Colombia is a popular destination on both on our private jet tours and the private custom travel trips we create from scratch for our guests. The country offers a unique variety of landscapes and climates, from urbane and elegant Bogotá to the historic Caribbean outpost of Cartagena, Colombia.
Enjoy Colombia the
TCS World Travel Way
1. Is Colombia safe?
Colombia has blossomed out of a dangerous past into a flourishing and secure present. The Colombians have largely driven out the violent drug activity of the past and now offer a vibrant art and culinary scenes. Their hard work has resulted in a bustling country full of color and a strong tourism industry.
2. Where is Colombia located?
Colombia is located in the northwest corner of South America. It shares a border with Panama, which connects North, South, and Central America. On either side of its narrow connection with Panama it borders both the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Colombia has five natural regions: the Andes mountain range running north to south, the Caribbean Sea coastal area, the Pacific Ocean coastal area, the plains on the interior of the mountain range, and the Amazon Rainforest to the southeast. Colombia’s wide array of natural landscapes is part of what makes it a world class destination and a rising center for tourism.
3. What is Colombia famous for?
Colombia is first and foremost famous for its delectable coffee, known around the world for its high quality. Colombia’s coffee exports are second only to its giant neighbor Brazil. Colombia also is known for its astonishing biodiversity – over 10% of the world’s flora and fauna live in Colombia. The country is also known for the Andean Condor, its national bird, that has a 10-foot wingspan. Because Colombia is at a crossroads of the Caribbean and Pacific, and it borders connect Central and South America, it is known as a vibrant Latin American society. Home to stars like Sofia Vergara and Shakira, and celebrity author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s rich culture has much to offer the world.
4. What language is spoken in Colombia?
The official language of Colombia is Spanish and over 99% of Colombians speak it. Colombians speak with what is said to be one of the most beautiful and understandable Spanish accents. However, there are over 100 other languages spoken in Colombia, including 65 indigenous languages that survived colonization by the Spanish in the early 1500s.
5. What is the capital of Colombia?
Bogotá offers a culture and elegance unique to South America. In Colombia’s lively capital city, eye-catching street art and colonial architecture seamlessly coexist.
1. What to do in Bogotá?
Enjoy a cup of the country’s famous coffee before discovering its trendy shops, historic landmarks and exciting nuevo Colombiano cuisine.
2. Where is Bogotá located?
Bogota is situated in the high plains of the Andes Mountains, the world’s largest city at such a high elevation. As a result, it doesn’t reach harsh tropical temperatures, giving it a pleasant Mediterranean-like climate.
3. How to pronounce Bogotá?
Bogota is pronounced with stress on the “a” at the end, which sounds like the a in “ahh”. Practice quickly saying “bogo” followed by “tah” and you’ll sound like a local in no time. Notice the accent mark on the a – that is your big clue.
Where to Stay in Bogotá, Colombia
There are two Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts properties in Bogotá that our guests enjoy.
Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá Casa Medina
The Casa Medina has been a go-to site for illustrious jetsetters since the building first opened as a hotel in 1946. Now a Four Seasons property, Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá Casa Medina offers guests a stately, elegant home in the heart of the city’s gastronomic neighborhood. Relax in the classically designed guest rooms, dine in the lively tapas bar and restaurant, or recharge in the tranquil spa.
Bogotá Casa Medina architecture: Designed by Colombian-born artist and architect Santiago Medina Mejía, the Casa Medina draws from both Spanish and French influences to result in a world-renowned hotel. First built in 1946, it features beamed ceilings, a massive spiral staircase, and delicate elegance in each uniquely furnished room.
Casa Medina Brunch: Relax in the greenhouse atrium or the patio while being served up delectable brunch made by the world-class chefs at Castanyoles, the Spanish bar and restaurant located in the Casa Medina hotel.
Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá
Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá is a chic, contemporary retreat located in one of the city’s must-visit neighborhoods. Guest rooms are designed to evoke a sense of openness with unique features such as hand-knotted carpets and original artwork. Sample the international flavors at Nemo, a restaurant in collaboration with famed Colombian Chef Harry Sasson, or unwind at the serene Spa.
Chef Harry Sasson Bio
The most famous chef in Colombia, Harry Sasson owns a multitude of eateries throughout Bogota, from bakeries, to tapas bars, to steakhouses. He’s now serving up delicious cuisine at his new restaurant NEMO, located in the Four Seasons Bogota.
Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá
Drawing from local natural ingredients, the Four Seasons Bogota spa offers many options to relax and unwind from long days of travel. Along with a full roster of skin and wellness services, the spa offers a Colombian green-coffee wrap to rejuvenate your skin, or their signature Citrus Paradise Ritual, an hour and a half massage that incorporates grapefruit, which was thought to be a “forbidden fruit” when it was first created by crossing local and European oranges during colonial times.
Top Activities in Bogotá, Colombia
Set high on an Andean plateau, Colombia’s sophisticated capital is a center of innovation for art, design and gastronomy in South America. Step into the vibrant Latin culture with a private salsa lesson, sample fresh-roasted coffee, or explore the fresh offerings of an authentic market with a Four Seasons chef.
FOOD & WINE
Paloquemao Market Experience
Want to know where Bogota’s finest chefs go to shop? A Four Seasons chef will lead you to the best fruits, flowers and more at this authentic Colombian food market.
During an interactive sensory experience hosted by Café San Alberto, learn what goes into creating the award-winning Colombian coffee crafted at Hacienda San Alberto, a third-generation family farm.
What is Colombian coffee?
Colombia has ideal conditions for growing coffee, with high altitudes and plenty of moisture, and the unique properties of its volcanic soil gives the beans that world-famous flavor. Most of the coffee that Colombia grows is from Arabica coffee beans grown by small family-run farms (often under 12 acres).
Arabica vs. Colombian coffee:
Colombian coffee is Arabica coffee grown in Colombia. The Arabica coffee plant is native to Ethiopia, but the soil it is grown in can strongly impact its final flavor. Arabica coffee plants not grown in Colombia all have their own subtle variations of flavor, but Colombia’s rich volcanic soil produces coffee that is largely considered to be the best in the world.
Colombian coffee notes:
Depending on the region of Colombia it was grown in, the coffee will have different notes. Northern grown is known for traces of toffee, while coffee from Central Colombia has more fruit and herbs in the profile. Finally, Southern regions are known for growing coffee that is more acidic with hints of citrus.
Is Colombian coffee strong?
Colombian coffee comes in a variety of light and dark roasts, but overall it is known for being rich, if not strong.
Let loose on the dance floor during a private salsa lesson with a skilled instructor who will guide you and your partner through the steps of the country’s ubiquitous dance.
ART & ARCHITECTURE
Museo del Oro
Admire some of the 50,000 pre-Hispanic indigenous gold artifacts housed at the Museo del Oro on a private tour customized to your interests.
1. When did El Museo del Oro open?
El Museo del Oro, or the Museum of Gold in Bogota was established in 1939.
2. How was the Museo del Oro founded?
Colombia’s Bank of the Republic began protecting artifacts that pre-dated colonialism in the early 1930s, starting with a ceremonial poporo (an indigenous device for storing small amounts of lime from crushed seashells, then chewed with coca leaves) made of gold and copper alloy. It has continuously grown its collection, adding the breathtaking Muisca golden raft in 1969 and adding an expansion in 2008.
3. What cultures are represented in the Museo del Oro?
The museum showcases a huge variety of indigenous cultures, highlighting artifacts from the Quimbaya, Muisca, and Tairona societies.
4. How many artifacts are in El Museo del Oro?
The collection at Museo del Oro has grown into 55,000 pieces.
Cartagena, a Caribbean port city with a long and fascinating history, is the perfect place to end your adventure in Colombia. Founded in 1533 by Spanish conquistadors, Cartagena is known for its colonial architecture, protected by one of the most complete city walls in South America. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cartagena’s old town is perhaps best understood by taking part in the vibrant life on its cobbled streets.
Where is Cartagena located?
Cartagena is situated in the north of Colombia right on the coast of the Caribbean.
The walled city of Cartagena
Old Town Cartagena Colombia:
To defend itself from imperial powers battling it out in the colonies and frequent pirate attacks, Cartagena was enclosed in a protective wall in the 1600s. The wall was continually repaired and expanded over the next nearly 200 years. Today, the wall still stands and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enclosing the neighborhood of San Diego. Inside the walls are colorful colonial-era buildings, and an array of museums, bars, and restaurants.
The clock tower of Cartagena:
Cartagena’s iconic clock tower “La Torre de Reloj” sits just on the border of the old city and neighboring Getsemani. Built in 1600, it has been through several updates including the addition of a pendulum clock to the tower in the late 1800s. Nowadays it houses a 1900s Swiss Clock and has become a must-see for anyone visiting the old city.
Where to Stay in Cartagena, Colombia
Hotel Casa San Agustin
We recommend Hotel Casa San Agustin, an exclusive boutique hotel that resembles a splendid private residence. The hotel’s three colonial-era, white-washed buildings have been lovingly restored to provide comfort for contemporary travelers while retaining Cartagena’s colorful Caribbean sensibility. Take tea in the library, unwind by the solarium pool or visit the relaxing spa.
What to do in Cartagena Colombia:
Cartagena’s old town, enclosed by a centuries-old wall, boasts some of the best colonial architecture in South America. Nearby, the hip neighborhood of Getsemani pulses with life, while placid Cartagena Bay shimmers as the sun sets behind the city skyline. With a burgeoning culinary scene and a lively Caribbean vibe—as well as designation as a World Heritage site—Cartagena is quickly becoming one of South America’s favorite cities.
ARCHAEOLOGY & HISTORY
Cartagena Walking Tour
Join a local historian on a trip through the fascinating streets of Cartagena. See the most important historical structures in this World Heritage site: the colonial grandeur of the Palace of Inquisition, the painted ceilings of Theatre Adolfo Mejia and the incomparable views of sunset along the city wall. At each stop, deepen your appreciation of Cartagena cuisine and culture with private tastings of local food and drink.
What is the Palace of Inquisition?
This huge Baroque style building was at one point the site of Spanish torture and violence in colonial times, but now its beautiful grounds and interior has been opened to the public as a museum commemorating the victims of the Spanish Inquisition and displaying various instruments of torture used against them.
Who built the Palace of Inquisition?
Spanish colonists constructed the Palace of Inquisition in 1770 and adorned it in extravagant details.
Why was the Palace of Inquisition built?
The Palace of Inquisition was built as a house of torture for the Spanish to force people to confess their sins and absolve them in the eyes of the Catholic Church. In Cartagena, the Inquisition largely targeted supposed witches, putting them to trial for baseless accusations of witchcraft. These trials proved unjust. Not a single woman who stood trial was found innocent.
Getsemani Mural Painting
Spend the morning with your local guide in Getsemani, Cartagena’s coolest neighborhood. Grab a brush and join a well-known muralist in adding to the neighborhood’s exuberant street art, then make your way through Getsemani’s lively streets.
1. Where to eat in Getsemani Cartagena?
Rated as one of the top restaurants in Colombia, Carmen specializes in a unique combination of contemporary cuisine and traditional Caribbean dishes. The kitchen’s emphasis on modern techniques and creative preparation makes a meal here truly special.
If you’re a fan of sweets, don’t miss el portal de los dulces or the “portal of sweets” located across from the clock tower, an area packed full of traditional Colombian sweet vendors.
How to pronounce Getsemani?
Getsemani is pronounced much like you would think it was in English! Think: Get the money.
Is Getsemani in the walled city?
Getsemani sits just outside the walled city.
Sunset Sailing and Rum Tasting
Board a luxury sailing yacht and glide across the peaceful waters of Cartagena Bay. As the sun sets behind the city skyline, sample rums with a local expert who will help you recognize the unique characteristics of each one you taste.
FOOD & WINE
Private Cooking Class
Prepare the city’s signature dishes, such as ceviche, seafood soup, coconut rice and plantain chips, with the chef from a renowned Cartagena restaurant. Learn about the evolution of Colombian gastronomy and laugh along as your teacher tells of working in the kitchens of some of the world’s best-known chefs.
Private Dining Experience
Join two talented local chefs in an atmospheric and historic apartment for a unique private dining experience. These chefs are known for finding local ingredients from different regions of the Caribbean and using them to put their own modern spin on popular Colombian dishes.