Journeys Rediscovered - Culinary Journey of Colombia & Ecuador


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Inclusions

Culinary Immersion Tour Unique to Journeys Rediscovered

Culinary Journey of Colombia & Ecuador

Small Group Tour of no more than 12 

Bogota – Armenia – Pijao – Medillin – Cartagena -Quito – Cayambe - Otovalo – Cotopaxi - Papallacta

16 days/15 nights

  • 2 nights accommodation in Bogota – Hotel de la Opera
  • 2 nights accommodation in Armenia – Finca Hotel El Palermo
  • 2 nights accommodation in Medellin – Hotel Du Parc Medellin
  • 3 nights accommodation in Cartagena – Hotel Alfiz Boutique Hotel
  • 1 night accommodation in Quito – Mama Cuchara
  • 1 night accommodation in Otavalo– Hotel Otavalo
  • 1 night accommodation in Quito – Mama Cuchara
  • 1 night accommodation in Cotopaxi – Hacienda Porvenir
  • 1 night accommodation in Quito – Mama Cuchara
  • 1 night accommodation in Papallacta – Termes de Papallacta
  • Breakfast daily at hotels
  • Many lunches and dinners included at specially selected restaurants and culinary experiences
  • All private transfers 
  • All Activities included as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Sightseeing and private touring with a local English speaking guide 

Contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary or to REGISTER your spot on our 2021 Small Group Journeys (no more the 12 passengers).

Boutique 4 star accommodation twin share. Single Supplements available.

More Information

Contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary or to REGISTER your spot on our 2021 Small Group Journeys (no more the 12 passengers).

Boutique 4 star accommodation twin share. Single Supplements available.

Day 1- Bogota: Welcome to Colombia! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the vibrant and diverse Bogotá. This bustling metropolis is a mix of old and new, trendy and traditional, stately and charming. The country’s capital and commercial backbone, it is home to an array of museums, churches, colonial mansions and stately buildings, offering a fine balance between its historical past and its movement into the future. Located in central Colombia, the city sits at an elevation of 2,650m on a mountain rimmed plateau high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains. The city lies only 4°36′ north of the equator. 

Bogotá was founded on the 6th of August 1538 by the Spanish conqueror Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and became the vice-regal capital of New Granada in 1717. It was captured by Simón Bolívar in 1819 and was the capital of the independent nation of Great Colombia (which included modern day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela). It became the capital of New Granada (later renamed Colombia) in 1830 when Great Colombia was dissolved. 

The city initially grew slowly as the Bogotanos (cachacos) wished to preserve their old culture, priding themselves on speaking the purest Spanish in the New World. They also cherished their churches, convents, homes (built in the ornate Spanish colonial style) and the National University, founded in 1573. With large numbers of rural Colombians migrating here in search of greater economic opportunities the city expanded rapidly during the 1940’s. 

This afternoon you will have a 5-hour gastronomic excursion in the historic centre of La Macarena. This area has some outstanding restaurants and you will enjoy the many gastronomic delights of this creative, bohemian, food-focused area. You will stop at three of La Macarena's best restaurants to savour a variety of Colombian cuisine. At each tasting, a culinary expert will share with you the details about the dishes. Afterwards you will explore the beautiful 17th Century locality of La Candelaria with its charming architecture and stunning street art. Street artists use these murals as a canvas to express themselves and communicate the story of their city, leading to artworks that are often very moving. The streets of La Candelaria are where some of the most poignant pieces can be found, giving you a whole new insight into the experiences of its inhabitants. 

Meals included - D 

Day 2- Bogota: After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you will depart for Bogota’s most important farmers market, Paloquemado. Be dazzled by the diversity of flowers and enjoy our culture in a feast of exotic fruits, traditional drinks and local food. This market is the real deal; messy and picturesque all at the same time. From the flower aisle to the fruit and vegetable passages, this tasteful journey is a treat for the senses and as you stroll through the chaotic yet charismatic passages, you will learn the story behind the market. As you go, you will buy the products needed for the dish that you will be creating later in the day. You will see exotic fruits such as papaya, pitaya, cape gooseberry, mangoes, anon, soursop, curuba, sapote and many more. You will be amazed by vibrant colours of thousands of flowers including orchids, helicons, and torch ginger. 

After gathering everything you need from the market square, you will move to the restaurant La Bruja (or similar) and participate in a cooking class to prepare your typical Bogotano Ajiaco dish. 

Meals included – B L

Day 3- Armenia: This morning after breakfast you will check out of your hotel and depart for the airport for your short flight to Armenia in Colombia’s Coffee Region. The coffee region for many people is the heart and soul of Colombia, its cultural epicentre. With every turn, a spectacular panorama changes your perspective, from the rolling hillsides of fertile coffee plantations to plunging valleys and bold elevations. Campesino or rural life continues as it has done for centuries harvesting coffee, plantains (a type of Banana) and many other fruits in this lush and fertile land. A visit to the Coffee region permits you to experience the tranquillity of the region and the opportunity for friendly encounters with locals going about their daily lives. 

Upon arrival you will transfer to a rural farm where you will be spending the next two nights. This afternoon, you will have a tour on the farm, walking along trails enjoying the nature and birdlife of the area. Your lunch today will be prepared during a cooking class on the farm where you will create a meal that is typical cuisine of the area. You will have some free time to relax this afternoon as well, to enjoy the facilities of the farm, before eating a delicious dinner prepared on the property. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 4- Pijao: Enjoy a delicious breakfast on the farm this morning before departing for the municipality of Pijao. Situated in the mountains Pijao is a town that still retains the same colonial air of yesteryear, when coffee farmers brought their product to market along old country roads. You will wander along picturesque streets and visit a peasant farm where you will learn about the way of life in the countryside and learn about details of the coffee cultural landscape from the farmers. Depending on the conditions of the day, lunch will be enjoyed either in the farm or in the town, with a focus on the cuisine of the area. In the afternoon you will stroll through the Urban area and enjoy a cup of origin coffee in a project run by single mothers. You will then return to the farm for dinner and a relaxing night of leisure. 

Meals included – B L D 

Day 5- Port Alegre & Pance:  Enjoy breakfast before departing for Puerto Alegre Pacea farm located in the mountains. This farm has wonderful trails for guided walks and as you walk you will visit different crops of special coffee, pitahaya fruit trees and other areas of interest. You will find some great vantage points along the way that have great views of the Department of Quindio. Lunch will be served on the farm and you will be able try some of the coffee as well. Afterwards you will continue to the airport to take a flight to the famous city of Medellin.

Forget everything you have heard about Medellin as it is probably old news. It was the headquarters of one of the country’s most notorious drug cartels, but what the international media forgot to report was the cities remarkable turnaround. Medellin is the second largest city in Colombia and regarded as one of the most important, in business, politics, and fashion and of course nightlife! For years Medellin had a tarnished reputation but has now risen above this “Mala Fama” (bad reputation) and is now one of most exciting cities in South America. Its growth has been impressive over the past ten years, and the advance in the security situation has been such that Medellin is now regarded as one of the safest cities in South America. Medellin is famous for its “Feria de las Flores” which happens every August for a week. The Feria is a carnival atmosphere with processions of flower growers, music, dance and the arts. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day and evening will be at your leisure to explore your surroundings.   

Meals included – B L 

Day 6- Medellin: Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing for a street food experience in Medellin. This wonderful experience of tasting flavours that you will not find in no other part of the world will not only be delicious, but you will also learn first-hand the story Medellin's transformation through award winning urban regeneration projects. Along the way you will try food such as buñelos, arepas de chocolo and the famous Colombian empanada. You will visit a historic Medellin market to explore Colombia's exotic tropical fruits and try some fresh fruit juices and you will also have a chance to discover the magical powers of the Colombian herbalist. Your excursion finishes in the emblematic Malaga lounge where you will taste a typical Antioquia drink or delicious coffee. This experience is a journey through Medellin's soul. At the end you will return to your hotel and have the evening at leisure.   

Meals included – B & Snacks 

Day 7- Medellin/ Cartagena: After breakfast your guide will meet you to begin start a Paisa gastronomic adventure. A Paisa is someone from a region in the northwest of Colombia. You will go to one of the best restaurants in the city where you will be received by a specialist chef. Together you will prepare a 3-course meal of entrees, main course and a desert that is a typical of the region of Antioquia. After finishing your meal, you will return to your hotel to check out and depart for the airport to take a short flight to Cartagena. Cartagena’s rich history, diverse culture and energy absorbs every visitor allowing you a glimpse into the past and a chance to relax in superb surroundings. This passionate and vibrant city with some of the best-preserved colonial architecture in South America exudes character. Mix in African rhythms and indigenous influences with the Spanish colonial splendour and Cartagena is truly an amazing destination. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel and have the evening at leisure. 

Meals included – B L 

Day 8- Cartagena: Enjoy breakfast at your hotel enjoy a bit of free time prior to your afternoon food excursion. During the Colonial period, Cartagena was the main entrance to Colombia and this led it to being a place of cultural diversity, something is reflected in the extensive, rich and distinguished cuisine of the region. Your guide will pick you up at the hotel in the afternoon to begin this amazing experience where you will walk through the streets of Cartagena, and dive into its daily life. You will see and taste locally grown tropical fruits like granadilla, mango, lulo, soursop, and papaya. Try delicious fried snacks like arepas, (corn flatbread) stuffed potatoes, empanadas, kibbeh, buñuelos, and carimañolas, while getting in touch with local music, history, and architecture. Sweeten up the evening with colorful cocadas, arequipe, enyucado, raspao, salpicón, and bocadillo with cheese, and if thirst gets in the way, try refreshing bolis, coconut water or even a cup of tinto! Your experience will take around 3.5 hours, and you will have the remainder of the day at your leisure to continue to explore this charming city. 

Meals included – B L 

Day 9- Cartagena: After breakfast you will discover more of Cartagena's culinary culture during a market tour and a cooking class designed with food lovers in mind. Enjoy immersing yourself in local life at the local market as you source the freshest of ingredients for your upcoming meal in an open-air setting. Then in the intimate setting of a family kitchen in a residence in the historic centre, you will learn to master the basics of cooking Colombian classic dishes. Your 3-course menu for lunch will include an entrée of fish, mango or empanada, a main dish will be fish ceviche, coconut rice, banana chips and salad, and for dessert you will have passionfruit or mango mousse. After your delicious lunch enjoy some free time to explore Cartagena a little more at your own leisure. 

Meals included – B L  

Day 10- Cartagena/ Quito: This morning it is time to say farewell to Colombia. After breakfast you will depart for the airport for your flight to Quito, Ecuador. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel, located in Quito’s historic centre. The rest of the day will be at your leisure to get acquainted with Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world and is located on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. It has the largest and best-preserved historic centre in Latin America, a true heritage treasure to explore. Surrounded by spectacular mountains and volcanoes, Quito presents wonderful landscapes no matter where you look at it. Walk through its old streets, surrounded by flowery balconies or visit the Church of the Company with its internal treasures or El Panecillo with its spectacular views. Explore the Foch area with its varied offer of nightlife and gastronomy; or, the City of the Middle of the World which is located a few minutes from the centre. 

Meals included – B  

Day 11- Cayambe/ Otovalo: After breakfast this morning you will depart to the north of the country, to reach the town of Cayambe, so named after the snowcapped volcano that dominates the landscape. In Cayambe you will visit the “bizcochos” factory. This savoury biscuit is known all over Ecuador and is the specialty of this town. Bizcochos are still hand made in big brick ovens and are served together with “leave” cheese (also typical from the region) and cream milk candy. From Cayambe, you continue to Otavalo to visit the most important indigenous market in Latin America. The colorful main handicraft and textile market spill into the streets from the central Plaza de Ponchos while the cacophony of the animal market is kept to the outskirts of town. The friendly Otavaleños are more than happy to talk about their crafts and traditions and will expect you to haggle a bit on the price. You will continue on to your hotel to check in and have the evening at leisure. Dinner will be your own arrangements (not included). Why not try one of the local restaurants on the surrounding streets which offer a wide variety of great options. 

Meals included – B 

Day 12- Otovalo/ Quito: After enjoying breakfast at your hotel you will drive a short distance to a nearby community, where you will spend the morning together with Dona Rosita who will take you to her garden to harvest the ingredients that you will use in today's meal. After collecting all you need, you will go into Rosita’s kitchen, where she will share her recipes and traditional secrets of the Andean cuisine. The reward for your efforts is an excellent lunch in the family house that you helped prepare, from scratch, and with local ingredients. After lunch you will leave Otavalo to return to Quito where you will arrive in time for the second cooking activity. This time, you will learn to prepare a simple and traditional dish, from the hand of the Hotel’s chef. After dinner rest of your evening is at leisure.

Meals included – B L

Day 13- Quito/ Cotopaxi: After breakfast at your hotel, we will leave the city for a short drive to the Cotopaxi Province, where your first stop will be at a local hacienda specialized in the production of Cheese. Although many types of cheese from European origin are also produced, local cheesemakers have developed their own kind of cheese. The most famous one is called “Andino” and is present in almost all households throughout the Highlands. 

After this, you will continue to Cotopaxi National Park. As you enter the Park, our drive brings us out onto the plain of Laguna de Limpiopungo, a lake fed by water from the volcano Rumiñahui which towers over it. It is thought that the Inca Rumiñahui hid his gold up on the mountain, and many search parties have set out to find it, some never to be seen again. At the water’s edge, the park wildlife comes to drink; ducks, swallows, frogs, toads, and you may spot an eagle or maybe the great Andean Condor. From Lake Limpiopungo, you will drive a short distance to the Incan ruins of Pucará de Salitre; a lookout fortress used to control the communication route from the Highlands into the Amazon Jungle. If the sky is clear, you can catch beautiful views of Cotopaxi and the surrounding volcanoes; Rumiñahui, Sincholagua, Pasachoa, and with luck, the shy Antisana. You will have lunch at Tambopaxi, a restaurant located within the Park with spectacular views of the volcano and fantastic cuisine.

The day ends at Hacienda el Porvenir, where you may want to enjoy a relaxed sundown with incredible views and try the famous canelazo by the chimney. El Porvenir has a particularly good restaurant, specialized in fusion cuisine with Andean ingredients, and it is here that you will enjoy your dinner. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 14- Cotopaxi/ Tesalia/ Pasochoa/Quito: Enjoy a superb breakfast at Hacienda el Porvenir before departing for a scenic drive through the backroads between the Ruminahui and Pasochoa Volcanos, passing by many Andean towns and communities. The village of Tesalia, known for the natural water sources that produce sparkling water of excellent quality, is located in this area. Your next stop will be at the protected forest of Pasochoa. Pasochoa is an extinct volcano with pristine forests in its Caldera. There are different trails of different lengths that will allow you to explore this magical environment.

After this activity, you will head to the nearby town of El Tingo, where we will visit a local restaurant that specializes in “Hornado” one of the most iconic expressions of the Andes Cuisine which consist of a pig baked whole in a brick oven and served with Llapingachos, and salad. After this, you will return to Hotel mama Cuchara in Quito to rest for a bit and freshen up before dinner. Tonight, you will visit the restaurant “Hasta la Vuelta Senor” which specializes in Quito’s traditional dishes and is legendary in the city. The restaurant is located in the Plaza Grande, the heart of Quito’s historic center. 

Meals included – B L D

Day 15- Quito/ Papallacta: Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing Quito for the Highlands of Papallacta. This area is known for its lakes and wetlands, and the local cuisine specializes in trouts. Once in Papallacta, you will stop at a sportfishing spot, where we will have the opportunity to catch ourselves the trout that will be prepared for our lunch. After lunch, we will go to Termas de Papallacta Thermal Baths and Spa. The thermal waters of Papallacta come from the Antisana Volcano and are known for their medicinal properties. The remainder of the day will be yours to enjoy the facilities of the lodge. 

Meals included – B L

Day 16- Papallacta/ Quito: Your time in Ecuador comes to an end today. Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing for Quito Airport for your onwards flight. 

Meals included – B

Travel Dates

Valid for travel 01 Oct 2020 - until 31 Dec 2021.

Terms & Conditions

Contact Journeys Rediscovered to register for our 2021 Small Group Journey (no more than 12 passengers.) Journeys Rediscovered Small Group - Culinary Journey of Colombia & Ecuador, will run with a minimum of 6 passengers.

Alternatively, contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure dates as a private itinerary, which is guaranteed with a minimum of one person

Land-based itinerary is based per person on twin/double share basis (unless otherwise stated), single supplement is available, contact Journey Rediscovered for this surcharge.

International & domestic airfares are additional, please contact Journeys Rediscovered for international flight options and prices.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended and can be arranged for you for an additional cost.

For full pricing, terms and conditions, contact your MTA Travel Expert, Journeys Rediscovered on 0477002235 or journeysrediscovered@mtatravel.com.au

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