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TRAINS & COFFEE IN ECUADOR, COLOMBIA AND PANAMA

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Why Book With Us?

  • No-hassle best price guarantee
  • Customer care available 24/7
  • Hand-picked Activities & unique, out of the common Tour Itineraries
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Tour Dates 2018: 08 - 28 November
  • Small Group Trip
  • Cultural Train Tour

OVERVIEW

Traveling on trains, discovering the world of Coffee and fascinating journeys away from the beaten track are the main ingredients of this tour. The northwestern part of South America is an emerging region in tourism, but still mostly unknown to traditional travelers.

Travel on trains, delve into the culture, exploring local art, cuisine, and customs of the visited countries. Get access to museums, private coffee tastings and a behind-the-scenes tour of a flower plantation. It goes without saying that along the way, we visit many fascinating cities, meet exciting people and do many photo-stops.

YOU WILL LIKE

  • Train Journey across Ecuador aboard the Tren Crucero
  • Train Journey from Bogota to Zipaquira
  • Discover the secret of the World's Best Coffee in Colombia
  • Traveling by train from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean in Panama
  • Explore bustling cities such as Quito, Bogota, Cartagena de Indias or Panama

PRICING

Nov 08 to Nov 28, 2018, from USD 5’726.– per person

Apr 18 – May 08, 2019, from USD 5’953.– per person

INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation in comfortable hotels
  • Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • English speaking Tour Leader and Local Guides
  • Airport and Railway Station Transfers throughout the Journey
  • Entrance fees and Sightseeing
  • Train Tickets in the best available class

NOT INCLUDED:

  • International flights to Guayaquil and out of Panama City
  • Early check-in / late check-out in Hotels
  • Tips for guides, drivers

ITINERARY

Day 1

ARRIVAL IN GUAYAQUIL
You arrive with your international flight in Guayaquil. Welcome and transfer in to your hotel in Guayaquil. 

Day 2

CITY TOUR IN GUAYAQUIL
We meet our guide at our hotel for a half-day city tour including lunch. We visit the San Pedro Cathedral, the Palacio Municipal, and the Malecon Simon Bolivar. Then, we continue to the Parque Historico, a cultural, environmental, and educational space that features exhibits about the city of Guayaquil during the colonial era. We spend the night at the Hotel in Guayaquil. (B/L)

Day 3 

TREN CRUCERO FROM DURAN TO BUCAY
Our journey begins at the Duran train station where we will board a train pulled by a carefully restored steam locomotive. Our first stop is Yaguachi, where we will switch engines to continue our trip across vast plantations of sugar cane, banana, rice, and pineapple until we reach the small town of Naranjito. A short bus transfer will take us to a local hacienda were we will learn about the cocoa bean. A bus brings us to Bucay were we will do a hike around the tropical forest, home of many plants, birds, and orchids. We will check in at our hotel where we have dinner and stay overnight. (B/L/D)

Day 4

TREN CRUCERO BUCAY – RIOBAMBA
Our adventure continues by bus climbing the Andes on a pleasant 4-hour drive. Our first destination is the town of Alausi were we embark on a thrilling adventure on board the famous Devil´s Nose train. We will start our trip to the Devil´s Nose, a 450-meter descent in barely 12 kilometers on a zig-zagging railway to the train station of Sibambe. We continue by bus to the nearby Guamote where we board the Tren Crucero again. Lunch will be served on the train.  This huge steam locomotive is strong enough to pull trains over the railways of the Andes. Once we arrive in Riobamba a bus brings us to our nearby hotel where we have dinner and a good night sleep. (B/L/D)

Day 5

TREN CRUCERO RIOBAMBA – QUITO
We depart to the Urbina train station, the highest point on our journey in Ecuador at 3,600 meters above sea level. We continue with the Tren Crucero north across the Avenue of Volcanoes. At the Hacienda La Alegria, we will be greeted by the “Chagras”, the cowboys of the Andes. We arrive in Quito’s Chimbacalle Train Station where a bus will be waiting for us, taking us to our hotel for dinner and a peaceful night. (B/L/D)

Day 6

TREN DE LA LIBERTAD
A bus brings us north to Otavalo, across deep valleys and charming mountains that seem to be patched up in different colors. We arrive at San Roque train station where we will embark a panoramic train on a journey on the Tren de la Libertad. We have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit and cruise (if the weather permits) the Cuicocha Crater Lake. In the afternoon we reach the Hosteria Puerto Lago where we spend the night. (B/L/D)

Day 7

MARKET IN OTAVALO & ROSE PLANTATION
In the morning, you have time to visit the Otavalo Handicraft Market to buy souvenirs for your family and friends at home. In the later morning, we go to the Zuleta Valley where we meet local ladies doing fantastic embroidery work. We have lunch at a picturesque Hacienda in Cayambe. After lunch, we visit a large rose plantation where you will be introduced to the famous Ecuadorian Roses. In the evening we reach Quito where you have dinner and stay overnight. (B/L/D)

8 Day

CITY TOUR IN QUITO
We start the city tour in the old part of Quito with its many churches and convents. We have lunch in a typical restaurant in Quito’s old town. In the afternoon, we go to the Equator-Line where you can do Equator experiments and take pictures being in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at the same time. We finish our day in Quito going to the airport for our flight to Bogota in Colombia. In Bogota, we transfer in to our hotel. (B/L/D) 

Day 9

CITY TOUR IN BOGOTA
A funicular brings us up to the Monserrate Hill at 3,152 meters (10,341ft) above sea level. From the Monserrate Hill, we have breathtaking views of the city of Bogota. Back in the city, we visit the Gold and Botero Museums. We walk through the historical part of Bogota after lunch, visiting the Plaza Bolivar, the National Capitol, the Cathedral, and Bogota’s old town called Candelaria. We spend the night at the hotel Mich in Bogota. (B/L)

Day 10 

TREN DE LA SABANA
Transfer from our hotel to the Sabana railway station where we board the “Tren de la Sabana”. Enjoy from the train Bogota’s Savannah Region during the 53km journey to Zipaquira. In Ziparquira, we visit the Salt Cathedral 180 m (591 ft.) below the ground, inside an old salt mine. On the journey back to Bogota, the train stops in Cojiba where we have lunch. From Cojiba we return to Bogota in our private vehicle. We stay overnight in our hotel in Bogota. (B,L)

Day 11

BOGOTA – ARMENIA
Transfer to the airport in Bogota and flight to Perreira. We will live the experience in the “Thermal of Santa Rosa,” enjoying its impressive waterfall, combining the warm waters with the freshness of the river. Santa Rosa is a place to relax and enjoy the mountains and the cloud forest at the same time. In the afternoon, we drive to our Hotel San Carlos Lodge near Armenia. (B/L)

Day 12

INTRODUCTION TO COLOMBIAN PREMIUM COFFEE AT SAN ALBERTO
San Alberto is a premium coffee producer in Buenavista, Quindío. The San Alberto Coffee Plantation invites us to take a tour along the steep mountain, walking through the fields of coffee bushes while learning about every detail that makes San Alberto a unique product. The tour ends with a tasting session in the quality laboratory, where you will learn to differentiate coffee quality through the methodology used by experts. In the afternoon, we return to the Hotel San Carlos Lodge where we stay overnight. (B/L/D)

Day 13

CITY TOUR IN MEDELLIN 
Morning flight from Pereira to Medellin. Sit back and relax on Medellin’s modern public transport system as you enjoy views of the Andes Mountains, the city, and river. We arrive with the train in a downtown station beginning the city exploration on foot. We stop by a collection of sculptures created by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, and admire the plazas and colonial churches. Then, we climb aboard the aerial cable car for a ride into the mountains surrounding the town. After lunch, we visit a “Silletero’s” home in the outskirts of Medellin. In the evening, we invite you to a salsa dinner show. We stay overnight in our hotel in Medellin. (B/L/D)

Day 14

HYDRANGEAS AND ORCHIDS AT HACIENDA SAN ISIDRO
We visit the Hacienda San Isidro which cultivates Hydrangeas and Orchids.
The hacienda is located in eastern Antioquia at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. The owner’s of San Isidro has one of the best private collections of orchids in Colombia (more than 5,000 species and hybrids), learn about the cultivation of hydrangeas and orchids and get to know the diversity of flora and fauna of the region. 

Day 15

INDUSTRIAL COFFEE PRODUCER IN THE CAUCA VALLEY
We visit Cauca Viejo, a private town imitating the remote coffee-growing villages of the region. Later in the morning, we go to the large coffee Hacienda Santa Isabel where you can meet and taste their varieties of coffee. Discover how coffee is produced on a large scale. We have lunch at the coffee plantation high up in the hills with a very famous view which is part of a logo of a multinational coffee shop chain. We return to Medellin in the afternoon. (B/L)

Day 16

GUATAPE
We visit the Peñol-Guatapé reservoir which has a dam that was built at the end of the 1970s, flooding thousands of hectares. Here, we will visit Piedra del Peñol where we will find a viewpoint that gives us a beautiful view over this artificial lake. We have lunch and visit the picturesque, colorful town of Guatape. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport in Medellin for the flight to Cartagena de Indias in the Caribbean. Transfer in to our hotel where we stay overnight and have dinner. (B/L/D)

Day 17

CITY TOUR IN CARTAGENA DE INDIAS
Experience all of Cartagena’s historical highlights on a comprehensive guided tour of Colombia’s most vibrant city. Immerse yourself in the Caribbean color and cultural flair of the town as you visit revered museums, iconic fortresses, and impressive monuments. Admire the astonishing colonial architecture of the Torre de Reloj, the famous clock tower, and explore the glittering exhibitions of the Museum of Gold. (B/L)

Day 18

CARTAGENA DAY AT LEISURE
Enjoy a day at leisure in Cartagena. In the evening transfer to the Airport for the flight to Panama City. In Panama transfer in to our hotel. (B/D)

Day 19

TRANSOCEANIC TRAIN JOURNEY AND PORTOBELLO 
We do an unforgettable journey along the canal by train. See the Canal from the comfort of a railway carriage. In Portobello, we will walk through the town and ancient Spanish constructions and we will visit the San Felipe Church home of the famous Black Christ of Portobello. From here you go to the nearby Gatún Locks observation area, where you’ll have an impressive view of the Caribbean Sea 87 ft below Lake Gatún, and you can see ships being lowered from the lake to ocean level as well. We stay overnight in our hotel in Panama City. (B/L)

Day 20

CITY TOUR IN PANAMA CITY
We start our city tour at Panama’s old town that has become an open-air museum. Among the best-preserved buildings are the Cathedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, the former private residence Casa Alarcón, and church and convent of Santo Domingo. Miraflores Locks stand at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. They link the Pacific Ocean with the manmade Miraflores Lake, raising and lowering ships 54 ft (16.5 meters) in two impressive steps. We have our farewell lunch in an excellent restaurant before we return to our hotel. (B/L)

Day 21

DEPARTURE
At the agreed time, transfer to the Airport and flight to your home country. (B)

(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

Map

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