Day 1. Bogota Arrival
Today you arrive in Bogota. Our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing, there are no more activities planned and you can take the time to rest and explore Bogota on foot.
Day 2. Bogotá – Zipaquira - Villa de Leyva
In the morning we drive toward Villa Leyva in the department of Boyaca. On our way we will stop at Zipaquira and visit the Cathedral of salt. This cathedral is a replica of the original which has been built in 1951. We continue to Villa de Leyva which is considered one of Colombia’s finest colonial villages. It was declared a national monument in 1954.
Base on remain time we will visit the town by foot.
Day 3. Villa de Leyva – Bogotá – Medellin
Early in the morning we return to Bogota and fly to Medellin. Our team will wait for you at the airport and base on our arrival we will visit Medellin. We start by taking the Metro cable and go up the hills and enjoy the view from above this way we also be able to understand better the city. Then we will continue to the botanical garden before visiting Santo Domingo neighborhood and further down the Natibura hill. After lunch we will walk in the Carabobo neighborhood from the basilica of Nuestra Senora de Candelaria to the Palacio National. In the late afternoon we will walk in the El poblado the wealthiest neighborhood of Medellin.
Note: Optional visit of Antioquia museum. Located in the Grand Art Deco Palacio Municipal, this museum houses the largest collection of works donated by Medellin native Fernando Botero as well as pre-Colombian, colonial, and modern art collections. Entrance fees are not included.
Day 4. Medellin - Santa Fé de Antioquia – Medellin
After breakfast we will drive to the village of Santa Fe and appreciate the colonial architecture, we will discover several buildings listed as country's historic heritage, such as its Cathedral and churches (La Ermita, Santa Barbara, San Ignacio) or its Spanish mansions (The Casa Negra). After lunch close the Cauca river we will drive back to Medellin and drive through the typical villages of Sopetran and San Jeronimo.
Day 5. Medellin – Santa Marta
You will enjoy the last moment in Medellin before heading to the airport. We will change the landscape and reach the North of Colombian and flight to Caribbean coast.
Our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. There are no more activities planned and you can take the time to rest and explore Santa Marta on foot.
Day 6. Santa Marta – Tayrona National park
The day will be free. After your transfer from your hotel in Santa Marta to your Bungalow in Tayrona you will be able to enjoy the beaches and jungle. Walk or relax you will find the perfect activity for you during this day.
Note: Be careful because swimming can be hazardous at some beaches due to strong currents and undertows. We strongly discouraged it.
Day 7. Tayrona - Santa Marta
The morning will be free and after lunch we will pick you up to visit Santa Marta (Bahia, historic center and its cathedral, San Francisco, Quinta San Pedro) later will go to the botanic garden. We will go back at the hotel in the afternoon and the rest of the day will be free.
Day 8. Santa Marta – Cartagena
The morning will be free and after lunch we will drive along the coast to reach Cartagena de Indias, the pearl of the Caribbean a gorgeous city full of stories and legends and an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site – small street with flowers all over the city make this place a Caribbean monument.
Day 9. Cartagena
In the morning we will visit the city by foot walking through the town discover the beautiful areas such as Plaza Santo Domingo, Getsemani, San Diego and other places. We will return to the hotel around midday and the rest of the day will be free for you to enjoy the city by yourself.
Day 10. Cartagena - Rosario Archipelago - Cartagena - Puerto Cartagena - Cartagena de Indias
Today we will sail to the Corales Island del Rosario archipelago located 100km off the coat of Cartagena. We will spend the day on the beaches exploring the mangroves and also rest in this marvellous National park created 1988 to safeguard one of the principal coral reefs of the Colombian Caribbean coast.
Note 1: when you arrive at Cartagena port, you must pay a harbor tax (15 500 COP at this day)
Note 2: leaving around 8:30 / return around 16:30. About 2h45 hours sailing total
Day 11. Cartagena de Indias – Bogota
In the morning we will be transfer to the airport of Cartagena to flight back to Bogota.
Our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
After a short refresh at the hotel you will start the visit of Bogota and we will walk along the Jiménez Avenue to the foot of Cerro Monserrate. This mountain has a nice overlook on the city. We will take the cable car to get to the top of Cerro Monserrate. From there we will enjoy the spectacular vie won the city. Later we will visit Santuario de Monserrate church on the top of the mountain and the gorgeous gardens.
We will continue our visit to the center of La Candelaria and appreciate the historic buildings. We walk through La Plaza de Chorro de Quevedo where the city has been established in 1538
From Candelaria neighbourhood we will go to the block of Banco de la republica and visit the Botero Collection an impressive collection from Botero but also Botero own collection of renowned artist masterpieces like Picasso, Chagall, Dali, Renoir and Max Ernst After this impressive visit we carry on forwards to Plaza Bolívar where stand El Capitolio Nacional, the household of Colombian congress, the Bogota city hall, The Palace of Justice, Edificio Liévano, and Catedral la Primaria.
To end our tour we will visit The Gold Museum.
- The Gold museum displays one of the most dazzling collection in South America. It brings together around 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work, considered as the world´s largest pre-Colombian collection of its kind. Those artifacts come from different civilizations : Quimbayas, Taironas, Muiscas or Tolimas.
Note 2 : the order of visits may vary depending on the weekday (The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays. Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays).
Day 12. Bogota - La Paz (3663m/12.020ft) Arrival
Today you arrive in La Paz. Flying into La Paz is always an experience; if you arrive at night you can admire the lights of the city between the mountains or during the day you might get a view of the Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. Once arrived in the International Airport of El Alto, which is also the highest commercial airport in the world, our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing, there are no more activities planned and you can take the time to acclimatize to the altitude and explore La Paz on foot.
Day 13. La Paz - Chacaltaya (5300m/17.390ft) – Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)
After breakfast, we leave to visit Chacaltaya – the highest ski run in the world (now closed due to lack of snow) – only a 1-hour drive from La Paz. From where the car drops us off we only have to climb approx. 200m/656ft to reach the top, from where we have a wonderful view of a big part of the Cordillera Royal in particular the Nevado Illimani, the Huayna Potosi and the Condoriri. We can also observe the Altiplano and the Lake Titicaca and if the weather permits we can also see the clouds over the Yungas (semi tropical part of Bolivia) as well as the volcanoes Sajama (highest summit in Bolivia – 6542m/21,463ft), Parinacota and Pomerata. After lunch (not included) we descend to visit the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) in the southern part of La Paz. Because the area is composed of clay rather than rock, erosion has worn away large parts of the mountain creating impressive formations, that offer us a lunar landscape. We return to the centre around 15h30 and the rest of the day is free.
Day 14. La Paz – Copacabana – Isla del Sol – La Paz
We leave the hotel at 07h30 and after approximately 3½ hours we arrive in Copacabana, where we leave our luggage at the hotel. Before lunch we visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana which is a 16th century church that houses the image of the patron saint of Bolivia. The church attracts thousands of local tourists throughout the year and it remains one of the two principal sacred places both for indigenous people and Catholics. After lunch, we have the option to climb to the Calvario from where we have a beautiful view over the lake and the village or climb to Intiwatana or Horca del Inca which is believed to have been an astronomical observatory. If time permits we can visit both the Calvario and the Horca del Inca and the rest of the day is free to enjoy Copacabana.
Day 15. La Paz - Uyuni – Colchani – Salar de Uyuni – Incahuasi – Cueva de las Galaxias – San Pedro de Quemez
In the morning, you are transferred from your hotel (La Paz centre) to the airport in El Alto for your flight to Uyuni. During the short flight, you can observe the Altiplano and if the weather permits you’ll have a great view of the different lakes and salt flats of the region. You are picked up from the airport and after a short stop in Uyuni we start our tour. The first visit will be the locomotive cemetery, the result of an abandoned project to build a big network of trains out of Uyuni. From here we continue to Colchani which is a small village situated on the edge of the Salar and who’s inhabitants live from salt exploitation. In Colchani we discover how salt is processed manually and we visit the small salt boutique. We now enter the famous Salar de Uyuni; the biggest salt desert in the world with acreage of 10.582km²/4.086mi2. One of the particularities of the Uyuni Salt Flat is that it contains a reserve of 9 million tonnes of Lithium which represents 40% of world production. We head to the Island Incahuasi, a geological formation that is a remnant of petrified coral and is covered with giant cactus that can get up to 12m/39.37ft high. From the top of the island we have a wonderful 360° view of the Salar de Uyuni. After lunch our journey continues in the direction of San Pedro de Quemez and we have the possibility to visit the “Cueva de las Galaxias” which is a strange phenomenon of fossil algae which reminds us that the ocean was present here all the way to Oruro. In the adjacent cave, we can observe the Chullpares which are Inca funerary remains. We climb to the viewpoint from where we have a great view of the desert and if we take a closer look we can also observe the fossil coral that once were part of a coral barrier. After this impressive visit, we continue to San Pedro de Quemez situated at the doors of the Lipez desert. We arrive at San Pedro de Quemez around 16h00 and the evening is free.
*Depending on the season and the weather, the itinerary will change and there are some sights which are not always accessible!
Day 16. San Pedro de Quemez – Salar de Chiguana – Ollagüe Volcano – Siloli Desert – Ruta de las Joyas Alto Andinas (Lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiar Khota, Honda y Ramaditas) – Stone Tree – Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa – Ojo de Perdiz
We continue our tour of south Bolivia and from San Pedro de Quemez we pass the Uyuni – Ollagüe railway before crossing the Salar de Chiguana. We observe the still active volcano Ollagüe and even from far we can see its fumarole. We follow the famous Jewel Route which is composed of the Lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiar Khota, Honda and Ramadita. Today we also visit the Stone Tree (please refrain from climbing on the rock) planted in the middle of the Siloli desert and at the end of the day we enter the Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa and we arrive at the Laguna Colorada (coloured lake). The name is because of the red colour that is caused by microscopic shellfish and a variety of algae which thrive in the salt water which is the principal nutriment of the rose-coloured flamingos that live in this area. Due to climate changes (lack of rain) and the high evaporation of the Altiplanic basin the water level of the regions Lagunas is reduced rapidly, which year after year unfortunately also reduces the population of the flamingos. Mid-afternoon we leave to get installed in our hotel Ojo de Perdiz and the evening is free.*
* Depending on the season and the weather, the itinerary will change and there are some sights which are not always accessible!
Day 17. Ojo de Perdiz - Laguna Colorada – Geyser de Sol de Mañana – Polques Thermal Spring – Dali Desert – Laguna Verde – Licancahur (5971m/19.590ft) – Villamar – Valle de Rocas – San Cristóbal – Uyuni
We leave the Laguna Colorada to go even deeper into the Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa. We visit the boiling geysers of Sol de Mañana which is an impressive geothermal field with pits of boiling mud and strong smells of sulphur. Our tour continues in the direction of the thermal bath of Polques, a natural source of hot water where we can go for a swim. We continue through the South Lipez and we observe the “Damas del Desierto” which are enormous rocks planted in this barren landscape and carved by wind and weather over the years. We also cross the Dali Desert, which was named in reverence to the Catalan artist because of the resemblance of the landscape with the unreal yet natural colours, to the masters’ work. We continue to the Laguna Verde and Blanca at the foot of the Licancahur, one of the most southern points in Bolivia. The Laguna Verde gets its green colour from the high concentration of lead, arsenic sulphur and calcium. From the Laguna Verde we start our drive back north. We pass by the small village Villamar which seems lost in the middle of the gigantic Lipez desert before passing by the biggest mining project in Bolivian history at San Cristóbal. We arrive around 18h00 in Uyuni where we spend the night.
* Depending on the season and the weather, the itinerary will change and there are some sights which are not always accessible!
Day 18. Uyuni - Potosi – Visit of the Mines (Cerro Rico)* - Sucre
We leave for Potosi early in the morning and upon arrival we start with a visit to the miner’s market. Custom says it brings good luck to buy Coca leaves, cigarettes, alcohol or even dynamite as presents for the miners who will receive us at their workplace. Once we have finished our purchases we visit one of the mines in the Cerro Rico mountain. The mines here are quite different from western mines, some of them are very old – dug out by hand by the slaves of the Inca Empire and later by African slaves during the Spanish occupation - and very narrow and short (not for claustrophobics). Our visit of the Cerro Rico starts by the “Tio” (uncle) who is the protector of the mines and to whom the miners on many occasions make offerings in order to be protected from bad spells. We visit the 1st level of the mine and have the possibility to descend up to 3 levels below – 500 or 600 m into the depths of the Cerro Rico. After this impressive visit, we return to the hotel to pick up our bags and drive to Sucre. Once installed in the hotel in Sucre the rest of the evening is free.
*The mines are closed on Sundays so if today is a Sunday we will go for a tour of the city instead.
Day 19. Sucre City Tour – La Paz
After breakfast, we visit Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia also called the White City. This gem of Baroque art and the Renaissance is the most European city in Bolivia and probably one of the most beautiful in Latin America. Founded in 1538 by order of Pizarro, Sucre was destined to become the residence and the centre of the Spanish bourgeoisie. From an architectural point of view, Sucre has remained like a postcard of the 19th century which is of course part of its charm. Apart from its beauty and atmosphere of the 18th & 19th centuries, Sucre is also the historic capital of Bolivia. We visit the various museums, the Convento de Santa Clara as well as the Casa de la Libertad, which saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence August 6, 1825 (all visits may vary depending on the day because the museums are closed on Sundays and public holidays). In the afternoon, we are transferred to the airport in Sucre for the flight back to La Paz. Upon arrival in La Paz we are transferred to the hotel and the evening is free.
Day 20. La Paz - City Tour
The morning is free and after lunch, we go for a visit of La Paz. Our first stop is the Plaza Murillo (km 0), where we can see the Presidential Palace, the Parliament and the Cathedral. We visit the colonial street Calle Jaén and the old part of the town from where we continue to the famous church San Francisco which was built by the indigenous people. From here we visit the popular commercial zone of La Paz with its coloured markets and we walk up the Calle Sagarnaga – the main shopping street for typical clothes and handicrafts. From here we also visit the Calle de las Brujas (the Witches street) and our tour ends with a visit to the Indian market San Pedro. The rest of the evening is free to enjoy the last evening in the highest capital in the world.
Day 21. La Paz Departure
According to your time of departure* you are transferred from the hotel to the airport. For international flights, it is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure.End of our services.
Important: Itinerary can change because of weather or social conditions and some sights are not always accessible – Lipiko Tours cannot be held responsible for any changes in itinerary and sights not visited as a result.
Porterage: Your luggage will be transported either by plane, car, boat, and bus. You will have to carry the personal belongings (camera, water, etc.) which you need during the day.
Service: For group above 4 people you will be accompanied by a tour leader in the chosen language. His role is to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the tour and that each individual and the group as a whole are safe. Don’t hesitate to ask him if you are unsure of anything and, very important, to follow his advice.
Included in the price:
- Water, air and land transfers as indicated in the program
- Accommodation in hotel/hostel in double rooms, Ecolodge, shelter, home stay, camping, bus and plane as indicated in the program.
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- The assistance of specialized local English speaking guides, their fees and expenses
- The assistance of our local teams; driver(s) and logistics department (24/7)
- Visits as outlined in the program
Not included in the price:
- Entrance fees to sites visited, national parks and museums as indicated in the program (allow for approx. 1500 Argentine Peso (Argentian national currency) per person – in Brazil (allow for approx. 150 Brazilian Real (Brazilian national currency) per person – this is an estimate and actual prices may vary)
- Meals not mentioned, drinks, tips, individual equipment, everything not mentioned in “included in the price” and all personal expenses
- Individual obligatory personal travel insurance (this could be included with your credit card – please check with your credit card provider)
- The supplement for a single room: 390 USD (subject to availability, must be reserved and paid upon reservation). Attention; no single room available for the nights with accommodation in shelter, home stay and camping.
- Possible visa expenses
- International flights