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

Fascinating Facts to Help You Celebrate Earth Day 2018

Posted on Sat, 21 Apr 2018

April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of modern environmentalism on this wonderful planet of ours. The brainchild of a US Senator who had witnessed the horrendous consequences of an oil spill in Santa Barbara in 1969, the Earth Day movement has grown from strength to strength over the last five decades. What started as a relatively small-scale attempt …

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Press release: Chimu’s Casa Republica wins prestigious Prix Versailles award

Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018

Sydney, Thursday 19 April 2018 Chimu Adventures’ boutique hotel in Lima, Peru, Casa Republica, has been named one of the Continental Winners of Prix Versailles 2018, claiming the ‘Special Prize Interior’ at the 2018 Prix Versailles Continental Ceremony for the Americas at Castillo Hidalgo in Santiago de Chile on Saturday 14 April 2018. This is a huge architectural accolade for …

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

Posted on Sun, 15 Apr 2018

Good times continue to roll in Latin America, as the awesomeness of April stretches well into May. There’s always an exciting anticipation in Latin America at this time of year. This is the calm before the storm, you see, that tranquil travel month before the summer holiday period in Europe and North America, which attract hordes of tourists. Even then, …

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Best Time to Travel to The Falklands

Posted on Wed, 11 Apr 2018

The Falkland Islands (or Islas Malvinas as they are known in Argentina) are a group of 750 remote and ruggedly beautiful islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, 500 kilometres from South America’s southern Patagonian coast. Steeped in decades of controversy, these Islands have been settled and claimed by France, Spain, Britain and Argentina. Travel to the Falkland Islands will give …

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Argentina’s Sustainable Tourism

Posted on Thu, 05 Apr 2018

With its incredible landscapes that range from imposing glaciers and ice-fields to pampas grasslands, mountains and waterfalls, Argentina is an impressive destination for sustainable ecotourism. But what exactly is ecotourism? Tourism can have a harmful impact on the environment with the destruction of its ecosystems caused by the influx of visitors. Sustainable tourism aims to preserve the biodiversity of an …

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Top Five Cocktails in Latin America

Posted on Wed, 04 Apr 2018

South America., the fourth largest continent in the world and home to a total of 12 countries, is famous for so many incredible things, from its awe-inspiring natural landmarks such as the Amazon River, Atacama Desert and Andes Mountains to the ancient civilization of Machu Picchu and the cultural hotspots of Buenos Aires with the tango, Brazil’s samba, Colombia’s salsa. …

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Bogota International Airport Guide

Posted on Tue, 03 Apr 2018

Comprising two (domestic and international) terminals, Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport is Colombia’s busiest and the third most trafficked airport in all of Latin America. As the most convenient aviation gateway into the country, Bogota International Airport handles over 50 percent of the air traffic in and out of the country, with over 30 million people transiting through its gates …

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Thing To Do In Svalbard

Posted on Sat, 31 Mar 2018

A fascinating icy wonderland home to some of the most iconic wildlife on earth, as well as imposing glaciers, dramatic fjords and breathtaking frozen horizons, Svalbard is the famed ‘last stop’ en route to the North Pole.  An archipelago floating over 800km north of the Norwegian mainland, Svalbard is, quite literally, built on ice, and is as spellbinding as it …

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Exploring the Amazon: Lodge or River Cruise?

Posted on Fri, 30 Mar 2018

The largest rainforest on the planet, one sensational adventure: will it be lodge or river cruise for your unforgettable Amazon adventure? Planning a trip to the Amazon rainforest is one of the most coveted bucket-list adventures for those who travel anywhere in Latin America. Given the sheer size of this jungle haven (almost 7 million square kilometres) access points into …

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Best Things to do in Latin America – JANUARY Guide

Posted on Wed, 28 Mar 2018

Kicking off a brand new year with a Latin American adventure is too good an idea to pass up. Global festive season notwithstanding, January is simply a superb month to visit some of the most iconic highlights in the whole continent. Not only to escape the freezing temperatures of the Northern Hemisphere but because NOW is when you’ll find the …

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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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