Highlights
  • Explore the old and new quarters of Quito
  • View dramatic volcanic landscapes in Purace National Park
  • Get a caffeine-fix at a plantation in Los Nevados National Park
  • Relax on the beach in tranquil Tolu
  • Tour the diverse landscapes of the San Bernardo Islands
  • Admire the colonial architecture in Cartagena

Be a part of Colombia's revival on this exciting overland trip. Start the adventure in Ecuador's capital, Quito, and travel through the Colombian countryside to Cartagena. Discover quaint cities, coffee plantations, sleepy seaside towns and grand volcanic landscapes. With lots of opportunity to interact with outgoing, friendly locals, this is a great chance to have a genuine travel experience to talk about for years to come. Taking in the best spots and attractions of this fascinating country, this trip provides a unique insight into a nation that is rapidly evolving. Visit Colombia and be touched by the authenticity of this flourishing country.

Travel Theme
Destinations
Activities
Rivers & Seas
  • Caribbean Sea

3,121
Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
98% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 2,324 Great 623 Average 99 Disappointing 34 Terrible 36
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7
Quito to Cartagena

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Intrepid Travel.

J

Recommends

The trip exceeded my expectations in every October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. Having never traveled to Ecuador before, I felt that I received a thorough introduction to the culture, geography, and people of this fascinating country, which I did not expect to receive in just a short amount of time. Our leader was extremely knowledgeable about every place we visited and patiently answered all of our questions. She was also very receptive to any special requests we had, whether it was to spend more time in a particular location or to make an unplanned stop along the way. She also did an excellent job encouraging group cohesion and maintaining an upbeat and energetic attitude throughout the trip.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

P

Recommends

I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences and have found the tour leaders to be very dedicated and helpful and knowledgeable.

Operator Intrepid Travel

J

Recommends

Very good experience. Well organized and great October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Very good experience. Well organized and great tour leaders.

Operator Intrepid Travel

M

Recommends

Personal knowledge and experience of our guide October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Personal knowledge and experience of our guide Juan Martín Aguirre who worked untiringly to give us the best tour possible. Good accomodation.

Operator Intrepid Travel

M

Recommends

-fantastic local tour guide_x000D_
-great itinerary _x000D_
-good mix October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
-fantastic local tour guide_x000D_
-great itinerary _x000D_
-good mix of nature activities, cultural activities and adventure

Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Quito

Border Information: if joining in Quito, you will most likely enter Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO). There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Quito before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Quito. In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'. Hotel for the night: Fuente de Piedra II Hotel Fuente de Piedra II Juan Leon Mera N23-21 y Baquedano Mariscal Sucre Quito Ecuador Tel - +593 2290 0323 OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Visit one of the countless art galleries in Quito, such as the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana or the Museo Guayasamín : USD 6 Take a trip on Quito's Telerifico to the top of the Cruz Loma mountain, getting breathtaking views over the city from a height of 4,270m : USD 8.5 Visit the excellent Museo de la Ciudad, housed in Quito's oldest building, which explores the history of everyday life from pre-Colombian times all the way up until the present day USD 3 Take a walk around Quito's incredible Botanical Gardens, which showcases all of Ecuador's various ecosystems and their flora : USD 3.5 Visit the Museo Mindalae, the extremely original project showcasing Ecuador's rich cultural diversity : USD 3 Freely explore the stunning historical Old Town of Quito, and wander its ancient streets marvelling at the outstanding architecture and wonderful atmosphere : Free Enjoy the fantastic view over Quito's Old Town from the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the nearby Cerro Panecillo : Free Get away from the busy city with a stroll around one of Quito's numerous parks, all of which are very beautiful and popular with the locals : Free Visit the Museo Nacional del Banco Central, showcasing the country’s largest collection of Ecuadorian art and housing an impressive gold collection : USD 2  About Quito: Quito is the capital of Ecuador, nestled in a hollow in the mountains in between the volcanos Cayambe, Pichincha and Cotopaxi -at 2,850m above sea level, it is the world's highest official capital city. Founded in 1534 by a group of settlers led by Sebastian de Benalcázar, the town slowly grew throughout the Spanish colonial era and after the region's independence from Spain in 1822. The colonial old town is a maze of steep, cobbled streets with intricately carved, overhanging balconies, and some of the best examples of Spanish colonial art and churches anywhere in the Americas - along with Kraków, Quito was the first ever World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. The modern area of the town is lively and has some fantastic restaurants and bars. Quito'smix of European and Indian cultures make this a really fascinating city, and you will come across stalls displaying Indian textiles, colourful wall hangings, jewellery, pottery and woodcarvings. Quito has some incredible museums, galleries and parks in the city, and some excellent adventure activities and mountain treks nearby for those with extra time in the area. 

Day 2 Otavalo

Today our journey begins with a short drive to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator. After this we will continue north to the charming town of Otavlo. In Otavalo we will camp in the grounds of lovely Guesthouse.. Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). Daily Activities Included Activities Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo - Included in Kitty Optional Activities. These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally. Take a short walk to the beautiful Peguche Waterfalls near Otavalo (if time allows) - Free Village Tour Of Otavalo - Free

Day 3 Ipiales / Quito

Today we will leave Ecuador behind and travel into Colombia. We will have an included visit to the Santuario de las Lajas en route to our hotel in Ipiales. Border information: Exit Ecuador at Ipiales, enter Colombia at Ipiales. Estimated drive time: 4 hours. Daily Activities Included Activities Visit the jaw dropping Santuario La Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales - Included in Kitty

Day 4-5 Popayan / Ipiales

Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popayán. Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. On the following day we will have a free day to explore Popayán or take part in some excellent treks or other optional activities in the surrounding area. In Popayán we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel. Daily Activities Optional Activities. These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally. Relax in the volcanic thermal springs near the village of Coconuco, dramatically set in a steep-sided valley - COP 60000 Trek to the 4,650m summit of the towering Puracé volcano near Popayán - COP 130000

Day 6-7 Salento

Today we will continue our journey north to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours. On the following day we will have a guided trek through the Cocora Valley to see the Quindio wax palm trees, the largest palms in the world and the national tree of Colombia. In Salento we will camp in a well-equipped campsite, 15 minutes drive out of town. Daily Activities Included Activities Head out on a half-day guided trek through the spectacular Cocora Valley, and see the incredible 50m-tall Quindio wax palms, the tallest plam trees in the world! - Included in Kitty

Day 8-9 San Gil

Today we have a short drive to our Hacienda in the heart of the coffee region. Depending on the weather it may be possible to take a trip into the Los Nevados National Park Estimated drive time: 1.5hrs On the following day we will have a tour of the coffee plantation and learn about the cultivation of coffee. We will stay in twin rooms in a comfortable hacienda. Daily Activities Included Activities Stay On A Coffee Plantation Near Manizales - Included in Kitty

Day 10-12 Medellin

Today we will drive to the vibrant city of Medellín, where we will spend 3 nights. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. On our first full day in Medellín we will have a guided walking tour of the city, and our second day will be free time to independently explore the town, its parks, churches, and museums. In Medellín we will stay in dormitory accommodation in a centrally-located hostel, allowing you to enjoy the exciting nightlife of the city. Daily Activities Optional Activities. These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally. Take the pioneering Metroline cable car up to Santo Domingo, to see a very different area of the city and the revitalising effect the Metroline has had on the communities there - COP 1750 Visit the colossal Catedral Metropolitana in the city centre, built using over a million bricks between 1875 and 1931 -Free Head out and discover some of Medellín's vibrant and unusual nightlife at the Dulce Jesus Mio club - COP 10000 Discover the story of Colombia's most infamous drug kingpin and the wealthiest criminal in history, Pablo Escobar, on a tour of his old haunts - COP 60000

Day 13-14 Lorica

Today we have a drive north to the beautiful, colonial town of Santa Cruz de Lorica. Estimated Drive Time - 10hours. The following day we have a free day to explore the historic centre, learn about the traditional hates that are made in the region or head to the coast for a final beach sunset at San Bernardo del Viento. In Santa Cruz de Lorica we stay in a lovely local hotel.

Day 15-16 Tayrona National Park

Today we drive north to Tayrona, one of the most popular National Parks in Colombia. Leaving our main luggage stored on the truck, we take a day-pack/ night-bag and go on a moderate walk in to the park to where we will stay. Mules to carry your luggage can be hired at an extra cost. Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. The following day is a free day to explore this stunning coastal park. We have the opportunity to trek to El Pueblito, a pre-Hispanic settlement of the Tayrona people, do some snorkeling, or just relax on the beautiful beaches. In Tayrona National Park we will stay in rented hammocks. The hammocks are equipped with mosquito nets but please note that the nets are not treated with Permethrin or similar pesticides. There is also an option to bring tents if you prefer to stay in a tent rather than a hammock, but please note that mules will have to ber hired to carry your tent, at an extra cost. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Relax and unwind on the stunning unspoilt beaches of Colombia's Tayrona National Park : Free Discover some of Tayrona's abundant species of fish and aquatic plants by snorkeling in the calmer areas of the ocean along the coast : Free Freely explore some of Tayrona National Park's scenic walking trails, including a hike to the mysterious ancient ruins of Pueblito hidden in the jungles high above the coastline : Free  About Tayrona National Park: Tayrona National Park is a wonderful protected area on the northern coast of Colombia, which contains a huge diversity of animal and plant species including 2000 species of animals and 800 types of plants. This is in part due to the variation in geology of the area - at sea level the climate is arid and the rugged coastline has some excellent beaches and coves, but the terrain quickly rises as you travel inland, where we find a subtropical climate and cloud forests on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The National Park can be thoroughly explored on foot as there are many winding trails through the incredible scenery. Further biodiversity is present offshore in the warm water of the coral reefs, which offer an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and swimming. 

Day 17 Cartagena

We will have some more free time in Tayrona National Park in the morning, before we walk back to the park entrance and complete our epic journey with a drive to the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena. In Cartagena we will stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.  INCLUDED ACTIVITIES  Freely explore the fascinating colonial city of Cartagena or learn all about its incredible history on a guided walking tour : Included in Kitty About Cartagena: Cartagena is one of the most historic cities in South America - legendary for both for its history and beauty, Cartagena is often one of the favourite destinations of most travellers who visit it. The area has been inhabited by various native civilisations for thousands of years before the city was founded in 1533 CE by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Heredia - the settlement was named after the city of Cartagena in Spain, where most of Heredia's sailors were from. Having suffered a tumultuous past full of battles, raids, invasions, destructions and reconstructions, the city became heavily fortified and huge defensive walls surround its narrow cobbled streets and colonial buildings. The city is made up of various districts - the new town with its high rise hotels, apartments and nightspots, and the older colonial parts of the city. The old city is the main attraction for visitors, particularly the inner walled town which is packed with churches, monasteries, plazas and mansions. 

Day 18 Cartagena

Today we will have an included walking tour of the city, and then the afternoon will be free to explore the city further, enjoy the many optional activities on offer, or simply relax on the beach. 

Day 19 Cartagena

Border information: if you are finishing in Cartagena, you will most likely exit Colombia at Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Cartagena. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below. If you are continuing on to Panama then your leader will assist you with airport transfers for your included flight. You will stay tonight in a comfortable hotel in either Panama City or Cartagena (depending on the flight times and availability).  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  Discover the brutal history of the Spanish Inquisition at their former headquarters in Cartagena, the Palace of the Inquistion : COP 15000 Learn all about Cartagena's naval tradition and history at the Naval Museum of the Caribbean : COP 15000 Visit the mud volcano of Totumo, and take a rejuvenating mud bath in its crater : USD 25 Visit the historic coastal Spanish fortress of Castillo San Felipe : COP 17000 

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 1,820

Price Per Day:

$ 96 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Mar-21-2019Apr-08-2019$ 1,860Yes18 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2019Apr-23-2019$ 1,820Yes18 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 22
Accomodations
Camping ( 9 nights ),hotel / hostel /lodge / cabin ( 9 nights )
Start City
Quito
End City
Cartagena
Guides OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area. On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people. Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel Villa Colonial
  • Calle de Maravillas (C10) No 30-60
  • Getsemani
  • Cartagena
  • COLOMBIA

Trip ID#: intrepid-GDOQ

×
Great Choice!

Now, Unlock Member Savings

Our Stride Select trips allow you and your travel companions to save up to $700. You wouldn’t want to miss that, right?

or
or
Provide email and password

With your FREE membership you get to:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Already a member?

We respect your privacy and take great care to protect your information. By joining you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times
×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!