Colombia, Andes & Galápagos

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Cartagena to La Paz
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

Got two months? Want to make the most of them? There can be no better way to do so than one of the most sprawling of all our South American trips. Imagine 60 solid days spent exploring Colombia’s Lost City, ambling around Machu Picchu after conquering the Inca Trail in Peru, enjoying a homestay deep in the Amazon jungle, and snorkeling with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands. With a week of camping in the Galápagos included, there’s no possible way you’ll go home feeling like you missed out on anything in South America.

What's included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotshezhy Village Your G for Good Moment: Floreana Community Restaurants, Floreana Island Your G for Good Moment: Handmade Biodegradable Soap Products Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends 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, Lake Titicaca
  • Lost City of Teyuna trek (5 days)
  • Tayrona National Park excursion (excluding February departures)
  • Overnight desert camping (Tatacoa)
  • Visit to Otavalo Market
  • Orientation walks in Medellin and Quito
  • San Clemente homestay
  • Interpretation Centre visit (San Cristóbal Island)
  • Sierra Negra Volcano hike (Isabela Island)
  • Isabela Island highlands camping
  • Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
  • Opportunities for snorkelling, swimming, and incredible wildlife encounters (Galápagos Islands)
  • 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)
  • Amazon Jungle and Colca Canyon excursions
  • Lake Titicaca excursion
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Trek to the lost city of teyuna
  • Visit the revitalized city of medellín
  • Explore bogota's street art with free time in the capital city
  • Camp out under the stars in the tatacoa desert
  • Snorkel with sea lions in the galápagos
  • Experience local life in a peruvian and ecuadorian homestay
  • Conquer the inca trail to machu picchu

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 Continue exploring the deep jungle today on winding path through banana trees, 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/San Cristóbal Island Wheels up! Fly to the Galápagos Islands. Visit the Interpretation Centre in the afternoon to learn about the natural history of the area. Explore the nature trails around the centre, or snorkel at nearby Las Tijeretas.

Day 22: San Cristóbal Island The day is yours to explore San Cristóbal Island. You can snorkel at Kicker Rock or Isla Lobos, visit the white-sand beach of Playa Mann, or La Lobería to mingle with the resident sea lions.

Day 23: San Cristóbal Island/Isabela Island Hop on a speedboat and head to Isabela Island. Soak up the views around you — you might even see dolphins or whales alonside the boat! Stop for lunch on Floreana Island where you can stretch your legs and enjoy a delicious meal at the G supported-community restaurant to support the locals before continuing on to Isabela.

Day 24: Isabela Island Get up close and personal with a volcano as you hike the Sierra Negra today. Explore the incredible landscape and admire spectacular views from above. The afternoon is yours to snorkel, visit the giant tortoise breeding centre, or check out the Flamingo Lagoon.

Day 25: Isabela Island/Santa Cruz Island Hop on a speedboat to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station for an opportunity to see the famous tortoises up close. Later, head out to explore Puerto Ayora. Enjoy a bite to eat, or venture to a bar or nightclub for a night out!

Day 26: Santa Cruz Island Wake up ready to explore Santa Cruz Island. You can hike out to the stunning Tortuga Bay, or take a dip in the turquoise waters of Las Grietas, a freshwater lagoon that separates two volcanic cliffs.

Day 27: Santa Cruz Island/Quito Say "Adios!" to the Galapagos Islands and board a morning flight back to Quito. Transfer to the hotel to kick back and relax before enjoying a night out in the city.

Day 28: 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.

Day 29: 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.

Day 30: Tena Head out on nature walks and learn about uses of traditional plants, their cultural beliefs, and local traditions in the Amazon jungle.

Day 31: Tena Head out on nature walks and learn about uses of traditional plants, their cultural beliefs, and local traditions in the Amazon jungle.

Day 32: 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.

Day 33: Baños Enjoy a free day in Baños, opt to check out the swing at the end of the world or soak in nearby hot springs.

Day 34: Baños/Cuenca Enjoy the scenery on the way to the charming town of Cuenca.

Day 35: 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 bus to Mancora.

Day 36: 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.

Day 37: Máncora Opt to relax on the beach, discover Mancora, go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson.

Day 38: Máncora/Huanchaco Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

Day 39: Huanchaco Enjoy more beach time or opt to visit pre-Inca sites or the city of Trujillo.

Day 40: Huanchaco/Lima Full day in Huanchaco before boarding a night bus to Lima.

Day 41: Lima Explore Peru's capital on an optional city tour or simply relax. Be sure to try the tasty ceviche and pisco sours.

Day 42: 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.

Day 43: Lima/Paracas Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.

Day 44: Paracas/Nazca Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.

Day 45: Nazca/Arequipa Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before an overnight bus to Arequipa.

Day 46: Arequipa Opt to explore the Arequipa on a city tour or soak in a local hot spring.

Day 47: Arequipa/Colca Canyon Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.

Day 48: Colca Canyon/Arequipa Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.

Day 49: Arequipa/Cusco Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.

Day 50: 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.

Day 51: Cusco Enjoy another free day in Cusco. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class.

Day 52: 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.

Day 53: Inca Trail Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.

Day 54: Inca Trail Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Day 55: Inca Trail Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Day 56: Machu Picchu/Cusco The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows. Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Day 57: Cusco Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

Day 58: Cusco/Puno Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

Day 59: Puno/Lake Titicaca Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.

Day 60: Lake Titicaca/Puno Visit the floating islands of Uros. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.

Day 61: Puno/La Paz Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?

Day 62: La Paz Depart at any time.