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Colombia & Ecuador

Experience the colourful countries of Colombia and Ecuador. Explore bustling traditional markets, wander through picturesque villages and tour colonial cities. Taste the typical delicacies and enjoy the warmth of the local people.Canyons & MarketsIn Ecuador we explore the enchanting Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, stopping at the Equator to visit the Middle of the World. In Otavalo we visit the beautiful 20th century hacienda at La Compania rose plantation and spend time at the famous Otavalo textile markets. A real highlight is our visit to the incredible Las Lajas Sanctuary, one of Colombia's most important churches, built into the canyon of the Gu itara River.Coffee and CookingBienvenidos a Colombia! Discover the Colombian capital and cultural mecca of Bogot as you tour the museums and galleries of Candelaria the city's historical heart. Visit the major market and gather ingredients for the local delicacies to make at your traditional Colombian cooking class, then enjoy the rewards!Venture through the scenic Colombian countryside to the famed Coffee Triangle. Travel into the heart of the Cocora Valley and the cloud forest to get an in-depth look at the coffee-making process, and have a taste of course it's considered by many to be the best in the world!Colourful CartagenaSoak up the atmosphere of the magnificent walled city of Cartagena, discovering its incredible colours, colonial architecture and Caribbean lifestyle in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old-town. Visit bustling Medellin, the 'City of Eternal Spring' and discover the charming neighbouring village of Guatap , see the decorated houses and sample some exotic local fruits.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to South America. Taxes included
  • 6 economy-class flights within South America
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $285pp prepaid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 16 nights in good quality hotels (3 -4 star)
  • 2 nights at historic Hacienda Pinsaqui near Otavalo
  • 3 nights at a traditional finca in the middle of Colombia's coffee triangle
  • 21 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based tour director (subject to a minimum of 8 passengers)
  • English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing

Explore the mountains and markets of Ecuador

  • Explore Ecuador's capital, Quito, on a city tour including Independence Square, La Compania Church, San Francisco Monastery and the Cathedral.
  • Stop at the 'Middle of the World' where the equator passes through Ecuador and stand with one foot in each hemisphere, and visit the Inti Nan Solar Museum next door.
  • Take a guided bird watching walk in the beautiful Bellavista Cloud Forest.
  • Enjoy a lunch in a beautiful 20th century hacienda at La Compania Rose Plantation and take a tour of the grounds and factory.
  • Stop and shop in Cotacachi, Ecuador's famous leather capital and visit the stunning Cuicocha Crater Lake at the foot of the Cotacachi Volcano.
  • Spend 2 nights in an historic hacienda near Otavalo. This hacienda was used by General Simon Bolivar during his journeys between Ecuador and Colombia for his military and political campaigns.
  • Experience the excitement of Otavalo's colourful handicraft market, Plaza de Ponchos - a tradition dating back to pre-Incan times!

Experience the diversity of Colombia

  • Travel by cable car to the incredible Las Lajas Sanctuary, one of the most scenic and important churches in Colombia built on the river Guaitara.
  • Witness the colourful Guambiano people trading for goods at the famous Silvia market.
  • Take a city tour of Popayan including Caldas Park, Humilladero Bridge, the Churches of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, the Parthenon of the Leaders of the Independence, the Religious Art Museum and the Casa Museo Mosquera.
  • Discover the city of Cali on a sightseeing tour.
  • Wander through Bogota's Paloquemao Market to try some local delicacies. At the end of the visit, buy some ingredients for a traditional dish to make at a cooking class - enjoy your creation for lunch!
  • Take a city tour of Bogota's historic centre, La Candelaria, visiting Plaza de Bolivar, the Cathedral, the Botero Museum and the truly amazing Gold Museum.
  • Travel up Monserrate Hill by cable car and enjoy the panoramic view of Bogota.
  • Enjoy a walking tour of colonial Villa de Leyva.
  • Visit the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo and the Fossil Museum at Villa de Leyva - the museum was built on the place where a kronosaurus (a marine reptile of more than 120 million years and 20 metres in length) was discovered.
  • Visit the incredible underground Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira.
  • Spend 3 nights in the middle of a coffee finca in Colombia's famous Coffee Triangle, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.
  • Tour a coffee plantation and learn about the production system. At the end of your visit enjoy a coffee tasting session led by an expert.
  • Explore the Cocora Valley and marvel at the wax palms - the national tree of Colombia, and the multiple species of birds, in particular several types of hummingbird and the endangered palm parrot.
  • Stop at a trout farm and enjoy a traditional Colombian meal - smoked trout!
  • Travel by Jeep Willys to the colourful town of Salento and enjoy a city tour, visiting the Plaza de Bolivar, the Calle Real, the handicraft shops and the Cocora viewpoint.
  • Discover Medellin on a "social transformation" tour highlighting the symbolic areas of Medellin from the late 1980's, when the city was one of the most dangerous in the world, to today and showcasing the many projects that fostered the city's change.
  • Spend the day in picturesque Guatape and visit the famous rock formation, Piedra del Penol, which affords incredible views from its peak.
  • Enjoy a scenic boat trip on magnificent Lake Guatape.
  • Spend 3 nights in the historic centre of colonial Cartagena de Indias on the Caribbean coast.
  • Visit San Felipe de Barajas Fortress, built to defend Cartagena from pirate attacks by the Spanish in 1536.
  • Explore Cartagena on a city tour, including the Convent and Church of San Pedro Claver, the handicrafts zone of the Bovedas, Bolivar Park, the Gold Museum, Inquisition Palace and Santo Domingo church.
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
24
Price From
AUD $13,495
Start Location
End Location
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Relaxing
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
17 Sep 201810 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $11,985
28 Jan 201920 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $12,185
25 Feb 201920 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $12,185
Itinerary
Colombia & Ecuador

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Lima

Bienvenido a South America and the city of Lima!

Day 2. Lima - Quito

This morning we fly to Quito, Ecuador's colonial capital. We'll discover the old town on a city tour, visiting the incredible gilded La Compania Church, and San Francisco Monastery. Tonight we'll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [B,D]

Day 3. Quito - Bellavista

After stopping at the equator and visiting the fascinating Inti an Museum, we make our way into the enchanting Bellavista cloud forest. This paradise is home to botanical treasures such as bromeliads and orchids and more than 330 species of birds, as well as the most recently discovered mammal - the olinguito! We'll take a guided birdwatching hike to enjoy the surroundings. [B,L,D]

Day 4. Bellavista - Otavalo

We take a picturesque journey through the Andes to Otavalo, stopping for lunch at a beautiful hacienda and rose plantation. We'll also visit the town of Cotacachi, Ecuador's leather capital.
Our accommodation for the next two nights
is a beautiful historic hacienda. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Otavalo

Begin the day at Otavalo's Plaza de Ponchos, the famous Handicraft Market - a tradition dating back to pre-Incan times! The afternoon is at leisure for you to enjoy the hacienda and its grounds. [B]

Day 6. Otavalo - Pasto

This morning we cross the border into Colombia and visit the incredible Las Lajas Sanctuary, one of Colombia's most important churches, built into the canyon of the Gu itara River.

Special Experience: Travel down through the canyon to the stunning basilica by cable car.

Sit back and enjoy the Colombian countryside this afternoon as we travel to the city of Pasto, at the foot of the Galeras volcano. Tonight we'll dine at a local restaurant. [B,D]

Day 7. Pasto

Today we'll explore nearby Laguna de la Cocha, a spectacular lake setting, featuring the Isla de La Corota, a unique national park housing an evergreen cloud forest that sits in the centre of the lake. We'll also be able to try a typical local drink. [B]

Day 8. Pasto - Popay n

This morning we depart for 'La Cuidad Blanca', Popay n, famous for its white facades. The town is also one of Colombia's most impressive colonial settlements. [B]

Day 9. Popay n

Special Experience: Today we visit the town of Silvia to explore the colourful, bustling market. We'll also see the indigenous Guambiano people, dressed in their traditional "anacos", selling produce and handicrafts.

We'll discover the sights of Popay n on a city tour this afternoon. [B]

Day 10. Popay n - Cali - Bogot

We travel to the city of Cali, near the Pacific coast, and take a city tour before transferring to the airport for our flight to Bogot , Colombia's vibrant capital nestled high in the Andes. [B]

Day 11. Bogot

Our day begins at the colourful Paloquemao Market, where we'll find produce and ingredients for our cooking class.

Special Experience: Learn to cook some traditional Colombian dishes and enjoy them for lunch.

This afternoon we'll visit the fantastic Gold Museum and wander through the Candelaria neighbourhood, the city's historic heart. We'll also ride the cable car up Monserrate Hill for panoramic city views. [B,L]

Day 12. Bogot - Villa de Leyva

This morning we tour Zipaquir 's incredible Salt Cathedral, buried deep within a salt mine and one of only two in the world. We then travel to the beautiful colonial town of Villa de Leyva and explore on a walking tour. [B]

Day 13. Villa de Leyva - Pereira

Today we visit the Convento del Santo Ecce Homo and the Fossil Museum. We then return to Bogot for our flight to Pereira, gateway to the Coffee Triangle. [B]

Day 14. Coffee Triangle Excursion

Considered by many to be the best in the world, we take an in-depth look at Colombian coffee's journey 'from the grain to the cup' on a traditional plantation tour and tasting. [B]

Day 15. Cocora Valley Excursion

Today we take a scenic journey to the small town of Salento, gateway to the Cocora Valley. Enjoy the bright colours of the balconies and facades that line the streets. [B,L]

Special Experience: Board a local jeep and travel into the Cocora Valley to explore the cloud forest of towering palm trees.

Day 16. Pereira - Medellin

Enjoy the scenic route to Medellin, the City of Eternal Spring. We'll witness the city's social transformation on a tour of the districts and projects that fostered its change. [B,D]

Day 17. Medellin

Spend the day in the picturesque town of Guatap and visit famous La Piedra del Pe ol, an enormous rock which affords incredible views over the lake and surrounding countryside from its peak. [B]

Special Experience: Enjoy a scenic cruise on magnificent Lake Guatap , dotted with many beautiful islets.

Day 18. Medellin - Cartagena

Today we fly to Cartagena, on Colombia's Caribbean coast. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to relax or begin exploring. [B]

Day 19. Cartagena

The beautiful walled city of Cartagena is full of fine Spanish colonial architecture. Our sightseeing today includes the San Felipe de Barajas Fortress and La Candelaria Church. In the afternoon we'll visit the Monastery of San Pedro Claver and the Church and Barricade of Santo Domingo. [B]

Day 20. Cartagena

Today is at leisure to discover more of this colourful city. Tonight we'll enjoy a group farewell dinner. [B,D]

Day 21. Cartagena - Lima

We fly to Lima via Bogot . [B]

Day 22. Depart Lima

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 23. In Transit
Day 24. Arrive Australia

Tour Operators