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Andes, Coffee & Caribbean

The Andes are the spine of South America, and run the length of the country from Colombia in the north through to Tierra Del Fuego in the South. This trip is designed to show the best of the northern Andes, through Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. We criss cross from the stunning beaches of the Caribbean to the depths of the Amazon Jungle and then into the dry deserts and ancient civilisations of Northern Peru.

It is a region that has been heavily influenced by pre-Colombian indigenous civilisations; not just the Incas. These earlier cultures were equally important as the Incas, whose influence was comparatively short lived.

The great cities of the region have a wealth of history and culture, and this trip takes you to some of the finest, including, Cartagena, Quito and Lima. Add to this a wealth of hidden gems in Colombia and Ecuador and some amazing trekking, hiking and horse riding and you have a journey that is well worth travelling for 38 days.

  • Duration: 38 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure:
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: JTL2/158107
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Lima, Peru
  • Finishes: Cartagena, Colombia
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • Huaraz
  • Huanchaco
  • Lambayeque
  • Punta Sal
  • Cuenca
  • Chugchilán
  • Lake Quilotoa
  • Rio Verde
  • Baños
  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Quito
  • Otavalo
  • Ipiales
  • Popayán
  • Salento
  • Manizales
  • Medellín
  • Lorica
  • Tayrona National Park
  • Cartagena

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Ch vez International Airport (IATA code: LIM).

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 Lima 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 Lima.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

02

Day 2: Huaraz

Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Paramonga Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.

In Huaraz we will stay in a local hostel in either dorm accommodation or private rooms depending on availability.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 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!).

03

Day 3-4: Huaraz

We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chav n de Hu ntar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers.

04

Day 5: Huanchaco

Today we will have a full day's drive down the stunning 'Casma Route' to the Pacific coast and on to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo.

In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

05

Day 6: Huanchaco

Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).

06

Day 7: Lambayeque

Today we will have a full day's drive along the coast of northern Peru.

We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

07

Day 8: Punta Sal

Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal.

08

Day 9: Cuenca

Border information: Exit Peru at Tumbes, enter Ecuador at Huaquillas.

Today we will have a long drive day north, crossing the border into southern Ecuador and arriving at the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca.

In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

09

Day 10: Cuenca

Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process.

10

Day 11: Chugchilán

Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchil n, via the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route and the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.

In Chugchil n we will stay in a fantastic local hostel where breakfast and dinner are included, giving you a chance to enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

11

Day 12: Chugchilán

Today we will transfer to the village of Quilotoa to see its stunning crater lake, and take an included day trek back to Chugchil n through the local villages, canyons, and beautiful scenery. This walk is widely considered one of the best day treks in Ecuador!

The mostly-downhill usually takes between 4-6 hours, but please be aware that there is a section towards the end of the trek with a steep incline which you will need to be quite physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer.

12

Day 13: Rio Verde

Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and head north to the village of Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.

In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

13

Day 14-15: Baños

We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportuinty to visit the nearby town of Ba os and its popular volcanic thermal springs.

14

Day 16: Ecuadorian Amazon

Today our journey begins with a drive to a village on the edge of the Amazon basin, near the town of Tena, where we head to our lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.

Our lodge is a great example of eco-tourism, built and run by the local community and volunteers, who work to re-forest the reserve land at the lodge with native trees and medicinal plants. The lodge is set in secondary and primary rainsforest, an area at risk of deforestation.

We will stay in a comfortable ecolodge with meals included.

In the Ecuadorian Amazon we will stay in a comfortable rainforest lodge with meals included.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

15

Day 17-18: Ecuadorian Amazon

Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community.

16

Day 19: Quito

Today we will drive back up into the highlands and arrive at the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

17

Day 20: 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.

A note on altitude: If you are joining in Quito, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

18

Day 21: Quito

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!).

19

Day 22: Ipiales

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.

20

Day 23-24: Popayán

Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popay n.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore Popay n or take part in some excellent treks or other optional activities in the surrounding area.

In Popay n we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel.

21

Day 25-27: 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 stay at a local guesthouse in dorm rooms set within a coffee estancia.

22

Day 28: Manizales

Today we have a short drive to our Hacienda in the heart of the coffee region.

Estimated drive time: 1.5hrs

On arrival we will have some free time to enjoy the Hacienda or visit the thermal springs nearby.

We will stay in twin rooms in a comfortable hacienda.

23

Day 29-31: Medellín

Today we will drive to the vibrant city of Medell n, where we will spend 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On our first full day in Medell n 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 Medell n we will stay in dormitory accommodation in a centrally-located hostel, allowing you to enjoy the exciting nightlife of the city.

24

Day 32-33: 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.

25

Day 34-35: 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 - 7 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 snorkelling, 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.

26

Day 36: 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.

27

Day 37: 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.

28

Day 38: Cartagena

Border information: if you are finishing in Cartagena, you will most likely exit Colombia at Cartagena Rafael N ez 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 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).

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Guided tour of Moche Pyramids and the Chimu city of Chan Chan
    • Trek from Quilotoa to Chugchilan
    • Spend 3 nights at our fantastic Ecuadorian ecolodge, taking in many activities such as boat trips on the Napo River, visits to local communities and treks through the jungle to some spectacular waterfalls and bat caves!
    • Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo
    • Visit the jaw dropping Santuario Las Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales
    • 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!
    • Learn all about the cultivation and production of Colombian Coffee on a guided tour
    • 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
    • Explore Cartagena on a guided walking tour
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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