Immerse yourself in Caribbean culture on this holiday to Miami & Colombia. Starting in glorious Miami Beach, you’ll experience the best of the city – Cuban food, art deco architecture and white sand beaches are just the beginning!
Next, you'll head to Colombia, where you'll spend 10 days discovering the highlights of this exciting country. Along the way, you'll see towering wax palms over lush valleys, wander through the colonial-style streets of Cartagena and sips fresh cups of coffee amongst the mountainous plantations. This Colombia highlights holiday is an excellent combination of cultural city living and the relaxed Colombian countryside.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport. Upon your arrival in Miami, head to your hotel to check-in for your 3-night stay. Miami is hot, loud and passionate! It’s a Latin city that’s for sure; a melting pot of nationalities, with strong Cuban and Caribbean influences. Enjoy some delicious food at an open-fronted restaurant where you can watch a beautiful sunset over iconic South Beach.
After a lie in this morning, you'll take a guided tour to explore the heart of Miami’s Cuban community. You'll check out some historic architectural beauties, as well as a few unique art collections along the way. Of course, you can’t visit Little Havana without a taste of true Cuban coffee, so get ready for the most delicious dose of caffeine this side of the Florida Straits. Cortadito is a Cuban espresso and paired with a typical Cuban pastry, giving you the energy boost you need to keep moving on your Miami tour!
Next up, another Cuban culture classic: a visit to a classic cigar factory. Witness the art of cigar-rolling from the experts and take in the one-of-a-kind aroma of the shop. From here, you'll visit one of the many locally-owned art galleries in the neighbourhood to hear stories from first-generation immigrants from Cuba and learn about the influence of Cuban art in Miami. You'll see the famous Bay of Pigs monument on route to a favourite local juice bar which serves up sugarcane and mango juice. You'll then continue down SW 8th Street, soaking up the Caribbean atmosphere as you pass through Domino Park, where locals play dominoes from dusk till dawn. As you explore, you can listen to the conga music of the street performers and feel the lively Latin vibe.
Your Little Havana Adventure will end at one of the neighbourhood’s favourite watering holes for a classic mojito. Bliss.
Today you are free to enjoy yourself in Miami. Make a visit to Lincoln Road Mall (known locally as just ‘The Road’), which is lined with sidewalk cafés, or sun yourself on South Beach and watch the rollerbladers glide down Ocean Drive. For a bit of culture, explore the art deco buildings from the golden era of architecture. After the sun goes down, grab a cocktail and treat yourself to dinner at one of the many unique restaurants in the South Beach area. Miami is all about glamour, indulgence, and having a great time.
Today you’ll make your own way to the airport for your flight to Colombia. On arrival in Bogota, you will be transferred to your hotel for your first night in Colombia.
After breakfast, you'll set off on a half-day city tour of Bogota, visiting the main square (Plaza de Bolivar) and cathedral. Next, you'll visit the Botero Museum before exploring the gemstones and precious metals of the Gold Museum. You'll finish the tour by taking the cable car up to Santuario de Monserrate, 500 metres above the city with breath-taking views over Bogota.
This morning you'll leave Bogota and head north towards Zipaquira. The winding road will take you past huge greenhouses built to protect the flower growing industry that flourishes in this area.
After a 1.5 hour drive, you'll reach the Salt Cathedral, impressively built entirely into the salt mines. The three naves of the cathedral represent the birth, life and death of Christ and a spectacular sixteen-metre salt cross adorns the central area. After enjoying the general majesty of the salt caves, you'll continue to the beautiful town of Villa de Leyva, a maze of cobbled alleyways and colonial architecture.
Today you'll return to Bogota, breaking up the journey with a trip to the beautiful monastery of Convento del Santa Ecce Homo. On arrival at Bogota Airport, you'll take a short flight to Pereira and transfer to your hotel in the city.
After breakfast, you'll explore the Valle de Cocora, deep in the central mountains of Colombia. Part of the Parque Nacional de Los Nevados, this area is full of giant wax palms - the national tree of Colombia. Spot hummingbirds and palm parrots flitting through the air as you head into the cloud forest (either hiking or on horseback). You'll also stop for lunch at a smoked trout farm before exploring the traditional towns of Salento and Filandia, with cobbled roads, quaint coffee shops and colourful flower balconies.
Today you'll spend the morning exploring the coffee plantations that cling to the steep hills of Chinchina. Now declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, lush green coffee plants carpet the rolling hills, interrupted only by fincas (farms) and heliconia flowers. You'll tour the plantations and learn about the coffee-making process, from harvesting to drying and roasting. Afterwards, you'll taste a few cups of the famous coffee that is characteristic to Colombia. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
An early morning transfer will take you to Pereira Airport to fly to Cartagena, via Bogota. On arrival, you'll check in to your hotel for three nights.
Today, you'll set off on a half-day tour of Cartagena, starting with the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa, with 360-degree views over the rooftops and the blue ocean beyond the seawall. You'll wander through the Old Town, visit the San Felipe Fortress and explore the Church of San Pedro Claver. At the end of the tour, you can wander among the iconic collection of archways called the 'Bovedas' that house artisan shops and stalls. The rest of the day is yours to explore.
After breakfast, you'll be taken to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Day 14: Arrive UK
The high season of December to February is ideal for sunny skies across Colombia. May to October brings the most rain, but there are plenty of bright intervals between showers.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post 'Visit Colombia - it’s safe, it’s beautiful and here are my 6 top spots' - written by one of our consultants who has been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.