Yolo: Colombia through the Andes Cartagena to La Paz (SMCL)
Countries Visited: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Trip Style: Yolo - You're only young once, but you can be young-at-heart forever. That's the ethos that powers our Yolo trips; fast-paced and affordable trips designed with the 18-to-thirtysomething traveller in mind. Explore the world by day, stay up all night and do it all again somewhere new the next day with a collection of new best friends you'll want to keep in touch with for the rest of your life. You only live once. Make it count.
Service Level: Basic
Physical Demands Rating: 4 - You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Group Size: Max 18, avg 14.
Meals Included: 33 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 14 dinners
Accommodations: Simple hotels (34 nts, some multi-share), hammock or rustic cots (5 nts), overnight buses (5 nts), homestays (5 nt), camping (3 nts).
Trek to the Lost City of Teyuna, party in Colombian cities, experience local life in an Ecuadorian and Peruvian homestays, conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
An epic South America trip ought to be on everyone's bucket list - so why not tick this one off well ahead of times Across 53 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 markets in Otavalo.
|Call (207) 623-4591 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13650868|
|Offer valid through 12/31/2017|
|Day 1||Cartagena||Day 1 Cartagena|
Arrive at any time. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
|Day 2||Cartagena||Day 2 Cartagena (1B)|
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.
|Day 3||Santa Marta||Day 3 Cartagena/Santa Marta (1B)|
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. Additional Notes: Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area. Transport: Local bus (4.00 hour(s))
|Day 4||Adan Camp||Day 4 Santa Marta/Adan Camp (1L, 1D)|
Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek for 4-5 hrs each day 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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek Day 1 Transport: 4x4
|Day 5||Wiwa Camp||Day 5 Adan Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)|
The route starts along the Buritaca River, taking you further into the vivid green jungle past small villages en route to the camp for the evening. After a long day of trekking, enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the natural swimming pools. Included Activities: Lost City Trek Day 2
|Day 6||Teyuna Paraiso Camp||Day 6 Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)|
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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek Day 3
|Day 7||Wiwa Camp||Day 7 Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)|
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. Included Activities: Lost City Trek Day 4
|Day 8||Taganga||Day 8 Ciudad Perdida/Taganga (1B, 1L)|
After a final morning trek back to Machete Pelao, transfer to the fishing village of Taganga for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Included Activities: Lost City Trek Day 5 Transport: 4x4
|Day 9||Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona||Day 9 Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (1B, 1D)|
Enjoy an overnight excursion to beautiful Tayrona NP. Explore the parks lush greenery, extended beaches and turquoise Caribbean waters. Additional Notes: 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. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
|Day 10||Taganga||Day 10 Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona/Taganga (1B)|
Enjoy a half-day in the park, then return to Taganga for one more night on the Caribbean. Transport: Private Vehicle
|Day 11||Medellin||Day 11 Taganga/Medellin (1B)|
Fly inland to infamous Medellin, now one of Latin Americas safest cities. Enjoy an orientation walk upon arrival and an optional night out with the group. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s))
|Day 12||Bogota||Day 12 Medellin/Bogota|
Opt to go paragliding over the city or catch a ride on the cable car. Board a night bus to Bogota. Transport: Overnight bus (9.00-10.00 hours)
|Day 13||Bogota||Day 13 Bogota|
Orientation walk around the vibrant La Candelaria area. Free time to explore Colombias capital city; check out the riches at the Gold Museum, take a funicular car up Monserrate Hill for sweeping views of the city, or catch a fUtbol (soccer) match if its game day. Included Activities: Orientation Walk
|Day 14||Bogota||Day 14 Bogota (1B)|
Enjoy a second day to explore Colombias capital.
|Day 15||Otavalo||Day 15 Bogota/Otavalo (1B, 1D)|
Fly to Quito and transfer to Otavalo and spend one night at an indigenous community. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food. Included Activities: Indigenous Community Homestay Transport: Plane (4.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
|Day 16||Cotopaxi||Day 16 Otavalo/Cotopaxi|
Visit the famous Otavalo artisan market for a morning perusing colourful textiles, art, carvings and jewelry made by people from nearby communities. Afternoon bus to Cotopaxi to enjoy a couple of nights in Andean beauty. Included Activities: Otavalo Handicrafts Market Visit Transport: Local bus (2.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
|Day 17||Cotopaxi||Day 17 Cotopaxi (1B)|
Opt to visit a lagoon at elevation, hike national park trails or go down Cotopaxi Volcano by mountain bike. Included Activities: Cotopaxi National Park Visit
|Day 18||Quito||Day 18 Cotopaxi/Quito (1B)|
Enjoy the morning in Cotopaxi before travelling back to Quito for an orientation walk and optional night out. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
|Day 19||Quito||Day 19 Quito|
Enjoy a free day to explore Ecuadors capital. Stay in the city, take a day trip to the equator, or the nearby hot springs.
|Day 20||Tena||Day 20 Quito/Tena (1B, 1L, 1D)|
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. Included Activities: Amazon Jungle Local Experience Transport: Local bus (6.00-7.00 hours)
|Days 21-22||Tena||Days 21-22 Tena|
Head out on nature walks and learn about local traditions at an overnight homestay. Included Activities: Amazon Jungle Local Experience
|Day 23||Banos||Day 23 Tena/Banos (1B)|
Banos 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. Transport: Pickup truck (0.75 hour(s)) Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)
|Day 24||Banos||Day 24 Banos|
Opt to soak in the nearby hot springs or get active by hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking.
|Day 25||Cuenca||Day 25 Banos/Cuenca|
Ecuadors 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. Transport: Local bus (2.00 hour(s)) Local bus (6.00 hour(s))
|Day 26||Cuenca||Day 26 Cuenca|
Enjoy a free day to visit Cajas NP or the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.
|Day 27||Mancora||Day 27 Cuenca/Mancora|
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. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Ecuador - Peru) Transport: Local bus (5.00-6.00 hours) Local bus (4.00-5.00 hours)
|Day 28||Mancora||Day 28 Mancora|
Opt to relax on the beach, discover Mancora, go horseback riding, or take a surf lesson.
|Day 29||Huanchaco||Day 29 Mancora/Huanchaco|
Free time in Mancora. Overnight bus to Huanchaco. Transport: Overnight bus
|Day 30||Huanchaco||Day 30 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.
|Day 31||Lima||Day 31 Huanchaco/Lima|
Full day in Huanchaco before boarding a night bus to Lima. Transport: Overnight bus (8.00 hour(s))
|Day 32||Lima||Day 32 Lima (1B)|
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 JirOn de la UniOn 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.
|Day 33||Lima||Day 33 Lima|
Enjoy the day exploring the city.
|Day 34||Paracas||Day 34 Lima/Paracas (1B)|
Savour a pisco sour while staying in Piscos neighbouring town of Paracas. Transport: Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km) Minibus (0.50 hour(s))
|Day 35||Nazca||Day 35 Paracas/Nazca (1D)|
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. Included Activities: Huacachina Winery Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 175km)
|Day 36||Arequipa||Day 36 Nazca/Arequipa|
Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines. Overnight bus to Arequipa. Transport: Overnight bus (8.00-9.00 hours, 570km)
|Day 37||Arequipa||Day 37 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 "PicanterIas" is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.
|Day 38||Colca Canyon||Day 38 Arequipa/Colca Canyon (1B)|
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 vicuNa. Included Activities: Colca Canyon Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
|Day 39||Arequipa||Day 39 Colca Canyon/Arequipa (1B)|
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. Included Activities: Colca Canyon Guided Tour
|Day 40||Cusco||Day 40 Arequipa/Cusco (1B)|
In the morning head back to Arequipa and enjoy a free day. Overnight bus to Cusco. Transport: Private Van with Wi-fi (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km) Overnight bus (10.00 hour(s))
|Day 41||Cusco||Day 41 Cusco|
Free time to explore Cusco. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.
|Day 42||Cusco||Day 42 Cusco (1B)|
Enjoy another free day in Cusco.
|Day 43||Ollantaytambo||Day 43 Cusco/Ollantaytambo (1B)|
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 not only Ollantaytambo and the ruin site of Pisac, but also a visit to a G Adventures-supported womens weaving co-op. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s), 95km)
|Day 44||Wayllabamba Camp||Day 44 Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. Additional Notes: 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. Included Activities: Inca Trail Hike Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
|Day 45||Paqaymayo Camp||Day 45 Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)|
Start early to climb the long steep path to WarmiwaNusca, 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. Included Activities: Inca Trail Hike
|Day 46||Winaywayna||Day 46 Paqaymayo Camp/Winaywayna (1B, 1L, 1D)|
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 WiNay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft). Included Activities: Inca Trail Hike
|Day 47||Cusco||Day 47 Winaywayna/Cusco (1B)|
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. Included Activities: Inca Trail Hike Machu Picchu Guided Tour Big Night Out Transport: Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
|Day 48||Cusco||Day 48 Cusco (1B)|
Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.
|Day 49||Puno||Day 49 Cusco/Puno (1B)|
Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca. Transport: Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 390km)
|Day 50||Lago Titicaca||Day 50 Puno/Lago Titicaca (1B, 1D)|
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. Included Activities: Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1 Lake Titicaca Homestay
|Day 51||Puno||Day 51 Lago Titicaca/Puno (1B, 1L)|
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. Included Activities: Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2
|Day 52||La Paz||Day 52 Puno/La Paz (1B)|
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. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Peru - Bolivia) Transport: Local bus (2.50 hour(s), 300km) Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
|Day 53||La Paz||Day 53 La Paz|
Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
Local Flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Itinerary Disclaimer: While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.