PACIFIC SAPPHIRE 2016

Colombia- Ecuador 14 days/ 13 nights

  • Day 01  Bogota
  • Day 02   Bogota
  • Day 03   Bogota-Armenia (Coffee Region)
  • Day 04   Armenia
  • Day 05   Armenia-Cartagena
  • Day 06   Cartagena
  • Day 07   Cartagena-Bogota-Quito
  • Day 08   Quito-Otavalo
  • Day 09   Otavalo-Cotopaxi
  • Day 10   Baños-Riobamba
  • Day 11   Riobamba-Cuenca
  • Day 12   Cuenca
  • Day 13   Cuenca-Guayaquil
  • Day 14   Guayaquil-Home (or Ext to Galapagos)

DAY 1

BOGOTÁ - / - / -

Arrival in Bogotá. Welcome by a bilingual travel guide and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 2

BOGOTÁ B / - / -

The half day City Tour begins with a walk to Bogotá’s main square, the Plaza de Bolívar and the government buildings around it, before entering the nearby “Candelaria” old town, the colonial centre of the city. Followed by visits to San Francisco church and to the world-famous Museo Del Oro (closed on Mondays), which contains more than 30.000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. End the trip with a cable car ride to the summit of Monserrate hill, Bogotá’s best-known landmark, with a wonderful view of the whole city and the savannah beyond.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 3

BOGOTÁ - ARMENIA (COFFEE REGION B / - / -

Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Armenia. On arrival, transfer to a coffee-growing farm located near Armenia where you spend two nights. In the afternoon visit of a special coffee growing farm which consists of a technical and practical introduction about the whole coffee cultivation and production process and a visit of the botanical garden with its impressive butterfly raising.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 4

ARMENIA (COFFEE REGION) B / - / -

Full day excursion to the Cocora Valley. With breathtaking landscapes which can be explored by horseback riding or walking through one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. Here you find the impressive “Palma de Cera”, the Colombian national tree and one of the tallest varieties of palm in the world. On the way back to Armenia visit Salento a picturesque village in the middle of the coffee growing landscape.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 5

ARMENIA (COFFEE REGION) - CARTAGENA B / - / -

In the morning, overland trip back to Armenia. Flight to Cartagena via Bogotá. Welcome by the local travel guide and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 6

CARTAGENA B / - / -

Half day City Tour. After a good night's sleep a tour around Cartagena, one of the most impressive urban centers in Latin America awaits you. It is an ancient city constructed in the Spanish colonial style and surrounded by high defensive walls. Do not be surprised if your own defenses fall and you find yourself falling in love with Cartagena’s heady mix of history and Caribbean charm. The tour takes you around all the historic buildings and plazas of the old city, including the “La Popa” convent and “San Felipe” castle. The afternoon is at leisure and for you to either explore the streets of the old city or take a bath in the Caribbean Sea.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 7

CARTAGENA - BOGOTÁ - QUITO B / - / -

During the course of the morning, transfer to the airport and flight via Bogotá to Quito.

Arrival in Quito and transfer to the hotel. Afterwards city tour in Quito. The city is one of the highest located cities in the world 2840 meters above sea level. You visit Guapulo, where you have a beautiful view of the Valle de los Chillos and the eastern Andes. Continue with a visit of the beautiful renewed colonial centre with the Independence Square, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Church of San Francisco and Church la Compañia which is bathed in Gold, an impressive local art. To finish the tour, visit the Panecillo, a small hill in the city center with a fabulous view of the 45 km long and 4 km wide city and the snow-capped volcanoes. In the afternoon visit the world famous Equator, “Mitad del Mundo” which is located only 30 minutes from Quito. Here you have the opportunity to jump from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. In the 18th century the French Geodesic Expedition arrived here to perform important researches and investigate the Earth’s actual form. A monument and the interesting INTI ÑAN Museum, where you learn about all the different cultures of Ecuador.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 8

QUITO – OTAVALO B / - / -

Early departure from Quito through to the North on the "Panamericana” avenue to the Province of Imbabura. Visit Otavalo, which is 95 km north of Quito. There you find a colourful Indian market that for many years is located at the "Plaza del Poncho." A place to take wonderful pictures and admire Otavalo Indians in their typical clothing, and also purchase leather and woven products, rugs, "shigras" (colorful straw or linen woven bags), as well as hand-carved wooden products. Also you have the opportunity to visit Peguche artisan center, where wool hats are elaborated. In the afternoon visit the Lake of Cuicocha, located in the center of a volcano.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 9

OTAVALO - COTOPAXI B / - / -

In the morning trip to the Cotapaxi National Park, that covers 33,500 hectares. The snow capped volcano is 5897 meters above sea level and is the second highest active volcano in the world. It has a perfect cone shaped peak. Here you find the Andean Condor, Andean seagull, hummingbirds and other animals, as llamas and wild horses. Part of the tour is Lake Limpiopungo.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 10

BAÑOS - RIOBAMBA B / - / -

After a delicious breakfast, continue your trip southwards to the small town of Baños. There you experience the “Waterfalls Route” which goes from Baños to Puyo. Stop at “Pailon del Diablo” waterfall, which means Devils pan, a fantastic waterfall with three slides. Visit the small picturesque town of Baños and try their delicious candies and sweets. Continue your drive to Riobamba.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 11

RIOBAMBA - ALAUSI - INGAPIRCA - CUENCA B / - / -

Drive from Riobamba to the picturesque town Called Alausí, passing by Cajabamba and the Colta Lagoons, also the small village of Guamote. Here you experience the most exhilarating part of the journey, said to be one of the most spectacular train rides in the world. The train zigzags up and down 45-degree gradient called "Nariz del Diablo" (Devil’s Nose. The train goes backwards on the way down, and then returns to Alausí. After the train trip continue the visit the Ingapirca Ruins, located in the province of Cañar. Ingapirca means “Incas stone wall”. It is believed today that Ingapirca was both a religious and administrative centre, as well as a fortress. The Incas built the complex on top of an old Cañari settlement. The vast archaeological complex of the ruins includes a roofless fortification, courtyards, terraces, temples, houses and a “castle”, possibly the “Temple of the Sun”. Continue to Cuenca.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 12

CUENCA B / - / -

Cuenca is one of Ecuador's colonial jewels, with orderly classified cobblestone streets, excellent houses and buildings characterized by their elegant and unique metal balconies, adorned with abundant spring plants. Typical markets and stores show the region's cultural wealth, heredity of its Indian ancestors. Cuenca is one of Ecuador's most visited cities. The city tour starts along the Tomebamba River. You will admire lovely balconies, tiles, pink marble stone and wood with which most of its fantastic houses are built. Visit the valleys of Chordeleg and Gualaceo, very well known for their fine jewelry and markets.

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 13

CUENCA - GUAYAQUIL B / - / -

After breakfast, trip to Guayaquil passing through El Cajas National Park located 21 miles away from Cuenca. The altitude ranges from 2999 to 3500 meters. Place where Cuencas rivers are born, a fantastic National Park. Continue the road until Guayaquil

Overnight at the selected hotel

 

DAY 14

GUAYAQUIL B / - / -

Ecuador’s most important port and the largest city with near 3 million inhabitants. Have a Guayaquil city tour visiting the most important attractions like the Malecon 2000, Parque Seminario and the neighborhood of Las Peñas with its picturesque colorful houses. Transfer to the airport for your flight back home

 
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