53 days in Colombia, Ecuador & Peru Itinerary

53 days in Colombia, Ecuador & Peru Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America trip planner

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Fly
1
Bogota, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly
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Santa Marta, Colombia
— 3 nights
Drive
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Cartagena, Colombia
— 4 nights
Fly
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Medellin, Colombia
— 3 nights
Drive
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Salento, Colombia
— 3 nights
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Cali, Colombia
— 2 nights
Drive
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Popayan, Colombia
— 1 night
Drive
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Pasto, Colombia
— 1 night
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Otavalo, Ecuador
— 3 nights
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Quito, Ecuador
— 4 nights
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11
Mindo, Ecuador
— 1 night
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12
Latacunga, Ecuador
— 1 night
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Banos, Ecuador
— 2 nights
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14
Riobamba, Ecuador
— 3 nights
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15
Cuenca, Ecuador
— 2 nights
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16
Vilcabamba, Ecuador
— 2 nights
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17
Chiclayo, Peru
— 1 night
Drive
18
Chachapoyas, Peru
— 3 nights
Drive
19
Trujillo, Peru
— 3 nights
Drive
20
Huaraz, Peru
— 3 nights
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Bogota, Colombia

— 3 nights

Athens of South America

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Venture out of the city with trips to Zipaquira (Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira & Esensal) and Museo Aeroespacial Colombiano (in Tocancipa). There's lots more to do: examine the collection at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, and don't miss a visit to Casa Libreria Wilborada 1047.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Bogota trip planner.

London, UK to Bogota is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Bogota is minus 5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in September, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Marta.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums · Historic Sites · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 1 — 4:

Santa Marta, Colombia

— 3 nights

America's Pearl

Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance.
Venture out of the city with trips to Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (in Tayrona National Park) and Museo Minca - Memorial Museum of the Sierra Nevada (in Minca). Spend the 6th (Mon) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, walk around Parque de Los Novios, and look for gifts at Yo Amo Santa Marta.

To see other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Santa Marta trip itinerary planner.

Fly from Bogota to Santa Marta in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Bogota in September, things will get much hotter in Santa Marta: highs are around 39°C and lows about 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Cartagena.

Things to do in Santa Marta

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 4 — 7:

Cartagena, Colombia

— 4 nights

City of Heroes

The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
Cartagena is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, make a trip to Plaza Santo Domingo, take in the spiritual surroundings of Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Cartagena online tour planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Marta to Cartagena takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Cartagena are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites · Tours · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 7 — 11:

Medellin, Colombia

— 3 nights

City of the Eternal Spring

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Medellin is known for parks, museums, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, make a trip to Plaza Botero, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and see Off-Road Tours.

For other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Medellin trip planner.

Fly from Cartagena to Medellin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cartagena in September, things will get slightly colder in Medellin: highs are around 32°C and lows about 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) early enough to travel to Salento.

Things to do in Medellin

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 14:

Salento, Colombia

— 3 nights

Father of Quindio

Founded in 1842, the town of Salento represents the oldest established settlement in Quindio.
Salento is known for nature, wildlife, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Kasaguadua Natural Reserve, take in the exciting artwork at Region Paisaje / Landscape Region, relax in the rural setting at Las Acacias Coffee Farm, and indulge in your favorite hot beverage with a coffee and tea tour.

To see maps, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Salento online trip maker.

Traveling by flight from Medellin to Salento takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Salento are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to drive to Cali.

Things to do in Salento

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 17:

Cali, Colombia

— 2 nights

Salsa Capital of the World

Learning how to salsa may be the most popular thing to do in Cali, but this giant city in southwestern Colombia represents more than just the "Salsa Capital of the World." Home to over 2 million people, thriving Cali serves as a major commercial and industrial center in South America, boasting the fastest-growing economy in Colombia.
On the 18th (Sat), examine the collection at Museo Aereo Fenix, then surround yourself with nature on Andoke, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Keep things going the next day: pause for some photo ops at Cristo Rey, get to know the resident critters at Zoologico de Cali, and then examine the collection at Caliwood Museo de la Cinematografia.

For more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read Cali route site.

Traveling by car from Salento to Cali takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September in Cali, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) early enough to drive to Popayan.

Things to do in Cali

Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 19:

Popayan, Colombia

— 1 night

White City

Popayan vacations hold plenty of appeal for international and domestic visitors, as the city represent one of the most entertaining and culturally enriching urban centers on the continent.
On the 20th (Mon), admire the striking features of Paraninfo Caldas, then contemplate the long history of Centro Historico de Popayan, and then admire the striking features of Panteon de los Proceres.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Popayan road trip tool.

Traveling by car from Cali to Popayan takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Cali in September, you will find days in Popayan are slightly colder (28°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (27°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Pasto.

Things to do in Popayan

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 20:
Highlights from your trip

Pasto, Colombia

— 1 night

Surprise City

Pasto sits in the Andes mountain range at an altitude of 2,527 m (8,290 ft) above sea level.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Tue): see the interesting displays at Museo del Oro Narino, then admire the landmark architecture of Centro historico de Pasto, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Templo de San Felipe.

To find more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Pasto trip planner.

You can drive from Popayan to Pasto in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or take a bus. When traveling from Popayan in September, plan for little chillier days in Pasto, with highs around 18°C, while nights are cooler with lows around 5°C. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling to Otavalo.

Things to do in Pasto

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:

Otavalo, Ecuador

— 3 nights
An Andean market town that has done business its own way for hundreds of years, Otavalo has a largely indigenous population.
Explore Otavalo's surroundings by going to Cuicocha (in Cotacachi) and Ibarra (Estacion Tren de la Libertad - Ibarra & Laguna de Yahuarcocha). There's still lots to do: browse the eclectic array of goods at Otavalo Market, browse the fresh offerings at Mercado 24 de Mayo, admire the striking features of Museo Otavalango, and stop by Plaza De Los Ponchos Mercado.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Otavalo online travel planner.

Drive from Pasto to Otavalo in 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to drive to Quito.

Things to do in Otavalo

Parks · Shopping · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 22 — 25:

Quito, Ecuador

— 4 nights

Light of America

High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
On the 27th (Mon), give your taste buds a day to remember with a local gastronomic tour. There's much more to do: get engrossed in the history at Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, admire the striking features of Basilica del Voto Nacional, and deepen your understanding at La Ronda.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Quito trip website.

You can drive from Otavalo to Quito in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Quito are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to drive to Mindo.

Things to do in Quito

Tours · Historic Sites · Museums · Spas
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 29:

Mindo, Ecuador

— 1 night
Clinging to the western slopes of the Andes, tiny Mindo offers a big punch in terms of tourist appeal.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): stroll through Mariposas de Mindo - Butterfly Garden, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, and then stroll through Rio Bravo Reserve.

For traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Mindo road trip app.

Drive from Quito to Mindo in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Latacunga.

Things to do in Mindo

Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 29 — 30:

Latacunga, Ecuador

— 1 night

Mashca City

Established in 1534, the plateau town of Latacunga was destroyed four times by earthquakes between 1698 and 1798.
On the 1st (Fri), stop by Cunani, then explore the striking landscape of Cotopaxi National Park, then contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna de Limpiopungo, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Matriz de Salcedo.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Latacunga trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Mindo to Latacunga by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 22°C, and evening lows to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can drive to Banos.

Things to do in Latacunga

Nature · Parks · Shopping · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 1:

Banos, Ecuador

— 2 nights
A trip to Banos, a relatively small town in the picturesque Andean highlands, ensures plenty of chances for outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, climbing, canyoning, and mountain biking.
On the 2nd (Sat), get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water (Nuestra Senora del Agua Santa), and then glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour. On the next day, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, admire the sheer force of Cascada el Pailon del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron), then get outside with Aventurandes, and finally take some stellar pictures from La Casa del Arbol.

For maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Banos trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Latacunga to Banos in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to Riobamba.

Things to do in Banos

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Nature
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 3:

Riobamba, Ecuador

— 3 nights
Riobamba is the capital of the Chimborazo Province in central Ecuador, which is located at the Chambo River Valley of the Andes. Step out of Riobamba with an excursion to Volcan Chimborazo in Guaranda--about 1h 5 min away. Spend the 4th (Mon) exploring nature at Sangay National Park. There's much more to do: explore the landscape on two wheels at Pro Bici, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Religioso de la Concepcion, take in the awesome beauty at Avenida De Los Volcanes, and explore the activities along Laguna Condor Cocha.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Riobamba road trip website.

Getting from Banos to Riobamba by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in October, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can go by car to Cuenca.

Things to do in Riobamba

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 3 — 6:

Cuenca, Ecuador

— 2 nights

Athens of Ecuador

Packed with impressive colonial architecture and a historic town center, Cuenca stands as perhaps the most charming city in the nation.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): take some stellar pictures from Mirador Tres Cruces, explore the striking landscape of El Cajas National Park, then explore the activities along Laguna La Toreadora, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Mirador de Turi. On the 8th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the long history of Plaza de las flores, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral, steep yourself in history at Museo Catedral Vieja, then admire the striking features of Alcaldia de Cuenca, then see the interesting displays at Homero Ortega, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de Todos Santos.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Cuenca trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Riobamba to Cuenca takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October in Cuenca, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Fri) so you can go by car to Vilcabamba.

Things to do in Cuenca

Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 6 — 8:

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

— 2 nights
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): hike along Sendero Cerro Mandango and then indulge in some personalized pampering at Hosteria Izhcayluma Spa.

To see where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Vilcabamba trip planning website.

Getting from Cuenca to Vilcabamba by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 10th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Chiclayo.

Things to do in Vilcabamba

Spas · Outdoors · Trails · Parks
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 10:

Chiclayo, Peru

— 1 night

City of Friendship

With a population of 738,000, Chiclayo represents the fourth largest city in Peru and serves as the capital of the Lambayeque Region.
To see reviews, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Chiclayo trip site.

Traveling by car from Vilcabamba to Chiclayo takes 9.5 hours. October in Chiclayo sees daily highs of 28°C and lows of 19°C at night. On the 11th (Mon), you're off to Chachapoyas.

Things to do in Chiclayo

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 11:

Chachapoyas, Peru

— 3 nights
A good base for exploring the surrounding cloud forests, Chachapoyas remains a small and laid-back town despite its growing popularity with international tourists.
Change things up with a short trip to Catarata de Gocta in Valera (about 58 minutes away). There's much more to do: delve into the distant past at Fortaleza de Kuelap, don't miss a visit to Centro Historico, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and Head underground at Caverna de Quiocta.

To find reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Chachapoyas visit planner.

You can drive from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Trujillo.

Things to do in Chachapoyas

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 11 — 14:

Trujillo, Peru

— 3 nights

Capital of Culture

Considered the country's capital of culture, Trujillo was the birthplace of the North Group, a community of artists and intellectuals that included celebrated poet Cesar Vallejo and notable novelist Ciro Alegria.
Trujillo is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: steep yourself in history at Chan Chan, get engrossed in the history at Cao Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Trujillo - Catedral de Santa Maria, and make a trip to Plaza de Armas de Trujillo.

For more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Trujillo trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Chachapoyas to Trujillo takes 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In October in Trujillo, expect temperatures between 24°C during the day and 19°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Huaraz.

Things to do in Trujillo

Historic Sites · Museums · Spas · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 14 — 18:

Huaraz, Peru

— 3 nights
One of the main cities in the Peruvian Andes, Huaraz mainly draws those seeking adventure out in the landscape.
Go for a jaunt from Huaraz to Huascaran National Park to see Laguna Churup about 44 minutes away. Spend the 21st (Thu) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. There's much more to do: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, make a trip to Plaza de Armas, sample the tasty concoctions at Sierra Andina, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Arqueologico de Ancash "Augusto Soriano Infante".

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Huaraz trip builder tool.

Traveling by car from Trujillo to Huaraz takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Trujillo in October: highs in Huaraz hover around 28°C, while lows dip to 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Huaraz

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 18 — 21:

Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.

Ecuador travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Sacred & Religious Sites · History Museums
With abundant opportunities to discover fascinating World Heritage Sites, a holiday in Ecuador remains among the most culturally enriching travel experiences. Home to the world's highest active volcano, this little country packs a big punch when it comes to tourist activities. Some of the most popular things to do in Ecuador include visits to its astonishingly biodiverse wilderness areas, home to some 1,500 bird species, 840 species of amphibians and reptiles, and nearly 20,000 plant species. Of course, the highlight of many Ecuador vacations is bound to be the Galapagos Islands, made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin. Aside from the stunning nature, Ecuador also boasts many historic cities filled with photogenic colonial-era churches, mansions, and plazas.

Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.