(Bogota, Risaralda Coffee Region, Cartagena)
(Boquete, Panama City)
Bocas del Toro
Colombia has come of age and now is the time to discover one of the best kept secrets of Latin America! Bogotá, the clean & bustling capital city is fast becoming a by word for urban progress and has an enviable location with spectacular views of the Andean mountains. Wander between the myriad of interesting streets in La Candelaria, Bogota's old colonial district. The Eje Cafetero, or Coffee Region has spectacular scenery, and a tour of the coffee plantations & picturesque colonial villages is a blissful way top spend a few days staying at a traditional hacienda amongst the flowers and humming birds. Onwards you go to Cartagena de Indias, South America’s most beautiful and evocative city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the Caribbean coast of the country. With Colombia highlights fresh in your mind tavel north to Central America, setting foot in Panama. Continue on to the lush and tropical forest of Boquete, amidst the cloudforest search for the elusive Queztal. On the Caribbean side, relax and soak up the sun in the sea-side town of Bocas del Toro. Conclude this journey with a tour of the Panama Canal.
In order to confirm your trip you must submit copies of your passports for Colombia bookings.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Enjoy a private airport transfer with professional driver and guide.
In the heart of La Candelaria, the Hotel de la Opera offers an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the capitals everyday life. With a stunning colonial exterior and interior there are few hotels in Bogota to compete in style and elegance. The location is excellent; next to the Cristóbal Colón Theatre and across the street from the Palacio de San Carlos, which currently houses the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Also across the street is the Colonial Art Museum and just two blocks away is Bolivar Square and the National Cathedral. The Presidential Palace, known as the Casa de Narino, is just a few blocks away.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private vehicle to begin your tour. La Candelaria is Bogota’s heart and soul, from its humble beginnings this is the oldest part of the city and the Plaza Bolivar (Main Square) are high on any visitor’s agenda. As you wander the streets of La Candelaria away from the main square, your guide will not only explain the history of Bogota but also the intricacies of current Colombian culture and daily life. There will be time for a refreshment stop in one of the cities coffee houses. After this short break you will head on to the Botero Museum. This is a permanent exhibition of works or art by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist who’s "oversized” art is instantly recognisable. The museum not only houses work by Botero but also other world famous artists such as Dali, Monet and Van Gogh. You will stop in one of the local restaurant close to the square for a chance to sample some local Colombia cuisine. The next stop after lunch will be the Gold Museum. The Museum has one of the finest collections of Pre Hispanic gold in the world, with more than 35,000 pieces of pre-Colombian gold work in the collection. Next you will visit the finest view point of Bogota, the hill top look out and monastery of Monserrate. The summit can be reached by either funicular railway or cable car. From the highest point the view across the city will enable you to see the different sectors of Bogota. The new convent is a pilgrimage site for many Colombians whom, during Easter week, make their way past the fourteen Stations of the Cross until reaching the convent at the summit.
Domestic flight between Bogota and Armenia with Avianca Airlines. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver to the Quindio Coffee Region.
Spend time at leisure to enjoy one of the many optional activities offered in the coffee region. Optional activities include: Rafting, Kayaking, Repelling, Zipling, Nevados National Park hiking, Coffee plantations, Golf, Horseback Riding, Botanical Gardens & Butterflies, San Vicente Hot Springs and more! Please speak with your Kensington Tours trip designer to book one of these tours! All optional activities are subject to additional fees.
Hotel Boutique Sazagua is a fairytale hacienda with every attention to detail taken into account. The ten rooms and bathrooms are decorated and adorned with great thought and consideration. Most of the furniture, ornaments, books and photos are from the families own collection. From Finca there are opportunities for horse riding and walking through mandarin orchards, pineapple plantations, and local farmland. The menu is exquisite and a lovely restaurant. Private bathroom, closet, swimming pool, relaxing reading areas, beautiful gardens, restaurant, outside eating areas, balconies with comfortable seating.
This tour will take you from the far north of Quindío to the beautiful Valle Cocora where the magnificent wax palm grows, in one of its few natural habitats. Then onto the first settlement in Quindío of the modern era. As you enter into Filandia you know you are in the Coffee region of Colombia. The main square has not changed in appearance or in character in decades. Filandia does not have an attraction to visit; Filandia is the attraction. A coffee break in one of the many small coffee shops will allow you to take in the quaintness of uninterrupted lines of brightly painted houses in the traditional Pueblo of the region. From Filandia you will drive to the Valley Cocora. Part of the wider Parque Nacional Los Nevados, the valley is located on the eastern limits of Quindío along the central Andean range. It has been regarded by Colombia as a sanctuary for its national symbol; the Wax Palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense). The Palm fringes the Mountain range, and is now protected and declared a national tree and symbol to prevent exploitation due to the celebrations during Palm Sunday, and therefore a threat against the endemic species dependant on the palm. Salento is a municipality in the northeastern part of the department of Quindío. It was the first settlement in Quindío of the modern era, and the first municipality founded in the department. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. The picturesque town is located on the Northeastern corner of the department and borders other departments, Risaralda and Tolima all sharing Parque Nacional Los Nevados. From Salento you will continue on to your hotel.
This tour will give you a true impression of the life and culture encompassed by the Coffee region. Coffee is the heart and soul of this area and today you will see how this simple bean affects every part of the region. From quaint towns and stunning views, this is a full day insight into the “Triangulo Del Café”. You will also visit the National Bamboo Centre, the settlements of Cordoba, Pijao, and Buena Vista, enjoy a typical lunch and learn about the coffee process. In 1986 the regional autonomy of Quindío initiated the National Centre for the study of the Guadua Bamboo. The Centre is providing study resources and new technologies in propagation, forestry management and innovations in the use of the Bamboo in Industry. This first stop allows you to understand how this simple bamboo forms the back bone of so much that goes on in the region, from house construction to furniture and agriculture. Next you will make your way through the coffee covered hills and valleys, to your second port of call. Córdoba is one of the twelve municipalities’ that form the department of Quindío. With a sense of time standing still, the buildings are aching under their own weight and the atmosphere is one of calm. During the day many of the local inhabitants work the steep slopes amongst the coffee plantations upon which the town is dependant. It’s a great place to sit and drink a coffee whilst watching the senior gentleman of the town play billiards at the club on the corner. Pijao, the next stop is known as "The place where the Herons come" for every night herons come to roost on the highest branches or so the story goes. Many of the inhabitants will be picking the coffee whilst the rest are centre stage in the plaza sipping coffee and chatting.
After the tour of the surrounding countryside and discovering life of the people in the Triangulo Del Café, the next stop will be lunch and a very interesting visit to a Coffee finca. Here you will learn about the cultivation, classification, and preparation of Colombian coffee. You will walk through the coffee plantations and nursery and there will be an explanation as to how the plant grows and is cultivated before the final bean reaches the coffee cup. You will also have the opportunity to learn about coffee tasting, the different aromas and textures of Colombia’s most famous export.
Fly from Armenia to Cartagena with a connecting flight in Bogota. Flight duration is approximately 3 hours.
Includes airport transfer with private vehicle, professional driver and local guide from Airport to Hotel or within city and vice versa
You will be met at your hotel by your Bilingual guide to commence your walking tour through the streets of Cartagena. Your tour will take through the old town under the Puerta Del Reloj (Clock tower entrance), a symbol of Cartagena, into the Plaza de los Coches. Your guide will divulge the myths and legends, histories and stories of Cartagena from ancient times right up to the present. No visit to Bogota is complete without a visit to the amazing Gold Museum to the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning Church, on through to the Plaza Bolivar; with its shady areas, where a fresh Lemon juice can be enjoyed whilst watching the world go by. Cartagena is steeped in history and a delight to stroll the streets with your own personal encyclopaedia of knowledge guiding you from one interest to the other.
Alfiz Boutique Hotel is located in Cartagena´s historical Old Town, only a short walk to most of the city's attractions. Alfiz hotel offers eight stylish suites in the elegant ambiance of a restored XVII’s heritage building. Whether you are visiting the city on business or travelling for pleasure, this beautifully restored residence provides a warm welcome.This hotel is part of the collection of the “Cartagena Boutique Hotels”, the group of outstanding properties chosen for their intimate size, personalized service and attractive surroundings. Since the 17th century, the hotel has sheltered secrets, anecdotes and adventures. After three centuries, it continues to make history.
You will be met by your guide and walked to your vehicle to commence your tour of the Volcan de Lodo Totumo (mud volcano). You will begin by heading an hour and a half along the costal highway to reach the site. Legend has it that the volcano was once the home of the devil and spewed hot lava; a local holy man doused the volcano in holy water vanquishing the devil and turning the hot lava in to rich mud. It’s not cold, it’s warm! It does not seem to have a bottom, and it’s impossible to sink. This is truly one of the strangest experiences you will have along the Caribbean coastline. The Volcano is 20 metres high with basic wooden steps up to its crater at the top. Slipping in to the mud may be one of the strangest things that you have done but none the less an experience to be cherished. In fits and giggles you will wallow in the grey goo and maybe even take the opportunity for a massage from one of the local masseurs. The mud is said to have exfoliation properties cleansing the skin as you have fun! From one experience to another you slither out of the mud and gingerly make your way down the other side of the Volcano. From this point there will be someone on hand to take you to the water’s edge of the Ceínega (spring) where you will be washed down in this natural lagoon. The facilities here are basic but the experience makes it well worth while.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Panama City to David.
Travel to Boquete by private vehicle and driver.
A historic country inn, nestled in the foothills of the Barú volcano, Panamonte Inn & Spa is the perfect base for exploring the Chiriquí Highlands with its unique ecological system and biodiversity. More reminiscent of an elegant home than a hotel, this delightful inn is renowned for its impeccable service and it has one of the best restaurants in Central America. Relax in the gardens and soak up the calming atmosphere that embodies this peaceful sanctuary or learn to cook some regional specialties at the Panamonte Cooking School by Charlie Collins, award-wining Executive Chef and co-owner of the Inn. Trek the Quetzal trail in search of this beautiful and elusive bird, take a canopy ride through the lush rainforest or experience exhilarating river rafting. Alternatively, take a tasting tour of a nearby coffee plantation or hike to the top of the Barú volcano with its spectacular views. Afterwards, return to the hotel spa for a recuperating hot stone massage.
The International National Park La Amistad extends into Costa Rica. It covers approximately 2000 square kilometers of mountainous terrain in the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range. The park is famous for its cloud forests, where the trees form a canopy that creates a cool, misty atmosphere on the forest floor. On your tour through this park you will enjoy more than 80 different bird species such as Reinita, the Zorzal, Ruiseñor, Jilguero, Tapaculo among others. Spend the whole day with an experienced guide from the area looking for the many species of birds and other animals.Duration: 8 hours Includes: Transportation from and to Boquete, English speaking driver/guide, entrance fees, picnic lunch Bring: Hiking shoes, long pants, rainjacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, binoculars, camera, water
You will be picked up from your hotel in Boquete and transfered by private vehicle with professional English speaking driver to Almirante, and then transfered by boat to Bocas del Toro (Isla Colon)
Popa Paradise Beach Resort is a 16-room luxury hotel located in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama. Popa Paradise Beach Resort was conceived to provide guests with ‘barefoot luxury’. The hotel has strived to create with minimal disturbance of the natural environment, a resort that showcases the natural beauty of the Bocas Islands. Set within a relaxed and friendly ambience that reflects the local culture, Popa Paradise is an oasis and one of the most exclusive of the Bocas del Toro hotels.
Today's adventure begins with a short boat ride from Bocas center to Bird Island to observe a wide variety of marine life and birds that migrate to the region each year. The mainland coast and the mountain regions of Panama serve as an exquisite background for photo opportunities. You will then venture to Boca del Drago for swimming, snorkeling and lunch at a popular restaurant on the tip of Isla Colon (lunch not included). Enjoy the white sand beach and culture that this location has to offer. The full afternoon will be spent at Starfish Beach and a chance to see starfish in the sea. You will go to a beautiful area called the Playa Estrella ""pool"" for swimming, snorkeling and nature watching. In the late afternoon your adventure returns to Bocas Town.
Airstrip transfer to/from hotel.
Fly from Bocas del Toro to Panama City
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and English speaking professional driver.
Your English speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a private tour to Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. You will start the tour with a 30 minutes drive to Miraflores to see the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9am to 10am and from 2pm to 5pm, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. You will enjoy the view on the Locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide. To complete the visit of the Canal you will visit the Museum and Visitor Center at Miraflores which gives you a good idea on the construction of the Canal – a masterpiece of engineering. You will also learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project. After the visit to the Canal you continue with your guide to the Amador Causeway, a road that connects three Islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers magnificent views on the Canal on one side and on the skyline of Panama City on the other side. The tour continues to the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter. At the Casco Viejo you feel set back in time as you admire the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches. You will get a good idea about Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this quarter.
Casa del Horno is located in Casco Antiguo, the capital's old quarter. Only 35 minutes away from the Tocumen International Airport, Casco Antiguo, warmly referred to as "Casco Viejo" by locals, is a charming bohemian neighborhood filled with hip bars, delightful restaurants, extraordinary art galleries and pedestrian walkways intertwined with over 400 years of history. Built within the Calicanto stonewalls and finished with delicate wooden details, each suite is equipped with state of the art bathrooms, imported Italian kitchens, top of the line wine fridges, LCD TVs with Satellite, Sony IPod docks and L'Occitane bathroom amenities, differencing each other only by size and specific amenities.
Pick up at your hotel private transfer for 45 minute to the town of Gamboa where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. Once in Gamboa, you will aboard the cruise ship to start the water portion of the tour (shared boat). You will enter the canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut (also known as Culebra Cut because its curves resemble a snake) is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide and this section of the Canal is full of history and geological value. Your boat will travel the Cut's 13.7 kilometers on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. In this area you will also be able to observe the work in process for the Panama Canal expansion project. Before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks at the southern end of the Cut, you will be able to view the new Centennial Bridge which crosses over the Canal. Next, your ship will enter Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the vessel is lowered 9 meters in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific Ocean. At Miraflores Locks the vessel is lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Once in the Pacific Ocean the vessel will sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina where passengers disembark. On the way to Flamenco, you will pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and later, you will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's splendorous skyline. Upon arrival at Flamenco you will be transferred back to your city hotel.
Duration: 6 hours Includes: Transportation from and to Panama City Hotel, English speaking guide, lunch, soft drinks and water Bring: Comfortable clothes and shoes, camera, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
NOTE: depending on dates transit could be northbound or southbound
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and wanted to tell you we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I can't tell you what was our favorite. The boys enjoyed exploring the mountains in El Chalten (they called it Mountain running) while Mohan and I relaxed in the beautiful hotel. I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! We had great weather for each activity (I know there is a bit of luck involved with that one).
Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Thank you again,
Laura, Mohan, Ryan, and Nathan
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
Happy New Year!
GREAT trip! The brochure you sent to us the week before we set off was marvelous -- the pages are marked and worn with us referring to it so often! We were very pleased with every aspect that you set up for us including the airport pick-up and drop off and the tour of Quito and environs on Friday. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. The transfer to the Eclipse team was super easy and the flight to Guayaquil and trip to the boat went off without a hitch.
We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took, but I promise to send a few to you in the next week or so. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands. Gave them a 10 on their feedback form and would recommend Eclipse very highly.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
Hainsworth Sherry ,
November 05, 2013
Clients were very impressed. Guides were amazing and accommodation was beyond expectations. They will definitely travel with you again and they have highly recommended Kensington Tours.
Hope I can work with you again the in the near future.
Scott Parks ,
November 05, 2013
Sandy and I are back from Peru and had a wonderful time. Kensington seems to have the best contacts in each country and Peru was no exception. I wanted to take the time to give you some specific feedback on each segment of out trip.
The “Hotel B” in Lima is fantastic. It’s an old house that has been turned into a small Hotel. The people are great and the location in Barranco is just what we like.
The Inkaterra Amazonica is probably the best place place to stay in the Amazon region. The rooms give a real feel of the sounds of the rain forest.
The hotels in both Cusco and Aquas Calientes were perfect with great locations. We added an additional day in Aquas Calientes which gave us three days in Machu Picchu. For us, this was well worth it and gave us the time we wanted to see all aspects of Machu Picchu. Pictures did not do justice to the site, although we got some great pictures.
The trip to see the Nasca Lines was, also, worth the time. Our guide added some side trips including lunch at a local winery which we really enjoyed. The Hotel Paracas was an unexpectedly high quality resort and a great way to end our trip.
Thanks for your help we look forward to next year
June Murray ,
August 20, 2013
"Buenas Noches Brandi-
I filled out the survey but I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Our trip was the stuff lifelong memories are made of and I mean every part of it. From our time spent in Quito, to the Safari Camp and Isla Isabela. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the staff at our accommodations and the expertise of all our guides (most especially Tanya Helmig at the Safari Camp). We hope to go back for an extended stay.
I have attached 2 photos for you of Bart and I. I think the joy is clearly evident- thank you for making it possible.
Barbara Mackey ,
July 22, 2013
"We just completed a family trip to Costa Rica, with three families traveling from different locations. All the coordination efforts were made easily and efficiently by our Kensington representative, Brandi Merchant, who was wonderful; an absolute delight to work with. All the accommodations were first class and the guides knowledgeable and very punctual. We will be using Kensington again!
Cindy Thoene ,
July 22, 2013
What an AMAZING trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously…the trip of a lifetime!
We returned late on Thursday and had out of town visitors through the weekend and we are just now unpacking and getting back to non-vacation reality.
I will share my feedback and get pictures sent to you soon.
Thanks for everything….truly a perfect trip!
July 24, 2013
Our trip was wonderful, we had a great time, wish we could have spent more time. In fact, I now know I would have spent more time in Cuzco and the Machu Picchu area.
Machu Picchu was fabulous.
Margot, our guide, and the driver, were absolutely wonderful, low key, very personable, very accommodating, really good. We didn't end up with enough time on the last morning in Cusco to finish the tour, but got a feel- of Sacsayhuman, Qengo, Koricancha. We saw Ollayantatambo, and went to Moray and Maras, and Wayra ranch which was also outstanding, on the next day, but did not do Pisac and the market. We got tired and ran out of time so cut a couple things. Louis the coordinator was good as well.
Would love to go back and learn more some time.
The coordinator in Lima was extremely nice too, and very helpful.
In fact, we loved the food, the people and everything. The Libertador Palacio , the Tambo del Inka and the Sanctuary were indeed outstanding hotels. LAN was all on time, great service.
Thank you again for all your help.
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