Trekking holiday in Colombia

“You will trek it all on this 16-day Colombian adventure, crossing mountain summits, palm-clad valleys, lush coffee hills, Carribean coastlines and dense jungle where a lost city lies waiting to be found. ”


Bogotá | Monserrate Hill | Salento (the coffee triangle) | Coffee tasting | Cocora Valley | Bosque Alto-Andino (cloud forest) | Finca hospitality | Paramillo del Quindio | Los Nevados National Park | Laguna del Silencio | Camping by candlelight | La Florida | Cartagena | Santa Marta | El Mamey (Machete Pelao) | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park | La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City)

Description of Trekking holiday in Colombia

For the adventurous trekker, Colombia’s array of truly incredible landscapes is difficult to beat and this challenging trekking adventure is designed to let you walk them in all their glory.

You will be eased in gently, starting your Colombian trekking holiday in vibrant Bogotá where galleries, museums, plazas and an early morning climb up Monserrate will give you a flavour of things to come.

With 11 full days of walking, you will really get out into the wilds, hiking at altitudes of up to 4,753m and camping in the grounds of beautiful remote farmhouse fincas as you go. There is just time for a quick visit to Salento where you can fuel up with a cup or two of its famous coffee, before leaving village life behind to push onwards towards valleys of towering palms and wildlife-rich cloud forests. Ecosystems and landscapes shift as you begin to ascend through the Frailejones trees with their unmistakable thick trunks and spikey leaves, and over the Cojines (cushion plants) towards summit of the majestic Paramillo del Quindio. The views of Nevado del Ruiz from the summit are spectacular and the drama continues even as you descend with lagoons reflecting the mountain's peak back at you in mirror-like clarity.

After the descent, you will have a couple of days to relax tired limbs in the calming Caribbean sea and explore the fascinating towns of Cartagena and Santa Marta before trekking into rugged beauty once again in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park to search for the La Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City). This four day hike is all part of the adventure as you watch cattle farms and old cocoa plantations give way to indigenous settlements and dense jungle. Steep trails and a 200 step climb make reaching the Lost City all the more of an achievement. The views, pictures and memories will reward you generously for your effort.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700


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29 Nov 2018
£ 3569
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07 Feb 2019
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06 Feb 2020
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12 Nov 2020
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trekking holiday in Colombia

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 16 nights in Colombia in a mixture of accommodations; 5 night camping in Los Nevados National Park, 3 nights at camp sites in the Lost City Trail and 7 nights hotels and Fincas.The hotels we use are small, locally owned hotels and guesthouses. All staff we use are local people, so we can ensure that income is going directly into the community and boosting the economy. This is even more significant for businesses in the areas which are less popular with tourists. Hotel Finca La Jorara has a sustainability certificate with TRAVEL LIFE. Although other hotels don´t have this, in Colombia, by law, all hotels have to implement sustainability actions and prove them to renew the operation license. Hotels must implement proper waste management which includes recycling, whilst also minimising energy consumption.
The meals provided throughout are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and meals which are not included will be at a range of recommended privately owned restaurants. During the Los Nevados trek and also on the lost city trail, food and services are provided by local families who live in these areas, meaning the income goes directly to them.

With the growing concern of single use plastic entering our oceans and polluting the land, it is vital we do our best to reduce the need for them as much as possible. For all groups we have big containers of water so clients can fill up their bottles throughout the trip, particularly during transfers. Treated water, often boiled, is provided at all the camps whilst trekking.

A Fair Deal:
On this trip, the tour leaders, guides and drivers used will usually be local to the region which they work in. This creates valuable employment, generates income and stimulates the local economy. Local tour leaders are encouraged to discuss Colombia’s contemporary history and period of internal conflict, resulting in more awareness of Colombia’s history.

Local Craft and Culture:
In addition to purchasing supplies locally, tour guides encourage travellers to purchase handmade souvenirs in order to help support local communities. On this trip we visit La Candelaria District, Salento, Cartagena and Santa Marta where clients have the opportunity to learn about the local culture and also to buy local handcrafts.Local guides and tour leaders are vital in creating this link between clients and the community, allowing an interchange of concepts and cultures.

We support a number of projects in South America and elsewhere in the world. These range from helping reduce carbon emissions by installing solar cookers or solar lights in remote communities, helping schools or orphanages, to rebuilding communities after disasters. Our local partner is involved in assisting local Colombian entrepreneurs develop their product/business as well as working alongside the government to develop guide training initiatives and local infrastructure projects. They also support a number of local charities and, in particular, have been supporting The Colombian Civil Air Patrol that does Medical Brigades to isolated areas in the country and assisted relief efforts in Mocoa after the mudslide in March 2017.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

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