Explore Colombia
Like Never Before

Embark on the journey of a lifetime through the “Land of a Thousand Rhythms” and join AmaWaterways in 2024 as we become the first major river cruise line to explore Colombia along its magnificent Magdalena River. Be among the first to sail our two brand-new 7-night itineraries between Cartagena and Barranquilla – now accepting reservations!


Leading the river cruise industry in innovation and introducing fascinating new destinations to our guests for more than 20 years, we are passionate about creating unparalleled experiences on the rivers of Europe, Asia, Africa, and now, for the first time, South America. While on board our stunning river cruise ships, you will enjoy exquisite, locally-sourced cuisine inspired by the Colombian Caribbean coast. At each port of call along the magnificent Magdalena River, you will explore Colombia’s rich history, traditions, local delicacies and more on a variety of included excursions each day, always returning to a warm welcome and the unparalleled service of your extraordinary Cruise Manager and crew onboard your beautiful ship.

We invite you to be a part of this momentous next chapter in our story. Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve your unforgettable AmaWaterways river cruise through Colombia today!

Why Cruise
Colombia?

Brimming with life and color, Colombia has become a popular destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and deeply rooted heritage of South America. Learn more about the unforgettable experience through this beautiful country and along the magnificent Magdalena River.​

Land of a Thousand Rhythms

With an exceptionally diverse population, vibrant cultural traditions and festivals, and more than 1,000 styles of music performed and enjoyed throughout its borders, it is no wonder that Colombia is considered the “Land of a Thousand Rhythms.” The country’s rich musical and cultural heritage, history and natural beauty intrigued us, drawing our Co-Founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst to explore the Magdalena River. As owners of our family-owned and operated river cruise line, they closely identified with how important family is to Colombian society, where multiple generations and extended families often live within the same household and pass down their trade and traditions for centuries. Following their unforgettable experience in Colombia, Rudi and Kristin knew they had to share it with our cherished guests.

Outstanding Universal Value

On our specially curated itinerary, guests will experience sites and cultural traditions that have been recognized by UNESCO for their outstanding universal value. From the military architecture and strategic location of Cartagena to the cultural heritage of the village of Palenque, to the historic center of Santa Cruz de Mompox, we are delighted to share these incredible places with you. In addition, both the region’s vallenato music and Barranquilla’s Carnaval celebration are inscribed on UNESCO’s list for their intangible cultural heritage – and you will experience both during your journey with us through Colombia.

Nature and Birdlife

The great Magdalena basin harbors many species of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on the planet – perhaps most significant are its birds, making our river cruises the ideal vacation for birdwatchers. While sailing along the river through specific regions, you may have the good fortune to spot beautifully colored Cianeguo hummingbirds as well as the Northern screamer, known locally as Chauna chavaria – which you can only see in this region of the world.

Itineraries

With year-round departures and a mild climate with temperatures that typically fluctuate just 20 degrees, Colombia is the ideal destination to experience at any time of year.

Cruise from: Barranquilla to Cartagena

Immerse yourself in the wonders that this South American country holds as you journey along the magnificent Magdalena River. Step through the streets of Palenque, the first free city in Colombia, moving to the rhythms of cumbia and vallenato, world-renown musical styles. Delight in the colorful neighborhood of Getsemaní in Cartagena, drinking in the vivid colors and culture displayed so artfully on the walls of homes, cafes and family-owned shops. Discover how Spanish and pre-colonial cultures combined to bring us the music, minds, and culture that exist in the country today. Let these breathtaking destinations inspire you as you embrace the soul of this mesmerizing river and the heart-warming people who live alongside it.

SEE ITINERARY

Click on map to expand

DAY CITY INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
1 Cartagena
EMBARKATION
Getsemaní Tour
2 Palenque Drum Rhythms and Freedom
Calamar Historic Tour by Paola
3 Santa Barbara de Pinto Walking Tour
Mompox Exclusive Jazz Street Performance
4 Mompox
Cienaga Pijiño exploration
  OR Historic Walking Tour
5 Mompox
Scenic Cruising through the La Mojana Region
Walking tour
El Banco Shoreside Dinner and Exclusive Cumbia Performance
6 Magangue

Birdwatching tour
  OR Ciénaga hike
Scenic Cruising from Magangue to Nueva Venecia
7 Nueva Venecia Stilt-House Village Tour
Barranquilla Exclusive “Carnaval” Celebration
8 Barranquilla DISEMBARKATION

Cruise from: Cartagena to Barranquilla

Embrace the magic of Colombia as you explore the country along the magical Magdalena River during this special 7-night journey. Move to the beat of a variety of Latin American musical styles including cumbia and vallenato, and revel in exciting performances at a colorful Carnaval experience in Barranquilla just for AmaWaterways guests. Drink a steaming cup of the country’s famous coffee. Listen for the calls of distinctive birds and wildlife not found anywhere else on the planet. Discover timeless traditions while getting to know the friendly guides and residents from diverse backgrounds who live beyond the riverbanks. Enjoy the soul and spirit of Colombia as you sail this river along with AmaWaterways, the Heart of the River™.

SEE ITINERARY

Click on map to expand

DAY CITY INCLUDED EXCURSIONS
1 Barranquilla EMBARKATION
Exclusive “Carnaval” Celebration
2 Nueva Venecia Stilt-House Village Tour
3 Santa Barbara de Pinto
Mompox
Walking Tour
Exclusive Jazz Street Performance
4 Mompox Ciénaga Pijiño exploration
Historic Walking Tour
5 Mompox
El Banco
Scenic Cruising through the La Mojana Region
Walking tour
Shoreside Dinner and Exclusive Cumbia Performance
6 Magangue
Calamar
Birdwatching tour
 OR Ciénaga hike
Scenic Cruising from Magangue to Calamar
Historic Tour by Paola
7 Cartagena Walled City tour
Getsemaní Tour and San Felipe Castle & Sundown Cruise
8 Cartagena DISEMBARKATION

Enriching
Colombian Culture

We believe that travel is a force of good in the world, enabling us to become more appreciative and accepting of the unique history and cultural traditions that set us apart as well as the human values that unite us. As we continue to expand our AmaFamily and embrace our global diversity, we could not be more excited to share with you the music, dance, festivals, cuisine and most of all the warm, spirited and diverse people that make Latin America – and Colombia, in particular – so beautiful. Here is just a taste of some of the things you will encounter during your journey through Colombia.​

Music

No journey to Colombia is complete without hearing some of the country’s celebrated music. Much of the music is a blend of Spanish and European influences with indigenous sounds and African beats. From lively cumbia to the more emotional vallenato, rest assured that AmaWaterways will provide ample opportunities for you to hear a variety of live performances featuring regional music both on board and on shore.

Literature

Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia and has been considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century – and the most prolific Latin American writer in history. He lived for a time in Barranquilla and later worked in Bogotá, but it wasn’t until he moved to Mexico City that he wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude, completed in 1967, for which he is renowned. He is also the author of the famous novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. We encourage you to get inspired for your future Colombia journey by reading these books in Spanish or in their English translations.

Carnaval

Barranquilla, included on both our Magic of Colombia and Wonders of Colombia itineraries, boasts the second largest Carnaval celebration in the world, which has been declared a “Masterpiece of Humanity’s Intangible and Oral Heritage” by UNESCO. Boisterous parades, colorful flowers, daring fire breathers and talented musicians take over the streets of Barranquilla each year around late February through early March and it is a sight to behold. On our Magdalena River cruises, you will get a taste of Carnaval on every departure with an exclusive experience just for AmaWaterways guests!

Colombian Caribbean Cuisine

Food along Colombia’s Caribbean coast often features ingredients such as coconut, plantains and of course, a variety of freshly caught fish and crustaceans. One of the seafood staples in this region is Cazuela de Mariscos, a hearty combination of white fish, squid, shrimp, prawns and lobster served in a creamy broth with a side of rice and fried plantains. Coconut rice is particularly beloved and is served with patacones (fried, flattened plantains). Another regional specialty is the arepa de huevo – twice fried, filled with a fried egg and paired with a spicy sauce. We look forward to treating you to the finest Colombian cuisine on board – and perhaps even a special tasting of Colombian chocolate paired with local rum, chirrinchi (made from fermented cane sugar) and Agua ardiente (fruit brandy)!

Colombian Coffee

Much how the terroir of a certain region impacts its wine, the landscape, climate and environment of Colombia have made its coffee unlike any other in the world. Hand harvested – often by Indigenous families at high altitudes – the coffee beans of the Caribbean region are primarily from Sierra Nevada. This UNESCO-designated mountain soars 5,800 meters above sea level, and the coffee produced there is 100% organic. It is also said to be among the most valuable coffees in the world. We look forward to sharing this and a variety of other Colombian coffees with you!

Discover more Connections

Golden artifacts and pastel hues decorate the city of Cartagena, the vibrant jewel of Colombia’s coastline.
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Discover colorful festivities and all-around Felicidad during Colombian celebrations, all brimming with life.
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Immerse yourself in the highlights of Colombia along this magnificent river.
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