Colombia Tours

Why visit? Often associated with Caribbean resorts and coffee making but usually overlooked for its rich history, colonial architecture and mind blowing nature, Colombia can introduce you to one of South America’s roads less travelled. 
 
Generally, Australians start their Colombia tour in Bogotá, the country’s capital. Blessed with one of the most gorgeous settings any city can have, being surrounded by the Andean mountains, Bogotá draws visitors with its cultural vibrancy. Apart from boasting some of the country’s most important historic landmarks such as the Salt Cathedral and Villa de Leyva, the city impresses with its impressive street art and a thriving food and bar scene.
 
Up in the north of the country, Cartagena is a charming seaside city on the Caribbean coast, known for its picturesque ‘old town’ where you can find some of Colombia’s finest examples of historic architecture whilst also being home to stunning resorts along the Caribbean coastline.
 
A bit further up the Caribbean coast, Tayrona National Park ticks all the boxes for the adventurous explorer with its narrow forest trails leading travellers along seemingly untouched nature, palm-shaded coves, coastal lagoons, rainforest and rich biodiversity.
 
For an insight into archaeology, head to San Augustin and Popayan in the south of Colombia where you can explore ancient sites and enjoy the views of charming historic small towns. 
 
How to get there? Being in the north west of South America, it is almost as easy to get to Colombia from Los Angeles as it is from Santiago, Chile. Which route you take is probably more likely to be determined by what you’d like to do en route - Patagonia or Peru, go via Santiago, Mexico or the US, go via LA. QANTAS actually offer a split fare into or out of LA, returning via Santiago – for those who want to do a loop.
 
More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Colombia and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.
 
Still wondering? Contact us: You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you.
 
#Livefortoday and book your Colombia tour with us today. Chimu Adventures is Australia’s leading Latin America and Polar specialist and can put together an itinerary to suit you.
 
Read Reviews (Avg 4.1 ★)
 
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This 20 day tour highlights Colombia's culture, history & scenery - see bustling cities, traditional towns, majestic mountains & Caribbean beaches.

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A fantastic taster of Colombia's colonial and historic city of Cartagena de Indias, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

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Articles On Colombia

Best Things To Do in South and Central America – SEPTEMBER Guide

Posted on Wed, 15 Aug 2018

As the northern summer winds down to once again a steady trickle, Latin America continues to WOW its visitors with a kaleidoscope of wonderful sights. High tourist season may well be over by September but the continent is still as resplendent as ever, if not more so. Return savvy visitors rate this as the best travel month of the year, …

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Can Australians Get Married in South America?

Posted on Tue, 14 Aug 2018

Fancy a totally epic destination wedding in South America? Read on to find out the legalities involved with kicking off your married life in the most exhilarating continent of all Given the sheer number of idyllic and utterly unique locations in South America, it’s not surprising to learn that the continent is swiftly becoming one of the most coveted picks …

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The Secret Ingredient for extraordinary Outdoor Adventures? Just add Chile!

Posted on Wed, 25 Jul 2018

Exploding into the scene like few destinations have ever done, Chile is the bees’ knees in adventure travel circles. If you’re craving a sensationally delicious experience and simply love stretching your legs whilst soaking up a visual feast of spectacular landscapes, topped with a delectable pinch of magnificent wildlife, then Chile may just be that secret ingredient you’ve been missing. …

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Best Things To Do in South and Central America – AUGUST Guide

Posted on Sun, 15 Jul 2018

August marks the height of the northern hemisphere summer season, attracting more visitors to Latin America than at any other time of year. As this coincides with the dry season in the Andes Mountains, it turns the best highlights of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile into absolute hives of tourist activity. Yes, the crowds in big-name attractions here are huge …

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The Arctic Travel Guide – PLANNING ADVICE

Posted on Mon, 09 Jul 2018

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Best Latin American Food Bloggers to Follow Right NOW 

Posted on Wed, 04 Jul 2018

In our recent Best Foodie Tours in South America guide, we mentioned that we’ve noticed a marked increase in guests’ awareness of the exceptional culinary experiences awaiting them on their travels. Surprises and new discoveries notwithstanding (a daily occurrence, let us tell you) many first-time visitors are totally on the ball when it comes to South American cuisine. Varied, exciting, …

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5 Awesome Reasons to Cruise to Antarctica in November

Posted on Fri, 29 Jun 2018

When you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, nine times out of ten it’s ‘how much will this trip cost?’ be the first question that will come to mind. Yet the time of year you visit can also change when you decide to go.  The Antarctic season runs from the end of October to the beginning of March, with each month …

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Top 5 – Most Common Environmental Changes People Adopt After Visiting Antarctica

Posted on Thu, 28 Jun 2018

Expedition cruises to Antarctica are very dedicated and distinct trips, with every tour including lectures and presentations aimed at educating guests on all the environmental issues the continent – and in turn our whole planet – is currently facing. Guests learn the importance of protecting fragile wilderness (by sterilising their shoes after each on-shore excursion and vacuuming their clothes, for …

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Press release: Chimu reveals its favourite restaurants in Latin America

Posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018

Sydney, Wednesday 27th June 2018 Latin America again proved its culinary prowess in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year. Last week, the 2018 winners were unveiled in Bilbao, Spain, and highlighted seven Latin American restaurants in the top 50. Lima, Peru, remains the indisputable gastronomy capital of Latin America with Central and Maido sitting comfortably within the top 10, …

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Best Things To Do in South and Central America – JULY Guide

Posted on Fri, 15 Jun 2018

As peak tourist season reaches an all-time high in South America, the best-known and most visited sites are inundated with waves of excited visitors. And why not? July, in reality, is a glorious month to travel extensively through most of the continent, with the dry climate facilitating hiking, extensive sightseeing and, of course, flight and road transfers in between fabulous …

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Colombia Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cartagena, Bogota, Villa de Leyva My husband and I loved the towns we visited in Colombia. Everything ran smoothly, all the transfers and tours. Cartegena was super lively and interesting, we could walk everywhere in the old town and felt safe. Would recommend asking for a quiet room in the back of your hotel as Cartegena parties late. Our guide, George, who collected us from the airport and then was our tour guide for Bogota and Villa de Leyva and everywhere inbetween was fantastic, very knowledgeable and just really easy to get along with. Villa de Leyva was beautiful. The salt Cathedral was just amazing, so much more than what we were expecting.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cool Colombia We found the Colombians to be very hospitable hosts and the standard of accommodation and guides was also very good. We didn't get to explore as much as we would have liked due to timing, but we really impressed with Cartagena. A wonderful city, teeming with history! Food was very good and guides excellent. We also enjoyed the hotels we stayed at in Bogota and Cartagena. Luis was a good guide also in Cartagena. Would recommend.
Date published: 2017-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Colombia is more than we expected. Chimu offered an incredible journey through the country and we were simply wowed at every turn. Big thanks to Clare in the Sydney office for putting this together for us. It was a dream.
Date published: 2015-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Colombian Love! Colombia, incredible destination and loved our time in the country. Cartagena was an absolute highlight and not to be missed. Warm, friendly locals, spectacular scenery and wonderful food.. I will be back!
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Colombia! Loved every minute of this spectacular country. Coffee Triangle and our guide were the highlight! Cartagena was also incredible, loved exploring the city and dinner on top the city walls is a must. Would love to go back!
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good trip, but not entirely without problems A short stay in Bogota as planned was sufficient. There are more exciting cities in South America. Cartagena was an attractive city with the 1/2 day guided tour showing us the many sights. However the accommodation at the hotel Don Pedro de Heredia was not satisfactory. After refusing a smallish room with a double bed, we were given a large room with twin beds which we had requested when booking this trip. It was on the 4th floor. The only problem was that the lift of the hotel did not work at all during the 4 days we spent there - it's not nice to have to walk up in the tropical heat of Cartagena. This hotel can be given 3 *** at best. Our next stop was the Tyrona National Park. After a longish drive from Cartagena, we arrived at the entrance to the park, to find out that we had to walk 7 1/2 km to the lodge through the jungle, 4 km of which was up and down over many steps. I am 78 years old and had no problems but my wife who has 2 replacement knees had very serious problems reaching the lodge. Our itinerary never mentioned anything about the remoteness of the lodge. Our guides to and from the lodge were very helpful. Overall, I have to say that this Colombia trip was not the highlilght of our South America trip and I will not use Chimu again.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst organised trip I have ever been onn Worst organised trip I have ever been which is rather unfortunate as Colombia is a beautiful country. My advice would be choose another travel agency to help plan your trip
Date published: 2015-06-03
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Country Information

When to go to Colombia
  • Colombia was named in honour of Christopher Columbus, following the Italian version of his name (Cristoforo Colombo). Columbus never actually set foot on the current Colombian territory, but visited Panama on his fourth voyage, part of Colombia until 1903.
  • Colombia was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 – the others were Ecuador & Venezuela.
  • Colombia’s population is now close to 50 million.
  • Colombia controls the land access between Central and South America.
  • Colombia is twice the size of France and slightly less than twice the size of Texas.
  • Bogota is the 3rd highest capital city in the world.
  • Colombia is part of the Ring of Fire, a region of the world subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
  • Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, behind Brazil which has an area approximately 7 times that of Colombia.
  • Colombia is the only country in South America with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
  • The lowland areas of the Llanos savanna and the Amazon rainforest comprise over half Colombia’s territory but contain less than 3% of the population.
  • Colombia is the largest source of Latin American refugees in Latin America.
  • The national symbol is the Andean condor.
  • Colombia is the third largest oil producer in South America.
  • Bogota was declared World Book Capital by UNESCO.
Weather in Colombia

Colombia was originally inhabited by many major indigenous cultures such as the Tayrona, Muisca and Quimbaya. The area that is now Colombia was colonised by the Spanish after their arrival in 1499, and the social structures of the areas were radically altered by colonisation. The Spanish brought war and disease, resulting in the indigenous populations shrinking dramatically in size. They also brought European settlers and African slaves.

The country gained independence from Spain in 1819. It was one of five countries liberated by Simón Bolívar, along with Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia.

Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama formed the first Republic of Colombia, but by 1830 "Gran Colombia’’ had collapsed with Ecuador and Venezuela declaring their independence from Colombia. Colombia and Panama emerged as the Republic of New Granada, with the new Republic of Colombia being declared in 1886. Panama declared independence in 1903.

Following independence, the history of Colombia was marked by several civil wars. These conflicts, together with problematic social issues, early state repression against rural communities and world polarisation caused by the Cold War, culminated in a communist insurgent campaign by the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN to overthrow the Colombian Government. The years of the conflict were marked by heavy fighting between the communist guerrillas, the Colombian state and military, right-wing paramilitaries and several drug cartels giving the country a terrible reputation.

In 2012 the government and the FARC began peace talks aimed at bringing the 50 year old Civil War to an end. Colombia is currently in a process of recovery, and is finally becoming the tourist destination that it deserves to be.

Colombia Culture & Customs

The geography of Colombia is characterized by its six main natural regions that each present their own unique characteristics - the high Andes mountain range region, the Pacific coastal region, the Caribbean coastal region, the Llanos (lowland plains), the Amazon Rainforest and the insular area, comprising islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Colombia is bordered to the northwest by Panama, to the east by Venezuela and Brazil and to the south by Ecuador and Peru. It is the only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Galeras, at an elevation of 4,276m is one of Colombia’s most active volcanoes. It erupted in 2009 and 2010.

The highest point in Colombia is Pico Cristobal Colon at 5,775m, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The mountain is part of the world’s highest coastal range.

Colombia’s natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds and hydro-power.

Colombia History

Colombia is ethnically diverse with a diverse cultural heritage. The population is comprised of the descendants of the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans originally brought to the country as slaves as well as 20th-century immigrants from the Middle East and Europe. Very strong regional identities are also as a result of Colombia's varied geography and the imposing landscape of the country. The majority of the urban centres are located in the highlands of the Andes mountains, but Colombia also encompasses Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Spanish is the first language of Colombia and is spoken by over 99% of the population. Other languages include 2 Creole languages, 65 Amerindian languages and the Romani language. In San Andres, Providential and Santa Catalina Islands, English is also stated as an official language.

Colombia’s predominant religion is Roman Catholic accounting for about 70% of the population.

Colombia’s music is an amalgamation of sounds and rhythms, drawing on Indigenous, European and African influences, resulting in a dynamic musical mix.

Colombia’s cuisine is also varied, being influenced by the cultural traditions of the various ethnic groups as well as by the country’s diverse flora and fauna. Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Common ingredients include rice, maize and tubers such as cassava. Popular dishes include patacones (fried green plantains), empanadas, tamales and papas criollas al horno (roasted Andean potatoes).

Colombia Geography

The Colombian economy has been growing at an average rate of 4% in the past few years, but as the country depends heavily on mining and energy exports, it is vulnerable to a fall in commodity prices.

Colombia is the fourth largest exporter of coal in the world and Latin America’s fourth largest oil producer. The country is rich in natural resources, its main exports including mineral fuels, oil, precious stones, forest products, coffee, cereals, cotton and sugars. Colombia is an important global source of emeralds and 70% of the USA’s imported cut flowers are Colombian.

Colombia’s main trading partners are the United States, India, China, the European Union and some Latin American countries. It is a founding member of the Pacific Alliance.

Colombia has an unemployment rate close of 8.5%, one of Latin America’s highest. The country’s most significant challenges include inequality, poverty, drug-trafficking as well as its infrastructure.

Tourism & Sustainability

Colombia is a presidential representative democratic republic. Government is divided into three branches – executive, legislative and judicial. There are 32 departments and 1 capital district. The President of Colombia is the head of the executive branch and serves as both the head of state and head of government. The president is elected by popular vote for four-year terms, limited to a maximum of two terms.

Universal suffrage is granted to those 18 years of age.

Colombia Food & Drinks
  • Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena – Roman Catholic Saint
  • Gabriel García Márquez - Author
  • Simon Brand – Film Director
  • Manuel Marulanda Vélez (nickname Tirofijo meaning Surefire) - Guerilla (Leader of FARC)
  • Sofía Margarita Vergara Vergara - Actress & Model
  • Shakira - Singer
  • Radamel Falcao García Zárate, Víctor Hugo Aristizábal Posada - Soccer Players
  • Mariana Pajón Londoño - Olympic Cyclist
  • Edward Niño Hernández – Guinness Book of Records for shortest living man
  • Fernando Botero – Master Painter

Frequently Asked Questions

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