Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Cartagena to Quito
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

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 and camping under the stars in the Tatacoa Desert. You’re sure to find something you love in these countries.

What's included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotshezhy Village Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends Your Local Living Moment: Indigenous Community Homestay, San Clemente
  • 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 Otavalo Market
  • San Clemente homestay
  • 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. Tonight, check out the local flavor of bustling Plaza Trinidad and head to a local bar to get to know your fellow travellers. Get to know the group over a few drinks and get excited for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2: Cartagena The day is yours to explore this coastal colonial city. Wander through the streets of historic old town, check out the San Felipe fortress, or get dirty with a mud bath and massage at Totuma Volcano.

Day 3: Cartagena/Santa Marta Travel like a local by hopping on a public bus to the port town of Santa Marta. Take advantage of your free time with a visit to the Gold Museum, go shopping for any last minute necessities (You probably forgot something, right?) or chill out on the beach.

Day 4: Santa Marta/Ricardito Camp Wake up and hit the road to Machete Pelao where your trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek through farmland, steamy jungle, and rural Kogi communities. Enjoy and let it all soak in – this is your opportunity to get a glimpse into the local way of life in the remote river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Day 5: Ricardito Camp/ Wiwa Camp Venture further into the lush jungle en route to Ciudad Perdida. Be prepared – today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep views. Arrive at the campsite in the afternoon for some much needed relaxation by the river.

Day 6: Wiwa Camp /Paso Lorenzo Camp Wake up early feeling refreshed, recharged (hopefully!) and start your trek to Paso Lorenzo Camp. Settle in at the campsite around noon and eat some lunch. If the weather is nice, take a dip in the Buritaca River. Learn about Wiwa customs in the afternoon and then kick back and relax in a hammock.

Day 7: Paso Lorenzo Camp/ Wiwa Camp Today is the day to discover the wonders of La Ciudad Perdida. Climb the 1200 ancient steps and explore the different sacred sites of Lost City. Later, continue trekking through the deep jungle today on winding paths through banana trees and cacao plants as you make your way to Wiwa Camp.

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.

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.

Day 10: Taganga/Medellín Wheels up! Fly inland today to Medellín. A once infamous city, vibrant Medellín has transformed into one of Latin America's safest destinations. Get to know your surroundings with an orientation walk and an optional night out with the group.

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.

Day 12: Medellín/Salento Drive through beautiful landscapes to Salento.

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/Bogotá Enjoy the ride to Colombia's capital, Bogotá.

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.

Day 16: Bogotá/Tatacoa Desert Enjoy the ride to the Tatacoa Desert to spend the night under the stars.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Day 21: Quito Depart at any time.