Trains and Coffee in Colombia and Panama

This out-of-the-ordinary tour will take you from Buenos Aires, Argentina through Bolivia to Lima, Peru in a 21-day, once-in-a-lifetime adventure! We will take travelers from the iconic city of Buenos Aires to Tucuman, from where we visit the famous wine region of Cafayate. You travel on the iconic “Tren a las Nubes” and continue the journey through the incredible landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats to La Paz in Bolivia. We then proceed into Peru to Lake Titicaca and the wonder of the world known as Machu Picchu and beyond. This journey brings you to many of the region’s must-see sites, but you’ll also explore some tourist destinations that are frequently omitted from most other mainstream tours, including Cafayate, the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Uyuni and Lake Titicaca, among others.

Tour Highlights

  • We travel on various trains in Colombia. Especially to mention is the “Tren de la Sabana from Bogota to Zipaquira, the Metrotrain in Medellin, and the Train from Puerto Berrio to Barrancabermeja.
  • Colombia is an important exporter of Coffee and Flowers. Learn about the production process of these products before they are shipped overseas and you find them at home in your favorite shop or supermarket.
  • Journey on “Motorrodillo through South America’s longest tunnel from Santiago to Cisneros on the Antioquia Railroad that connected the Magdalena River with Medellin.
  • Visit the famous Panama Canal and observe the ships crossing from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean or vice versa.  Panama is also a wildlife sanctuary, and the country has a fascinating history to discover.

Dates & Rates

Colombia, Panama

Tour Dates 2019: Oct 31 - Nov 15

Escorted Small Group Journey | Max. 18 Guests

Tour Dates 2020: Jul 09 - 24

15 Nights from USD 4'895.-- per person

Inclusions

Air transportation within Colombia and Panama; all excursions in the company of an English speaking expedition leader and local guides; all accommodations in excellent upper middle-class hotels; most meals; all entrance fees; arrival and departure transfers in Bogota and Panama City.

Exclusions

Airfare from your home city/Bogota and Panama City/home city; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages and other incidentals; and email/Internet/fax/telephone charges. 

Itinerary

Considering the character of our trips, we may be making ongoing improvements to this itinerary. Below you find the day-by-day itinerary for the tour “Railways in Colombia and Panama”. (This tour replaces our Trip “Trains & Coffee.”) Unless otherwise specified, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our maximum to comply to the scheduled tour program, but due to the travel style and regions we visit, we may deviate the journey slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, and culture.

Day 1: Arrival in Bogota

You arrive with your international flight in Bogota. Our driver welcomes you at the airport and brings you to the Hotel where you stay overnight.

Arrival with Avianca in Bogota
Day 2: City Tour in Bogota

A funicular brings us up to the Monserrate Hill at 3’152 meters (10’341 ft) above sea level. From the Monserrate Hill, we have breathtaking views of the city of Bogota. Back in town, we visit the Gold and Botero Museums. We visit the Plaza Bolivar, the National Capitol, the Cathedral, and Bogota’s old town called Candelaria. We spend the night in Bogota.

Bogota Colombia
Day 3: Tren de la Sabana & Salt Cathedral

At the Sabana Railway Station, we board the “Tren de la Sabana”. Enjoy from the train Bogota’s Savannah Region during the 53 km journey to Zipaquira. In Zipaquira, we visit the Salt Cathedral inside an old salt mine. On the train journey back to Bogota, the train stops in Cojiba where we have lunch. From Cojiba we return to Bogota’s Usaquen train station where our private vehicle awaits us and brings us to our hotel. 

Tren de la Sabana
Day 4: Rose Plantation
Discover during a full day the World of Roses and get introduced to the international flower industry. Being able to visit a Rose Farm is a privilege because growing techniques, Rose varieties and post-harvest techniques are best kept secrets. Be prepared that you cannot take photos in some parts of the farm. We have lunch before we return to Bogota where we stay overnight.
Colombian Roses
Day 5: Santa Rosa Thermes
Transfer to the Airport in Bogota and flight to Pereira. We will enjoy a refreshing bath in the Thermal Springs of Santa Rosa with its impressive waterfall. Enjoy the surrounding mountains and the tropical cloud forest from inside the thermal pools. In the afternoon, we drive to our hotel near Pereira.
Santa Rosa de Cabal
Day 6: Discover one of the Best Coffees in the World

A speciality Coffee producer invites us for a walk through their steep fields of coffee bushes while learning every detail that is needed to produce an excellent coffee. Then, we have a close look at the post-harvest installation where coffee beans are cleaned, selected and roasted. Our visit ends in the laboratory with a coffee tasting session. In the afternoon, we return to our hotel where we stay overnight.

Coffee Tasting
Day 7: City Tour in Medellin

In the morning, we go to the Airport in Perreira for the flight to Medellin. We travel on the suburban train to the Acevedo railway station where we board the aerial cable car into the mountains. After lunch, we visit a “Silletero” house near the cable car’s terminal station. Silleteros work with fresh flowers and are the main attraction of Medellin’s picturesque flower festival that takes place every year. Our private vehicle brings us back to the city. We stay overnight in Medellin.

Medellin Metro
Day 8: Hydrangeas & Orchids
We visit the Hacienda San Isidro which cultivates Hydrangeas and Orchids. The San Isidro Farm was a pioneer in Colombia in Hydrangeas farming and exporting the flower overseas. The owner’s of San Isidro has one of the largest private collections of orchids in Colombia. He will open for us the doors to his large Orchid Collection and show us around his Orchid Garden. In the afternoon, we return to Medellin where we stay overnight.
Flower Plantation
Day 9: Guatape & Peñol Rock

We visit the Peñol-Guatapé reservoir which has a dam that was built at the end of the 1970s, flooding thousands of hectares. From the “Piedra del Peñol,” you have beautiful views over the lake and the surrounding forests. We have lunch and visit the picturesque town of Guatape. In the afternoon, transfer to the Airport in Medellin for the flight to Cartagena de Indias in the Caribbean. Transfer-in to the hotel where we stay overnight.

View from Peñol Rock
Day 10: South America's longest Railway Tunnel
We travel early morning to Santiago where we do a special rail trip, sitting on a carriage being pulled by a motorcycle on rails crossing the longest railway tunnel in South America. This journey is very scenic and fun. We continue our trip in the afternoon to the old railway junction of Puerto Berrio. Here, we board the train to Barrancabermeja, following the Magdalena River downstream. We stay overnight in Barrancabermeja.  
Motorodillo Cisneros
Day 11: Guatape & Peñol Rock

Experience all of Cartagena’s historical highlights on a comprehensive guided tour of Colombia’s most vibrant city. Immerse yourself in the Caribbean flair of the town as you visit revered museums, iconic fortresses, and impressive monuments. Admire the astonishing colonial architecture of the Clock Tower and explore the glittering exhibitions of the Museum of Gold.

Cartagena de Indias
Day 12: Day at Leisure in Cartagena de Indias

You have a day at leisure in Cartagena de Indias. The only thing programed today is the breakfast at the hotel. You have time to go to a beach, visit a museum, do shopping or just having a beer in one of the colorful streets and watching people walk by. 

Cartagena de Indias
Day 13: City Tour in Panama City

Transfer to the airport in Cartagena and flight to Panama City. Transfer to the Hotel where we have lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the Ancon Hill from where you have breathtaking views over Panama City. Later we go to the Bio Museum where you get introduced to Panama’s bio diversity. We stay overnight in Panama City. 

Panama City
Day 14: Trans Oceanic Railway and Panama Canal

We travel along the Panama Canal on the Transoceanic Train. In Colon on the Caribbean side, we go to the nearby Agua Clara observation area, where you can observe Panamax Class ships going from the Gatun Lake to the lower level of the Caribbean Ocean or vice versa. On the way back to Panama City, we do a short boat ride on the Gatun Lake visiting a nearby wildlife sanctuary. Before reaching Panama City, we go to see the Miraflores Lock. We stay overnight at our hotel in Panama City.

Panama Canal
Day 15: Panama City Old Town

We start our city tour at Panama’s old town that has become an open-air museum. Among the best-preserved buildings are the “Cathedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción,” the former private residence Casa Alarcón, and church and convent of Santo Domingo. We learn about Rum in an artisanal Rum Distillery in Panama’s old town before we have our farewell lunch. In the afternoon, we return to our hotel in Panama City.

Panama City
Day 16: Departure

At the agreed time, transfer to the Airport and flight to your home country. 

Copa Flight over Panama City

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