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Central America & Colombia Antigua - Quito

Trip Overview

This 47 day overland tour journeys from Antigua to Quito through Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
47 DAYS THROUGH Colombia, Costa Rica (+ 6 more countries)
RATING:
of 0 reviews
PRICE FROM:
$4,550 (USD) + 1,330 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
47 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, US style school bus, 4x4, Boat, Ferry, Flight
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
ACCOM:
15%
85%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
CGQ
DEPOSIT:
$500 USD

Highlights

  Visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Antigua

  Trek up Santa Ana volcano in Cerro Verde National Park

  3 nights on the Caribbean island of Roatan to swim and relax

  2 Nights in the stunning Caribbean beach national park of Tayrona

  Overnight and explore Lake Nicaragua's volcanic island of Ometepe

  2 nights in La Fortuna with optional excursions to the mighty Arenal volcano

  Guided trek through spectacular Cocora Valley

  2 nights to get to grips with the politics of Leon

  Enjoy the charm of the old colonial architecture in Granada

  Explore Masaya National Park and its dramatic volcano crater rim

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Antigua ( 20th Oct 2019 )

Border information: if joining in Antigua, you will most likely enter Guatemala at Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport (IATA code: GUA).

There will be an important group meeting at 18:00 at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day is free to explore the beautiful colonial city and its dramatic surroundings, and to take part in some optional activities. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Antigua before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Antigua.

In Antigua we will stay in a delightful colonial hotel.

Day 2 - Cerro Verde National Park ( 21st Oct 2019 )

Today we will cross the border into El Salvador and drive to the stunning Cerro Verde National Park, where we will be surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanoes and countryside. In the morning we will have will take a guided trek up the nearby Santa Ana volcano (approximately 4 hours).

In Cerro Verde National Park we will camp with basic facilities.

Border information: Exit Guatemala at Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado, enter El Salvador at La Hachadura.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

 

Day 3-4 - Suchitoto ( 22nd Oct 2019 to 23rd Oct 2019 )

After our trek up the volcano, we will take a short drive to the beautiful town of Suchitoto, where we will have a free afternoon to explore the town, with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, and to learn about the incredible work of the Dragoman-supported community centre in which we stay.

In Suchitoto we will stay in dormitory rooms at the Centro Arte Para La Paz community centre, which runs many programs for the local communities to build cultural identity, unity, teaching skills, self-sufficiency, environmental equality and a culture of peace.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On Day 4 we will have a day to explore Suchitoto, have a guided walking tour of the town, head out on a sunset boat trip or take a day trip to San Salvador.

Day 5-6 - Copán ( 24th Oct 2019 to 25th Oct 2019 )

Border information: Exit El Salvador at Anguiatú, enter Guatemala at Anguiatú. Exit Guatemala at El Florido, enter Honduras at El Florido.

Today we will have a full day drive to return to Guatemala and then onwards to Honduras, arriving at the small village of Copán.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided visit to the spectacular Mayan ruins of Copán, followed by a free afternoon to explore some of the other highlights in the area.

In Copán we will stay in a local hotel.

Day 7-9 - Roatán ( 26th Oct 2019 to 28th Oct 2019 )

Today we will take a short drive to the town of San Pedro Sula and board a short local flight to Roatán, the largest of the famous tropical Bay Islands. On arrival we will transfer to the area of the West End Bay, where we base ourselves for our stay. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following 2 days we will enjoy lots of free time to take part in the wealth of optional activities available on Roatán, and of course to relax and swim on the stunning Caribbean beaches here!

In Roatán we will stay in a local hotel near the beach.

Day 10 - Lake Yojoa ( 29th Oct 2019 )

Today we will start early to transfer back to Roatán's airport and catch our flight back to the mainland, rejoining the Dragoman Bus! We will then continue our journey east through Honduras to the beautiful countryside of Lake Yojoa

In Lake Yojoa we will camp for the night in the grounds of a lodge and brewery.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Day 11 - Somoto ( 30th Oct 2019 )

Today we will cross the border into Nicaragua, we will the head to the Somoto Canyon and stay in cabins near a village community.

In the morning we will have an included half day canyoning experience, or alternatively for those who wish a farm and village tour.

Aprroximate drive time - 364km / 8hrs

Day 12-13 - León ( 31st Oct 2019 to 1st Nov 2019 )

This morning we will enjoy our canyon tour and then drive to the university town of León.

Estimated Drive Time - 212km / 4hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the town's wonderful colonial architecture or to take part in the many optional activities available here.

In León we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Day 14-15 - Granada, Masaya National Park ( 2nd Nov 2019 to 3rd Nov 2019 )

Today we will take a short drive to Nicaraguas's oldest city of Granada, a beautiful town which oozes with colonial charm! En route we will have an included visit to the traditional markets in the small town of Masaya, and witness the incredible active caldera of the nearby Masaya volcano (if its volcanic activity isn't too high).

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the historic streets of Granada's old town, or take part in some of the myriad of optional activities that are available here.  

In Granada we will stay in a centrally-located hostel, which has a mixture of private and dormitory rooms.

Day 16-17 - Ometepe Island ( 4th Nov 2019 to 5th Nov 2019 )

This morning we drive to the small town of San Jorge on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake. Here we will board a ferry to the stunning volcanic island of Ometepe, where we base ourselves in the port village of Moyogalpa and enjoy free time to explore on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore and take part in optional activities such as the challenging trek to the summit of the Concepción volcano that dominates the island, or seeing some of the mysterious ancient petroglyphs that are dotted through the landscape.

On Ometepe we will stay in a small local hotel.

Day 18-19 - La Fortuna ( 6th Nov 2019 to 7th Nov 2019 )

Border information: Exit Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas, enter Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas.

Today we will take an early morning ferry back to San Jorge and drive to La Fortuna in Costa Rica, a stunning town under the shadow of the mighty Arenal volcano. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take optional treks through the incredible surrounding volcanic landscapes or forest canopies, or get involved in many different adventure activities such as zip-lining, white-water rafting, and canyoning. La Fortuna is also famous for its outstanding hot springs, which we will have the opportunity to visit.

In La Fortuna we will stay in excellent cabanas outside of town.

Day 20-21 - Monteverde ( 8th Nov 2019 to 9th Nov 2019 )

Today we will leave our overland vehicle behind and transfer by taxi and boat into the dense cloud forests and coffee plantations of Monteverde, a stunning area offering an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided walk on the trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Reserve, followed by a free afternoon to visit some of the town's highlights or enjoy some adventurous activities such as canyoning or horse riding.

In Monteverde we will stay in a local hotel.

Day 22-23 - Manuel Antonio National Park ( 10th Nov 2019 to 11th Nov 2019 )

Today we will continue by taxi to the small town of Tilarán, where we will rejoin our overland vehicle and drive to the spectacular beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided walk through some of the beautiful trails within park, learning all about its flora and fauna and immersing ourselves in the idyllic landscape. We will have free time in the afternoon to take part in some optional activities or relax on the wonderful beaches.

In Manuel Antonio we will stay in a hostel near the beach, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

Day 24-25 - Boquete ( 12th Nov 2019 to 13th Nov 2019 )

Border information: Exit Costa Rica at Paso Canoas, enter Panama at Paso Canoas.

Today we will drive across the Panama border into the Chiriqui highlands, arriving at the town of Boquete.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take part in some of the many optional outdoor activities which the town is famous for, including the opportunity to take the strenuous trek to the 3,478m summit of Volcán Barú, the highest point in Panama.

In Boquete we will stay in a local hostel, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

Day 26 - Panama ( 14th Nov 2019 )

Today we will continue to Chagres National Park and explore the Grandfather of the Panama Canal: the Camino Real, a cobblestoned road from the Caribbean to the Pacific through the rainforests of Panama, established as the transport route of Gold and Silver by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th Century. The Camino Real was rediscovered only recently, and we will visit and stay overnight at a community, which worked together with researcher Christian Strassnig to identify the original route of the Camino Real in the jungle.

At Alajuela Lake we take a dugout boat to observe remains of the Camino Real at the lakeshore, then we arrive at the community and we are warmly welcomed by the people who are inspired with perspective of sustainable development through community tourism at the Camino Real. We have a typical Panamanian lunch and see then a presentation of authentic Panamanian folklore. In the morning we will undertake a hike the Camino Real, see the original cobblestone and be fascinated by stories of the mule trains, gold and pirates.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

Day 27 - Panama City ( 15th Nov 2019 )

After early morning coffee you can go for an optional bird-watching hike on a trail with plenty of tropical birds (free with local guides). At return to community we have a hearty breakfast. We will then take a hike on the trail.  Afterwards it is time to say good-bye and we return by boat to our Overland Bus.

We will then drive to the Miraflores Visitor Centre at the world-famous Panama Canal, learning all about its controversial history and incredible role in shaping trade and world politics in the 20th century. After our included visit we will complete the drive to the capital, Panama City.

In Panama City we will stay in a local hotel in the Bella Vista district.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

Day 28 - Cartagena ( 16th Nov 2019 )

Today there will be a flight from Panama City to Cartagena which will have been booked by us for you.

Upon arrival in Cartagena you will be taken to the joining hotel for the next leg of the trip.

Day 29 - Cartagena ( 17th Nov 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Cartagena, you will most likely enter Colombia at Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport (IATA code: CTG).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cartagena before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cartagena.

In Cartagena we stay in a comfortable hotel just outside the historical centre.

If you are continuing on from Panama, then your leader will have assisted you with airport transfers for your included flight to arrive in time for the joining meeting.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Days diving or snorkelling trip out to Islas del Rosario, Cartagena

COP 60000
Head out for a day of scuba diving amongst the reefs surrounding the Islas del Rosario in the Caribbean Sea
USD 60
Discover the brutal history of the Spanish Inquisition at their former headquarters in Cartagena, the Palace of the Inquistion
COP 15000
Learn all about Cartagena's naval tradition and history at the Naval Museum of the Caribbean
COP 15000
Day 30 - Cartagena ( 18th Nov 2019 )

Today we will have a full day in the beautiful coastal colonial city of Cartagena.

In the morning we will have an included walking tour of the city, and then the afternoon will be free to explore the city further, enjoy the many optional activities on offer, or simply relax on the beach.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore Cartagena on a guided walking tour

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the historic Castillo San Fellipe

COP 17000

Visit the mudbaths at the Totumo Volcano

USD 25
Day 31-32 - Tayrona National Park ( 19th Nov 2019 to 20th Nov 2019 )

Today we have a short drive to the stunning Tayrona National Park. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

The following day we have an included walk in the National Park.  

In Tayrona we will sleep in Hammocks, no food is provided, but there are restaurants and cafes nearby by.  There is an hour walk from where we park our truck to our campsite. 

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Relax and unwind on the unspoilt beaches in Tayrona National Park

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Time to explore the Cloud Forests of the Sierra Nevada foothills

Free
Day 33-34 - Lorica ( 21st Nov 2019 to 22nd Nov 2019 )

This morning we will walk back to our truck and leave Tayrona National park.  We will head south for the pretty colonial town of Santa Cruz de Lorica on the Sinu River.

We will have a free day to relax and discover the historic centre, learn about the traditional Vueltiao hat or head to the coast and soak up the sun in San Bernardo del Viento.

Day 35-37 - Medellín ( 23rd Nov 2019 to 25th Nov 2019 )

Today we have a full days drive to vibrant city of Medellin.  the following morning we will have a guided walking tour of the city.  We then have plenty of time to relax or take park in some of activities available here.

In Medellín we will stay in dormitory accommodation in a centrally-located hostel, allowing you to enjoy the exciting nightlife of the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours 

 

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Day trip to Santa Fe de Antioquia

COP 3000

Take the pioneering Metroline cable car up to Santo Domingo, to see a very different area of the city and the revitalising effect the Metroline has had on the communities there

COP 1750

Visit the colossal Catedral Metropolitana in the city centre, built using over a million bricks between 1875 and 1931

Free

See Medellín's perfect blend of art, culture, and history by visiting the Plaza Botero and the nearby Museo de Antioquia and the Rafael Uribe Palacio de la Cultura

COP 10000

Relax and unwind on a stroll though the Medellín's gorgeous Botanical Gardens, and discover some of its 1000 different floral species on display

COP 2500

Head out on a fascinating walking tour of Medellín and learn all about it's tumultuous past

USD 10

Explore the beautiful model Antioquian village of Pueblito Paisa and the interesting sculpture park at Nutibara Hill

Free

Explore the Museum of the University of Antioquia, and marvel at its collectino of visual arts, anthropological exhibits, and over 20,000 pieces of pre-Colombian ceramics

Free

Head out and discover some of Medellín's vibrant and unusual nightlife at the Dulce Jesus Mio club

COP 10000

See some of Colombia's finest contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Moderno (NAMM), including the complete work of the local painter Débora Arango

COP 5000
Visit the planetarium and public science exhibits at the Parque de los Deseos
Free
Day 38 - Manizales ( 26th Nov 2019 )

Today we will head into the heart of the coffee region for a night at a beautiful Hacienda near the town of Manizales.  Tomorrow we can relax in the grounds, take a bird watching walk to spot some of the many hummingbirds that frequent the area. 

Estimated Drive time: 7 hours

We will stay in twin share accommodation in a lovely hacienda in the countryside.

Day 39-41 - Salento ( 27th Nov 2019 to 29th Nov 2019 )

Today we will continue our journey south to the small town of Salento, the gateway to the spectacular Valle de Cocora.  

Salento will be our base to take a guided trek through the Cocora Valley to see the Quindio wax palm trees, the largest palms in the world and the national tree of Colombia and also to do a coffee plantation tour.

Estimated Drive Time - 1.5 hours

In Salento we will stay in a local guesthouse within a working coffee farm, in dorm room accommodation.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Learn all about the cultivation and production of Colombian Coffee on a guided tour

Included in Kitty

Head out on a half-day guided trek through the spectacular Cocora Valley, and see the incredible 50m-tall Quindio wax palms, the tallest plam trees in the world!

Included in Kitty
Day 42-43 - Popayán ( 30th Nov 2019 to 1st Dec 2019 )

Today we will drive to the beautiful town and former colonial capital of Popayán.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore Popayán or take part in some excellent treks or other optional activities in the surrounding area.

In Popayán we stay in dormitory accommodation in a local hostel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Relax in the volcanic thermal springs near the village of Coconuco, dramatically set in a steep-sided valley

COP 60000

Trek to the 4,650m summit of the towering Puracé volcano near Popayán

COP 130000
Day 44 - Ipiales ( 2nd Dec 2019 )

Today we will have a full day drive to the border town of Ipiales.

In Ipiales we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

Day 45 - Otavalo, Ipiales ( 3rd Dec 2019 )

We will leave Colombia behind today and cross the border into Ecuador, we will have time for an included visit to the beautiful Santurio de las Lajas, before heading to Otavalo.

Tonight we will camp in the grounds of a pretty Guesthouse in Otavalo.

Estimated drive time: 3 hours.

Border information: Exit Colombia at Ipiales, enter Ecuador at Ipiales.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the jaw dropping Santuario Las Lajas on the outskirts of Ipiales

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a short walk to the beautiful Peguche Waterfalls near Otavalo (if time allows)
Free

Village Tour Of Otavalo

Free
Day 46 - Quito ( 4th Dec 2019 )

We will head south for the final leg of our journey to the bustling captial, Quito. En route into the city we will have an included visit to Mitad del Mundo, the monument that marks the Equator.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo

Included in Kitty
Day 47 - Quito ( 5th Dec 2019 )

Border information: if you are finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a trip on El Telerifiqo, the world's second highest cable car

USD 8.5

Visit the Museo De La Ciudad

USD 3
Take a walk around Quito's incredible Botanical Gardens, which showcases all of Ecuador's various ecosystems and their flora
USD 3.5
Visit the Museo Mindalae, the extremely original project showcasing Ecuador's rich cultural diversity
USD 3

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Trip Notes
Departing: 20 Oct 2019
Returning: 5 Dec 2019
Duration: 47 days
Route: Antigua - Quito
$4,550 USD + $1,330 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
limited
Departing: 5 Mar 2020
Returning: 20 Apr 2020
Duration: 47 days
Route: Quito - Antigua
$4,605 USD + $1,330 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
closed
FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 11 Oct 2020
Returning: 26 Nov 2020
Duration: 47 days
Route: Antigua - Quito
$4,605 USD + $1,330 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available