Explore the stunning scenery of Colombia following the history of the FARC through the capital Bogota and the cocaine capital Medellin! Colombia might…
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Explore the stunning scenery of Colombia following the history of the FARC through the capital Bogota and the cocaine capital Medellin!
Colombia might have had a chequered past, with landmines, and the remnants of the civil war and organized crime still very much omnipresent, but Colombia is slowly waking from its past and hitting the challenges of reform head on.
Thursday 15th November – Bogota
- Arrival in Bogota at your own leisure
- Meet your YPT guide and the rest of the group at 2pm and head out for a walking tour of La Candelaria. This is where Simon Bolivar – El Liberator, the original Latin American revolutionary – was almost caught, and where various figures of Colombian history met their fate.
- We explore the alleyways and museums and head for dinner and drinks for a very local Bogota experience
- Overnight in Bogota
- Friday 16th November – Bogota
- We meet up with others joining the Colombia section of the tour then head straight out to the Military Museum, where we can learn about Colombia’s lesser known role in the Korean War.
- We take a stroll around the Parque Simon Bolivar and see what the locals get up to in their spare time.
- We make a quick stop by the Congress and the Supreme Court. These are the same buildings that were seized by Marxist guerrillas in 1985.
- Lunch in the city
- We visit the Colon Theatre, which is where the peace process between the government and FARC was signed. We then visit the Museo Banco de Republica, the main modern art museum in Colombia.
- We head to Southern Bogota, the blue-collar area of the city to endulge in some people watching.
- Later, we head to dinner and then for an authentic Friday night salsa in the Colombian capital. If you’re not a good dancer that won’t matter as there will be ample amounts of rum to boost confidence.
- Overnight in Bogota
Saturday 17th November – Sierra Nevada National Park
- In the early morning, we take a quick 2 hour flight to Cartegena.
- On arrival, we transfer directly to the Sierra Nevada national park. This national park is home to many of Colombia’s indigenous peoples as well as the country’s most diverse biosphere.
- Lunch in Sierra Nevada
- Many opportunities to explore the area and its wildlife.
- In the evening, we will camp out in the reserve complete with a BBQ and of course rum!
Sunday 18th November – Sierra Nevada National Park
- We head out to the Wiwa Indian Reserve to visit the local indigenous people in the mid-highlands to learn their way of life.
- Local lunch with the Wiwa
- We head back to Cartagena, where we check into the hotel before heading out for dinner to a Peruvian restaurant and drinks in Café Havana
- Overnight in Cartagena
Monday 19th November – Cartagena
- We explore the old colonial city of Cartegena and learn about its rich history.
- We have a look at the old city walls as well as the Spanish-era coral stone forts which are over 500 years old.
- Lunch at Interno, a restaurant staffed by former political prisoners
- Climb La Popa Hill for a great view of the area and visit the 17th century Santa Cruz monastery
- We then head over the Spanish Inquisition Palace, a place where people were tortured and killed for crimes against Catholicism.
- Head out for local food and drinks in the Cartagena old town
- Overnight in Cartagena
Tuesday 20th November – Medellin
- In the morning at 10am we board a flight to Medellin, the second city in Colombia.
- Medellin is infamous for being home to the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. Since the mid-1990s things have calmed down a lot and it is now a safe place to travel.
- In the afternoon, we head out to the Museo de Antioquia which hosts the world-famous sculptures by Fernando Botero in the grounds surrounding the museum.
- Go for dinner and drinks in Medellin
- Overnight in Medellin
Wednesday 21th November – Medellin
- Breakfast in the hotel before we jump on our bus to begin the tour of Medellin
- In the morning we drive out to visit a project that helps farmers change from cocoa growing to coffee, part of the plan to eliminate the drug trade in Colombia.
- Lunch in a roadside almuerzo
- After lunch, we visit a village that until recently was riddled with landmines. Thanks to a charity however the place has been demined. This is a great opportunity to learn about the impact the civil has had on the local people.
- Before dinner, we meet 2 former FARC soldiers who discuss their experiences during the civil war.
- Dinner and overnight in Medellin.
Thursday 22nd November – Medellin
- In true Medellin fashion we head out to learn about its most famous resident, Pablo Escobar.
- We begin the Escobar tour in La Paz, the birthplace and old stomping ground of Pablo Escobar, led by an expert local guide.
- We then see the other side of his life exploring many of the luxurious buildings used for various money laundering operations. We will also check out his bombed-out safe in the Monaco Building, where the first car bomb in Colombia was detonated.
- After visit the “Cathedral” (Pablo’s old prison), we go to see some spectacular views and the private cemetery where siblings and cousins of the mafia boss finally rest.
- We end the tour by taking a trip out to the infamous La Manuela Mansion where the drug lord lived out his over-the-top lifestyle.
- We take a boat over to the mansion where we will have enough free time to explore, take photos, and who knows maybe bump into a Hippo.
- Overnight in Medellin.
Friday 23rd November
- We get up early for our morning flight to Bogota, where the tour ends, with YPT being able to arrange ongoing transport or accommodation for those that need it.
- Breakfasts and lunches
- Transport including domestic flights
- Experienced YPT guide and local English-speaking guide