Wander with us for 9 days on a Colombia Adventure with an American guide who has been there 70+ times! This trip is not for the light-hearted as we are planning several adrenaline packed days of mountain hikes, waterfall rappelling, paragliding and white water rafting. We start this adventure in the uber hip & emerging food city of Bogotá followed by a mountain drive to the colonial gem of Villa de Leyva. While here, we will spend a day in nearby Iguaque National Park taking in its unique scenery (páramo ecosystems are only found in five countries!) and penchant for oxygen-sucking adventure. Another day here is spent canyoneering down a secluded small river with a big waterfall to rappel down! Then it’s onward to Colombia’s ‘prettiest town’, Barichara for a couple days of more adventure including white water rafting the Chichamocha canyon followed by paragliding over it the next day. We wrap up the trip back in Bogotá for a final night of food and dancing.
Bogotá is Colombia’s beating heart, an engaging and vibrant capital cradled by chilly Andean peaks and dripping in cosmopolitan cool. This city is emerging as a foodie paradise; if you arrive early enough on day one you can enjoy up and coming restaurants as well as explore its famous landmarks, like Plaza Bolívar. We are staying in one of Bogotá’s prime commercial and residential neighborhoods, Rosales, within steps to many restaurants, bars, and shopping. Bogotá is Colombia’s beating heart, an engaging and vibrant capital cradled by chilly Andean peaks and dripping in cosmopolitan cool. This city is emerging as a foodie paradise and depending on your arrival into Colombia you can seek out up and coming restaurants as well as explore its famous landmark like Plaza Bolívar. We are staying in one of Bogotá’s prime commercial and residential neighborhoods, Rosales.
A picturesque historical town set high in the Andes, Villa de Leyva has maintained much of it’s original colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and friendly welcome for outsiders. Nested in the mountains, it is a great weekend get-away destination for residents of the capital, which is only 3 hours away. The city also boasts the largest main square, plaza mayor, in Colombia and perhaps South America.
One the road to Villa de Leyva, we also incorporate a trip to the Salt Cathedral. The Salt Cathedral is a stunning church unlike you’ve ever seen before. Miners designated a room to offer up prayers for safety as they descended into the mines to extract the valuable salt. This humble room was upgraded in 1950 to include three naves as well as the large cross in the main sanctuary. This amazing site received it’s last upgrade in the early 1990’s which included artistic representations of the 14 stations of the cross, beautifully blending the natural rock and the sacred story of faith.
Our time in this charming community also includes sampling its wine, with happy hour at the Marques de Villa de Leyva vineyard just outside of town. You will be surprised by this hidden gem that has won several international awards.
Only 8 miles from Villa de Leyva is Iguaque National Park. Iguaque was known as the “cradle of gods”. Today, many believe that going to the lake of Iguaque cleanses the soul and purifies the spirit. The site is a magical place that invites you to reflect about yourself while in deep contact with nature, clean your spirit and come down from the mountain feeling renovated and full of energy.
The park is home to many unique and endangered flora & fauna, while the mountains offer opportunities for hiking & canyoneering.
Our itinerary includes a taste of both. Day one will include a 4-5 hour hike (up & down) through the páramo, or alpine tundra. This is a unique ecosystem that is only found in 5 countries and exists around 12,400 ft. The high altitude of this hike will give you a great challenge as well as stunning views of the Andes from above.
Day two features some light canyoneering as you ‘hike’ down the river, jumping rock to rock, and maybe swim through its deeper parts until you reach a 30m waterfall, which you will rappel down, battling the slippery rock, cascading water, and empty space underneath your feet.
Colombia is no stranger to picturesque towns and Barichara doesn’t fail to impress. It has a similar feel to Villa de Leyva, with its cobblestone streets and beautiful Spanish architecture, but smaller and quainter with very few vehicles. And its location is privileged for those seeking outdoor action and excitement, with the Chicamocha Canyon nearby.
After paragliding, we’ll take to the ground and hike the “Royal Road” (Camino Real) to Guane. This old footpath from Barichara to the equally charming village of Guane passes through some of the region’s most beautiful scenery, and is generally downhill and easy on the lungs!
Jeff has been to Colombia 70+ times since 2004, Peru 30 times, and has lived in Colombia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. He has logged over 2.5 million American Airlines miles in the region and has personally led many groups in 8 countries over the last 20 years.
In addition to Jeff, there will be local guides along the way like experts in canyoneering and rafting.
Price of this trip is $2895 for each wanderer sharing a room. There is no single occupancy for this trip.
This small group trip to Colombia is designed for active wanderers. This trip includes strenuous hiking, white water rafting, paragliding and canyoneering. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact me. Tour prices are based on accommodation (3-4 star hotels), a personal American tour guide for duration of the trip.
Please see additional travel FAQs.
Deposit Requirement: 10% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Venmo or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe. There is 1.5% discount for payments made by Venmo or check. Please contact me directly if you prefer to pay this way.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 4 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time frame, trip deposits will be forfeited.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made prior to 4 months. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
We are staying in very nice 3 & 4 star hotels for the duration of this trip. For a complete list of the hotels, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are welcome to change any of the planned activities for this trip. Please let us know in writing a month in advance that you wish to cancel or replace an activity with something else. We are happy to assist you in recommendations of alternatives.
We recommend getting local currency (3000 Colombian pesos per 1 USD) at an ATM in the airport upon arrival. Dinners are not included on this trip and some cash will be needed. A typical lunch can run you $4-5, slightly more at dinner.
For ladies, most clothing will be acceptable but planning on dry wicking fabrics is recommended. In Latin American cities, shorts are typically not worn. In the countryside, they are ok. Pack a hat for the sun.
Pack hiking boots and a waterproof shoe for the hiking, canyoneering and white water rafting excursions.
Yes, it is perfectly safe to drink water from the tap in big cities such as Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali or Medellín. When outside of the big cities in Colombia, check to see what the locals do and ask our local guides, in some places you need to drink bottled water.
Tips for drivers and lodge staff have already been included in the trip price. Recommended tips for guides are $5-10 per person per day. Otherwise, don’t feel obligated to tip unless you receive extraordinary service.
Colombia is a safe country to travel so long visitors stay on a tourists trail and stick to certain unwritten rules such as not flashing valuables or not wondering streets in big cities late at night. Plus you will have local and American guides who will be looking out for you.
Wander with us on a 9 day trek to the Everest base camp. This unique trip offers 2 world-class guides fluent in both English and Nepali and the chance to hike with a with a Nepali teenager.
5% of trip proceeds go to support TheNepalProject.org a charity devoted to improving the education of Western Nepal children. Total trip is 12 days long.
This trip is October 10, 2019 – October 21, 2019.
Wander with us for 9 days investigating all the beauty of magical Iceland. April is a perfect time to go to Iceland. Life is quieter, days are longer and the weather is not half bad. This trip is very unique as we will pit North Iceland’s epic beauty against South Iceland’s ubiquitous sites. The trip features miles of hiking trails, lakes, hot rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes and secrets spots along the way.
Big Fat World Tours is donating 5% of the trip proceeds to Girls on the Run.
This trip is April 20-28, 2019.
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