Colombia through the Andes–Cartagena to La Paz
55 days from Cartagena to La Paz
From $ 5999
Duration55 days

An epic South America trip ought to be on everyone’s bucket list – so why not tick this one off well ahead of time? Across 55 days and four countries, you’ll see jungles, cities, and all things between, all with a like-minded group of young adventurers eager to see and do everything. And “everything” is definitely an understatement – you’ll hike the Lost City in Colombia, take on the Inca Trail in Peru, partake in a homestay in the Amazon Rainforest, see the highlights of Ecuador, and much more. Plus, at this price point, you’ll be able to do it all and still have cash to spend at the famous market in Otavalo.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 55 days
    Service level: Basic
  • Starts in: Cartagena
    Physical Grading: Demanding
  • Ends in: La Paz
    Ages: 18+
Colombia through the Andes–Cartagena to La Paz - Tour Map

Itinerary

Expand all
Day 1: Cartagena

Start place: Cartagena

Arrive at any time.

End place: Cartagena

Day 2: Cartagena

Start place: Cartagena

Free day to explore this coastal colonial city. Wander the historic old town, check out the San Felipe fortress, or get dirty with a mud bath and massage at Totumo Volcano.

End place: Cartagena

Meals: B
Day 3: Cartagena/Santa Marta

Start place: Cartagena

Travel by public bus to this coastal port town. Free time to visit the Gold Museum with its collection of Lost City artifacts, chill out on the beach and pick up any last minute necessities for the upcoming trek. Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area.

End place: Santa Marta

Meals: B
Day 4: Santa Marta/ Wiwa Camp

Start place: Santa Marta

Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek through farmland, steamy jungle, and rural Kogi communities. Get a glimpse into the local way of life in the remote river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp
Continue trekking along the route to Ciudad Perdida. Today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep inclines, make sure to rest and take in the beautiful views. Arrive at the campsite in the afternoon and relax by the river.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp
Get started early to climb the 1,200 steps up to the Lost City. The view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains makes it well worth the hike. Explore the Lost City and learn what is known of its origins from the indigenous guide, before making the descent back to Wiwa Camp for the night.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Wiwa Camp /Ricardito Camp
Follow the path back through the deep jungle, wind through banana trees, cacao plants and small Kogi communities on the way to Ricardito Camp. The nickname for this camp is vista hermosa or beautiful views, sit back and soak them in.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Gotsezhi Village/Taganga
Head across grassy hills and gentle streams to reach the Gotsezhi Wiwa indigenous community. Enjoy a G Adventures-supported community lunch cooked by women from the community with local ingredients. Learn about Wiwa customs on a village visit and then lounge in a hammock by the river. In the afternoon, return to Taganga for a well deserved night in a hotel.

End place: Taganga

Meals: B, L
Day 9: Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Start place: Taganga

Head into Tayrona National Park for a moderate hike with a local guide. This is a perfect opportunity to experience nature and learn a little more about the rich, natural diversity of northern Colombia. Please note that Tayrona National Park is usually closed during the month of February. The indigenous groups in the area believe that mother nature needs a month of rest, and maintenance to the park is done during this time. If your trip falls in February, you will visit the laid-back town of Minca. Enjoy a visit to a coffee plantation, a hike to a waterfall and learn about local cacao production.

End place: Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Meals: B, L
Day 10: Taganga/Medellín

Start place: Taganga

Fly inland to infamous Medellín, now one of Latin America's safest cities. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and an optional night out with the group.
Meals: B
Day 11: Medellín
Opt to go paragliding over the city or catch a ride on the cable car.
Day 12: Medellín/Salento
Drive through beautiful landscapes to Salento.

End place: Salento

Day 13: Salento

Start place: Salento

Opt to take a morning hike through the towering palms of the Cocora Valley, or choose from a variety of other optional activities in the coffee region of Quindío.

End place: Salento

Day 14: Salento/Tatacoa Desert

Start place: Salento

Enjoy the ride to the Tatacoa Desert to spend the night under the stars.

End place: Desierto de la Tatacoa

Meals: B
Day 15: Tatacoa Desert/San Agustín

Start place: Desierto de la Tatacoa

Head out into the impressive Tatacoa desert and explore the rocky canyons. The morning is free to choose how you wish to explore, opt to go for a hike or go horseback riding. After, travel to San Agustin.

End place: San Augustin

Meals: B
Day 16: San Agustín

Start place: San Augustin

Visit the San Agustin Archaeological Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site with more than 500 sculptures scattered through the hillside.

End place: San Augustin

Meals: B
Day 17: San Agustín/Popayán

Start place: San Augustin

In the morning travel to Popayán and explore this beautiful colonial town.
Meals: B
Day 18: Popayán/Pasto
Head further south to Pasto, wander around and keep an eye out for local ice cream makers out in the streets.
Meals: B
Day 19: Pasto/Otavalo
Visit the striking Lajas Sanctuary, built on a bridge in a lush gorge, this neo-Gothic church is sure to impress. After, cross the border into Ecuador and continue on to Otavalo for the night.

End place: Otavalo

Meals: B
Day 20: Otavalo/Quito

Start place: Otavalo

Visit the famous Otavalo artisan market for a morning perusing colourful textiles, art, carvings, and jewelry made by people from nearby communities. In the afternoon, drive back to Quito.

End place: Quito

Day 21: Quito

Start place: Quito

Enjoy a free day to explore Ecuador's capital. Visit the city's old town, take a day trip to the equator, or Cotopaxi volcano.

End place: Quito

Day 22: Quito/Tena

Start place: Quito

Travel overland to Tena, located on the edge of the Amazon. From there, transfer for 45 minutes by truck to the local community of Pimpilala that will be our home for three nights. Stay with a Quichua family, enjoy the hospitality of these wonderful people, and experience life in the jungle first-hand.
Travel to the jungle city of Tena and continue by truck to a jungle community.

End place: Tena

Meals: B, L, D
Day 23-24: Tena

Start place: Tena

Head out on nature walks and learn about local traditions at an overnight homestay.

End place: Tena

Meals: B, L, D
Day 25: Tena/Baños

Start place: Tena

Baños is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits, including horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting in the surrounding mountains and on the River Patate.
Travel to Baños, an adrenaline junkie's paradise.
Meals: B
Day 26: Baños
Opt to soak in the nearby hot springs or get active by hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking.
Day 27: Baños/Cuenca
Ecuador's third largest town, Cuenca, retains a pleasant provincial air with its colonial architecture, art galleries, and museums. The surrounding countryside is an outdoor playground. Visit national parks, take walks in the beautiful countryside, and see Ecuador’s only Inca ruin site.

Explore the city’s sights including cobbled streets, red-tiled roofs, art galleries, flower markets, shady plazas, and museums.
Travel to historic Cuenca.

End place: Cuenca

Day 28: Cuenca

Start place: Cuenca

Enjoy a free day to visit Cajas NP or the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

End place: Cuenca

Day 29: Cuenca/Máncora

Start place: Cuenca

The adventure continues as we travel from Cuenca through the busy border town of Huaquillas and across the Peruvian border into Mancora. We follow the Pan-American Highway south to the seaside town of Mancora, a village populated by fishermen and surfers from around Peru and the world. Enjoy the relaxing beach atmosphere.
Cross the border into Peru and head to the beach.
Day 30: Máncora
Opt to relax on the beach, discover Mancora, go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson.
Day 31: Máncora/Huanchaco
Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco.

End place: Huanchaco

Day 32: Huanchaco

Start place: Huanchaco

We continue heading south along the coast to Trujillo, the largest city in northern Peru. It is known for its beautiful colonial structures and nearby attractions of Chan-Chan ruins and the resort town of Huanchaco, where we spend the night.
Enjoy more beach time or opt to visit pre-Inca sites or the city of Trujillo.

End place: Huanchaco

Day 33: Huanchaco/Lima

Start place: Huanchaco

Full day in Huanchaco before boarding a night bus to Lima.

End place: Lima

Day 34: Lima

Start place: Lima

To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk around the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to experience life in a large South American city. There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera. An optional city tour visits many of the cities highlights.
Explore Peru's capital on an optional city tour, try paragliding, or simply relax. Be sure to try the tasty ceviche and pisco sours.

End place: Lima

Meals: B
Day 35: Lima

Start place: Lima

Enjoy the day exploring the city.

End place: Lima

Day 36: Lima/Paracas

Start place: Lima

Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.
Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.

End place: Paracas

Meals: B
Day 37: Paracas/Nazca

Start place: Paracas

There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, which provide an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife.

Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.

Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect as subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina. Assist in the preparation of a thousand-year-old tradition: a "Pachamanca," an ancient ceremony akin to the Polynesian meal of burying a variety of delicious treats wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooking them with pre-heated rocks buried in the ground.

End place: Nazca

Meals: D
Day 38: Nazca/Arequipa

Start place: Nazca

Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines. Overnight bus to Arequipa.

End place: Arequipa

Day 39: Arequipa

Start place: Arequipa

Those with an interest in history and architecture may opt to visit the Convent of Santa Catalina, which offers a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Other optional excursions include rafting and mountaineering.

For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.
Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Convent or a local hot spring.

End place: Arequipa

Day 40: Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Start place: Arequipa

Enjoy an overnight excursion to the impressive Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Stop in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, visitors can see Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals that can be spotted in the Andean landscape include three different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.
Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.

End place: Chivay

Meals: B
Day 41: Chivay/Arequipa

Start place: Chivay

Get an early start to go on the lookout for flying condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see old terraces and sections of Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.
Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.

End place: Arequipa

Meals: B
Day 42: Arequipa/Cusco

Start place: Arequipa

Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 43: Cusco

Start place: Cusco

Free time to explore Cusco. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

End place: Cusco

Day 44: Cusco

Start place: Cusco

Enjoy another free day in Cusco.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 45: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Start place: Cusco

Ollantaytambo is a major Inca ruin site and a first taste of what lies ahead. For those craving more before they head out on the Trail, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour which includes a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Learn about the Sacred Valley en route to Ollantaytambo. Opt to take a Sacred Valley tour with a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

End place: Ollantaytambo

Meals: B
Day 46: Inca Trail

Start place: Ollantaytambo

Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins. A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 47: Inca Trail
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 48: Inca Trail
Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Meals: B, L, D
Day 49: Machu Picchu/Cusco
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 50: Cusco

Start place: Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

End place: Cusco

Meals: B
Day 51: Cusco/Puno

Start place: Cusco

Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

End place: Puno

Meals: B
Day 52: Puno/Lago Titicaca

Start place: Puno

Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on Taquile Island and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.
Meals: B, D
Day 53: Lago Titicaca/Puno
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Visit the floating islands of Uros. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.

End place: Puno

Meals: B, L
Day 54: Puno/La Paz

Start place: Puno

Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4,000m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.
Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?

End place: La Paz

Meals: B
Day 55: La Paz

Start place: La Paz

Depart at any time.

End place: La Paz

Inclusions

Included

  • G Adventures for Good: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village Local Living: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Hands-on: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Big Night Out: Cusco Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
  • Lost City of Teyuna trek (5 days)
  • Tayrona National Park excursion (excluding February departures)
  • Overnight desert camping (Tatacoa)
  • San Agustin ruins visit
  • Visit to Otavalo Market
  • Orientation walks in Medellin and Quito
  • Beach time in Taganga, Mancora, and Huanchaco
  • Pachamanca ceremony (Nazca)
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
  • Inca Trail hike with a local guide, cook, and porters (4 days)
  • Amazon Jungle and Colca Canyon excursions
  • Lake Titicaca excursion
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Local bus, 4x4, Boat, Truck, Motorized canoe, Train, Hiking, Plane, Minibus
  • Accommodation

    Simple hotels (39 nts, some multi-share), Hammock or rustic cots (4 nts), Overnight buses (4 nts), Homestays (3 nts), Camping (4 nts)
  • Meals

    35 breakfasts,
    13 lunches,
    12 dinners

Dates & availability: Colombia through the Andes–Cartagena to La Paz

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Wed, 10/17/2018 Finishing Mon, 12/10/2018 Catalog Price $ 5599 Sale Price $ 5599 -
Departing Wed, 11/21/2018 Finishing Mon, 01/14/2019 Catalog Price $ 5599 Sale Price $ 5599 -
Departing Wed, 12/19/2018 Finishing Mon, 02/11/2019 Catalog Price $ 5999 Sale Price $ 5999 8 Book
Departing Sun, 01/27/2019 Finishing Fri, 03/22/2019 Catalog Price $ 5999 Sale Price $ 5999 10 Book
Departing Sun, 02/10/2019 Finishing Fri, 04/05/2019 Catalog Price $ 5999 Sale Price $ 5999 13 Book
Departing Sun, 03/03/2019 Finishing Fri, 04/26/2019 Catalog Price $ 5799 Sale Price $ 5799 13 Book
Departing Sun, 04/14/2019 Finishing Fri, 06/07/2019 Catalog Price $ 5799 Sale Price $ 5799 9 Book
Departing Sun, 05/19/2019 Finishing Fri, 07/12/2019 Catalog Price $ 5799 Sale Price $ 5799 16 Book
Departing Sun, 06/30/2019 Finishing Fri, 08/23/2019 Catalog Price $ 5799 Sale Price $ 5799 14 Book
Departing Sun, 07/07/2019 Finishing Fri, 08/30/2019 Catalog Price $ 5799 Sale Price $ 5799 13 Book

Save up to 50% on tours! Get exclusive access to members-only deals by email.

Subscribe to our newsletter