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Colombia through the Andes–Cartagena to La Paz
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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 55 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 market in Otavalo.

Latin America
  • Duration: 55 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.I/226889
  • 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
  • Tena
  • Baños
  • Cuenca
  • Máncora
  • Huanchaco
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • 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

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.

22

Day 22: 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.

23

Day 23: Tena

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

24

Day 24: Tena

In the morning, cycle to the nearby community of Shandia and discover the beauty of the Amazon with a member of the community as your guide. Learn about traditional uses of cacao by watching a chocolate-making demonstration, eat meals made of fresh local ingredients, and stay at the G Adventures-supported community lodge.

25

Day 25: 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.

26

Day 26: 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.

27

Day 27: 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.

28

Day 28: 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.

29

Day 29: 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.

30

Day 30: Máncora

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

31

Day 31: Máncora/Huanchaco

Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

32

Day 32: 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.

33

Day 33: Huanchaco/Lima

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

34

Day 34: 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.

35

Day 35: 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.

36

Day 36: 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.

37

Day 37: 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.

38

Day 38: Nazca/Arequipa

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

39

Day 39: 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.

40

Day 40: 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.

41

Day 41: 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.

42

Day 42: Arequipa/Cusco

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

43

Day 43: 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.

44

Day 44: Cusco

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

45

Day 45: 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.

46

Day 46: Ollantaytambo/Cusco

Return to the Sacred Valley with the CEO to explore the sites of the Maras Salt Mines and the ancient Incan agricultural terraces of Moray. Continue on a scenic drive through small villages and stunning views of the Andean countryside. Stop for a picnic lunch at Piuray Lagoon and opt to explore by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Return to Cusco for the evening.
Leave the hikers to start their trek and head out to explore Moray and Maras ancient Incan ruins. Enjoy a scenic drive through Andean farmland on the way to Piuray Lagoon.

47

Day 47: Cusco

Enjoy a free day to explore the city or take advantage of the many optional activities available.

48

Day 48: Cusco/Aguas Calientes

Travel by van to Ollantaytambo to catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes.

49

Day 49: Aguas Calientes/Cusco

Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco in the evening.
Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with the guide. Enjoy a guided visit of the ruins followed by free time to explore. When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group and take a train back to Cusco.

50

Day 50: Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

51

Day 51: Cusco/Puno

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

52

Day 52: 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.

53

Day 53: 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.

54

Day 54: 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.

55

Day 55: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village Your G for Good Moment: Shandia Community Lodge, Shandia Your G for Good Moment: Shandia Biking & Community Experience, Shandia 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)
    • San Clemente homestay
    • Visit to Otavalo Market
    • Orientation walks in Medellin 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 (37 nts, some multi-share), hostel (4 nts, multi-share), hammock or rustic cots (4 nts), overnight buses (4 nts), homestays (3 nts), G Adventures-supported community lodge (1 nt), camping (1 nt)
    • 35 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners
    Transport
    • Local bus, 4x4, boat, truck, motorized canoe, train, hiking, plane, minibus
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO), local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Trek to the Lost City of Teyuna
  • Party in Colombian cities
  • Experience local life in a Peruvian homestay
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.