Quito – Bogota Adventure
We travel through the Andes from capital to capital in this stage of our epic Andes Overland 72-day adventure which begins in Ecuador, and ends in Colombia!
Over the next 20 days we’ll experience the colonial splendor of old Quito, the famous markets of Otavalo, the coffee regions of Colombia, the legendary city of Medellin, and last but not least, the cool capital, Bogota.
After all this, you’ll be highly tempted to continue our amazing adventure towards Cartagena and the northern coast!
Note: Optional excursions are listed in bold. Full information on these can be found here. Optional Excursions
- Arrival Quito / Day 1
- On the first day, after a flawless landing in Quito at over 9,000 feet, we catch our breath and meet our fellow travelers and tour guide at the hotel (17:00pm). After a full briefing and questions, we get a good night's rest.
- Quito / Day 2
- And now we learn why Quito was one of the first World Cultural Heritage cities declared by UNESCO. The splendor of the historic center is highly accessible just with two feet and a map. Another option is our guided tour through the colonial streets, then a trip to the Middle of the World, just north of the city. (Optional Excursion: Quito City Tour & Mitad del Mundo)
- Quito - Otavalo / Day 3
- After breakfast, a short drive north takes us on a winding scenic path to Otavalo, via the Panamerican Highway. Otavalo is famous for its indigenous population, their handicrafts and folk music. There are also volcanos and lagoons nearby! (Optional Excursion: Cuicocha Lake & Cotacachi Village.)
- Otavalo - Ibarra / Day 4
- Today we board a train, passing through incredible Andean landscapes and arriving in Salinas, where we enjoy a traditional dance presentation and explore the town. Then we continue through lagoon and volcano country until Ibarra, where we spend the night.
- Ibarra - Pasto / Day 5
- Our last day in Ecuador means we exchange our guide for a Colombian, and our remaining dollars for pesos! After a quick border crossing, we head for the city of Pasto a few hours away.
- Pasto - Popayan / Day 6
- Leaving Pasto early in the morning, we are soon in Popayan, and have most of the day to enjoy the colonial architecture and Colombian culture.
- Popayan - San Agustin / Day 7
- Arriving in San Agustin after a journey of highs and lows, we see the coffee crops around El Maco farm, where we spend the night. There are many sites of archeological interest, and our guide will be happy to reveal stories of Colombia's more recent history.
- San Agustin / Day 8
- Today is a free day, with the option to tour the archeological park, one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and the most notable ruins in Colombia. (Optional Excursion: Archeological Park)
- San Agustin / Day 9
- Another free day, but we recommend the horseback tour to the gorgeous Rio Magdalena Canyon. Tonight is our final night in El Maco. (Optional excursion: Horseback Canyon Tour)
- Spending the night in the Tatacoa desert! / Day 10
- Next up is the Tatacoa desert near Villa Vieja, a dust-dry plain with endless red and grey sand, and spectacular formations shaped by wind and rain. You can marvel at the communities which inhabit this area with so few possessions. If the night sky is clear, some fantastic stargazing is the obvious choice!
- Villa Vieja / Day 11
- Arising from our slumber in the rising temperatures of the desert, we leave early for cooler climes. Our destination is Villa Vieja, where we spend the night.
- Villa Vieja - Armenia / Day 12
- A longer journey to Armenia is rewarded by the forest and fauna of our destination, the Finca La Combia. We enjoy a peaceful evening and make plans for tomorrow.
- Armenia / Day 13
- The lush surroundings of the town are a great opportunity to explore or relax, but the valley of Salento and Cocora is too close to pass up. (Optional Excursion: Salento & Cocora Valley)
- Visiting coffee plantations! / Day 14
- Coffee treats are in store today, as we take a tour of a plantation and soak in the perfect climate for both coffee and cocoa beans. (Optional Excursion: Coffee experience)
- Armenia - Manizales / Day 15
- After breakfast we head north to Manizales, not far from Armenia. It's a lively city with mountainous features, perfect for wandering around until you get hungry!
- Manizales - Medellin / Day 16
- Today we take a bus to Medellin, where Pablo Escobar and the drug wars are now only a distant memory. Now the city and its agreeable climate are home to a melting pot of multiculture, with non-stop events, activities and sensory stimulation! Meet the creative crowd at Parque Lleras, and a vibrant mix of afro-indigenous Colombians hailing from the Pacific coast.
- Medellin / Day 17
- You have all day to discover Medellin, and what better way than to join our guided city tour? The night, as always, is entirely up to you. (Optional Excursion: City tour Medellin)
- Medellin - (Flight to) Bogotá / Day 18
- From Medellin we catch a morning flight to Bogota, the capital of Colombia. High in the Andes, the sprawling metropolis has two main areas of interest for the tourist: the narrow colonial streets and official buildings of the Candelaria district, and the more upscale north, with shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
- Bogotá / Day 19
- Today is a free day, but again we have a guided city tour to make the afternoon flow as smoothly as possible. As you'd expect, there is a lot to see! (Optional Excursion: City tour Bogota)
- The End? / Day 20
- If today is the last day of your Andes Overland journey, you'll now be mentally prepared for more adventures in the future! We make the final trip to Bogota's international airport and bid farewell. It’s a shame to go home in this stage of your journey. We would like to show you more beautiful places in the North of Colombia. Why should you go home if you already there?
- 1. English Speaking local guide throughout the journey
- 2. All public Bus tickets
- 3. Accommodation based on Double rooms including breakfast
- 4. Sleep - over in the Tatacoa desert!
- 5. Trainticket Ibarra - Salinas
- 6. National flight Medellin - Bogota
- 1. Not mentioned meals, personal expenses, extras and tips
- 2. Additional service or optional excursions
- 3. International flight tickets