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Colombia through the Andes–Cartagena to La Paz
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Until Mar 18 Until Mar 18 Until Mar 18 From Apr 18 From Apr 18 From Apr 18

An epic South America trip ought to be on everyone’s bucket list – so why not tick this one off well ahead of time? Across 53 days and four countries, you’ll see jungles, cities, and all things between, all with a like-minded group of young adventurers eager to see and do everything. And “everything” is definitely an understatement – you’ll hike the Lost City in Colombia, take on the Inca Trail in Peru, partake in a homestay in the Amazon Rainforest, see the highlights of Ecuador, and much more. Plus, at this price point, you’ll be able to do it all and still have cash to spend at the famous markets in Otavalo.

Latin America
  • Duration: 53 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SMCL.B/201864
  • Starts: Cartagena, Colombia
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Cartagena
  • Santa Marta
  • Adán Camp
  • Wiwa Camp
  • Teyuna Paraiso Camp
  • Ciudad Perdida
  • Taganga
  • Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
  • Medellín
  • Bogotá
  • Otavalo
  • Cotopaxi
  • Quito
  • Tena
  • Baños
  • Cuenca
  • Máncora
  • Huanchaco
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Cuncani
  • Kuyoc
  • Aguas Calientes
  • Puno
  • Lago Titicaca
  • La Paz

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cartagena

Arrive at any time.

02

Day 2: Cartagena

Free day to explore this coastal colonial city. Wander the historic old town, check out the San Felipe fortress, or get dirty with a mud bath and massage at Totumo Volcano.

03

Day 3: Cartagena/Santa Marta

Travel by public bus to this coastal port town. Free time to visit the Gold Museum with its collection of Lost City artifacts, chill out on the beach and pick up any last minute necessities for the upcoming trek.

04

Day 4: Santa Marta/Adán Camp

Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek for 4-5 hrs each day through farmland, steamy jungle, and rural Kogi communities. Get a glimpse into the local way of life in the remote river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

05

Day 5: Adán Camp/ Wiwa Camp

The route starts along the Buritaca River, taking you further into the vivid green jungle past small villages en route to the camp for the evening. After a long day of trekking, enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the natural swimming pools.

06

Day 6: Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp

Continue trekking along the route to the Ciudad Perdida. Today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep inclines, make sure to rest and take in the beautiful views.

07

Day 7: Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp

Get started early to climb the 1,200 steps up to the Lost City. The view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains makes it well worth the hike. Explore the Lost City and learn what is known of its origins from the indigenous guide, before making the descent back to Wiwa Camp for the night.

08

Day 8: Ciudad Perdida/Taganga

After a final morning trek back to Machete Pelao, transfer to the fishing village of Taganga for an afternoon of rest and relaxation.

09

Day 9: Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Enjoy an overnight excursion to beautiful Tayrona NP. Explore the park's lush greenery, extended beaches and turquoise Caribbean waters.

10

Day 10: Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona/Taganga

Enjoy a half-day in the park, then return to Taganga for one more night on the Caribbean.

11

Day 11: Taganga/Medellín

Fly inland to infamous Medellín, now one of Latin America's safest cities. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and an optional night out with the group.

12

Day 12: Medellín/Bogotá

Opt to go paragliding over the city or catch a ride on the cable car. Board a night bus to Bogotá.

13

Day 13: Bogotá

Orientation walk around the vibrant La Candelaria area. Free time to explore Colombia's capital city; check out the riches at the Gold Museum, take a funicular car up Monserrate Hill for sweeping views of the city, or catch a fútbol (soccer) match if it's game day.

14

Day 14: Bogotá

Enjoy a second day to explore Colombia's capital.

15

Day 15: Bogotá/Otavalo

Fly to Quito and transfer to Otavalo and spend one night at an indigenous community. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food.

16

Day 16: Otavalo/Cotopaxi

Visit the famous Otavalo artisan market for a morning perusing colourful textiles, art, carvings and jewelry made by people from nearby communities. Afternoon bus to Cotopaxi to enjoy a couple of nights in Andean beauty.

17

Day 17: Cotopaxi

Opt to visit a lagoon at elevation, hike national park trails or go down Cotopaxi Volcano by mountain bike.

18

Day 18: Cotopaxi/Quito

Enjoy the morning in Cotopaxi before travelling back to Quito for an orientation walk and optional night out.

19

Day 19: Quito

Enjoy a free day to explore Ecuador's capital. Stay in the city, take a day trip to the equator, or the nearby hot springs.

20

Day 20: Quito/Tena

Travel to the jungle city of Tena and continue by truck to a jungle community.
Travel overland to Tena, located on the edge of the Amazon. From there, transfer for 45 minutes by truck to the local community of Pimpilala that will be our home for three nights. Stay with a Quichua family, enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle first-hand.

21

Day 21: Tena

Head out on nature walks and learn about local traditions at an overnight homestay.

22

Day 22: Tena

Head out on nature walks and learn about local traditions at an overnight homestay.

23

Day 23: Tena/Baños

Travel to Baños, an adrenaline junkie's paradise.
Baños is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits, including horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting in the surrounding mountains and on the River Patate.

24

Day 24: Baños

Opt to soak in the nearby hot springs or get active by hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking.

25

Day 25: Baños/Cuenca

Travel to historic Cuenca.
Ecuador's third largest town, Cuenca, retains a pleasant provincial air with its colonial architecture, art galleries, and museums. The surrounding countryside is an outdoor playground. Visit national parks, take walks in the beautiful countryside, and see Ecuador's only Inca ruin site.

Explore the city's sights including cobbled streets, red-tiled roofs, art galleries, flower markets, shady plazas, and museums.

26

Day 26: Cuenca

Enjoy a free day to visit Cajas NP or the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

27

Day 27: Cuenca/Máncora

Cross the border into Peru and head to the beach.
The adventure continues as we travel from Cuenca through the busy border town of Huaquillas and across the Peruvian border into Mancora. We follow the Pan-American Highway south to the seaside town of Mancora, a village populated by fishermen and surfers from around Peru and the world. Enjoy the relaxing beach atmosphere.

28

Day 28: Máncora

Opt to relax on the beach, discover Mancora, go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson.

29

Day 29: Máncora/Huanchaco

Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

30

Day 30: Huanchaco

Enjoy more beach time or opt to visit pre-Inca sites or the city of Trujillo.
We continue heading south along the coast to Trujillo, the largest city in northern Peru. It is known for its beautiful colonial structures and nearby attractions of Chan-Chan ruins and the resort town of Huanchaco, where we spend the night.

31

Day 31: Huanchaco/Lima

Full day in Huanchaco before boarding a night bus to Lima.

32

Day 32: Lima

Explore Peru's capital on an optional city tour, try paragliding, or simply relax. Be sure to try the tasty ceviche and pisco sours.
To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk around the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to experience life in a large South American city. There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera. An optional city tour visits many of the cities highlights.

33

Day 33: Lima

Enjoy the day exploring the city.

34

Day 34: Lima/Paracas

Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.

35

Day 35: Paracas/Nazca

Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, which provide an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife.

Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.

Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect as subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.

36

Day 36: Nazca/Arequipa

Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines. Overnight bus to Arequipa.

37

Day 37: Arequipa

Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Convent or a local hot spring.
Those with an interest in history and architecture may opt to visit the Convent of Santa Catalina, which offers a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Other optional excursions include rafting and mountaineering.

For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.

38

Day 38: Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.
Enjoy an overnight excursion to the impressive Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Stop in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, visitors can see Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals that can be spotted in the Andean landscape include three different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.

39

Day 39: Colca Canyon/Arequipa

Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors.
Get an early start to go on the lookout for flying condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see old terraces and sections of Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.

40

Day 40: Arequipa/Cusco

In the morning head back to Arequipa and enjoy a free day. Overnight bus to Cusco.

41

Day 41: Cusco

Free time to explore Cusco. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

42

Day 42: Cusco

Enjoy another free day in Cusco.

43

Day 43: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Learn about the Sacred Valley en route to Ollantaytambo. Opt to take a Sacred Valley tour with a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Ollantaytambo is a major Inca ruin site and a first taste of what lies ahead. For those craving more before they head out on the Trail, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour which includes not only Ollantaytambo and the ruin site of Pisac, but also a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

44

Day 44: Ollantaytambo/Cuncani

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to Lares town where the hike begins. Spend the first night at a G Adventures-supported campsite in Cuncani.
The Lares Trek is a scenic, less touristic route to hike through the Andes. It is one day shorter than the Inca Trail but higher in elevation. Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek.

45

Day 45: Cuncani/Kuyoc

Start early to hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods. After the morning hike, stop to rest and take in the amazing view. Continue hiking downhill to our second campsite near the stream for the night.

46

Day 46: Kuyoc/Aguas Calientes

Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes. Spend some time relaxing in town or visiting the nearby hot springs.

47

Day 47: Aguas Calientes/Cusco

Enjoy a guided visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Use some free time to explore the ruins on your own. Later, travel back to Cusco.
Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. Opt to walk up to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge.

When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group. Take the scenic train back to Ollantaytambo to meet the van for the ride back to Cusco.

48

Day 48: Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

49

Day 49: Cusco/Puno

Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

50

Day 50: Puno/Lago Titicaca

Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on Taquile Island and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.

51

Day 51: Lago Titicaca/Puno

Visit the floating islands of Uros. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

52

Day 52: Puno/La Paz

Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4,000m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

53

Day 53: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Local Living: Indigenous Community Homestay, Otavalo Local Living: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Hands-On: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Big Night Out: Cusco Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
    • Lost City of Teyuna trek (5 days)
    • Overnight excursion to Tayrona National Park (excluding February departures)
    • Visit to Otavalo Market
    • Orientation walks in Medellin, Bogotá, and Quito
    • Beach time in Taganga, Mancora, and Huanchaco
    • Pachamanca ceremony (Nazca)
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Inca Trail hike with a local guide, cook, and porters (4 days)
    • G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail
    • Amazon Jungle and Colca Canyon excursions
    • Lake Titicaca excursion with overnight family homestay
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (35 nts, some multi-share), hammock or rustic cots (5 nts), overnight buses (5 nts), homestays (5 nt), camping (2 nts)
    • 33 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners
    Transport
    • Local bus, 4x4, boat, truck, motorized canoe, train, hiking, plane, minibus
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO), specialist Lares Trek CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Trek to the Lost City of Teyuna
  • Party in Colombian cities
  • Experience local life in an Ecuadorian and Peruvian homestays
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.