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Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring
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This trip has alternate itineraries available.
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Until Mar Until Mar 18 From Apr From Apr 18

Colombia is an underrated country for travellers, but with our safe, social, and budget-friendly group trips, we want to change that. After all, theres so much culture and beauty to this region that it would be a shame to let it go unexplored plus you can say you got here before everyone else. Over three weeks, youll go from Colombia to Ecuador, hiking to the Lost City of Teyuna, relaxing on warm beaches, camping under the stars in the Tatacoa Desert and visiting UNESCO World Heritage designated ruins. Youre sure to find something you love in these countries.

Latin America
  • Duration: 21 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: SMQS.B/201879
  • Starts: Cartagena, Colombia
  • Finishes: Quito, Ecuador
You will Visit
  • Cartagena
  • Santa Marta
  • Wiwa Camp
  • Teyuna Paraiso Camp
  • Ricardito Camp
  • Taganga
  • Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
  • Medellín
  • Salento
  • Tatacoa Desert
  • San Agustín
  • Popayán
  • Pasto
  • Otavalo
  • Quito

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 for 5-7 hrs each day 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: Gotsezhi Village/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

Opt to go paragliding over the city or catch a ride on the cable car.

12

Day 12: Medellín/Salento

Drive through beautiful landscapes to Salento.

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/Tatacoa Desert

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

15

Day 15: Tatacoa Desert/San Agustín

Head out into the impressive Tatacoa desert and hike to a swimming pool to cool off amidst the rocky canyons. After, drive to San Agustin.

16

Day 16: San Agustín

Visit the San Agustin Archaeological Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 500 sculptures scattered through the hillside.

17

Day 17: San Agustín/Popayán

In the morning travel to Popayán and explore this beautiful colonial town.

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/Otavalo

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 Otavalo for the night.

20

Day 20: Otavalo/Quito

Visit the famous Otavalo artisan market for a morning perusing colourful textiles, art, carvings and jewelry made by people from nearby communities. In the afternoon, drive back to Quito.

21

Day 21: Quito

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village
    • Lost City of Teyuna trek (5 days)
    • Guided tour of the Lost City
    • Tayrona NP Excursion (excluding February departures)
    • Beach time in Taganga
    • Overnight desert excursion (Tatacoa)
    • Visit to San Agustin ruins
    • Visit to Otavalo Market
    • Orientation walks in Medellín and Quito
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (15 nts, some multi-share), camping (4 nts in hammocks or rustic bunks), desert camping (1 nt)
    • 15 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
    Transport
    • Local bus, 4x4, hiking, plane, minibus
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, indigenous local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Trek to the Lost City of Teyuna
  • Party in Colombian cities
  • Camp under the stars in the desert
  • Marvel at ancient ruins
  • Haggle at Otavalo market.