Trains & Coffee in Colombia and Panama

16 Days | Escorted Small Group Expedition| Maximum 18 Guests

We start our trip in Bogota, discovering this bustling city on a fascinating City Tour.  We travel onboard the “Tren de la Sabana” to the famous Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira. Don’t get lost in this vast underground labyrinth. Discover the secrets of Colombian Coffee visiting one of Colombia’s most beautiful Coffee Plantations. Have you ever thought about where your flower shop gets the Roses and Hydrangeas? Get a glimpse into the international flower industry at a Rose Farm near Bogota and a Hydrangea Farm near Medellin and learn about Flower nursing at large scale. Discover a seldom traveled region in Colombia traveling by train on the newly opened railroad along the Magdalena River from Puerto Berrio to Barrancabermeja. After a short break in the Caribbean where we visit Cartagena de Indias, we end the tour in Panama City, traveling along the Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean aboard the Transoceanic Train. On the way back to Panama City, we explore various locks and visit a wildlife sanctuary by boat. 

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

  • November 07 - 22, 2019 $4895
  • July 09 - 24, 2019 $4895

** We give you an additional 10% Discount on 2019 price for 2020 departures when you confirm the Journey from Buenos Aires to Lima with a deposit before August 31st. 2019

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 Trains & Coffee in Colombia and Panama

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