CARTAGENA | MAY 2021
MOVICH, LA JUGADA, Rosario Islands and Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas await adventurous travelers in Cartagena
Cartagena is an extraordinary city located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, in the north of Colombia. Its Old City with port, monuments and fortress has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This honor is awarded only to areas that “transcend national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity”.
Cartegena is an alluring mix of exquisitely preserved historical sites and leading-edge creators of fashion and food. It is a treasure that, today, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Colombia.
This trip of four days and three nights will be enough to create memories that will make you long to return for more. Visitors will enjoy the charms of majestic landscapes and the colorful colonial architecture that holds the secrets of history, art and culture. Cartagena’s walled city served as an inspiration to Gabriel García Márquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Cartagena’s mouth-watering gastronomic offerings will be the backbone of this adventure. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will feature indigenous dishes and new creations from the Caribbean region. We will dine in the company of renowned chefs; coffee producers, chocolatiers, leaders in business, social entrepreneurs and public figures who will share their unique viewpoints of life in “The Magic City.”
In addition to feasting on the foods or Cartegena, we will take guided tours of museums dedicated to gold, emeralds, chocolate and Modern Art. We will visit the impressive Palace of the Inquisition. We will walk the cobbled streets to visit the colorful and lively local market of the city and the Castillo San Felipe, the fortress first built in the 1500s. We will return to the old city to visit art galleries, shops of important designers and the best jewellers to enjoy an entertaining afternoon of shopping.
MEET YOUR EXCURSION TEAM
LOCAL INSIDER | TATA MARTINEZ
TATA MARTINEZ is a native Colombian and passionate traveler within her country. She is a travel blogger and Instagram influencer who will accompany us to Cartagena, sharing her wealth of knowledge on Colombian culture.
EXCURSION LEADER | RICHARD ROSSER
RICHARD ROSSER is the founder of Insider Excursions and the President & Publisher of Point! Publishing. Last year he led group trips to Bogota, Colombia and Quepos, Costa Rica.
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS…
In the Magical, Ancient City of Cartagena
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias is a city and a world heritage site in Bolívar, Colombia. The city was one of the first sanctuaries of freed African slaves in the Americas. It is populated by an ethnic mix representative of Colombia’s own variety.
READ THE STORY…
INSIDER EXCURSIONS Lead travel writer Tata Martinez is our local insider in Cartagena. Read the story in Pompano! Magazine…
ACCOMODATIONS IN CARTAGENA
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Our accommodations in Cusco will be the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, a former Inca palace turned luxury hotel. The hotel sits on a UNESCO world heritage site overlooking the city. It is a five minute walk from the Plaza de Armas and ten minute walk from Cusco’s historic quarter. The grounds have an ancient wall of Inca stones leading into a cloistered courtyard with an historic fountain at its heart. Within the hotel’s timeless walls, contemporary Cusco comes to life. Find a fabulous spa, the city’s first outdoor pool, a secret garden, library and stylish restaurant serving cutting-edge local cuisine.This intimate urban retreat has just 55 suites, each enriched with oxygen and with its own private bar where guests can create drinks accented with fresh ingredients grown at and around the hotel.
DAY ONE | WELCOME TO CARTAGENA
You’ll be greeted by our local expert, Tata Martinez, who will whisk you away to your home for the next few nights.
We’ll pick up the group at the airport in several sport vans with quota for four passengers or a big Tourism van, whichever is preferable.
Upon arrival at the hotel we will enjoy a cocktail reception coupled with music and dance of a local folklore group. Tata Martinez will offer an overview of the itinerary and deliver your welcome kit. There will be time to settle into your room and get a bit of rest before we head for a very special dinner.
Welcome Dinner: (7:00PM)
Restaurant: Juan Del Mar
We will meet at 6 pm to ride in horse-drawn carriages to Juan Del Mar restaurant. Chef Juan has been called “the most charismatic figure” in Cartagena’s restaurant scene.”
“When we serve food, we are dishing out love”
DAY TWO | TAKE THE LEGENDARY HIRAM BINGHAM TRAIN TO MACHU PICCHU
You will take a luxury train trip aboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu. The 1920s parlour cars are elegantly decorated, adorned with wood panels, brass finishes, warm lighting and pressed linen dining tables. The train will wind through the Sacred Valley and ascend into the Andes from Cusco while you devour gourmet meals and listen to live Peruvian music. The route itself is 57 miles and lasts about three and a half hours in each direction. You’ll traverse along the Urubamba River (the Sacred River), go through ancient towns and lush cloud forests, and admire the towering mountains and vast grasslands dotted with llamas. The train takes you to the gateway city of Aguas Calientes. A short shuttle ride from the train will take you to the entrance of Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world. Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca citadel. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.
DAY THREE | HIKE AROUND THE AUSUNGATE GLACIAL LAKES
On your third day in Cusco you will have the option to take a day trip to the Ausungate glacial lakes. The lakes are created by the run-off of 700-year-old glaciers, which hang magnificently on the rugged peaks of the Cordillera Vilcanota range. The peaks are stunning, towering above you as you wander around the glacial lakes below. Each lake has a different shade of blue, turquoise or green based on the mineral content and plants on which they cover.
The area feels totally remote and far-removed from Cusco. A few local Andean people live in grass huts along the river and a small town of llama and alpaca herders sits near the trail head. A local woman will make you and your fellow hikers breakfast and lunch in her own home. At the end of the day, hikers can also swim in the thermal baths which rest below the lakes.
DAY FOUR | TAKE AN URBAN ADVENTURE AROUND LIMA, GO TO THE BEACH & DRINK PISCO
On the fourth day, we will take a hopper flight back to Lima, the urban metropolis and capital city of Peru. Here you will be able to choose from a variety of activity options including shopping, a history tour, art galleries, museums or the beach. We will also offer a Pisco tasting and host a VIP dinner with a special guest TBA.
DAY FIVE | DESERT ADRENALINE
About four hours outside of Lima rests the Huacachina Oasis, a small, quirky desert town. There you can take an adrenaline-pumping, scream-inducing, rollercoaster-ride of a sand buggy tour up and down the steep sand dunes. You can also rent sand boards. Long rides on your stomach aboard a wooden board, head first down steep terrain, is enough to bring out anyone’s inner child. At the end of the day, the sunset casts golden shadows across miles of rolling dunes.
The desert scenery is such a wild departure from Lima and Cusco that it feels as if you have been abducted and transported to another planet, the dune buggies actually Mars rovers. It is a surreal sensation to suddenly be in a hot, remote desert when only days before you were wearing a winter coat, hiking around glacial lakes at the bottom of the Andes. This rapid change in environment and climate as you travel across Peru is no doubt one of the allures to this South American country.