Sabbatical & Experiential Travel to Colombia
Holidays & Sabbaticals to Colombia – In a Nutshell
Colombia captivates with its magical realism and is one of South America’s most exciting and diverse countries to explore. From the snow-capped Andes and high-altitude paramos, past the emerald Zona Cafetera and Los Llanos savannah, down to palm-fringed beaches of the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, no two regions are the same. This huge range in altitude makes it the second most biodiverse country in the world (after Brazil), with an almost-unbelievable range of birds, mammals and amphibians, many of them endemic. Come to see cotton-top tamarins, critically endangered Orinoco crocodiles and giant anteaters. And bring binoculars to spy golden poison-dart frogs and the ‘89’ butterfly. Culture wise, the country packs an enormous punch too, with cobbled colonial towns, authentic pueblos, indigenous communities and vibrant, sprawling cities, of which Cartagena is the most famous. There are ancient cities too, long-lost and enshrouded in jungle (Ciudad Perdida, San Agustin and Tierradentro). This is a country with everything: a place for adventurers and explorers, history buffs and wildlife lovers. And the tropical offshore islands are the Caribbean as you dreamed it would be.
How to Get to Colombia
You can travel overland from neighbouring countries Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. If you’re flying in from overseas, you’ll likely jet into Bogota. Its El Dorado International Airport is the main hub for the country. From here there are over 168 other airports, both international and domestic, which you can hop between, including Cartagena, Cali and Medellín. You can fly direct to Bogota from London; approx. 13 hours. Most flights go via Europe or the US’s major cities. Direct flight times from the US range from 5-9 hours. If you don’t want to fly around, the best way to travel is private transfer or long-distance intercity buses, but be warned: distances are huge. Once you enter the jungle provinces of Choco and Amazonas, you’ll zip about by boat.
When & Weather – Colombia
The weather in Colombia is tropical, determined by region and altitude rather than season. The coastal and lowland regions are warm and tropical; Bogota and the highlands are relatively cool, while the Caribbean Coast sees little temperature variation, and Medellín is hot and dry all year. Peak Season is December to March and July to August; April to June and October to November are generally wetter months. Average temperatures range between 17°C (62°F) and 24°C (75°F).
Who will Colombia Appeal To?
The country’s incredible wildlife, rich culture and stunning natural landscapes are best suited to:
- Adventure seekers
- Active travellers
- Wildlife enthusiasts
- Culture Vultures
- Beach lovers
- Solo travellers
We work with authentic fincas, laidback guesthouses, colonial city hotels, eco lodges, boutique hotels and beach casitas.
Off The Beaten Path
- Visit the extraordinary salt cathedral in Zipaquira, an underground Roman Catholic church built in the tunnels of a salt mine or the lesser-known salt mine at Nemocón
- Ride out with gauchos in the little-visited Los Llanos region
- Gaze at the Caño Cristales red rivers in La Macarena National Park between July and October
- Boat to the 60m Jirijirimo waterfalls, hidden deep in the Amazon
- Surf down the giant Taroa dunes in the wild Guajira desert, the northernmost point of South America
- Isla de Providencia is a castaway dream, a tiny offshore island with sugar-sand beaches and warm turquoise water
- Chingaza National Park is breathtaking; hiking trails wind past glacial lakes and up into cloud forest and the unique vegetation of the paramo
- Boat to the Mavecure hills near Inírida, three giant sacred stone monoliths hidden in the rainforest, the smallest of which you can climb
- Due to its vast range of eco systems and habitats, Colombia is home to more bird species than any other country on the planet and has the largest number of amphibians in the world
- Bogotá Rail and Blue-billed Curassow flit through Antioquia’s humid sub-tropical rainforests, along with 800 other species
- In the nearby Andes you may see the extraordinary Andean Cock-of-the-rock and enormous Andean Condors soar amongst the early morning thermals
- Jaguar, puma and ocelot slink through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, along with 22 endemic bird species
- Vast pods of humpback whales migrate along the Pacific Coast during June to October every year
- Head to the Amazon Basin to see giant river otter, placid capybara, pink river dolphin and the incredible tiny glass frog.
- The rare olinguito inhabits the cloud forests in the west, as do elusive spectacled bears
Colombia Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Step back in time in Cartagena, where colonial architecture meets the Caribbean
- Hike to the ancient Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)
- Amble through cobbled plazas of Villa de Leyva and Barichara
- Go whale-watching along the untouched Pacific coastline
- Embark on a river trip to the ancient gold rush town of Mompox
- Be inspired by the transformation of Medellin from ghetto to cultural hub
- Bask on the stunning beaches in Tayrona National Park
- Stay on a coffee plantation and taste world-class beans
Join a social development tour of Comuna 13 in Medellin which provides travellers with a unique opportunity to see how this vibrant community transformed from one of the region’s most troubled, to a cultural hub which encourages community engagement through innovative and determined social and urban planning. The success of Comuna 13’s ambitious makeover can serve as an inspiration and model for troubled and neglected communities around the world. Community leaders guide visitors and show how they work with local artists to encourage a message of unity through education by using performing modern arts such as hip-hop, graffiti, breakdance and DJ’ing.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Colombia.
Consider visiting Colombia in combination with its neighbouring countries, Ecuador, Peru or Brazil as part of a larger South American itinerary. You could easily throw Panama into the mix, too.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Colombia.