This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Colombia.
Colombia is one of South America’s most enigmatic and diverse countries, with buzzing cosmopolitan centres and archaeological ruins nestled within the lush Amazon jungle. Explore the magnificent coastal city of Cartagena by horse-drawn carriage, delight in visiting a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, discover Colombian traditions about the art of preparing coffee, and let the charm of Bogotá inspire reverie. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will stay with you forever.
Our tours are tailored to offer an exciting and wide-ranging look at the mysteries of Colombian culture, history, art, gastronomy and religion, with special excursions to unmissable natural and manmade sites. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable.
Colombia welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.
Upon arrival at the airport in Cartagena, we’ll transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we’ll head out for a special tour of the walled city of Cartagena’s Old Town. Six miles of ancient walls surround the area. They were built centuries ago to protect against pirate attacks. In our horse-drawn carriage, we’ll view the wonders of old Cartagena by night. As we travel through the historic district, we’ll see the remarkable Spanish colonial architecture, smell the fresh bougainvillea, and enjoy the night breezes. After our tour, we’ll stop for dinner at a local restaurant, then return by private car to the hotel.
After breakfast, we’ll visit a nearby church and monastery. The Monasterio and Iglesia de la Popa were once known as the Popa del Galeon because of the complex’s resemblance to a galleon ship. The church and monastery were built in 1606 and overlook the city and busy port, providing the most panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.
Next we’ll visit the San Felipe Fortress. One of the oldest buildings in all of Colombia, it was built in honor of Cartagena’s most famous poet, Don Luis Carlos López. Atop San Lázaro hill, the fortress was constructed to withstand pirate attacks in earlier centuries. The fortress castle contains many underground passageways and galleries.
We’ll spend some time in the old city, Ciudad Vieja, where we’ll tour the Convent and Church of San Pedro Claver, built in the middle of the 17th century. The skeletal remains of the saint for whom it was named are interred at the main altar. The church features a lovely courtyard, an impressive organ, and beautiful stained glass windows.
From there we’ll travel to the Bovedas handicrafts zone. Used centuries ago to house armaments and serve as a prison, the area is a series of archways that were built into the city’s walls. Today it is an artisan center that displays colorful local handicrafts.
We’ll have lunch, then head to Cartagena’s colonial district. At the heart of it lies Bolivar Park, which features a statue of the country’s Liberator, Simon Bolivar. Fountains and trees fill the lovely park. Natives ride through the park on llamas, and it’s a nice place to people-watch. Nearby is the city’s Gold Museum, which contains archeological treasures from the pre-Hispanic period. We’ll also stop at the Inquisition Palace, the long-ago site of torture chambers for alleged Catholic Church heretics. Its beautiful façade and baroque door belie the horrors that once lay within.
While in the area, we’ll also stop by the Santo Domingo Church, where we’ll learn about the activist priests who protected slaves and Indians; the Cathedral, the Terraplenes or embankments, and the Museum of the City’s Fortifications.
Then we’ll return to the hotel for our overnight accommodations.
After breakfast, everyone will have a full free day to pursue individual activities. Individuals may wish to look into available day tours, such as a visit to the Archipiélago del Rosario. Also known as the Coral Islands of Rosario, this group of thirty islets is a national park that serves to guard the area’s diverse wildlife, marine life, and coral reefs.
We’ll stay overnight again in Cartagena.
After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our transfer to the local airport to depart for Pereira, by way of Bogotá. After our arrival, we’ll transfer to our hotel for overnight accommodations.
After breakfast, we’ll depart Pereira for a full day of sightseeing. First we’ll travel to the Valle de Cocora. Located in the central mountains of Quindio, this valley lies in the Parque Nacional de los Nevados. In this lush park setting are a wide variety of native flora and funa, from the tall Quindian wax palm to the endangered palm parrot. To explore the valley’s immense biodiversity, we’ll head into the “cloud forest,” named for the ever-present mist that clings to the cool, mountainous area. It can be reached either by horseback or hiking trails. When we head out of the forest, we’ll cross the Quindio River, shaded by tall wax palms.
After lunch, we’ll travel the short distance to Salento and take a tour around the town. It has retained more of its Spanish colonial architecture than almost any other municipality in Colombia. Stops will include a visit to the Plaza de Bolivar, where buildings with colorful balconies line the streets and shops display local handicrafts.
From Salento, we’ll transfer to the village of Filandia. Our tour of the village will include its many colonial homes, its own Plaza de Bolivar, and coffee shops that feature the country’s most famous export. The views of the surrounding countryside are charming, particularly from the mirador, or viewing tower, overlooking the Cauca Valley.
Finally, we’ll head back to Pereira and return to our hotel for an overnight stay.
Shabbat enjoyed at leisure with Jewish community in Bogota .
In the morning we’ll depart Bogotá and head north to Zipaquirá. We’ll travel through the Bogatá savannah, where we’ll see acres and acres of flowers. Flower production is one of the area’s most important industries.
When we reach Zipaquirá, we’ll visit the amazing Salt Cathedral, a major feat of engineering. It gets its name from the fact that the building and surrounding tunnels were carved out of saline rock. In the midst of the salt mines, the cathedral emerges in a tunnel that features the Stations of the Cross and travels to a lighted dome, under which are intricate naves and a main altar, atop which is an enormous cross carved from salt – the largest such object in the world. In the mine itself, an auditorium hosts everything from fashion shows to film screenings.
During our excursion, we’ll have lunch, then begin the next leg of our trip. We’ll head to Bogotá’s historic center, known as La Candelaria. Its rich cultural heritage and Spanish colonial architecture make it a treat for any history buff. We’ll tour the main square, the Plaza de Bolivar, where a statute of Simon Bolivar is found – one of many in city squares throughout the country. This square is a former bullring, execution site, and marketplace. Along the plaza are many sites worth visiting, including a cathedral that houses a significant collection of religious artifacts. Colonial religious art is also found at the nearby Capilla del Sagrario. The Capitol building is worth a tour, as its architecture displays both Renaissance and neoclassical influences. Other buildings around the plaza include the Palace of Justice, the mayor’s offices, San Bartolome School, and the Casa de los Comuneros. We’ll make a stop at the Botero Museum, featuring Fernando Botero’s own art and estimable pieces from his private collection, including works by Monet, Picasso, Dali, and others. A stop at the Gold Museum will allow us to see the museum’s permanent exhibition of over 32,000 gold pieces, and over 20,000 precious stones.
After a busy day visiting many of Bogotá’s most representative sites, we’ll transfer to the airport for our overnight flight home
Arrive back in the USA after an enjoyable and educational week in Colombia’s coffee region and some of its most lovely cities.
Cost Per Person : Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)
- Includes air fare from: New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Airfares available from other cities upon request.
- 3 Kosher Meals Daily
- All airport transfers
- Private Sightseeing as described with all admission fees with an English speaking tour guide
- Services of an English speaking tour escort throughout the trip
- Visa fees
- Snacks or items of a personal nature