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Bienvenidos a Colombia: A Renaissance in South America

Program Number: 20099RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/3/2015 - 12/15/2015; 1/29/2016 - 2/9/2016; 2/12/2016 - 2/23/2016; 2/26/2016 - 3/8/2016; 3/11/2016 - 3/22/2016; 4/1/2016 - 4/12/2016; 11/4/2016 - 11/15/2016; 12/2/2016 - 12/13/2016; 1/27/2017 - 2/7/2017; 2/10/2017 - 2/21/2017; 2/24/2017 - 3/7/2017; 3/10/2017 - 3/21/2017;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Colombia (South America), Colombia
Price starting at: $3,118.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 25; 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Experience the many faces of Colombia, a country transformed from a place of turmoil to a thriving modern nation. Journey to the bustling capital of Bogotá, known for its glimmering skyscrapers and world-renowned collection at the Gold Museum. Explore the verdant hills and traditional villages of the coffee region, and discover Medellín, now one of South America’s most progressive cities. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Cartagena, the home and inspiration of Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez.


• Explore the world-famous Gold Museum and learn about the gold on display, its shamanic significance and how the collection was formed.
• Discover the amazing underground construction and architecture of the Salt Cathedral.
• Learn about Colombian coffee from production on the plantation to the delicious cup sold in the café.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles at a time, often on dirt paths, cobblestones or other uneven terrain. Elevations up to 9,000 feet.

Date Specific Information

12-3-2015, 1-29-2016, 2-12-2016, 2-26-2016, 3-11-2016, 4-1-2016, 11-4-2016, 12-2-2016, 1-27-2017, 2-10-2017, 2-24-2017, 3-10-2017

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Bogotá, 3 nights; flight to Armenia, coach to Salento, 2 nights; coach to Manizales, 1 night; coach to Medellín, 3 nights; flight to Cartagena, 2 nights; departure.

Flight from the U.S.A., Arrival Bogotá, 3 nights

Enjoy the famous sunset view at Monserrate. Marvel at the largest collection of pre-Columbian gold in the world at the Gold Museum. Examine the amazing feat of engineering; the Salt Cathedral, built underground by salt miners.

Flight to Armenia, Coach to Salento (2 nights), Coach to Manizles (1 night)

Journey through the Colombian countryside en route to Salento. Discover the inner workings of a coffee plantation. Hike to the Quindio River and the Camino Real, a section of the Inca Trail, and enjoy spectacular views of the wax palms and rural Colombia. In route to Manizales, meet the passionate horticulturalist of the largest private collection of orchids in Colombia and examine hundreds of varieties of orchids from all over the world. Meet with the charity foundation Pequeño Corazón, who provides services to children who need heart transplants and corrective surgery.

Coach to Medellin, 3 nights

An expert lecture delves into the miraculous transformation of Medellín from the infamous home of Pablo Escobar’s cartel to one of South America’s safest and most promising cities. Visit the lakes of Guatape.

Fly to Cartagena, 2 nights, Departure

Discover the colonial walled city and fortress of Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A literary expert shows you the Cartagena of famed author Gabriel García Márquez and brings to life scenes from “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

Colombia (South America)

Named for Christopher Columbus after his discovery of the “New World,” Colombia boasts the second-largest population in South America. It is considered one of the world’s megadiverse countries due to its rich rainforests, dramatic coastlines and tropical grasslands.

Bogotá: Modern hotel in the upscale Zona Rosa. Salento: Hacienda-style modern hotel steps from the picturesque main street. Manizales: Centrally located hotel. Medellín: Modern hotel in one of Medellín ’s finest neighborhoods. Cartagena: Boutique hotel in the historic walled city.
Meals and Lodgings
   Andina Royal
  Bogota, Colombia 3 nights
   Hotel Salento Real
  Salento, Colombia 2 nights
   Hotel Europa Manizales
  Manizales, Colombia 1 night
   Royal Medellin
  Medellin, Colombia 3 nights
   Bastion Luxury Hotel
  Cartagena, Colombia 2 nights
 Andina Royal
Type: Hotel
  Description: Expect the best at the Andino Royal Hotel in Bogotá, a destination designed to deliver the ultimate in relaxation to discerning business and holiday travelers. From room and suite accommodations appointed with every luxury amenity to a modern gym, soothing sauna, chrometherapy shower, and massage room and elegant fine dining restaurant, our reputation as one of the premier Bogotá hotels has been built on our unmatched amenities and personalized service. Think of us as your home away from home when visiting Colombia’s vibrant capital.
  Contact info: Calle 85 No 12-28
Bogota, NA  Colombia
phone: +5716578787
  Room amenities: •Free Basic Internet •42" LCD TVs with Cable and Remote Control •24-Hour Room Service •Voice Mail •Clock Radios with iPod and iPhone plug in •Hairdryer •Air Conditioning •Minibar •Desktop •Ports for Connecting a Computer •Digital Safety Deposit Box •Water Sprinklers •Smoke Detectors •New Security Locks •24-Hour Room Service
  Facility amenities: •70 Exceptionally Appointed Rooms and Suites •Meeting Room •Gym •Sauna •Massage Room •Chrometherapy Shower •Restaurant, Bar •Parking •Breakfast Buffet •Wi-Fi or cable Internet connection in the room •24-Hour Room Service •Terrace •Business Center
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact Road Scholar for rates Pre-nights are available upon request.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hotel Salento Real
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Salento Real Hotel is a cozy hotel in Salento , right in the Coffee Region of Colombia and 20 minutes from Valle de Cocora. Colonial style, environmentally friendly, and specially designed for couples, families, and groups of friends who want to enjoy nature and tranquility in a warm environment where traditional hospitality of Quindio prevails.
  Contact info: Calle 3 # 4-31
Salento, Quindio, NA  Colombia
phone: +57 6 759 3658
  Room amenities: bath amenities, shower bath, free wifi, safe, LED TV 32"
  Facility amenities: Free wi-fi, 24 hour reception, porterage, laundry
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Europa Manizales
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Europa Hotel - Boutique is located in the Centennial Avenue near the bullring in one of the sectors with the highest tradition of the city of Manizales, near the historical center and commercial area of ​​the city. In our hotel every guest is unique and this is precisely why we guarantee an unforgettable stay for both tourists to the executive, thanks to our personalized service, focused on meeting the needs and desires of each of the people staying with we.
  Contact info: Av. Centenario No. 24-79
Manizales, Caldas,   Colombia
phone: +3116205604
  Facility amenities: More than a place to sleep, the Europa Hotel - Boutique becomes a space to enjoy a touch of beauty and excellent taste, sure that once you have experienced the care, harmonious spaces the latest trends in design, decor and comfort of our cozy rooms, always want to return to enjoy another stay at our hotel. We have 27 rooms completely refurbished in 2010 and meticulously planned to provide relaxation and rest to each of our customers relying on Wi-Fi, service national and international modern plasma TV 32 ", Minibar, local, business center, laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Royal Medellin
Type: Hotel
  Description: A stay at the Medellín Royal Hotel is truly something special. Perfectly located in the exclusive El Poblado district of Medellín, Colombia, just steps from the Centro de Negocios Edificio Forum, the Santa Fe and Oviedo Shopping commercial centers and the Hard Rock Café, this elegant hotel has been consistently recognized as one of the top hotels in Medellín by Modern and innovative, with a gracious staff dedicated to making you feel at home, we surpass the expectations of discerning business and holiday travelers with exceptionally appointed accommodations, superb regional cuisine in our restaurant and impressive venues and services for meetings and special events. To unwind after a day of meetings or sightseeing, our terrace pool, gym and spa offer a true urban oasis. Enjoy the contemporary style of the Medellín Royal Hotel while relaxing in beautiful rooms and suites overlooking the city. Surrounded by notable attractions, fascinating cultural destinations, fashionable shopping and thriving nightlife, our hotel is the perfect choice for exploring the many splendors of Medellín, Colombia.
  Contact info: Carrera 42
Medellin, Antioquia, NA  Colombia
phone: +57 1 657-8787
  Room amenities: Amenities •Cable TV •City View •Mini Bar •Turndown Service •120 AC •Outlet Adapters •Air Conditioned •Alarm Clock •Bathroom Telephone •Cordless Telephone •Cribs Available •Hairdryer In Room •International Direct Dial •Free Newspaper •Pool View •Radio •Refrigerator •Sitting Area •Smoke Detectors •Telephone •Temperature Control •Toilet •TV •TV Remote Control •WC
  Facility amenities: •Boardroom •Gym •Spa (Available Monday – Saturday. Closed Sundays) •Pool and Jacuzzi •Restaurant and Bar •Parking •Buffet Breakfast •Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet •24-Hour Room Service •Business Center •Terrace
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Bastion Luxury Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Bastión Luxury Hotel has an outdoor pool and a fitness center. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas. This luxury hotel offers a restaurant and a bar/lounge. A complimentary breakfast is available. The staff can provide concierge services and wedding services. Additional amenities include a rooftop terrace, a terrace, and dry cleaning/laundry services. For a surcharge, guests have access to a roundtrip airport shuttle (available 24 hours). This is a smoke-free property.
  Contact info: Calle del Sargento No 6-87
Cartagena, NA 130001 Colombia
phone: +57 5 642-4100
  Room amenities: The 51 air-conditioned guestrooms at Bastión Luxury Hotel include minibars and safes. Guests can use the in-room complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access. 40-inch LED TVs are equipped with cable channels. Bathrooms offer showers with rainfall showerheads, hair dryers, and complimentary toiletries. Additional amenities include ceiling fans and blackout drapes/curtains. Turndown service is offered nightly and housekeeping is available daily.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: Contact Road Scholar for rates Post-nights available upon request.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program Starts with an overnight at the hotel in Bogotá. Program orientation is the following morning after breakfast. You will be staying at Andina Royal Hotel that night. You will be staying at Andina Royal that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with breakfast at the hotel in Cartagena. You will be staying at Hotel Bastion the night before. You will be staying at Bastion Luxury Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. A passport with 6 months of validity is required for US and Canadian passport holders. Others must inquire with Colombian Authorities in their country of citizenship.
  Parking availability:
Not Applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bogota
  Nearest airport:  BOG
  Transportation to site: The airport is located eight miles (13km) northwest of the center of Bogota. Travelling time is from the airport to the hotel is about 35 minutes. Public buses serve the airport but are not recommended for visitors. Taxi booths are located in the terminals where passengers should book taxis and receive a receipt for the fare, agreed in advance. It varies depending on the time of arrival and whether or not luggage assistance is offered. You can book your airport transfer in advance through Go Airport Taxi. Please note this is a third party service that's not affiliated with Road Scholar.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Cartagena
  Nearest airport:  CTG
  Transportation from site: The hotel is 1.74 MI from the airport, and different transfer options are available. Please check with the hotel Concierge, and they will gladly assist you with your transfer.
Elevation Note: Bogotá is located at 8,612 ft., Manizales at 7,054 ft. and Medellín is located at 4,905 ft.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: US Departures / Arrival in Bogotá, Colombia
(Thursday, December 3)
 Arrive To: Evening arrivals at Bogotá Airport. Private transfers from the airport to the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Andina Royal

Day 2: Introduction to Bogota, The Gold Museum and Sunset at Monserrate
(Friday, December 4)

Note: Bogota's altitude is over 8,000 feet. Walks will be short distances and at a leisurely pace. Walking and standing in the Gold Museum, with some stairs. Access to Montserrate by funicular. Montserrate is situated at 9,800 feet of elevation and walking is limited to short distances.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: 8:30AM: Meet your Study Leader and fellow travelers for a welcome and orientation to the program. Introductions, currency and other housekeeping issues will be discussed. Following orientation, depart by motorcoach for a full day exploration of Bogota. Begin at Mercado Plaza, the open air produce market. Learn about the many varieties of fruits and vegetables that will be featured in your meals in Colombia. Enjoy a walking tour of Bogota's Plaza Bolivar, the city's main square and home of Colombia's Congress, the Palace of Justice, and the Cathedral Primada. Your group leader will talk about the historic sites surrounding this beautiful old square.
 Lunch: In the Gold Museum.
 Afternoon: Field Trip "Pre-Colombian Riches at the Gold Museum": Be awed by the impressive collection housed in the Gold Museum, the largest collection of Pre-Hispanic gold anywhere in the world. The sheer diversity of the collection is staggering. The museum's centerpiece is the musical "Offering Boat," and is just one of many examples of Pre-Hispanic gold craftsmanship. End the afternoon with a journey by funicular up to the city's highest view point for a sunset visit to Monserrate, the site of a historic church famous for religious pilgrimages and for its beautiful view overlooking Bogota.
 Dinner: At one of the fine restaurants at Monserrate.
 Evening: Return to the hotel.
Accommodations: Andina Royal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Cathedral of Salt and Cajica Village
(Saturday, December 5)

Note: Travel by motorcoach approximately 1.5 hours each way to the Salt Cathedral and Cajica.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Full day field trip to the Salt Cathedral. Journey outside of Bogota to the village of Zipiquira, where in 1951, salt miners executed an amazing feat of engineering by building a massive structure carved into the salt - a cathedral.
 Lunch: Enjoy typical cuisine of the region in a restaurant in the village of Cajica.
 Afternoon: Take some time to stroll through the village, known for its skilled potters, before returning to Bogota.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore the many eateries just steps from the hotel in the Zona Rosa, one of Bogota's gastronomy neighborhoods.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Andina Royal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Fly to Armenia / Colombian Coffee Production from the Coffee Bush to the Cup
(Sunday, December 6)

Note: Please note that internal flights allow one carry on of up to 22 pounds and one checked bag of up to 44 pounds without additional charges. The documents for flights within Colombia are issued after you arrive on the program. Walking and standing on unpaved terrain at the plantation for 30 minutes. The altitude in Salento is 5,250 ft. Walking on cobblestone streets with a slight incline.

 Breakfast: Early breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Fly to Armenia, in the Coffee Region, arriving mid-morning. Drive through the rolling hills to the hacienda of a coffee farmer and begin your discovery of coffee production, beginning with a presentation on the history of coffee. Continue with a visit of the plantation.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical meal of the region at the hacienda.
 Afternoon: Leave the plantation and head into the village of Salento, where the story of this farmer's coffee production continues with the roasting, grinding and packaging processes. Walk through the picturesque cobblestone streets to the family's cafe to taste the finished product. Afterwards, take a stroll down the main street of Salento to admire the brightly painted balconies and arrive at the hotel for check-in.
 Dinner: Light dinner in the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Salento Real
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Cocora Valley
(Monday, December 7)

Note: The Cocora Valley is at 7,875 feet. The hike to the river and the Camino Real is 30 minutes each way, with an elevation change of 300 feet down and then back up, over a dirt-road that may be muddy in spots and has some rocky places. Light hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes are recommended.

 Breakfast: Start your day with coffee, tea, juice, fresh seasonal fruits and your choice of yogurt, cereal and eggs.
 Morning: Field trip into the Cocora Valley with its wax palms and spectacular views. Learn about the significance of the wax palm and participate in the planting of a tree donated by Road Scholar. Then, choose to take a short hike with your local expert to the Quindio River and the Camino Real, a section of the Inca Trail, taking in the beauty of the soaring wax palms and mountain landscape. Perhaps you'll get a glimpse of hummingbirds or some of the brightly colored endemic birds. Or, remain in the main area near the lunch restaurant to relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Watch for the hummingbirds that frequent the trees nearby. This area is a photographer's dream.
 Lunch: Enjoy the specialty of the Cocora Valley, trout from the nearby river, crisply fried and served on a giant tostone. (chicken, beef and a vegetarian selection also offered)
 Afternoon: Return to Salento and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to relax, stroll the village, or even climb the many steps to the viewpoint on the hillside above. Reconvene in the late afternoon for a lecture on the impact of illegal groups on the coffee region, with your local expert.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore the many local restaurants that line the main street and town square, which offer a variety of choices in local and international cuisine.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Salento Real
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Bonsai and Orchids / Manizales
(Tuesday, December 8)

Note: At the plantation, the walk from the coach drop off through the orchards is downhill on unpaved ground. Walking sticks are provided and those who do not want to walk will be driven in cars to the hacienda. Although the actual distance between Salento and Medellin is only 156 miles, the road is winding, single lane, with many speed bumps, and an average speed limit of 45 mph, therefore we break our journey with a night in Manizales. Our ride will be about 95 miles and stops are made in route.

 Breakfast: Start your day with coffee, tea, juice, fresh seasonal fruits and your choice of yogurt, cereal and eggs.
 Morning: Depart Salento and journey along the Coffee Route to meet the passionate horticulturist of the largest private collection of orchids in Colombia. This unique visit to a family farm and hacienda begins with a walk through their fruit orchards, with awesome views of the mountains that extend as far as the eye can see. Around the hacienda, examine hundreds of varieties of orchids from all over the world, including very rare species, an amazing collection of miniature orchids, carniverous plants and a collection of bonsai that are over thirty years old.
 Lunch: Enjoy a home-cooked meal at the hacienda. Keep an eye peeled for the many species of hummingbirds.
 Afternoon: Continue to Manizales, one of the oldest cities in the coffee region, with a wealth of history, ranging from the expansion of colonists from Medellin in the North to the indigenous cultures that existed here even before the European discovery of the "New World." Explore this city by coach and learn its history and how it is transforming to meet the needs of its residents. Meet with the charity foundation Pequeno Corazon, who provides services to children who need heart transplants and corrective surgery. Late afternoon arrival and check-in at the hotel. Please note that hotel selection in Manizales is limited. While we have selected the best available option and the service is excellent, the facilities may not meet our more sophisticated expectations.
 Dinner: Light dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Europa Manizales
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Through the Coffee Region to Medellin
(Wednesday, December 9)

Note: The drive takes about six hours with three stops en route: a morning rest stop, lunch, and an afternoon rest stop. Medellin is located at 4,905 feet.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast with juice, fresh fruit, arepa, eggs, yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea.
 Morning: Depart to Medellin with a rest stop en route. The drive through the mountains takes in the landscape of the coffee region. The first stop of the day affords scenic views over the Cauca River.
 Lunch: En route to Medellin, at a local restaurant in a picturesque location with a scenic viewpoint.
 Afternoon: Continue the drive, climbing 5,900 feet in just over one mile, passing through the village of Santa Barbara. We leave the coffee bushes behind and enter a pastoral landscape and lower elevation. Arrive in Medellin and check in at the hotel. Reconvene for a lecture by your local expert on the city's inspiring transformation from having one of the world's highest murder rates to one of the safest cities in South America. This transformation has brought about socioeconomic change to residents that has permeated through all levels of society.
 Dinner: Light dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Royal Medellin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Guatape Lake
(Thursday, December 10)

Note: Drive to Guatape Lake is 1.5 hours each way on winding, but good condition, roads.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip "Journey to Guatape": Following the weekend footsteps of Antioquenos (residents of Medellin), journey out to the area of Guatape Lake to learn about this hydroelectric project begun in the 1970s and its impact on the city of Medellin. Located east of the city, the stunning lakes of Guatape are dwarfed by the monolithic rock of Penol, a 150 foot high geologic marvel looming over the water's edge. Walk through the village of Guatape to view the colorful zocalos - baseboard trim painted in the theme of each house or building.
 Lunch: Enjoy grilled lake fish on the village's waterfront. (chicken or vegetarian option offered)
 Afternoon: Take the views of the lake during a short ride on the small motorboats that ply the waters, then admire the views over the entire landscape, from the base of La Penol. Return to Medellin.
 Dinner: Explore the flavors of Medellin on your own. Many restaurants featuring local and international cuisine and a shopping mall are located nearby the hotel, and suggestions will be provided.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Royal Medellin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Medellin, Its Art and Transformation
(Friday, December 11)

Note: Walking in the city up to a half mile at a time, rest stops available in some places. Travel by public transportation, cable car and escalator. Walking and standing in the museum.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip by motorcoach to the heart of Medellin and the Museum of Antiochia. Examine the collection of 19th to 20th century Colombian paintings that illustrate the settlement of the coffee region and explore the works of native son, Fernando Botero. Walk through the Parque Berrio, home of some of Botero's oversized sculptures. Experience firsthand the hustle and bustle of downtown Medellin.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Experience the impact of the public transportation on residents of the city by taking the inspirationally clean, safe and modern metropolitan train. Connect directly from the Metro line to the famous Metro Cable. Not only are you greeted with amazing views, but you are taking part in a piece of Medellin's history. The cable car network was one of the factors influencing the regeneration of the city, providing thousands of residents with easy access to the downtown from the steep hillsides, to find work. Walk from the Metro a few blocks to the amazing escalator system that has transformed one of the city's poorest neighborhoods into the safest, best-kept area. Meet local youth who maintain and greet visitors to the escalators and the artists who create the colorful wall murals.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local flavors from the many eateries nearby.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Royal Medellin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Fly to Cartegena
(Saturday, December 12)

Note: There is no motorcoach access inside the walled city. Luggage will be transported to the hotel in small vans. The walk from the motorcoach drop off point to the hotel is 5-10 minutes over cobblestone streets.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer by motorcoach to the Rio Negro Airport and fly to Cartagena. Upon arrival in the city, begin with a lecture, "All About Cartagena," to learn the considerable role that the city has played in the history of the Americas.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip by motorcoach to "La Popa and San Felipe": Discover the hilltop area of La Popa on the highest point of the city. Enjoy the views of the Caribbean and over the walled city from the flower filled patio and explore the historic convent. Continue on to Castillo de San Felipe, which was created in 1536 and expanded by African slave labor over the following two centuries. In the late afternoon, check in at the hotel.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore the many restaurants in the walled city. Suggestions will be provided.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Bastion Luxury Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Explore the Walled City of Cartagena and Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(Sunday, December 13)

Note: Walk to the lecture venue. After the lecture, up to 3 hours of slow walking over uneven and cobblestone streets. There will be rest stops. Note: Cartagena has a Caribbean climate: very warm, humid and possible passing rain showers.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: A lecture introduces the life and history of Colombia's most notable writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Learn of the inspirations for many of his works found in Cartagena and gain insight into the author's often overlooked works of journalism. Field Trip: Walk through the walled city of Cartagena with a local expert. Carved from a colorful history rife with piracy, sultry Caribbean heat, and fusions of African, indigenous and European culture, Cartagena is truly a living and breathing museum. Walk through the old town, passing under the symbol of Cartagena, the Puerto Del Reloj or "Clock Tower Gate" into the Plaza de los Coches. Your local expert divulges the legends and history of Cartagena from ancient times, up to the present. Stroll from the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning church, on through Cartagena's own Plaza Bolivar.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to wander the walled city, explore the Gold Museum, or relax at the pool.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in a nearby restaurant with musical entertainment.
Accommodations: Bastion Luxury Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Departures for the US
(Monday, December 14)
 Breakfast: Early continental breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Program ends. Transfer to the Cartagena Airport for return flights to the US.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Author: Tom Standage

Description: A highly enjoyable chronicle of the prestige, power, politics and pleasures of key beverages through the ages. Standage argues that the drinks that have mattered, since the Stone Age, are, in chronological order: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Each chapter is a vivid history of politics, prestige, colonialism, commerce and society.

Birds of Northern South America, Vol. 2: Field Guide

Author: Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner, Roger Williams

Description: This comprehensive field guide, featuring an astounding 6400 paintings and 2308 maps, covers all the birds from Ecuador to Guiana.

Colombia Map

Author: ITMB

Description: A colorful travel map of Colombia, including an inset of Bogota, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.

Culture Smart! Colombia

Author: Kate Cathey

Description: A concise and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.

Latin America in Colonial Times

Author: Matthew Restall

Description: This scholarly primer considers the history of the continent from the arrival of the first Conquistadors in the 16th century to the dying embers of empire 300 years later, giving equal weight to the histories of the colonial rulers, the African slaves brought over to work in the New World and the indigenous groups whose lives and lands were forever changed by conquest.

Liberators, Latin America's Struggle for Independence 1810-1830

Author: Robert Harvey

Description: Focused on the heroism and derring-do of seven legendary men, Harvey tells the story of Simon Bolivar, General Jose de San Martin and other greats in the fight for independence.

Living to Tell the Tale

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edith Grossman (Translator)

Description: Garcia's celebrated memoir, as captivating, warm and spirited as any of his fictional tales, covering his youth in Aracataca, memorably recast as fictional Macondo on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Lonely Planet Colombia

Author: Lonely Planet, Lonely Planet Publications

Description: A practical guide to Colombia featuring maps and detailed information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. With a few color photographs and excellent travel information.

Looking For History, Dispatches From Latin America

Author: Alma Guillermoprieto

Description: A beautifully written, incisive collection of essays on contemporary Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Mexico.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edith Grossman (Translator)

Description: A glorious tale of great love consummated after 50 years, nine months and four days, memorably set in a dusty 19th-century town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Miracle in the Land of Coffee

Author: Julian Rodriguez (Director)

Description: Set in the 30’s, in the picturesque Colombian countryside, in a time of violence between neighboring towns over local resources. Felipe, a young man of the Franciscan order, has to choose between his faith and calling, or surrender his heart to the woman he loves.

My Colombian War, A Journey Through the Country I Left Behind

Author: Silvana Paternostro

Description: Now a journalist living in New York, Paternostro travels back to her homeland in a search for the roots of Colombia's bloody civil war.

News of a Kidnapping

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Description: In 1990, fearing extradition to the United States, Pablo Escobar -- head of the Medellin drug cartel --kidnapped ten notable Colombians to use as bargaining chips. With the eye of a poet, Garcia Marquez describes the survivors' perilous ordeal, depicting through this story the keening ache of Colombia after nearly forty years of turmoil.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Description: The breathtaking, life-altering, much-celebrated tale of life and love on most everyone's list of the greatest books of all time, ours included.

Our Lady of the Assassins

Author: Fernando Vallejo, Paul Hammond (Translator)

Description: A vivid, cynical portrait of Medellin, Colombia's second largest city and the stronghold of ruthless drug lord Pablo Escobar. The narrator returns to the town after a long absence to find it beset by horrific violence and a chilling indifference to death.

The Andes

Author: Jason Wilson

Description: Starting out in Cuzco, heart of the Inca Empire, Wilson spreads north and south along the Andes, including excerpts from South American literary giants, travelers and his own impressions.

The Conquistadors, A Very Short Introduction

Author: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Matthew Restall

Description: This provocative book by two leading historians explores who the conquistadors were and what made their adventures possible.

The Making of Modern Colombia, A Nation in Spite of Itself

Author: David Bushnell

Description: A leading historian of the region, Bushnell traces the political history of Colombia from before the arrival of the Spaniards through independence and reform in the 19th century, then through to the 1980s in this thoroughly enjoyable, incisive portrait of a nation.

Tropical Nature

Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata

Description: A lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest.

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