Colombia Off-Road

COL-26 LT / 19-day trip / Grade: T3

Culture: Bogotá, Salento, Cocora Valley, Riohacha, La Guajira, Buritaca & Cartagena
Light Trekking: Los Nevados National Park & Trek to the Lost City

Colombia Off-Road 2
OVERVIEW

Colombia Off-road is one of the most complete active programs we have on our portfolio. It combines both, adventure and culture, while visiting place on and off-the-beaten track. This itinerary takes through different ecosystems: from a trek in the Andean highlands at the foot of the snowcapped volcanoes, down to 4-Wheel drive over the dry deserts of the Guajira peninsula, to the humid jungles of the Lost City trek. Covering also the cultural icon like the coffee area, Caribbean beaches and ending at the historical city of Cartagena de Indias.

Trip’s highlights:

– 4-day trek in Los Nevados National Park on the central Andes range. In addition to the trek, the coffee culture enriches the experience and can be enjoyed in the town of Salento, right in the heart of Colombia’s traditional coffee area.

– 3-day trip to the northernmost point in South America: Punta Gallinas located in the Guajira peninsula, where the amazing sand dunes beaches meet the sea. On top of that, the cultural experience to see the Wayuu indigenous group’s way of life.

– 4-day trek to La Ciudad Perdida of the Tayronas, known as “The Lost City”, one of the best restored and preserved archeological sites in the country. It is located in the Buritaca valley in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest costal range in the world.

– Tayrona National Park: Visit to the famous Tayrona park with a easy gentle walk to enjoy some of Colombia’s best beaches in the country.

– Cartagena de Indias. To end this amazing program, a cultural visit to the historical fortified city of Cartagena de Indias.

– All services are in private basis and of the best available quality, according to the area and possibilities.

Do not miss it!


Day 1 Arrival in Bogotá
Day 2 Bogotá – City tour
Day 3 Flight: Bogotá – Pereira – Trek: “La Pastora” (2536 m)
Day 4 Trekking: “Berlin” farm (3848 m)
Day 5 Trekking: “Primavera/La Playa” farm (3769 m)
Day 6 Trekking: Salento (1919 m) by the Cardenas valley
Day 7 Salento (1919 m) – Coffee tour
Day 8 Flight: Armenia – Riohacha via Bogotá
Day 9 Punta Gallinas – the Northernmost point of South America
Day 10 Cabo de la Vela
Day 11 Cabo de la Vela – Tayrona National Park
Day 12 Tour to Tayrona Natural Park
Day 13 Lost City – Trekking: “Donde Adan” lodge (480 m)
Day 14 Trekking: “El Paraiso” lodge (870 m)
Day 15 Trekking: Lost City (1175 m)
Day 16 Trekking: El Mamey (150 m) – Santa Marta
Day 17 Santa Marta – Cartagena
Day 18 Cartagena – Half-day city tour
Day 19 Cartagena – Bogotá Airport

Important:
– The trek closes once a year around the first half of the month of September, due to Indigenous religious ceremonies. If you are planning your trip around this time of the year, please contact us to confirm the exact restricted dates.
– This itinerary is the regular program, but it can be altered due to climatic and/or force majeure factors.

ITINERARY
Day 1

Arrival in Bogotá
Arrival at Bogotá Airport and private transport to your hotel.

Day 2

Bogotá City tour: Historical downtown, Gold Museum & Monserrate
Full-day private city tour to the historic part of Bogotá. After breakfast, enjoy the historic center of the city on foot. You are right in the middle of the charming colonial area known as La Candelaria, and you will visit the world famous gold museum, the Plaza Bolivar and go by cable car to the Monserrate Sanctuary, at an altitude of 3152 m, overlooking the city. A quick visit to the museum of the famous Colombian artist Botero is also an option. Duration 6-7 hours.
Included meals: Breakfast

LOS NEVADOS TREK
Day 3

Salento – Pereira – Trek: “La Pastora” (2460 m)
Pick-up at hotel and transfer to domestic terminal for a flight (1 h) to the city of Pereira, located at the heart of the Coffee area. Upon arrival, there will be a transport ready to take the group to the beginning of the trail, before heading into the mountains, there will be a short stop in city to buy some snacks and any last minute things, that people might need. Then the drive takes about 2 hours by the margins of the Otun River, passing the rural areas of “La Florida” and “La Suiza”, until the head of trail known as “El Cedral” (2105 m). From this point, the group will follow a very nice trail with a moderate ascent rate for 2.5 – 3 h to “La Pastora” refuge, located in the cloud rain forrest, the place to spend the night.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 355 m / Highest altitude: 2460 m / Distance: 5,9 Km / Activity duration: 2,5-3 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 4

Trekking: “Berlin” farm (3848 m)
Departure from “La Pastora”, taking the same trail as the day before, but by a steeper terrain. It will take about 2,5 h to reach a very well-know farm called “El Jordan”, located at an idyllic place between volcanic hills covered with dense vegetation and decorated with waterfalls of crystal clear water. From here, the vegetation starts to change into paramo and the forrest starts to open up. The last section is quite steep, following a long traversing trail until the ridge of the El Agrado valley, which will lead to the next farm “Berlin”. This is one of the most beautiful places in the park, in a seldom visited area.
Night in tent.
Ascent: 1388 m / Highest altitude: 3848 m / Distance: 10,9 Km / Activity duration: 4 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 5

Trekking: “Primavera/La Playa” farm (3769 m)
Today’s hike begins ascending “El Agrado” River valley up following an old trail which goes over “La Amargura” pass (4220 m), the border between the states of Risaralda and Quindío. For the energy hikers, there is the option to do a longer hike, climbing up to Pico Chispas (4378 m) and then re-take the trail. After the “La Amargura” pass a quite steep descent will lead down into the Quebrada Cardenas valley, where the Quindio river flows towards the cócora valley. After the river crossing (3804 m), following a muddy trail up to the mountain pass known as “La Linea” (4019 m), which divides the states of Quindío and Tolima, and an excellent view point towards “Paramillo del Quindio” (4745 m), the highest summit of Quindío state, and the Nevado del Tolima in the neighboring valley. From the pass, there is an easy descend toward the “La Primavera/La Playa” farm another humble place, where it will be served the hot local drink “agua de panela” (hot drink with raw sugar) or coffee.
Night in tents.
Ascent to La Angustia: 372 & ascent to La Linea: 215 / Descend to Quindio river: 416 m & descend to La Primavera/La Playa: 250 m/ Highest Altitude: 4220 m / Distance: 12 Km / Activity duration: 5-6 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 6

Trekking: Salento (1919 m) by the Cardenas valley
Last day in the mountains! Leaving after breakfast back up to “La Linea” mountain pass (4019 m) and descending to the Quindio river (3804 m), after crossing a short ascent to the abandoned “Buenos Aires” farm. After about an hours, the “La Argentina” farm will come into view. Descent through beautiful landscapes and rainforest, making a semi-circular ascent ending the trail at the famous Cocora Valley, an spectacular valley located at 2425 meters adorn with Colombia’s national tree: The Wax Palm. Once in the Cocora Valley, the group will be picked up and transferred to the lovely town of Salento, by the traditional Willies jeeps (25 min.) that are a symbol of the coffee area´s coffee culture. Upon arrival in Salento, the group will be taken to a hotel located in the colonial part of the town. There will be good time to enjoy the town and drink some of Colombia’s best coffee!
Night in hotel.
Ascent: 250 m / Descent: 1594 m / Highest Altitude: 4019 m / Distance 16,5 Km / Activity duration: 6-8 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Salento (1919 m) – Coffee tour
After a well-deserved rest and an easygoing morning, the group will have a coffee tour in one of the traditional coffee farms of the area. The coffee tour shows the entire coffee production from the seed to the final product. It also includes a very pedagogic coffee tasting to learn about the different types and qualities of the local coffee. Lunch will be at one of Salento’s typical restaurants and then there will be some free time to enjoy this lay back town and the wide offer of handy-crafts and local products.
For the active traveller, there are plenty of extra tours options like “La Kasa” botanical tour guided by experts in the fauna and flora, horse back riding itineraries, mountain biking routes, between so many others.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8

Flight: Armenia – Riohacha via Bogotá
After breakfast, pick-up and transfer (1 h) to Armenia’s airport. Domestic flight to Riohacha (3 h) via Bogota. Transfer to hotel in Riohacha and on the afternoon, a nice walk by the seaside promenade in Riohacha, where there will be plenty of Wayuu Indians working on their handcrafts while enjoying the sunset of the Caribbean.
Included meals: Breakfast

LA GUAJIRA
Day 9

Punta Gallinas – the Northernmost point of South America
With a name that does relate much to the place (Chicken point), it is definitely one of the most unique spots in the country. Located in the upper most point of Colombia and the South American continent, Punta Gallinas offer some of the most amazing beaches to be found along the Caribbean coast. Punta Gallinas, originally a lighthouse, now in ruins is 3-4 hours drive Riohacha. To get there, first a good road “Cuatro Caminos” a 4 roads intersection in the middle of nowhere and then north by the main road, passing in the distance Uribia, the Wayuu capital and also named the Indigenous capital of Colombia. After about 1,5 hours drive, the tour goes into the Colombian “outback” driving over a desert with only 4-wheel drive’s tracks to the followed. The landscapes get wilder and, the indigenous families living out there, have a hard daily life. During the roadtrip two bays will be passed: the Bahia Ondita y Bahia Onda, with amazing landscapes, open skies and colorful sand beaches. After 2 hours drive in this remote land, the sand dunes of Taroa will be reached. This is the highlight of this area, a place just our of a story, nothing to relate Colombia a tropical country with. The yellow sands falling down the hill into the roaring sea. Sunset here is a must and an experience of a life time.
Punta Gallinas, where the ruins are, has a nice beach with an incredible turquoise sea and the view into an endless ocean! By the way….you are not very likely to be surrounded by many people, if any at all!
The night will be spend in a local home-stay build and run by the local Wayuus, also part of the trip’s experience.
Night in rustic lodge
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 10

Cabo la Vela
Morning visit to enjoy the beautiful beach of “Punta Aguja”, there is the optional boat ride to Hondita Bay to spot pink flamingos (this tour is not included, but can be ordered the night before). After lunch, departure from Punta Gallina crossing once again La Alta Guajira’s deserts, until the Cerrejon Railroad (Cerrejon is the biggest open sky coal mine in the country), from where the road to Cabo la Vela starts. The last section, is more inhabited that the desert up North, and here lies one of the only windmill parks in the country.
A 2-3 hours desert road trip from Punta Gallinas is what it takes to get down to El Cabo de la Vela, located on the Wester coast of the Guajira peninsula, South from Punta Gallinas. It has a some best beaches, very little visited, only crowded during the Colombian holidays. Otherwise, an idyllic spot to relax and enjoy the nature. The place is great to get lost in the many bays, desert trails and also exploring the local cuisine and traditions. The place is inhabited by the Wayuu indigenous group and it is possible to sea the traditional fishermen work, bringing the sea harvest a shore in the early mornings.
El Cabo is also very popular for those into kite surfing, its permanent wind currents make it ideal for this sport. For those interested, it is possible to take a short course or rent the gear (not included).
Again taking a walk up to “El Cabo” lighthouse to enjoy the sunset, it is a must.
Night in rustic lodge.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Cabo de la Vela – Tayrona National Park
After breakfast, a short trip to visit the beautiful and famous beaches “Pilon de Azucar” or “Ojo del Agua”. There will be time to enjoy the water and landscapes, before starting the trip back down to Riohacha after a nice local lunch. The road trip follows the desert, if dry, over a salt flat and then close to the railroad until cuatro Caminos, from there a short 1,5-2 hours to Riohacha and then ” La troncal del Caribe” highway will cross the Souther Guajira and down to Magdalena State. The Tayrona National Park lies about 2 hour from the state border, where the lodge is located. Afternoon free to enjoy the lodge.
Night at lodge.
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 12

Full day visit to Tayrona Natural Park
Early departure from the lodge to the place where the tourist trail starts. To reach this point is possible to walk for about 1 hour (3 Km.) or take one of the public buses that drive between the parks entrance and the trailhead. From this point there is a 1 hour light hike to the Arrecife’s area an iconic place within the park. We will walk by a well marked path that starts in in a tropical forest and ends at the characteristic Caribbean beaches.
The tour visit this area with some of the most beautiful beaches of the Colombian Caribbean coast at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the world’s highest coastal mountain range.

Lunch can be held at a local place, where they prepare traditional fish. Afterwards, there will be time for a dip in the warm sea before walking back to the trailhead and then taking one of the 2 options to go back to the lodge.
Night in the lodge.
Included meals: Breakfast

LOST CITY TREK
Day 13

Lost City – Trekking: “Donde Adan” lodge (480 m)
Morning pick up at hotel and transfer, in 4WD cars, driving northeastwards along the Caribbean coast. After 1-1.5 hours, leave the paved road and here the adventure begins! After about a 1-hour drive on a dirt road, through a beautiful landscape, the village of “El Mamey” (150 m) also called “Machete Pelado” appears. Lunch will be served upon arrival and then the hike to “Ciudad Perdida” starts. This day’s hike is exposed to the sun or the rain, therefore it is important to have a good amount of water and suncream!. Tropical fruit will be offered along the trek. The group will take the river trail, which is a more pleasent walk than the main road. This trail follows “Quebrada del Alto Mamey” river valley for about 1 hour and then ascends steeply (1,5 h) to “El Mirador” pass (640 m) that has a great view down to the Mamey town and the Buritaca River. From this point, a constant descent (1,5 h) to the “Quebrada Honduras” river, where the “Donde Adan”’s lodge is located. It is possible to take a swim in a beautiful natural river pool at the lodge. Dinner will be served in this rustic lodge.
Night in hammocks.
Ascent: 490 m / Descend: 160 m / Highest altitude: 640 m / Distance: 8,9 Km / Activity duration: 4 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 14

Trekking: “El Paraiso” lodge (870 m)
This is a longest day on the program. After an early breakfast, the ascent begins right away taking a well marked trail that gently gains altitude up to “Mumake” pass (680 m). Before the pass, there is the invisible border between “Colonos” lands (Peasants not originally from the area) and the “Kogi’s” Indigenous territory. From now on, the trek will be done in an area protected and ruled by this tribe. There are also “Wiwa’s” Indians, original from another sector of the Sierra, had settled in these valleys and now are running some of the lodges. It is also noticeably the change from extensive farmland into a better-preserved and much less exploded area. From the mountain pass, there is a relative quick descent to the “Buritaca” river valley (430 m), where the only Kogi settlement on the trek is placed. This settlement is called: “Montangi” and is a perfect spot to get an glimpse into the local life style and traditions. After about 1 hour, a river crossing over a hanging bridge, leads to a second ascent (2 h) up to “Koskunguena” pass (824 m) and then back down to the “Buritaca” river (743 m) for a last crossing. The last part of the day is an almost flat area up to “El Paraiso” rustic lodge (870 m), the place for the night. This lodge is just by the shores of the “Buritaca” river, a fantastic place to relax and swim.
Night in hammocks.
To Mumake pass: Ascent: 200 m / Descend: 250 m / Highest altitude: 680 m
To Koskunguena pass: Ascent: 394 m / Descend to Buritaca River: 77 m / Ascent to “El Paraiso” Lodge: 127 m / Highest altitude: 824 m / Distance: 13.6 Km / Activity duration: 7-8 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 15

Trekking: Lost City (1175 m)
Very early departure taking the trail on the right margin of the Buritaca river for about 25 min. up to a crossing, once on the other margin, the archaeological stairway begins ascending rather steeply all the way to the first terraces of the Lost City (1175 m). From here begins a journey through time, to one of the most interesting archaeological sites of Colombia’s pre-Hispanic period.
The Lost City of the Tayrona is worldwide known. Its original Indigenous name is “Teyuna” and is one of the three large citadels of vanished Tayrona civilization. Teyuna is the only city that has been discovered until now and thus partially restored. Tayrona’s cities were connected by a complex network of trails, from the Caribbean coastal area to the high mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The Tayrona had a well-developed social organization and an effective system of products and goods exchange between the different settlements. Although there is no precise information of the role of Teyuna in the Tayrona culture, it is believed that it was a place for religious worship and center of political power.
During the course of 4 hours visit to the archaeological complex, the group will learn about the different types of terraces and how the city was divided into areas according to hierarchy and types of work. During the visit, it is possible to see the home of a Kogi Mamo (shaman-wise person) who lives in the same traditional way, as it is thought the inhabitants did. It is also believed that the Kogis are descendants from the Tayronas, pushed to the higher lands during the Spanish conquest.
After the visit, hike down to “El Paraiso” lodge to have some lunch and then continue (4,5 h), back on the same trail as the day before, but this time a bit further out, crossing the hanging bridge and down the Buritaca river valley, passing once again the “Montangi” Kogi settlement to “Mumake” lodge (389 m), just at the foot of the “Mumake” pass.
Night in hammocks.
To Lost City: Ascent: 305 m / Descend: 305 m / Highest altitude: 1175 m / Distance one-way: 1,9 Km / Activity duration: 5 including a 3 hours visit.
Ascent to Koskunguena pass: 77 m / Descend to “Mumake” lodge: 481 m / Highest altitude: 870 m / Distance one-way: 7,5 Km / Activity duration: 4 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Day 16

Trekking: El Mamey (150 m) – Santa Marta
Last trekking day! From “Mumake” lodge (389 m), the ascent being right from the front step, leading up to “Mumake” pass (680 M) and after descending to “Quebrada Honduras” river to ascent (1,5 h) to the last pass: “EL Mirador” (640 m) and then to the final destination “El Mamey” town (150 m). Upon arrival there will be lunch and then a transfer to hotel in Santa Marta (2-2,5 h).
Night in hotel.
Ascent to Mumake pass: 291 m / Descend to “Donde Adan” lodge: 200 m / Ascent to El Mirador pass: 160 m / Descend: 490 m / Highest altitude: 680 m / Distance: 14,2 Km / Activity duration: 4-5 h
Included meals: Breakfast, Picnic

Day 17

Santa Marta – Cartagena
Morning transfer (5-6) to Cartagena, by the Troncal del Caribe (Caribbean Highway), passing by the city of Barranquilla and the impressing Salamanca National Park. Upon arrival in Cartagena, transfer to a hotel located in side the historical city. In the late afternoon or early evening, enjoy a city walk in the old town of Cartagena with private guide. During this walk you will get familiar with the architecture and the history of the old town and you will visit the main squares and buildings. There will be plenty of photo opportunities and you will also appreciate the beautiful evening illumination of this romantic city.
Night in hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 18

Cartagena & city tour
In the morning, you will continue to explore historic Cartagena by visiting the San Felipe Fortress, the most technically advanced military building during Spanish colonial times, as well as the old “Popa” Monastery where you will have a wonderful view of the city. Between these two places, visit the popular marketplace of Bazurto, where fruits, vegetables and fish are traded by the locals, most of them descendants of the slaves of the colonial times. Cartagena is perhaps Colombia’s most beautiful and interesting town. It was founded in 1533 and during the colonial period, was the main Spanish port on the Caribbean coast and primary gateway to South America to receive slaves and to send treasures to Europe.
In the evening there will be free time for shopping, and perhaps to enjoy a drink on the old fortress walls, overlooking the sunset on the Caribbean. 
Activity duration: City tour – 4 h
Included meals: Breakfast

Day 19

Cartagena – Bogotá Airport
Transfer from  Cartagena to Bogotá Airport for international connection (1 hr).
Included meals: Breakfast


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE LOST CITY TREK:
– The trek closes once a year around the first half of the month of September, due to Indigenous religious ceremonies. If you are planning your trip around this time of the year, please contact us to confirm the exact restricted dates.
– This itinerary is the regular program, but it can be altered due to climatic and/or force majeure factors.

PRICING
COL-26-LT – To request prices, please click on the BOOK TRIP bottom on the right sidebar and fill the information.


INCLUDED

  • Local English speaking AWT mountain guide from day 3 to 6 from 2 to 5 PAX
  • Local assistant mountain guide from 4 people
  • Local English speaking AWT mountain/cultural guide during the entire program from 6 PAX
  • Local Spanish speaking cultural guide from day 9 to 11 from 2 to 5 PAX
  • Local Spanish speaking trekking guide from day 13 to 16 from 2 to 5 PAX
  • Private transport during the entire program
  • Los Nevados National Park entrance fee
  • City tour in Bogota with English speaking and entrance fees
  • Tayrona National Park tour with English speaking and entrance fees
  • City tour in Cartagena with English speaking and entrance fees
  • 2 nights in shared double room in Bogotá
  • 2 nights in shared double room in Salento
  • 1 night in shared double room in Riohacha
  • 1 night in shared double room in rustic lodge in Punta Gallinas
  • 1 night in shared double room in rustic lodge in Cabo de la Vela
  • 2 nights in shared double room at Tayrona’s Lodge
  • 1 night in shared double room in Santa Marta
  • 2 nights in shared double room in Cartagena
  • 3 nights in hammocks or mattresses for the Lost City trek (mattresses according to availability)
  • 3 nights in shared tents at campsites in Los Nevados
  • Quality mountain tents – 2 pax per tent
  • Group common campsite equipment
  • Mules for group/personal campsite equipment in Los Nevados, food and pax personal gear (Packing and weight allowance – Information will be sent)
  • Pack animal during the Lost City trek for groups from 6 PAX
  • Meals as specified in the day to day itinerary

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Separate airport transfers in case of multiple arrival/departures
  • English speaking guide during La Guajira tour for groups between 2 to 5 PAX
  • Pack animal during Lost City trek for groups between 2 to 5 PAX
  • English speaking guide during Lost City trek for groups between 2 to 5 PAX
  • Personal gear
  • Camping gear
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Everything not mentioned in the “Included” list
HOTEL LIST

BOGOTÁ: Hotel Casa Real 93  or similar

PARQUE NACIONAL LOS NEVADOS:

Finca El Bosque (no website) or similar
Otun Camping (no website) or similar
Finca Berlin (no website) or similar
Finca La Primavera/La Playa (no website) or similar

SALENTO: Hotel Salento Real or similar

RIOHACHA: Hotel Taroa or similar

LA GUAJIRA PENINSULA:

Lodge: Hospedaje Luzmila in Punta Gallinas (no website) or similar
Lodge: La Posada Wayuu in Cabo de la Vela (no website) or similar

TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK – LODGE: Eco Hotel Yachay or similar

SIERRA NEVADA DE SANTA MARTA – LOST CITY TREK:

Lodge: Donde Adan (no website) or similar
Lodge: Paraiso (no website) or similar
Lodge: Mumake (no website) or similar

SANTA MARTA: Hotel Boutique La Casa del Farol or similar

CARTAGENA: Hotel Casa del Curato or similar

MAPS

Overview:


Los Nevados:


La Guajira:


Lost City Trek:

GALLERY
Tags: Colombia, Light Trekking, Cartagena, Coffee Area, Lost City, Bogotá, Los Nevados, Cocora, Salento, T3, Punta Gallinas, Cabo de la Vela, La Guajira, Buritaca