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Colombia, Andes & Galapagos::Lares Trek From Jan 19
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Got two months? Want to make the most of them? There can be no better way to do so than one of the most sprawling of all our South American trips. Imagine 60 solid days spent exploring Colombia’s Lost City, ambling around Machu Picchu after conquering the Inca Trail in Peru, enjoying a homestay deep in the Amazon jungle, and snorkeling with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands. With a week of camping in the Galápagos included, there’s no possible way you’ll go home feeling like you missed out on anything in South America.

Latin America
  • Duration: 62 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: SMCG.H/208496
  • Starts: Cartagena, Colombia
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Age requirement: 18 - 39
You will Visit
  • Cartagena
  • Santa Marta
  • Wiwa Camp
  • Teyuna Paraiso Camp
  • Ricardito Camp
  • Taganga
  • Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
  • Medellín
  • Salento
  • Bogotá
  • Tatacoa Desert
  • Popayán
  • Pasto
  • San Clemente
  • Quito
  • San Cristóbal Island
  • Isabela Island
  • Santa Cruz Island
  • 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/ Wiwa Camp

Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek 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: Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp

Continue trekking along the route to 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. Arrive at the campsite in the afternoon and relax by the river.

06

Day 6: 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.

07

Day 7: Wiwa Camp /Ricardito Camp

Follow the path back through the deep jungle, wind through banana trees, cacao plants and small Kogi communities on the way to Ricardito Camp. The nickname for this camp is vista hermosa or beautiful views, sit back and soak them in.

08

Day 8: Ricardito Camp/Taganga

Head across grassy hills and gentle streams to reach the Gotsezhi Wiwa indigenous community. Enjoy a G Adventures-supported community lunch cooked by women from the community with local ingredients. Learn about Wiwa customs on a village visit and then lounge in a hammock by the river. In the afternoon, return to Taganga for a well deserved night in a hotel.

09

Day 9: Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Head into Tayrona National Park for a moderate hike with a local guide. This is a perfect opportunity to experience nature and learn a little more about the rich, natural diversity of northern Colombia.

10

Day 10: 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.

11

Day 11: Medellín

Choose what to explore today on a free day. Opt to visit the nearby town of Guatapé, with its colourful houses and famous rock. Or, ride the metrocable, a cable car part of Medellín's public transportation, for sweeping views of the city and surrounding mountains.

12

Day 12: Medellín/Salento

Drive through beautiful landscapes to Salento.
Enjoy exploring Salento and getting a feel for the town.

13

Day 13: Salento

Opt to take a morning hike through the towering palms of the Cocora Valley, or choose from a variety of other optional activities in the coffee region of Quindío.

14

Day 14: Salento/Bogotá

Enjoy the ride to Colombia's capital, Bogotá.

15

Day 15: Bogotá

Enjoy a free day to explore the capital of Colombia. Opt to ride the funicular up for a stunning view, visit the impressive gold museum, or check out the street art.

16

Day 16: Bogotá/Tatacoa Desert

Enjoy the ride to the Tatacoa Desert to spend the night under the stars.

17

Day 17: Tatacoa Desert/Popayán

Head out into the impressive Tatacoa desert and explore the rocky canyons. The morning is free to choose how you wish to explore, opt to go for a hike or go horseback riding. After, travel to Popayán.

18

Day 18: Popayán/Pasto

Head further south to Pasto, wander around and keep an eye out for local ice cream makers out in the streets.

19

Day 19: Pasto/San Clemente

Visit the striking Lajas Sanctuary, built on a bridge in a lush gorge, this neo-Gothic church is sure to impress. After, cross the border into Ecuador and continue on to the indigenous community of San Clemente for the night.

20

Day 20: San Clemente/Quito

Enjoy the morning in the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways. Later, travel to Otavalo market before heading on to Quito for the night.


21

Day 21: Quito/San Cristóbal Island

Fly to the Galápagos Islands. Visit the Interpretation Centre in the afternoon to learn about the natural history of the area. Explore the trails around the centre and opt to snorkel at nearby Las Tijeretas.

22

Day 22: San Cristóbal Island

Enjoy a free day to explore San Cristóbal Island, where the sea lion population rivals the human one. Opt to snorkel at Kicker Rock, visit Playa Mann, or La Lobería.

23

Day 23: San Cristóbal Island/Isabela Island

Travel by speedboat to Isabela Island. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife on the way and enjoy a stop for lunch on Floreana Island. Stretch your legs and enjoy a meal at the G supported-community restaurant to support the local community before continuing on to Isabela.

24

Day 24: Isabela Island

Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano for spectacular views from above. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to go snorkeling, visit the giant Tortoise breeding centre or the Flamingo lagoon.

25

Day 25: Isabela Island/Santa Cruz Island

Transfer by speedboat back to Santa Cruz Island, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and enjoy a night in the town of Puerto Ayora.

26

Day 26: Santa Cruz Island

Enjoy free time to explore Santa Cruz Island. Opt to visit the highlands, hike out to the stunning Tortuga Bay, or explore the otherworldly Las Grietas freshwater lagoon.

27

Day 27: Santa Cruz Island/Quito

Say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands, and take a morning flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel and enjoy a night in the city.

28

Day 28: Quito

Enjoy a free day to explore Ecuador's capital. Visit the city's old town, take a day trip to the equator, or Cotopaxi volcano.

29

Day 29: Quito/Tena

Travel overland to the jungle city of Tena, located on the edge of the Amazon. From there, transfer by truck to the local community of Pimpilala. Stay in rustic wooden huts in the community of a Quichua family, enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle first-hand.

30

Day 30: Tena

Head out on nature walks and learn about uses of traditional plants, their cultural beliefs, and local traditions in the Amazon jungle.

31

Day 31: Tena

Head out on nature walks and learn about uses of traditional plants, their cultural beliefs, and local traditions in the Amazon jungle.

32

Day 32: Tena/Baños

Travel to Baños, the perfect setting to get your adrenaline pumping, try out horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, or rafting in the surrounding mountains.

33

Day 33: Baños

Enjoy a free day in Baños, opt to check out the swing at the end of the world, soak in nearby hot springs, or, check out ziplining.

34

Day 34: Baños/Cuenca

Enjoy the scenery on the way to the charming town of 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.

35

Day 35: Cuenca

Enjoy a free day in beautiful Cuenca. Explore the city's sights including cobbled streets, red-tiled roofs, art galleries, flower markets, shady plazas, and museums or opt to visit nearby Cajas National Park or the Inca ruins of Ingapirca. Later, catch an overnight but to Mancora.

36

Day 36: Máncora

Arrive early into the seaside town of Mancora, a village populated by fishermen and surfers from around Peru and the world. Chill out and breathe in the salty air.

37

Day 37: Máncora

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

38

Day 38: Máncora/Huanchaco

Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

39

Day 39: 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.

40

Day 40: Huanchaco/Lima

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

41

Day 41: 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.

42

Day 42: Lima

Enjoy the day exploring the city. Opt to pre-book the Lima Cooking Class and learn how to cook some classic Peruvian dishes using ingredients from the local market.

43

Day 43: 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.

44

Day 44: 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.

45

Day 45: Nazca/Arequipa

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

46

Day 46: 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.

47

Day 47: 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.

48

Day 48: Chivay/Arequipa

Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.
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.

49

Day 49: Arequipa/Cusco

Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.

50

Day 50: Cusco

Free time to explore Cusco. Choose to pre-book the optional Cusco Cooking Class. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

51

Day 51: Cusco

Enjoy another free day in Cusco. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class.

52

Day 52: 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 a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

53

Day 53: 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.

54

Day 54: 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.

55

Day 55: 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.

56

Day 56: 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.

57

Day 57: Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

58

Day 58: Cusco/Puno

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

59

Day 59: 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.

60

Day 60: 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.

61

Day 61: 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.

62

Day 62: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village Your G for Good Moment: Floreana Community Restaurants, Floreana Island Your Local Living Moment: Indigenous Community Homestay, San Clemente Your Local Living Moment: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Your Discover Moment: Baños Your Discover Moment: Lima Your Foodie Moment: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Your Discover Moment: Cusco Your Big Night Out Moment: Cusco Your Local Living Moment: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
    • Lost City of Teyuna trek (5 days)
    • Tayrona National Park excursion (excluding February departures)
    • Overnight desert camping (Tatacoa)
    • Visit to Otavalo Market
    • San Clemente homestay
    • Orientation walks in Medellin and Quito
    • Interpretation Centre visit (San Cristóbal Island)
    • Sierra Negra Volcano hike (Isabela Island)
    • Isabela Island highlands camping
    • Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz)
    • Opportunities for snorkelling, swimming, and Incredible wildlife encounters
    • Beach time in Taganga, Mancora, and Huanchaco
    • Pachamanca ceremony (Nazca)
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Lares Trek hike with a local guide, cook, and porters (3 days)
    • G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek
    • 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 (40 nts, some multi-share), hostel (4 nts, multi-share), camping (5 nts), hammock or rustic bunks (5 nts), overnight buses (4 nts), homestays (2 nts), G Adventures-supported community lodge (1 nt)
    • 41 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 13 dinners
    Transport
    • Local bus, 4x4, boat, truck, public speedboat, van, motorized canoe, train, hiking, plane, minibus
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO), CEO/Naturalist Guide while in the Galápagos Islands (certified by the Galápagos National Park Authority), specialist Lares Trek CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Trek to the Lost City of Teyuna
  • Snorkel with sea lions in the Galápagos
  • Experience local life in Ecuadorian and Peruvian homestays
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.