This is a classic Travel Nation combination – two fascinating countries that can be paired with each other more easily than you might imagine.
Combine North and South America on this brilliant holiday to Canada and Colombia. Start in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto before heading down to Niagara Falls to experience the raw power of this beautiful waterfall. Enjoy the gothic architecture of Ottawa and ride the rails business class before flying south to Colombia.
Landing in the tropical heat of Bogota you’ll spend a couple of days learning about the historical centre before heading into the hills, where towering wax palms sway in the breeze. After a few cups of delicious local coffee, you’ll head north to Cartagena, where the cobbled streets are packed with colour and life. It's the perfect place to finish your foray into the Caribbean. They might seem like an unlikely pairing but Canada and Colombia will show you some of the highlights of the Americas in two weeks.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport. Upon arrival in Toronto, make your way to your hotel where you will check in for your 3-night stay. You have some time to begin exploring the city or just relaxing at your hotel.
Today we’ve added a city tour, so you’ll visit the top of the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium and the exciting waterfront, all in one morning. The afternoon is yours to explore yourself. Toronto is famous for its museums and galleries, so why not head to the Art Gallery of Ontario? Full of Canadian, American and European art, it's a highlight of any trip to Toronto. We’ve included the admission fee so that you can explore the gallery at your leisure.
Before you leave, be sure you try a bowl of ‘poutine’, a combination of chips, gravy and cheese curds. It's the ultimate Canadian comfort food.
Today you’ll head to Niagara Falls for a full-day tour. From Toronto, you'll travel through the orchard laden Niagara Peninsula to Niagara Falls, one of the great wonders of the world. Your trip includes a Hornblower cruise or a ‘Journey behind the Falls’ tour, and you'll also have plenty of time to take in Niagara-on-the-lake at your own pace. One highlight of the tour is a fantastic meal overlooking the falls, but it doesn’t stop there! You’ll also visit a local winery for a spot of wine tasting, before heading back to Toronto.
This morning, you’ll leave Toronto and make your way to Ottawa by rail. You’ll cross Ontario and enjoy a tasty lunch on the train. The rest of your day is free for you to explore Ottawa, the capital of Canada. We recommend heading for Parliament Hill (home of the Canadian parliament) to take in some exquisite Gothic-revival architecture.
This morning we’ve included an Ottawa River Cruise which will tell you more about how the city was first conceived, with the river as its main highway and resource. You’ll get to experience the natural beauty of Ottawa that inspired the first European explorer, Samuel de Chaplain. You'll glide past the gothic Parliament Buildings, the glass National Art Gallery and the fortress-like Supreme Court, learning about each landmark on the way. It's a great way to get a real feel for the architecture of the city.
The afternoon is free for you to wander the streets of Ottawa. If you’re visiting during the summer, be sure to return to the Parliament after dark because a sound and light show takes place here every night.
It’s time to return to Toronto, again by train, with your lunch on-board included. Upon arrival in Toronto, you'll check in for a one-night stay. The remainder of your day is free to catch anything you missed the first time around. Why not spend the afternoon wandering through Chinatown and Kensington Market? These colourful neighbourhoods reveal Toronto’s multicultural heritage and independent roots – you won’t find any Starbucks or McDonald’s here.
Your time in Canada has come to an end, and you’ll make your own way to the airport for your flight to Bogota. On arrival in Colombia, you'll be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast, you'll be picked up from your hotel for a private tour of Colombia's capital city. You'll visit the main sights in the historic centre' known as La Candelaria, as well as the fascinating Botero and Gold museums. The afternoon will be free to spend at your own leisure.
This morning, you'll be driven to the airport for your flight to Pereira, in the heart of the coffee hills. On arrival, you'll be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. You’ll spend the afternoon visiting the coffee plantations nestled between the rolling hills that define this area. You’ll visit Hacienda San Alberto, a traditional coffee estate in the region, where you’ll learn about the production of coffee.
In the morning, you'll head for the breath-taking Valle de Cocora, located in the mountainous Parque Nacional de Los Nevados. From here, you'll hike or ride on horseback (price not included) into the cloud forest to enjoy the incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna. When you arrive in the valley itself, you’ll see hundreds of gigantic palm trees dotted across the hills. It’s a surreal and beautiful place.
In the afternoon, you will continue by car to the traditional town of Salento, packed with character and charm. Finally, you’ll stop in Filandia to enjoy a city tour and soak up the lively local atmosphere. Why not try some local spirits before returning to the hotel?
Today, you'll be transferred to Pereira airport for your flight to Cartagena. On arrival, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore this beautiful city.
You’ll begin the day with a scenic tour, starting with the Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa, from where you'll have beautiful views of the whole city. Next, you'll continue to the San Felipe Fortress and explore the Old City. You’ll finish up in the handicrafts zone of the Bovedas, a collection of archways built into the city wall of Cartagena. Once a prison, it’s now an artisan centre crammed with local art and handicrafts, giving you the chance to pick up some Colombian souvenirs!
Today is free for you to enjoy Cartagena at your own pace. Why not take a boat trip out to the tropical Rosario Islands or head for the beach at nearby Playa Blanca?
Spend the day at leisure in Cartagena – we’ve included late checkout as you won’t be flying back to Bogota until later. In the early evening, you’ll be picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport for your flight back to Bogota. Tonight, you’ll stay near the airport, ready for your flight home tomorrow.
Today you’ll be driven to the airport in time for your flight home.
Weather can be variable at all times of the year in Southern and Eastern Canada. The South (including Toronto & Ottawa) is the most densely populated part of the country and this combined with its southerly latitude makes for the warmest part of the country. The Great Lakes tend not to freeze over until mid-December. Winter brings snow and the weather can be pretty severe. Summers are quite warm with considerable amounts of sunshine.
High season falls in the summer months here, with lots of tourists visiting and room rates at a premium. Crowds drop and temperatures are cooler during May, September and October which can make for a pleasant time to visit, although be aware some activity opening hours may be restricted. Ski resorts peak again during the winter months.
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' written by one of our consultants who has been there.