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Colombia Holidays

Discover the wonderful music of Colombia

7 Night Itinerary from  £2,998

Sounds of Colombia Tour

Discover Colombia through music, food, and connecting with locals on this special adventure on the Caribbean Coast. It's time to explore The Land of a Thousand Rhythms!

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Special small group departures 1 July and 18 November 2022
  • Help preserve Colombia's musical heritage with expert guide, Gregorio Uribe
  • Learn the 'parranda'  in a workshop in the music of the accordion in Cartagena
  • Meet Fredis Arrieta, a gaita luthier and musician in Montes de María
  • Enjoy the music experience of “Bailes Cantados” in Santa Cruz de Mompox
  • Take a Bullerengue workshop in ancient San Basilio de Palenque
  • Immerse yourself in Champeta, with its African influences, on the island of Rosario
  • Explore Cartagena, one of the continent's most attractive cities
  • Discover Porro, the Caribbean equivalent of the New Orleans Big Band
  • Enjoy included local lunches, dinners, dancing and parties with other like-minded enthusiasts

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

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Fly to Cartagena - 1 Night

Day 1 - Travel to Cartagena

Day 2 - Your musical adventure begins

  • Full Description

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Fly to Cartagena

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Bogota.

This opportunity is an experience of a lifetime while supporting more than 50 local musicians and their communities, enjoying their diverse heritage and culture. You'll visit two UNESCO world heritage sites: Cartagena & Mompox and discover two cultural musical styles declared a cultural heritage by UNESCO: San Basilio de Palenque, the first free African town in the Americas & Traditional Vallenato Music.

 


Sunday, 22 May 2022

Your Colombian musical adventure begins

Arrive in Cartagena and transfer to your hotel for a 1-night stay and the start of your musical journey.

Music is the key to a Culture as it serves as a bridge to meet and interact with people with whom you wouldn't otherwise meet. It allows us to discover new places and ways of life, It opens the door so that we can interact with different cultures, and allows us to learn about history and heritage way beyond sounds. Colombia, “The Land of a Thousand Rhythms”, has the perfect balance between having a flourishing culture and a growing infrastructure, while also being full of music and off-the-road hidden jewels that you’ll be able to experience. It’s a country of vast musical diversity with an enchanting atmosphere where Native, African, and European influences have met to create a lush cultural mosaic. By joining this community-based tour, you will be getting the experience of a lifetime, while at the same time, supporting and meeting more than 50 talented traditional musicians (and their communities*), and knowing 2 UNESCO world heritage sites and 2 UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. 

Today, we start the adventure with a welcome cocktail and a wonderful rooftop workshop/ “parranda”  that will introduce you to the music genres of the accordion. 

In this no-stage experience you will be able to share, dance, and even play with the musicians of Carmelo Torres y Su Cumbia Sabanera; heirs of Andrés Landero - the king of Accordion Cumbia. 

Learn straight from the experts about history, heritage, inspiration, and diversity of the music you’ll listen to. After, you will have dinner with the band members before resting at your hotel. 

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Montes de María - 1 Night

Day 3 - Montes de María

  • Full Description

Monday, 23 May 2022

Gaita music in Montes de María

We depart early to Montes de María. On arrival, we meet Fredis Arrieta, a Gaita Luthier and musician. He will guide you through the entire Gaita building process starting with an excursion to forage the materials to make the instrument.  You will walk in a rich ecosystem where you will see trees such as Corozo and Cardón from which Gaitas are made, and see how the materials are transformed in the workshop. You will learn how the instrument is made and hear its bird-inspired sounds.  

After, enjoy a delicious home-made Sancocho for lunch before heading to San Jacinto. After your arrival, choose between having a free afternoon to rest or taking a heritage tour. In the evening you will have a dinner where you will taste the typical Mote de Queso from Montes de María, and you will end the day with a Gaita performance where you can join in and play or enjoy the lively music.

 

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Bailes Cantados - 1 Night

Day 4 - Bailes Cantados

  • Full Description

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Bailes Cantados

This morning we drive to Santa Cruz de Mompox, a colourful colonial town that will give you a feeling of being in another time with its abundant history and impressive culture. On arrival, enjoy a typical lunch by Magdalena River, one of Colombia’s most important rivers, and the one that once brought huge prosperity to Mompox. You will then check into your hotel break before having a bike tour through Mompox where you will get to know its many churches, plazas, and charming streets, as well as having a visit to a filigree workshop where you will see amazing crafts and the talented jewel makers that keep alive the long tradition of famous Mompox’s filigree.  

After dinner, you will have a music experience of “Bailes Cantados” (sung dances) with Don Abundio, where you will have a behind the scenes entry to see the elements and masks of a carnival as well as having a complete explanation and demonstration of dances, drums, and singing. 

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Bullerengue workshop - 1 Night

Day 5 - San Basilio de Palenque

  • Full Description

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Bullerengue workshop

Morning at leisure at your hotel. We then travel to San Basilio de Palenque, the first free town of America. This small town was founded by a group of 600 self-emancipated African Slaves led by Benkos Biohó in the late XVII century.  The town is recognised by UNESCO for its African heritage, living culture that not only includes music and instruments but the only Spanish-based creole language in the Americas that is still spoken, sung and taught. 

Enjoy a  at the hotel, where you will understand the African influence in drums and dances, with an impressive dialogue between the drummer and the dancers. With talented musicians such as Janer Amarís and Guillo Valencia, you will learn straight from the experts and enjoy a rich experience. 

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The music of Palenquero music - 1 Night

Day 6 - The music of Palenquero

  • Full Description

Thursday, 26 May 2022

The music of Palenquero

In the morning you will tour San Basilio de Palenque and learn about its fascinating history and origin while visiting the local monuments, and observing the colourful artwork displayed on many of the town’s walls. 

After, enjoy a Alegrías workshop. These Alegrías are typical delicious sweets made from local fruits and a tradition that has been passed down from generations.  You will then have a tasty typical lunch from San Basilio de Palenque. In the afternoon, visit Rafael Cassiani and Sexteto Tabalá, where you will listen and get involved with Palenquero music that was strongly influenced by Cuban rhythms and sounds. After this experience, we drive back to to Cartagena for a 1-night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.

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Party time in the Rosario Islands - 1 Night

Day 7 - Party time in the Rosario Islands

  • Full Description

Friday, 27 May 2022

Rosario Islands

Depart early to Rosario Islands’ main island Isla Grande by speedboat through beautiful turquoise waters and check in to an Eco Hotel from the community where you can relax on  the beach or go snorkelling or bike riding. 

After a typical island lunch, get immersed into another music genre called Champeta,  created with a strong influence of African Sukus. It is a reconnection to Africa through music and dance, but it also is a creation of an entire graphic aesthetic and sound system culture. With modified electronic components and sound equipment, a Pikó (sound system) is built, named uniquely and painted with vivid colours accordingly to its name to light up the party.  After, enjoy a dinner at the hotel. 

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The musical genre of Porro - 1 Night

Day 8 - The musical genre of Porro

  • Full Description

Saturday, 28 May 2022

The musical genre of Porro

Morning at leisure to relax and then return to Cartagena by speedboat where we check-into your hotel for a 2-night stay. Enjoy lunch and a free afternoon before meeting at the hotel for a workshop and concert of a genre called Porro. This genre is the Caribbean’s equivalent of a New Orleans Big Band, with a 20 piece brass band with trumpets, clarinets, trombones, and drums this lively music from the Caribbean Savannah will give you the feel of a parade. Dinner is also included tonight.

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Cartagena - 0 Nights

Day 9 - Fly back to the UK

Day 10 - Arrive in the UK

  • Full Description

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Fly back to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight tp Bogota and onward overnight flight back to the UK. You can, of course, extend your stay in Colombia as required.


Monday, 30 May 2022

Arrive in the UK

Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Price Guidelines

Season Low Season High Season
Travel Dates 18 November 2022 special departure 1 July 2022 special departure
Room Arrangement Tourist Tourist First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £2,998 £3,588 £4,318
Multiple Travellers - Own Room - - £5,180

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.


What's Included

  • 10 Days/7 Nights
  • International flights (2 overnight)
  • Internal flights
  • Accommodation in tourist class hotels or homestays
  • Breakfast everyday, 4 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions, workshops and events listed, with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person sharing a twin room

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