Colombia Nature & Culture Expedition

Join us for our first visit to Colombia’s beautiful Caribbean coast to explore the historic and vibrant city of Cartagena, participate in sea turtle research efforts, and more. You will work with local researchers to study hawksbill and green turtles, stay at a beautiful island resort, and experience the unique culture, history, and natural beauty of this region.

Profits from this trip support sea turtle conservation programs and will help save at least 200 hatchlings per person. This trip is in partnership with Portland Community College (though anyone can participate) and Fundacion Tortugas del Mar. SEE Turtles President Brad Nahill will be leading this trip. 

Date: July 27 - August 3

Price: $2,495 per person

Discounts Available:

  • $100 pp for the first 10 to register

  • $50 for paying by check

Includes: Guide, private transportation, accommodations, meals, activities, and a donation to turtle conservation.

Excludes: Airfare to Colombia, personal items, and tips for the guide.


  • Individuals can join the set date above.

  • Single supplement of $225 though we try to match people with other individuals of the same sex unless a private room is preferred.

  • Minimum recommended age is 12 years old, under 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult.

  • Group size is limited to 15 people maximum.


  • Register by mail (online registration not available for this trip)

  • Ask a question

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We welcome you at Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) in Cartagena and bring you to your hotel. The city will amaze you with its charming atmosphere and well preserved colonial architecture. At night we will meet again for dinner so we can discuss the plan of the coming days. Overnight at Casa de los Reyes (2 nights)


After breakfast, we will visit the National Aviary of Colombia. Stroll through 6 different environments, over seven hectares where you can spot about 138 types of birds and nearly 1800 specimens, including the harpy eagle, Caribbean toucan, pink flamingo, and the condor. The transfer from your hotel to the Baru Peninsula takes about 1 hour each way.  The guided visit around the Aviary is about 2 hours. 

After a typical Colombian lunch, we will do a walking tour of the historic walled city of Cartagena. We will visit the many beautiful plazas, walk on the walls and learn all about the history and defense strategy of the city. We get to see the most illustrative streets and their legends, and we visit the most important churches such as the Cathedral San Pedro Claver and Santo Domingo.


After breakfast, we will board our private bus and head to the coastal town of Rincon del Mar (3 hour ride.) On the way, we will stop in Palenque, a unique town with an incredible history, founded by runaway slaves in the early 1700’s. The music and a formidable strategy of defense led to this officially becoming the first free town of Spanish America in 1713. Tradition, historical pride and Palenquero – a language unique to this place - are still alive here.

Once in Rincon, we will have some free time to hang out on the beach or walk around town. Later that afternoon, we will head out for our first turtle research activity. We will look for turtles and collect data and release them back to the water (see Turtle Research for more information.) Tonight is free to hang out in town. Overnight at Hostel Beach House, a simple hotel right on the water (2 nights).


After a delicious breakfast, we will head out to the beach to do a cleanup with a local kids ecology club. After lunch, we will head out for another turtle research excursion, looking for green and hawksbill turtles.

The rest of the afternoon will be open for kayaking, snorkeling, hanging out on the beach, or souvenir shopping in town. Dinner will be at a local restaurant and afterwards, those interested can head out into town for a drink or dancing.


After breakfast, we take a short (30 min.) boat ride to the spectacular resort of Punta Faro. This socially-conscious company has many programs that support the local community and wildlife, including one where they give fishermen chicken in place of turtles they catch. They work with Fundacion Tortugas del Mar to study and release these turtles and educate travelers about them. With luck we will be there for a release!

We will head out in the afternoon for a third turtle research excursion, as well as some optional snorkeling. Relax on the beach at the resort until a buffet dinner and afterwards, we head out for a night swim in bioluminesence. Overnight at Punta Faro (2 nights).


After breakfast at the resort, we will head out with a group of local kids who lead birding expeditions. Their are a wide variety of shorebirds living in this area and we will explore the islands of the Corales del Rosario National Park to look for them. After lunch, we head out for our final turtle research excursion and optional snorkel. The late afternoon will be free to take a swim in the beautiful clear Caribbean water or take a kayak out for a paddle. 


After breakfast, we take a boat back to Cartagena (2 hours). We will drop off our things at the hotel and then head into the walled city for lunch and a tour of the San Felipe Castle. This hour-long guided tour will explore the largest military installation of the Spanish colonies. That night, we will have a final celebratory dinner in the walled city and a free night to go dancing or get a drink. Stop by and watch the nighly dance performances by local groups. Overnight at Casa de los Reyes.


After breakfast, you will be transferred to your hotel in time for your flight or head out to visit other parts of this beautiful country.



  • All profits support conservation efforts

  • Work directly with local researchers

  • Unique experiences

  • Personalized service

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Is This Trip Right For Me?

Colombia is a safe and peaceful country. After a long civil war, there has been a peace agreement and it has been safe to travel around this region for years. Plan to spend plenty of time near, on, or in the water, on boats, kayaks, snorkeling, and more. This trip is fairly physical but travelers can opt out of any activities they would rather not participate in. This is an active trip that requires a level of physical fitness and an ability to manage sometimes challenging conditions including hot weather and humidity and bugs.

Photos: Fundacion Tortugas del Mar, I Show You Colombia, Punta Faro Resort