Explore 360

Colombia

5-day extension

  • Where?

    Colombia

  • Altitude

  • Duration

    5 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P1

  • Technical

    T1

  • P1 - Gentle walking over relatively flat terrain. A light day sack up to 4kg may be required to be carried. Suitable for those with minimal exercise experience.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T1 - No technical skills are needed.  A good steady walking ability only is required.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

If you are wishing to explore more of this amazing country, whether you join us on this jam-packed adventure as a standalone expedition, or as an add-on to our incredible Lost City Trek, you are guaranteed five amazing days of Colombian adventure!

The itinerary has been planned on a B&B basis, and includes all accommodation, transfers, an amazing rum and chocolate pairing, canoeing in the mangroves and an exhilarating drum and dance workshop! If you add in lunches and dinners to the plan and not add in any additional activities (surf and diving) then you don’t need to budget much extra and just consider this a wonderful lazy end to your adventure!

This exciting itinerary is a loose schedule for now, as the 360 team will be heading out to Colombia in November 2022 to recce the whole trip and fine tune the extension – so do be aware that there may be adjustments, but this gives you an idea of what to expect and what is possible.

Find out more
Colombia, 5-day extension Colombia, 5-day extension

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 09 December 2023
End: 14 December 2023

Price without flights:  TBC

2023 prices TBC - please chat to the office for more info!

09 December 2023

14 December 2023

6 days

TBC

N/A

2023 prices TBC - please chat to the office for more info!

Please note that if 360 is booking your international flights, a supplement may be applicable to allow for changes

in transportation costs such as fuel.

Please note that if 360 is booking your international flights, a supplement may be applicable to allow for changes

in transportation costs such as fuel.

Included

  • International airfares departing from London
  • Local guides and a 360 guide (depending on group size)
  • Airport transfers and all expedition transfers and bus journeys
  • Park/conservation fees
  • Rum tasting and chocolate workshop
  • Dance and drum workshop
  • Canoe hire and safety equipment
  • All accommodation (based on twin occupancy) on a B&B basis
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • Colombian visa (not required for UK nationals)
  • Scuba diving costs
  • Surf lessons & equipment hire
  • Personal equipment and excess baggage
  • Tips
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.
  • Alcoholic drinks, and snacks
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Any unforeseen increase in park fees
  • Single supplement
  • Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

 

Please note that if international flights are booked, a supplement may be payable if costs exceed the flight budget.

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Surfing in Palomino

If you are joining from the UK, your international flight will arrive today. For those extending their Colombia stay, we will meet at the hotel on the outskirts of the Parque Tayrona, for a lazy breakfast and a late lunch, after which we we will head off to the Palomino. An extremely relaxed and laid-back area, with lots of hotels and restaurants alongside the stunning beach, it’s time to surf!

We will stay at a cosy and centrally located hotel in in Palomino.

(D)

 

DAY 2 : Palomino

Perched on the Caribbean sea, with seemingly endless golden beaches, lazy rivers and jungle ecosystems, we have plenty of time today to enjoy the laid-back vibe of this stunning village. We will be hoping for some good waves, but if surfing isn’t your thing, you can enjoy this great spot. There aren’t too many places you can sip a cocktail on the beach in the sun while you look out to snow-capped mountains, so make the most of this glorious location!

We have plenty of restaurant options for dinner, and the options are amazing, with delicious fresh seafood, and local Caribbean specialities, before heading back to our hotel for the evening.

(B)

DAY 3 : Scuba diving

After breakfast, we make our way to the lively fishing village of Taganga for some world-class scuba diving.

This transfer is just an 1 hour and we plan to arrive in to Taganga mid morning, giving us time to meet with the dive centre so we are ready for the afternoon’s diving. There is a reason why the Caribbean waters around Taganga attract scuba divers of all levels and experiences – and we are here to experience it! The water temperature remains balmy year round and the coral reefs sparkle in the turquoise waters in fantastic condition. If you haven’t dived before there is the option to take an introductory dive lesson too, and experience the wonder of being under the waves!

If you are not a diver, there are options for snorkelling or swimming, otherwise it is simply another wonderful village to explore, with another stunning beach to relax on.

(B)

DAY 4 : Cartagena

After breakfast (and, depending on our mood, possibly one more dive!) we set off for a bus transfer to Cartagena, which will take us approximately four and a half hours. Winding our way along the Caribbean coast, mixing the views from ocean to jungle and inland swamps, we will stop for lunch before reaching Cartagena and its magical walled city centre. The afternoon is for you to explore, before a cocktail in Cafe del Mar while we watch the sunset over the Caribbean ocean. We plan to stay in a local hotel in Don Pedro.

(B)

DAY 5 : La Virgen & La Boquilla

Today is our final day of adventure and we will make our way to a local fishing village to take part in a social drum, dance and music workshop where you have the chance to dance cumbia and champeta. It’s a wonderful connection with the locals, who are proud, rightly so, of this fascinating and colourful heritage.

When our feet are danced out, we then jump into our canoes and navigate the mangroves.  The swamp of La Virgen is the largest lake in Cartagena, and to the north of the city, we can find the small fishing village of La Boquilla and an extensive mangrove forest ecosystem that offers refuge to several species of birds and fish – a totally different side to Colombia to that we have experienced over the last week.

Tonight, we plan to have a memorable dinner in Cartagena alongside an evening of rum tasting, with a chocolate pairing workshop…a brilliant combination, and a fabulous way to bid adios to this spectacular place!

(BD)

DAY 6 : Depart Colombia

Today, we transfer to the airport for our international flight home – either a day flight arriving on the same day, or if we depart on an overnight flight we will arrive back the next day.

(B)

If you wanted to explore Bogota, now would be your chance! Chat to the 360 office for options on extending your stay… 

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Rucksack

We would suggest a 40 to 50 litre capacity rucksack fitted with shoulder straps and, importantly, a waist belt. We would recommend your rucksack weighs no more than 8-10kg when fully packed (including your water bottles).

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Padlocks

For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag

Dry stuffsacks

Nylon rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks.

Please note that many countries are now banning plastic bags. We would always advise buying re-usable nylon rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry (and sustainability).

Sleeping Gear

Light summer silk liner

For nights spent in the refuge.  The refuge will also provide blankets.

1-2 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag with a rating of around 5C-10C. Choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature.

A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights

Headwear

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck

Sunglasses

Category 4 minimum. Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Neck gaiter

Worn around the neck for warmth. Buff or scarf ideal – fleece can be a good option

Upper Body

T-shirts

A couple of  T-shirts are advisable for this expedition as some of the days can be hot

Long sleeved T- shirt

Waterproof jacket

In case it rains

Fleece top/jacket or Softshell

Rain poncho

For jungle or rainforest downpours! Due to the heat this is often a preferable option over a more bulky waterproof jacket and trousers.

Lower Body

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts

Shorts (optional)

Light weight shorts are advisable for this expedition as some of the days can be hot.  Zip off trekking trousers are the most versatile.  Consider buying this

Underwear

How many pairs you take is entirely up to you

Swimsuit

For showers in camp or the odd swim

Feet

3-4 season walking boots

Well worn in 3-4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support

Trekking socks

Single layer or wearing 2 pairs is a personal choice and lighter weight merino wool is a good option

Gaiters (Optional)

To protect the tops of your footwear from harsh conditions and to provide some added insulation

Sandals

Walking sandals with a good grip are a good choice for river crossings and in camp.

Technical Equipment

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill

Head torch

We recommend Petzl head torches. Bring spare batteries.

Toiletries

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Wash kit

Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Nappy sacks

For waste and rubbish including toilet paper.

Wet wipes

Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past

Expedition towel

Towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene

Insect repellent

For early stages and once back down

Personal first aid kit

The 360 med kits are designed to be used in emergencies and akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy on Expeditions so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack

Hydration

Water bottles/bladder

3L equivalent – Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude. We suggest a combination of a 2L bladder and 1L bottle or 2 x ½L bottles to put in your jacket for summit night

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag

Miscellaneous

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Ear plugs

For protection against the inevitable snorers!

Penknife (optional)

Snacks

For when your energy levels flag and you need a pick me up

Entertainment

A book or other entertainment for evenings

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Money

Tips for local guides (tipping your 360 leader is optional) plus any extra cash for meals not included, or additional drinks, snacks or souvenirs on the trek. Please see the FAQs or for advice on additional spending money.

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers.

We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip.  To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

FAQs

Extension FAQS

Where can I find the full FAQs for the Colombia expedition?

The below FAQs relate just to our Colombia extension and the logistics of this trip – for full FAQs on Colombia, travel in the country, health and safety etc, we advise you read through the FAQs found under the main “Lost City” itinerary here.

Will the extension be guided?

Yes  – although you have plenty of free time and opportunity to explore, you will either have a 36 guide or local chaperone for your safety and enjoyment and peace of mind!

What is included in the extension?

All accommodation is included, on a B&B basis. We have three nights in rustic, funky beach lodges, then two nights in a centrally-located, 4 star hotel in Cartagena.

All transfers are also included, plus a brilliantly fun rum and chocolate tasting session, as well as canoeing in the mangroves and an exhilarating drum, dance, and music workshop.

What is not included?

Lunches, dinners and snacks are not included. Of course, the amount will depend on how much you eat and drink, but on the coast you can eat for as little as £4 to £8 per meal, while in Cartagena dinners are a little pricier, around £10-12.

Scuba diving, surf lessons, surfboard hire and snorkelling equipment and guides are also not included.

Finance

What additional spending money will we need?

The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy or if you are buying additional drinks and snacks throughout. As a basic rule of thumb, 300,000 to 500,000 COP should be more than adequate for any post expedition spending, plus money for tips (see below).

Colombia is a relatively cheap place and, when indulging in the local custom of haggling, sounvenirs can be very good value for money. Your guide will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices plus where to get the best value for money.

How much should I budget for meals?

It does depend on whether you have a sandwich versus a three course meal – but for lunch and dinner on the coast we would suggest you budget between £4 – £8 per meal. In Cartagena, similar for lunches, but budget £10 – £12 for dinner.

Alcohol and drinks vary, whether you go for local drinks or western.

How much are the additional optional activities?

As a rough guide to help you on your way:

  • Surfboard hire for 2 hours is around £7 per person
  • A private 2 hour surfing lesson is around £25
  • 2 scuba dives with full equipment is approximately £90

Can I pay with credit card?

Though some of the dive and surf shops will accept card, it is better to have cash with you, so we would recommend taking out money in Santa Marta, or at the airport.

If I bring cash should I bring US dollars or Colombian pesos?

Pesos are better, as they are more widely accepted, but there are plenty of places where you can exchange your money.

Should we tip fisherman and our canoe guide in Cartagena?

Tipping is not expected however, if you think service has been excellent, it would be a much appreciated gesture and we very much encourage that you plan this into your budget. We would suggest 20,000 COP (~£4) per person for each guide.

 

Should we also tip our chaperone / guide for the extension?

Again, tipping is not expected but it would be very appreciated. We would suggest about 50,000 COP (~£8) per person.

Food & Water

I see lunches and dinners aren't included - why is this?

The variety of local restaurants and varying cuisine is huge – and in one restaurant, you can have everything from a beer and a sandwich to a full seafood buffet! We prefer to leave you with free reign to experience the culinary delights without restriction.

How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?

You are able to refill your bottles or purchase drinking water at breakfast, lunch and dinner. There will be plenty, so do refill when you need – it is important to stay well hydrated!

Should I bring a few snacks with me? What is best ?

Snacks are always a great idea, especially on any of the longer surfing or diving days, just to give you that additional boost. Nuts, trail mix or sweets are always good, or dried fruit or energy bars. We’d avoid chocolate, it is likely to melt!

Health & Safety

I see we are mainly based in the Santa Marta and Cartagena regions, what is the safety like here?

Please see the main FAQ on general safety in Colombia – we would, as with any travel destination, advise practicing basic safe travel procedures, but Santa Marta and Palomino are popular traveller’s destinations.

Is theft and/or violence a concern?

As with the questions above, keeping your belongings close to yourself when out and about should always be a priority, wherever you are travelling. Though petty crime is common in some areas of Colombia, the rate of unprovoked theft in the Santa Marta area is low, and if you practice sensible safety precautions there should be no issue.

What is the crime rate like in Cartagena?

When you are on the coast, we would advise sticking to the tourist-visited towns and main centre of Cartagena. As stated above, if you wish to explore further afield at any point, we would recommend you check ahead of time with your guide on which areas are best.

We have a few bus transfers on the itinerary - what are the roads like, and is there a risk of “hold ups”?

The transfers on the bus are run by our brilliant local team, or on well-known local public routes. Our usual hold up is because of traffic! If you plan to take any other bus journeys in your free time, please do check with the guide. As always, we keep an eye on safety in Colombia, and if the situation changes we will advise the team accordingly.

Travel

Is it possible to stay longer in Cartagena at the end of the trip?

If you want to depart Colombia later this is not a problem, we can arrange an additional airport transfer – just chat to the 360 office team, and make sure you let us know if we are booking your flights for you.

Is there a single room option on this trip?

Yes, there is the opportunity for a single room at the hotels, please do let the office know and they will advise on the costs.

 

Excellent. Well organised, well led, spectacular sights and lots of variety. Fabulous challenge with spectacular sights and experiences.

David M
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