The nature of Colombia and the Caribbean is like nowhere else on Earth. On this one-week trip packed with active highlights and laid-back moments, you’ll get the best of beach relaxation and wilderness exploration. Beach time and Tayrona National Park are on the bill here, including chances for hikes down picturesque trails and spending time with the Gotsezhi Wiwa Indigenous community to learn about their customs and traditions. Get back to nature in the jungle town of Minca — it’s the great outdoors with a chill Caribbean twist.
You may arrive in Cartagena at any time today. There are no planned activities, so check into our hotel and enjoy the city. We will have a group meeting in the evening around 6:00 p.m. There will be a note at the front desk to let you know the precise time of the meeting. The note will also tell you what time to meet in the lobby in the morning, if you arrive too late for the meeting. If you miss this meeting, please don’t worry, your tour leader will go over everything with you in the morning.
Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area.
This morning you will learn more about Cartagena’s history from a bilingual guide on a tour of this lively city. Travel between sights by private transport and visit the clock tower, Plaza Bolivar, and the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Take in sweeping views of the city from the hilltop Convento De La Popa and enjoy a walking tour from San Pedro Claver Church to Santo Domingo Church.
Afterwards, enjoy free time to take in the Caribbean vibe of the city and beach. See our optional activities section below for some suggestions on what to do with your free time.
Travel to the small town of Minca, breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy free time to explore. Go looking for unique birds, explore the area on foot or hang out at a local café by the river.
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle
Get outside with a hike (3-5 hrs) into this beautiful park! Learn more about the rich diversity of Tayrona’s natural heritage and explore Tayrona’s gorgeous scenery with a local guide. Spend the night surrounded by nature in a lodge close to the park.
Approximate travel time: 1 hr by private vehicle
Visit the Gotsezhi community and enjoy a meal cooked by women from the community with local ingredients. Visit the nearby village where youth from the four indigenous tribes in the region come to school to learn about their cultural customs and languages. Upon entry into the village, experience a soul-cleansing ceremony and learn about traditional customs, stories and handicraft methods from this region. After, jump in the river for a cool dip, visit nearby waterfalls and natural swimming pools, or rest in a hammock and reflect on your accomplishment before returning to Santa Marta.
With your tour leader, take an orientation walk of this traditional fishing village and get acquainted with the main sites. Then, soak up the Caribbean feel of this coastal town with some free time. Be sure to indulge in the area’s fantastic fresh seafood or hang out in one of the many cafés along the beach.
Approximate travel time: 45 min by private vehicle
With a free day at leisure, tour Taganga by foot or don a snorkel and mask and explore the water. This evening, travel to Santa Marta and join your group for an optional evening out on the town.
Approximate travel time: 30 min by private vehicle
Our tour concludes today, and you may depart Santa Marta at any time.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Night 3: Minca, Night 5,6: lodge near Tayrona NP.
Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
To take a taxi to your hotel, pick up a taxi voucher from the official stand in the baggage area before getting into a cab which will have the price printed on it depending on where you’re headed. The price to get to the old city or anywhere in the “Centro” area Zone 1 including hotels in Getsemani should not cost more than COP $18,000 (About $5-6 USD). Airport rides are regulated and cost no more than 5 USD.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office in Buenos Aires. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures, your arrival transfer will be arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer, but we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office in Quito, they have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Outside North America: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Americans do not need a visa for stays in Colombia of less than 90 days. All other nationalities should check with their local Colombian embassy as to whether they will need a visa.
As currency exchange rates fluctuate we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency – this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100 USD (or equivalent).
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-$10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
At the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-$25 USD per person per week can be used.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/), which has travel clinics throughout the United States. Please take this seriously! This trip visits Tayrona National Park. Some national parks in Colombia may deny entry to travellers who do not show proof of yellow fever vaccination.
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins in Cartagena and ends in Santa Marta. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Cartagena. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose. You can depart any time on the final day of the trip.
Colombia uses the same plugs and voltage as the United States. Americans will not need to bring converters. Other nationalities will need to do their own research.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This is a great time of the year to visit Colombia Caribbean coast. The climate during March can be summarized as hot, humid and very dry. This is typically the 4th coldest month of the year. Daytime maximum temperatures average around a steamy 32°C (89°F), whilst at night 24°C (74°F) is normal. On average March is the 2nd driest month of the year in this area with around 0.2 inches of rain making it a very dry time to visit.
Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.
See price in top right corner
Roughly $600-$1,100 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have emergency medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $30 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $30 USD to tip guides and drivers for other activities.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Check with your doctor to see what you will need and what is covered by your insurance.
Variable; at your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip. The prices below are in USD and Colombian Pesos, where prices are available.
Totumo Mud Volcano: $25 USD (We can book this for you in advance of the trip)
Climb up the stairs and descend into the healing mud of the Totumo Mud Volcano. As your body become weightless, lie back and relax in the cool mud. The mud is packed with rejuvenating minerals, so you’re bound to come out looking ten years younger.
Night Exploration on Chiva: 45,000 COP per person, 50,000 COP per group
Get ready to party and explore the city by chiva bus. These colorful vehicles are a national symbol and feature open sides making it easy to truly experience vibrant Cartagena as you go. Drink, dance and enjoy Colombian music on this fun-filled ride.
Palace of Inquisition (Museum): 30,000 COP per person
Visit the museum and learn about the Spanish Inquisition in Colombia. Explore this fine example of colonial and Baroque architecture and see artifacts and torture equipment on display.
Gold Museum: 7,000 COP per person
Head to Plaza Bolivar and pay a visit to this well-curated and informative museum. Admire the intricate, pre-Columbian gold works and pottery of the indigenous Zenú people while learning about their history and traditions—all on display in a charming colonial home.
Naval Museum of the Caribbean: 6,000 COP per person
Located in the historic walled city, visit this spacious museum housed in two heritage buildings. Explore the various exhibits relating to the naval history of the Caribbean Sea and enjoy the charming patios.
Museum of Modern Art (Museo de Arte Moderno): 5,000 COP per person
Housed in two historic buildings, one a former weapons storehouse, is the collection of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Cartagena. Stroll through the unique space and admire Latin American paintings from the 1950s along with contemporary Colombian art.
Snorkeling: 80,000 COP per person
Strap on some fins and a mask and explore the active reefs in Taganga’s clear water. Keep an eye out for fascinating brain coral!
Gold Museum Santa Marta: Free
Explore the colonial mansion that houses indigenous artifacts from the Tayrona area including an impressive gold collection.
Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino: 21,000 COP per person
Visit Simon Bolivar’s final resting place, la Quinta is the estate where the famous libertador spent his final days. The former rum plantation now includes a restored house, museum, library, and extensive gardens perfect for exploring.