Small group holiday to Colombia

“This small group tour takes you from the Andes to the Caribbean coast, taking in dynamic cities, colonial towns, lush national parks and peaceful coastline”


Bogata | Zipaquira | Villa de Leyva | Salento | Cocora Valley | coffee plantation visit | Cartagena | La Boquilla | Palomino

Description of Small group holiday to Colombia

Despite incredibly varied landscapes and culture, Colombia remains largely undiscovered. This small group holiday to Colombia will give you a taste of both rural and city life, including visits to national parks, coffee plantations and beaches.

The tour starts with two days in the vibrant capital, Bogata, where you’ll get an insight into Colombian history and culture through local museums and markets. Leaving the city, you’ll head for Zipaquira and visit the subterranean Salt Cathedral, set in a disused salt mine. Then it’s on to the beautifully preserved colonial town of Villa de Leyva, followed by the mountain town of Salento, which is famed for its colourful architecture.

Over the next two days you’ll explore the country’s natural landscape. There are tours of a coffee plantation and an orchid farm, as well as a hike through the Cocora Valley, where tall wax palms tower over the hills and vales. Next, it’s two days in the colonial coastal city of Cartagena, including a visit to the nearby seaside village La Boquilla for a boat ride through tropical mangroves. The final two days are spent at peaceful Palomino beach before heading back to Bogota and the flight home.

Travel Team

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09 Oct 2021
including UK flights
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13 Nov 2021
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04 Dec 2021
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Small group tours:
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. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 9 nights in hotels and 2 nights in hammocks strung up in thatched shelters at Tayrona National Park. The majority of the hotels we use are small, locally owned hotels and guesthouses. With the staff being local people, we can ensure that income is going directly into the community and boosting economy. This is even more significant for businesses in the areas frequented less by tourists. With some of the hotels, such as in Villa de Leyva and Salento, these particular hotels, profits also go towards the repair and restoration of these colonial properties. By sleeping in hammocks for part of the trip, we reduce energy consumption and support employment of local indigenous tribes in the park. Provided meals are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and unscheduled meals can be taken at a range of recommended privately owned restaurants.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, 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:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

The Impacts of this Trip

A Fair Deal:
On this trip, the tour leaders, various guides and drivers (when used) are local to Colombia and to the region which they work in. This creates valuable employment, generates income and stimulates the local economy and by giving local worked the opportunity to interact with an international clientele within Colombia helps to raise the profile and prestige of jobs that traditionally had been seen as low skill level employment. Local tour leaders are encouraged to discuss with groups Colombia’s contemporary history and period of internal conflict, by this means of education, awareness of Colombia’s history is increased internationally.

Local Craft and Culture:
In addition to purchasing supplies locally, tour guides encourage travellers to purchase handmade souvenirs to help support local communities. We take several tours and take in a number of cultural sites, including a tour of the historical Cadelabria district, the Gold Museum, the Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira, Villa de Leyva, Cartegena and a coffee plantation. At the plantation we learn about the whole production process, as well as learning about the trials and tribulations of the plantations themselves and the many workers who rely on coffee for their livelihoods. Local guides and tour leaders are vital in creating this link between clients and community and allowing interchange of concepts and cultures.

We support a number of projects in South America and elsewhere in the world. These range from helping schools or orphanages, to rebuilding communities after disasters or helping reduce carbon emissions by installing solar cookers or solar lights in remote communities. 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 NUTRIR since 2009 which provides nutritional meals to some 4000 underprivileged children.


1 Reviews of Small group holiday to Colombia

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip was as expected and explained in the trip notes. I enjoyed the whole experience, especially the walking in the Andes.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be open minded. Some of the journeys are long and bumpy. The climate varies greatly from Andes to coast. Cartagena is beautiful, hot, humid and expensive (compared with the rest of the country). Watch your valuables and don't take anything you can't afford to loose! One lady had her iphone pick-pocketed. We found drugs on our bus (cocaine).
The food is fabulous.
Avianca airline is poor, the food was inedible and very little water - take you own supplies. The only advantage is that the flight is direct and you don't have to go through the USA.
On this particular date the local guide was poor - apparently he was a stand-in for the regular guide.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

To a certain extent. Even though we all took re-usable water bottles , our guide produced the daily water in small plastic bottles!!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A good balance of culture, adventure and relaxation. A great introduction to Colombia

Read the operator's response here:

We would like to thank Rosie for her feedback regarding her holiday in Colombia and we were pleased to read that she enjoyed the holiday overall. We were very sorry that she was disappointed with the leadership of this departure; we take great pride in our tour leaders and we are confident that the vast majority of our leaders are extremely popular as we regularly receive fantastic comments from clients about the value their tour leader has added to their enjoyment of their trip.

We are very sorry that this tour leader did not live up to expectations and we have asked the local team to do the necessary follow up to ensure he is aware of where he can improve., including ensuring he is acting inline with our stance on plastic water bottles. We would also like to assure Rosie that the matter of drugs being found on the bus has been looked in to.

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