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Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

21 days with G Adventures   Rating: Budget

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  • Save 10% off this trip. Expires May 31. Click here for eligible departures.

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Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Cartagena
Arrive at any time.

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. (1B)

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. (1B)

Day 4 Santa Marta/ Wiwa Camp 
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. (1B, 1L, 1D)

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. (1B, 1L, 1D)

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. (1B, 1L, 1D)

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. (1B, 1L, 1D)

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. (1B, 1L)

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. (1B, 1L)

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. (1B)

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.

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 
Enjoy the ride to the Tatacoa Desert to spend the night under the stars. (1B)

Day 15 Tatacoa Desert/San Agustín 
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. (1B)

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. (1B)

Day 17 San Agustín/Popayán 
In the morning travel to Popayán and explore this beautiful colonial town. (1B)

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. (1B)

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. (1B)

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.

Day 21 Quito 
Depart at any time. (1B)
All This Included
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.
  • 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.
  • Simple hotels (15 nts, some multi-share), camping (4 nts in hammocks or rustic bunks), desert camping (1 nt).
  • 16 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
  • Transportation: Local bus, 4x4, hiking, plane, minibus.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • 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.
Simple hotels (15 nts, some multi-share)
Camping (4 nts in hammocks or rustic bunks)
Desert camping (1 nt)
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 14.
  • Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.