Colombia & Panama Itinerary (Nov. 2018)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

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Dear friends,

We are so excited to finally lead a tour to Colombia.

I first studied Colombia in a serious way in 2001 and was invited in 2010 to a tourism development conference, where I ended up on live national television! I have returned several times and travelled throughout Colombia. I love the branding: “The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay!”

I feel incredibly safe in Colombia, and healthy. The food is natural, people are active and the environment incredibly green. What is missing is a good inter-city infrastructure and that is why we will be flying every few days.

Panama was once part of Colombia. It also splits the Americas in two (literally). I have guided many trips to Panama and feel it a natural part of this tour.

As always, elements of this tour may change, but here is the day-to-day itinerary we are working on. Hotel standards will be high on this tour. Email us to book now!


The dates are November 15 (into Bogota) and November 27 (out of Panama).

Booking Period Now Closed!

Itinerary (subject to change):

DAY 1 November 15

BOGOTÁ – 2600 meters (8500 ft)

Arrival to Colombia’s sprawling capital, assistance and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and catch up!

A huge city - Bogota is making efforts to be inclusive, but wow ... lots of challenges. Bogota, Colombia

A huge city – Bogota is becoming known as one of Latin America’s most diverse cities.

DAY 2. November 16


Including Monserrate (I’ll walk up – but you can take the funicular!)

Breakfast at the hotel

Start time 9:00 am Bogotá is one of the most dynamic cities in Latin America. Typical of all of Colombia, it is very friendly.

Bogota, Colombia

Vast Bogota from Monserrate

During the tour, we will visit the city’s highlights including; El Barrio La Candelaria (the Historical Centre), Museo del Oro (the Gold Museum) – the world’s most important museum of its kind, and the Art of Botero – arguably Colombia’s most famous artist.

We’ll also visit the Plaza de Bolivar and other important sites before going up to Monserrate – a ‘city within a city’ and a place of pilgrimage. It is atop the large hill that defines Bogota. I like to hike up!

DAY 3. November 17


Breakfast at the hotel Start time: 09:00 am


Colombia’s fascinating artistic tradition

Get to know one of the 7 wonders of the country “The Salt Catedral”, located just 1 hour away from Bogotá, the Municipality of Zipaquirá, a work of incomparable architecture and engineering, an old mine transformed into an impressive cathedral, 180 meters underground where you will visit different stations of the Viacrucis Carved in salt stones, you will also find a show of lights and sounds in 3D.

Zipaquira Tour.

Zipaquirá is a scene of a series of significant events that marked in an indelible way the course of the history of the country. Especially in relation to salt production, inspiration in the infrastructural development of the national territory, main centre of commercial and economic progress of the country.

This is a highlight. And a really interesting town! Includes; Lunch, entrance fees to the Cathedral, private vehicle and highly experienced tour guide.

DAY 4. November 18

BOGOTÁ – MEDELLIN 1450 meters (4750 ft)


At the indicated time transfer to the airport to take a flight to Medellin. Arrival assistance and transfer to hotel.


You may be aware… Colombia has coffee 🙂 We will visit a traditional farm to learn about coffee production and discover the best-kept secrets of Colombian coffee. The tour begins with taking a look at the coffee crops, to see how coffee is planted, its growing process and its harvest. We continue to the beneficiadero to observe the process of pulping and washing coffee beans, then drying and packaging. At the end, an excellent cup of coffee will be waiting for us. Includes: Coffee farm

DAY 5. November 19


Breakfast at the hotel


Visiting coffee country with some friends

Start time: 09:00 am During the tour, you can observe the enormous social, cultural and architectonic transformation that this city has experienced over the last twenty years. We’ll begin the tour visiting one of the buildings that witnessed the violence during the war between the drug cartels of Cali and Medellín: Edificio Mónaco, which was the former residence of the main mafia boss of the Medellín Cartel, Pablo Escobar. It is preserved as a solid proof of the horror of an era. What formerly was the fortress of the most dangerous criminal will now be dedicated to the work of justice. Then we’ll head to the cemetery (Jaridnes Montesacro) with the tomb of this sinister character. Here we can find out more about him and his end, and the history of how the city began its transformation.

We continue the tour to the city center and visit; Financial District La Alpujarra”, Sculpture Square of the Artist Fernando Botero and the Museum of Antioquia, Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture, Paisa Town Pueblito Paisa”, it is a depiction of a typical village of the region, cable car and finally visit Comuna 13 and the Escalator– a district famous for being one of the most dangerous places not only in Colombia but probably of the whole continent. Nowadays, this part of the city has changed to a positive side and has become an example of the new social transformation.

Includes Private transport, lunch, entrances fee to the Museum of Antioquia and cable car tickets.

DAY 6. November 20


Fish lunch (of course) on the end of the Darien Gap

Fish lunch (of course) on the end of the Darien Gap

Breakfast at the hotel.

Start time: 09:00 am Located just 2 hours away from Medellin, we will find El Peñol – one of the main attractions that the city and the department in general have to offer. This region plays an important role concerning energy generated in the country- it contributes 35% of Colombia’s electricity supply.

El Peñol and Guatapé are one of a kind destinations to enjoy a delightful climate, breathtaking landscapes and a local population that is equally colourful and unique. On the way, we can observe different vegetable crops. Eastern Antioquia is known for its agriculture. The shades of green that envelope the landscape are remarkable, for this reason, these rural towns are referred to as the food basket of the department.

Nuevo Peñol

We will soon arrive at Nuevo (new) Peñol, which was built in compensation for the controlled flooding of the old town; we will make a brief stop here to visit a specially constructed church.

Continuing the tour we will visit the depiction of the old Peñol, where we will have an opportunity to see what it was like in the old centre of town and have a shared boat trip through the reservoir.

Next, we arrive at the famous El Peñol boulder, a spectacular monolith measuring 220 meters high with a built-in 740 steps to reach the top. The view from its summit is as magical as it is grandiose. Photos here are an absolute must.

Finally, we will head into Guatapé, the town of the “Zócalos”, which are handcrafted and colourfully painted wooden reliefs featured along the bases of every home in the town; they characterize this place as one of the most picturesque in the world. Here we will visit the central park, The Zócalos square and “memory lane”.

Back to Medellin.

Includes: lunch, boat trip shared, entrances fees to the rock, private transport

DAY 7. November 21

MEDELLIN – CARTAGENA – Tropical, sea level! 


At the indicated time transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cartagena. Arrival assistance and transfer to hotel.

Rest of the day is free to enjoy this fabulous, colonial city.

DAY 8. November 22


Breakfast at the hotel.

Start time: 08:00 am Simply to speak of Cartagena is to evoke the whole colonial history of the country. Considered as the main port of the Indies, it was the most besieged and tormented by pirates, who wanted to claim the city as their own.

In this tour we will visit the most representative places of Cartagena city:  1. Centro de Convenciones is one of the most important venues in South America; here congresses, music spectacles, theatre, weddings and the most significant events of the country take place.

2. Getsemaní – the neighbourhood where the independence movement was born; it is also a bohemian and traditional place that receives hundreds of tourists daily.

 3. Zapatos Viejos – A monument dedicated to one of the greatest Cartagena poets: Luis Carlos Lopez, Known for his famous work “A Mi Ciudad Nativa”.

4. Cerro de la Popa – The best place to appreciate the beauty of the city, this has a great historical value and was used as a barracks during independence.

5. Castillo San Felipe –  Is considered one of the 7 wonders of Colombia, for the history that preserves, as it is the great fort built by the Spanish empire to protect its riches. The castle has suffered and resisted frequent attacks by the English and French army.

6. India Catalina – A monument that pays tribute to the Indians of the Caribbean who lived in the territory before the arrival of the Spaniards.

7. Vaults – They had a military use during the Colony and in the Independence served as a jail, nowadays after a restoration, they are used like craft shops.

Time for lunch.

A bit of tropical luxury


Continue walking through the historic center “Walled City” declared to World Heritage Site  by UNESCO in 1984.

We will visit;

1. Ash House by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – it is the place where the ashes of the Nobel Colombian literature rest, his work deemed worthy of the “One Hundred Years of Solitude” award.

2. Plaza Santo Domingo – It has very colonial architecture and the houses of the place are recognized by their traditional balconies.

 3. Bastion San Francisco Javier – Built in 1630 in order to safeguard the pier from any attack.

4. Customs Square – In the Place is the statue of the discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus and the mansion that belonged to the founder of Cartagena- Pedro de Heredia.

 5. Palace of the Inquisition – It was the scene of the Spanish speakers who executed and tortured all those people who distrusted Catholicism.

6. San Pedro Claver Palace – “slave of the slaves”

7. Clock Tower – It is the most representative symbol and the main entrance of the walled city.

Includes; Private transportation, lunch, tickets for Castillo San Felipe and Monastery of La Popa, Palace of Inquisition and San Pedro Claver.

DAY 9. November 23


Breakfast at the hotel

Start time: 7:35 am Considered as a pristine nature, the Rosario Islands are one of the most “Must Visit” places when you are in Cartagena. The natural landscapes, the crystal clear waters and the coral formations show a unique ecosystem in our world.

We depart from the hotel at 7: 35 am to get to the pier “La Bodeguita” there, we will take a boat and have a panoramic view of the Island. We will arrive on Encanto Island and have free time to enjoy the spectacular beaches under the warming sun.

Port Tax not Included (Cost 8 USD per person approx. and it must be paid directly on the pier) Includes: typical food (fried fish, coconut rice, plantain “Patacon” and salad), transport.


The Panama Canal

DAY 10. November 24


Today we bid a sad farewell to beautiful Colombia and fly to the most divided country on Earth! PANAMA 🙂

I have written a fair amount about Panama and remain fascinated by this Switzerland in the Americas. 

A huge amount of work commerce passes through this country and many international banks are located here. The canal itself is fascinating.

Please note, airport transfers are not included in Panama, as it will simply be easier for us to share taxis.

Upon arrival, we will transfer to the hotel and discover the city.

Day 11. November 25

Full Day Panama 


Today we will head out on a full-day canal / old town tour. This is why everyone comes to Panama and it is really the modern history of the world! We’ll make sure to stop for lunch at the Balboa Yacht Club where boats and ships wait their turn to cross between oceans.

Included: Breakfast and tour

Day 12. November 26

Free Day in Panama


This may be your shopping day, sight-seeing day, or we’ll go on an adventure. Panama is fascinating and well worth exploring. I have a few favourite spots!

Included: Breakfast

Day 13. November 27

Travel home

What a trip! Two countries & three distinct elevations and ecosystems.

Booking Period Now Closed!

Message us to register interest for next time!

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Flight Note – Built into this tour are three flights: Bogota-Medellin, Medellin-Cartagena and Cartagena-Panama. 

(We have budgeted $425 for these flights, if later bookings involve a significant increase, these additional costs will be passed along.)

As a guideline, current flight prices from New York to Bogota Nov. 15 and out of Panama Nov. 27 are roughly $700.

This tour includes all tours as listed, daily breakfast, lunches most days and ideally an excellent mix of included activities and free time.

Please note – The currency of Colombia is the Peso and Panama uses USD!

For more information and booking enquiries please email

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