Overview

Dissected by voluminous rivers carving valleys through rugged Andean ranges to marshy outlets to the Caribbean Sea, Colombia’s interior has always presented challenges to the traveller. River craft routes have now in many places been superseded by road and air networks, but both along the banks of the River Magdalena and along the mountain roads towards the Venezuelan border are a string of long forgotten colonial towns of great architectural beauty and a lazy lifestyle. Some of these, such as Villa de Leyva, Honda, Barichara and the river port of Mompós have become popular weekend spots.

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Holidays Colombia’s heartland

From expertly designed Private Journeys to trail-blazing Group Tours, browse our range of carefully crafted holidays.

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Colombia

Chachalaca: Colombia’s Colonial and Coffee Culture

14 days from £3,864pp

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Llanos

Private Journeys

Colombia

Off The Beaten Track Colombia: Colonial towns to the Llanos

13 days from £4,300pp

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Private Journeys

Colombia

Self-drive Colombia: Exploring the coffee region and beyond

12 days from £1,840pp

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Private Journeys

Colombia

Signature Colombia: Culture and coffee

14 days from £2,690pp

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Things to do

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Accommodation

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Where to go when - our guide to Colombia’s heartland

Cocuy Colombia

The weather in Colombia’s heartland is wide and varied

Dotted across the River Magdalena and its surrounding mountain ranges are the colonial towns of Villa de Leyva, Honda, Barichara and Mompós. While these are tranquil, sleepy towns during the week, they tend to be busier on the weekends. Villa de Leyva and Barichara remain in the 20s°C year round, with most rain falling in Apr - May and again between October - November. July is a good time to visit Villa de Leyva to catch the Virgen de Carmen celebrations, a popular religious festival with live folk music. While it can feel fairly humid and hot throughout the year, the best time to Mompós is April- June. It is best to avoid October - November as the town is prone to flooding during these months. During Semana Santa (Easter week) the quaint cobbled streets come alive with grand processions and parades.

View our Colombia’s heartland weather guide

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Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Maggie in LATAM
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

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

  • Chris
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    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 London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Carrie
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

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