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Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia

Colombia
Available Departures: Feb, Apr, May, Jun, Nov, Dec

14 days from

US$4,275

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

Explore the coffee highlands of Colombia and trek to the fabled Lost City of Teyuna.

Trip Code: LCC
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia

Highlights
  • Trek 4 days through the jungle to Colombia's Cuidad Perdida - The Lost City of Teyuna
  • Explore Colombia's UNESCO listed 'Coffee Triangle' visiting the picturesque towns of Salento and Filandia
  • Walk through the highlands of the Cocora Valley and sample the locally produced coffee on an artisan experience tour
  • Discover hidden treasures with guided visits to the Lost City of Falan, Colombia's 'City of Bridges' and abundant nature reserves
  • Visit the historic Cartagena de Incas and the Caribbean Coast

At a Glance
  • Group Size 4 to 12
  • 7 days walking
  • 6 days sightseeing
  • Max Altitude - 2400m
  • Join In Bogota, Ends in Cartagena

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 9 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 10 nights Hotel
  • 3 nights Camping
Overview

From the Andean Highlands to the Caribbean Coast this adventurous Colombian Holiday takes us through the remarkable history, colourful culture and natural wonders of this must-see South American destination. Don't forget your walking boots as we explore unique ecosystems, wildlife rich nature reserves, and hidden archaeological treasures on foot led by expert guides along the way.

Starting in one of the highest capitals in the world, we hike high above the city of Bogota for expansive views over this sprawling super-city. We learn how gold had shaped the fate of the region through a tumultuous history punctuated by lost civilisations, conquering invaders and emerging nations.

Rather than skipping the intricacies of this country's fascinating interior by flying we travel overland through the Heritage Towns of Honda, 'City of Bridges' and Mariquita, crossing the famous Magdalena River. Here we travel further back in time as we visit the lesser known Lost City of Falan, reached by a morning's hike through dense jungle. A 17th Century Citadel, the Lost City of Falan was built along side the Royal Gold and Silver Mines of Santa Ana, at the time owned by the King of Spain.


Climbing up into the Central Andean Region, we enter Colombia's lush and verdant Coffee Triangle. We walk trails through the Cocora Valley to witness the marvels of highland coffee farming as well as the unique flora of the cloud forest, including Colombia's National Tree the giant Quindio Wax Palms. Reaching up to 60m high they are the tallest palm trees in the world. We have time to explore the Heritage Towns of Salento and Filandia, sampling some of the best food in Colombia, as well as learning the traditional game of 'Tejo'. Our time in this region culminates with a coffee experience tour, where we learn the culture and traditional methods of farming and producing coffee, as well, of course, as getting to sample the produce!

Flying to the Caribbean Coast, we then embark on an adventure that would excite any would-be archaeological explorer as we trek in to the jungle-topped mountains of the Sierra Nevada to discover the Lost City of Teyuna. Steepped in mystery and enigma, although known by local tribes, this site, which predates Machu Picchu by 650 years, wasn't rediscovered until 1972. A 1,200 step stone staircase guards the entrance to the ancient site, which reveals an array of impressive tiled roads, terraces and plazas carved into the mountainside and the intriging question of how they were all built! The Lost City can only be reached by trekking for 4 days through the jungle, staying in fixed community run camps along the way, so reaching this ancient wonder comes with a sense of achievement as well as astonishment!

Our Colombian Adventure ends in the suitably impressive port city of Cartagena De Incas. Rich in colonial history and architecure we have time to explore the old town, as well as a well-earned rest on one of its many white sand beaches, or even an optional excursion to the nearby Caribbean Island paradise of Rosario Islands.

Is this holiday for you?

The Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia During is a moderately challenging walking holiday through the varying landscapes of Colombia. There are some half day walks earlier on the itinerary, with full days later on. The first part of this holiday is focussed on the scenery and multiple nature reserves and sites of interest are visited. Warm and humid conditions are experienced in the lower j …

The Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia During is a moderately challenging walking holiday through the varying landscapes of Colombia. There are some half day walks earlier on the itinerary, with full days later on. The first part of this holiday is focussed on the scenery and multiple nature reserves and sites of interest are visited. Warm and humid conditions are experienced in the lower jungle regions which can sometimes can mean that the paths are muddy. Altitudes of 1800-2400m above sea level are reached in the coffee regions which can make some aspects of these walks harder than you may experience for similar distances at home. The latter part of this holiday we will complete 4 days on the Lost City Trek in the north, this section crosses small and easily traversed rivers several times and culminates in a long stone stair case to the Lost City. Good standard of hotels are used throughout this holiday, with the exception of the Lost City Trek section; where you will spend the night in camps in the local community - these are open huts with no walls and hammocks or single beds to sleep in. A good level of fitness is required for this holiday, with the difficulties being the terrain and humidity rather than altitude and distance.

Why KE?

Encompassing diverse regions from Andean Highlands to the Caribbean Coast, we've picked out a selection of the best experiences Colombia has to offer to give us an insight into the culture, nature and history of this revived traveller's favourite. If you only plan to visit Colombia once, this holiday, an itinerary unique to KE, offers all you need to get fully acquainted with this South American gem.

 

 

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Itinerary

Arrive to Colombia's sprawling capital, Bogota. Situated at 2,640m above sea level in Colombia's Central Cordillera, Bogota is the cultural and economic centre of the country.

After checking in to the hotel, depending on your arrival time, there is an option of a short walking tour in the afternoon for those who wish to stretch their legs after their journey. We will visit the Gold Museum and Botero Museum with our guide. In the evening we will meet for a welcome dinner with our guide.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

Time

2 hours walking tour

This morning we hike up Monseratte Hill for views over the city and the "Bogota Savanna". This sacred hill, known as 'Grandmother's foot' by the indigenous Musica people, has attracted pilgrims since pre-colonial times - it also holds local astronomical significance with the sun on the June Solstice rising from directly behind the hill as seen from Bolivar Square. The original temple has been replaced by a catholic church and more recent additions of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. After exploring the hilltop and admiring the views we save our legs by descending back to the city by cable car before commencing our Colombian Adventure!

We drive (approx. 5 hours) to the colonial town of Honda. On the way we make a lunch stop at the Jardin Encantado in San Francisco. Situated on the banks of the Magdalena River, Honda is part of a network of Colombian Heritage Towns and also known as the 'City of Bridges' with fine examples of colonial architecture. Arriving to Honda we explore the old town on foot including the Rio Magdalena Museum, before continuing to Mariquita where we will spend the night.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Today we visit the Lost City of Falan. Although not as old as its namesake in the Sierra Nevada, which we visit later on the trip, this lost city provides a window into another interesting period of Colombia's colourful history. The Lost City of Falan are ruins of a 17th century Spanish Citadel that was built next to the Royal Mines of Santa Ana. These mines were, at the time, directly owned by the King of Spain and used advanced technologies for the extraction of Gold and Silver. Great figures of Colombian history such as José Celestino Mutis, Francisco José de Caldas, Alexander Van Humbolt and Simón Bolívar, among others, worked or passed through this site. After the mines were abandoned many of the structures were pillaged for bricks to build houses in the neighbouring towns. Tunnels, walls and stone cellars can still be explored in this former mining city, much of which has been reclaimed by the jungle since being abandoned over a century ago.

We spend today walking to and then exploring the Lost City. Our route takes us into the jungle, following the banks of a river and passing three spectacular waterfalls. Along the way there are several pools of crystal clear water in which we can take a cooling dip. The trail then uses the old, and now open to the elements, mining tunnels to reach the city ruins. After a day of exploring this interesting archaeological site and its surroundings we return to our hotel in Mariquita.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

4 hours walking

Distance

8 KM

This morning we take a drive to the Chinchina area (approx. 5hrs). Here we visit the Finca La Romelia Orchid Farm. A family run tourism and conservation project concerned with the collection, study and conservation of orchids and the restoration of native flora and preservation of wild fauna. We learn about this unique mountain ecosystem and the life it supports as well as the challenges faced. After exploring the nature trails, gardens, nurseries and main house we take lunch in this relaxing oasis before continuing on to Salento by minibus (approx. 2 hours) where we check in to our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Today we will explore the trails of the Cocora Valley, which we reach by Jeep Willy. Nestled in the centre of Colombia's Coffee Triangle, the "Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia" was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011 as an exceptional example of a sustainable and productive landscape. Centuries old traditions and land-use techniques have been passed down from generation to generation of the cafeteros (coffee farmers).

As we walk along the Cocora Valley Trail, through cloud forest and jungle, the coffee producing High Andean farmland reveals itself, with small orthogonal plots perched on vertiginous slopes, a necessity to overcome the challenges of farming this terrain. As we continue through the valley we come across another spectacle and emblem of Colombia, as we enter forests of Quindio Wax Palm trees. Native to the high and humid montane forests of the Northern Andes these are the tallest palm trees in the world, rising up to 60m on slender trunks you can often wrap your arms around!

After around 2 hours walking we reach the Acaime Reserve, where we will have a unique opportunity to see hummingbirds up close as they indulge on 'aguapanela' feeders hanging throughout the reserve. We complete the trail loop where we return to our Jeep Willys for the transfer back to Salento.

On our return we take a walking tour around Salento with its colourful buildings and craft shops before learning how to play the traditional game of 'Tejo' over a beer or coffee (included).

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Today we visit another town steeped in the coffee-connected culture of the region. Approximately 1 hour outside of Salento is the sleepy town of Filandia. We first visit the Kirakai Reserve, a nature reserve rich in bird and animal life also home to a population of Howler Monkeys. We take a 2 hour guided walk with a local wildlife expert through the reserve before returning to the town for lunch at one of the best restaurants in the Coffee Region.

Today's lunch spot, Helena Adentro, is an internationally acclaimed tapas restaurant. Serving up a mix of Colombia classic dishes given a modern twist the restaurant focuses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. After enjoying the empanadas, patacones, yucca or even a cocktail, we walk off lunch exploring the quiet streets of the town with their colourful facades and colonial buildings. We return this evening to our hotel in Salento.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

2 hours walking

Distance

2 KM

Having explored the lush natural environments it is grown in and the quaint mountain communities the industry supports, it is only right we now sample the main product of the region during this morning's coffee experience tour.

After breakfast we visit an artisan coffee farm to learn about the growing, harvesting and production of coffee. The tour, of course, culminates in an interactive preparation of Salento Coffee, in the traditional method using a cloth strainer and pot.

After this quintessential experience, full of beans and fond memories, it is time to say goodbye to the Coffee Region as we continue our adventure on to the Caribbean Coast and Sierra Nevada Mountains. We transfer to Pereira Airport to fly to Santa Marta in the far North of Colombia. On landing we have a 30 minute transfer to our hotel for the night.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today is the day we start our journey to Ciudad Perdida - Colombia's Lost City. From our hotel in the city we take a transfer to Mamey and the start of the trek into the jungle. Led by guides from the nearby indigenous communities, we weave our way through the undulating landscape on jungle trails, often crossing low streams and wooden bridges over rivers. Some of which offer inviting pools where we can stop to take a refreshing dip. About halfway along the trail we reach the 3 crosses viewpoint, where we enjoy a welcome and delicious stop for fruit before continuing on to the first camp.

The only way to access the Lost City is along this hiking trail and overnighting at the set camps, organised in conjunction with the local communities. Each camp has a covered area for dining, a mixture of hammock and beds arranged in open-air huts with bunks under mosquito nets, toilets and showers. These basic camps employ local people to maintain the camps and prepare food for the trekkers passing through, but can be quite simple and at times busy. As well as the local guide we are also accompanied by our tour leader who will help ensure the smooth running of camp for our groups.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

4 hours walking

Distance

8 KM

After breakfast at camp another day of intrepid adventure awaits us in the jungle. We continue our journey walking for around 3 hours along the trail to the second camp, Cabana Wiwa, where we can enjoy a refreshing swim in the Buritaca River while we wait for lunch. After a short rest we continue into the Sierra Nevada passing Mutanyi, an indigenous Kogui Village. We will then head towards the third camp, Paraiso Teyuna, where we will spend our second night in another fixed camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

8 hours walking

We wake very early in the morning to have breakfast and begin our 2km journey to reach Cuidad Perdida. Dating from around 800CE the Lost City predates Machu Picchu by 650 years. Rediscovered in 1972 by a group of local treasure looters the site is steeped in mystery and enigma. Local tribes such as the Kogis and their forbearers acted as guardians for the site for hundreds of years before eventually succumbing to the European Conquistadors in the 15th century. Much of the gold and artefacts from this period are still housed in European Museums. Parts of the city were reconstructed by archaeologists between 1976 and 1982 but it is believed there are many more unearthed sites throughout Colombia's Sierra Nevada.

After about an hour we reach the bottom of a 1,200 step stone staircase, hidden under the dense jungle canopy. This staircase, as if picked out of a work of fiction, guards the entrance to the Lost City and gives the first indication of the magnitude of work that must have gone into the construction of the tiled roads, terraces and plazas carved into the mountainside.

Upon reaching the top of the staircase we are welcomed by an impressive view over the famed city and its signature circular terraces. Wooden dwellings housing the ancient Tayrona would have stood atop these terraces and acted as trading posts for farmed crops, seafood and salt transported from the coast, as well as later gold traded with Europeans. We have around 3 hours at the site including a guided tour and time to soak in the history and atmosphere.

After our tour we begin our descent back to the second camp.

Accommodation

Camping

Meals

B L D

Time

5 hours walking

Distance

5 KM

Today is our last day as explorers of the Sierra Nevada, as we complete the return leg of our adventure. After breakfast we begin a 2 hour hike back towards Adan or Alfredo camp (where we slept the first night). Once there we will have a quick break for water, snacks and fruit.
Another 4 hours completes our walk back to El Mamey, where we will have lunch and board the 4x4 truck that will take us back to Santa Marta. Here we can check into our comfortable hotel for a well-earned rest and reminisce on our adventure through the jungles and mountains to the fabled Lost City.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

6 hours walking

After breakfast at the hotel we take a private transfer from Santa Marta to the colonial port city of Cartagena de Incas (approx. 5 hours). Set on the seafront is the 16th century old town, an unmissable highlight and fitting end point of any Colombian Adventure.

Cartagena has a rich colonial history, as a major port for the export of gold plundered from the continent. From hilltop castles to guard against pirates to elaborate and colourful residences there is a lot to see. Street art, modern cuisine and lively nightlife, as well as white sand beaches and excursions to Caribbean islands make this a popular destination. On arrival we take a 2.5 hour guided tour of the old town to explore the mysteries and marvels of this port town.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Time

2.5 hours walking tour

Today we have a day of leisure to further explore the town or beaches of Cartagena. An optional day trip to the beautiful Rosario Islands, a Caribbean island chain and 'Natural National Park' less than 2 hours by boat from the mainland, can be taken at additional cost. This evening we gather with our group and guide for a celebratory farewell meal.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Transfers to the airport are provided.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Transfer
Internal Flight
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • Airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described
  • All required bedding on trek
  • Meals as per Meal Plan
  • All land transport required by the itinerary in air-conditioned vehicles
  • All activities/excursions mentioned
  • Internal Flight from Pereria to Santa Marta

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Some meals as per Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc.
  • International Airport Departure tax

The group will meet at the hotel in Bogota.

Airport transfers are provided for all clients.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

13 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 5 dinners are included in the holiday price. Breakfasts are included each morning at the hotel, with lunches also included on the days we have activities and interesting places to eat. On the Lost City Trek all meals are provided. When in towns and cities dinners have not been included, so you may make your own choice from the variety of options- with the exception of a welcome and farewell meal at the start and end of the holiday.

It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

The cuisine of Colombia is a little less spicy than some of its neighbours, meals are often simple with a strong reliance on indigenous foods like corn, beans, squash, lot of grilled meat and tropical fruits. Towards the coast you can expect more Caribbean fare, fresh fish, rice and beans and delicious fried plantain. The Colombians love to mix sweet and savoury and those looking to try something a little different should look out for Queso con Arequipa (a desert of local cheese served with a caramel sauce) and if you order a vegetable soup, you might be surprised to find it served with a banana rather than bread! If you are thirsty you can expect a wide range of freshly squeezed fruit juices and, of course, coffee. If it is an alcoholic tipple you are after, then there will be no shortage of rum on the Caribbean coast or aguardiente (an aniseed flavoured liqueur derived from sugar cane) in the Andean regions.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

The group will spend 1 night in a well located hotel in central Bogota, 2 nights in a boutique hotel in Mariquita, 3 nights in a converted ranch style hotel in Salento, 2 nights in a comfortable hotel in the historic centre of Santa Marta, and 2 nights in a well-appointed hotel in Cartagena's Old Town. During the trek to the lost city we spend 3 nights staying at the fixed camps along the trail. Each camp has a covered area for dining, a mixture of hammock and beds arranged in open-air huts with bunks under mosquito nets, toilets and showers. All necessary bedding is supplied. These basic camps employ local people to maintain the camps and prepare food for the trekkers passing through, but can be quite simple and at times busy. As well as the local guide we are also accompanied by our tour leader who will help ensure the smooth running of camp for our groups.

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning on extending your holiday additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader. During the Lost City Trek the group will also be joined by a tour guide from one of the local communities.

The altitudes on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. You may ‘feel’ the altitude the first time you trek above 2000 metres but all that is required is a slower pace to compensate. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels while trekking above 2000 metres.

Approximately £150-£200 per person (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for tips, soft drinks, snacks and miscellaneous expenses. Alcoholic drinks, souvenirs are additional so you may wish to budget for these. It is possible to use credit and bank cards to withdraw local currency from ATMs in Bogota, Santa Marta, Cartagena and other major towns.

Rosario Islands Option from Cartagena

If you wish to take the optional day-trip by boat to the Rosario Islands on Day 13 please let us know as soon as your holiday is confirmed.

We will provide you with a link that you can use to pre-pay to our agent in Colombia the day-trip cost of $117.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. The baggage allowance for the internal flight on this holiday is 23kg with one carry-on item of 10kg. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH THE USA

You will require an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any US-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is USD$21 and you should apply for it at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. With the ESTA complete, the majority of British Citizen passport holders can enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme, VWP. You will be required to have a passport with an integrated chip. Note that if you have travelled to Cuba, Iran, Syria or North Korea since March 2011* you will have to apply for a visa rather than the Visa Waiver Programme (* a full and up to date list of countries can be found on the US government website here.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE TRANSITING THROUGH CANADA

All citizens (except for USA citizens) will require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), and you must get this before boarding any Canada-bound aircraft or ship, or entering on a land border. The fee is CAD$7 and you should apply for it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

 

Visa Colombia

UK passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transitted for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso.

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking 4 to 6 hours on consecutive days. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina.

Colombia’s position close to the Equator means that its climate is very stable and there is not really any high or low season to speak of. December to March can be considered ‘rainy season’, but it can and does rain at all times of year. In Bogota and the Coffee Highlands you can expect reasonable clement temperatures and evenings can be cool. This will be in contrast to the north and the Caribbean coast where we can expect temperatures of up to 30 degrees centigrade and high humidity.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Short Walks from Bogotá: Journeys in the new Colombia | TOM FEILING
100 Years of Solitude | Gabriel García Márquez
Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City): Colombia | Mark Candey
Colombia: A Rosen-Cooney Travel Story-No Passports Required: Bogota, the Coffee Zone, Cartagena, and Tayrona National Park | Alexandra Rosen
Misspelled Paradise: A Year in a Reinvented Colombia | Bryanna Plog

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.


You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Gloves or mittens

  • Swimwear and travel towel (for pools and river bathing on trek)
  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small padlock 

  • Daypack 25 - 30 litres

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment,and insect repellent.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles

  • Training shoes or similar

  • Trekking Sandals for small river crossing on Lost City Trek.

  • Shorts

  • Scarf or buff

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Nicaragua Lakes and Volcanoes

13 Days
  • Discover the charming historic cities of Granada and Leon
  • Explore Lake Nicaragua and its 365 islets by boat
  • Volcano hikes on Mombacho, Cerro Negro and Ometepe Island
  • Canoe through the San Juan River Biosphere Reserve
  • Enjoy fascinating tropical wildlife on nature walks with expert naturalist guides
Extension Code: NLV
Sharing Price from
US$3,130

Extension Itinerary

Arrive to Managua, the capital and largest city in Nicaragua. A single group transfer is provided from the airport. You holiday begins with the overnight at the group hotel.

After breakfast we drive to San Carlos, a small village situated on the south eastern shore of Lake Nicaragua and the beginning of the San Juan River, which flows east to the border with Costa Rica. From San Carlos we take a boat down the river for 2 hours to the village of El Castillo. The river and surrounding rainforest make up the Rio San Juan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is packed with unique and interesting wildlife; including mammals such as the Tapir and elusive Jaguar, birds such as the Harpy Eagle and Green Macaw, and freshwater life such as Manatees, freshwater sharks and the American Crocodile.

Reaching El Castillo (the Castle), an impressive fortress dominates the town, strategically located on a sharp curve in the river, it was built by the Spanish to protect the affluent city of Granada from attacks by pirates. This vehicle-free town is made up of colourful wooden buildings which sit on stilts above the fast flowing river. We find our hotel on the narrow "main street" where we overnight.

Meals

B L D

Today starts early to explore the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, the best time to see wildlife. We embark on a scenic boat trip down the Rio San Juan, arriving at one of the military ranger stations which have been set up to protect the reserve from poachers. From here, we board canoes and begin our adventure. As we paddle along the river we are surrounded by lush vegetation, dense forest and the relaxing sounds of nature. The calm waters of the river provide a smooth and enjoyable canoeing experience. After 1-2 hours of light canoeing we reach the start point for our walk into the heart of the Biological Reserve.

Walking through the jungle we can expect to see Howler Monkeys, brightly coloured Poison Dart Frogs, a wide range of birdlife including Trogons, Manikins, Tanagers and if we are lucky Scarlet Macaws. There is also an endless variety of flora and the chance to see larger mammals such as ocelots. After the hike we return to El Castillo by boat.

Meals

B L D

This morning we drive for 4 hours to one of the prettiest city in Nicaragua, Granada. Dating back to 1524 this historic city draws locals and travellers alike, with its wonderful colonial and neoclassical architecture, colourful cobbled streets and laid-back, easy-going atmosphere. The afternoon is free to relax and sample some of the culinary delights on offer ahead of our walking tour tomorrow.

Meals

B

This morning our tour leader will take us on a walking tour of Granada. We will visit 'La Merced' Church, Granada's impressive and brightly painted cathedral and the San Francisco convent. We then continue on to the warm waters of Lake Nicaragua where we will explore some of its 354 islets by boat. The islets are made up of basalt rock covered in lush vegetation, rich in bird life, with plenty of egrets, comorants, ospreys, kingfishers and orpendulas. The age of these islands is unknown but it is believed they were created by a massive eruption of Mombacho Volcano that watches over the lake to the west.

Meals

B

Just South of Granada, Mombacho Volcano Reserve has some of the most beautiful cloud forest flora seen anywhere in Latin America with numerous flowers, bromeliads and orchids amongst its 800+ species. We arrive in the morning, where we will be transported by 4x4 to the ranger station from where we will start our nature walk. The Puma Trail hike takes you inside the cloud forest, as we ascend along the trail we are surrounded by a dense canopy of vegetation, alive with calls of tropical birds and the rustling of leaves. The air is cool and refreshing and with the aid of our naturalist guide we learn about the amazing biodiversity and, if weather permits, we will be treated to amazing views of Lake Nicaragua and its Islets.

After our nature walk we return to Granada, where we will be picked up for a sunset drive up nearby Masaya Volcano. Reaching the rim of the crater we walk to a viewpoint where we can look down inside the crater of the volcano, observing the glowing lava below.

Meals

B L

This morning we travel (approx. 2 hour drive) to San Jorge Port on the Western side of Lake Nicaragua. On arriving to San Jorge, we take the ferry to Ometepe Island. Made up of two imposing volcanic cones that rise up from the waters of Central America's largest lake, it is a land of legends and another UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Ometepe has been sacred to the local Nahuatl people for millennia and its fertile landscape is scattered with archaeological remains and ancient petroglyphs. We overnight at our hotel ahead of exploring the island tomorrow.

Meals

B

Today we aim for the high point of our trip by climbing Maderas Volcano (1394m). A dormant volcano it is known for its cloud forest and stunning crater lake. This hike is through dense vegetation, ascending steep slopes and crossing scenic streams. As we ascend, we are surrounded by diverse flora and fauna including orchids, monkeys and a variety of bird species. Reaching the summit we are rewarded with an inspiring panorama of the island. The highlight of this hike is in finding the mystical lagoon nestled within the volcano's crater, a serene and picturesque sight. After our walk we return to our hotel on the island for a well-earned rest.

Meals

B L

There are lots of different options to explore the island's rich cultural and archaeological heritage, cycling and kayaking are very easy to arrange locally. The best beach on the island is Playa Santo Domingo - on a clear day you can see both volcanoes from the water here and the long stretch of beach is well worth a visit. Other options include bird watching, visits to waterfalls and natural springs, the interesting coin and pre-Columbian museum and the petroglyphs that the island is famous for.

Meals

B

In the morning we take the ferry back to the mainland and drive 2 hours to La Makina Reserve. This nature reserve has embraced tourism as a route to conserving its unique wildlife habitats and ecosystems, located in the dry tropics of Carazo. It offers guided trail walks, canopy walks and a small campsite located in the park, with funds going back into the conservation and protection of the land. There are plenty of trails to explore winding their way through tropical forest and waterfalls with pristine swimming pools, along with high viewpoints where you can overlook the Pacific Ocean. A campfire is set up in the evening for a special night in this natural setting.

On the way we stop at a project in the small community of Nambume. Ramon and his wife welcome us to learn about the variety of medicinal, citrus and ornamental plants grown on their estate. We can also sample their produce with food prepared by ancestral recipes based on native seeds and organic production methods.

Meals

B L D

Leaving the reserve, today we drive (approx. 3 hours) to the university city of Leon. Leon is the artistic and intellectual heart of Nicaragua, the colonial capital for three centuries and former home of its three great poets, including Ruben Dario. Leon's historic cathedral (the largest in Central America) is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and there is plenty more to explore; whether the revolutionary street art, restaurant lined plazas, or colonial architecture.

Meals

B

Today we embark on a half-day excursion to Cerro Negro Volcano. An hour's drive outside Leon, Cerro Negro is Nicaragua's youngest active volcano and is completely covered in black sand and rocks, of which its name is derived. We walk the 500m of ascent to the top of the volcano (726m above sea level), which takes 1-2 hours, at the top a vista of unforgettable views stretch along Nicaragua's volcanic chain. A unique quirk of Cerro Negro is the steep soft black sand slopes that allow for a quick and easy descent. We can either walk, run, slide or 'volcano board' back down to the bottom before we return to Leon.

Meals

B

This morning we wake to our last day in Nicaragua. After breakfast we drive (approx. 3 hours) directly to Managua Airport, where the holiday ends, in time for afternoon flight departures. Additional nights in Leon or Managua can be arranged.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • A single timed airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • All land / boat transport required by the itinerary
  • All activities/excursions/entrance fees mentioned unless specified as ‘optional’
What's Not Included
  • Travel Insurance
  • Departure Taxes (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Tips
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Tourist Card - US$10 per person in cash to be paid directly at immigration on entry
  • Airport Tax (Exit) US$45 per person (Note that the exit tax is now included by most airlines in ticket cost; please check with your carrier)
Extension Details

South West National Parks of the USA

13 Days
  • Walk the best day hikes in Joshua Tree, Mojave, Zion, Bryce Canyon and more as we seek out quiet trails with amazing views.
  • Explore natural wonders from Death Valley to the Grand Canyon.
  • Experience unique Americana with visits to famous restaurants, abandoned ghost towns and iconic Western film locations.
Extension Code: USA
Sharing Price from
US$3,805

Extension Itinerary

Arrive Las Vegas. Make your own way to the hotel. You will meet your guide and the rest of the group the next morning.

This morning we leave the bright lights and glitz of Las Vegas behind as we head out on our adventure into the US Southwest. After meeting our guide and the rest of our group in the morning we drive out to the eponymous Death Valley (approx. 2hr30). Straddling the border of California and Nevada, this below-sea-level basin is a land of extremes and wonder, thought to be the hottest place on earth in summer, yet home to a surprising array of life and unique natural formations. We explore the National Park by car and on foot, taking in scenic sites such as Zabriskie Point and the Badwater Basin. Later in the afternoon we travel (approx. 2 hrs) on to our campground for the next two nights at Lone Pine.

Meals

L D

This morning we visit the Museum of Western Film History that collects, preserves, and exhibits a broad and diverse collection of film memorabilia associated with the American Western film genre including the landscapes that served as a canvas for their stories. After visiting the museum we hit the road on a short tour through these landscapes. The Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set at the base of the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada. We travel a up long dirt path with stellar views of Mount Whitney and the other Sierra Nevada peaks soaring above. More than 400 films have been captured in this scenery. Along the road we make multiple stops for short walks on Shark Finn trail, Mobius Arch and many more. Return to campground at Lone Pine.

Meals

B L D

This morning we take a ranger's walk at Manzanar historic site (25 min drive) and walk the Manzanar trail (4km, 1 hr). We then drive to Calico (approx. 3hrs30) to visit an old West mining town that was abandoned in the mid-1890s after silver lost its value and have lunch along the drive (not included). After our visit to Calico, we drive to our campground just outside Joshua Tree National Park (2hrs) where we set up camp.

Meals

B D

Full day to explore Joshua Tree National Park by car and on foot. We start our day at Cholla Cactus Garden, walking a loop to admire thousands of densely concentrated, naturally growing cholla cactus (30 minutes) we then walk the Arch Rock (1 hour) and Skull Rock (1-2 hrs) trails, a couple of short and easy hikes to explore desert washes and boulder piles including the striking Skull Rock. We finish this walking day at Ryan Ranch (1 hour), with an easy hike along an old ranch road where you can see historic adobe structures. Keys View offers round-the-clock breath-taking vistas where visitors are treated to sweeping views of the Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, and the surrounding peaks that stretch all the way to Mexico. This evening, we take an opportunity to go out for dinner (not included) in the area. Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace in nearby Pioneertown is a truly unique experience. Part honky­ tonk, part music-biz museum, part premier venue, the 'Palace' is a great place to grab a bite, kick back, and possibly even catch some live music.

Meals

B L

Drive to Mojave National Preserve (approx. 2 hrs), where we hike to the top of the most popular sand dune, Kelso Dune. The short but steep hike is fairly strenuous, taking 2-3 hours for most people, but the views from the top are well worth it.

This afternoon we undertake our first longer hike, where we hike the Barber Peak Trail, a ten kilometre loop encircling Barber Peak. We pass the impressive Opalite Cliffs before returning to Hole-in-the-Wall via the Banshee Canyon. We set up camp at Hole-in-the-Wall at the basic campground for the night.

Meals

B L D

Transfer to Valley of Fire State Park (approx. 3hrs30). Here we undertake a couple of shorter hikes taking in interesting points and scenery. Firstly, we hike the White Domes Trail loop, a popular hike in the park thanks to its ever-changing scenery and terrain. On the 1.8km trail we hike through a sandy desert with tall colourful sandstone formations, through narrow slot canyons and even get to see old 'ruins'. We then hike the Mouse tank Trail (1.6km) to view petroglyphs and explore the rocks of this natural basin. After these walks we drive to Zion (approx. 3 hours) where we take a 5km hike on the Watchman trail as an ideal introduction to Zion's magnificence and beauty. Tonight we set up camp at our campground and head out to eat at a local restaurant (not included).

Meals

B L

Today we have a full day to enjoy Zion. Again we split the day into 2 shorter hikes to see the best highlights of the park. We start by hiking to Emerald Pool (4.8km, 260m), after gaining a modest amount of elevation the trail contours above the Virgin River for a few hundred metres, yielding great views of the fertile oasis formed from the flowing water. After lunch we take on the slightly more challenging hike climbing 'Walter's Wiggles', a series of 21 switchbacks, to Scout Lookout (5.8km, 340m), a flat saddle with incredible views of Zion Canyon. We return to our camp to enjoy a camp meal and our last evening in the park.

Meals

B L D

This morning we drive (approx. 2 hours) to Bryce Canyon. The best way to see the canyon is combining the main trails (Queens Garden, Peek-a-Boo, and Navajo Loops) for an extraordinary day walking through a maze of multi-hued rock formations eroded into fantastical shapes. Overlooks along the rim and ridges on route feature jaw-dropping views of seas of colourful hoodoos, pinnacles and fins. After our day of walking we return of our campground on the edge of Bryce Canyon City.

Meals

B L D

Waking early we head to sunrise point for sensational views and a natural light show over the canyon as the rising sun lights up the red rock formations below. After this spectacle we drive on to Page (approx. 2 hrs) where we join a tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon, a magnificent slot canyon shaped by millions of years of water and wind erosion, led by a local Navajo guide.
We then continue on towards our final natural wonder, the Grand Canyon. On the way we make a stop at the famous Horseshoe Bend for an impressive look over the horseshoe-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River. We arrive to the Grand Canyon in time to end this special day with sunset views over the canyon. We set up camp in our campground for the next 2 nights and head to a local restaurant for dinner.

Meals

B L

Today we have a full day at the Grand Canyon. Getting around using the free shuttle service you may choose to visit the Grand Canyon Visitor's Centre, hike some of the South Rim Trail to one of many viewpoints, or join one of the ranger walks within the National Park. Alternatively you can walk down one of the marked trails to viewpoints within the canyon itself, such as 'Ooh-Aah Point' and 'Cedar Ridge' (This walk would be unguided as external tour leaders are not allowed to guide within the park - The National Park Service provide information on the available hiking routes including approximate timings and safety considerations, such as suggestions of carrying plenty of water). You tour leader will be on hand to provide you with recommendations and assistance. In the evening we return to our nearby campground for our final camp dinner.

Meals

B L D

In the morning we have our last time at the Grand Canyon before taking the road back to Las Vegas, taking in a section of 'Route 66'. After around 2 hours we stop in Seligman for lunch (not included). A quirky small town along a preserved section of Route 66 that captures a vibrant slice of Americana. After lunch we transfer back to our hotel in Las Vegas (approx. 2hrs45), where we enjoy our final dinner as a group at a local restaurant where we can reflect on our American journey.

Meals

B

Free time before your flight. Airport transfers are not included and can be arranged through your hotel.

Whats Included
  • A professional guide (+ assistant guide for groups over 8)

  • All accommodation as described

  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan

  • All land transport required by the itinerary

  • All activities/excursions/entrance fees mentioned except where specified as ‘optional’

  • National Park entrance fees

What's Not Included
  • Travel insurance

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Departure Taxes (if applicable)

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

  • Tips

  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure - drinks and souvenirs etc

  • Sleeping Bag Hire

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 3 Nov and ends on Sat 16 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 1 Dec and ends on Sat 14 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 9 Feb and ends on Sat 22 Feb
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 27 Apr and ends on Sat 10 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 25 May and ends on Sat 7 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 2 Nov and ends on Sat 15 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Lost Cities and Coffee Trails of Colombia
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: LCC /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 30 Nov and ends on Sat 13 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$625
  • Single Supplement Price: US$495 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a during the lost city trek)
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining at the hotel in Bogota. The itinerary ends in Cartagena. Airport transfers from El Dorado International Airport, Bogota and to Rafael Núñez International Airport, Cartagena are provided.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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