Cartagena to Quito

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Was £1,899


Duration: 19 or 21 days

Trip code: SMQS

Journey through the awe-inspiring landscapes of Colombia and Ecuador on this epic adventure! Discover sizzling city streets, perfect coastlines and long-lost civilisations as you travel with a group of fellow adventurers and a dedicated tour guide. You’ll spend 5 days trekking through dense Colombian jungles in search of the Lost City of Teyuna, you’ll relax on perfect beaches in Taganga and Tayrona, and you’ll wander the snowy slopes of the world’s largest active volcano; Cotopaxi! This is an epic adventure through some of the most untouched regions of South America. 

Please note: If you are travelling after 1st April 2018 you will follow a slightly different 21-day itinerary. Please see the Further Trip Information for more details.

Trip highlights

  • Discover Colombia and Ecuador with a group of like-minded adventurers!
  • Spend 5 unforgettable days trekking to the Lost City of Teyuna
  • Explore the beautiful landscapes of Tayrona National Park
  • Live alongside an indigenous community at a fantastic homestay in Ecuador
  • Gaze up at the world’s tallest active volcano in Cotopaxi National Park!
Further trip information

Please note: The following is the 2017/2018 itinerary. If you are travelling after 1st April 2018 you will follow a slightly different itinerary. Please see the end of this itinerary for more information.

Day 1: Welcome to Colombia! Arrive into Cartagena and make your way to your accommodation. Meet the rest of your group at an evening welcome meeting where you’ll learn a little more about the adventures to come!

Day 2: Explore Cartagena. Today is a free day to explore colourful Cartagena. Why not visit the impressive Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, climb to the summit of Convento De La Popa, or wander the multicoloured neighborhood of Getsemani.You could even try a mud bath at VolcanTumuto!

Day 3: Santa Marta. Hop on a bus to the laid-back coastal town of Santa Marta. Here you can chill out on the beach and take a dip in the heavenly waters or have a look around the Gold Museum.

Day 4: The trek begins! Wake up and transfer to Machete Pelao, where you will take your first steps towards the Lost City of Teyuna. Trek along the Buritaca River and pass through steamy forests and small community farms.

Day 5: Deeper into the jungle. Wake up early and continue following the Buritaca River. Pass through coffee fields and cattle stations and then climb up from the riverbed towards the hot jungle trails. Kick back and relax in camp after an epic second day.

Day 6: The climb. Navigate steep inclines and narrow ledges on the way to Ciudad Perdida and feast your eyes on the jaw-dropping natural landscapes that emerge as you begin to reach the summit. The Lost City awaits!

Day 7: The Lost City. Conquer the 1200 steps built by ancient Tayrona people and reach the summit of the Lost City. The gorgeous views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains are well worth the effort. Begin the return journey.

Day 8: Back to civilisation. Savour your last few moments in the jungle before hopping on the back of a 4x4 that will whisk you across to Taganga, a small fishing village that is ideal for relaxation and recovery!

Day 9: Tayrona National Park. This morning you’ll travel to the perfect paradise of Tayrona National Park. Spend the day here lazing around on the shores or paddling in the turquoise sea.

Please note: Tayrona National Park is closed in February. Travellers will visit the waterfalls and coffee farms of Minca instead during this period.

Day 10: Return to Taganga. Enjoy a final morning in the gorgeous surroundings of Tayron NP. Then return to Taganga for a final day on the shores of the Caribbean.

Day 11: Fly to Medellin. Hop on a short domestic flight across to the big city of Medellin. Wander among the varied neighbourhoods and explore the museums, churches and markets. In the evening, there’s a chance to enjoy the city’s sizzling nightlife with your group.

Day 12: Free time in Medellin. Do anything you missed yesterday and if you fancy a different angle on things you could go paragliding over the city! As the day comes to a close, climb aboard an overnight bus that will take you to Bogota.

Day 13: Bustling Bogota. Set in the shadow of dramatic Andean peaks, Colombia’s capital is a vibrant mixture of cool café culture, historic streets and delicious market cuisine. Take a short orientation walk with your guide and then delve into the cobbled plazas yourself.

Day 14: Bonus Bogota. Spend more time exploring and relaxing in Colombia’s greatest city. Opt to check out the Gold Museum and see over 30,000 gold treasures from pre-Hispanic societies.

Day 15: Indigenous homestay in Otavalo. Leave Colombia behind as you jet across to Quito, Ecuador, before transferring to an indigenous community in Otavalo. Get to know the locals and learn how they live their daily lives in this incredible authentic experience.

Day 16: Otavalo market. Throw yourself into the explosive colours of Otavalo Market and peruse bright fabrics, handmade jewelry, textured tapestries and unique handicrafts. Dust off your haggling skills if you spot something you fancy taking home! Then catch a bus to Cotopaxi National Park.

Day 17: Stunning Cotopaxi. Spend some time wandering along the staggeringly beautiful trails and watching the volcano’s shimmering reflection in the surrounding lakes. Opt to cycle down the slopes of the volcano.

Day 18: Quito. Get a flavour of city living in the capital with a walking tour of Quito, taking in the Old Town and San Francisco square. As night falls, dress up, pull on your dancing shoes, and celebrate this fantastic experience with your group.

Day 19: End of the tour. Your tour comes to an end today in Quito. Exchange contact details with your group and say goodbye to this incredible experience. 


If you are travelling after 1st April 2018, you will follow a slightly different itinerary. Your tour will last 21 days, and you will visit some exciting new destinations in Colombia!

The 2018 itinerary will run as follows:

Day 1: Cartagena. Arrive at any time. Make your way to your accommodation.

Day 2: Cartagena. Free day to explore.

Day 3: Cartagena/Santa Marta. Free time in this coastal town.

Day 4-8: Lost City Hike. 5-day round hike to beautiful Ciudad Perdida. On day 8 you will enjoy lunch at a local community project.

Day 9: Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona. Explore the lush natural surroundings of this National Park.

Day 10: Taganga/Medellín. Fly to Medellín and enjoy an orientation walk in this legendary city.

Day 11: Medellín. Free day to explore the city.

Day 12: Medellín/Salento. A full driving day through shifting Columbian landscapes.

Day 13: Salento. Free time in this famous coffee region.

Day 14: Salento/Tatacoa Desert. Venture into the Tatacoa Desert and drink in the stars with a visit to an observatory.

Day 15: Tatacoa Desert/San Agustín. Drive through the desert, cool off in a swimming pool surrounded by canyons and arrive in San Agustin this afternoon.

Day 16: San Agustín. Visit San Agustin Archaeological Park and check out the weird and wonderful sculptures here.

Day 17: San Agustín/ Popayán. Head across to colonial Popayán and explore.

Day 18: Popayán/Pasto. Explore impressive Pasto and sample the local ice cream.

Day 19: Pasto/Otavalo. Cross the border into Ecuador and spend the night in colourful Otavalo.

Day 20: Otavalo/Quito. Visit the famous Otavalo market and hunt down some souvenirs.

Day 21: Quito. Tour ends. Depart at any time.

Please speak to a travel advisor for more information.

Dates & booking