Border Information: if joining in Cartagena, you will most likely enter Colombia at Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG).
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 Cartagena 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 Cartagena.
In Cartagena we stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre.
If you are continuing on from Panama, then your leader will have assisted you with airport transfers for your included flight to arrive in time for the joining meeting.
Today we will have a full day in the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena.
In the morning 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.
Explore Cartagena on a guided walking tour
Discover the brutal history of the Spanish Inquisition at their former headquarters in Cartagena, the Palace of the Inquistion - Cost: COP 15000
Learn all about Cartagena's naval tradition and history at the Naval Museum of the Caribbean - Cost: COP 15000
Visit the historic Castillo San Fellipe - Cost: COP 17000
Today we have a short drive 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 - 5-6 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!).
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.
Please note that no meals are included in Tayrona National Park, but there are local restaurants to choose from.
Relax and unwind on the unspoilt beaches in Tayrona National Park
Time to explore the Cloud Forests of the Sierra Nevada foothills - Cost: USD
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
- Cost: USD
Today we will have an early morning walk back to the National Park entrance, rejoin our truck, and drive to the peaceful and rarely-visited colonial town of Mompós, where we will stay 2 nights.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
The following day we will go on an included short boat trip down Rio Magdalena to observe the riverside life and do some wildlife spotting. There will also be plenty of free time to explore this historical colonial town, the first town in Colombia to declare independence from Spain, wander the beautiful streets and soak up the atmosphere of the architecture.
In Mompós we stay in a lovely local hotel.
Explore the area of Mompós by boat, on a beautiful short trip out on the Magdelena River
Today we will drive south to San Gil, the outdoor capital of Colombia and a mecca for extreme-sports enthusiasts! Tonight we will enjoy a vegetarian Indian buffet from the campsite's in-house restaurant.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.
The following two days will be free to enjoy some of the myriad of adrenaline activities on offer in the area, or to spend some time relaxing on the farm.
In San Gil we camp in a coffee and cattle farm outside town.
Head out on an exhilarating white water rafting trip - the area has options for all levels, from beginner-level rapids on the nearby River Fonce, through the awe-inspiring canyon scenery on the fast rapids of the River Chicamocha, or the crazy Grade 5 rapids of the River Suarez!
- Cost: COP 45000 - 130000
Explore the incredible underground caves of Cueva del Indio or Cueva de Vaca underneath the area of San Gil on a fully-equipped caving tour
- Cost: USD 10
Get your adrenline flowing on a downhill mountain-biking ride through the spectacular scenery of the down the nearby Suarez Valley or the Chicamocha Canyon
- Cost: COP 250000
Explore the atmospheric old town of Barichara and discover its cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and red-tiled roofs that look almost as new as the day they were created some 300 years ago
- Cost: USD
Discover the scenery of the San Gil region on a horse riding trip through the surrounding hills
- Cost: USD 40
Today we will have a full day's drive to the vibrant city of Medellín, where we will spend 3 nights.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 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.
Head out on a fascinating walking tour of Medellín and learn all about it's tumultuous past
Visit the colossal Catedral Metropolitana in the city centre, built using over a million bricks between 1875 and 1931 - Cost: COP
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 - Cost: COP 1750
See some of Colombia's finest contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Moderno (NAMM), including the complete work of the local painter Debora Arango - Cost: COP 5000
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 - Cost: COP 60000
Today we will continue our journey south to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
On the following day we will head out in the morning for an included visit to learn all about the cultivation and producing of Colombian coffee! After a local lunch, we will take an included 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.
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
Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popayán.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 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.
Relax in the volcanic thermal springs near the village of Coconuco, dramatically set in a steep-sided valley
- Cost: COP 60000
Trek to the 4,650m summit of the towering Puracé volcano near Popayán
- Cost: COP 130000
Today we will have a full day drive to the border town of Ipiales.
In Ipiales we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Border information: Exit Colombia at Ipiales, enter Ecuador at Ipiales.
Today we will have an early start to visit the famous Santuario de las Lajas church outside of Ipiales. We will then head south and cross the border into Ecuador and drive to the bustling captial, Quito. En route into the city we will have an included visit to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator.
In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.
Visit the jaw dropping Santuario La Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales
Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo
Border information: if you are finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. 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.
Visit one of the countless art galleries in Quito, such as the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana or the Museo Guayasamin - Cost: USD 6
Take a trip on El Telerifiqo, the world's second highest cable car - Cost: USD 8.5
Visit the Museo De La Cuidad - Cost: USD 3
Take a walk around Quito's incredible Botanical Gardens, which showcases all of Ecuador's various ecosystems and their flora - Cost: USD 3.5