This trip explores the cultures of Colombia, traveling along the Caribbean Coast. We begin in Cartagena and have an overview of the people, crafts and cultures of Colombia with the fine folks at Artesanias de Colombia. Then we’ll begin exploring! Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Riohacha, Cabo de la Vela in the Guajira Peninsula await. The Afro-Caribbean people, the Arahuaco, the Wayuu and Zenu people await us with open arms. Join us on a journey to explore the people, craft and cultures of Colombia!
Day One: Arrive and Overnight in Cartagena, Hotel Bantu (Welcome Reception) Depending on arrival times, we can explore the City. We’ll have a Welcome Reception.
Day Two, Cartagena (B, L): We’ll spend the day exploring colonial Cartagena to learn about its history and visit highlights, such as the Gold Museum here, where we’ll learn about the Zenu people. Included today is a special visit to Artesanias de Colombia, where we’ll receive a review of the crafts of Colombia and of course, an expo-venta! We’ll enjoy lunch to experience regional cuisine of Colombia! Our evening is at leisure to possibly dance to the Latin rhythms, so famous in Colombia.
Day Three, Cartagena – Barranquilla – Santa Marta, Overnight Santa Marta (B, L): Leaving Cartagena, we make our way along the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. Our first stop is in Barranquilla, famous for its Carnival! Our favorite thing to do here, is to visit the amazing Museo del Caribe, to learn of the natural and cultural diversity of the regions we will be visiting. After our Museum visit, we make our way to Santa Marta, where we’ll enjoy a lovely lunch, by the ocean. After lunch, we’ll stroll and visit the historic center of Santa Marta, and we will also enjoy a specially arranged presentation of the ethnographic landscape and resulting craft of this region, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Here, the ancestral Arhuaco, Kogi, Tayrona people lived and still do today. Evening at leisure.
Day Four, Santa Marta – Riohacha, Overnight Riohacha (B, L): Today we make our way to Riohacha, land of the Wayuu people. Arriving in the afternoon, we’ll spend time getting to know this community on one of their “Rancherias”, communities where they live. We’ll learn about their culture, way of life and how they have become revered as some of Colombia’s finest artisans, creating the famed (and now sadly copied) “mochila” crochet bags.
Day Five, Riohacha – Uribia – Cabo de la Vela, Overnight Cabo de la Vela (B, L, D): Today we go deeper into the Wayuu country / region and visit their center in Uribia. We will meet community leaders here, and learn about their cooperative organization to create and promote the craft of the “mochila”. From here, we continue on to the end of the Guajira Peninsula, to a place that can only be described as “other worldly”, where desert meets ocean, where sand dunes rise above the deep blue water, and the Wayuu women wear their colorful dress that blows in the wind. We will enjoy a meal by the ocean, with these Wayuu women. We enjoy our evening at a Rancheria, stargazing and enjoying community, before we retire to our cabins for the night.
Day Six, Cabo de la Vela – Palomino (B, L, D): Today we begin our journey back to Cartagena. We stop midway in Palomino, a beautiful seaside destination, to enjoy the evening.
Day Seven, Palomino – Galapa – Usiacuri – Cartagena, Overnight Cartagena (B): Leaving Palomino, we stop in the communities of Galapa, known for their fabulous wood carved animals and also in Usiacuri, a center of fiber craft in Colombia. After our stop and lunch, we continue to Cartagena, where we’ll stay for the evening. Dinner is at leisure.
Day Eight, Cartagena (B, L, D): Today is a free day to explore Cartagena in the morning. In the early afternoon, we’ll enjoy a special presentation and expo-venta from the artisans of Tuchin, who represent their Zenu culture and symbols on the iconic “sombrero vueltiao”, hat and symbol of Colombia. This hat is laden with symbols and iconography of the Zenu people, that we learned about earlier in the Gold Museum in Cartagena. The fiber of this hat is called “cana flecha”, a type of cane fiber that grows in the region. We’ll gather at the Club de Yates in Cartagena for this fun and interesting presentation and sales event.
Day Nine, Cartagena, Free Afternoon, Farewell Dinner, Overnight Cartagena (B, L, D):
Today we will enjoy the lovely archipelago of the Islas del Rosario, one hour by boat from Cartagena. Here, we’ll rest, relax and swim, as we soak in the experience of the week and enjoy the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. We’ll enjoy a festive farewell luncheon on the beach. Returning to Cartagena (by about 4 p.m.) we can have the rest of the afternoon for packing and last minute shopping or exploring.
Day Ten, Return to Airport for Flights Out (B)