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colombia

 

If you haven’t noticed, Colombia is having a moment right now. In Cartagena, it’s all about that Caribbean joie-de-vivre: days spent floating in crystalline waters, nights spent shimmying to champeta music in the cobblestoned streets; and the backdrop, an impressive display of colonial architecture, is punctuated by street art and a healthy smattering of street vendors selling fresh fruit and warm arepas.

In Medellín, residents have taken the reins back post-Escobar, and given the city the Brooklyn treatment: pour-over coffee shops roast locally grown beans, Colombian designers fill hip boutiques with clothing and wares you’ll want to check a bag for, and restaurants like El Cielo give fine dining that Latin oomph.

Yet one thing remains consistent throughout the country: Colombians take pride in sharing their culture with anyone who visits.

Solo travel and safety are two of the biggest topics discussed in the Women Who Travel Facebook group, and we hope this trip will help travelers feel empowered about both. With experts like El Camino Travel leading the charge, we want female travelers to feel excited to hoof it through Colombia solo or with a friend—or two, or three—and meet other passionate travelers along the way.

 
 
 
 
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PRICE

$3,800 per person

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LENGTH

8 NIGHTS AND 9 DAYS

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CITIES

CARTAGENA & MEDELLIN

 
 
 
 

 

ITINERARY

 
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Arrive: Touch down in coastal Cartagena. Spend the few hours before everyone meets up doing recon on the colonial city, or wash off the flight in its warm Caribbean waters.

Evening: Get to know your fellow travelers over drinks. We’ll head to a 1920’s shoe store-turned-rum bar, where the cocktails are modern shake ups of Colombian classics. The spirits are infused in-house, with endemic fruits like lulo and maracuya. Enjoy your drink on the rooftop, or roll your sleeves up and step behind the bar—the bartenders are happy to teach you how to mix your own. Later, two of Latin America’s most exciting young chefs will invite us into their just-opened restaurant for a special dinner. This renegade duo travels the country, cooks with indigenous communities, and brings their traditional ingredients back to Cartagena. The goal? To put these one-time staples back into modern kitchens, and expose travelers to ingredients they wouldn’t find otherwise. The result is a sensory culinary experience, with purpose.

Stay: We’re calling Tcherassi Hotel & Spa home for the next few days. Created by Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi, this breezy tropical space embodies the vibrant yet sophisticated aesthetic she’s known for. We love the wood-beamed ceilings and patterned bedspreads—but what really gets us out of the room is the walk-out balconies, terraces overlooking the cobblestoned streets outside, and not one but four sparkling pools to cool off in. Read more about Tcherassi Hotel and Spa here.


Meals included: Dinner

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Morning: Expect an early wake up call today, and you’re going to want to bring a bathing suit. We’re heading to the iconic mud volcano just outside the city—but our insiders are letting us in early, before all the other travelers show up. We’ll get our hands dirty with this one, but trust us: it’s worth it.

Afternoon: Back in the city, we’ll spend Sunday afternoon as Cartageneros do over a home-cooked meal, with a side of salsa (dance, not sauce). First, we’ll head to a neighborhood home in Getsemani, for a home-cooked Sunday feast. Our meal will be chased with a crash-course in salsa dancing, and an evening spent hopping between watering holes to test out your new moves.

Evening: Our salsa tour will fade into the night, at the end of which most of us will flop onto our beds exhausted. But, if you’re up for a nightcap, the evening is yours to stay out at the salsa bar or back in the city.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, snacks through the evening

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Morning: We’ll follow the coast north to a little fishing town with a strong Afro-Caribbean influence. An initiative started by local musicians works to teach the younger members of the community how to play traditional instruments. Today, they’re going to teach us as well. After class, we’ll have some time to explore the neighborhood and learn more about their lives outside the city.

Afternoon: Wear your stretchiest pants today, because we’re spending the afternoon eating our way through Old Cartagena. Our friend and expert foodie, Catalina, is a human encyclopedia of the city’s street food, and she’s going to take us to her favorite vendors. Prepare to eat a ton, and learn about the local food culture along the way.

Evening: Tonight is yours! Get in those last few hours of dancing in the streets of Getsemani—or one last bite of this city’s impossibly fresh ceviche (don’t worry, your guide and on-trip editor have countless recs to share with you).

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch (food tour)

 
 

 

COUNTRY RESOURCES

Want to know more about Colombia? Check out our COUNTRY RESOURCES.

 

Want to know what a Women Who Travel trip is like?

Check out this recap from our first-ever Colombia trip. We’ve got behind-the-scenes photos, real thoughts from our travelers, and the moments we keep going back to.

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Best Travel Destinations in Colombia

Written by the Latin American travel experts at El Camino Travel, click to read our highly curated list of best places to travel to in Colombia.

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Is it Safe to Travel to Colombia in 2019?

Modern day Colombia is not 1980’s Narcos. In 2018, traveling to Colombia is safe for tourists and solo female travelers alike, making Colombia no different from going abroad to any other country.

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