Colombia & Ecuador

  • days: 23
  • from $11,995

Save $500!

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Ecuador
  • Colombia

Description

Explore two unique countries bursting with culture and colour. Experience the mystical Bellavista cloud forest, stay in a traditional hacienda and visit bustling local markets. Immerse yourself in the culture of southern Colombia, visiting Las Lajas Sanctuary, Pasto and Popayán, before heading north through charming villages and colonial cities.

Canyons & Markets

In 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 Guáitara River.

Southern Colombia & the Coffee Triangle

In Southern Colombia, explore Pasto and the nearby Laguna de la Cocha, travel to Popayán and the famous local market in Silvia where we’ll see the indigenous Guambiano people dressed in their traditional ‘anacos’, selling produce and handicrafts. Travel north to discover the capital and cultural mecca of Bogotá as you tour the museums and galleries of Candelaria – the city’s historical heart. Venture through the scenic Colombian countryside to the famed Coffee Triangle. Travel into the heart of the Cocora Valley and 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!

Social Transformation

Discover Medellin, ‘the City of Eternal Spring’ which was once one  of the world’s most notorious cities. Witness the social transformation on a tour of the districts and projects that fostered its change. In colourful Cartagena, discover the beautiful Colonial architecture and Caribbean lifesty;e before enjoying dinner at Restaurante Interno in Cartagena. This restaurant is located in a prison, where your food will be prepared by inmates who have been trained by Michelin-starred chefs to assist in preparing them for reintegration to society.

Itinerary

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

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Quito

Bienvenido a South America and the city of Quito, Ecuador's colonial capital!

Day 2. Quito

After a morning at leisure to recover from our flights, 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

Walking Man

After stopping at the equator and visiting the fascinating Intiñan Museum, we make our way into the enchanting Bellavista cloud forest. This paradise is home to treasures such as bromeliads, 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. [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

Today 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 Guáitara River.

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

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 - Popayán

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

Day 9. Popayán

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

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

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

Day 10. Popayán - Cali - Bogotá

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

Day 11. Bogotá

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

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

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

Day 12. Bogotá - Pereira - Coffee Triangle

This morning we tour Zipaquirá’s incredible Salt Cathedral, buried deep within a salt mine, and one of only two in the world. We then make our way to the airport for our flight to Pereira, gateway to the Coffee Triangle. [B]

Day 13. 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-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Board a local jeep and travel into the Cocora Valley to marvel at the rolling green hills and towering wax palms.

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. Coffee Triangle - Medellin

This morning we travel to the spectacular Finca Romelia, home to more than 6,000 types of orchids. On a tour of the grounds we'll see orchids of all different hues, as well as avocado and citrus plants, and plenty of birdlife. In the afternoon we'll make our way to Medellin, the 'City of Eternal Spring'. [B,D]

Day 16. Medellin

Previously one of the most notorious cities in the world, we'll witness Medellin’s social transformation on a tour of the districts and projects that fostered its change. [B]

Day 17. Medellin

Walking Man

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

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Enjoy a scenic cruise on magnificent Lake Guatapé, dotted with 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 begins at Monasterio and Iglesia de La Popa, which offers stunning, panoramic views of the city. We then continue on to San Felipe de Barajas Fortress, 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]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Tonight we'll enjoy a group farewell dinner at Restaurante Interno. Located within a prison, your food will be prepared by inmates who have been trained by Michelin-starred chefs and are preparing for reintegration to society.

Day 21. Depart Cartagena

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 22. In Transit

Day 23. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to South America. Taxes included
  • 3 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, $310pp pre-paid

 Accommodation & Meals

  • 15 nights 3½-4½ star hotels
  • 2 nights at historic Hacienda Pinsaqui near Otavalo
  • 3 nights at a traditional finca in the middle of Colombia's Coffee Triangle
  • 20 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based tour director (based on minimum of 8 passengers)
  • English-speaking locally based guides

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

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.
  • Visit Pasto's spectacular La Cocha Lake and Isla de Corota, which houses an evergreen cloud forest.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spectacular Finca Romelia is home to more than 6,000 types of orchids. Explore the grounds, marvelling at the incredible different hues of the orchids
  • 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.
  • Enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Cartagena from the Monastery and Church of La Popa.
  • 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,  Inquisition Palace and Santo Domingo church.
  • Enjoy a group dinner at Restaurante Interno. Located within a prison, your food will be prepared by inmates who have been trained by Michelin-starred chefs and are preparing for reintegration to society. 

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
25/05/20 16/06/20 $500 $11,995 Available book now
27/07/20 18/08/20 $500 $11,995 Available book now
14/09/20 06/10/20 $500 $11,995 Available book now
09/11/20 01/12/20 $500 $11,995 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney & Melbourne
Other departure cities: Clients ex Adelaide & Brisbane add $400pp, Hobart add $500pp & Perth add $800pp
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $310pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $510pp
Single supplement: from $1,550
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
Our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently-minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces without the use of any walking aid, on any given day
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Optional Excursions

Colombia                               

Day trip to the Rosario Islands –7 hrs - $154pp US
The Rosario Islands are located approximately 40km (approx. 1 hour by boat) south-west of Cartagena. They consist of 27 islands and 20 hectares of coral islands and reefs. Some are swampy and consist mainly of mangrove and coconut trees. Explore the impressive, beautiful landscapes of Islas Del Rosario with its clear waters and gentle breezes. In the late afternoon you will return to your hotel in Cartagena. (including lunch and private hotel – pier – hotel transfers)

Please Note: All optional tours are based on a minimum of 2 participants (unless otherwise stated) and are subject to availability. The length of tours advised is an approximate only. Tours can be booked on tour directly with your Tour Director. We recommend arranging the booking at the beginning of the tour to avoid disappointment. Prices are a guide only and are subject to change without prior notice. Payment by cash is preferred as there are no guarantees that credit card facilities will be available. Please check with your Tour Director locally for information relating to this. Credit card fees and exchange rates are at the discretion of your bank.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Hotel Mama Cuchara, Quito

Situated in the historical centre of Quito, Hotel Mama Cuchara is ideally located walking distance from many of the city's popular historical sites including the Plaza Santo Domingo and La Ronda. Hotel Mama Cuchara also offers guests the opportunity to indulge themselves in a private collection of art and rotating exhibits from various Ecuadorian artists. 

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, Bellavista

This beautifully located lodge is set amongst the treetops in the cloud forest reserve. The property is home to rare and endemic birds, orchids and other flora and fauna unique to this ecosystem. The lodge offers cosy and comfortable accommodation, a restaurant, bar/lounge and laundry services.

Facilities: safe deposit box

Hosteria Hacienda Pinsaqui, Otavalo

Constructed in 1790, Hacienda Pinsaquí was originally a colonial textile enterprise, employing over 1,000 weavers and spinners. To this day, the Hacienda retains the character and authenticity of its earlier incarnation, making for a truly unique experience. It is situated in the heart of Ecuador’s lake district at the base of the Imbabura Volcano, just north of the world-famous Otavalo market, and only an hour-and-a-half from Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Features include: 200 year-old grounds, a restaurant offering International and Ecuadorian cuisine, a terrace snack bar, room service and its own chapel.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box

Hotel Cuellars, Pasto

Hotel Cuellars is ideally located in the heart of Pasto's commercial district. The hotel is clean and comfortable and offers a fitness centre, room service and laundry service.

Facilities: wifi; fridge/minibar

Hotel La Plazuela, Popayan

In a mid-1700s Colonial building in downtown Popayán, this charming hotel is just a 3-minute walk from the Catedral Nuestra Señora de La Asunción and a 13-minute walk from the Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad del Cauca.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box

Cite Hotel, Bogota

The Cite Hotel is located in the business and entertainment centre of Bogota, overlooking Virrey Park and 500m from Parque de la 93. It offers a large outdoor pool and a business centre. Rooms boast wooden floors and large windows with park views.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Finca Hotel Bosques del Saman, Alcala

Finca Hotel Bosques de Saman is set amidst a coffee plantation in Colombia's famous coffee growing region, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The rooms have been carefully rebuilt in the old farm buildings, reproducing all the typical decorations of the region in unique touches. The hotel has business centre, swimming pools, spa, laundry service, bar and restaurant.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

Hotel Poblado Plaza, Medellin

Located in the most exclusive area of Medellin and with the best service in the city, Hotel Poblado Plaza features rooms with a classic contemporary style, which are the perfect combination of comfort and functionality. 

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; gym

Hotel 3 Banderas, Cartagena

Settled in the beautiful district of San Diego in the very heart of the walled city, the hotel Tres Banderas is in an ideal location for exploring Cartagena. The hotel is a converted colonial style house that was built over 200 years ago and is just 50 metres from the Plaza de San Diego and the Santo Toribio church.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box

Weather

Weather

Quito

Dry Season: June to September

Wet Season: October to May

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Rainy Days

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Bogota

Dry Season: December to February

Wet Season: April to August

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Cartagena

Dry Season: December to April

Wet Season: August to November

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3

Currency

Currency

US Dollar

The official currency of the United States and Ecuador is the US Dollar (US$).

  • 1 US Dollar = 100 cents
  • Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1
  • Coins are in denominations of $1, 50 cents, 25 cents (Quarter), 10 cents (Dime), 5 cents (Nickel) and 1 cent (Penny)

Colombian Peso

The official currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COL$).

  • 1 Colombian Peso = 100 centavos
  • Notes are in denominations of $50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000
  • Coins are in denominations of $500, 200, 100, 50 and 20, also the latter is rarely used

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

    • Australian passport holders
    • A visa waiver is required for travel via the USA. Please note this E-visa also needs to be completed if you are transiting through the USA to reach your required destination. This can be applied for here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Non-Australian passport holders

    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

Tour Extensions

These optional extras can be included in your tour.

Reviews for Colombia & Ecuador

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 1 reviews.

Here's what others have had to say about this tour.

Colombia & Ecuador Good organisation and excellent guide 5
Good organisation and excellent guide. Learnt a lot as well as seeing it all. Judith W - February 2019

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Special Experiences!

  • Travel by cable car to the stunning basilica of Las Lajas Sanctuary, built into the canyon of the Guáitara River.
  • Visit the town of Silvia with its colourful market and indigenous Guambiano people selling produce and handicrafts.
  • Learn to cook some traditional Colombian dishes and enjoy them for lunch.
  • Board a local jeep and travel into the Cocora Valley to marvel at the rolling green hills and towering wax palms.
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise on magnificent Lake Guatapé dotted with islets.
  • Indulge in a group dinner at Restaurante Interno. Located within a prison, your food will be prepared by inmates trained by Michelin-starred chefs as they prepare for reintegration to society.

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, plane, 4WD jeep, cable car & boat

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $310pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

• Spot flora and fauna in the enchanting Bellavista cloud forest • Experience the excitement of Otavalo’s colourful handicraft market • Visit the incredible underground Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira • Try the famous Colombian brew in the Coffee Triangle • Visit spectacular Finca Romelia, home to more than 6,000 types of orchids • Explore the Caribbean city of Cartagena

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Bunnik Tours Reviews for Colombia & Ecuador

This tour has a rating of 5 stars based on 1 reviews.