My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. I have put together a luxury trip in Colombia for discerning customers. Since this is a sample trip, all services can also be customized.
Are luxury tours offered in Colombia?
Colombia has been offering luxury travel for several years. In the beginning, however, the offers were limited to Cartagena, as this pearl of the Caribbean was a tourist island in Colombia. However, the offer has expanded in recent years. Various local providers as well as international travel agencies are developing more and more luxury offers in Colombia. In addition to Cartagena, Bogota is also a clear luxury destination today, since there are now corresponding hotels and culinary offers. In addition, Bogota is an extremely interesting and exciting city.
However, the luxury of a Colombia trip is not just in 5 star boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants. Rather, Colombia impresses with its unique geographical location and unique great diversity.
In the following, I have put together a model tour that could be interesting for discerning travelers. All services and experiences can of course be individually adjusted.
Arrival in Bogota
Bogota is the capital of Colombia and is located at around 2,700 meters (8,850 feet) above sea level. Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport offers direct flights to and from America and Europe. There are also facilities for arriving by private plane. Commercial helicopters are also located directly at the airport.
More than 10 million people live in the greater Bogota area and the city spreads over a huge area. Bogota is not only the political, but also the economic and cultural center of Colombia.
Hotels can be found in various price categories, although there are no hotels in the super luxury segment to date. One of the best of the hotels I usually recommend to my clients is the five-star Hotel Four Seasons Casa Medina. It is located in Zona G (G stands for Gourmet), which is known for its numerous and excellent restaurants. The house was built in 1946 and is now one of the city’s architectural treasures.
In addition to the Four Seasons, there are other 5-star hotels by international hotel chains in Bogota. So you can find a Sofitel, a Hyatt, Hilton and others. As a large city, Bogota has a diverse range of options and also offers apartments and houses for accommodation.
Activities in Bogota
As a big city, Bogota offers many different attractions. The classics are surely the ascent of the local mountain Monserrate, the visit to the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum as well as the discovery of the old town La Candelaria. Another highlight is the market of Paloquemao, where you can find a large part of the food produced in Colombia, whereby the many different fruits and flowers are a special highlight and you can consume everything on site at small bars. In addition, a little further and outside the city with the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, the lagoon of Guatavita and the architecturally beautiful and colonial-style village of Villa de Leyva are other interesting destinations.
However, Bogota still offers many, somewhat hidden treasures. Less well known are the tour of Casa Narino, the President’s House, the various paramos (highland steppes) and national parks around Bogota, as well as the city’s great cultural offerings, with the Teatro de Colon being considered a national theater and one of Colombia’s national monuments. Colombia is also a large textile producer and also has a diverse fashion scene in Bogota.
You can easily spend a whole week in Bogota and you will never be bored. My personal recommendation is that you should plan at least 3 days for the stay so that you can visit at least the most important attractions of the city. For lovers of special celebrations and gourmet restaurants, Bogota is also the first address, because no other city in Colombia offers a comparable offer.
Wildlife safari in the Colombian Llanos
Yopal, the capital of Casanare, is just a 20-minute flight away. The real cowboys of Colombia can be found in this region. An absolute must after arrival is to buy a matching cowboy hat. This also serves as protection against the mostly underestimated solar radiation.
The Llanos is a huge area that extends to Venezuela. In the flat wet savannah, cattle breeding and a large number of animal species share the area today.
In the Llanos you can find animals such as the capybara, anaconda, jaguar, ocelot, giant anteater, caiman, orinoco crocodile, monkeys and many more. On a safari, either on horseback, by tractor or with a safari pick-up, with a little luck you can see many of them. For me personally, the local wildlife and the area in Casanare was something of the most spectacular that I have ever experienced in my life.
With the accommodations there are also various options. You can either explore the Llanos from Yopal with various day tours and experience a real safari on various hatos (farms). In Yopal you have a certain comfort and the choice of different hotels and can go out in the evening. But there is also the possibility to spend the night at a Hato, whereby the offers vary from simple to good. There is also an interesting offer from Glamping. In any case, you should be aware that you are far from civilization on a hato and can hear the different sounds of the animal world at night.
There are several ways to get around the Llanos. Depending on the budget and distance, off-road vehicles, small aircraft or helicopters are available. Whole parts of the country are flooded during the rainy season and there are therefore destinations that can only be reached from the air.
Onward journey to Termales La Quinta in the department Caldas
The Finca Termales La Quinta is one of my highlights in Colombia. It is secluded, calm and perfect for escaping the outside world for a few days. You cannot go to the finca directly, you have to cover the last part on horseback. The luggage is transported with a mule.
The finca hotel can accommodate 10 people, is surrounded by nature and the quality of the installations is excellent. The swimming pool, for example, is fed by thermal water. One can therefore individually wish for the temperature of the water, since the thermal water leaves the mountain at over 90° Celsius (194° F).
Various activities are possible around the hotel. You can ride out at any time, visit various waterfalls or visit the finca belonging to the property, on which cattle breeding is carried out. The whole region offers spectacular scenery and the Nevado del Ruiz volcano is nearby.
Everything about coffee at the Hacienda Venecia
Hacienda Venecia is just 2 hours’ drive from Termales La Quinta. It is one of the largest coffee haciendas in the region. The manor house has 8 rooms and conveys the charm of days gone by. The small but very pretty rooms offer enough comfort and on the surrounding veranda you can watch different birds in comfortable cushions.
On the estate you learn everything about coffee, from the seed to the hot drink you get to know all process steps. In a workshop you can also learn how to taste coffee and how to filter out the different flavors. Because depending on the method of preparation, the different flavors appear more or less.
At the Hacienda Venecia, not only coffee but also cocoa is grown. In addition to coffee, Colombia is also a very large cocoa producer. If you are interested, you can also find out here how chocolate is made from cocoa beans.
Onward journey to Barichara
The onward journey to Barichara takes place by plane. Optionally with a private plane to Bucaramanga. From Bucaramanga we continue by helicopter to Barichara, in my opinion the most beautiful and best preserved village in Colombia.
When arriving by helicopter, there is an overflight and detour to the Chicamocha Canyon. With a length of around 230 kilometers (143 miles) and a depth of up to two kilometers (1.25 mile), it is deeper than the Grand Canyon. This landscape formation is a true natural spectacle.
Barichara was founded in 1705 and the colonial style has been preserved to this day. The climate is very pleasant and the annual average is 22° Celsius (72° F). Some time ago, the good local hotels and restaurants focused on wealthy customers. You can find some very nice and good hotels inside and outside the village.
Arrival in Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast
A direct flight takes you to the Caribbean coast to Santa Marta. The “oldest” city in South America was founded in 1525. The historical part of the city center is pretty and clear. There are some select boutique hotels that make your stay a very pleasant one.
Alternatively, you can stay in a hotel by the sea. Outside of Santa Marta there are some good options.
Santa Marta, as a city, does not have a lot of activities to offer, but is a perfect starting point. From Santa Marta you can visit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, for example, which rises as the highest coastal mountain range in the world to over 5,700 meters (18,700 Feet) above sea level. This region offers a spectacular range of interesting animals and plants. Optionally, you can also spend the night in the Sierra Nevada. We have a 150 year old coffee finca on offer, which is located at 1,600 meters (5,250 Feet) above sea level and from which you have a view of the sea.
The Tayrona National Park is just an hour’s drive from Santa Marta. This is probably Colombia’s most popular park and offers a lot of nature in addition to wonderful Caribbean beaches. Due to an access restriction, the park will not be overrun by crowds of visitors.
The hike to the lost city is another highlight that the region offers. In 4, 5 or 6 days you hike to the “Ciudad Perdida” and back again. The installations of the accommodations are very modest but the journey is the goal and those who take the trouble will be rewarded with an incredible experience.
Last days in Cartagena
The last stage of the trip takes place again with the helicopter, because this gives you the opportunity to fly over the lost city if you haven’t hiked there.
If you want, you can fly from Santa Marta directly to the luxury hotel Las Islas in Baru, where you can relax for a few days and enjoy the Caribbean. In the bungalows with private pools and the hotel’s own dream beach you will find relaxation very quickly.
Cartagena is just a short hop from Baru. The colonial old town is known far beyond the borders of Colombia and is now the epitome of luxury and romance. The countless boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants invite you to celebrate the perfect ending to your holiday.
If you want, you can play a round of golf at the nearby Golf Club Karibana. From Cartagena there are direct international connections to various countries.
We at Pelecanus would be very happy to win you as a customer. We are a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia and we know all our offers personally. We are at the forefront of promoting this positive country’s positive image and ensuring that travelers and tourists only take home the best memories of Colombia. We offer a customized experience in Colombia, with a variety of services tailored to your needs. Explore lush Colombia with its rich culture, delicious dishes, hospitable people, picturesque landscapes, high mountains, pristine beaches and a thriving urban scene. We look forward to your arrival.
Have fun traveling!