Colombia Expedition 2018
Colombia, a country associated with color, beauty, tropical warmth and endless bounty. One of the world’s most exciting emerging wildlife watching destinations.
Max Group Size: Only 14 participants
Departures: February 18, 2018
Colombia – a country associated with color, beauty, tropical warmth and endless bounty. The natural riches found within its borders aren’t found here by chance, however. It’s Colombia’s rugged, broken and unique geography that makes it one of the world’s most diverse countries, a literal treasure trove of biological evolution, where this same geography has created many restricted range species, found across Colombia’s 5 main geographical regions – Andean, Pacific, the Caribbean, Llanos (plains) and Amazon.
- Explore Bogota in full, including the Gold Museum, Botero Museum and a welcome dinner at Cerro Monserrate, overlooking the city, during sunset.
- Travel deep, by plane and 4×4, to the heart of the Colombian Llanos in search of South American mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds by boat, 4×4 and on horse (Optional).
- Return to Bogota for a deeper immersion in the Colombian culture. Gourmet coffee tasting included.
- Climb to the recently-opened-to-travelers Santa Marta Highlands for superb panoramas, a coffee plantation experience, and to bird watch at one of the most important habitats on earth.
- Travel down to the Caribbean coast, to the beautiful Tayrona National Park, for more impressive birding, and to interact with the Kogi tribe. Leisure time on this remote piece of paradise is included.
- Spend three amazing days in colonial Cartagena, one of the greatest UNESCO sites in South America.
- 4-Day extension to the Colombian & Peruvian Amazon for superb wildlife encounters.
Details in Brief
Duration: 11 days in country (Plus a 4-day Extension)
Leader: Jorge Salas / Juan Ortiz
Maximum Number of Participants: 14
Departures: February 18, 2018
A Senior Leader with over 25 years of experience leading expeditions in all continents. Jorge is a great lecturer, a passionate wildlife and travel photographer, and a favorite among our guests. He has been published by Smithsonian, WWF, Nature Conservancy and many other international media.
Half British and half Colombian, Juan is an expert, and truly passionate, birder and naturalist. Juan has eight years of constant exploration of all corners of Colombia, developing new and groundbreaking routes in the country, in partnership with New Paths Expeditions. Juan is a great wildlife photographer, a superb travel companion and the perfect Master Naturalist for Colombia.
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Arrive in Bogota.
Arrive in Bogota (8530 ft). Transfer to the hotel. Early check-in guaranteed. Rest. 2 PM Detailed brie ng and geographic orientation by your Leader. Visit the impressive Gold Museum. Visit Cerro Monserrate for sunset photographs. Early welcome dinner. Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (Dinner) NOTE: If you wish to arrive a day early, your room will be ready and paid for, but extra transfer charges may apply.
Day 2: Fly to Yopal & Wildlife observation in Llanos Savannah.
Early AM commercial flight to Yopal. Full morning 4×4 transfer with packed breakfast to the lodge, in route we will penetrate very remote territories in the Llanos savannah with wildlife that can be spotted at any time. Lunch at the lodge. PM: Boat ride (2-3 hrs), and Safari. Sunset over Llanos + introductory talk. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Juan Solito Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 3: The Llanos Wildlife.
4×4 Wildlife search excursion (Horseback riding available if desired). Typical lunch at the lodge. PM: at leisure to relax. Nighttime wildlife excursion. Dinner at the lodge followed by folklore show. Overnight at Juan Solito Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 4: Birding & Visit to La Aurora original farmhouse.
Birding. Visit of La Aurora original farmhouse. Possible fishing if wished. Lunch at the lodge. Early PM: Transfer to Yopal and flight to Bogota. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (B, L)
Day 5: Bogota City Tour.
Bogota city tour; Botero Museum, Plaza de Bolivar, and La Candelaria walking tour. Upscale cofee sampling included. PM: short rest time followed by a visit to Usaquen township for arts, crafts and local culture. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at B.O.G Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 6: Fly to Santa Marta. Birding time at Mica on route to the lodge.
Morning transfer to the airport. Fly to Santa Marta and transfer to the Lodge (5 hrs). This drive climbs from the sea level to over 7217 ft asl up a winding mountain road. Along the way, stop for a picnic lunch at a co ee plantation, and to learn all about Colombian co ee. Check in and rest at the lodge. PM: Late birding for endemics in the reserve. Dinner. Overnight at El Dorado Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 7: Cuchilla de San Lorenzo.
Drive up to the Cuchilla de San Lorenzo gap, for more birdwatching, nature walks, and outstanding views. Lunch at the lodge. PM: Leisure birding around the lodge or enjoy a nature walk and panorama photography. Dinner. Overnight at El Dorado Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 8: To a Remote Corner of the Caribbean.
AM: Optional early AM birding for those interested. After a leisure breakfast, drive down to the coast, arriving at our beach and jungle hotel for lunch. Evening at leisure to enjoy the beautiful setting. Short lecture followed by dinner. Overnight at Villa Maria (B, L, D)
Day 9: Tayrona National Park and the Kogi Tribe.
At 7.30 AM, transfer to Tayrona National Park for morning birding. Return to the hotel for lunch and then visit a Kogi settlement and interact with this fascinating human group. Dinner at hotel. Overnight at Villa Maria (B, L, D)
Day 10: The Caribbean Coast and Cartagena.
7 AM: Transfer to Cartagena along the coast highway (5 hrs). Lunch. PM: City tour part 1. Free time to explore and photograph Cartagena (B, L)
Day 11: Cartagena.
Complete Cartagena tour including Barrio Manga, Popa Monastery, Saint Philip Castle, The Vaults. Farewell dinner in a cozy upscale restaurant. Overnight at Casa La Fe (B, L, D)
Day 12: Fly Home
Time to further explore Cartagena until your transfer to the airport to catch the flight back to the US (B)
Details in Brief:
Duration: 4 days in country
Leader: Local Naturalist Guide
Maximum Number of Participants: 14
Itinerary in Brief:
Day 11: Fly to Leticia. Transfer to the hotel for check-in. PM: Transfer to Tanimboca Nature Reserve for wildlife watching.
Arriving in Leticia, the main city of Colombia’s Amazon region, you’ll be met by the transport that will take you to the hotel. You’ll then head out to the private Tanimboca Reserve. Here at the reserve, we’ll begin to search for wildlife typical of the Amazon region. You’ll head back to the hotel for dinner, ready for an early start the next day.
Overnight at the Waira Suites Hotel – Standard room (B, D)
Day 12: Discover the Marasha Nature Reserve.
Today you’ll head out on a private launch to the excellent reserve of Marasha for a full morning’s birding and wildlife watching. Lunch at the reserve before you’ll head out again by boat to your accommodation for the night – a wonderful jungle lodge in its reserve – Calanoa Amazonas. Dinner at Calanoa.
Overnight at Calanoa Amazonas – Standard Hut (B, L, D)
Day 13: Wildlife watching and meeting with the local Tikuna indigenous group.
Today will begin with a relatively short boat ride to the Amacayacu River. Along the river, we’ll be looking for Red Howler-Monkey, Yellow-handed Titi, soaring raptors that dominate the skies and those that also perch typically by the riverside such as the massive Black-collared Hawk and Laughing Falcon. Lunch will be had at a local restaurant before heading out to one of the Colombian Amazon’s main attractions – Tarapoto Lake. You’ll make your way across the ‘Correo’ canal into the lake looking out for species of monkey, bird and if fortunate, river otters. Upon arrival at the lake, the main headline species here are the Pink River Dolphins. Dinner at Calanoa.
Overnight at Calanoa Amazonas – Standard Hut (B, L, D)
Day 14: Morning birding at Calanoa Nature Reserve and y back to the U.S.
This morning will be dedicated to exploring the 40 hectares of primary forest that make up this reserve. An early lunch will be had at the reserve, and the private boat will head back to Leticia for the flight back to Bogota and onward connection to the US. (B, L)
The Colombian Expedition has been crafted in detail, following the ideal pacing for the destination. However, unpredictable circumstances such as weather, flight delays or cancellations, labor strikes, road conditions, traffic, hotel overbookings, and other factors may force adjusting the program on site. These events or realities are out of our control and an inherent risk when traveling, especially on expeditions to this kind of remote destinations. Your Master Local Guide might also decide to alter the program in case opportunities to improve the cultural or wildlife experiences are found. Please note that the Master Local Guides and hotels could change without notice due to conditions beyond our control. No refunds will be given for program changes beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.
Bogota: The B.O.G. Hotel – Superior room (3 nights)
A new and very stylish luxury hotel located in the heart of Bogota’s Chico sector and between the Zona ‘T’ and Zona ‘Rosa’ nightlife districts which o er the very best regarding restaurants, bars, and shopping centers.
Your comfortable room offers a wide space including a work desk, hydro-massage shower, 500 thread count bedding, and subtle details that help create the perfect balance to live the B.O.G. Hotel experience. Wi wireless is available from the commodity of your room.
La Aurora: Juan Solito Lodge – Basic room (2 nights)
This lodge, part of a working ranch and private wildlife reserve, o ers very basic accommodations given its location at over 5 hours from the nearest city (Yopal). There is no hot water here, but temperatures dictate that nobody complains about the lukewarm showers. Bathrooms are private, and furniture is basic. Everything is very clean. Mosquito nets are provided for each bed. Food is full board.
Due to its remote location, no wi-fi is available.
Santa Marta: El Dorado Lodge – Kogihab (2 nights)
This is Colombia’s most beautifully location for a lodge. We have selected rooms, which are small and basic, but clean and with great views. Rooms are in a wood cabin type building with amazing views over the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the Caribbean Sea can be seen on a clear day. The rooms are cool, given the lodge’s altitude.
They also have “The Kogihabs” their new constructions with morning panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada itself. Even though we love the Kogihabs, they are located at about a 15 minutes inclined walk from the main house of the lodge. Because of this, we have only blocked 4 of the Kogihabs. Please let us know if you would like to enjoy the beautiful Kogihabs (If you are a hiker, this rooms would be perfect for you)
Free wi access is available in the social parts of the Lodge, though service could fail.
Tayrona: Villa Maria Lodge (2 nights)
Villa Maria combines natural beauty with the comfort of a luxurious resort and the intimacy of your personal country retreat. Surrounded by lush jungle overlooking the Caribbean ocean. A 5-minute walk through a jungle path takes you to the virgin, white sand beach. All rooms are quite beautiful, with AC. This is the best hotel close to Tayrona National Park, and we have selected ocean view rooms for all our guests. Wi is available, though, due to the remoteness of the lodge, service could fail. Please also note that the beach, even though particularly beautiful, may provide choppy waters.
Leticia: Waira Suites Hotel – Standard room (1 night)
Located in Leticia, the capital of the Colombian Amazon, the lung of our planet and meeting point of three different cultures is Waira Suites Hotel, a mixture of paradise, elegance, comfort and sublime images, bathed by magical Amazon River for the enjoyment of all visitors, making your stay an unforgettable experience.
This hotel is a new and modern option in Leticia, which provides a clean, comfortable and efficient service. All rooms have air conditioning, local hot water, safe boxes and cable TV.
Amazon: Calanoa Amazonas – Standard Hut (2 nights)
This architecturally wonderful hotel is the result of an initiative started by the two owners to integrate artwork, conservation, scientific investigation and sustainable tourism altogether. Cabins are maloka-like designs and typical of the region. A perfect place to relax and listen to the sounds of the jungle around you. The visitors’ cabins have a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor and a loft, with a capacity for six people each. The cabins are fully covered with mosquito screen, and each bed has its own mosquito net for extra protection from bugs. A board path connects the cabins with the dining/social pavilion and has an observation platform ideal for birds and monkeys watching.
No wi-fi at the hotel.
Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
*Domestic Air prices are estimated and may change due to cost variation by the airline.
**The extension needs 4 guests to depart.
Included in Land Cost:
- 24/7 services of a Senior Leader (Jorge Salas) during the expedition.
- Services of an English-speaking Local Head Naturalist.
- Services of local guides.
- All ground transportation (including airport transfers) if arriving on day one, and leaving on the last day (If you arrive before day 1, or leave after the expedition ended, extra charges for airport transfers may apply).
- Safari vehicles excursions.
- Accommodations as noted.
- All sightseeing, entrance fees, and visits as noted.
- Meals as noted.
- Bottled water at included meals, transfers and tours.
- Services of transfer assistants, drivers, and local staff.
- Gratuities for luggage porters, transfer assistants and restaurant staff.
- International flights.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Gratuities for Local Guides; Drivers and Expedition Leader.
- Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
Deposits and final payments:
- A deposit of US $1500.00 per participant is required at the time of booking.
- The remaining balance will be charged 120 days before the expedition begins.
Download the Complete Expedition Details
“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!”
Jack N. Douglas-CO
“Our three expeditions with you were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!”
Harriet T. Saugerties-NY
“NPE always provides excellent expedition guiding services where ever in the world we go. They attend to every detail, and NPE always has surprising added elements that are delightful. The best!”
Charlene P. La Jolla-CA
“Well planned, good local guides, top expedition leader. The trip far exceeded all expeditions.”
Frederic K. Orange-CA