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 27th 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 Medellin, we’ll enjoy getting to know highlights of Medellin, in addition to attending the craft fair. From Medellin, the tour moves to and continues in Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, where cumbia, salsa, vallenato and other rhythms flow into the night!
Day 1 – June 27: Medellin: Arrive, Welcome Dinner (D).Arrive at Medellin 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 – June 28, Medellin: Expo Artesanias 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 – June 29, Medellin, Expo Artesanias 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 – June 30, Medellin City Tour! (B, L)
Day 5 –July 1: Medellin 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 and 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 – July 2: 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, galleries and shops. We’ll meet in the early afternoon to enjoy a special ceviche crawl!.
Day 7 – July 3: Islas del Rosario, Beach, swim, snorkel, bike, read a book, have a cocktail by the sea (B, L). Today we’ll enjoy nature, by visiting the lovely Islas del Rosario. We’ll explore some important historical fortifications on the way to the Islands. Arriving, our day is at leisure to swim, snorkel, have a lovely lunch, sip on an umbrella cocktail and/or read a book!
Day 8 – July 4: 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 9 – July 5: Depart for airport or extend your stay!