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Home > Must-see Colombia and Ecuador

Must-see Colombia and Ecuador

A combined tour to discover Ecuador and Colombia : Arrival at Bogota, visit of the coffee region and the beautiful Cartagena in the Caribbean... before flying to Ecuador to discover of the Andes (Otavalo, Cotopaxi) and then, the majestic and unique Galapagos Islands.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Bogota
  • Day 2: Bogota
  • Day 3: Bogota - Pereira
  • Day 4: Salento - Cocora Valley - Salento - Pereira - Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 5: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 6: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 7: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota - Quito - Quito Airport - Quito
  • Day 8: Quito - Quitsato - Quito - Condor Park - Otavalo
  • Day 9: Otavalo - Cuicocha Lake - Peguche - Otavalo - Cotopaxi Park - Lasso
  • Day 10: Cotopaxi Park - Quito - Pifo
  • Day 11: Quito Airport - Baltra - Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora
  • Day 12: Santa Cruz - Isabela
  • Day 13: Isabela
  • Day 14: Isabela
  • Day 15: Isabela - Baltra - Guayaquil Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Bogota

Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.

Transfer to your hotel in the Candelaria district.

Free time to enjoy at your own Colombia´s capital city where modern districts and historic center, urban architecture and green parks stand alongside.



Overnight at Casa Deco hotel in Standard room.


Included : transfer arrival, room & breakfast

Day 2: Bogota

Full day to explore Colombia´s capital city of Bogota, known for its colonial and authentic atmosphere. Walking through its cobblestoned streets, you will discover colorful restored colonial mansions, splendid carved wooden balconies as well as churches built in baroque style.


- Cerro de Monserrate is the 3152m peak flanking the city´s east. Over there, you will envoy a stunning view over the city and abouts. On its top, there is a white church (accessible by cable car or by funicular railway) is a major mecca for pilgrims, particularly crowded on religious days.


- La Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, is a real messy Colombian market where you will be able to get exostic tastes and buy everything you need to cook a real "Bogotano" receipe.


- The Gold museum displays one of the most dazzling collection in South America. It brings together around 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work, considered as the world´s largest pre-Colombian collection of its kind. Those artifacts come from different civilizations : Quimbayas, Taironas, Muiscas or Tolimas.


- Botero Museum is dedicated to the most famous colombian artist, Fernando Botero. The Museum contains both his works (around a hundred of drawings, paintings and sculptures) as well as his private collection with no less than 85 masterpieces of well known artists, such as Dali, Renoir, Chagall, Picasso, Miro ...


- Bolivar Square (la Plaza Bolivar) surrounded by Bogota´s grandest buildings, including the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice, Primatial Cathedral, Congress Building...



Note 1: walking tour in the Candelaria colonial center (3 to 4 hours walking in the city). A vehicle is included for the visit of Montserrate.

Note 2: the order of visits may be modified depending on the weekday. (The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays. Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays).


Included : entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide
Included opts : English-speaking guide for Bogota City Tour , Half-day transportation for Bogota City Tour

Day 3: Bogota - Pereira

Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight.

Domestic flight to Pereira.
Welcome to the « Coffee Triangle », including the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, which together make up the heart of the Zona Cafetera, also called the Eje Cafetero. This area is famous for growing and producing the majority of the Colombian coffee, considered by some as the best coffee in the world.
Transfer to your Hacienda, a large traditional landed estate.

Perched onto the hills of Pereira City, the owner of this small finca will welcome you for a very special coffee tasting. You will be able to follow the roasting process. This is what influences the taste of the beverage and gives the beans the characteristic brown color. What´s best than ending this tour by drinking a cup of freshly roasted coffee?



Overnight at Hacienda San Jose hotel in Standard room.


Included : transfer departure, domestic flight, transfer arrival, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 4: Salento - Cocora Valley - Salento - Pereira - Cartagena de Indias

Delve deep into this Colombia´s beautiful area.
This day will be dedicated to the discovery of the scenic landscapes and small villages:
- Jeep Willys ride in the countryside
- Hiking tour past the soaring wax-palm trees in lush Cocora Valley
- Lunch break
- Visit of Salento: panoramic tour, discovery of the local architecture, the houses made of bamboo and the colourful handicraft shops.
Transfer to Pereira airport for your domestic flight.
Domestic flight to Cartagena.
Arrival at Cartagena de Indias, the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's old town is a Unesco World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas.
Transfer to your hotel in the historic center. Free time to enjoy the end of the day.
Included : lunch (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , transfer departure, domestic flight, transfer arrival
Included opts : Private guide

Day 5: Cartagena de Indias

In the morning, you will go for a guided walking tour through the Walled City, including the visit of the most beautiful areas such as San Diego, Plaza Santo Domingo, Getsemani and other landmarks with very rich history.
Free afternoon to enjoy the city according to your desires.
Included : entrance fees, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide

Day 6: Cartagena de Indias

Half Day tour to visit the main historic and cultural sites of Cartagena:

- The Convento de la Popa
- The fortifications San Felipe Barajas
- The historic center : the Palace of the Inquisition, Santa Catalina Alejandria Cathedral, Basilica Menor

Free time to immerse yourself in the tropical atmosphere of the old town.

Note : the order of visits may be modified.
Free afternoon to enjoy the city according to your desires.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide

Day 7: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota - Quito

Transfer to Cartagena airport for your domestic flight.
Domestic flight to Bogota.
International flight to Quito, Ecuador.
Included : transfer departure, domestic flight, international flight

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 7: Quito Airport - Quito

Reception at the airport and transport with an english-speaking driver-guide to your hotel. Free time for the rest of the day.


You will spend the night at Vieja Cuba hotel in Quito.


Included : reception with english-speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 8: Quito - Quitsato - Quito - Condor Park - Otavalo

Quito, Ecuador's capital, is a real treasure between the volcanoes of Pichincha, Cayambe and Antisana. At an elevation of 2830 meters, it is the second highest capital in the world.. It was the first city classified by the UNESCO in 1978 and its historic centre is the biggest and best maintained in Latino America. To get a good idea of the city, we will firstly go to the Panecillo, a small hill over the city with a statue of the Quito'Virgen at the top, for a superb view. You will then have a complete visit of Quito's colonial centre: the cathedral, the church of the Compañia de Jesus, the church of San Francisco and its garden and as many baroque art pieces.
You will continue with the visit of the "Alabado" museum showing the country's prehispanic history through numerous archeological pieces (more than 5000 pieces for 6000 years of history). It also offers a structured visit allowing to undestand the cosmological vision of the andean cultures.


You will stop at the latitude 0º, where a circular platform of 54 meters of diameter materializes a huge sundial and the equator line. The phenomena observed in the place will be explained to you, as well as how the local peoples used to integrate them in their dayly activities. An opporetunity to reconnect with what is an agriculture agenda, and what it means, between the sky and nature.

You will get out of Quito direction to Otavalo, passing through one of the regions where they grow the famous ecuadorian roses and you will appreciate a beautiful landscape made of numerous summits of the northern Andes.
Visit of the Condors Park in the upper Otavalo and watch a rapace's flight show. You can get close to the condors, the Andes's emblematic bird.
Flight exhibition: 11.30am and 3.30pm ( the schedule may change regarding the weather)

You will spend the night at Acoma hotel in Otavalo.
Included : entrance fees, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide
Included opts : Driving guide speaking your language.

Day 9: Otavalo - Cuicocha Lake - Peguche - Otavalo - Cotopaxi Park - Lasso

Visit in the morning the famous Otavalo's Indian market, the most important in the Ecuador's Andes, where you can meet the Otavaleños Indians with their espadrilles, their brown felt hat and blue ponchos. They are the wealthiest indians in Ecuador and excellent sellers.
The main market is on Saturdays with the cattle market just outside town, but others markets are hold on the Los Ponchos square every days.
Visit of the Cuicocha lake in the ecologic reserve of "Cotacahi - Cayapas" , one of the most beautiful in Ecuador with a shiny blue water.
At the centre of a former crater at 3064 meters, the nature lovers will enjoy a very various vegetation (orchids, "elephants ears"...) with more than 400 species identified there.
Half an hour boat tour on the lake. You will see two vegetation covered island at the centre of this former crater, which had been formed by successive volcanic eruptions. You will learn more about the legends around them.
You will visit the village of Peguche, where you will discover the Andean music instrument fabrication workshops. You may attend to a local music session and the weaving process, an old art well established in the area.
You will then get back on the road to pass Quito and reach Cotopaxi National Park.

Night at La Cienega hotel.
Included : boat ticket, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide
Included opts : Driving guide speaking your language.

Day 10: Cotopaxi Park - Quito - Pifo

Visit of the Cotopaxi park with Ecuador's second highest summit at 5897 meters. It is also the highest active volcano in the world although it only shows a few fumaroles from its ice covered crater. Walk around the Limpiapungo laggon with stunning view on the Cotopaxi. After driving up to the carpark at 4600 meters you may continue (optionnal, you can stay at the parking level if you consider not being in the proper cphysical conditions to climb) by foot to the José Rivas hut 200 meters higher. The most motivated can also go and reach the snowline.
You will then get back on the road to Quito.

You will spend the night at La Jimenita hotel-hacienda in Pifo, close to the airport.
Included : entrance fees, local spanish-speaking guide, room & breakfast, private transport, guide expenses, english-speaking driver guide
Included opts : Driving guide speaking your language.

Day 11: Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora

Transfer from hotel to airport.

At the airport, after the payment of the migratory card ($20 per person) and the luggage control (20 kg maximum per person and 10kg for the hand luggage per person), you can check in and embark for a 3 hours flight.


Arrival at Baltra airport, located on a small island near Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island of the archipel by its surface and the most populated. You will pay the entrance fee to the Galápagos National Park ($100 per person) before picking up your luggage.


At the airport, after the payment of the migratory card ($20 per person) and the luggage control (20 kg maximum per person and 10kg for the hand luggage per person), you can check in and embark for a 3 hours flight.


Arrival at Baltra airport, located on a small island near Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the second biggest island of the archipel by its surface and the most populated. You will pay the entrance fee to the Galápagos National Park ($100 per person) before picking up your luggage.


Our local representant will take charge of you at the exit of the airport. You will reach the Canal of Itabaca in public bus (5 minutes) and you will cross the canal in public boat. From there, you will continue on the main island in private pick-up to arrive to Puerto Ayora ( 45 minutes)


You will visit the Charles Darwin Station. Here, you can learn about the ongoing conservation efforts on these Enchanted Islands. The Research Station rears endemic Galapagos plants, land iguanas, and giant Galapagos Tortoises for educational, scientific and conservation purposes.


Remark 1: These price can't be paid in advance by our services, they have to be paid directly at the spots.


Remark 2: If the arrival time is before 10am, you will make a visit in the Highlands, at the Twin Craters or at Manzanillo ranch to see the giant turtlesin the wild, before reaching Puerto Ayora.


Night in Deja Vu hotel in Santa Cruz island.
Included : transfer departure, room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), transfer arrival, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide
Included opts : Transfer out from Hacienda to Airport

Day 12: Santa Cruz - Isabela

For this morning, we will take the public speedboat to Isabela (2:30 approx.), the largest island of Galapagos and the most wild of the three biggest ones.


At Puerto Ayora harbour, your luggage will be checked again before embarking. You will need to take a taxi-boat (between $us 0.50 et $us 1 maximum per person) to reach the boat with which you will makke the journey between the two islands.This service is to pay directly on the taxi-boat.


At Ihe arrival in Isabela, you will need to take another taxi-boat (maximum $us 1 per person) to disembark on the island. You willl also need to pay the local tax ($us 10) at Isabela harbour.

Once arrived at Isabela, you will have some time to rest at the hotel or walk around to the village.


You can also head to the Concha y Perla lagoon, where you could swim if lucky with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, sea turtles and penguins.


In the afternoon, you will visit the Tintoreras Islet (20 min. from the port). The name of the islet derives from the sharks that live in the waters surrounding the islet that have whit-tipped fins, which are known as “Tintoreras”. The islet is one of the most fascinating places on Isabela Island and in fact all of the Galapagos. In this one area we can see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally lightfoot crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos penguins. As the island is one of the main breeding sites for the marine iguanas, it is an excellent place to see numerous amounts of these creatures close-up. After the hike through the islet, we will get back on the boat and cool off by snorkeling in the waters nearby, where we can see multicolor fish, starfish, sea-urchins, and with luck manta rays, sharks, and sea lions that may swim with us close up. we ensure you that you will not forget this fascinating experience.



Night in Wooden House in Isabela island.
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), boat ticket, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 13: Isabela

After breakfast we will prepare ourselves to depart for snorkelling to one of the following destinations:
• CAPE ROSE | TUNNELS
The Tunnels | Cape Rosa is a site located at 40 minutes by boat southwest of Puerto Villamil. The sighting of birds and marine animals from the lava platform is one of the most important attractions. While snorkelling at this site, experience enclose encounters with many species of fish, rays, sea turtles, penguins and sea lions.
• TURTLE ISLAND
This is one of the most beautiful site to watch land and marine fauna. This islet is an extinct volcanoe that collapsed many years ago forming a half moon. This place is located 30 minutes by boat and offers great opportunities for bird watching and excellent snorkelling.
• 4 HERMANOS
After about 45 minutes of navigation from Puerto Villamil you will reach Los Cuatro Hermanos which is a bird sanctuary of four small islets where hundreds of marine birds shelter. It is ideal for snorkelling and diving.

**Destination may vary according to weather and regulations of the Galapagos National Park.

During the rest of this day, we suggest to visit the Breeding Center of the Giant Tortoises and the Humid Lands on your own.


Night in Wooden House in Isabela island.
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks), box lunch, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 14: Isabela

Early in the morning (8:00 am aprox.), after breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike by putting on comfortable walking shoes and possibly a rain jacket, making sure our cameras are stored in waterproof bags, making sure to bring sunscreen, water, and hats, and finally by preparing our box lunch at the hotel to take with us.

We will then travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (appx. 3 hours). The hike is long in terms of distance, but not very difficult as the inclines and declines are quite gradual. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. We will reach Volcan Chico before heading back, which should provide a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain.

Return to Puerto Villamil for free end of afternoon.


Night in Wooden House in Isabela island.
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks), box lunch, excursion (shared), local english-speaking guide

Day 15: Isabela - Baltra - Guayaquil Airport

After a short early breakfast, departure by public boat to return to Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to Baltra's airport so as to get your flight back to the continent.



Free connection with your international flight.
Included : boat ticket, transfer departure, breakfast

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 11: Quito Airport - Baltra

Domestic flight Quito - Baltra.
Included : domestic flight

Day 15: Baltra - Guayaquil Airport

Domestic flight Baltra - Guayaquil.

Included : domestic flight

Night at the Casa Deco hotel - Standard room   Bogota

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Situated in an Art Deco building in the neighborhood of "La Candelaria", the historic center of Bogota, the hotel has 21 modern and bright rooms. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the main monuments and museums.

Night at the Hacienda San Jose hotel - Standard room   Pereira

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Welcome into one of the oldest Haciendas in the coffee region: Hacienda San Jose, built in 1888. The Hacienda is surrounded by a rich ecosystem in which guests can walk among the samans, ceiba, totumos and other tropical varieties. Owners since entire generations, the family will have the pleasure to greet you personally and will make every effort to make you feel at home.

Vieja Cuba   Quito

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Vieja Cuba is located in La Mariscal neighborhood, where you will find many restaurants and bars. It is a cosy colonial style house, restaured by the former cuban owner with charm and criteria. A very good address if you want to walk around without taking transport means.

Night in Acoma hotel.   Otavalo

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Not far from the craft market in Otavalo, you will find the hotel Acoma (Acoma means city in the sky); the hotel offers comfortable rooms, friendly staff. The hotel was renovated and the family that owns the place, always gives a warm, personal attention.

Hacienda La Cienega   Lasso

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

La Cienega, the oldest colonial style hotel in Cotopaxi province, Ecuador, has belonged to the descendents of Marques of Maenza since the seventeenth century. Situated on the outskirts of Volcano Cotopaxi and its National Park, it’s just an hour and a half’s journey from Quito, capital of the Middle of the World. Surrounded by the Andes most magnificent snow-capped peaks, the hacienda, which was converted into a beautiful Ecuadorian mountainside lodge with two-metre thick walls carved from volcanic rock, finally opened its doors to the public in 1982, offering charm, history and tradition.

Hacienda La Jimenita   Pifo

Level : 3* sup
Included : room & breakfast

The hotel is located only 15 minutes away from Quito´s New Airport. Previously a private home, this hacienda opened its doors to offer confort, natural environment and food from its own organic garden, surrounded by 50.000 m2 that you can enjoy wlking along its paths and discovering its arqueological tunnels..

Option : Transfer out from Hacienda to Airport

Deja Vu (included in Scuba package)   Puerto Ayora

Level : 3*

Located a bit apart from the waterfront boardwalk but not far to reach it walking. Of a modern and sober design, it offers the services that allows you to recover from the daily visits on sea. A good option with swimming pool.

Night in Wooden House hotel (included in Scuba package).   Isabela

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Wooden house is located on Isabela Island, in Puerto Villamil on the road to the dock. The wooden House offers a high quality ecotourism experience. A hostel where one will feel just like being at home.

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