Best of Colombia

Trip Code: GGSSC

Why we love it

Stay in the vibrant Chapinero neighbourhood in Bogota, one of the most culturally diverse parts of town., Embark on a spectacular guided hike through the Cocora Valley, home to hummingbirds and the world's tallest palm trees., Spend a couple of days learning about the world's favourite bean during a stay on a traditional coffee estancia deep in coffee country., Discover the new face of Medellin and learn about the city’s transformation from most dangerous neighbourhood in Colombia to arts and culture haven., Try your hand at tejo, Colombia’s explosive national sport (think bocce with gunpowder!). Join your group on this fun activity in Salento, made better with a free beer in hand.

Is this trip right for me?

Colombia enjoys a stable year-round climate, but it can get particularly hot and humid on the coast. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.

The Cocora Valley hike is quite rigorous, so you'll need to be fit and have sturdy walking shoes to take part. If you'd rather relax, you're free to opt out of this activity and soak up the scenery at your leisure.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3,4 (Cofee Estancia) and Days 10,11 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for Entrance tickets to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
3. This trip starts with an orientation walk of Candelaria at 1pm on Day 1 in Bogota. There will be a formal welcome meeting at 6pm for the whole group including those that missed the orientation walk. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation.
4. This trip ends on Day 17 and you are free to leave at any time.
5. This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make up of the group and the tour leader may change on Day 8.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., ESSENTIAL:
- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, RECOMMENDED:
- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments
- Electrical adapter plug (view the following sites for details: https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm or https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/)
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent
- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
- Swimwear

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
- Phrase book

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

LAUNDRY
Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Hotel Vilar America, Calle 66 #8-23, Chapinero, Bogota, 110010, COLOMBIA, Phone: +57 1 5524090

Hotel Vilar America is a 3-star cozy property offering a modern accommodation steps away from T Zone, Park 93 and El Campin Coliseum. Founded in 1982, the hotel underwent a renovation in 2007. The hotel boasts perfect location in Bogota close to Calle 63 underground station. The property lies within 7 km from the city center. Within walking distance of Chapinero district with bars and restaurants.

Joining instructions

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged transfer service from El Dorado International Airport at an additional fee. If you require this service please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. As you exit, please look for a white sign marked with the Intrepid logo with your names on it. If you are arriving in group with 4 or more people, the sign may only have Intrepid's logo.

If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please phone our emergency contact – the number is listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section.

Alternatively, you can travel from El Dorado International Airport to the city by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection we recommend you to go through the door 5 on the first floor, located in front of the exit of international flights. There you will find yellow and white taxis in line (Both taxis are fine to use however usually the white taxis cost double the yellow ones). We recommend you to ask how much they will charge before entering the cab. Depending on the area where your hotel is located, the cost and travel time will vary:
To Historic Center (Candelaria and around) between 25.000 COP and 30.000 COP (USD$9-11) and should take around 30 minutes.
To the Business area (Street 72) between 30.000 COP and 35.000 COP (USD$11–13). The hotel used for this trip is in the business area so should take around 35 minutes.
To North area between 40.000 COP and 45.000 COP (USD$14 -17) and should take around 50 minutes.

By Bus
This mode of transport can be difficult to understand and is not recommended if it is your first time in Colombia, particularly without the understanding of Spanish. As you walk out from the luggage collection, we recommend you to go through the door 5 on the first floor, just in front of the international flights exit, then outside turn left and look for the blue busses “SITP”. No ticket is necessary for this first journey - Disembark at the “El Dorado” stop. Next you must buy a Transmilenio card that cost 3,000 COP plus the price of the ticket 2,000 COP (1 way). Please ask the office which bus you need to take depending on the area you are headed.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Vilar America, Calle 66 #8-23, Chapinero, Bogota, 110010, COLOMBIA, Phone: +57 1 5524090

Hotel Vilar America is a 3-star cozy property offering a modern accommodation steps away from T Zone, Park 93 and El Campin Coliseum. Founded in 1982, the hotel underwent a renovation in 2007. The hotel boasts perfect location in Bogota close to Calle 63 underground station. The property lies within 7 km from the city center. Within walking distance of Chapinero district with bars and restaurants.

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged departure transfer service from El Dorado International Airport at an additional fee. If you require this service please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure.
If you have a transfer to the Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Hotel 3 hours before your domestic flight and 4 hours before your International flight. If your transfer has not arrived within 15 minutes past the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel reception to call our Emergency contact, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your essential information.

Alternatively, you can travel from the hotel to the International Airport by taxi. The hotel reception will be able to assist you with booking a taxi. Depending on the size of your luggage, you can fit a maximum of 3 persons per taxi.
The cost of the taxi will vary depending on the area where your hotel is located. Usually the white taxis rates are higher than yellow taxis rates, however both are fine to use.
Usually a transfer out in yellow taxi hotel to the airport can be:
From Historic Center (Candelaria and around) between 20,000 COP and 25,000 COP (USD$8-10). The drive from The Historic Center to airport is approx 30 minutes depending traffic.
From Business area (Street 72) between 25,000 COP and 35,000 COP (USD$10-13). The drive from the Business area to airport is approx 35 minutes depending traffic.
From North area between 35,000 COP and 45,000 COP (USD$13-17). The drive from the North area to airport is approx 50 minutes depending traffic.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 14

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 4

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid Local Operator: +57-311-872-1892

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation


Privacy Preference Center