This is a trip that unveils the true diversity of Colombia and northern Ecuador, from the jungles and stunning beaches of the Caribbean coast in Tayrona National Park to the snow capped peaks of the Andes and the spectacular wax palm trees of the Valle de Cocora.
Colombia is home to some of South America’s most beautiful colonial architecture as found in Cartagena, Popayan or Santa Cruz de Lorica. This is balanced by the cosmopolitan and contemporary feel of Medellin. No visit to Colombia is complete without exploring the coffee heartland around Manizales and a stay at a Coffee Finca to learn the tricks of the trade.
Further south the Afro Caribbean feel gives way to the indigenous mountain peoples of the Andes and before crossing into Ecuador to explore the Indian markets of Otavalo, you must explore the exquisite Santuario de las Lajas in Ipiales. This tour would, however, not be complete without time to explore the wonderful old colonial city of Quito, with its plethora of churches, cathedrals and markets.
Border Information: if joining in Cartagena, you will most likely enter Colombia at Cartagena Rafael N ez International Airport (IATA code: CTG).
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 Cartagena 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 Cartagena.
In Cartagena we stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre.
If you are continuing on from Panama, then your leader will have assisted you with airport transfers for your included flight to arrive in time for the joining meeting.
Today we will have a full day in the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena.
In the morning 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.
Today we have a short drive to the stunning Tayrona National Park.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
The following day we have an included walk in the National Park.
In Tayrona we will sleep in Hammocks, no food is provided, but there are restaurants and cafes nearby by. There is an hour walk from where we park our truck to our campsite.
This morning we will walk back to our truck and leave Tayrona National park. We will head south for the pretty colonial town of Santa Cruz de Lorica on the Sinu River.
We will have a free day to relax and discover the historic centre, learn about the traditional Vueltiao hat or head to the coast and soak up the sun in San Bernardo del Viento.
Today we have a full days drive to vibrant city of Medellin. the following morning we will have a guided walking tour of the city. We then have plenty of time to relax or take park in some of activities available here.
In Medell n we will stay in dormitory accommodation in a centrally-located hostel, allowing you to enjoy the exciting nightlife of the city.
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours
Today we will head into the heart of the coffee region for two nights at a beautiful Hacienda near the town of Manizales. Tomorrow we can relax in the grounds, take a bird watching walk to spot some of the many hummingbirds that frequent the area. We will have an included tour of the Coffee Plantation and learn about the cultivation of coffee.
Estimated Drive time: 7 hours
We will stay in twin share accommodation in a lovely hacienda in the countryside.
Today we will continue our journey south to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora. Depending on the weather, there should be an opportunity today to head into the Los Nevados National Park for a walk and maybe a visit the thermal baths on the way back.
The following day we will take a 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.
Estimated Drive Time - 1.5 hours
In Salento we will camp in a well-equipped campsite, 15 minutes drive out of town.
Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popay n.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
On the following day we will have a free day to explore Popay n or take part in some excellent treks or other optional activities in the surrounding area.
In Popay n we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel.
Today we will have a full day drive to the border town of Ipiales.
In Ipiales we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
We will leave Colombia behind today and cross the border into Ecuador, we will have time for an included visit to the beautiful Santurio de las Lajas, before heading to Otavalo.
Tonight we will camp in the grounds of a pretty Guesthouse in Otavalo.
Estimated drive time: 3 hours.
Border information: Exit Colombia at Ipiales, enter Ecuador at Ipiales.
We will head south for the final leg of our journey to the bustling captial, Quito. En route into the city we will have an included visit to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator.
In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.
Border information: if you are finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. 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.
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Trip Name: Colombia Discovery
Duration: 19 Days
From Price: $1,385
Supplier Tour ID: ZCQ1/158081
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