Join five-times ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ Robert Holmes, acclaimed photographer Andrea Johnson, plus National Geographic author, photographer and Colombia expert Christopher P. Baker on a one-of-a-kind photo tour of Colombia, including the sensational Medellín Flower Festival

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Limited to 12 people… with 3 world-class instructors!

ROBERT HOLMES
Robert Holmes career as one of the world’s most successful and prolific travel photographers has extended over 35 years. He was the first photographer to be honored twice by the Society of American Travel Writers with their ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ Award and he is the only photographer to be given the award five times, most recently for 2017. He has worked for National Geographic, Geo, Saveur, Wine Spectator, Life, Time and hundreds of other major magazines, and his stock catalog of over half-a-million images is represented  by Getty. His assignments have taken him from coverage of the 1975 British Everest Expedition for Paris Match to searching for snow leopards in the remote valleys of western Nepal for National Geographic. Bob has illustrated over 45 books and he has regularly been one of the elite group of the world’s 100 best photojournalists invited to participate in the acclaimed “Day in the Life” series.

ANDRÉA JOHNSON
After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communication with a concentration in film, art, and journalism from Northwestern University, Andréa began her career as a photography producer for Nike, and in-house at several adventure sports and travel magazines, including Oregon Outdoors. She has since established herself as one of the world’s leading photographers and directors specializing in the wine, agriculture, and adventure travel industries. Andréa has photographed four books, and regularly works on assignment for Wine Spectator, among other leading publications. She has received the prestigious Gold Award by the Society of American Travel Writers (2008, 2014, 2017) three times for photo essays in Vietnam, Canada, and Cuba, judged by National Geographic editors and based on her storytelling ability in a photo essay.

CHRISTOPHER P. BAKER
No-one knows Colombia as well as renowned travel journalist, National Geographic author, photographer, and Colombia expert Christopher P. Baker–the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year.’ Chris spent five months exploring the country on National Geographic assignment to write and photograph the National Geographic Traveler Colombia guidebook. He has also traveled extensively throughout Colombia to write about and photograph the country on behalf of entities from the BBC and CNN to National Geographic Traveler and Virtuoso. He is frequently hired by the Colombian Tourist Board to give presentations about Colombia, including photo exhibitions, and most recently was the keynote speaker at Colombia’s annual Nature Travel Mart, in Barranquilla. He has led Colombia tours on behalf of National Geographic Expeditions and Jim Cline Photo Tours, as well as photo tours to Cuba with Lumaria Workshops and worldwide on behalf of Jim Cline Photo Tours, National Geographic Expeditions, Santa Fe Photo Workshops, and UnCruise Adventures.

You will have the undivided attention of not just one but three award-winning photographers – an unprecedented ratio for such a small group.  We have partnered with Christopher Baker, a longtime colleague and friend, and recommended by National Geographic as their go-to authority on Colombia travel and culture. Chris has traveled to Colombia dozens of times to research and photograph magazine articles and books, and as a tour leader for National Geographic Expeditions. We’ve also worked with him as our Cuba expert on our Lumaria Workshops tours in 2016, 2017, and 2022. Chris always designs superb itineraries and takes us to hidden off-the-beaten-track places that ensure an amazing experience.” – ROBERT HOLMES / LUMARIA WORKSHOPS

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TOUR DATES:
TBD, 2023

PRICE:
TBD

ITINERARY (SUBJECT TO CHANGE):

Day 1, Saturday – Bogota
Meet at the Hotel La Opera, in the heart of the colonial quarter of La Candelaria. Chris will give a presentation about our exciting itinerary and Colombia. Then we’ll head for a dinner of traditional Colombian fare at the nearby atmospheric El Son de los Grillos.
O/N: Hotel La Opera

Day 2, Sunday – Bogota
This morning we begin with a guided walking tour of La Candelaria, themed to the fantastic street art that has become a defining element of Bogotá. We’ll have plenty of opportunity for fabulous street photography of street vendors, etc., amid the cobbled colonial streets of this hilly colonial quarter. Following lunch at the Botero Museum, we’ll head to the Museo de Oro Precolumbino, displaying the largest collection of pre-Columbian gold in the world. Yes… we can photograph inside! The balance of the afternoon is free before we head to the Torre Colpatria, Bogotá’s highest tower, for rooftop photography during the “blue hour.” Dinner this evening is at the one-of-the-kind La Bruja, a short walk from our hotel.
O/N: Hotel La Opera

Day 3, Monday – Bogota
We’ll take the scenic elevated highway along the mountain fringe of Bogotá to the old town of Zipaquirá, where we’ll descend underground to marvel at—and photograph–the “Salt Cathedral.” This is challenging photography, made more enthralling by colorful floodlit niches and statues. We then enjoy a filling bandeja paisa—a platter of meats and other typical Colombia goodies!—at a horse-breeding center, where we’ll photograph the stables and a demonstration of paso fino gait riding. Returning to Bogota, we’ll have a brief rest and time to freshen up before taking the teleférico (mountain tram) up to the Monserrate monastery for sunset photography over the city. We’ll also dine here in the lovely Casa San Isidro before catching the last tram down the mountain.
O/N: Hotel La Opera

Day 4, Tuesday – Salento (Zona Cafetal)
The early bird catches the worm… or in our case, the best shots at the bustling Paloquemao flower market. About 85 percent of all cut flowers sold in the USA come from Colombia! We’ll also wander the narrow alleys of the interior section, with its fruit stalls, fish market, and pig’s heads, etc. We then continue to the airport for lunch (it has excellent options) before our flight to the Zona Cafetal—Coffee Country. We’ll head straight to Finca Ocaso  (or an alternate coffee estate, such as Hacienda Bruselas or Hacienda San Alberto), enjoying a superb hilltop location for photographing a working coffee estate and learning about coffee growing and “cupping.” We then arrive in Salento, the most colorful and photogenic hill-town in the coffee country, and our base for the evening. Our hotel is just steps from the vibrant heart of this perfectly-preserved colonial hill-town, as well as a short walk from the hilltop mirador offering sensational views over town and its mountainside setting.
O/N Hotel Salento Real

Day 5, Wednesday – Salento (Zona Cafetal)
Salento is, with good reason, the coffee zone’s most popular colonial hill-town. You’ll delight in photographing its stunning colonial architecture, antique Willys Jeeps, and quintessential hill-town lifestyle. Although on weekends especially, its pedestrian-only main street–Calle Real–can seem mobbed by visitors, few of them overnight in town. Moreover, by being based here we’re able to explore this sensational village before and after the crowds depart, including during the peaceful “golden hour” of early morning and the “blue hour” after sundown. We’ll “escape” town when the day-trippers arrive: After breakfast, we head into the nearby, lime-green Valle de Cocora—a gorgeous montane valley renowned for the slender, towering wax palm (the world’s tallest palm) and ethereal mists. We’ll walk a path that offers splendid landscape photography, as well as invigorating exercise in the crystal-clear mountain air… perfect for building an appetite for a delicious lunch of fresh pink trout at one of Chris’ favorite restaurants. In 2019, Chris even photographed an Andean condor high overhead while hiking the Valle de Cocora. We’ll return to Salento, where the balance of the afternoon is at leisure for you to take a siesta before photographing the town at its best during the “golden hour” preceding sunset and the “blue hour” thereafter, when most of the day-trippers have departed.
O/N Hotel Salento Real

Day 6, Thursday – Medellín
This morning a special treat as we visit Luz A Salento, a music school serving disadvantaged children. We’ll enjoy a concert and hope to photograph the kids, including one on one portraiture. Today we’ll fly from Pereira or Armenia to Medellín, an architecturally stunning city cusped by mountains all around. The balance of the afternoon is free to relax or explore at will.
O/N Hotel Parque 10

Day 7, Friday – Medellín
Begin this morning with a guided walking tour with Chris’ close friend and local tour guide John Zapata. We’ll begin at Plaza Botero, with its stunning collection of Botero statues, then walk a busy pedestrian thoroughfare—with great street photography—to Plaza Cisneros and the Gobernación de Antioquia. We’ll also get a bird’s-eye view of Medellín from Cerro Nutibara before lunch. We then head to Comuna 13, a formerly impoverished hillside shanty once renowned as perhaps the world’s most violent neighborhoods. The era of drug cartels and FARC guerrillas has been replaced with an upbeat vitality that is to be experienced to be believed! John is actively involved in community projects, giving us unsurpassed access to this barrio.
O/N Hotel Parque 10

Day 8, Saturday – Medellín
We’ll make an early start today as we take the Metrocable up through the shantytowns to Parque Avri, a refreshing mountain park. We then drive to a flower farm in Santa Elena to photograph the flower fields and the preparation of silletas (huge floral arrangements to be paraded in tomorrow’s Féria de Flores). We then continue through the uplands to El Peñol, a sensational sugarloaf with vast views over lake country from its summit… reached by a 740-step exterior staircase! A short distance away, the remarkable cobblestone village of Guatapé awaits. It’s the most colorful town in Colombia, being adorned with zócalos. We’ll return Medellín for dinner at leisure.
O/N Hotel Parque 10

Day 9, Sunday – Medellín
Up early to secure our seats for the highlight of the tour: the two-hour-long parade of silletas (floral arrangements) during the Flower festival. The wait is well worth it! The balance of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
O/N Hotel Parque 10

Day 10, Monday – Cartagena
This morning we fly from Medellín to Cartagena, arriving in this lovely, laid-back Caribbean coastal city good time for lunch followed by a walking tour in the old walled colonial city, with its 17th-century fortresses and narrow streets. Rich in colorful street life and atmosphere, the photography here is sensational and is highlighted in late afternoon by a private shoot with one or more of the palenqueras—Afro-Colombian ladies dressed in traditional costume and looking like Carmen Miranda with their fruit bowls atop their head (yes, they actually sell the fruit). Our dinner is at one of Chris’ favorite restaurants: Santísima.
O/N Hotel Boveda

Day 11, Tuesday – Cartagena
We begin with a real stunner… the earthy Bazurto market, where we’re sure to be the only “out of towners.” Street photography doesn’t get better than this warren, with its pelicans hovering over the fish stalls waiting to plunge down on a tidbit… and its severed pigs’ heads and entrails… and steaming cauldrons of lunch in preparation over coals. Marvelous! Then we’ll take a brief walking tour through Getsemani, an up-and-coming outlier of the colonial city that has fabulous street murals, bohemian cafés, and fantastic architecture. The balance of the day is at leisure before we enjoy a farewell dinner at Club de Pesca.

Day 12, Wednesday – Depart for home
We transfer you to the airport for your individual flights home.

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