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Weaverbird: Spirit of Colombia 2017

16 days from £2,268pp

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Weaverbird: Spirit of Colombia 2017

16 days from £2,268pp
 

Group Journey

 

Transport

4 flights (longest 3.5 hours), 7 road journeys (longest 8 hours), 1 boat journey (2 hours).

Accommodation

On our Discovery Journeys the standard of accommodation varies. We aim to keep the price competitive while ensuring the basic comforts. Hotels/guesthouses are comfortable and attractive in most places, and you will be pleasantly surprised. Where these do not exist, accommodation is necessarily purely functional. All properties are well maintained and almost all will have a private bathroom. In Mompos, Tayrona and Cartagena there may well not be hot water. This is due to the local climate and the perceived needs for it and the fact that many properties/areas may not have the infrastructure. (If you prefer greater comfort please see the Classic Journeys or Private Journeys on their respective pages on our website).

On this journey we stay in simple hotels and guesthouses with private facilities; farmhouse accommodation in coffee country and cabins in the Tayrona National Park (bathroom facilities may be shared between 1 or 2 cabins).

Examples of hotels used on this journey include:
• Bogotá: Casa Deco
• San Agustín: Hacienda Akawanka
• Coffee region: Finca La Cabana
• Parque Tayrona: Ecoturisticas San Rafael
• Mompós: Casa Amarilla
• Cartagena: Don Pedro de Heredia

These hotels are subject to change and are dependent on availability. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Meals

Breakfast daily.

Included excursions

• Bogotá: city tour and Gold Museum
• San Agustín: Archaeological Park
• Coffee region: tour of coffee farm
• Tayrona: walks in the national park
• Aracataca: Marquez museum
• Mompós: boat trip
• Cartagena: city tour
• Mompós: boat trip

Summary of nights

16 days, 15 nights: Bogotá 2; San Agustín 3; Coffee farm 3; Tayrona 2; Mompós 2; Cartagena 3.

Included in the journey price

• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
• Some domestic flight taxes

Optional excursions

There are optional excursions available throughout this tour, which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $200 should cover participation in most of the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences.

• Bogotá: food tour, including visiting markets, buying traditional food and then taking it back to a local home to cook and eat it
• Bogotá: visit the Mint which houses the Botero Museum
• Bogotá: visit Zipaquira salt mine with a stop at the Guatavita Lagoon
• San Augustín: visit local fincas and waterfalls
• Coffee region: visit traditional Finlandia with its artisan shops and local markets
• Mompós: guided walking tour
• Cartagena: Rosario Islands day trip

Travelling alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single supplement places available, which carry a surcharge.

Currency

The unit of currency in Colombia is the Colombian peso.

Budget

A budget of around $45USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.

We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3 USD(or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Tipping guidelines can be found on our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport taxes

International airport tax is included in the cost of your ticket.

Journey grade

All walks on this journey are optional and you should discuss with your tour leader which are suitable for you. There are some long days spent travelling, in the heat, however many comfort stops are made to enjoy the scenery on route.

Climate

The dry season in Colombia is from December until March and then June to September and temperatures during this period average around 30°C, although are more or less consistent throughout the year. Bogotá, and towns in the coffee growing region have a spring like climate and can be chilly at night. Cartagena and the Caribbean coast are hot throughout the year, with rainy seasons typically in April, May, October and November.

Altitude

Several days are spent at high altitude (over 2.500m). You may notice the effect of high altitude; symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches and breathlessness. If you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of being adversely affected.

Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.


Clothing and special equipment

Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. Warm items and a good waterproof jacket are also necessary for all departures. We suggest that you plan to 'layer' your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper. Sandals are a good informal option for evenings.

Protection against the sun (sun block, sun hat) and mosquito repellent are essential and you should bring swimwear. A backpack or soft holdall is the most sensible and comfortable way to carry your belongings. Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Cases of Zika virus have been reported in parts of Latin America. If you’re pregnant, or planning to be, you should follow the advice of the  National Travel Health Network and Centre

 

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with different nationalities should enquire with us or check with the Colombian consulate.

ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online which costs $14USD per person. This must be done by you personally. Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the departure of flights. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

16 days from £2,268pp

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About Group Tours

Our small escorted group journeys are led by award-winning tour guides and follow tried and tested routes that we have been refining for over 30 years. 

Journey with the UK's NO1 specialist in travel to latin america

We Love Latin America

  • A passion for the region runs through all we do
  • All our Consultants have lived or travelled extensively in Latin America
  • Up-to-the-minute knowledge underpinned by 35 years' experience

Full Financial Protection

  • Fully bonded and licensed
  • ATOL-protected
  • On your side when it matters
  • Book with confidence, knowing every penny is secure 


The Real Latin America

  • Our insider knowledge helps you go beyond the guidebooks
  • We hand-pick hotels with character and the most rewarding excursions
  • Let us show you the Latin America we know and love
Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards - Best Tour Operator to Latin America 2016

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award 2013

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards - Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards - Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator 2016

Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2015

British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

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