

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Bogotá: city tour and Gold Museum
  • San Agustín: Archaeological Park
  • San Agustín: Magadelena Valley
  • Coffee region: tour of coffee farm, Salento and Cocora Valley
  • Tayrona: visit to the National Park
  • Aracataca: Marquez museum
  • Mompós: boat trip
  • Cartagena: city tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions
  • Some domestic flight taxes

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Bogotá: city tour and Gold Museum
  • San Agustín: Archaeological Park
  • San Agustín: Magadelena Valley
  • Coffee region: tour of coffee farm, Salento and Cocora Valley
  • Tayrona: visit to the National Park
  • Aracataca: Marquez museum
  • Mompós: boat trip
  • Cartagena: city tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions
  • Some domestic flight taxes

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

Meet the team