The Latin America Travel Experts

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Treasures of El Dorado + Tayrona Beach

Medellin's Metrocable, Colombia
Valle Cocora, Colombia
Bogotá, Colombia
Villa de Leyva, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia
Tayrona National Park, Colombia
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £2729 £2429
17 days

Holiday highlights

  • Stay in a traditional hacienda in the green heartland of the Coffee Region.
  • Explore Cartagena on the Caribbean Coast, jewel of the Spanish Empire.
  • Escape to Tayrona National Park, a tropical paradise of jungle and beaches.
  • Step back in time with an optional visit to the colonial town of Villa de Leyva.
  • Visit Bogotá, Colombia’s vibrant capital, and Medellín, its innovative second city.
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  • Fly overnight from the UK to Bogotá and on to Medellín. Dubbed the "City of Eternal Spring", Medellín is Colombia's second city. Nestled in a narrow valley, the high rise buildings sit against a backdrop of the Andes, and at ground level you will find a lively city bursting with creativity and industry. 

    Meals included: Meal included on the trans-atlantic flight.

  • Arrive in Medellín and after being met at the airport, transfer to your hotel in the neighburhood of Poblado. Medellin is often touted as one of the world’s most innovative cities, and arguably El Poblado is its beating heart. You will find top class restaurants, cultural attractions and parks all within easy walking distance of one another.

    Meals included: Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Take an optional half day Inspirational Medellín, which focuses on the city’s transformation from the days of Escobar’s rule to the current vibrant and innovative city it is today. Begin with a visit to Parque de las Esculturas in the city centre, and the sites related to Pablo Escobar like Edificio Monaco (his Medellín home), Virgen de los Sicarios and his grave, and a brief visit to the Museum of Antioquia to see some of Fernando Botero’s work, which depicts life during Escobar’s reign. From there, take a ride on the Metrocable cable car which provides not only great views of Medellín, but also a glimpse of one of the city’s progressive transformation projects; the public escalators which connect the poorer neighborhoods up the hill to the city centre down below.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend the day on a scenic drive through the lush green hills of rural Colombia, to the Coffee Region. Colombia's Coffee Triangle is a part of the Colombian Paisa, a region famous for growing and producing Colombian coffee, considered by many to be the best in the world. The day is broken up with a lunch stop before arriving at your hacienda-style hotel, located in the hills near Pereira, in the early evening. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel in Medellín, lunch on the journey from Medellín to Pereira

  • Take the optional Coffee Plantation excursion,  heading out to a working coffee plantation to learn about the journey of coffee, from bean to cup. A guide will take you through each stage in the process, giving you an insight into the inner workings of a Colombian coffee farm. End the tour off with a coffee tasting, before trying out the unique Colombian game of tejo. Alternatively, spend the day relaxing in and around the hacienda, wandering in the garden, lazing by the pool or sitting on the terrace gazing out across the cultivated hills.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Coffee Plantation excursion.

  • The Cocora Valley is one of Colombia’s most surreal landscapes, where the Quindio wax palms, Colombia’s national tree, dominate the skyline. The Cocora Valley excursion includes a guided tour of the cloud forest, with the opportunity to spot local bird life like hummingbirds and condors. It also visits the charming town of Salento with its pretty streets and craft shops, as well as the colourful settlement of Filandia, in the heart of the Quindio coffee region. Alternatively, enjoy the day lazing in and around the hacienda.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included on the Cocora Valley excursion.

  • Fly to Bogotá in the morning. After landing, transfer to your hotel. After settling in, either relax or head out to explore this vibrant capital. Your hotel is located in Zona T, a trendy, modern part of the city with many dining options and bars. During the day there are plenty of cafes to frequent, as well a large park where you can people-watch as Bogotá’s well-heeled residents parade past. You can also head into the old town to get a feel for the city’s colonial past.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Enjoy a free day to explore the city independently or take the optional Historic Bogotá excursion. On the excursion you will see some of Bogotá’s best sights, from the colonial downtown area and the Presidential Palace, to the impressive Gold Museum, the grand Plaza Bolívar and take a trip up the cable car on Monserrate Hill for spectacular views of the city.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart Bogotá in the early morning, travelling overland to the town of Villa De Leyva, set in one of the most beautiful rural landscapes in Colombia, with lakes, hills and semi-arid deserts. The first stop on the journey is Lake Guatavita, where the famous Colombian legend of El Dorado originated, as the indigenous people threw gold pieces into the lake as an offering to the gods. Hike to the lagoon and hear about the famous story, before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.

    You continue to Villa de Leyva, arriving in the late afternoon. You check in to your hotel before heading out for an evening walking tour though the colonial streets, passing the main plaza and plenty of interesting architecture. The town’s quiet, traditional atmosphere makes it feel like a place where time has stood still.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in a rural restaurant.

  • Depart Villa de Leyva mid-morning for the pretty town of Zipaquirá, situated on the vast plateau north of Bogotá. Enjoy a hearty lunch in a restaurant before exploring Zipaquirá’s famous salt cathedral. The cathedral is a subterranean marvel, carved into the salt walls of an active salt mine. The cathedral, which is comprised of various chapels in cavernous spaces, is both a popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage site for the local community.

    Afterwards continue to the airport in Bogotá for your evening flight to Cartagena.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch in a rural restaurant.

  • The city of Cartagena is a colourful, well-preserved sea-port town, with a vibrant energy bursting from its winding cobbled streets. Explore the former jewel of the Spanish Empire independently, or join the Colonial Cartagena excursion, which visits significant points of interest, such as the formidable San Felipe Fort, built in the 17th century to protect the city from pirates, and the Convent of La Candelaria with its stunning views of the bay. Along the way, learn about the city’s historical influences and cultural heritage.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

     

  • Wander along the city streets or walk along the ramparts of Las Murallas, a sea wall lined with cannons and watch towers, built to defend the city from pirates. You could also visit the Inquisition Palace, where instruments of torture are on display. Alternatively take a short boat ride to the white sand beaches of Islas Rosario.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • The day begins with an early five-hour transfer from Cartagena along the Caribbean Coast, arriving at your hotel by lunchtime. The Hotel Villa Maria has a swimming pool, is five minutes away from a beautiful sandy beach and is located around three kilometres from the entrance to Tayrona National Park. The park entrance is about a ten minute local bus ride away (the entry fee for the park is around $20 USD). Tayrona is known for its fabulous collection of beaches and high temperatures and is one of the most beautiful and idyllic areas of Colombia, where Caribbean beaches, tropical rainforest and enormous rounded boulders blend together to form a lush tropical paradise. You have the afternoon free to explore and relax on the beaches.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • During your stay in Tayrona you are entirely at your leisure. The Hotel Villa Maria has a swimming pool with shaded hammocks and sun loungers, and drinks can be brought from the restaurant, for total relaxation. The beautiful and peaceful Los Cocos beach is a five-minute walk from the hotel; perfect for carefree walks beside the sea, listening to the gentle splash of waves hitting the sandy shore. Your hotel is just three kilometres from the entrance to the Tayrona National Park, one of the most idyllic areas in Colombia, where the tropical jungle cloaking the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains comes to an abrupt end as it meets the fine sand and turquoise waters of the Caribbean. You can take a ten-minute local bus ride to reach the park.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Perhaps have a day relaxing with a cocktail and basking in the rejuvenating sunshine, or you may like to venture into the national park today. Most of the beaches in the park are reached by walking on a well-marked and mostly shaded trail which winds its way through the edge of the coastal forest. Each beach has its own character, and some are ideal for swimming and snorkelling with tropical marine life. In addition to the rich wildlife found here, which includes dusky titi monkeys, red woodpeckers, iguanas, a variety of lizards, tropical marine life, and more than 400 species of birds. There are various walks in and around the park, and waterfalls and hidden beauty spots can be found amongst the vegetation. Tayrona has been home to several indigenous communities for hundreds of years. Day trips to El Pueblito archaeological site can be booked locally.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depending on your flight time, enjoy your final morning in Tayrona before taking a one-hour transfer to Santa Marta airport for your flight to Bogotá, where you connect to your international flight to the UK.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Your flight arrives in the UK.

Accommodation

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Accommodation in Medellín

NH Collection Medellín

Included
NH Collection, Medellín

Standard Hotel: A chic and modern 134-room hotel located in the heart of Medellín. Comfortable king-size beds are the norm and there are good amenities like a rstaurant, gym and spa.

Why stay here?  The hotel has a convenient location and rooms are spacious and comfortable.

Hotel facilities

• A gym and spa

• Restaurant and bar

• Outdoor pool and terrace area

About the room

All rooms have king-size beds, air-conditioning, high-speed WiFi and digital safes, as well as a minibar and en-suite bathroom.

Room types available

Superior room

Accommodation in Coffee Region

Hotel Sazagua

Included
Hotel Sezagua, Coffee Region

Standard Hotel: A traditional hacienda-style hotel, located in beautiful countryside, with an outdoor pool, sauna, restaurant and panoramic views. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and colourful decor.

Why stay here? When spending time in Colombia's coffee region, you cannot beat staying in a hacienda in the heart of the countryside. Hotel Sazagua has a cheerful style and offers beautiful views. Relax in the outdoor pool before trying some typical Colombian food in the restaurant. 

Hotel facilities

• Spa and wellness centre

• Restaurant and an outdoor pool

•  Lovely outdoor common areas and beautiful gardens

About the room

All rooms have a safety deposit box, air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

 

Accommodation in Bogotá

Hotel B3 Virrey

Included
Hotel B3 Virrey, Bogota
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
81%
81%
Service
82%
82%
Location
83%
83%

Standard Hotel: Well located in the 'Zona T' area of the city, a modern hotel with a bar/restaurant and gym. Rooms have en-suite bathrooms and free WiFi.

Why stay here? This is a good option in one of the most attractive parts of Bogota, very close to the small Virrey Park which offers  green space. Rooms are well-kept and modern, and have all the necessary essentials. There are plenty of staff on hand to help with any queries and bikes can be borrowed for free if you would like to explore the area.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a bar/lounge area, a snack bar serving tapas style meals all day and a gym. There is live music most evenings in the bar area, until around 10pm.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms are soundproofed and have free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Bureau room

Hotel Cité

{{100 | as_price}}
({{ 100 | as_price }} Single Supplement)

Superior Hotel: A superior hotel in the attractive 'Zona T' area of the city, where many international shops and restaurants are located. The en-suite, air conditioned rooms are bright and well furnished. There is an outdoor heated pool on the roof terrace, and a restaurant.

Why stay here? Whilst the rooms are comfortable and well-equipped, the real advantage to this hotel is its outdoor space. There is a pleasant rooftop terrace with seating and a swimming pool, and a ground floor terrace situated beside Virrey Park; both of which are good places to catch some sun.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar/lounge area, a garden and an outdoor rooftop pool.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, shops on site and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms are soundproofed and have air conditioning/heating, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

 

Accommodation in Villa de Leyva

Hotel el Duruelo

Included
El Duruelo, Villa de Leyva

This is our standard hotel for departures until March 2018.

Standard Hotel: Overlooking the town, with excellent views, the hotel has pretty gardens, a pool, a spa and restaurant. Llama Travel uses the well-equipped town view rooms.

Why stay here? Stay here for the wonderfully tranquil environment, spacious grounds and relaxing spa facilities. You are an easy (uphill) walk from the centre of town. This is a beautiful place in which to spend a night.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar/lounge area, a games room, a cafe/snack bar, a small gym, a spa, a garden and outdoor terrace. There is also a chapel in the grounds and an activities desk where tennis and golf matches in the local area can be arranged.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Estandar room

Posada de San Antonio

Included

This is our standard hotel for departures from August 2018.

Standard Hotel: This is a lovely hotel built around a pretty central courtyard. The colonial-style architecture lends it a lot of character, complemented by the homely décor. Rooms are cozy with en-suite bathrooms, a mini-bar and wi-fi. There is an on-site restaurant, as well as a spa.

Why stay here: The hotel is in a beautiful building, with a good location in the old centre of Villa de Leyva.

Hotel facilities

  • Wi-fi throughout
  • On-site restaurant
  • Spa

About the room

Rooms are comfortable and homely, with wi-fi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Accommodation in Cartagena

Casa India Catalina

Included
Casa India Catalina, Cartagena

Standard Hotel: Housed in a traditional colonial building, built around a central courtyard, this hotel is within walking distance of Cartagena's main attractions. There is a small pool and the 16 rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and wifi. 

Why stay here?  This is a lovely, characterful hotel in a good location within the heart of historical Cartagena. 

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• Outdoor pool.

• Seating area on the veranda.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, a safety deposit box and en-suite bathrooms. There is also a minibar and satelite tv. 

Room types available

Standard rooms

Ananda Boutique

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({{ 75 | as_price }} Single Supplement)

Superior Hotel: A recently renovated, beautiful colonial house in Cartagena’s old town, with a heated pool on the roof terrace, a restaurant, bar and jacuzzi. Rooms have air conditioning and are very comfortable, with high ceilings.

Why stay here? This is an oasis in the heart of the walled old town, with a lovely pool, jacuzzi and rooftop seating. The hotel is small with attentive service and very comfortable rooms.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar, an ourdoor heated pool on the sun terrace, an outdoor jacuzzi, a garden and a spa.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and laundry facilities

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Junior suite

Accommodation in Tayrona Beach

Villa Maria

Included
Breakfast terrace, Villa Maria, Tayrona National Park
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
85%
85%
Service
81%
81%
Location
89%
89%

Standard Hotel: Hotel Villa Maria is located a 10-minute drive from Tayrona National Park. The secluded and intimate hotel has a privileged position surrounded by jungle and overlooking the ocean. There are lovely outdoor seating areas, a swimming pool, and the nearest tranquil beach is a 5-minute walk away. The rooms and bungalows are simply furnished but comfortable, with hot water and air conditioning. Breakfast is included, and the hotel has a good restaurant serving local and international food. A WiFi service is available in the restaurant and pool areas.

Tayrona National Park is best reached by public bus, which stops outside Hotel Villa Maria. Please ask us for further details.

Hotel facilities

• Free WiFi access is available in the restaurant and pool areas.

• There is an open air restaurant which also serves cocktails and other drinks, a private outdoor pool with sun loungers and hammocks.

• The hotel offers luggage storage, laundry and printing facilities.

About the room

Villa Maria rooms are simply but attractively furnished with colourful decorations which vary in each room. All rooms have air conditioning and a ceiling fan, a safety deposit box, a minibar and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard jungle view room

Excursions

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Excursions Package

Colombia Excursion Package Save £61

Take the Historic Bogotá, Inspirational Medellín, Coffee Plantation, Cocora Valley and Colonial Cartagena excursions together for a discounted price.

from £369

Inspirational Medellín

£80
Metrocable, Medellín
Llama Travel Customer Rating
97%
97%

Medellín is a remarkable city which has totally transformed itself in the years since Pablo Escobar's death. This tour focuses on the changes the city has undergone to become one of the most  innovative and creative places in Latin America. 

Full Description:

Begin the tour with a visit to the Parque de las Esculturas (sculpture park) in the city centre, where you will see some of the iconic sculptures by Botero, one of Colombia's best-known artists. Next visit some of the sites related to the late drug lord, Pablo Escobar, such as his Medellín home, the Virgen de los Sicarios church, and the grave where he is buried. This is followed by  a brief visit to the Museum of Antioquia, where you can see more of Botero's work, including his famous depictions of life in Medellín during Escobar's reign.  Finally, ride the Metrocable up the hillsides of the city to glimpse one of its award-winner social innovation projects, the publica escalators which link the affluent city centre to the pooere neighbourhoods which creep up the slopes. You can also enjoy fabulous views of the city from up above. 

Coffee Plantation

£120
Armenia, Coffee Region, Colombia
Llama Travel Customer Rating
83%
83%

The ‘Zona Cafetera’ is famous for producing Colombia’s signature Arabica coffee and a holiday to Colombia would not be complete without a visit to a coffee plantation. Tour the Hacienda Venecia’s  plantation to see the transformation from coffee bean to cup, and sample some for yourself before having lunch in the hacienda. After lunch,  enjoy a beer and a game of tejo - a traditional Colombian game - at the hacienda before returning to your hotel.

Full Description:

Colombia is the biggest producer of Arabica coffee in the world, and it is the most exported crop in the area. Driving the local economy and providing employment to locals, it is of great importance to the local population. The Hacienda Venecia runs a half-day tour of the plantation during which you will learn about each stage of coffee production; from the importance of soil composition, to bean selection, roasting and tasting. The expert guided tour will allow you to discover the elements which contribute to making Colombian coffee so distinctive, and at the end you will be able to taste the coffee they produce. Exploring the plantation also affords lovely views of the landscape. After the coffee tour, lunch is served at the hacienda, allowing you  time to relax and enjoy the ambience. After lunch,  enjoy a beer and a game of tejo - a traditional Colombian game - at the hacienda before returning to your hotel.

Cocora Valley

£110
Cocora Valley, Armenia, Colombia
Llama Travel Customer Rating
67%
67%

This full-day guided tour takes you to one of the most surreal landscapes in South America, where tall Quindio wax palms, the national tree and symbol of Colombia, dominate the skyline. Take a guided tour of the cloud forest, where you can appreciate the natural splendor of the valley and possibly spot hummingbirds, before exploring the charming nearby town of Salento. Lunch is included.

Full Description:

About an hour from the hacienda, the Cocora Valley is a protected area of cloud forest best known as one of the few rare natural habitats of the national tree and symbol of Colombia, the Quindio wax palm. Growing up to 60 metres tall, the Quindio wax is the tallest palm in the world and has a slender cylindrical trunk and crown of fronds giving it an almost windmill-like appearance. When the trees were a common sight across Colombia, Christian worshippers used to cut palm fronds from their wax palm trees to celebrate Palm Sunday, waving the branches in celebration of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Today, the Quindio wax palm is a rare and protected species, existing almost exclusively in the Cocora Valley, where they rise above the cloud-shrouded forest and create a stunning and surreal landscape. Enjoy a guided walk through the cloud forest, where you can take in the natural splendour of the valley and, if you are lucky, glimpse some of the local wildlife such as hummingbirds, condors and the yellow-eared parrot, which actually builds its nests in the hollow trunks of the palms. Have a leisurely lunch in a restaurant at the park’s entrance before exploring the nearby charming small town of Salento, where you can relax and explore the local shops and taverns before heading back to the hacienda in the afternoon.

Historic Bogotá

£60
Colonial Bogota, Colombia
Llama Travel Customer Rating
83%
83%

See the best of Bogotá on this half-day excursion around the Colombian capital’s most fascinating sites. Visit the Plaza de Bolivar, the impressive San Agustin church in the colonial La Candelaria quarter before paying a visit to the world-famous Gold Museum, then enjoy a cable ride up to the Monserrate Hill for spectacular views of the high-rise city.

Full Description:

This half-day city excursion begins with a 40-minute drive through the city to the historical quarter of La Candelaria in Bogotá’s colonial downtown. This is one of the most fascinating areas of the city, and home to the grand Plaza de Bolivar, the impressive San Agustin colonial church, the cathedral and the Presidential Palace. Next, visit the world-famous Gold Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of indigenous gold objects. Finally, the tour concludes in spectacular fashion with a cable car ride up the 3,152-metre Monserrate Hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

Colonial Cartagena

£60
Cartagena, Colombia
Llama Travel Customer Rating
80%
80%

Explore the enchanting city of Cartagena, which perfectly combines the charm of Spanish colonial architecture with exotic scenery and beautiful Caribbean waters. This half-day excursion visits the formidable San Felipe Fort built to protect the city from pirates, the former conquistador dungeons of ‘Las Bovedas’ that have now become artisan centres, the Convent of San Pedro de Claver and the Palace of the Inquisition.

Full Description:

The excursion begins with a visit to Cartagena’s famous fortifications. Cartagena was known as one of the great treasure ports of the Spanish Empire, and as a result was an attractive plunder site for Caribbean pirates. In response to constant raids and pillages, Cartagena defended itself with increased fortifications; building walled compounds, castles, a labyrinth of misleading winding streets around the port, and the imposing San Felipe de Barajas fortress, which looks out across the Caribbean Sea. San Felipe is today considered one of the most important works of Spanish military engineering in South America. Spend some time exploring the ramparts and battlements and learning the history of San Felipe before concluding the tour at Las Bovedas, a series of vaulted alcoves built into the massive sea wall. These were originally designed as storage vaults but were also used as dungeons during the 19th century. Today, the painted archways of the vaults house a string of colourful crafts and artisan shops, and are a great place to buy souvenirs. Then continue to the Convent of San Pedro de Claver, founded in the 17th century, which has an imposing stone façade, fine stained-glass windows and a beautiful cloister. You end the excursion at the Palace of the Inquisition, where the museum displays the gnarly instruments of torture used by the inquisitor, as well as pre-Colombian pottery and other historic items.

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2018

Fri 16 Nov - Sun 02 Dec Price £2729 SAVE £300 £2429 Single supplement Price £775 Book Now

2019

Fri 26 Jul - Sun 11 Aug Price £2979 SAVE £300 £2679 Single supplement Price £775 Book Now
Fri 15 Nov - Sun 01 Dec Price £2879 SAVE £300 £2579 Single supplement Price £775 Book Now

Prices include

Return flights from the UK; flights within Latin America; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers in Latin America; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip to Latin America is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About your Holiday

  • Prices listed are per person and based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within Latin America, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included, however, departure taxes on some flights within and leaving Latin America are not included. These must be paid in cash at the airport. Currently, this applies to Guatemala: US$3 international and domestic flights. Travel insurance is not included.

  • All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

Booking Conditions

    1. Your contract

      Your contract is with Llama Travel Limited, registered in England and Wales, number 4370517. The following conditions will apply to your booking and form part of your contract. They cannot be varied and should be read carefully. A contract will exist when we accept your booking and issue our confirmation invoice. The contract and all matters arising from it shall be governed by English law and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. All correspondence will be sent to the lead passenger of the booking unless otherwise advised. You must be over 18 to book a Llama Travel holiday. Llama Travel holidays are not for resale.

    2. Deposits and final payments

      A deposit of 10% of the holiday cost is required (15% for Brazil holidays). On some occasions a higher deposit is required, we will advise you if this is necessary. When this is received, we will issue a confirmation invoice. The balance of the payment must be paid 90 days before departure. If the booking is made less than 90 days before departure, full payment must be made when booking. On some occasions, earlier balance payment may be required to secure flight seats or other services. In order to secure your holiday arrangements in some cases, we may ask for a payment in advance before we can reserve the appropriate services. This payment is not refundable if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the booking. You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept credit cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

    3. Our prices

      Prices are based on the latest known information at the time of preparation – 4 Jun 2018 (£1 = US$1.34, Brent Crude oil $77 per barrel) but can go up or down. Before making a booking, please call us to check the correct up to date price of your chosen holiday.

      Once you have made a booking and we have issued our confirmation invoice, your holiday price can only be varied due to a significant increase in charges, fees, taxes, or similar items as a result of governmental action.

      The following taxes, entrance fees and charges are included in our prices. An adjustment will be made to the price of your holiday if any of these changes before your holiday:

      UK air passenger duty (APD):

      • £78
      • for business class, APD rates are higher.

      Entrance fees:

      • Galapagos National Park $120;
      • Machu Picchu $50;
      • Inca Trail and Short Inca Trail $80;
      • Cusco Tourist Ticket $45;
      • Perito Moreno US$30;
      • Iguazu Falls (Brazil) US$30;
      • Iguazu Falls (Argentina) US$30;
      • Torres del Paine US$35.

      We have been advised that the Galapagos National Park entrance fee may increase, but this has not been confirmed.

      The VAT rate for holidays outside the EU is zero. Except for increases in entrance fees or tax increases, such as in APD or VAT, we will not surcharge you.

    4. Alterations or cancellations by you

      If you wish to alter your holiday arrangements before departure, we will do our best to help. An administration fee of £25 per passenger will be charged, together with any additional costs incurred as a result of the change. If you make any alterations within 60 days of departure, we may treat this as a cancellation, and apply cancellation fees. Scheduled airlines treat name changes as a cancellation and rebooking; any alteration is likely to incur a 100% cancellation charge. Please make sure that all names you give us are spelled exactly as they appear in passports.

      It is not normally possible to make alterations after commencement of travel. If you do wish to make alterations during your holiday, cancellation fees for services booked may apply. Refunds cannot be made for any unused accommodation, services or transport.

      If you wish to cancel your holiday, you must let us know in writing. The following cancellation charges apply:

      Days before departure when you notify usPenalty
      90 days or more Loss of deposit
      61 to 89 days 25% of holiday cost, or deposit if higher
      31 to 59 days 60% of holiday cost (75% for Galapagos holidays), or deposit if higher
      30 days or less 100% of holiday cost

      If the balance payment is required earlier than 90 days before departure, this will normally be non-refundable in the event of cancellation.

      In addition, where one person in a party cancels and others still wish to travel, single room supplements will be payable if this results in single rooms being used.

      We recommend that you take out full travel insurance with cover against cancellation penalties, including in the event of force majeure; see section 6 below.

    5. Alterations or cancellations by us

      We make careful arrangements with airlines, hotels and service operators to ensure that we are able to provide you with the holiday as described. However, in exceptional cases, it may be necessary to make changes to your holiday arrangements (including airlines, flights, accommodation, transport or services) due to circumstances beyond our control. Flight times are given only as indications, and finalised times will be shown on your tickets.

      When changes are necessary, we will do our best to ensure that they do not affect your holiday. If, before you depart, a major change is necessary (defined as a change of itinerary so that you are no longer able to visit a destination where you are scheduled to spend one or more nights or an appropriate alternative destination, or a change of accommodation to a lower standard or category affecting a significant part of your holiday) or if we have to cancel your holiday, we will contact you and offer you the choice of:

      • accepting the changes to your holiday;
      • purchasing another available Llama Travel holiday; or
      • cancelling your holiday with a full refund.

      If we have to cancel or make major changes to your holiday less than 60 days before departure, other than in the event of force majeure (see section 6 below), you will also be entitled to compensation at the following levels:

      When notifiedCompensation per person
      43 – 60 days before departure £50
      29 - 42 days before departure £100
      15 - 28 days before departure £150
      0 - 14 days before departure £200
    6. Alterations or cancellations by you or us in the event of force majeure

      If we have to make major changes to, or cancel, your holiday in the event of force majeure, we will contact you and offer you the above choices. However, compensation will not be paid.

      If, in the event of force majeure, we are still able to operate your holiday but you wish to cancel, please contact us to discuss the options. We will endeavour to recover from suppliers, and refund to you, monies paid for your holiday, but where we are unable to do so, you may be able to claim for irrecoverable costs from your travel insurance.

      Force majeure events include war, threat of war, civil unrest or strife, decisions by governments or governing authorities, epidemic, natural disasters, fire, bad weather, terrorist activity, nuclear disaster, industrial disputes, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of timetables of airlines, or other causes beyond our control.

    7. Our responsibilities to you

      Llama Travel is dedicated to ensuring that your holiday is as described. If a part of your holiday is not provided as promised, please inform us at the time. If this affects the reasonable enjoyment of your holiday, we will pay compensation appropriate to the circumstances, limited to a maximum of three times the price of the service concerned. If you do not inform us at the time, Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the situation as we will not have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem.

      Llama Travel accepts responsibility for illness, personal injury or death caused as a direct result of the direct acts and/or omissions of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors while acting in the course of their employment to provide services or arrangements for your holiday that you have booked with us in the UK. We do not accept responsibility for illness, personal injury or death where there has been no fault of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors, or as a result of taking part in any activity which does not form part of the holiday booked through us in the UK. Where illness, personal injury or death arises in the course of air travel, rail travel, sea travel or hotel accommodation, the amount of compensation you may receive is limited in accordance with the provisions of any International Convention. If illness, personal injury or death is suffered as a result of taking part in an activity where a third party is involved, we shall, at our discretion, offer advice and assistance to aid in the resolution of the issue, provided you inform us within 90 days of the occurrence. Our costs in respect of the above on behalf of you and your party shall not exceed £5,000 in total. If you are able to make recovery of these costs whether from the third party or from a policy of insurance, you may be asked to refund our outlay.

    8. Your responsibilities

      Clients are responsible for ensuring that all immigration and health requirements are fulfilled, for obtaining travel documents, including passports, visas and vaccination certificates, and for ensuring that these are all in order, including for any intermediate stops on international flights. If the name on your airline ticket does not match that on your passport, you must inform us as soon as you receive the ticket.

      We require your passport details to issue some tickets. If these change after you have given them to us, you must inform us.

      It is your responsibility to behave in a responsible, restrained and sober manner when dealing with local authorities, fellow travellers and our representatives.

      By taking a Llama Travel holiday, you agree to accept the authority and decisions of our employees and representatives. If, in the opinion of such people, your behaviour or health before the departure of a tour is likely to threaten the safety, comfort or progress of that tour, then you may be excluded from the tour without refund or compensation. It is your responsibility to obey local laws, otherwise you may be excluded from the holiday and we will cease to have any responsibility for you.

      Please bear in mind that travel in Latin America is not the same as travel in the UK, and minor inconveniences and delays may arise due to weather conditions, strikes, demonstrations, the poor state of roads or for other reasons. By travelling with Llama Travel, you are implicitly accepting this part of the Latin American way of life.

    9. Flights

      We have no control over international or national air carriers, and therefore schedules may change or flights be delayed due to no fault of our own. We will do all we can to ensure the smooth flow of all your transport connections, but it is your responsibility to check exact times of flights and reconfirm these. This is particularly important for internal flights within Latin America, which can be rearranged at short notice. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the consequences of flights missed due to the client’s failure to reconfirm.

      When you travel with an airline, the Conditions of Carriage of that airline apply, some of which will limit or exclude liability. These conditions are the subject of International Agreements between countries.

      Flying to Latin America involves long flights and may require changes in other airports. It is your responsibility to arrive at the departure airport at the appropriate time and to check in for your international flight, and to change aeroplanes if necessary at intermediate airports. If you wish to sit in a specific seat or section of the plane, or wish to sit with other people on the flight, it is recommended that you check in early or check in online. It is sometimes possible to reserve seats directly with the airline by telephone or online prior to travel.

      Airlines do not allow more than one booking per passenger on a flight and may cancel seats if they are held by more than one operator. Clients are responsible for ensuring they are not holding flights with another operator.

    10. Baggage allowance

      Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kg per passenger. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, you will usually be able to leave the rest of you luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    11. Insurance

      You must have adequate insurance provision to cover the cost of assistance, including emergency repatriation, in the event of illness or other problems occurring during your holiday.

    12. Complaints

      If you have any complaints about your holiday arrangements when you are abroad, please bring these to the attention of our local representatives who will do all they can to ensure a swift and satisfactory resolution. Problems can usually be sorted out by talking to the supplier concerned (e.g. hotel) and our local representatives or by informing us directly. If this is not done, Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the situation, as we will not have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem. If you do not inform us, your consumer rights to compensation may be affected. If you have tried and failed to rectify the situation whilst abroad, please send us your complaint in writing within 28 days of returning to the UK. We will then follow up your complaint. Communication with Latin America is often slow, so we may not be able to resolve the situation as quickly as you would like.

    13. Financial protection

      When you buy an ATOL protected flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.

      We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

      If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

    14. Brochure and website information

      The information in our brochures and on our website is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press. However, details of flights or hotels may vary during the lifetime of a brochure. These changes will be reflected on our website where possible.

      The copyright on all material in our brochures and on our website, including text, photographs, maps and layouts is held by Llama Travel Limited. No part of these publications may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of Llama Travel.

    15. Data Protection

      The information we ask you to provide, including personal information about you and members of your party, is necessary for us to arrange and operate your holiday. By booking a holiday with us, you agree to our processing this information, including, where appropriate, its transfer outside of the EU.

    16. Package Travel Regulations
      Llama Travel Bookings comply with the UK Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. UK Package Travel Regulations

How to Book

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

  • You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept credit cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

Before you Go

  • Due to its proximity to the Equator, lowland Colombia has a tropical climate; however, temperatures are lower in highland areas, including Bogotá and the coffee region, and vary significantly throughout the country. The coast is usually hot and humid, often with daytime highs of over 30°C, whilst in Bogotá night-time temperatures can drop to lower than 10°C. Therefore, a variety of clothing, suitable for hot and cold weather, is advisable. Rain is possible throughout the year, and can be heavy, so waterproofs are recommended. The wettest months are generally April to June and October to November. The coastal dry season is from December to March, during which there is little rain. Insect repellent is advisable, especially for the coffee region and the Caribbean areas.

    Electricity in Colombia is 110V, and plugs are of the flat two-pin type.

    We recommend you carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

    You can bring whichever luggage you feel most comfortable with: suitcases, soft bags and rucksacks are fine.

  • To enter Colombia, UK citizens do not require a visa. An immigration form must be completed before passing through immigration control upon arrival. On this form, please state the purpose of your visit as Tourism, otherwise you may be liable for a 16% sales tax on hotels.

    For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Colombia (020 7637 9893).

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy. A list of insurance companies that our customers have found suitable is available from us.

    Please advise your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions and, if you are booking a holiday involving high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail, make sure that you are covered for this.

    If you are planning on carrying out any other activities, please ensure your insurance policy will cover you for these.

    Note that cancellation cover is often only available if insurance is purchased within two weeks of booking your holiday.

  • Some countries in Latin America have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in Latin America will give you your hotel and excursion vouchers when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

Health & Fitness

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. The NHS website www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives good advice about travelling in Colombia.
    Malaria and Yellow Fever precautions are usually recommended when visiting the low-lying areas in Colombia, including the Caribbean Coast.

    Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

    There have been reports of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, in various Latin American countries. Please check www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk for latest advice regarding this. If you are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended that you speak to a medical professional prior to travel.

    When visiting Latin America, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    Much of Latin America is at high altitude. Most people who travel to altitude do not suffer major problems. However, shortness of breath is common and we advise you to take things calmly during your first day or so at altitude. If possible, rest for a couple of hours when you first get to altitude. Some Llama Travel customers have reported beneficial effects of the herbal remedy Ginkgo Biloba. Many of the places you visit require some walking uphill. Please bear in mind that the altitude means this is more strenuous than equivalent length walks in the UK. If you think you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP before travelling.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. Illnesses caused by altitude can be serious. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

Getting there

  • A holiday in Latin America inevitably means long haul flights, and at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare.

    You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Opinions change over time, but in the past year, Llama Travel customers’ preference was for Air France, KLM, British Airways and Virgin, followed by United and Iberia. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Most airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy
    British Airways World Traveller Plus, Air France Premium Voyageur and Virgin Premium Economy seats are available. These provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    KLM, Iberia and United offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost. KLM seats can be booked through Llama Travel. United and Iberia seats can be reserved with the airlines one month prior to departure.

    Business Class
    British Airways Club World has seats which convert into full flat beds and have a privacy screen.

    Iberia Business Plus between Madrid and Latin America offers seats which convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Madrid, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    KLM World Business Class offers seats that recline to 150 degrees (to Quito) or 170 degrees (to Lima). Between the UK and Amsterdam, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    Air France Affaires Class offer seats which convert into virtually flat beds. Between the UK and Paris, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kg per passenger, especially when taking internal flights within Latin America. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, you will usually be able to leave the rest of you luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For flights within Latin America, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot always guarantee specific seats.

  • If you would like to break your journey to or from Latin America and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible.

    Depending on which airline you choose, stopovers may be possible in Miami, New York, Houston, Madrid, Amsterdam or Paris.

  • All people flying to the USA, even if only in transit to Latin America, must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the USA and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the USA. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    As your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page.

    Additionally, if the passport was issued, renewed/extended between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it must contain a digital photograph. If the passport was issued, renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, it must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.
    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.

    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    ESTA Visa Waiver Program - **** Action by you may be required ****
    The US State Department has introduced a mandatory electronic system to help speed up the US immigration process for travellers on the Visa Waiver Program. All Visa Waiver Program travellers must fill in a form on the US State department website. This can be found at (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov). Please enter this into the address bar on your web browser. There is a $14 charge per person to apply for this. DO NOT search for this website via a search engine, such as Google, as it will take you to an incorrect website. Although this can be filled in up to 72 hours before travel, we recommend that you fill in this form as soon as possible so any issues can be identified immediately. To apply please scroll to the bottom of the green area and press the apply button on the left hand side of the page. Please make sure that this form is filled out for all the passengers on your booking. If you require more detailed instructions, please visit www.LlamaTravel.com/ESTA.

    If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, or if your passport does not meet the relevant criteria, then you will require a US visa before you travel. Even if you are given authorization on the ESTA website, some travellers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. If in doubt, please consult the US embassy website.

    Advanced Passenger Information - **** Action by you is required ****
    The US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight. This is in addition to the information to be submitted for the Visa Waiver Program which you may have already completed. Please visit our website where you will find details on how to submit this information using the airlines website. www.LlamaTravel.com/USAPI.

    Please complete this procedure as soon as possible. If your passenger information is not entered into the flight booking we are unable to issue your flight tickets. This may result in your flight booking being cancelled and high charges being incurred.

Travelling in Colombia

  • All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately US$15 – 20 for a meal, although many restaurants have excellent value set lunches for less than this. Hotel restaurants, especially in superior hotels, can be more expensive. Additionally, there are many upmarket restaurants, particularly in Bogotá and Cartagena, where you should expect to pay up to US$50 per person, or possibly more.

    Bar prices are similar to the UK and a small bottle of beer usually costs around US$2-3 in a hotel bar. This can be higher in more remote areas.

  • Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. If we have only one or two people booked on an excursion, the excursion may be operated together with people other than Llama Travel customers. In some places, the excursions are operated by one of our local partners, such as treks in Torres del Paine, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be in a vehicle with more than 18 people.

  • Latin America is relatively safe to visit, and most people experience no problems during their stay. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem. Tourists are often seen as being wealthy, and can therefore appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk to yourself, use common sense. Do not walk around with obvious signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive looking jewellery or with cameras round your neck. Keep passports and valuables in your hotel safe. When in restaurants, always keep bags (especially if they contain valuables) close to your person and out of sight. Do not walk down empty streets, especially after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a completely troublefree holiday.

    Please use the safe in your hotel room or boat cabin to store your valuables, if this is available. If there is not a safe in your room, there will usually be a safe in reception where you can store valuables. On boats, if there is not a safe in your cabin, you can usually leave valuables with the captain.

    Making sure that you stay safe during your holiday is very important. We bear this in mind when selecting hotels, but please understand that standards of health and safety in Latin America are often not as high as they are in the UK. Enclosed is a sheet with some useful advice on health and safety produced by LATA (the Latin American Travel Association). Please take the time to read this before you travel. Take extra care if you are travelling with children.

  • If you receive good service, you may want to leave a tip. This is completely at your discretion. For general excursions, if you want to tip guides, US$3 – 5 per person per day is usual if you are in a group. Approximately US$2 - 3 is usual for drivers or transfer staff. As tipping is not necessarily normal in restaurants, please give any tips directly to the person you would like to tip to ensure that they get it. In certain restaurants, a 10% service charge may be included in your bill, or the bill may mention that service is not included.

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance. Llama Travel does not arrange any adventure activities directly and we cannot verify the safety measures of any local operators.

  • To phone the UK from Colombia, dial the international dialing code for the UK (0044) and then the UK telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. Telephone cards are the easiest way to use public telephones, and can be bought in convenience stores.

    To phone Colombia from the UK, dial the international dialing code for Colombia (0057) and then the Colombia telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. Some UK mobile phones work in Colombia; check with your mobile phone service provider if your telephone will work.

  • Excursions are operated together with other holidaymakers. These will usually be in English, although groups are sometimes a mix of English and Spanish or Portuguese speaking. A minimum of 2 people is required for some excursions. On some occasions, the order of excursions may vary.

  • Whilst in Bogotá it is possible to sample regional specialties from throughout Colombia. Colombian food is quite diverse, with the coast, the Andes and jungle favouring different ingredients, allowing for an interesting mix. Many of these dishes can be found in the historic city centre, and Calle 11 has a number of tourist-friendly restaurants with menus in Spanish and English. One of the most popular dishes from Bogotá itself is ajiaco, a tasty soup containing shredded chicken, potatoes and tubers, and corn on the cob, served with rice and avocado. Another interesting and unique choice is chocolate santerfereño: hot chocolate served with cheese (to melt in the chocolate) and two types of bread. Cheap set menus can be a good option in more traditional restaurants, often with 3 courses and a drink for under £5. Bakeries, fresh fruit juice shops and street stalls are plentiful. Many of the upmarket restaurants featuring international cuisine are found in the newer Zona Rosa district (Zona G, Zona T and Parque 93).

    The most well-known dish to hail from Medellín is ‘bandeja paisa’, a tasty, although not so waist-friendly, plate showcasing many of Colombia’s favourite foods. The dish includes a generous variety of ingredients: red beans with pork, rice, a fried egg, plantain, minced meat, chorizo, an arepa (a type of corn flour pancake), black pudding, pork scratchings, avocado and hogao sauce. The bandeja, or platter in English, originated in the Andean region, so Medellín is the best place to try this much-loved meal.

    Hotel Sazagua in the Coffee Region has a restaurant offering international cuisine with a regional twist, and dishes based on family recipes. There are also reasonably priced restaurants in the area; however, a taxi ride is needed. Trout is the regional specialty.

    The restaurants in Cartagena offer a rich culinary variety, combining flavours and ingredients from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia. Lunchtime set menus offer good value for money, whilst high-end international cuisine is common in the historic centre. Fish and coconut rice are typical of the Caribbean region, whilst snacks include varieties of arepas (corn flatbreads), patacones (fried plantain) and fresh tropical fruit juices.

    There are several restaurants in Tayrona National Park, offering regional snacks, local and international food and drinks at reasonable prices. It is also possible to bring food and soft drinks into the park. Fish and seafood are the specialties of this area.

  • The currency in Colombia is the Colombian Peso (approximate exchange rate: COP4000 – GB£1). Travellers should take local currency or US dollars and not UK sterling, which is not widely accepted in any form. Credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard) can be used in many shops and restaurants, and can also be used to withdraw money from cash machines. There are cash machines in the centre of Bogotá and Cartagena. Please note that it can be difficult to use US dollar notes which have even the smallest tear. When changing US dollars into local currency, always use a reputable place to change: banks, hotels or exchange shops. Do not change money on the street if you can avoid it.

    When travelling to some of the more remote areas (e.g. the Tayrona National Park), it is advisable to take cash, as it can be difficult to withdraw or change money, or change travellers cheques. If taking travellers cheques, a high commission may be charged, especially if changing directly into dollars. Some hotels do not change travellers cheques so you may need to change them in a bank or exchange shop, therefore, please bear in mind opening hours.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals on your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary; however, we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.