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Lima to Antigua

Overlanding is a fantastic way to experience the traveller's paradise of the Americas! Dragoman have been the world's leading overland operator for decades, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the charming Guatemalan colonial town of Antigua, we overland through the magnificent highlights of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, including their Mayan ruins, stunning beaches, wonderful towns, and spectacular volcanic scenery. We then head to Costa Rica to explore the forests and beaches there before arriving in Panama and its thriving capital. After a short flight to the incredible colonial town of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast, we explore some of Colombia's best highlights, such as the beautiful beaches of Tayrona National Park, the adventure capital of San Gil and the stunning historic town of Villa de Leyva, before crossing into Ecuador and arriving at its buzzing capital of Quito. From Quito we explore the stunning jungles, hills and towns of Ecuador and then head down to the coast and the idyllic beaches of Punta Sal in northern Peru. We then head south through Peru's deserts to the ruined Moche city of Chan Chan, then climb up to the spectacular Andean town of Huaraz, before heading to the chaotic capital of Lima. Join us on this unforgettable overlanding experience through the Americas!

Latin America

Duration: 66 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158183
Starts: Lima, Peru Finishes: Antigua, Guatemala
You will visit
  • Lima
  • Huaraz
  • Huanchaco
  • Punta Sal
  • Lambayeque
  • Cuenca
  • Chugchilan
  • Lake Quilotoa
  • Rio Verde
  • Baños
  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Quito
  • Otavalo
  • Ipiales
  • Popayán
  • Salento
  • Manizales
  • Honda
  • Villa de Leyva
  • San Gil
  • Aguachica
  • Mompós
  • Tayrona National Park
  • Cartagena
  • Panama City
  • Santa Clara
  • Boquete
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Monteverde
  • La Fortuna
  • Ometepe Island
  • Granada
  • Masaya National Park
  • León
  • Lake Yojoa
  • Roatán
  • Copán
  • Suchitoto
  • Cerro Verde National Park
  • Los Cobanos
  • Antigua

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport.

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

02

Day 2: Huaraz

Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Paramonga Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.

In Huaraz we will stay in a local hostel in either dorm accommodation or private rooms depending on availability.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-4: Huaraz

We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huantar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers.

04

Day 5: Huanchaco

Today we will have a full day's drive down the stunning 'Casma Route' to the Pacific coast and on to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo.

In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

05

Day 6: Huanchaco

Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).

06

Day 7: Punta Sal

Today we will have a full day's drive along the coast of northern Peru. We will have an included visit to the phenomenal Lord of Sipan museum in Lambayeque, home of an incredible collection of Chimu-era treasures (please note that this museum is closed on Mondays, so we will be unable to visit if your trip passes through on a Monday).

We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (including approximately 1 hour 30 minutes at the Lord of Sipan museum). 

07

Day 8: Punta Sal

Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal.

08

Day 9: Cuenca

Border information: Exit Peru at Tumbes, enter Ecuador at Huaquillas.

Today we will have a long drive day north, crossing the border into southern Ecuador and arriving at the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca.

In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

09

Day 10: Cuenca

Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process.

10

Day 11: Chugchilan

Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilán, via the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route and the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.

In Chugchilán we will stay in a fantastic local hostel where breakfast and dinner are included, giving you a chance to enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

11

Day 12: Lake Quilotoa

Today we will transfer to the village of Quilotoa to see its stunning crater lake, and take an included day trek back to Chugchilán through the local villages, canyons, and beautiful scenery. This walk is widely considered one of the best day treks in Ecuador! 

The mostly-downhill usually takes between 4-6 hours, but please be aware that there is a section towards the end of the trek with a steep incline which you will need to be physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer.

12

Day 13: Rio Verde

Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and head north to the village of Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.

In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours

13

Day 14-15: Rio Verde

We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportuinty to visit the nearby town of Banos and its popular volcanic thermal springs.

14

Day 16: Ecuadorian Amazon

Today we drive to the edge of the Amazon basin near the town of Tena, where we head to our jungle lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.

In the Amazon Jungle we will stay in a comfortable rainforest lodge with meals included.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours

15

Day 17-18: Ecuadorian Amazon

Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community. 

16

Day 19: Quito

Today we will drive back up into the highlands and arrive at the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

17

Day 20: Quito

Border Information: if joining in Quito, you will most likely enter Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Quito before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

18

Day 21: Quito

Today our journey begins with a short drive to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator. After this we will continue north to the small town of Otavalo, stopping in the centre to visit its famous markets.

In Otavalo we will camp in the grounds of a rural guesthouse overlooking the town.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

19

Day 22: Ipiales

Border information: Exit Ecuador at Ipiales, enter Colombia at Ipiales.

Today we will have an early start to cross the border into Colombia and reach the border town of Ipiales. We will visit the famous Santuario de las Lajas church outside of Ipiales in the late afternoon.

In Ipiales we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

20

Day 23: Popayán

Today we have a full day drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popayán.

In Popayán we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

21

Day 24: Salento

Today we will drive to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora.

In Salento we will camp in a well-equipped campsite, 15 minutes drive out of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

22

Day 25-26: Manizales

This morning we will have an included guided trek through the Cocora Valley to see the Quindio wax palm trees, the largest palms in the world and the national tree of Colombia. In the afternoon we will head to the town of Manizales, where we stay for 2 nights on a coffee plantation.

Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.

During our time in Manizales we will enjoy a night of traditional music and dancing, take a fascinating tour of the coffee plantations, and visit the Sagrada Familia charity - a local Dragoman-supported charity that provides education, nutrition, and psychological support to poor children in the area.

In Manizales we will camp with facilities within the grounds of the finca.

23

Day 27: Honda

Today we have a final morning in our coffee finca near Manizales, and then drive to Honda, a historic river town where we meet the Rio Magdalena.

In Honda we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours

24

Day 28: Villa de Leyva

Today we will continue our journey with a drive to Villa de Leyva, one of the country's most beautiful colonial villages. Nestled high in the arid semi-desert away from any trade routes, the town has escaped development and modernisation for centuries and is one of the most authentic old-towns in South America.

In Villa de Leyva we will camp in the grounds of a hacienda.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.

25

Day 29-30: San Gil

Today we will take an included walking tour of the main sights of the colonial town of Villa de Leyva in the morning, before driving to San Gil, the outdoor capital of Colombia and a mecca for extreme-sports enthusiasts! Tonight we will enjoy a vegetarian Indian buffet from the campsite's in-house restaurant.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

The following day is free to enjoy some of the myriad of adrenaline activities on offer in the area, or to spend the day relaxing on the farm.

In San Gil we camp in a coffee and cattle farm outside town.

26

Day 31: Aguachica

Today we will drive north, stopping for the night in the town of Aguachica.

In Aguachica we stay in a hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

27

Day 32-33: Mompós

Today we will drive to the peaceful and rarely-visited colonial town of Mompós, where we will stay 2 nights. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

The following day we go on a short boat trip down Rio Magdalena to observe the riverside life and do some wildlife spotting. There will also be plenty of free time to explore this historical colonial town, the first town in Colombia to declare independence from Spain, wander the beautiful streets and soak up the atmosphere of the architecture.

In Mompós we stay in a lovely local hotel.

28

Day 34-35: Tayrona National Park

Today we drive north to Tayrona, one of the most popular national parks in Colombia. Leaving our main luggage stored on the truck, we take a day-pack/night-bag and go on a moderate walk in to the park to where we will stay. Mules to carry your luggage can be hired at an extra cost.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.

The following day is a free day to explore this stunning coastal park. We have the opportunity to trek to El Pueblito, a pre-Hispanic settlement of the Tayrona people, do some snorkelling, or just relax on the beautiful beaches.  

In Tayrona National Park we will stay in rented hammocks. The hammocks are equipped with mosquito nets but please note that the nets are not treated with Permethrin or similar pesticides.

There is also an option to bring tents if you prefer to stay in a tent rather than a hammock, but please note that mules will have to ber hired to carry your tent, at an extra cost.

29

Day 36: Cartagena

We will have some more free time in Tayrona National Park in the morning, before we walk back to the park entrance and complete our epic journey with a drive to the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena.

In Cartagena we will stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

30

Day 37: Cartagena

Today we will have an included walking tour of the city, and then the afternoon will be free to explore the city further, enjoy the many optional activities on offer, or simply relax on the beach.

31

Day 38: Cartagena

Border information: if you are finishing in Cartagena, you will most likely exit Colombia at Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Cartagena. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

If you are continuing on to Panama then your leader will assist you with airport transfers for your included flight. You will stay tonight in a comfortable hotel in either Panama City or Cartagena (depending on the flight times and availability).

32

Day 39: Panama City

Today we will drive to the Miraflores Visitor Centre at the world-famous Panama Canal, learning all about its controversial history and incredible role in shaping trade and world politics in the 20th century. After our included visit we will drive to the small coastal town of Santa Clara.

In Santa Clara we will camp in the grounds of a guesthouse, about 10 minutes' walk from the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

33

Day 40-41: Boquete

Today we will drive up into the Chiriqui highlands, arriving at the town of Boquete.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take part in some of the many optional outdoor activities which the town is famous for, including the opportunity to take the strenuous trek to the 3,478m summit of Volcán Barú, the highest point in Panama.

In Boquete we will stay in a local hostel, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

34

Day 42-43: Manuel Antonio National Park

Border information: Exit Panama at Paso Canoas, enter Costa Rica at Paso Canoas

Today we will drive across the border into Costa Rica, and arrive at the spectacular beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

On the following day we will have an include guided walk through some of the beautiful trails within park, learning all about its flora and fauna and immersing ourselves in the idyllic landscape. We will have free time in the afternoon to take part in some optional activities or relax on the wonderful beaches.

In Manuel Antonio we will stay in a hostel near the beach, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

35

Day 44-45: Monteverde

Today we will drive to the town of Tilarán, where we will leave our overland vehicle behind and transfer by taxi to the dense cloud forests and coffee plantations of Monteverde, a stunning area offering an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided walk on the trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Reserve, followed by a free afternoon to visit some of the town's highlights or enjoy some adventurous activities such as canyoning or horse riding.

In Monteverde we will stay in a local hotel.

36

Day 46-47: La Fortuna

Today we will continue by taxi and boat to La Fortuna, a stunning town under the shadow of the mighty Arenal volcano. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take optional treks through the incredible surrounding volcanic landscapes or forest canopies, or get involved in many different adventure activities such as zip-lining, white-water rafting, and canyoning. La Fortuna is also famous for its outstanding hot springs, which we will have the opportunity to visit.

In La Fortuna we will stay in excellent cabanas outside of town.

37

Day 48-49: Ometepe Island

Border information: Exit Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas, enter Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas

This morning we drive across the Nicaraguan border and to the small town of San Jorge on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake. Here we will board a ferry to the stunning volcanic island of Ometepe, where we base ourselves in the port village of Moyogalpa and enjoy free time to explore on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

On the following day we will have free time to explore and take part in optional activities such as the challenging trek to the summit of the Concepción volcano that dominates the island, or seeing some of the mysterious ancient petroglyphs that are dotted through the landscape.

On Ometepe we will stay in a small local hotel.

38

Day 50-51: Granada

Today we will take the ferry back to San Jorge to rejoin our overland vehicle and take a short drive to Nicaraguas's oldest city of Granada, a beautiful town which oozes with colonial charm! We will have free time to explore the city upon arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the historic streets of Granada's old town, or take part in some of the myriad of optional activities that are available here.  

In Granada we will stay in a centrally-located hostel, which has a mixture of private and dormitory rooms.

39

Day 52-53: Masaya National Park

Today we drive to the university town of León. En route we will have an included visit to the traditional markets in the small town of Masaya, and witness the incredible active caldera of the nearby Masaya volcano (if its volcanic activity isn't too high).

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the town's wonderful colonial architecture or to take part in the many optional activities available here.

In León we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

40

Day 54: Lake Yojoa

Border information: Exit Nicaragua at Las Manos, enter Honduras at Las Manos.

Today we will have a a full day's drive across the border into Honduras and to the beautiful countryside of Lake Yojoa.

In Lake Yojoa we will camp for the night in the grounds of a lodge and brewery.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

41

Day 55-57: Roatán

Today we will take a short drive to the town of San Pedro Sula and board a short local flight to Roatán, the largest of the famous tropical Bay Islands. On arrival we will transfer to the area of the West End Bay, where we base ourselves for our stay. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

On the following 2 days we will enjoy lots of free time to take part in the wealth of optional activities available on Roatán, and of course to relax and swim on the stunning Caribbean beaches here!

In Roatán we will stay in a local hotel near the beach.

42

Day 58-59: Copán

Today we will start early to transfer back to Roatán's airport and catch our flight back to the mainland, rejoining the Dragoman Bus! We will then continue our journey west through Honduras, arriving at the small village of Copán.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided visit to the spectacular Mayan ruins of Copán, followed by a free afternoon to explore some of the other highlights in the area.

In Copán we will stay in a local hotel.

43

Day 60: Suchitoto

Border information: Exit Honduras at El Florido, enter Guatemala at El Florido. Exit Guatemala at Anguiatú, enter El Salvador at Anguiatú.

Today we will have a full day drive into Guatemala and then through to El Salvador, arriving at the beautiful town of Suchitoto.

In Suchitoto we will stay in dormitory rooms at the Centro Arte Para La Paz community centre, which runs many programs for the local communities to build cultural identity, unity, teaching skills, self-sufficiency, environmental equality and a culture of peace.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

44

Day 61: Cerro Verde National Park

Today we will spend the morning in Suchitoto to have the chance to explore the town with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, and to learn about the incredible work of the Dragoman-supported community centre in which we stay.

In the afternoon we will drive to the stunning Cerro Verde National Park, where we will be surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanoes and countryside.

In Cerro Verde National Park we will camp with basic facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

45

Day 62-63: Los Cobanos

This morning we will spend some time in Cerro Verde National Park to give us the opportunity to take an optional guided trek up the nearby Santa Ana volcano (approximately 4 hours).

In the afternoon we will take a short drive to the Pacific coast and the small fishing village of Los Cobanos, a charming town well off the tourist trail.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to relax on the coast and take part in optional activities such as boating trips through the mangroves and walks along the beach in search of nesting turtles!

In Los Cobanos we will stay in a hotel on the beach.

46

Day 64: Antigua

Border information: Exit El Salvador at La Hachadura, enter Guatemala at Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado.

Today we will cross the Guatemalan border to arrive in the stunning colonial city of Antigua. The rest of the day is free to explore the beautiful colonial city and its dramatic surroundings.

In Antigua we will stay in a delightful colonial hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

47

Day 65: Antigua

Border information: if leaving in Antigua, you will most likely exit Guatemala at Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport (IATA code: GUA).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Antigua. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit the monument to mark the Equator at Mitad del Mundo
    • Visit the jaw-dropping church of Santuario de las Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales, built on a bridge spanning a 45m-deep river gorge
    • Head out on a half-day guided trek through the spectacular Cocora Valley, and see the incredible 50m-tall Quindio wax palms, the tallest plam trees in the world!
    • Enjoy a night of traditional live Colombian music with a delicious BBQ dinner at our coffee finca nea Manizales
    • Stay for 2 nights on a coffee finca near Manizales, and learn all about coffee production on an informative tour of the plantations
    • Visit the Dragoman-supported Sagrada Familia project in Manizales, who work to provide education, nutrition, and psychological support to young children from poor backgrounds in the area
    • Discover the delightful Spanish colonial town of Villa de Leyva on a guided walking tour, and explore its cobblestoned streets, huge original plaza, and 16th-Century buildings
    • Explore the area of Mompós by boat, on a beautiful short trip out on the Magdelena River
    • Freely explore the fascinating colonial city of Cartagena or learn all about its incredible history on a guided walking tour
    • Visit the world-famous Panama Canal at the Miraflores Visitors' Centre, and learn all about the fascinating history of this controversial structure
    • Take a guided walk through the stunning trails of Manuel Antonio National Park, finishing at the world-class tropical beaches where you can swim and relax
    • Take a guided trek to explore the stunning forest trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, learning all about the fascinating and beautiful ecosystem there
    • Visit the dramatic crater rim of the active Masaya volcano between León and Granada
    • Visit the traditional markets in Masaya village, famous for its local handicrafts
    • Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent ancient Mayan ruins of Copán
    • Visit the spectacular volcanic landscape of Cerro Verde National Park, one of El Salvador's gems
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew and local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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