In October 2016 the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, more commonly known as the FARC, signed a historic peace agreement partially ending the longest running civil war in South America, and one of the oldest ones in the world.
Join YPT for our specialist FARC tour of Colombia that takes us through the capital Bogota to the former cocaine capital of Medellin, and finally the colonial town of Cartagena, with us checking out a whole host of FARC related stuff, indigenous peoples, and stunning nature along this 9 day adventure.
It might have had a chequered past, with landmines, and the remnants of the civil war and organized crime still very much omnipresent, but Colombia is slowly waking from its past and hitting the challenges of reform head on.
Join our adventure before the country is changed forever!
And if this tour is not enough, then it can be combined with the May Day tour of Cuba discounts for booking both tours apply and of course there are discounts for all return Pioneers!
Arrival in Bogotá in the early morning (Cuban Pioneers can also organise pre-tour accommodation for you)
Head to the Military Museum where we even learn about the not commonly known role of Colombia in the Korean War!
Walk around the Parque Simon Bolivar and see what the locals get up to outside of work
Stop by the Congress and Supreme Court, which was seized by the Marxist guerrillas in 1985
Lunch in the city
We visit the Colon Theatre, which is where the peace process between the government and FARC was signed, as well as the Museo Banco De República, the main modern art museum
Head to the south side of the city, the main working-class area, for a bit of people watching. We head for dinner and then for a Friday night salsa night to remember in the Colombian capital. If you can’t dance don’t worry, rum will be available
Overnight in Bogotá
Thursday 7th May – Sierra Nevada National Park
We get up early for the under two hours 9am flight from Bogota to Cartagena
On arrival, we transfer directly to the Sierra Nevada national park, which is home to many of the indigenous peoples of Colombia as well as its most diverse biosphere.
Lunch in Sierra Nevada
We will have lots of opportunities to explore the area and see wildlife
At night we not only camp out in the reserve but also do the whole BBQ and rum thing
Friday 8th May – Sierra Nevada National Park
We visit one of the local indigenous peoples the Wiwa in an Indian Reserve in the mid-highlands to learn about how they live
Local lunch with the Wiwa
We head back to Cartagena, where we check into the hotel before heading out for dinner to a Peruvian restaurant and drinks in Café Havana
Overnight in Cartagena
Saturday 9th May – Cartagena
Cartagena is an old colonial city, so we spend the day touring around this historical city
We check out the old town and the city walls, as well as its 500-year-old coral stone forts from the Spanish era
Lunch at Interno, a restaurant staffed by former political prisoners
Climb La Popa Hill for a great view of the area and visit the 17th century Santa Cruz monastery
Check out the Spanish Inquisition Palace, where people were tortured and executed for crimes against Catholicism
Head out for local food and drinks in the Cartagena old town
Overnight in Cartagena
Sunday 10th May – Medellin
Take a 10am flight to Medellin, Colombia’s second city
Medellin was the notorious crime-ridden home of drug lord Pablo Escobar, but since the mid-1990s things have calmed down a lot.
Head to the famous Museo de Antioquia including the world-famous sculptures by Fernando Botero in the park outside the museum
Go for dinner and drinks in Medellin
Overnight in Medellin
Monday 10th May – Medellin
Breakfast in the hotel before we jump on our bus to begin the tour of Medellin
In the morning we drive out to visit a project that helps farmers change from cocoa growing to coffee, part of the plan to eliminate the drug trade in Colombia
Lunch in a roadside almuerzo
After lunch, we visit a village that was recently de-mined by a charity and learn about the impact that the civil war has had on the people
Before dinner, we meet 2 former FARC soldiers who discuss their experiences during the civil war
Dinner and overnight in Medellin
Tuesday 11th May – Medellin
You can’t go to Medellin without learning about its most infamous resident, so we do the full Pablo Escobar tour!
Our first stop is La Paz, the very modest community where Pablo grew up, with our local expert giving us a few interesting insights
We then go to explore the many luxurious buildings used to launder his money, as well as check out his bombed-out safe in the Monaco building, which was where the first car bomb in Colombia was detonated
After visiting Pablo´s prison or the “Cathedral”, get spectacular Medellin views and get ready to visit a private cemetery where siblings and cousins of the mafia boss finally rest even near Griselda Blanco or “black widow”, who was once Pablo´s mentor.
We finish off the tour by visiting the infamous La Manuela Mansion, where the notorious drug lord lived his somewhat over the top lifestyle
We take a boat over to the mansion where we will have enough free time to explore, take photos, and who knows maybe bump into a Hippo
Overnight in Medellin
Wednesday 12th May
We get up early for our morning flight to Bogota, where the tour ends, with YPT being able to arrange ongoing transport or accommodation for those that need it.
Alternatively join us for a tour extension to Cali, and find out about Escobar’s deadly rivals the Cali Cartel!