One of the most difficult things to do when you are planning a trip to a foreign country is to define the travel itinerary. That task of deciding what places to visit, in what order and how to get from one location to another, can be overwhelming and sometimes even discouraging. Especially when you are visiting a country with a huge variety of sights and attractions as it is the case in Colombia.
Let’s face it, nowadays, it’s quite easy to buy a flight ticket online and make a reservation in a hotel with just 3 clicks. That’s the easy part of organizing a trip abroad. But how do you decide how to split your few vacation days when there are plenty of places to visit, activities to do and people to meet?
Most people start by making a wish list of places they would like to visit. Then they investigate what is the recommended time to spend at each location and they do the math. Sounds quite simple, but it becomes a lot harder when you realize that some places are only opened during certain dates, or when getting from place A to place B requires 2 stopovers and an extra night somewhere, or when the only airline connecting place A to place B flies only on Wednesdays and you were planning on flying on Saturday, just to name a few.
Determining the ideal travel itinerary is always a challenging task, but creating your ideal Colombia Itinerary is especially difficult. This is due to the following reasons:
Colombia has it all. It might sound exaggerated, but it’s true. You could spend six months traveling around Colombia and you still won’t be able to discover it all. Its variety of destinations is huge, partly due to its fantastic geographic location.
Just to give some examples, a Colombia Itinerary could include a visit to the Amazon Jungle; the huge flatlands of Casanare; the high altitude mountains and its glaciers; the wild Pacific coast or the pristine beaches of the Caribbean sea; huge cities as Bogotá or Medellin or cute charming villages like Barichara or Villa de Leyva.
You could pamper yourself in fantastic locations like Cartagena, Santa Marta or the Coffee Zone or be adventurous and go paragliding in dramatic mountain sceneries, discover the river of the 5 colours, dive with hammer sharks, climb huge rocky mountains to be on top of the jungle or go mountain biking through a valley full of the tallest palm trees in the world.
The possibilities are endless and this is fantastic for travelers, but it also makes harder the task of deciding how your Colombia Itinerary it’s going to be.
Once you have already passed the phase of being overwhelmed by the huge variety of attractions and activities that Colombia has to offer and you have already selected a small group of destinations you would like to visit, you are faced with another challenge in creating your Itinerary: the long distances.
It’s not a minor factor. Colombia is a big country. As big as France and Spain together. Additionally, the mountainous topography makes it even harder. For example, the distance between Bogotá and Cartagena is about 1000 kilometers (621.371 miles) so people assume that it can be done in a 10-hour drive. That could be the case if it was a flat drive through a modern highway. The reality is that you need around 20 hours to cover that distance by car.
So when you are planning your trip, you will need to take into consideration some “lost days” in which you are going to be just moving from place A to place B.
It’s true, Colombia is located just above the Equatorial line, so there are no seasons. However, there are dry and wet periods, and this changes depending on the altitude and the location. In general, Colombia has a very pleasant weather to travel all year-round, but some attractions are not always available.
The 2 main examples of this situation are Caño Cristales and Bahía Solano.
Caño Cristales is the most beautiful river in the world. No doubt about it. It’s a river with crystal clear waters and colorful underwater plants that range from green to purple. It’s truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, it only exists during the rainy period because the heat of the dry season evaporates the streams and therefore the underwater plants die. This means you can only include Caño Cristales in your Colombia Itinerary if you are traveling between mid-June and November.
Bahía Solano is an amazing place where dense jungles meet the wild Pacific ocean. It’s a great destination for nature lovers as there is plenty of wildlife to be spotted. You can visit it all year-round but its main attraction takes place only between July and October: whale watching.
Every year, hundreds of humpback whales make their trip from the south of Chile to the warm waters of Bahía Solano and its surroundings to give birth to their baby whales. It’s true, you can spot whales in many places of the world, but Bahía Solano has something special: it’s the place where you can see the mother whale teach its newly born baby how to jump, swim and hunt. It’s an amazing show to witness, but you can only include it in your trip if you are traveling between July and October.
Some of the most beautiful places in Colombia are remote and hard to reach. Long distances are a factor, as well as lack of decent infrastructure. Some places are only reachable by plane, some others only by car and some others by boat.
One example is Cerros de Mavecure. One of our favorite places in Colombia. It’s a group of 3 huge rocky mountains popping up in the middle of the jungle. You can climb them and enjoy an amazing view over the flat jungle around them.
However, it’s tough and expensive to reach. You first need to get to the city of Inirida. Unfortunately, you cannot reach it by land, so you have to take a cargo boat during 7-10 days or catch a flight from Bogotá. As you can imagine, there are only a few flights a week (less than 4) and they are expensive.
Once you reach Inirida, you need to take a speedboat for 4 hours until you reach the base of the hills, from where you can start a 2-3 hours hike to reach the top. It’s totally worth it, but it requires quite some planning and time. This is why it’s not that easy for travelers to include it in their vacations to Colombia.
Summing up, Colombia is a fantastic travel destination, but planning your itinerary is a tough challenge. Luckily, Lulo Colombia is here to help.
We are a group of travel experts who have traveled Colombia head to toes. We have vast experience organizing trips in Colombia for all types of travelers and for all durations. We exist especially to help travelers design their ideal Colombia Itinerary to get the most out of this magical country, taking into account the wishes, preferences, restrictions, and limitations of the traveler.
We create tailor-made itineraries that are carefully planned for each traveler. We have all the necessary knowledge to help you design a realistic itinerary that will help you discover the parts of Colombia we know you are going to enjoy the most, taking into account your time and money limitations.
Additionally, we go one step forward: we organize everything for you. Once we have worked out together your ideal route, we make that itinerary a real travel package so you just need to worry about arriving in Colombia and we take care of the rest.
Based on your ideal itinerary, we create your travel package. We take care of booking the hotels, buying flight tickets, coordinating with boat drivers, getting you a private driver and a comfortable car and providing you with the best possible tours and guides in each destination.
Additionally, we give you 24/7 support. For real. We provide all our customers with a mobile phone and a local SIM card with enough credit in it to call, text and browse the internet. This allows you to keep in touch with your friends and family at home, and to have easy access to your Lulo travel advisor for whatever you need.
In that phone, we include our travel APP. Through this APP, you get quick access to every detail of your itinerary (even when you are offline), you get automatically notified of any changes (for instance, a delay in your flight) and you can easily call or chat with the Lulo Colombia support staff.
We make sure your trip goes very smoothly. We carefully plan every detail and make sure it happens just as planned, so you can travel on your own, following a tailor-made Colombia Itinerary and have the holidays of your life. All without having to spend fortunes or having to join a pre-set travel group.