3 days 3 nights
Feeling like a break from city life? What you didn’t realize, is that Bogota is more than just a sprawling, cosmopolitan city. Come along with us and discover the Bogota Outdoor Adventure!
A place surrounded the spectacular landscapes of the Eastern Range of the Colombian Andes. This area is home to many unique species of fauna and flora.
On this Bogota Outdoor Adventure you will travel beyond the hip bars and restaurants of downtown Bogota to the wild mountain moorlands of Chingaza National Park. There you will experience the stunning cloud forests of Chicaque. Try to spot bears, deer, sloths, toucans, and hummingbirds. Don’t forget your camera!
The tour begins with a morning walking tour of La Candelaria, Bogota’s oldest neighbourhood. This is where the modern city was founded almost 500 years ago. Your local guide will explain the history of the country, as well as the unique geography that makes Colombia one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. You will see examples of Bogota’s world-famous street-art (much of which pays tribute to Colombia’s natural wonders) and sample delicious street food snacks.
The tour will finish at Bogota’s oldest restaurant for a traditional lunch, before a transfer out of the city to the Hummingbird Observatory in La Calera, a small rural settlement in the mountains to the east of the city. This delightful little country house is surrounded by Andean woodlands and moors. It attracts more than 14 species of high-altitude hummingbirds to its feeders, set in a beautifully landscaped garden in the house’s courtyard. Species that visit the feeders include the endemic Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Great Sapphirewing, and the breathtaking Sword-billed Hummingbird which is the only bird on earth with a beak longer than its body!
We will spend a lazy afternoon at the observatory, enjoying the chance to observe and photograph these normally rare species at leisure and taking a stroll along the nature trails adjoining the house. We are fortunate to be able to spend the night at the new B&B that has recently opened at the Observatory – the comfortable cabins have been beautifully decorated, and are warm and cosy with open fires and large beds.
After an early breakfast surrounded by hummingbirds, we will depart for a day trip the neighbouring Chingaza National Park, one of the region’s largest and important areas of conservation. Chingaza protects over 750,000 hectares of high-Andean and sub-Andean forest, as well as vast paramo ecosystems. Paramos are high-altitude moorlands endemic to north-eastern South America and home to high numbers of endemic species of flora and fauna. There are many species to be found in this National Park that can’t be seen anywhere else in Colombia!
During our day trip to Chingaza we will explore a range of different habitats and ecosystems and have the chance to spot many fascinating species, including endemic birds like the Green-bearded Helmetcrest hummingbird and Brown-breasted Parakeet. We are likely to see White-tailed Deer throughout the park, and there’s always the chance of a sighting of the rare and elusive Andean Spectacled Bear, which is being seen more and more in Chingaza as the species recovers locally. Our trip will include a hike in high-Andean forest to a viewpoint overlooking the lakes, and a walk in the paramo where you expert guide can explain all about what makes this unique environment so essential to the survival of Bogota.
Once our Chingaza adventure is complete, it’s back down the mountains to Bogota for dinner and a night at our boutique hotel in the city centre.
It’s another early start this morning as we journey to Chicaque Natural Park, a beautifully preserved island of cloud forest biodiversity to the south of Bogota. After a two-hour drive, and a hearty breakfast alongside the reserve’s hummingbird feeders, we will spend the morning hiking the well-marked trails through the verdant forests, keeping our eyes out for toucans, colourful butterflies, and even sloths. The choice of hiking routes depends completely on you: we can visit the Eagle’s Beak Hill, with its breathtaking views towards the distant snow-capped volcanoes of the Central Andes or hike through the forest to a hidden waterfall. After a full morning of hiking and wildlife-watching, we will reach the Chicaque Lodge where lunch and coffee will be served.
After lunch, the choice is yours: you could chill out in a hammock watching colourful tanagers from the terrace, take a horseback ride, climb up to a canopy platform 25m up in the treetops, or fly across the forest at up to 70 kilometres per hour on Chicaque’s 340m zip line. In the early evening, we will drive back to Bogota for dinner and a well-deserved rest at the hotel.
Here ends your Bogota Outdoor Adventure, but there’s lots more of Colombia’s natural wonders to explore. Check out our safari adventures in the vast Eastern Plains, where you can spot giant anteaters, anacondas, and huge flocks of scarlet ibis, just hours from Bogota…
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