Santa Marta, founded by the Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, is the oldest city in South America. The city is rich in history and well-preserved colonial architecture. Santa Marta is also the home of the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where the national hero Simon Bolivar died in 1830.
Colombia Caribbean Coast ExpeditionBOOK THIS TRIP
From £2089 - 14 Days
Explore spectacular rainforest and desert landscapes!
Enjoy the tropical atmosphere along Colombia’s Caribbean coast and explore some of the most spectacular remote places in Colombia including the Lost City and Punta Gallinas, the northern-most point of South America.
You will soak up sun rays and history in the charming city of Cartagena, where flowers spill from balconies and cobbled streets lead from one colourful building to another. Then you will spend 4 days trekking to the Lost City, one of the most important archaeological sites in South America. Then, venture to La Guajira, a department in the northern-most part of Colombia where desert landscapes meet the Caribbean Sea, creating an incredible combination and unique environment. This is your chance to visit one of the most vibrant and fascinating areas of Colombia, hike through jungles, learn more about indigenous Colombian culture and have an unforgettable holiday in Colombia.
EXPERIENCE TYPE Beach, Hiking, History & Culture
DAY 1 Travel to Cartagena and City Tour
Join the tour in Cartagena, if possible before 1 pm. Upon arrival in Cartagena, we will transfer you to the hotel.
In the afternoon (3 pm), we will pick you up at the hotel for a city tour covering the Castillo de San Felipe and the old city surrounded by the impressive walls built during the Spanish rule to protect the city against enemies and looters.
The Castle of San Felipe is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. It was built on top of the San Lazaro hill and defended the city from many attacks including a British siege in 1741. The old city is the historic heart and soul of Cartagena. We will walk around its cobbled streets, visiting or passing by the main historical sites. At the end of the tour, we will go back to the hotel.
Overnight: Cartagena Meal Plan: None
DAY 2 Explore Cartagena on your own
You have the day to carry on exploring Cartagena on your own. You can wander around the cobble streets in the historic city, visit some colonial churches or go to Getsemani to see its colourful graffiti’s.
Overnight: Cartagena Meal Plan: Breakfast
DAY 3 Transfer to Santa Marta and City Tour
In the morning, we will pick you up at your hotel to start our trip towards Santa Marta. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscape of the Caribbean region. The total journey will take around 4 hours.
In the afternoon, we will pick you up from your hotel to start our tour in Santa Marta, the oldest colonial city in South America. We will visit the historic centre and the Quinta the San Pedro Alejandrino, the house where Simon Bolivar died in December, 1830. Bolivar was the commander-in-chief of the patriot army that liberated what today are the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama from Spanish rule. At the end of the tour, we will go to the hotel.
Overnight: Santa Marta Meal Plan: Breakfast
DAY 4 The Lost City Trek (Day 1)
Today we will start the trip towards the Lost City, called the Ciudad Perdida in Spanish. The Lost City is one of the most important archaeological sites in Colombia and South America. It is located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and consists of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a net of tiled roads and several small circular plazas. It is believed to have been founded about 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu in Peru.
The adventure to The Lost City will start at 8 am. We will travel by car to the Mamey region. From there, we will start the journey up to the Lost City. We will walk up to our first stop where you will spend the night. You can swim and refresh yourself in the natural pools in the area.
Note: Please be aware the way up to The Lost City is usually closed in October. This is to allow the natural ecosystems to rest and replenish and also to allow the indigenous groups - who have always called the park and the wider Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta home - to perform traditional cleaning rituals and ceremonies.
Overnight: Camp 1 Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 5 The Lost City Trek (Day 2)
After breakfast, you will start your journey to Buritaca River where you will see a small indigenous village called Mutansh. You will spend the night at the Camp 3.
Overnight: Camp 3 Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 6 Arrive to the Lost City (Day 3)
Today, we will finally arrive to the Lost City, you will stay there for about 3 hours before starting the journey back to the Cabin No. 2 where we will spend the night.
Overnight: Camp 2 Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 Journey back to Santa Marta (Day 4)
Today is the last day of this adventure. Early in the morning, we will start the journey back the Mamey Region, have lunch there and then go back to Santa Marta.
Overnight: Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 8 Explore Santa Marta on your own
You will have the day at leisure to relax and recover from spending 4 unforgettable days trekking towards the lost city. You can spend some time by the beach of walking around the all city.
Overnight: Santa Marta Meal Plan: Breakfast
DAY 9 Day trip to Tayrona National Park
Today, we will spend the day at Tayrona National Natural Park, where we will see some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. We will be hiking across the forest to visit various beaches in the park where you can swim or just relax by the beach. There are a number of restaurants and bars in the park where you can stop for lunch in the shade, relax and admire the spectacular surroundings.
Note: Please be aware that the park is usually closed from the 1st to the 15th of February, from the 1st to the 15th of June, and from the 19th of October to the 2nd of November. The first reason is to allow the natural ecosystems to rest and replenish, particularly after the high holiday season. The second reason is to allow the four indigenous groups - who have always called the park and the wider Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta home - to perform traditional cleaning rituals and ceremonies.
Overnight: Santa Marta Meal Plan: Breakfast
DAY 10 Transfer to Riohacha
In the morning, we will transfer you to Riohacha, the capital city of La Guajira department. La Guajira is one of the most remarkable regions of Colombia. It is a huge coastal desert covered in giant sand dunes, salt flats, and stunning beaches, and home to Colombia’s largest Indigenous population.
Upon arrival in Riohacha, we will go to the hotel. You will have the afternoon free to explore the city own your own.
Overnight: Riohacha Meal Plan: Breakfast
DAY 11 Cabo de la Vela
Today we will go to Cabo de la Vela where you will spend the night in one of the Rancherias managed by the local community. On our way to Cabo de la Vela, we will visit Manaure, famous for its salt flats and salt production. Here, you can see a salt production plant as well as see the salt drying out in the salt flats. The water here is almost white due to the high salt concentration. We will also visit the beautiful beaches called Ojo de Agua (Water Eye) and Pilon de Azucar.
Overnight: Cabo de la Vela Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 12 Punta Gallinas
Today we will go to Punta Gallinas, the most northern point in Colombia. You will spend the night there.
During our way to Punta Gallinas, we will visit various places where you will be able to enjoy the spectacular landscape of this region of Colombia. Some of these places are:
- Jepírachi Wind Farm: Jepírachi in Wayuu Language means winds from the northeast. The wind farm is the first of its kind in Colombia. It has 15 wind turbines each with 1.3 MW, generating 19.5 MW of installed rated power capacity. The park went into operation on April 19, 2004.
- Puerto Bolivar: This is the largest port in Colombia located 75km north of Uribia and 166km of Riohacha in an area of low rainfall and permanent winds. Coal mines Cerrejon, 150km south, is the main product exported through this port. The port receives ships of up to 175,000 deadweight tons, 300 meters long and 45 meters wide.
- Bahia Honda (Honda Bay): We will have a short trip in a boat around this bay and we will visit Punta Soldado and Punta Aguja. You will have the opportunity to swim and relax at this place.
- Dunas de Taroa: Some of the most spectacular beaches in the area.
Overnight: Punta Gallinas Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 13 Return to Riohacha
Today, we will start our journey back to Riohacha. We will arrive in Riohacha around 6pm.
Overnight: Riohacha Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 14 End of the tour in Riohacha
The tour ends today. At the time required, we will transfer you to the airport.
Overnight: Meal Plan: Breakfast
- 13 nights' accommodation (hotels in Cartagena, Santa Marta and Riohacha, Camp sites – hammocks in the Lost City and La Guajira)
- Private ground transportation
- Meals as defined in the itinerary
- Local English-speaking tour guide
- Activities mentioned in the itinerary
What’s not included
- International / Domestic flights (*)
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Tips and other discretionary expense
Note (*): If you want to include the domestic flight, please contact us
Flexible Booking Terms
With the current situation around the world changing at an unprecedented pace, we understand that you may feel very anxious and hesitant about your future travel plans. Therefore, we have modified our booking conditions to give you more flexible options. You can now book your next holiday to Colombia, having the tranquillity of changing your dates without any extra cost, and even book a long trip with a small deposit.
We hope these flexible booking conditions give you the option to plan and dream about your next holiday.
You can book this Colombia trip with only 50 GBP / 60 EUR / 65 USD per person. This deposit is not refundable.
Change departure dates:
Our flexible booking conditions will allow you to change the departure date without any additional fee. You can move the departure date to any time before the end of 2022.
If your initial departure date was to happen during a low holiday season and you wish to move it to departure during a high holiday season, please consider that the price of the tour could be higher due to higher tariffs from hotels and airlines. We will confirm and agree with the change in the price.
Note: High holiday seasons in Colombia are during Easter and from December 15th to January 19th.
We will require a full payment minimum 20 days before the departure date of the tour.
If you definitely need to cancel the tour after sending us the full payment (20 days before the departure date), we will refund 80% of the tour's cost.
These terms apply to bookings made from now on until further notice.
Please check the complete description of our terms and conditions.