THE HEART OF COLOMBIA
July 13-21, 2019
Enjoy the "City of Eternal Spring" - Medellín -
along with the natural wonders of the Coffee Country and the Cocora Valley
along with the natural wonders of the Coffee Country and the Cocora Valley
$2495 per person
8 nights’ accommodations in boutique, centrally located hotels and farmhouse stays
Transfers to/from Medellín airport
All ground transportation between Medellín and Guatapé, the coffee region and Salamina
Medellín walking tour to learn about the history of social activism and revitalization in the city
Entry and hike to El Peñol monolith in Guatapé
Sustainable, rainforest-certified coffee farm visit with activities, tastings and an overnight farmhouse stay
Salamina day hike through forest with a local guide
Learn about Colombia’s unique Wax Palm and its importance in the ecosystem
Daily breakfast at our accommodations
Multiple dinners and lunches using traditional ingredients and local sourcing
Visit to our local community partner to learn about social justice in Colombia + donation to their organization
Traverse host 24/7 + local guides
Small group experience, max 12 people
Day 1: saturday - arrival
Arrive in Medellín by 3 p.m. and be transferred to your boutique hotel. Settle in, meet your roommate, and enjoy the evening breeze in this dynamic city. We’ll have dinner at a spectacular Colombian restaurant that sources locally and presents traditional dishes with a modern twist, employing former rebel fighters and demobilized soldiers as staff and using the motto “Cooking for Peace.” Try traditional fare like bandeja paisa, tamales Antioqueños cooked inside a square-shaped wrapping made of bijao leaves, sancocho stew, or - if you’re daring - mondongo (pork, tripe and chorizo soup).
Day 2: sunday - MEDELLIN – Explorations & Community Partner
Sundays in Colombia are special, family-centered affairs. Those from Medellín, known as paisas, are hard working and entrepreneurial and today is a day of rest. After breakfast we’ll head to the outdoor art exhibits and markets, perhaps witnessing a flash-mob Zumba session along the ciclovía where Sunday streets are closed to automobile traffic. We’ll meet with our community partner and explore several innovative neighborhood development projects in the neighborhood of Comuna 13, which has become a symbol of Medellin’s rebirth. We’ll learn about the significance of street art and have a chance to meet local artists. Many have identified the essential ingredients to Comuna 13’s transformation as accessibility, creativity, and community. The afternoon & evening are yours to roam, shop, relax explore art museums such as the work of Fernando Botero, with his uniquely proportioned sculptures and painting subjects, and Medellín’s famed Botanical Garden.
Day 3: monday - GUATAPÉ & EL PEÑOL MONOLITH
After a delicious paisa breakfast at our hotel, we’ll head out to El Peñon de Guatape, a ten-ton monolith - one of the largest monoliths in the world, a gigantic rock that rises 650 feet above the flat ground and lakes below and was once worshipped by the area’s Tahami Indigenous tribe. We’ll climb it the only way possible, one step at a time up its 700 steps to the top with a much-rewarded view from the top! Once back down on tierra firma, you’ll have the afternoon to stroll, shop, or photograph the famously colorful town of Guatapé. We’ll return to Medellín in the evening for dinner on your own at one of the city’s many fabulous restaurants.
Day 4: Tuesday - Eje cafetero
Today, we’ll head out early to take private transport right in the heart of Colombia’s Eje Cafetero, or Coffee Triangle. We’ll arrive at our coffee finca in the afternoon for an incredibly immersive experience. You’ll learn about the effort it takes to meet rigorous sustainability and certification requirements and taste coffee to your heart’s content. You’ll have time in the afternoon to explore the beautiful, rustic farmhouse and surrounding property before dinner together and our overnight stay.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: wednesday - coffee immersion
Rise and shine to a steaming cup of coffee right from the source! We’ll receive a guided tour to the coffee farm together, walking along a beautiful bamboo-lined path. You’ll learn about the coffee growing process as well as what it takes to obtain their many certifications, including Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance Certified. You’ll have free time to visit their on-sit Coffee Museum, butterfly garden, or chat to your heart’s content about the coffee making process. Take time to relax at the pool or enjoy one of the many trails in the surrounding area. We’ll enjoy a home-cooked dinner together in the evening.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: thursday - Salamina Village
We’ll wake up early again to head to the beautiful village of Salamina, a lovely little Colombian Heritage Town and get a real sense of the region’s architectural and cultural beauty. Here you are able to discover the town’s delightful old houses, famous carved wooden windows and doors, and visit architectural highlights like the church and cemetery. After we check in to the boutique hotel, you’ll have the afternoon and dinner at your leisure. We recommned the plato montañero, a hearty dish of locally farmed trout and flattened plantains served with pinto beans.
Day 7: friday - Hike in the samaria valley
The Cocora Valley might be famous for its giant Wax Palms - Colombia’s national tree - but Samaria is home to three-times as many of these nearly 200-feet tall trees and sees a fraction of the tourists. You will enjoy a guided hike through the woods of the valley, seeing the hundreds of Wax Palms in their natural, forest habitat and even getting to see seedlings. It’s remarkable to see how something so tiny can grow into such a mighty tree. We’ll learn all about the trees from our local guide, who runs a conservation project aimed at protecting and saving this endangered species. We’ll return to town mid-afternoon with free time and a menu of options and local activities that you can enjoy.
Meals: B, L
Day 8: saturday - MEDELLIN & Farewell Dinner
After an early breakfast we’ll head back by van to Medellín. The afternoon is yours for R&R, shopping, and exploring this amazing city one last time. We’ll reconvene for our final group dinner and farewell at a spectacular restaurant with contemporary cuisine based on local ingredients and flavors with creative, modern dishes.
Meals: B, D
Day 9: sunday - departure
Plan your airport departure for the morning or mid-day. The airport is a 1-hr to 1.5-hr drive from Medellin (located in Rio Negro, east of Medellin). You’ll receive a transfer to the airport according to your flight time.
$2495 per person, double occupancy (with a quad room for one night during our farmhouse stay)
Grouped by same gender unless requested otherwise.
+$495 “my own room” option
Trip Does Not Include:
Additional excursions and activities
Additional meals not specified
Required travel insurance
ABout Your Host:
Your Traverse Host
Ashley Blake is an avid traveler, cultural consultant and outdoor enthusiast with a background in tourism, entrepreneurship and project management. She is a fluent Spanish speaker and has worked and traveled in 40+ countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa including tours she has led in Morocco, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Spain, Germany, China and Canada.
Ashley is passionate about connection, communication and coordination in order to link others with the opportunities and experiences that promote self-growth and community engagement.
Ashley founded Traverse Journeys in 2017 with then intention of contributing to sustainable development through tourism. Ashley is particularly excited about the nature and culture-based activities and community partnerships planted with this itinerary in Colombia.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to registration for complete terms.
A $250 non-refundable deposit is required for each traveler to secure the booking.
Payments can be made either by 1) full payment on booking 2) $250 deposit on booking + payment schedule per registration. Payments will be invoiced via e-mail for credit card or Paypal payment online. To pay by check, please indicate on registration and make check payable to Traverse Journeys and send to PO Box 40516, Austin, TX 78704.
$250 deposit due on booking. 50% remainder due 30 days from initial invoice. Balance due 30 days prior to trip start.
Cancellations, less the trip deposit ($250), are refundable up to 90 days before trip start date. Please refer to the full Payment Plan for details.
Travel insurance is required for all trips with Traverse, and must cover injury, medical, evacuation, and repatriation as well as trip cancellation and trip interruption. Most insurance companies require purchase to be made within 2-3 weeks of booking for full benefits (in particular, trip cancellation). Once insurance is obtained, a copy must be sent to Traverse. Failure to provide proof of insurance within 30 days of booking will result in trip booking suspension until proof of insurance has been provided. We suggest using Wanderwell, a B-Corp Certified provider, or you can choose from any carrier that meets our requirements.
Documents, Personal Identification, Vaccinations
Traveler is responsible for all required travel documents including passport, visas, entry or exit fees, and vaccinations. Traverse does not cover the cost or assist in obtaining any of the above, and reserves the right to collect information on all.