(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.
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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