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A couple stands with a dog in front of a beautiful lake surrounded by rolling green hills
A man stands in front of a waterfall holding a blue flag that says Free and Easy Traveler on it.
Curtis Smith
A women in a pink bikini and sun hat walks along a palm tree lined beach
Justin Wiechnik
A boat floats in a small bay along a beautiful beach at sunset
A women relaxes in a colourful hammock along a palm tree lined beach
Justin Wiechnik
Colourful buildings line a cobblestone road with mountains in the background
Silhouettes of people and palm trees on a beach at sunset
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
The Secret of South America

Get ready to fall in love! Colombia has what you’ve been looking for: adventurous activities, majestic landscapes, friendly people, and a chill beach life, all with that FnEZ twist. This means fewer tourists and more travelers, less congested routes and more off-the-beaten-path locales, and less planning and more enjoying! This South American secret has been hidden from view for far too long, but it is ready for us now! With fun hostels, a great backpacker scene, a feeling of safety, incredible adventure sports, funky bars and restaurants scattered through the country, you’re in for a wild ride through this stunning country!

From city to city, full of unique and fresh stops in between, this 20-day trip through Colombia will totally crush any preconceived notions you have about this beautiful and diverse country. Starting in Medellin, a jungle city with a vibrant life force, down through the rainforests boasting incredible views and adrenaline pumping action, to the beaches and pristine nature along the Caribbean, to our final stop in Cartagena, an unbelievable city jutting out into the Sea: this non-stop trip (with some hammock time, of course) will satisfy your need for culture, history, nightlife, cuisine, adventure, hiking, and breathtaking landscapes. Join us in Colombia for a trip of a lifetime! 

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
Medellín

Welcome to Colombia! You’re first taste of this wild country will leave you begging for more. Medellin is a vibrant, energetic city tucked away in a lush valley of the Andes Mountains. There is a tranquilo pace here, with awesome parks, funky cafes, and groovy nightlife. The culture will push you into an immediate integration with the Colombian lifestyle! The amazing Euro-style architecture, the mouth-watering cuisine, and the fun-loving locals will pull you into this whole other world. The El Poblado neighbourhood we’re staying in keeps you in the mix, but also offers a haven to relax and take it all in. From paragliding to hiking to simply getting lost in the winding streets, this city will awaken your inner adventurer and leave you feeling welcome in Colombia!

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
Guatapé

On the outskirts of Medellin, there is a quaint town with a lot of heart and soul. Guatapé has a unique spirit you won’t find anywhere else. With its vividly painted buildings and tile work, a great jungle lake, and a strong backpacker vibe, this place is one in a million. Our accommodation is a great hub for travelers, attracting fun, like-minded people. While there are many activities available, it's the perfect place to let the outside world fade away, and just relax. The views from La Piedra, a 10 million-ton rock visible from miles around the countryside, are something you're sure to want to write home about. A true Free & Easy destination, Guatapé will steal your heart and ignite the explorer in you to delve deeper into Colombia. 

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
Salento

Salento is a small quiet colonial town known for its amazing coffee culture. Everywhere you turn there are welcoming smiles and friendly neighbours. Time walking in this small town is a highlight for any traveler that wants a local connection. With its rolling hills and lush green landscape, it’s no wonder Salento is an instant hit. Plus, you can take a short drive to the Cocora Valley, with its 80-meter tall palm trees! You’ll fall in love with this small town’s quirky atmosphere, from playing Tejo (you’ll love it), to sipping black coffee with mozzarella-like cheese (sounds odd, but trust us), to enjoying the campfire at our accommodation (with one of the best views in town)! 

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
Costeño Beach

With a great backpacker community, this stop on our epic trip is chill, fun, and unforgettable. Costeno may be a bit off the beaten path with only a few huts on the beach but… that’s how we like it! This is such a Free & Easy location, we had to share it with you. This is your daydream come to life and it’s a great place to disconnect for a few days and leave the internet behind. Days here will be filled with beach fires, beach bars, hammocks, warm Caribbean air, sipping on coconuts, and super fun activities like river tubing and yoga on the beach! The nights will be filled with unique bars, laughter, great friends, and amazing memories. This place is what it’s all about: slowing down, taking it all in, and truly enjoying life! Plus, you’ll have your new FnEZ family to share it with. 

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Caribbean Colombia Sunet
Colombia
Palomino

Palomino is a small town tucked away on the northern shore of the Caribbean, right between the ocean and the primary rainforest. On top of its small town artisan vibes and beautiful scenery, Palomino is also known for the Palomino River (where it gets its name!).

This stunning river starts far back in the Colombian mountains of Los Sierra, to the tropical rainforest, and finally, it empties into the Caribbean Sea. This river was part of creating the legend of El Dorado and the Lost City of Gold due to all the sparkling gemstones that cover the bottom of the river. This creates a sparkly experience while you float down the river. 

We stay at a cool hostel that is only a three-minute walk from the beach and has a full bar, kitchen, and swimming pool.

 
The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
Cartagena

Our final stop on this trip is Cartagena! Last but definitely not least, this huge port town on the Caribbean is jutting out into the ocean, creating a unique cityscape that will keep you exploring until the last second. Are you into architecture? There are super cool buildings, amazing castles to check out, and fun street walks. Are you into food and nightlife? There are a ton of fun funky bars, cafes, and restaurants to explore. Are you just into being in Colombia and soaking it all in? Yup, you can you do that here too. This is the perfect place to get your final taste of the Colombian lifestyle, cuisine, and nightlife since it has the best of all of it! You’ll spend your days here wondering if this was all a dream, wishing you could stay forever! 

The Secret of South America

Colombia Trip: 20 Days

Colombia Trip: 20 Days

The Secret of South America

Get ready to fall in love! Colombia has what you’ve been looking for: adventurous activities, majestic landscapes, friendly people, and a chill beach life, all with that FnEZ twist. This means fewer tourists and more travelers, less congested routes and more off-the-beaten-path locales, and less planning and more enjoying! This South American secret has been hidden from view for far too long, but it is ready for us now! With fun hostels, a great backpacker scene, a feeling of safety, incredible adventure sports, funky bars and restaurants scattered through the country, you’re in for a wild ride through this stunning country!

From city to city, full of unique and fresh stops in between, this 20-day trip through Colombia will totally crush any preconceived notions you have about this beautiful and diverse country. Starting in Medellin, a jungle city with a vibrant life force, down through the rainforests boasting incredible views and adrenaline pumping action, to the beaches and pristine nature along the Caribbean, to our final stop in Cartagena, an unbelievable city jutting out into the Sea: this non-stop trip (with some hammock time, of course) will satisfy your need for culture, history, nightlife, cuisine, adventure, hiking, and breathtaking landscapes. Join us in Colombia for a trip of a lifetime! 

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The Secret of South America: 20 days in Colombia
Colombia
The Secret of South America

Get ready to fall in love! Colombia has what you’ve been looking for: adventurous activities, majestic landscapes, friendly people, and a chill beach life, all with that FnEZ twist. This means fewer tourists and more travelers, less congested routes and more off-the-beaten-path locales, and less planning and more enjoying! This South American secret has been hidden from view for far too long, but it is ready for us now! With fun hostels, a great backpacker scene, a feeling of safety, incredible adventure sports, funky bars and restaurants scattered through the country, you’re in for a wild ride through this stunning country!

From city to city, full of unique and fresh stops in between, this 20-day trip through Colombia will totally crush any preconceived notions you have about this beautiful and diverse country. Starting in Medellin, a jungle city with a vibrant life force, down through the rainforests boasting incredible views and adrenaline pumping action, to the beaches and pristine nature along the Caribbean, to our final stop in Cartagena, an unbelievable city jutting out into the Sea: this non-stop trip (with some hammock time, of course) will satisfy your need for culture, history, nightlife, cuisine, adventure, hiking, and breathtaking landscapes. Join us in Colombia for a trip of a lifetime! 

Click on a stop to explore inside this adventure.

Itinerary for this adventure

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IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.

Day 1-3 Medellín

Group flights arrive throughout the day. We will spend three nights in this jungle city and get settled into the Colombian lifestyle. Prepare to get hit with some amazing culture, history, and nightlife! We will take a private bus to Guatapé on the last day.

Day 4-6 Guatapé

Arrive during the day. It's time to have your mind blown with some of the world's best views and indulge in the colourful community and sites of Guatapé. Get on a private bus on the last day to Salento.

Day 7-9 Salento

Arrive in the evening, spend three awesome days in this beautiful, chill stop! On the last day take a shuttle to the airport for a short flight to Santa Marta.

Day 10-14 Costeño Beach

Land in Santa Marta and take a shuttle down the coast and through the jungle to Costeno Beach where we get to enjoy four nights on a beach paradise. We get to experience bungalow-style beach rooms, a swimming pool, beach volleyball, surfing, and many more activities.

While we are here you have the opportunity to take a day trip into Tayrona National Park*.

Day 15-16 Palomino

Enjoy a late check out in Costeno and get ready to head out by motorbike to Palomino. We have two days here close to a beautiful beach with a little artisan town to explore shops and enjoy the pool and bar at our guesthouse.

Palomino is where we will head into the rainforest and float down the Palomino River back to the Caribbean sea and our beach at Palomino.

Day 17-20 Cartagena

On or way to Cartagena we make a pit stop to get weird in a man-made mud volcano. After our clay bath we head to the colourful city of Cartagena.

We stay in the walled part of the city and make sure to walk around and catch the sunset over the ocean before we start our night. Check out some cool roof top pools, world-class SCUBA diving, a boat ride to our own beach for a BBQ, and more.

Don't forget about Cartagena's famous nightlife and shopping! We finish the trip off with a fun trip around the city on a Colombian Chiva bus (picture a school bus that has been pimped out to be the ultimate fiesta bus) for one last celebration before saying goodbye. Cartegena is sure to blow your mind!

To live Free and Easy is to live without busy, rigid schedules. Each destination provides some amazing activities, but we make sure that free time is there so you can take part in all of them or none of them, do as much or as little as you want. 'Take time, breathe it all in, no rush!'

More detailed information about what's included, destination information and activities are listed on this page.

Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure. 

IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.

Epic Experiences you will have on this adventure

Hike to an Amazing Viewpoint in Guatapé

Looking for the best views in Colombia? Well get your camera ready and head on up to El Peñón de Guatapé! Put on a comfy pair of shoes, fill up a water bottle, and grab your hiking partner: we’re going to a viewpoint!

Here at Free & Easy, we’re huge fans of viewpoints, and this is one of our favourites, so that’s saying something! In Guatapé, there are amazing rock formations all around, but El Peñón (The Rock) is made of a type of granite, and has avoided erosion. Former indigenous inhabitants of the region worshiped the monstrous formation, and today it is a National Monument in Colombia.

Up we go! The hike takes you up concrete stairs, 740 steps to be exact. Not exactly grueling, but a feat none-the-less, and you are well rewarded! Overlooking beautiful, flourishing islands in all directions across the lake, this peaceful viewpoint is totally worth the climb! Take a deep breath, take it all in, and take a selfie! There are also locals selling their handicrafts at the top, giving you a chance to pick up a souvenir before heading back down!

Tubing on a Rainforest River

This incredible activity is a must do. That’s why it’s included on your trip! Woohoo! On this day trip, we’ll see the awesome rainforest that makes Colombia so unique. So grab your TFF, a few cold ones, and get ready for a chill afternoon floating down the river!

You’ll be floating through jungle landscapes with prehistoric-like rock formations. Take in the view and just be… with a drink in your hand and your friends all around you! Plus, the float ends at a gorgeous beach on the Caribbean. We’ll spend a few hours floating under a canopy of trees, with nothing but sunshine, the sounds of birds, and your new FnEZ Family to keep you company.

The river runs into the Caribbean, so we’ll stop at a beach and check out a local BBQ restaurant for some great food and a couple of drinks to carry us into the night! From reeds to waves, this day is nothing short of adventurous.

With FnEZ, you’re always getting the best bang for your buck, and you’re always getting the best activities available! What more could you ask for? Join us in Colombia for 20 days of more adventures like this one!

Walking Tour with Metrocable Ride

A walking tour is the best way to really get to see a city. Having a local show you around, you’ll learn all of the history, see all of the sights, and even find some hidden gems! Plus, you’ll get to stretch your legs and work off some of the rum from the night before! Medellin is a hub of beautiful architecture, amazing graffiti art, and a very interesting colonial style that is so unique to Colombia. If you think things like this are boring, think again! The history is at times interesting, devastating, and uplifting and you won’t be able to take your eyes off of your bright and captivating surroundings. As an added bonus, is there a better way to end a walking tour than by hopping in a cable car to see the city from above? We don’t think so! Hop into the Medellin Metrocable, and cruise up to the surrounding mountains. You truly have to see it to believe it! These are some of the city’s best views, so don’t miss out!

Take a mud bath in a volcano

Take a mud bath in a volcano: this is for real! At FnEZ we’re always looking for unique experiences, and we think we nailed this one! El Totumo Mud Volcano is located about 45 minutes outside of Cartagena so naturally, it makes sense that we will stop in for a quick splash on our way by. The small 49-foot man-made Volcano.

We’ll take the quick stroll up the side of the Volcano and hop in! Plus, you can opt-in for a massage while in the volcano. If you'd rather just float in the mud and absorb the wild feeling that’s totally cool too. If you’re looking for a true Colombian experience this is it, and it boasts some amazing lakeside views of the beautiful Santa Catalina region.

Let the minerals and revitalization of a natural mud bath take over and once you’ve finished you can walk just a minute to the nearby lake and rinse off. It is said that the mud has anti-aging properties, so take your time and soak it all up!

Foodies Get Ready!

If you like food, you’ll love Colombia! Especially in the city centres, Medellin and Cartagena, the food scene is unreal! These great culinary experiences won’t break the bank, either! You will have some of the best meals of your life for a fraction of what you’d pay at home.

The restaurants range from great local eats, to funky cafes with specialty items, to cool bars with signature cocktails, to amazing fusion restaurants with brand new flavour combinations that will blow you away! The food is a major highlight in the two cities that bookend our 20-day trip in Colombia. Throughout Colombia, there is a definite European vibe, and it extends into the food.

From street meat to classy and artistic restaurants, you won’t be disappointed with your dinners here. Plus, in classic Colombian fashion, there’s more than meets the eye. Many establishments will have live DJs, street terraces, hidden gardens out back, and a really cool vibe that will remind you that you aren’t in any rush. Just eat, drink, and be happy!

Experience Colombian Nightlife

A trip to Colombia is not complete without letting loose and enjoying some of the nightlife! The cities that book end our trip, Medellin and Cartagena, both offer unforgettable experiences.

Nightlife in Colombia has a unique Latin flare that is unlike anywhere in the Americas. All over the country, bars offer vibrant nightlife with amazing food and drinks, and the dancing will keep you grooving until the wee hours of the morning. While you’re out, you have to try some locally brewed beer, and of course, the rum!

Famous for its rum, Colombia even has whole bars dedicated to the local brew! In Cartagena, try out some of their cocktail bars, focused on perfecting their unique recipes. In Medellin, just grab your favourite drink and hit the streets!

It’s hard to explain, you have to see it to believe it, but the colourful streets are filled with happy people, all evening long, enjoying food, drinks, and a uniquely vibrant social atmosphere. You’ll see street performers, eat fresh street food, and join people dancing everywhere! So if you’re looking for a good time, join us in Colombia, and we’ll show you around!

Explore Cartagena

It becomes clear upon arrival why the colonial city of Cartagena is an essential stop while in Colombia as you’re hit with the colourful streets lined with street performers, food carts, amazing restaurants, and cocktail bars. Also, the architecture is awesome, you feel like you’ve stepped into a piece of European explorer past, you can sense the history that exists in the ancient buildings and streets.

We love it so much that we include a guided tour of the city to take it all in at a FnEZ pace. You can expect to have your mind blown while sitting atop La Popa Monastery overlooking the entire city with your group, or walking the walled old city with a fresh coconut in hand.

We love Cartagena so much that we dedicate 3 days to properly explore this Caribbean gem, once you’ve arrived we dare you to take the smile off of your face!

Experience Colombian Coffee

It’s smooth, it’s aromatic, it’s bold: it’s coffee and your life wouldn’t be the same without it. Heck, a lot of things probably wouldn’t exist without it (that project you’re working on, for example).

Luckily for you, Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest coffee producer! If you’re a coffee fan, you could be at the source of it all. Once you try good, Colombian coffee, you’ll find it hard to go back to your regular brew. Colombia has a reputation for having a mild, well-balanced flavour to their coffee beans, and it’s darn delicious.

If you are into coffee at all, you’ll love what they’re brewing down here! If you aren’t, that’s because you haven’t been drinking this! Give it a try, trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Pour yourself a cup of joe every morning, and bring some beans home with you when you sadly have to leave this beautiful country. Just make sure you bring enough: once you share it with your friends, you’ll have them begging for more!

Practice Yoga on the Beach.

Practicing yoga on the beach in warm, tropical weather provides you with the perfect environment to learn how to find a calm within yourself and feel your mind truly relax.

Listening to the sounds of the jungle and the crashing of the waves onshore only adds to the bliss of this experience. You can experience practicing yoga in a beautiful and isolated setting under the expert guidance of yoga instructors on several of our trips.

So take an hour or so out of your day to stretch, breathe and enjoy one of the best yoga sessions of your life in paradise!

Surf a Wave.

Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you'll know, because you'll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too!

Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's no coincidence that 6 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru & Colombia) have wicked surf scenes because there's nothing quite like it.

Go Paragliding in Colombia!

There may be no better way to get a feel for how beautiful a place is than by slowly soaring above it. As backpackers, an excursion like paragliding often gets neglected by the need for things like rum and more rum.

But when you get to a place that is just so visually incredible that it defies description then we highly recommend forking out the extra dough to get yourself high and enjoy a view like none you've ever had.

There are plenty of places in the world where you can paraglide, but Colombia is one of the best and when you're flying through the sky and staring down at the beauty below, it's easy to see why.

Wax Palms in Cocora Valley

Located in Los Nevadas National Park and a short drive in a Jeep or locally named “Willy’s” with 8 of your closest travel buddies to the entrance of this Valley.

Here you will find rolling hills with giant Wax Palm trees. These trees are now protected within this region and can grow +60 meters. Various other plants and animals can be found in this area.

Ever want to be a tree hugger? Hug one of these giants and check that off your bucket list! These Jurassic sized trees will get your imagination going, we’ll show you!

Spend the morning exploring and if you too keen continue deeper into the park with an extended loop hike, with a coffee break at a hummingbird sanctuary. Slightly challenging but worth every step.

Traveler's Photos

Accommodations and Transportation

What's included in this adventure

Accommodation

  • Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience

Transportation

  • All group travel between destinations
  • If you are doing multiple trips, all travel & accommodations between combo trips is included in the price listed
  • Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)

***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers

Leaders

  • Knowledgeable and fun Free & Easy leaders
  • 17 years of trip leading experience
  • No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
  • Preparations guidebook
  • Trip Experience guidebook

Activities: Colombia (20 Days)

 

  • Medellin City tour
  • History and graffiti tour of Medellin including District 13
  • Transport and entrance to Cócora valley
  • Lean how to play tejo, Colombia’s national sport
  • Hike ancient trails & experience an indigenous village with history dating back 500 years
  • Tubing on a Rainforest river to a Caribbean beach
  • Sleep in Colombian Eco-Habs on a secluded beach
  • Cartagena City and Fortress walking tour
  • Enjoy beverages and the sunset on the old city walls of Cartagena 
  • Experience the tranquility of Colombia's beach's, wild life, and city cultures
  • Bathe in Tulum Mud Volcano (man made clay bath volcano)
  • Private transportation to each location

 

Optional Activities: Colombia (20 Days)

  •  
  • History and Graffiti tour of Medellin including District 13: Medellin's most notorious neighbourhood
  • Hike El Peñón de Guatapé for some of the worlds best views
  • Explore and indulge in the extreme sport & adventure capital of Colombia
  • Experience Colombian Coffee & Caribbean Cuisine
  • Mountain Biking
  • Waterfall hike
  • Horseback riding
  • Bungee jumping
  • Paint balling
  • Surfing (depending on weather)  
  • La Popa Monastery tour
  • Fortress tours
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba
  • SUP boarding and kayaking
  • ATV tour
  • Chiva party bus tour of Cartagena
  • Spa days
  • Resort pool lounging 
  • Day trip to Tayrona National park
  • Day trip to  Minca (town in the mountains) 
  • Volleyball, beach olympics and other daily beach activities  
  • Beach BBQ on private beach with snorkelling 
  • Waterfall rappelling
  • Salsa lessons
  • Shopping inside the walled city
  •  

Not Included

  • All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
  • Activities outside of the ones listed above (optional activities are not included)
  • Any Visa or Visa fees

Find out how much spending money you will need here.

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2020
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