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Quito to Cartagena - 2019
SAVE UP TO $277 on this tour

This 19 day overland tour journeys from Cartagena to Quito through Colombia, Ecuador

Latin America
  • Duration: 19 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Boating, Road Cycling, Trekking, Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Equestrian
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZCQ2/158082
  • Starts: Quito, Ecuador
  • Finishes: Cartagena, Colombia
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Quito
  • Otavalo
  • Ipiales
  • Popayán
  • Salento
  • Manizales
  • Medellín
  • Lorica
  • Tayrona National Park
  • Cartagena

Itinerary

01

Day 1: 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.

A note on altitude: If you are joining in Quito, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.

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

02

Day 2: 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 charming town of Otavlo.

In Otavalo we will camp in the grounds of lovely Guesthouse..

Estimated Drive Time - 3 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!).

03

Day 3: Ipiales

Today we will leave Ecuador behind and travel into Colombia. We will have an included visit to the Santuario de las Lajas en route to our hotel in Ipiales.

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

Estimated drive time: 4 hours.

04

Day 4-5: Popayán

Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popay n.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 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.

05

Day 6-7: Salento

Today we will continue our journey north to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have 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.

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

06

Day 8-9: Manizales

Today we have a short drive to our Hacienda in the heart of the coffee region. Depending on the weather it may be possible to take a trip into the Los Nevados National Park

Estimated drive time: 1.5hrs

On the following day we will have a tour of the coffee plantation and learn about the cultivation of coffee.

We will stay in twin rooms in a comfortable hacienda.

07

Day 10-12: Medellín

Today we will drive to the vibrant city of Medell n, where we will spend 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On our first full day in Medell n we will have a guided walking tour of the city, and our second day will be free time to independently explore the town, its parks, churches, and museums.

In Medell n we will stay in dormitory accommodation in a centrally-located hostel, allowing you to enjoy the exciting nightlife of the city.

08

Day 13-14: Lorica

Today we have a drive north to the beautiful, colonial town of Santa Cruz de Lorica.

Estimated Drive Time - 10hours.

The following day we have a free day to explore the historic centre, learn about the traditional hates that are made in the region or head to the coast for a final beach sunset at San Bernardo del Viento.

In Santa Cruz de Lorica we stay in a lovely local hotel.

09

Day 15-16: 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 - 7 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.

10

Day 17: 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 - 5-6 hours.

11

Day 18: 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.

12

Day 19: Cartagena

Border information: if you are finishing in Cartagena, you will most likely exit Colombia at Cartagena Rafael N ez 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).

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo
    • Visit the jaw dropping Santuario Las Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales
    • 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!
    • Stay on a coffee plantation near Manizales
    • Explore some of Tayrona National Park's scenic walking trails, including a hike to the mysterious ancient ruins of Pueblito hidden in the jungles high above the coastline
    • Explore Cartagena on a guided walking tour
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Boating
  • Cycling
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Horse Riding
  • Overland Journey


Reviews (7)
Patricia P Posted on: 

Local guides were all excellent and well chosen

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Michael B Posted on: 

I had a great time on the tour. I went to Guatape and Otavalo, places that I would not have visited had I travelled on my own, and I thought they were great. I liked Rachel and Jamie, I thought they did a great job. It is very well done for people who want this type of experience and I am happy to recommend Dragoman. Both crew were fabulous. There were several local guides and I thought they were all very good.

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Alexandra B Posted on: 

Rachel was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and brought the whole group together well. Jaime was also enthusiastic and such a happy personality to have around.

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Søren Elleby A Posted on: 

The leaders did good! I like that Jamie always seems happy!

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Kathleen R Posted on: 

I think the style of the vehicle adds an extra quirk to the whole trip so for that reason I quite liked it. What we expected given the nature of this trip, happy customers! We had a great time! Everything was beyond expectations. Rachel has so much enthusiasm and drive, she definitely fits the true qualities required of this job. Her confidence in handling difficult situations shone and kept us at ease throughout the trip and she just made things great fun! Couldn't ask for more of her!

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Lauren B Posted on: 

I really enjoyed the trip! Both leaders were very helpful, and supported us well.

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Brett M Posted on: 

It was an amazing experience, exactly as described and good value for money. They were fantastic! It's a difficult job which they made look effortless…

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