Trains & Coffee in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama

Apr 18 – May 08 & Oct 31 – Nov 21, 2019 | 21 Days | Escorted Small Group Journey | Max. 15 Guests | Price from USD 6’570.–

Travel with us in this historically and culturally diverse region from Guayaquil in Ecuador to Panama City. We travel whenever possible on trains and get to know fantastic World Heritage Sites such as the Historical Center of Quito, La Candelaria in Bogota, the old town of Cartagena de Indias and, last but not least, the Panama Canal. During the journey, you learn about Coffee and distinguish its qualities. Ecuador and Colombia have an important flower industry which is reason enough getting you a glimpse inside this industry visiting a Rose and Hydrangeas farms. During the tour, we are proud of opening doors for you which are usually closed for the casual visitor. Explore Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama for the Adventure of your lifetime.

Tour Highlights

  • Train Journey across Ecuador aboard the Tren Crucero. Enjoy a unique train adventure traveling during the day by train and staying overnight at good hotels.  Discover the fascinating cultures along the railroad from Guayaquil at sea level to Quito at 2850m above sea level. 
  • Explore the World Heritage Sites of Quito, Bogota, Cartagena de Indias and the Panama Canal.
  • We use the Tren de la Sabana from Bogota to visit the huge Salt Cathedral in Zipaquira.
  • We travel the train wherever passenger trains runs. See the cities of Medellin and Panama from the Metro train.
  • Discover the World of Coffee and learn to distinguish Coffee Qualities. We meet one of Colombia’s most prestigious boutique Coffee Producer.
  • Get a glimpse into the flower industry producing Roses and Hydrangeas and see the processes a flower goes through before you can buy it in your florist shop.
  • Travel from Panama City at the Pacific Ocean to Colon in the Caribbean aboard the Transoceanic Train and explore the Panama Canal.

Itinerary

Considering the character of our trips, there may be ongoing improvements to this itinerary. Below you find the day-by-day itinerary for the tour Trains & Coffee in Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. Unless otherwise specified, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our maximum to comply to the scheduled tour program, but due to the travel style and regions we visit, we may deviate the journey slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, and culture.

Day 1: Arrival in Guayaquil - Ecuador

You arrive with your International flight in Guayaquil – Ecuador. Transfer to your Hotel.

Guayaquil Rotonda
Day 2: City Tour in Guayaquil - Ecuador

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. 

Day 3: On the Tren Crucero from Duran to Alausi

At the Duran station is a carefully restored steam locomotive waiting for us for the journey to Yaguachi. At the Yaguachi station, we will say goodbye to our steam locomotive to make way for a diesel-electric locomotive. The trip aboard the Tren Crucero will continue following through sugar cane, banana, coffee, pineapple plantations to Naranjito. Upon our arrival at the railway station, a short bus ride takes us to a Cacao Plantation where you will discover the process of harvesting and sowing cocoa beans. We will enjoy a delicious lunch at the plantation before we continue our trip by bus to Alausi at an altitude of 2340 m (7677 ft) above sea level. We spend the night in a hotel in Alausi. 

Tren Crucero Yaguachi
Day 4: Train over the Devil's Nose and Tren Crucero to Riobamba

In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will receive us and show as about their daily life; we can interact with them and observe them doing their daily chores. The tour continues towards the Urbina train station, located just over 3,600 meters above sea level. In Urbina, we will meet Baltazar Ushca, the last ice trader of the Chimborazo, who will tell us his story. The Tren Crucero will advance during the afternoon into the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Latacunga where we stay overnight.

Devil's Nose
Day 5: Tren Crucero through the Volcanoes Avenue

In the morning, the inhabitants of the community of La Moya will receive us and show as about their daily life; we can interact with them and observe them doing their daily chores. The tour continues towards the Urbina train station, located just over 3,600 meters above sea level. In Urbina, we will meet Baltazar Ushca, the last ice trader of the Chimborazo, who will tell us his story. The Tren Crucero will advance during the afternoon into the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Latacunga where we stay overnight.

Tren Crucero Cotopaxi
Day 6: Tren Crucero from Cotopaxi to Quito

We meet at the Latacunga Train Station to travel by bus to the Cotopaxi National Park. Within the Park, we make a moderate walk in the lagoon of Limpiopungo from where we have breathtaking views of the Cotopaxi Volcano. The Tren Crucero will wait near the National Park entrance and bring us to a colonial Hacienda where we will be part of the daily activities of the hacienda. Our tour ends at Quito’s Chimbacalle Railway Station where a private vehicle brings us to our hotel in Quito.

Hacienda San Augustin
Day 7: 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 return to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free time.

Day 8: Ecuadorian Roses

We drive to the small town of Cayambe where we visit a Rose Plantation. Walk around the plantation and learn about the processes that are applied to roses before they can be shipped abroad. We have lunch at the picturesque Hacienda near Cayambe. Our driver leaves us at the airport from where we take an evening flight to Bogota in Colombia. In Bogota transfer to our Hotel. 

Rose Farms in Ecuador
Day 9: City Tour in Bogota

A funicular brings us up to the Monserrate Hill at 3’152 meters (10’341 ft) above sea level. From the Monserrate Hill, we have breathtaking views of the city of Bogota. Before we return to Bogota. Back in the city, we visit the Gold and Botero Museums. We visit the Plaza Bolivar, the National Capitol, the Cathedral, and Bogota’s old town called Candelaria. Before we return to the hotel, we visit Usaquen and the Parque 93 with its bars, restaurants, and shops. We spend the night in Bogota. 

Day 10: Tren de la Sabana & Salt Cathedral

At the Sabana Railway Station we board the “Tren de la Sabana”. Enjoy from the train Bogota’s Savannah Region during the 53 km journey to Zipaquira. In Zipaquira, we visit the Salt Cathedral 180 m (591 ft.) below the ground, inside an old salt mine. On the train journey back to Bogota, the train stops in Cojiba where we have lunch. From Cojiba we return to Bogota’s Usaquen Station where our private vehicle awaits us and brings us to our hotel. We stay overnight in Bogota.

Tren de la Sabana
Day 11: Santa Rosa Thermes

Flight to Pereira. The Andean Mountains in central Colombia are full of thermal springs that feed on the energy of the volcanoes. 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 near Pereira.

Thermas de Santa Rosa
Day 12: Discover one of the Best Coffees in the World

We visit a premium coffee producer near Armenia. The 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 their coffee 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. We stay in our Hotel near Pereira overnight.

Cafe San Alberto
Day 13: City Tour in Medellin

In the morning, we go to the Airport in Pereira for the flight to Medellin. Transfer-In to our Hotel. We travel on the with the suburban train to Acevedo. Then, we climb aboard the aerial cable car for a ride into the mountains surrounding the town. After lunch, we visit a “Silleteros” home in the outskirts of Medellin. Silleteros work with fresh flowers and are the main attraction of Medellin’s picturesque flower festival that takes place every year. We stay overnight in the Hotel Novelty in Medellin.

Medellin
Day 14: Hyderangeas & Orchids

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 (7’218 ft) 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.

Hydrangeas Plantation
Day 15: Guatape & Peñol Rock

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 climb the  Peñol Rock from where you will beautiful views over the lake. You have time in Guatape to explore this little town at your own pace. At a given time in the afternoon, transfer to the Airport in Medellin for the flight to Cartagena de Indias. Transfer-in to the Hotel where we stay overnight. 

Day 16: 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 Clock Tower, the famous clock tower, and explore the glittering exhibitions of the Museum of Gold. We stay overnight in Cartagena de Indias

Day 17: Day at Leisure in Cartagena de Indias

You have a day at leisure in Cartagena de Indias. The only thing programed today is the breakfast at the hotel. You have time to go to a beach, visit a museum, do shopping or just having a beer in one of the colorful streets and watching people walk by. 

Day 18: City Tour in Panama City

Flight to Panama City. We visit the Ancon Hill from where you have breathtaking views over Panama City. Later we go to the Bio Museum, Panama’s newest museum built by renowned architect Frank Gehry. The Museum explains the merging of the Americas through the Isthmus of Panama and the event’s relevance for the the history of human civilization. A really colorful, origami-shaped place to visit with plenty of valuable insight on biodiversity and Panama in general.

Panama City
Day 19: Trans Oceanic Railway and Panama Canal

We do an unforgettable journey along the Panama Canal by train. See parts of the Canal from the comfort of a railway carriage. In Colon on the Caribbean side, we 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. On the way back to Panama City we stop at the Miraflores Lock. 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 feet (16.5 meters) in two impressive steps. We stay overnight in our hotel in Panama City. 

Day 20: Panama City Old Town

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. We learn about Rhum in an artisanal Rum Distillery in Panama’s old town. We have our farewell lunch in an excellent restaurant before we return to our hotel in Panama City. 

Panama City Old Town
Day 21: Departure

At the agreed time, transfer to the Airport and flight to your home country. 

Panama Airport

Request our Detalled Itinerary