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CHARMING CARTAGENA ITINERARY

A perfect 4-day itinerary
in Colombia's Caribbean gem

Featuring luxury accommodations, top-notch English-speaking guides, private transportation and unforgettable experiences 

CARTAGENA ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Why Colombia?

Forget everything you think you may know, and welcome to the real Colombia! This country has been safe for visitors for nearly a decade. You'll be hard pressed to find friendlier or more welcoming people anywhere else in Latin America. Colombia’s national tourism board has adopted the slogan “The only risk is wanting to stay,” and we couldn't agree more.

Famous as the birthplace of literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez, magical realism, renowned artist Fernando Botero, and of course producer of world-class coffee, Colombia is still relatively off the radar in terms of international tourism. This makes it a perfect choice for seasoned travelers looking for a destination rich in cosmopolitan urban centers, natural beauty and biodiversity, yet largely devoid of crowds.

There is an unmistakable energy everywhere, so now is the time to visit this extraordinary Andean nation! With more time, you can continue to explore other parts of Colombia such as the bustling capital, Bogotá and the Quindio province, in the lush and breathtaking Coffee Region.

DAY 1

Friday

Welcome to Cartagena!

Arrival into Cartagena today from the U.S. Cartagena can be easily reached via nonstop flights from U.S. gateways such as New York, Miami, Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale, as well as connecting service via Bogotá and Panama City.

With due respect to other contenders, Cartagena is without a doubt the crowning jewel of the Caribbean, and therefore is Colombia’s top destination. This stunning 16th-century Spanish fort city is superbly preserved with cobblestone streets filled with colorful colonial homes whose terraces overflow with lush bougainvillea flowers. Here, the climate is warm and tropical, so a leisurely three-night stay is often our recommendation.

Your private driver and English-speaking Almaz Journeys guide will welcome you just outside Customs for your private transfer to your hotel.

Check-in at your perfectly located, boutique luxury hotel in the heart of the old city – our two favorites are Bastión or San Agustín, but we also work with Sofitel Legend Santa Clara if a larger, full-service hotel is more your style.

After some time at leisure to settle in and have lunch (not included), meet your guide for an introductory walk around the historic center of Cartagena.

The colorful streets are made for exploration on foot, and as you walk around your guide will bring the history and legends of Cartagena to life as you stop at various important landmarks including the Clock Tower and the monument to Don Pedro de Heredia, founder of the city in 1533. Your guide will also point out some notable museums you may wish to visit during your stay, including the Gold Museum and the Museum of the Inquisition.

Evening at leisure.

Services: Arrival Transfer + Walking tour (3 hours)
Hotel: Bastión or San Agustín
Meals: None

DAY 2

SATURDAY

EXPLORING
CARTAGENA

After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, meet your English-speaking guide and driver in the lobby to continue your exploration of Cartagena.

This morning, you’ll leave the historic center and head first to the Popa Convent. Founded by Augustine fathers in 1607 atop a 492-foot hill–the highest point in Cartagena–the convent offers spectacular views of the entire city. Then, you’ll continue on to San Felipe de Barajas, the largest fort built by the Spanish in South America. You’ll have as much time as you like to explore the fortress with your guide, including its tunnels! Following the fortress, your guide and driver will take you on a panoramic drive around the city, including the modern area of Bocagrande as well as the nearby Getsemani quarter – just outside the old city, it’s currently home to some of the hottest new restaurants.

Return to your hotel and then you’ll have the afternoon free to explore or relax as you wish.

Late this afternoon, you’ll be met by a professional bartender to indulge yourselves with a tasting of several top-quality Caribbean rums while you learn about the history of the spirit and the different styles in Latin America. This is the perfect way to start a great evening in Cartagena!

For those who prefer a pick-me-up before the evening in Cartagena, instead we can organize a coffee tasting at one of our favorite cafés nearby in the old town. Here, an expert will lead you through a tasting of different varieties of coffee from a family-owned, single origin farm in Quindío province, while explaining about Colombian coffee production and more broadly the coffee culture. For anyone not visiting the coffee region, this experience is an absolute must!

Evening at leisure in Cartagena.

Services: Car, Driver and Guide (Half Day)
Hotel: Bastión or San Agustín
Meals: Breakfast + Afternoon tasting

DAY 3

SUNDAY

FURTHER EXPLORATION OF
CARTAGENA OR NEARBY ISLANDS

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Cartagena on your own.

Or we can arrange additional exploration such as one of the favorite options below (additional cost):

  • Explore the city’s art scene with a bilingual expert, focusing either on contemporary art museums and galleries or visit the home museum and studio of a famous local sculptor
  • For shopaholics, a fashion specialist will get you special access to the top designers’ shops in Cartagena, featuring both Colombian and international designers
  • Eat your way through Cartagena with tasting menus of typical dishes at four different restaurants. Or, hit the traditional Bazurto market and then get to work in a Caribbean cooking class (Lunch included with this option)
  • Explore Cartagena with an expert on the life of Gabriel García Marquez
  • Head out of the city to learn about the unique paso horses, and go for a ride along the beach

Private Boat Island Hopping (optional – not included)
Or, you may want to spend the entire day enjoying the Caribbean to its fullest.

The Rosario Islands are a coral reef comprising 27 islands, located about one hour by boat from Cartagena. Its natural landscapes, crystal clear water and coral reefs, home to diverse flora and fauna, are of course the main attraction.

Sail on a private motorboat or yacht, enjoy a joy ride and watch the Caribbean’s water as it changes color right in front of your eyes. You will stop at one spot for snorkeling, one for lunch at a lovely Caribbean house, and then at a beach. On board, a chef will prepare drinks and snacks for you as well! (Please inquire with your Almaz Journeys representative for details and cost.)

Services: At leisure today
Hotel: Bastión or San Agustín
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4

Monday

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

 

Leisurely morning before checkout and your private transfer with English-speaking assistance to the airport for your journey onward. (Air not included.)

Services: Transfer with assistance
Meals: Breakfast

NOT DONE WITH COLOMBIA YET?

Looking to spend some more time exploring the magical realism of Colombia? Here are three of our favorite ideas that can be easily combined with Bogotá and each other, for a longer trip of a week or more.

  • City lovers should head to Bogotá, the country’s bustling capital city. Here you’ll find a thriving dining and cocktail scene, rich colonial history, a vibrant arts scene, great shopping, charming park-filled neighborhoods, and beautiful boutique luxury hotels.
  • Head to the Quindío province of the Coffee Region, the heart and soul of Colombia. Enjoy a learning about the coffee culture through visits to family-run farms, hiking among the soaring wax palms of the Corcora Valley, horseback riding, and relaxing at an exclusive hacienda-turned-boutique hotel set on a 500-acre ranch.
  • See the remarkable social transformation which Medellin has undergone, from drug cartel capital to revitalized city buzzing with energy. Our terrific guides are eager to show you just how far the city has come in the last decade.

PRIVATE ITINERARY PRICING & SUMMARY

ALL ITINERARIES ARE 100% CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU - THIS IS ONLY A SAMPLE

With Charleston Santa Teresa

 

2 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $1,550 per person, double occupancy

4 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $1,300 per person, double occupancy

With CASA SAN AGUSTIN OR
SOFITEL SANTA CLARA

 

2 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $1,850 per person, double occupancy

4 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $1,600 per person, double occupancy

INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY

Accommodations
  • Three (3) nights accommodations
    • Premium Balcony room at Charleston Santa Teresa OR
    • Deluxe room at Casa San Agustin OR
    • Superior room at Sofitel Santa Clara
    • Upgraded rooms available at all hotels, an additional cost.
Meals
  • Breakfast daily and service charge in all hotels
Transportation and Services
  • Private, local English-speaking guides for all sightseeing and airport transfers as described
  • Private transportation for sightseeing and airport transfers as described, with bottled water.
  • Entrances for all sights and experiences specifically included in your itinerary
  • 24-hour local emergency contact
  • Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY

  • Air travel
  • Lunches or dinners unless specifically included
  • Gratuities
  • Medical or travel insurance
  • Any other items or services not specifically included in the itinerary

Excited to learn more?

Almaz founder Joe Sandillo in Quindio province of Colombia's coffee region

ASK Joe Sandillo

Founder, Almaz Journeys

Expert in upscale Colombia travel

Get in touch with Joe and his team today to start planning!

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Or Call (877) 333-4988
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