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The tropical island of Providencia, the colourful city of Cartagena and the beauty of Tayrona

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What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
  • Private transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • Expert guides in each destination
  • Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
  • An English-speaking host in Tayrona and Providencia
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Colombia is such a varied destination and this 12-day trip lets you experience the vibrant city of Cartagena, the beautiful wilderness of Tayrona and the idyllic Isla de Providencia.

Your adventure starts in the Tayrona Region, an area characterised by lush rainforest and wild ocean. The park itself can get quite busy, so you’ll stay on the outskirts and spend your time exploring quieter regions. Float down the Don Diego river on a boat, keeping your eyes peeled for howler monkeys and caiman, and visit the Tungueka indigenous community to learn about their traditional culture, beliefs and connection with nature.

It’s then onto the exciting city of Cartagena, which is quite unlike anywhere else in Colombia. Flowers tumble down from balconies, houses are painted the colours of the rainbow and carts piled high with mango and dragon fruit wind their way through the narrow streets. The city has a long naval and military history and you’ll learn all about it as you explore the Castillo de San Felipe fortress with your expert historian guide. It’s then time for a bit of rum tasting and beach time as you head out on a private boat to the Islas del Rosario.

From one Caribbean island to the next, it’s onto Isla de Providencia. This is the very definition of a tropical paradise with sparkling turquoise sea, white sandy beaches and laid-back vibes. You’ll spend four nights here, exploring the island by golf buggy, snorkelling with colourful schools of fish and visiting its beautiful beaches.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-4

Tayrona Region

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Santa Marta airport to your hotel

Accommodation in the Tayrona Region

Three nights in the Tayrona Region Three nights in the Tayrona Region

Spend your time here exploring its nature-rich surroundings, spotting abundant birdlife on the river banks, seeking out archaeological sites amid the jungle or even floating down the wonderful Don Diego river on an inflatable rubber ring. For something really special, and for an additional cost, you can charter a private boat and head out to discover Tayrona's secret bays. You'll be in the company of your host and the yacht is kitted out with snorkelling equipment so you can dive right in and explore the crystal clear waters of bays such as Cinto, Chengue and Neguanje.

Don Diego river safari Don Diego river safari

Take a private transfer to the Don Diego river. After a 15-minute trek up a lush mountain, you will arrive at the river bank from where you will float down a crystalline river all the way down to the ocean. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds, howler monkeys and small caymans which are harmless and very shy.

Tungueka indigenous community Tungueka indigenous community

Today you will drive to the outskirts of the indigenous Tungeka community, where you will hike 2.2km to find the town used by Kogui families as a place of transit when transporting crops. Tungueka translates as 'wall', meaning these Kogui families have successfully preserved their cultural traditions through minimal contact with outside civilisation. In a unique cultural exchange, you will learn about their traditional culture, beliefs and connection with nature first hand, which requires significant humility and respect. Please note, the Kogui should not be photographed/filmed without their permission. Please wear comfortable walking shoes, long trousers and cover your shoulders.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Cartagena

Days 4-7

Cartagena

Accommodation in Cartagena

colonial-architecture-cartagena
Three nights in Cartagena Three nights in Cartagena

Cartagena is Colombia's coastal gem and its most romantic city. The warm Caribbean breeze gathers up sounds of salsa music and the scent of the flowers that cascade down from the balconies of the rainbow-coloured houses that line its cobbled streets. Steeped in colonial and nautical history, Cartagena boasts impressive ramparts, forts and bastions as well as plenty of Spanish-style architecture. This is a city made for exploring: wind your way through the historic centre passing carts laden with juicy fruit and women selling coconut candies under the shade of the arches that ring the plazas. There are also fortifications to explore, museums to discover and lots of rooftops from which to sit and watch the world go by.

History and fortifications tour History and fortifications tour

Your tour starts with a private transfer to Castillo de San Felipe fortress accompanied by a local history expert. You'll explore dark tunnels and lookout points as they recount captivating stories and explain military strategy tactics used to defend Cartagena from pirates and invaders. Conclude the tour walking along the winding streets of Cartagena’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while listening to fascinating stories behind the iconic plazas, cathedrals, and colonial mansions.

Rum tasting Rum tasting

Enjoy a tasting experience in which your local rum expert will guide you through how rum is processed and aged, in order to recognise its unique characteristics.

Islas del Rosario boat trip Islas del Rosario boat trip

Meet your driver and local host at the hotel for a private transfer to Cartagena’s dock where your boat will be waiting. Aboard your speedboat and depart towards the Islas del Rosario archipelago, located 50 minutes from Cartagena. These rugged islands are blessed with clear blue waters, colourful coral reefs and diverse marine life. Spend the day cruising between islands and snorkelling.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Cartagena airport

Flight

Flight from Cartagena to San Andrés

Flight

Flight from San Andrés to Providencia

Transfer

Taxi to your hotel

Days 7-11

Isla de Providencia

Accommodation in Isla de Providencia

Four nights on Isla de Providencia Four nights on Isla de Providencia

If you had to wash up on any Caribbean island, the emerald-lined, white-sanded and turquoise-watered shores of Isla de Providencia would be an inspired choice. Over 700km from the Colombian mainland and closer to Nicaragua than its motherland, many people travelling to South America will never have heard of Providencia. However, this is a Caribbean island with a lot of soul, winning over visitors with its beautiful beaches, sparkling sea, amazing coral reef and laid-back vibes.

Beach hopping Beach hopping

Today you'll explore the island by golf buggy! Start by exploring Warwick Fort to learn about the stories of Captain Morgan, the infamous buccaneer who used Providencia as his base to attack Spanish ships and hide his treasures. Continue to Manzanillo Bay and go for a swim, relax and look for Roland's Bar where you can grab a drink. Once you start getting hungry, drive to South East Bay where you'll find Tom's Place, a reggae-style bar that specialises in seafood. Continue on to Freshwater Bay or Almond Bay for one last drink while watching the sun set on the west part of the island.

'Under the sea' excursion 'Under the sea' excursion

Head out on a local boat to explore the surroundings of the island, Crab Cay, Los Tres Hermanos and Santa Catalina. After some snorkelling and exploring, stop at South West Bay beach and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. There is the option to change to scuba diving for an additional cost.

Walking and trekking around the island Walking and trekking around the island

Early risers have the option to get up at 4:30 am to hike for two hours to catch sunrise from The Peak. If you'd rather have a lie in, then you can head out later in a golf buggy to learn a little more about the pirate history, British Colonial rule and the African influence that has shaped this magical island.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Taxi to the airport

Flight

Flight from Providencia to San Andrés

Flight

Flight from San Andrés to Cartagena

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Cartagena

Days 11-12

Cartagena

Accommodation in Cartagena

Overnight in Cartagena Overnight in Cartagena

Enjoy one final night in the colourful city of Cartagena before heading home.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Cartagena airport

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