Colombia overland tour, Cartagena to Quito

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2021: 18 May, 14 Jun, 21 Oct
Holiday type


If you’re looking for adventure, an opportunity to travel with like-minded travellers and to get off the beaten track then this type of trip is for you! We will sometimes be covering long distances over a period of a few days but will then most often be camped up for a few days with opportunities for adventure activities, visiting local communities, time in a town or city to chill out or wildlife viewing experiences. The roads are sometimes bumpy and you need to expect the unexpected! This type of travel is through regions where things can change and experiences are more important than luxury – borders sometimes close and there may not always be hot water in the showers! You will generally be camping out under the stars, sometimes out in the bush, but generally more on campsites. (Our South America and Central Asia trips also use small locally-run hostels and guest houses). The trips are fully participative so you will be involved shopping for food in local markets, cooking for your group (on a rota system), collecting water and setting up camp. If you’re not confident about doing any of these things beforehand, don’t worry our crew are there to help you and you’ll be good at it by the time you finish!

You will be travelling on one of our own purpose built overlanding vehicles with up to 24 travellers, many of whom will be travelling on their own. It is a great way for solo travellers to travel. We have lost count of the number of travellers who have met their future spouse on one of our trips! Our vehicles are fully equipped with tents and cooking equipment and are designed for great all-round viewing and a sociable seating plan. You will be accompanied on your trip by a Driver and Tour Leader and, depending on your trip, we often use local guides at sites of specific interest for more detailed information.

This type of travel will provide you with a plethora of memories and stories to tell, new-found travelling companions and friends and a well-exercised spirit of adventure!

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Our overland tours avoid taking any internal flights and therefore cut down on flight related carbon emissions. While on the ground we do our best to travel responsibly.

Before leaving on one of our trips our travellers are sent detailed pre-departure information covering all aspects of responsible travel this includes information on responsible wildlife viewing-such as not getting too close to the wildlife, or encouraging your guides to do so, causing the animals' natural behaviour to be affected. We also encourage our travellers to respect local habitats and to dispose of waste appropriately so that wildlife is not adversely affected. This information is reiterated at the start of the trip and when necessary throughout.

Water: Again, our pre-departure information includes advice on using water sparingly. We recognise water to be one of the world's most precious commodities. Due to the camping nature of this trip we carry a lot of our water for cooking, drinking and washing with us. Filling up heavy jerry cans, we find, helps focus the mind on the importance of water conservation!

We also encourage our travellers to bring reusable water bottles from home with them for the trip. These can be filled from the truck's water supplies. This helps to minimise the usage of plastic water bottles. We have recently set up a partnership with a water purification bottle supplier, enabling our travellers to purchase discounted water bottles that can be filled from virtually any water supply.

The Impacts of this Trip

On this trip we stay at small, locally run campsites and simple, small hotels/hostels. On a couple of occasions on this trip we spend the night sleeping outside in hammocks and overall about 50% of the trip is spent camping. No chance therefore to leave the lights or air conditioning on, or leave the shower running for too long!!

Where possible, we buy our food in local markets, thereby directly supporting local communities. We tend to buy food that is in season and locally produced, reducing food miles. We use local companies to run all our excursions. When eating out we encourage our travellers to support small locally run restaurants and cafes.

In Colombia we stay at a coffee plantation and there is an opportunity to undertake a coffee tour. This helps to support the local community and increases local interaction.

In Medellin, there are opportunities to learn salsa and tango in local clubs and bars. These are great opportunities for interaction with the local community and a fun way to support them directly, plus you'll pick up some valuable new skills along the way!


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