Manaus to Quito Overland Tour (50 days)

Company : Oasis Overland
Activity: Tours
Countries: Brazil / Colombia / Ecuador / Venezuela
Duration: 6 weeks to 2 months
Approx Costs: 1250 to 2000 £ Pound (UK)

Start your journey deep in the Amazon jungle and travel past the flat topped Tepuis mountains of the Grand Savannah to Angel Falls.

Explore Caribbean beaches and the wildlife filled wetlands of the Llanos, before taking in a few adrenaline activities in Merida.  Enjoy the cobbled streets and colonial architecture of Cartagena and the vibrant nightlife of Bogota, travelling south down the back of the Andes through coffee plantations to the colourful markets of Otavalo and our final destination of Quito - the gateway to the Galapagos.

 

Itinerary

Days 1 to 6

After exploring Manaus we will have the opportunity to visit the Amazon. This optional activity will allow you to go into the jungle in the hope of spotting dolphins, macaws, sloth, caiman or the harder to spot manatee, anaconda or jaguar. 

We leave Manaus and journey north, passing through the Waimiri Indian reserve area. Some of the jungle roads can be very poor dirt roads so expect a very bumpy ride at times and maybe getting stuck occasionally.  We will camp the night, most likely away from any facilities, before arriving in Boa Vista the next day.  From here we can spend a day in the vast grounds of Parque Anaua, or take a day trip out on the Rio Branco to Serra Grande and go hiking.  The refurbished waterfront (Orla Taumanan) is also a great place to grab a Caipirinha (local cocktail made from sugar cane spirit) and relax.

Today we cross the border in to Venezuela through the only land border from Brazil, to Santa Elena, which will be our home for the next couple of nights.  Those of us that are feeling energetic can choose to climb Mt. Roraima (2810mtrs), the flat topped Tepuis that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyles 'The Lost World' and where Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana meet.  The walk can take 5 days or so and hikers would make their own way to Ciudad Bolivar on a bus to catch up with the group.  Other shorter walks are available, as well as white water rafting and paragliding for those needing an adrenaline rush!

Continuing our Brazil and Venezuela overland adventure we head north in to La Gran Sabana (Great Savannah) where an endless sky extends over a wide open grassland.  Waterfalls appear along our route, falling majestically from the Tepuis and we will have time to stop and explore.  It may be possible to hire a local guide to take us in a canoe to the base of some of the falls, where we can swim in the pools.

 

Days 7 to 12

After 2 nights camping rough in La Gran Sabana, we will appreciate a few home comforts of a proper campsite, as we pull in to Ciudad Bolivar. We spend the next 3 or 4 days here.  The city itself has a rich history and an interesting day can be spent wandering the colonial quarter of Casco Historico (Historic Centre) and along the waterfront of the Rio Orinoco.  However, the main reason to stop off in Ciudad Bolivar is to visit the beautiful Parque Nacional Canaima and the famous Angel Falls - the highest waterfall in the world at almost 1km high.  Various trips are available to suit different budgets, and we have time for those wanting to, to take optional excursions including:  flying over the Falls, visiting Canaima or taking a boat trip (if the water levels are high enough).

 

Days 13 to 18

Crossing the Orinoco River, we continue north-west, camping along the way, to the Caribbean Coast where we visit some of the best beaches in Venezuela and take the stunning drive into Parque Nacional Henri Pittier.  For the next couple of days we have the option of enjoying the secluded sandy beaches, soaking up the sun or heading off on some of the coastal trails in search of the local Criollo - a virtually bitter free delicate tasting chocolate!  You may also be able to hire a guide and hike up in to the cloud forest on one of the trails.

Driving south west and camping where we can, we make our way towards the wetland area of the Llanos.  With luck we'll have time for a quick stop off in the spiritual centre of Guanare, which attracts almost half a million visitors each year.

 

Days 19 to 24

We base ourselves for the next few days in Venezuela's snowy peak lined adventure capital, Merida.  There are excellent opportunities to hike and trek the mountain trails linking the many remote villages surrounding Merida, as well as paragliding, canopy tours, zip-lining, canyoning and white water rafting.  Merida is also home to some of the best nightlife in Venezuela, as well as having a wide selection of well priced restaurants.

Merida is also the gateway to Los Llanos, the immense savannah wetland that is home to a jaw dropping diversity of bird and animal life.  We hope to see caiman, capybara (the world's largest rodent), anaconda, anteaters, tapirs and possibly a jaguar, amongst other wildlife.  Optional 2, 3 and 4 day trips leave Merida on a regular basis.

 

Days 25 to 28

Our last night in Venezuela is spent in San Cristobal, also known as the Friendly City, before we make an early start and drive the final 40kms to the Colombian border of Cucuta.  Depending on border formalities, we may well decide to stay the night in Cucuta and head out of the mountains to Bucaramanga the following day.  'Buca', as the locals like to call it, is an amazing spot to try your hand at Paragliding.

 

Days 29 to 32

We press on northbound to Santa Marta, quite possibly sleeping under canvas in the wilds. Some of South America's loveliest coastline lies east of Santa Marta in Tayrona National Park.  We spend 3 nights exploring trails to beaches set in deep bays, shaded by coconut palms.  We have the option to snorkel and possibly scuba dive in some of the bays.  Lack of roads means that we will probably have to hike with our gear to our camping spot!

 

Days 33 to 37

A highlight of any trip to Colombia is undoubtedly Cartagena.  With its colonial past and Unesco World Heritage status, the old city is an ideal place to just wander the maze of cobbled alleys amongst churches, monasteries, plazas and bougainvillea draped balconies.  Las Murallas, the thick walls built around the old city to protect it from pirates, are wonderfully preserved and make for an interesting walk, before stopping off in one of the hidden patio cafes.  We spend 3 nights here to get a flavour of both the old city and also the trendy area of Bocagrande.

We then head south in search of a quiet beach to spend our last night's camping on Caribbean shores before arriving in the lively city of Medellin.  Here is a good spot to get a few Salsa or Tango lessons in before trying out your moves in the many discos and clubs.  For those wanting a little culture there are several art galleries and museums worth visiting or also an option to travel via local bus to the sleepy colonial town of Santa Fe de Antioquia.

 

Days 38 to 42

Continuing south, our Colombian overland adventure takes us in to the mountains to the pleasantly cool climate of Manizales.  Here, deep in the heart of the coffee growing area, we have the option to visit one of the numerous coffee farms.  Parque Los Nevados, with peaks topping 5000mtrs, is also a great place to spend a day trekking, before checking out some of the town's funky bars in the evening.

Bogota is our next stop and we have 2 or 3 nights to see the different sides of this once notorious capital city.  Having had the accreditation in the 80's and 90's of being one of the world's most dangerous cities, things have really turned  around for Bogota.  The city is cradled by Andean Peaks and great views can be seen from a trek up the Cerro de Monserrate.  Pop in to the cobbled historic centre, La Candelaria, and as well as taking in a few cafes and picturesque buildings, enjoy the age old tradition of adding cheese to your hot chocolate!

 

Days 43 to 46

We now travel through the Tatacoa Desert, an arid area of striking eroded cliffs surrounded by distant peaks of over 5000mtrs.  The result is a quite unique ecosystem, and due to the dry, clear conditions, the area is an excellent star gazing spot and we will try to camp here to appreciate the view. Turning west through stunning mountain scenery towards the Pan American Highway, and after a gruelling drive, we eventually take an unpaved road into Parque Purace.  The park is the only place to see Condors in Colombia, and it is also home to some good walking trails.  The adventurous can scale Volcan Purace (4750mtrs), but there are a few other less strenuous hikes to the Sulphur Mine and Termales de San Juan - a spectacular hot spring.

 

Days 47 to 48

Further west is the beautiful colonial city of Popayan.   Nicknamed the white city, some would say only Cartagena surpasses Popayan's colonial structures.  We shall make a small stop to admire the chalk white facades and stock up on supplies, before following the Andes south towards Pasto. Santuario De Las Lajas - a neo-Gothic church built on a stone bridge spanning a gorge - is the main point of interest in our last stop in Colombia, Ipiales.  We may choose to camp the night in either Pasto or Ipiales, or possibly continue on to the border with Ecuador.

 

Days 49 to 50

Half a day's drive away, in Ecuador, is the small town of Otavalo and we make an overnight stop.  Here is a great place to stock up on last minute Andean handicrafts such as jewellery, woollen goods, blankets and bags. The next morning we make our way to our final destination, Quito, where the trip ends on arrival. Quito is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and a playground for hikers and mountain bike fans, and it's certainly worth taking an extra couple of days to explore the city and surrounding areas.

 

What’s Included

  • La Gran Sabana Waterfall
  • Henri Pittier National Park – includes guide, accommodation & boat trip
  • Tayrona National Park – includes entrance & hammock accommodation
  • El Totumo Mud Volcano
  • All accommodation fees - approx 50% camping & 50% simple hotels/hostels
  • Meals prepared by group or provided - approx 50%
  • All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
  • Camping and cooking equipment
  • Services of 2 Oasis Crew

 

What’s Not Included

  • Visas US$0 - US$285 (depending on nationality most can be obtained en route)
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the pre-departure information
  • International flights
  • Airport Taxes and Transfers
  • Meals while in hotels
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flights
  • Drinks
  • Tips

 

Tour Price

Trip Price: £1480.00 + Local Payment: US$720.00

Start Dates

24-03-2016
13-04-2017
29-03-2018

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