Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Cartagena to Quito

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Colombia is an underrated country for travellers, but with our safe, social, and budget-friendly group trips, we want to change that. After all, there’s 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, you’ll 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. You’re sure to find something you love in these countries.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village Your Discover Moment: Cartagena
  • 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

Highlights

  • Trek to the lost city of teyuna
  • Party in colombian cities
  • Discover the rich natural diversity of tayrona national park
  • Camp under the stars in the desert
  • See how medellín has revitalized into a safe and flourishing city
  • Explore the street art-filled bogotá with free time in the capital
  • Haggle at otavalo market
  • Spend the night in the ecuadorian indigenous community of san clemente with a homestay

Itinerary

Day 1 Cartagena Arrive at any time. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Cartagena (1B) 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.
Day 3 Cartagena/Santa Marta (1B) 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. Additional Notes: Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area. Transport: Local bus (5.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Santa Marta/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D) 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek - Day 1 Transport: 4x4
Day 5 Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp (1B, 1L, 1D) 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek - Day 2
Day 6 Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D) 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek - Day 3
Day 7 Wiwa Camp /Ricardito Camp (1B, 1L, 1D) 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek - Day 4
Day 8 Gotsezhi Village/Taganga (1B, 1L) 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek - Day 5 Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch Transport: 4x4 (2.00-2.50 hours)
Day 9 Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (1B, 1L) 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. Additional Notes: Please note that Tayrona National Park is usually closed during the month of February. The indigenous groups in the area believe that mother nature needs a month of rest, and maintenance to the park is done during this time. If your trip falls in February, you will visit the laid-back town of Minca. Enjoy a visit to a coffee plantation, a hike to a waterfall and learn about local cacao production. Included Activities: Tayrona National Park Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 10 Taganga/Medellín (1B) 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. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 11 Medellín Opt to go paragliding over the city or catch a ride on the cable car.
Day 12 Medellín/Salento Drive through beautiful landscapes to Salento. Transport: Local bus (8.00-9.00 hours)
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.
Day 14 Salento/Tatacoa Desert (1B) Enjoy the ride to the Tatacoa Desert to spend the night under the stars. Included Activities: Observatory Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))
Day 15 Tatacoa Desert/San Agustín (1B) 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 San Agustin. Transport: Local bus (9.00 hour(s))
Day 16 San Agustín (1B) Visit the San Agustin Archaeological Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 500 sculptures scattered through the hillside.
Day 17 San Agustín/Popayán (1B) In the morning travel to Popayán and explore this beautiful colonial town. Transport: Local bus (4.50-5.00 hours)
Day 18 Popayán/Pasto (1B) Head further south to Pasto, wander around and keep an eye out for local ice cream makers out in the streets. Transport: Local bus (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 19 Pasto/Otavalo (1B) 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. Included Activities: Lajas Sanctuary Border Crossing (Colombia - Ecuador) Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
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. Included Activities: Otavalo Market Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Day 21 Quito (1B) Depart at any time. Additional Notes: Consider booking additional nights in Quito for further exploration of Ecuador's capital city. Included Activities: Departure Day
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