Welcome to Santa Fe de Bogota <br /><ul><li>Day 1: BOGOTA (Thursday, May 19th)
Reception and transportation from Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport to selected hotel. </li></ul>Arrive in Bogota at 8:45 p.m. on flight DL 443.<br />Dinner and check-in at hotel. <br /><ul><li>Day 2: BOGOTA (Friday, May 20th)
Spanish classes begin at 9:00 a.m. in hotel. </li></ul>Leave hotel at 11:30 a.m. for Monserrate, the symbol of the Colombian capital. <br />152404445Located at the peak of Monserrate is the Santuario del Señor Caído (Sanctuary of the Fallen Christ) located at 3,152 meters above sea level. The Santuario is surrounded by lush vegetation, and from the high vantage point, visitors can view the best scenery of Bogota. <br />Time for lunch (included) at a restaurant in the historic district.<br /> <br /><ul><li>Continuation of the City Tour; guided tour through the historic district, visit the Plaza de Bolívar, national capitol, cathedral, Palacio de Nariño, La Candelaria neighborhood, the Gold Museum y Casa Donación Botero*.
Art enthusiast will delight in the works of art in the Museo Botero ( Botero Museum). The art pieces were donated to the Bank of the Republic of Colombia in 2000 by the master artist, Fernando Botero, an expressive Colombian artist of international recognition. In the Eastern wing of the museum, 85 works of art representing major international artistic movements of the late 19th century are displayed including works by artists such as Corot, Renoir, Bonnard, Dalí, Chagall, Beckmann, Delvaux, Giacometti, Picasso, Miró, Bacon and Moore among others. In the western wing, 123 works of the master Botero are exhibited highlighting different artistic techniques and mediums such as paintings, drawings, and sculptures. </li></ul>Important: This stop also includes an opportunity to admire the beauty of emeralds, one of Colombia’s most important sources of accolade.<br /><ul><li>Included: Transportation, bilingual guide, *entrance to the noted sites. Duration: 4 hours.
Return to the hotel, time included to rest, refresh, and change clothes.
Leave at 8 p.m. for Restaurante Andres Carne de Res CHIA D.C . for dinner, dance and fun! Return to the hotel and retire.
Spanish classes begin at 9:00 a.m. in hotel. </li></ul>Leave the hotel at 12 p.m. for an authentic steak restaurant in the outskirts of Bogota, take time for lunch (included). During the stop, we will observe the contrast between the urban style of Bogota and the rural outskirts. <br />Continuation of travel towards Zipaquira, located an hour outside of Bogota. Walk to Zipaquira; observe the beautiful villages of the pre-Colombian period. <br />Arrive at Zipaquira, one of the most important centers for salt mining. <br />Enter the mine town where you can appreciate the park of the villagers, surrounded by the beautiful colonial buildings.<br />342836540576516059154057657620405130We will visit La Catedral de Sal ( The Salt Cathedral), the principal attraction of the area called Salt Park located in the underground tunnels of a mountain, in which visitors can learn about the area’s geology and natural resources and admire works of tribute to the miners which made the creation of the majestic Cathedral of Salt possible. <br />This tour includes: transportation, entrance to La Catedral de Sal and guide. Duration of tour approximately: 6 hours. <br />Return to the hotel late, free night to enjoy the city. <br />Dinner and retire.<br />For this night, dinner at the Black Cat Restaurant (Restaurante Gato Negro) is suggested. <br />The Black Cat, the symbol of this restaurant, was named because of a profound love that its first owner held for the animal it represents. It was the first restaurant in the Park and does not allow children. The figure of the black cat is embodied throughout the restaurant, engraved on its walls and resting as a sculpture on the restaurant’s bar. The restaurant boasts a variety of chicken, meats, seafoods, and pastas. Better said, there is something for everyone. Also, there are house cocktails, such as El Gato Macho, El Gato Bohemio, and the Little Cat, a drink that is made of brandy, amaretto, and vanilla ice cream. During the day, the music is suitable to its surrounding environment but at night from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., the music takes on a life of its own. On the second floor, there is a mezzanine which can hold a maximum of 15 people, a perfect area for entertaining a tour group. The success this restaurant has had in the long term certainly undermines the superstition that black cats are bad luck. (THIS ACTIVITY IS OPTIONAL, NOT INCLUDED).<br />Day 4: BOGOTA – VILLA DE LEYVA (Sunday, May 22nd)<br /><ul><li>Breakfast in the hotel.
Check Out and leave hotel at 7:00 a.m., leave for Villa de Leyva, passing through the cities of Chiquinquirá, where much veneration is paid to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá, an advocate in the Catholic faith. She is the patroness of the state of Zulia in Venezuela, of Colombia and the city of Caraz, and of the department of Ancash in Peru.
24765561340This historic place holds the original image from the sixteenth century of what the Catholics believe was the first miraculous manifestation of the Virgin Mary. She is known by the name of the city of Chiquinquirá for this reason.
An image of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá of Venezuela rests in the Basílica de Maracaibo. In this city, each year on the 18th of November, a traditional fair takes place where processions and masses of people honor the Virgin.
In Ráquira, there will be time to buy souvenirs and visit Iglesia de Ráquira. Time to have lunch (included) in local restaurant.
9144066675Continuation of journey to Villa de Leyva, a colonial city that showcases conservation of colonial style architecture and various rural landscapes, arrive at hotel for Check in.
Leave hotel at 2:00 p.m. for sight-seeing tour of la Plaza Mayor and La Catedral, and continue to the outskirts of the colonial city to see the fossil museum where the fossils of a kronosaurus can be found.
At 12:30 p.m., lunch (included) in Villa de Leyva.
15240-1270Leave hotel at 2:00 p.m., later transfer to Paipa, arrive at the hotel at 3:30 p.m. approximately, Check in.
Leave at 5:00 p.m. to enjoy a unique experience in the hot springs of Paipa Center of Hydrotherapy. </li></ul>The thermal cycle consists of 2 directed hours in which your treatment includes the pool with Jacuzzi jets, bubble beds, Jacuzzi, mud therapy, showers, sauna and hydro acupuncture. Additionally, massages are offered with essences or green algae’s. <br />Pools with Jacuzzi jets Thermal pool with Jacuzzi jets located at distinct heights target pressure points in order to create a focused hydro massage.<br />Bubble beds Relaxation is a fundamental part of this health program. <br />Jacuzzi<br />Continuation of treatment by opening pores to cause more thorough cleansing of the skin. <br />Directed Mud Therapy <br />The directed mud therapy provides your skin with minerals to both cleanse and promote health. <br />Hydro-acupuncture<br />Pressure showers continue the cleansing of the skin while providing a localized massage that closes the pores of the skin.<br />Natural Sauna <br />The sauna is a relaxing space to end the treatment in a natural and healthy way. <br />Massages and Treatments for face and body<br />Additionally, you can enjoy massages and treatments with the specialists that will be caring for your skin treatments. <br />Massages with mud, algae, or essences are ideal to compliment the relaxation process and our bodies deserve the care!<br /><ul><li>Return to the hotel, dinner, and retire.
Leave Paipa to travel to Bogota at 8:00 a.m. We will observe the beautiful landscapes of this city while in a valley of the river chicamocha.
1460531750Arrival in the city of Tunja at 9:00 a.m., visit the city of Tunja capital department of Boyacá and Puente de Boyacá; this small bridge is located en route to Bogotá from Tunja. Many monuments have been erected in the surrounding areas to commemorate the historic battle of August 7, 1819, commonly known as the Battle of Boyacá, which granted independence to Colombia.
At the end of this short stop in Tunja, we will continue our trip passing through the cities of Briceño, Tocancipá, Cachancipá and Sesquilé. Lunch.
Around midday (12.00) we will arrive at Guatavita
Tour the magic of Lake Guatavita… Legend of Gold…Lake Guatavita, a circular lake located in the mountains of Colombia 35 miles northeast of Bogotá, is said to be one of the sacred lakes of Muisca and the home of a ritual which is widely thought to
be the basis for the legend of El Dorado, the hidden city of gold. </li></ul>«...At this lagoon was Guatavita, a large pond of reeds and more colors than could be possible … At this time, the whole lake was covered with Indians around its circumference, the Indian men and women all covered in gold and feathe...Sitting on the motionless raft in the middle of the lake was the chief who put a great heap of gold and emeralds at his feet to offer to his gods. Four other chiefs boarded the raft with him, the most chiefly dressed in feathers, bracelets, and earrings of gold and was otherwise naked…the first Indian cast all the gold and emeralds at his feet into the lagoon and the four other chiefs soon followed suit…After the ceremony, with flags flapping, the chiefs proceeded to shore which provoked screams and dancing and ringing of bells…The ceremony was recognized by the newly elected lord and prince».<br />El Dorado is a mysterious place that attracted many explorers in the conquest of America. The legend tells of a city of infinite wealth with golden streets and walls that existed in South America. This was the city that all the conquistadors and Spanish and Portuguese explorers searched for without ceasing. It is believed that the legend of El Dorado was started by the conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, who knowing a story related to the traditions of aborigenal chibcha, confusedly began a search for a hidden city full of riches.<br />The aboriginal peoples used to perform a ritual in which their chief covered himself in gems and threw the treasures into a lake. Yellow stains appeared around the lake (the banks became covered in gold and precious stones) as the natives threw gold into the bottom of the lake. This could well have been an initiation rite of coronation or an annual offering to the Sun God.<br />This ritual, known as the ritual of the man of gold, could have been the origin of the legend of El Dorado that developed among the conquistadors.<br />The lake was permanently excavated and drained to retrieve the gold that was cast into its depths. Near the middle of the 20th century, the government of Colombia declared the lake a historic site and prohibited its drainage. However, this declaration did not stop looting.<br />In the year 1969, some farmers found a golden figure named “La Balsa Muisca” in close proximity to the lake. This golden figure represents the Ceremony of the Golden Indian (la Ceremonia del Indio Dorado). The figure, which is approximately 700 years old, can be found in the Museo del Oro de Bogotá (The Gold Museum of Bogotá).<br /><ul><li>Tour Includes: guide by experts on the subject, typical lunch. Duration of tour: 3 hours.
Additional costs of food and tips</li></ul>Registration Information<br />Immersion Excursion Colombia takes place over a course of 7 days, 6 nights, from May 19-25, 2011. This incredible trip offers unlimited enrichment in language, culture, and travel and is priced at $2500 per person and $3500 per couple/double occupancy with a first payment deposit due Friday, March 4, 2011.<br /> Full payment and final registration are due Friday, March 25, 2011. <br />For deposit or full payment: http://www.thelaa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=215&Itemid=492&lang=en<br />Cancellation/Refund Policy: In the case of a cancellation after March 4, 2011, the initial deposit will not be available for a refund. There will be no refund available after March 25th.<br />A Taste of Colombia Before You Get There<br />Join us on March 11th as you “Celebrate the Riches of Colombia” with authentic cuisine, arts, crafts and entertainment. The perfect way to get a glimpse of what’s to come!<br />Information Session: <br />Once you’ve decided to join us, and register for the excursion you’ll need to mark your calendar for a mandatory information session on Monday May 9th from 6:30Pm-7:30Pm at the Latin American Association. Here you will receive a package with all pertinent details to our journey through Colombia. <br /> <br />