Trains & Coffee in
Colombia and Panama
July 9-23, 2020
Colombia had a rail network of over 1875 miles which mostly got abandoned during the 1990s in favor of road transportation. At present, large parts of the ancient railroad will be reactivated for cargo trains. We discover on this trip some of Colombia’s railroads and travel therefore to exciting regions of the country. Enjoy rail journeys on regular trains, “brujitas” (motorbikes on rails) and autoferros . Near Pereira, we visit a Coffee Plantation where you are invited to do a professional Coffee tasting under the guidance of a local Coffee Expert. Colombian Coffee is considered the best in the World. We end the trip in Panama where we cruise through parts of the Panama Canal, travel on the Transoceanic Train from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean and explore the grandiose Miraflores and Aguas Claras Locks. In Panama City’s old town we end the trip.
Day 1 Thursday July 9:
Arrive in Bogota and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Day 2 Friday July 10: (B-D)
City Tour of Bogota. Walk the cobblestoned streets of downtown Bogota discovering architecture, art, and culture of this fascinating city. Landmarks we visit are the Congress, the Cathedral, the Palace of Justice, the Mayor’s Office (Palacio Lievano) and the House of the 20th of July. You have free time in the afternoon. We leave the hotel in the late afternoon and travel up the Monserrate Hill with the funicular or aerial tramway to observe the sunset.
Day 3 Saturday July 11: (B-L)
We travel to the tropical village of Villeta which was a stop on the Occidental Railroad that connected Bogota with the Magdalena River. We tour on a carriage pulled by a Brujita (Motorbike on Rails) from Villeta to a lovely waterfall about 14 km away. You enjoy during the journey the lush green tropical forest of the region. We return to Villeta for lunch. In the afternoon, we return to Bogota, where you stay overnight.
Day 4 Sunday July 12: (B-L)
Tren de la Sabana & Nemocon Salt Mine. At the Sabana Railway Station, we board the “Tren de la Sabana”. Enjoy from the train Bogota’s Savannah Region during the 33 mile journey to Zipaquira. We visit the Salt Mine of Nemocon from Zipaquira. We have lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, our driver brings us to the Airport in Bogota for our flight to Pereira. From Pereira transfer to Saltento where we stay overnight.
Day 5 Monday July 13: (B-L)
A specialty Coffee producer invites us for a walk through steep fields of coffee bushes to explore every detail that is needed to produce an excellent coffee. We have a close look at the post-harvest installation where coffee beans are cleaned, selected and roasted. Our visit ends in the laboratory with a professional coffee tasting session. In the afternoon, we return to our hotel where we stay overnight.
Day 6 Tuesday July 14: (B)
In the morning, we visit the railway station and the church in Pereira. Before midday, we go to the airport for the flight to Medellin. In Medellin transfer-in to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon you have free time.
Day 7 Wednesday July 15: (B-L)
We travel on the suburban train to the Acevedo Railway Station where we board the aerial cable car into the mountains. The breathtaking journey takes us from the city, through mountainous suburbs, to a nature reserve up in the hills. We visit the famous Comuna 13 after lunch. We return to the hotel in Medellin in the late afternoon.
Day 8 Thursday July 16: (B-L)
We visit the Peñol-Guatapé reservoir which has a dam that was built at the end of the 1970s, flooding thousands of hectares. From the “Piedra del Peñol,” you have beautiful views over the lake and the surrounding forests. We have lunch and visit the picturesque town of Guatape. We return to Medellin in the afternoon where we stay overnight.
Day 9 Friday July 17: (B-L)
We travel early morning to Santiago, a station on the old Antioquia Railroad. From Santiago starts a special rail trip where we sit on a carriage being pulled by a motorbike on rails crossing the longest railway tunnel in South America. This journey is very scenic and fun. We continue our trip in the afternoon to the old railway junction of Puerto Berrio where we board the train to Barrancabermeja, following the Magdalena River downstream. We stay overnight in Barrancabermeja.
Day 10 Saturday July 18: (B)
We travel from Barrancabermeja via Bogota to Panama City. In Panama City transfer-in to our Hotel. The rest of the day you have free time.
Day 11 Sunday July 19: (B-L)
We get to know the so-called eighth wonder of the world on a boat trip from Panama City to Gamboa. In the morning, we make an approximately 4-hour trip through the legendary Panama Canal. We pass the Miraflores Locks, Miraflores Lake, the Pedro Miguel Locks, the Gaillard Cut (the narrowest point) to the Gatun Lake. We have our lunch on board our ship. From the port in Gamboa, the bus takes you back to Panama City on the Pacific coast. The rest of the afternoon you have free time.
Day 12 Monday July 20: (B-L)
A short flight brings us to Chitre, north-west of Panama City. After a short historical introduction about the distillation of rum, you will enjoy an oxcart ride through the sugar cane fields out of the Hacienda. We will tour the distillery discovering the steps that are necessary to produce liquor from sugar cane. We then go to the bodega where the rum ages in oak barrels. We have lunch near the distillery and fly back to Panama City in the afternoon.
Day 13 Tuesday July 21: (B-L)
We experience the historic train passage from Panama City to Colón. The train journey goes about 1 hour and will take us through the jungles along the Panama Canal. From Colon, we visit the Panama Canal Observation Center at Agua Clara, which explains how the new Panama Canal system works. The Aerial Tram at the Gamboa Rainforest will take us up a jungle mountain from where you have a beautiful view of the Gatun lake, the ships cruising the Panama Canal, and the surrounding rainforest. We have lunch on the way back to Panama City.
Day 14 Wednesday July 22: (B-L)
In the morning, we start our city tour of Panama’s capital. The captivating backdrop of skyscrapers, noble mansions, and green hills characterize this city. In the district is known as Casco Viejo, you will see many unique colonial buildings. The Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has become a center for art, design, and cultural development. We visit the fish market where you can try Ceviche or a shrimp cocktail! Watch the spectacle of the barker. We end the tour with a rum tasting session and our Farewell Lunch.
Day 15 Thursday July 23: (B)
At the agreed time, transfer to the Airport and flight to your home country.
all prices per person
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$5,695
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$695
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$1,000
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY APRIL 9, 2020
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2020 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.