Hotel La Opera in Bogota
Hotel Bantu in Cartagena
This special travel program is designed around the singular Expoartesanias Colombia, the largest and most important gathering and showcase of Colombia’s artisans and their art. The Expoartesanias handcraft fair, is entering its 28th year and features the finest in Colombia’s diverse traditional and contemporary craft from the entire country. Our tour will offer travelers insider opportunities to meet the artisans and learn about their culture, to include the Wayuu, Aruaco, Zenu, Waunaan, Amazona people. Taking place in Bogota, we’ll enjoy getting to know highlights of Bogota, such as the Gold Museum, Botero Museum and other City Highlights. From Bogota, the tour moves to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, where cumbia, salsa, vallenato and other rhythms flow into the night!
Day 1 – Dec. 4, Bogota: Arrive, Welcome Dinner (D) Arrive at Bogota airport, where you’ll be met and transferred to our charming hotel. We’ll enjoy a festive welcome dinner, and have our first experience with Colombian cuisine!
Day 2 – Dec. 5, Bogota: Expoartesanias Feria Day ONE (B, L) Today is Day One of Expoartesanias Colombia, and we will be among the first to arrive to tour and experience this incredible gathering of the finest artisans of Colombia. From La Guajira, the Pacific, Tuchin and other regions, the Wayuu, Waunaan, Zenu people will showcase their famed “mochilas”, wuerregue fiber and the sombrero “vueltiao” or turned hat, that is Colombia’s iconic symbol. We’ll be hosted and escorted by Artesanias de Colombia personnel, who will help us navigate the expo. We will visit artisans dedicated to: Contemporary Fashion, Homewares, Jewelry, Ethnographic craft, Experimental Design “Laboratory”, Cuisine and more! It’s truly outstanding in its concentration of the finest artisans and crafts of Colombia!
Day 3 – Dec. 6, Bogota, Expoartesanias Feria Day TWO (B). Today we will enjoy our full 2nd Day at the Expo Artesanias, as one day is definitely not enough. The fine folks of Artesanias de Colombia will help us with packing and shipping, should we need this! We’ll enjoy specially arranged meetings and talks with some of Colombia’s great masters. Artesanias de Colombia will also help us better understand the importance and role of craft in their country’s future and economy. The economic well-being of the artisan sector of Colombia is key in their goals to secure long term peace and stability. Beyond this, they also recognize the importance of sustaining their cultural identity, of which craft is one of its greatest expressions. (Note: the craft we’ll see is an integral part of Colombia’s diverse ethnographic cultural expression). Artisans and designers are also joining forces for new and contemporary designs and expressions.
Day 4 – Dec. 7, Bogota, Bogota City Tour! (B, L)
Today, we’ll explore the highlights of Bogota to include: The Gold Museum, Botero Museum, La Candelaria and other important stops and visits in this capital city.
Day 5 –Dec. 8, Bogota to Cartagena, City Tour, Dancing at night, Chiva Bus or rooftop cocktails overlooking the Caribbean Ocean! (B, L) We’ll take a morning flight to Cartagena, a jewel and walled city on the Caribbean Coast. Arriving at our charming hotel, we’ll gather to begin our tour of Cartagena, to learn of its neighborhoods. We’ll visit some key museums, such as the Gold Museum, where we will learn of the Zenu people; their history, culture and legacy. At night, we’ll enjoy the sea breezes on a rooftop or at the famed Café del Mar, overlooking the ocean.
Day 6 – Dec. 9: Cartagena, Shopping, Walking, Exploring (B, Ceviche Crawl!)
Today is designed as a free day to further explore some favorite places and/or interests, to include additional museums, such as the Naval Museum, galleries and shops. We’ll meet in the early afternoon to enjoy a special ceviche crawl!. Evening of cumbia, anyone?
Day 7 – Dec. 10: San Basilio Palenque, Farewell dinner (B, L, D) On our last day, we’ll visit a very special and historically significant place, in Afro-American history and legacy. San Baslilio Palenque was founded in the 17th Century by the first runaway slaves (cimarrons) of the Americas, following their leader Benkos Bioho there. Because of its historic and cultural significance, San Basilio Palenque was named a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Site, in 2007. We’ll meet with community members, leaders and musicians who maintain their strong cultural roots and proud African heritage. At night we’ll gather to reflect on our visit to Colombia and to enjoy our farewell dinner together.
Day 8 – Dec. 11, Depart or Extend in Cartagena and/or Medellin