Discover rich cultural heritage as you travel through the colonial cities of Ecuador and Colombia, right from Quito in the Andean highlands to colorful Otavalo, and bustling Bogota to timeless Cartagena. Highlights of your tour include a visit to the incredibly biodiverse Yasuni National Park in the Amazon as well as a brief sojourn in the verdant Coffee Region of Colombia.
The capital of Ecuador, Quito, is one of the most visited cities in South America. Surrounded by volcanoes and the Andean highlands, the city provides a cultural feast with its many churches and monasteries.
Quito City Tour and Middle of the World On this private full day guided tour, visit the Independence Square flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Continue to the Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings of the New World. Its impressive façade and atrium lead to its gold interior, Baroque influence by Moorish style, with the winged Virgin of Quito at its main altar. Then continue approx. 25 km north of Quito to the ‘Middle of the World.’ Here at the 30 m tall monument, learn about the French-Spanish geodetic expedition of 1736-1744 which determined the position of the Equator. Stand and have your picture taken with one leg in the northern hemisphere and the other leg in the southern hemisphere of the earth. (Full day, private activity, lunch included)
Located in northeast Ecuador, the UNESCO site of Yasuni Biosphere Reserve and National Park is one of few places in the world where plant, mammal, amphibian, and bird species all reach their maximum biodiversity.
Included Activities at Napo Wildlife Center (4 days) Pick up at Coca airport. The activities of the day begin with a two-hour motorboat ride along the Napo River, a privileged opportunity to observe majestic Amazonian wildlife species such as kingfishers and herons. Embark on a paddle-canoe journey along the estuaries leading to the Napo Wildlife Center standing on the shores of the Añagu Lake. On day two, visit several parrot clay licks and admire the colorful spectacle of more than 11 species of birds coming together to feed with the minerals concentrated in the soil. In the afternoon, hike a forest trail leading to a local township to learn about the customs and traditions of the Kichwa Añagu Community. On day three, climb 36 meters high to the Canopy Observation tower where flocks of birds such as vibrantly colored tanagers, macaws and toucans will pass you by. In the afternoon, explore the lower levels of the forest that are home to lizards, monkeys, rare insects and snakes. Also keep your eyes open for Giant Otters at the black Añagu Lake. On day four, slowly sink in the sounds and sights of the forest as you enjoy the paddle-cannoe and motorboat ride back to Coca.
Otavalo is a quaint and largely indigenous town in the Imbabura province to the north of Quito.
Included at Hacienda Cusin Guests at Hacienda Cusin can enjoy exploring the over 5 acres of extensive perennial gardens resplendent with flowers, hundreds of trees and dozens of lovely ponds, cobblestoned paths and patios. Guests also have access to the game room, squash and basketball courts.
Set at an altitude of over 2,000 meters in Colombia’s Eastern Andean range, Bogota boasts wonderful highland climate and natural beauty. The capital of Columbia is dotted with numerous national monuments and cultural landmarks.
City Tour of Bogota The Colombian capital city of Bogota offers an eclectic and cleverly juxtaposed mix of the old and the new. Experience the unique life of its citizens in the pulsating heart of its bustling marketplaces. Soak in the sights, smells and tastes of Bogotá’s Paloquemao with its typical fruits, vegetables and other fresh produce native to the region. Visit the Plaza de Bolívar, the center of the downtown district of La Candelaria. Walk down cobbled streets, admiring medieval cathedrals, old colonial buildings and important modern landmarks such as the Town Hall. Visit the famous museum housing the priceless works of contemporary artist, Fernando Botero; and admire the gold collection of the ancient Muisca Empire in the Gold Museum. Climb up to the Cerro Monserrate for panoramic views of the city spread out below, amid spectacular Andean peaks towering all around. (Duration: between 6 and 7 hours, Private Activity & Transfer; Please bring comfortable walking shoes; Gold Museum closed on Mondays).
Colombia’s Eje Cafetero or the Coffee Region—a rural stretch encompassing the three cities of Armenia, Pereira and Manizales—is renowned for producing the best coffee in the world!
Finlandia, Cocora Valley and Salento Tour Beginn the day visiting the lovely town of Finlandia before heading to the Cocora Valley to discover the Quindío wax palm tree, Colombia’s national symbol and tree. Set at an altitude of over 2,000 meters (above 6,500 feet) this beautiful cloud forest is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park. Discover the heart of this valley on horseback. You can take a lunch break in a charming little restaurant overlooking the valley, on your way down. Feast on freshly cooked trucha al ajillo (grilled trout in garlic sauce) before heading back up to the picturesque little town of Salento. Take a leisurely walk through the streets to reach up to the vantage point of Alto de la Cruz, for a mesmerizing, panoramic view of the Cocora Valley spread out beneath, surrounded by the Andean mountains of the Los Nevados National Natural Park. (Full Day, Morning Tour; Private Activity & Transfers; Lunch not included; Fitness Level: Easy/Moderate; Please bring comfortable clothes for horseback riding).
Botanical Garden & Butterfly Park Visit Indulge the nature enthusiast in you at this alluring slice of preserved forest area in the fragrant Coffee Region. The region’s Botanical Garden and Butterfly Park is a paradise for nature and bird lovers. The forested area is home to trees nearly two centuries old and 600 species of plant life! Visit the Insect Zoo, which offers a panoramic view of layers upon layers of vegetation from a 7-storey high viewing balcony. Make your acquaintance with a hundred avian species that reside on the highest treetops. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the fantastic Butterfly Park that holds almost two thousand butterflies of 50 different species. Make your way through innumerable, exotic flower-lined walkways in this wonderland. (Full Day; Fitness Level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes).
Cartagena, Colombia’s very own Caribbean beauty, has a way of getting under your skin with its ageless charm. In sharp contrast to its colonial architecture, lies upscale, beachside neighborhoods with highrises, shopping malls and trendy eateries.
Cartagena City Tour Experience the grand colonial charm of this 16th century Spanish stronghold by the Caribbean Sea. Visit the imposing Fort San Felipe, whose tall stone walls still protect the city from the ‘pirates’ of the Caribbean Sea! A major Spanish port, it was mainly through Cartagena that most of the treasures of the Incas, the Andean and Amazonian empires were shipped off to the ‘Old World’. Relive the old times of rascally pirates and conquistadors, as you amble through winding streets and alleyways of the Old Town. Later visit the well-preserved historic buildings in Cartagena downtown. (Duration: 4 hours; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness level: Easy; Please bring comfortable walking shoes).
Discovery Tour of National Aviary in Baru Take up the unique opportunity of encountering multiple environs on this tour of the National Aviary in Baru. A dream trip for any nature and bird lover, be part of this wonderful ecotourism initiative in Colombia. Accompanied by your local guide, ride to the aviary, which displays a variety of exhibits to replicate tropical rainforests, tropical dry forests and desert landscapes. Explore over a hundred species of exotic bird life, marveling at the natural beauty surrounding you. (Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness level: Easy; Please bring sun hats and comfortable walking shoes).
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
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