Colombia - City & Whale Watching Holiday

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-COL007

From: £2480.00

This ten-day trip Colombia holiday combines the cosmopolitan capital city of Bogota with the remote and beautiful northwest Pacific Coast. Start by exploring Bogota and taking in the charming, colonial area of La Candelaria. Spend 2 days in Medellin (often called the the City of Eternal Spring) and explore its lively narrow streets of downtown, its ultra friendy people, and its spectacular location, surrounded on all four sides by rugged peaks. Then take a domestic flight to the tiny coastal town of Nuqui. Colombia's Pacific coast is rich in rewards for the intrepid traveller, and its here you can spend the remainder of your trip in one of Nuqui's Eco Lodges, El Cantil, with rustic cabins set between the jungle and sea. The highlight of this remote area is whale watching from June - October.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart London for your flight to the Colombian capital, Bogota. With recent improvements to the infrastructure and security, Bogota is becoming one of Latin America's urban highlights. Hotel Boheme Royal is located in the Zona Rosa district of the city and well positioned for the city highlights including galleries, theatres and boutiques. You will also find many restaurants and cafes on your doorstep.

Day 2 Visit the historic centre of the city, La Candelaria, an antiquated barrio of great cultural heritage. Many of the colonial buildings are of Spanish origin with beautiful architectural features. Plaza de Bolivar, with it's statue of the great libertador Simon Bolivar, was used for civil and military purposes and is flanked by the Cathedral. The Cathedral is constructed on the remains of the first church built in Bogota in 1539 and is home to an important collection of artefacts. You will also visit Museo Botero, a colonial house filled with works of art by the famous Fernando Botero.

Day 3 Free day for further sightseeing. For great views over the city and the Andes mountain, take the cable car or funicular to the Santuario de Monserrate. At an altitude of 3140m, Monserrate is 500m higher than the city. There are also some lovely restaurants such as Casa Santa Clara. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, around 1.5 hours to the north of the city, is a true feat of engineering. In the central nave is the main alter, with a cross measuring 16m high by 10m in breadth, made by Colombia artist Carlos Enrique Rodriguez. This is the largest cross in the world made from salt.

Day 4 Take the short flight to Medellin, located in central Andean highlands. At an altitude of 1538m, the city has a very mild, temperate climate. Hotel Park 10 is designed to resemble an English house and is decorated with wood, marble and stained glass. Situated in the El Poblado area in the south of the city, an upmarket suburb where you can find high-end restaurants, shopping malls and nightlife which is concentrated around the Parque Lleras.

Day 5 Visit the key highlights of this modern city. One of the most iconic symbols linked to Medellin is the Botero sculptures donated by the artist in 2000. Parque San Antonio or La Plazoleta houses around twenty-three sculptures. You will also have the opportunity to take a trip on the metro cable car system that connects the centre of the city to outlying and formerly difficult to reach mountainous suburbs. From here you will have spectacular views of the city.

Day 6 Transfer to the city airport for your domestic flight to Nuqui. Arrival to El Cantil Eco Lodge is by a 45 minute boat ride. In the afternoon, walk to the waterfall Cascada del Amor which is only 400m from the lodge and stroll in the jungle until you reach the paradise of crystalline waters tumbling over a 4m high waterfall. Walk a few minutes further into the jungle to see the Mellizas Waterfall. There is plenty of free time to enjoy the empty beaches near the lodge.

Day 7 In the morning after breakfast take a leisurely walk over level terrain for 3km admiring the pelicans and other birds found here and walk past streams that splice beaches in order to reach the ocean. Arrive at the thermal springs and take a bath in waters that reach a comfortable 32C. Afternoon whale watching for approximately 3 hours, the exact are area is dependent on where the whales normally congregate.

Day 8 Morning walk to Rio Terco following the trail into the jungle. Admire the contrasts in the vegetation and fauna whilst enjoying the sounds of the rainforest. Afternoon whale watching trip, again for roughly 3 hours with rest of day at leisure to enjoy the Pacific beaches.

Day 9 Morning departure after breakfast by boat to Nuqui and transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Medellin. In the afternoon you may wish to arrange an optional excursion.

Day 10 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to London via Bogota.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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