(Bogota, Villa de Leyva)
(San Gil, Barichara)
Arrive into Bogota and explore the beautiful La Candelaria district including the Palace of Justice, Plaza Bolivar and Botero Museum (to name a few!) Travel north east in your private vehicle with guide to Villa de Leyva, enroute visit the village of Zipaquira, the Salt Cathedral and Raquira "the city of pots"; this is the perfect place to shop for local hand-crafted souvenirs to bring home! Villa de Leyva is best explored by foot, so don your best pair of walking shoes and learn the history of this beautiful town from your guide. A tour to the city of Tunja is also included during your stay in Villa de Leyva. Before departing go back (way back, 120 million years or so!) in time with a visit to "El Fossil" a 12 meter Kronosaurus fossil! You will also visit Pozos Azules and El Enfiernito. Continuing north arrive to San Girl, Santander; the adventure mecca of Colombia perfect for rafting, rappelling, hiking and other adventure sports! Here you have the option to take a climbing adventure through caves, canyoning and rappelling or a more leisurely hike to Juan Curi waterfall! Relax and enjoy the Kimbala Resort after your adrenaline filled day! Back on the road, travel to Barichara, arguably Colombia's best preserved colonial town. Enjoy time at leisure to explore this hidden gem on your own. Fly from Bucaramanga to Bogota and depart.
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.
Private transfer from Bogota to Villa de Leyva.
Located just a few blocks from the principal plaza in Villa de Leyva, this hotel nestled in one corner of a smaller plaza combines a exquisite hotel experience and art all in one. The reception area doubles as a small art gallery displaying paintings from local artists. Other works of art will be found as you explore the hotel. The building itself is an old colonial house with a large central courtyard with the rooms encompassing the courtyard. This historical building fits in perfectly with the cobbled streets and old world charm of Villa de Leyva but with the art twist and a touch of luxury. This hotel is one of the more stylish hotels in Villa de Leyva.
Half day walking tour of the historic centre of Villa de Leyva. Witness its enormous plaza (one of the largest in South America), along with interesting historical building such as the house of Antonio Nariño, and the Monasteries de las Carmelitas Descalzas. Modern construction is scarce amongst the colonial Spanish whitewashed walls that line the cobbled streets, and terracotta tiles that shade cascading flowers hanging over painted green balconies. The town's main square is one of the largest cobbled stone plazas in all South America and plays host to numerous events and exhibitions such as the festival of kites and the spectacular festival of lights when the sky is illuminated by a thousand fireworks
A short drive from Villa de Leyva ascending through mountainous slopes, Tunja has a very impressive centre with beautiful churches and other examples of fine Spanish Colonial Architecture. The tour will start in the large expansive Plaza de Bolivar with the cathedral dating from the end of the 16th century, a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic and Moorish styles. The Casa de la Cultura is located opposite the cathedral and houses many reproductions of European masterpieces and it is in this house that Simon Bolivar stayed before the battle of Boyaca. A visit to the Casa del Fundador Suarez Rendon is to step inside one of the few remaining mansions of a Spanish Conquistador still in existence with its attractive courtyard and fine views as well as an interesting collection of portraits of Colombian presidents. The church of Santo Domingo is one of the most remarkable with its richly carved wood and side chapel that glistens with glass and gold. Depending on your level of interest your guide can show you further fine churches or you can alternatively sit in one of the many coffee houses and watch the citizens of Tunja in including the many university students go about their business.
Your guide will collect you from your hotel and walk you to where your vehicle will be waiting. The first point of interest during this half day excursion will be the Pozos Azules; this mineral enriched lagoon with its vibrant turquoise waters. Then from the Lagoon you will drive through the desert like terrain towards El Fossil (The fossil). This 120 million year old 12 meter Kronosaurus fossil is on show in a small palaeontology museum with other artefacts that have been found in this fossil rich area. From the museum you will continue your journey towards the Astrological site of El Enfiernito. This site was once the central to the local Muisca Indians and was used by them to predict seasons and hold rituals. The site has 30 cylindrical stone monoliths sunk vertically into the ground. From the comfort of your vehicle is a great way to see the local area and this half day trip takes in a number of the sites around Villa de Leyva. You will finish the tour back in to town in time for an early lunch.
This spectacular drive is one of the gems of Colombia. Leaving the uplands of Boyaca your journey will take you into the rolling green valleys of Santander with its striking mountains, tumbling rivers and immaculately preserved colonial towns. Both departments were the cradle of Colombian independence, were the site of the first rebellions against Spanish rule and where the first constitution was signed. Santander was a sovereign state from 1857, but became a department of the new state of Colombia in 1886. There are many reminders of those turbulent times, but today it is a region of Colombia that is famous for its tranquillity, the beauty of its landscape and the forthright hardworking attitude of its people who are very proud of their homeland and extend a warm welcome to visitors. Strategically located on the route to the Caribbean and Venezuela, Santander was where many European immigrants settled, mainly Germans which gave impetus to its development. The region is also famous for its delicious cuisine with the famed cooked ants being a local delicacy, either served fried as a snack or as part of a sauce to accompany meat dishes.
As you head north through this dramatically beautiful landscape, along winding roads that present new and marvellous vistas at every turn, you will arrive at San Gil, a pretty colonial town set in the deep valley of the Rio Fonce and home to a very pleasant climate.
The Hotel Kimbala Resort is a traditional building located just outside the town of San Gil, peacefully away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre. With its amazing views of the surrounding valleys, hills and countryside it’s the perfect peaceful retreat. With its swimming pool and gardens it’s a great place to relax after a day’s walking or exploring. The family atmosphere adds to the feeling of calm and hospitality.
This 5 hour tour is a heavy mixture of caving, canyoning, rappelling and a mixture of waterfall and rock climbing. Starting with an overview of the day and a full safety instruction on the equipment the expertly trained local guides will accompany you on this adventure into the local countryside where you can test your skills and enjoy the challenges presented by the various activities.
Accompanied by your guide & driver, travel the short distance to the historic village of Barichara
In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own to relax.
Set amongst the cobbles streets of Barichara this is an excellent 8 room boutique hotel. Small and friendly yet with great service and attention to detail, the 150 year old house is one of the traditional buildings of the town, and has been lovingly converted into a fine hotel. Five of the rooms surround an internal courtyard and there is a shaded garden which attracts numerous birdlife. La Nube also has a a restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a small spa. It is a perfect location to relax and use as a base for exploring the delights of Barichara.
Transfer to Bucaramanga, the capital city of Santander, and to Palo Negro airport.
Depart for your flight from Bucaramanga to Bogota. Flight duration is approximately 55 minutes. This flight operates at various times throughout the day starting at 05:50 with a last flight of 20:50. A mid-morning flight will be booked for you unless otherwise noted. Please note that flight times and prices are subject to change without notice.
Christina Adams ,
April 21, 2014
"I know it's silly to give all 10's, obviously every trip has it's ups and downs, but if it hadn't been for our Kensington Tours planning, guides and drivers we would have been lost! It was wonderful to be out in a strange new environment yet know we had a safety net and a friendly face. The places we visited were awesome but I think we'll remember most the people that we met. Thank you and I'll send photos soon! Sincerely, Christina Adams"
Thomas Peyla ,
April 21, 2014
"I rated the quality of the accommodations an 8, but that is only because I chose to have more budget type accommodations. I was very happy with the hotels. The tours and guides were outstanding."
Susan Pope ,
April 21, 2014
"The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals."
Vivian Jennings ,
April 21, 2014
"Very pleased with organization. Not having to worry about connections or arrangements is wonderful. Great selection with hotels, Coral 1 and Napo Wildlife. Kensington puts all the details together to ensure a wonderful trip. Highly recommend the Galapagos and Amazon. "
Daniel More ,
April 21, 2014
"All was great. Guides were knowledgeable, personable, friendly... that's what really made the trip."
Marlin Barad ,
April 21, 2014
"Sofia, thank you for putting together a great trip. We certainly enjoyed ourselves very much. The planning and care was excellent. We hope we can do another trip with you all soon. Marlin Barad"
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
"We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and 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 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! 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.
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
"GREAT trip! We were very pleased with every aspect that Brandi set up for us including the tour of Quito and environs. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands.
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.
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