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.

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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15 Dec 2018
£ 2969
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12 Jan 2019
£ 2849
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09 Feb 2019
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10 Aug 2019
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12 Oct 2019
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14 Dec 2019
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11 Jan 2020
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08 Feb 2020
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07 Mar 2020
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04 Apr 2020
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08 Aug 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: Small group holiday to Colombia

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.

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.

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.

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