Volcanoes of Latin America

Born of volcanoes, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia feature fascinating landscapes and flourishing cultures to discover. Board a helicopter for an overflight of six different volcanoes en route to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Savor a rare experience… glamping at Uaxactun Mayan ruins - an overnight stay in the ruins in the comfort of your own private camp with candle-lit dinner. Explore Colombia's Popayan, known for its beautiful colonial architecture and nearby Purace National Park. Visit the Totumo Mud Volcano, northeast of Cartagena, for a thermal mud bath, both restoring and fun. Take in Ecuador's fabled volcanoes, escorted by a volcanologist, who will help you explore the geology, history and legends of these ancient landscapes

Country Information

Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands


Volcanoes of Latin America Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands



(Interest Type(s))

Romantic Getaways


Adventure Travel

(Tour Length)

19 Days

Tour Highlights

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  • Board a helicopter for an overflight of six different volcanoes en route to Lake Atitlan
  • Savor a rare experience…  glamping at Uaxactun Mayan ruins – an overnight stay in the ruins in the comfort of your own private camp with candle-lit dinner
  • Explore Colombia’s Popayan, known for its beautiful colonial architecture and nearby Purace National Park
  • For a treat, visit the Totumo Mud Volcano, northeast of Cartagena, for a thermal mud bath, both restoring and fun
  • Discover Ecuador’s fabled volcanoes, escorted by a volcanologist, who will help you explore the geology, history and legends of these ancient landscapes


Day 1: Guatemala City, Guatemala / Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala.  On arrival in Guatemala City, clear immigration, collect luggage, and proceed through customs.  In the arrivals hall, you are met and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel in Antigua.  Casa Santo Domingo 

Day 2: Antigua / Pacaya Volcano / Antigua
After breakfast, your volcanologist guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and transfer you to the Pacaya Volcano, where you will set out on a 2.5 hour hike.  Active since 1965, this volcano is classified as a strombolian but occasionally plinian.  Pacaya recently had a slight increase in volcanic activity, which created several lava rivers. At the top of the volcano, enjoy spectacular views as you savor a picnic-style lunch.  Finish off your meal with a unique dessert – marshmallows heated by volcanic steam!  Return to Antigua to enjoy an afternoon walking tour of this captivating city.  Even Antigua’s present location is the result of volcanic activity.  It was moved here in 1527 after being destroyed in another location by a volcanic eruption. It has the distinct feel of a place lost in time, from its cobblestone streets to its priceless colonial architecture. There is much to explore here – art galleries, museums, shops, restaurants, quaint bars and cafes.  Casa Santo Domingo (B,L)

Day 3: Antigua / Lake Atitlan / Antigua
After breakfast, board a helicopter for an overflight of the valleys and six different volcanoes – Agua, Acatenango, Fuego (active), Atitlan, Toliman, and San Pedro – en route to Lake Atitlan. With three stunning volcanoes rising out if its emerald surface, Lake Atitlan is characterized by its natural beauty surrounded by gorgeous views of the volcanoes and its culturally rich indigenous villages.  The famous writer, Aldous Huxley, considered it “the most beautiful lake in the world”.  On arrival at the lake, a private boat will take you to the starting point for your kayaking adventure.  You will paddle approximately one hour to the base of Cerro de Oro which is a lava dome.  This bump was formed from the lava of Atitlan Volcano and the view of the top is simply stunning.  After a hike, stop for lunch at Casa Palopo.  Transfer back to Antigua by helicopter.  Casa Santo Domingo (B,L)

Day 4: Antigua / Uaxactun
Early this morning you are transferred to the Guatemala City airport for your flight to Flores. On arrival at the Mundo Maya Airport, you are met and transferred to Flores for breakfast. After breakfast, your guide will transfer you to Uaxactun Archaeological Park, surrounded by 47 hectares of dense tropical rainforest. In addition to its natural beauty, this city was an important center for the development of monumental art during the Preclassic Period (2000 BC – 250 AD). You will explore the main plaza, pyramids, and temples. The most impressive ruin is the Structure E-VIIsub, the focal point for the plaza with three temples aligned along its eastern edge. Together these structures were used for astronomical studies. The equinox and solstice were accurately determined by sighting the sunrise from the eastern stairway to one of the three pyramids to the east.  Box lunch will be provided. Watch the sun set in the company of an astronomy specialist.  Then, you are in for a rare experience…  glamping at Uaxactun. This overnight stay in the ruins offers a unique way to experience this ancient Maya site in the comfort of your own private camp. Dinner is served in a special setting near the campsite illuminated with torches and candles.  Glamping At Uaxactun (B,L,D)

Day 5: Uaxactun / Tikal / Guatemala City
Another early wake up allows you to experience sunrise from the top of the main pyramid. After breakfast, travel to Tikal with your driver and guide. The Tikal complex is one of the most famous Maya sites and Guatemala’s most significant cultural and natural preserve.  Your guide will accompany you throughout the main plaza and temples to explain the history of this massive city and why it was so important.  Tikal was a vital ceremonial center of the ancient Maya civilization with the construction of major pyramids and temples.  Its best years were the Late Classic Period (600-900AD). After the tour, take a break for lunch at a restaurant near the archaeological site.  Your guide will transfer you to Mundo Maya Airport for your flight to Guatemala City.  On arrival, you are met and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel.  Westin Camino Real Guatemala (B,L)

Day 6: Guatemala City / Bogota, Colombia / Pereira
You are transferred to the Guatemala City airport and assisted with check-in procedures for your flight to Bogota, Colombia. On arrival in Bogota, clear immigration, collect luggage and proceed through customs.  In the arrivals hall, you are met and assisted with check-in procedures for your flight to Pereira.  On arrival, you are met and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel.  Hacienda Sazagua (B)

Day 7: Pereira - Valle De Cocora – Filandia - Pereira
Early this morning depart with your guide to the Cocora Valley in Los Nevados National Park. You’ll spot Colombia’s national tree, the “Quindian wax-palm.” It is known to reach an amazing 197 ft. in height. This is also home to hummingbirds and endemic yellow-eared parrots. On arrival enjoy either hiking or horseback riding. Hike into cloud-forest to experience the lush biodiversity of the flora and fauna.  Cross Quindio River on an ecological pathway through the tallest wax-palms in the world. Stop at a trout farm and enjoy a traditional smoked-trout meal.  Continue 6 miles towards the small traditional town of Salento. Stroll past the colorful balconies and colonial architecture of Bolivar Square, "calle real," the handicrafts shops and Cocora viewpoint.  The town became isolated and therefore has retained more of its colonial architecture than almost any other town in the Coffee Region as well as a quiet and relaxed way of life.  Visit the traditional town of Finlandia, a small community economically supported by agriculture and tourism. Although coffee is the major agricultural product, the municipality's diverse ecosystem makes it perfect for the production of fruits and vegetables. Spend some time soaking-up the regional atmosphere.  Hacienda Sazagua (B)

Day 8: Pereira / Popayan
This morning, you set out on a drive through the countryside to Popayan. The city of Popayan is well-known for its beautiful colonial architecture, often referred to as the ‘White City’ due to the prevalence white-walled homes, buildings, and several churches in the historic center. Founded in 1537, it played an important role during the colonial period as it was the mid-point of gold in the journey between Lima, Quito and Cartagena on its way to Spain. It has stunning colonial churches. Although the city was damaged by an earthquake in 1983, most historic colonial architecture was completely restored. Popayan is also widely-known for the solemnity of its Easter Week sacred processions, a tradition dating back to the 16th century.  In 2009, Popayan’s Easter Week celebrations were declared by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. During Easter Week, Popayán also hosts the Religious Music Festival.  Explore the historic center, concentrating around Caldas Park. The Clock Tower is one of city’s symbols, built between 1673-1682. Continue towards the "Humilladero" Bridge, built in 1873 to facilitate access from the city-center to "El Callejón", particularly for those believers making the route on their knees. See the Santo Domingo Church, a baroque-style church, the San Francisco Church, considered the most beautiful baroque church in town, and the "Pantheon to the Independence Heroes". Visit the fascinating Religious Art Museum, and Mosquera House Museum, and the Settecento-style house.  Dann Monasterio (B,D)

Day 9: Popayan
After breakfast, visit the Purace National Park, located 45 km/27 mi away from Popayan. It is an impressive natural reserve spanning 83,000 hectares including the Mountainous range "Los Coconucos" and their volcanoes. The highest peaks are "Pan de Azúcar" (5,000m), "Coconuco" (4,600m), ‘Puracé’ (4,580m). The Sotará volcano (4,400m) is to the south of the mountain chain. Adding to this beautiful landscape there are waterfalls, lagoons and caves. Take a break at "Pilimbala" to enjoy the hot-springs by the foothills of the snow-capped "Nevado del Purace" which is surrounded by fascinating landscapes.  During the evening, return to Popayan.  Dann Monasterio (B,L,D)

Day 10: Popayan / Cartagena
This morning, you are in for a treat with a visit the small town of Silvia, located in a temperate mountainous area. Picturesque houses are surrounded by vast sugar-cane plantations. The Indigenous Guambiano community with a population of 12,000 inhabitants, lives in small mountain villages nearby. Every Tuesday, Market Day, the village of Silvia is transformed into a colorful, lively spot when the Guambiano Indians, dressed in their traditional “anacos”, a blue knee-length wraparound skirt-like, come to sell their fruit, vegetables and handicrafts. Later, you are transferred to the Pereira airport for your flight to Cartegena. On arrival in Cartagena, you are met and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Casa San Agustin (B)

Day 11: Cartagena
Join your guide for a full day tour to include the highlights of Cartagena.  Visit the most important monuments from the colonial city including the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, built on San Lázaro hill in order to defend the city from pirate attacks. Continue to the 15th-century La Popa Monastery, perched on the area’s only important elevation.  It was formerly called “La Popa del Galeón” for its incredible resemblance to the stern of a galleon. After lunch at a local restaurant suggested by your guide (payable direct), embark on a three-hour walking tour of Cartagena within the historic center of the walled city. This area has been declared as both “Mankind’s Heritage” and “Colombian National Heritage” site by UNESCO.  Its narrow streets are adorned with antique doorways and flower-filled balconies.  Explore the colonial streets with stops at the Cathedral of Cartagena, Plaza de Bolivar, and the Temple of Santo Domingo.  Casa San Agustin (B)

Day 12: Cartagena
Quirky and vibrant, with the relentless energy of a Persian bazaar, Bazurto market is a world unto itself. But among the chaos lies a daily routine that begins when vendors arrive from all over the country at the crack of dawn to set up their fish, meat, clothes, antiques, and craft stalls.  Join your guide for a morning visit to Bazurto, the largest local food market in Cartagena. Here one can find all the fresh products available in the Caribbean region. Try some of the exotic fruits, and follow your guide, known to the vendors, through this area as they welcome you to their barrio. This is a true local experience. Return to the city center where you will assist the chef of the Collage Charladero restaurant in the preparation of the most known and typical Cartagena recipes including limonada de coco (coconut lemonade) and posta negra (a coconut sweetened beef). All that you have prepared with the help of the chef will be enjoyed as lunch.  Casa San Agustin (B,L)

Day 13: Cartagena
Early this morning join your guide for the one-hour drive to the Totumo Mud Volcano, located approximately 50 km to the northeast of Cartagena. On arrival, climb 15 m up the stairs along the side of the volcano to the crater. Here the sulphur, phosphates, magnesium and other elements bubble through the mud and are known for their restorative and curative properties. The mud’s density means that visitors stay afloat and making this a fun, yet muddy, bath. After the mud bath, head to the freshwater Totumo Lake nearby to wash off the mud before your return to Cartagena. Casa San Agustin (B) 

Day 14: Cartagena / Quito, Ecuador
You are transferred to the Cartagena airport for your flight to Quito.  On arrival, clear immigration, collect luggage, and proceed through customs.  In the arrivals hall, you are met and escorted to the waiting vehicle for transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Casa Gangotena (B)

Day 15: Quito / Tungurahua
From Quito, head south this morning towards the avenue of the volcanoes in the company of your volcanologist. The first volcano you will come to is the active Mama Tungurahua, rising some 16,479 feet. After years of dormancy, volcanic activity on the mountain restarted on August 19, 1999, with the last major eruption in 2014. It is located on the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes of central Ecuador, 140 kilometers/87 miles south of the capital Quito in the upper Amazon Basin in an amazing area known as the road of the waterfalls and the southeastern-most important cloud forest in the Andean region. It offers a wealth of flora and fauna including orchids, butterflies, bromeliads and iconic mammals such as the spectacle bear.  Hacienda Manteles (L,D)

Day 16: Tungurahua / Cotopaxi National Park
After breakfast. You set out towards the most majestic and beautiful of the volcanoes in the worlds, Cotopaxi, at an altitude of nearly 6,096 meters/20,000 feet. It is considered the highest active volcano in the world due to the geographical location and its continuous activity. It is part of the more than 74 volcanoes of the Ecuadorean Andes, 20 considered potentially active and four that are presently active: Reventador, Sangay, Tungurahua and Cotopaxi.

The volcano is located in the Cotopaxi National Park, a protected area in Ecuador situated in the Cotopaxi Province, Napo Province and Pichincha Province, roughly 50 km/31 mi. south of Quito. Cotopaxi is located within its boundaries, together with two others: the dormant Rumiñahui volcano to the northwest and the historic Sincholagua, which had its last major eruption in 1877, to the southeast. In April 2015, Cotopaxi has seen an increase in activity periodically. Leading some to expect a large volcanic event; however, it is monitored with the most sophisticated equipment and technology and considered the most monitored volcano in the world. Visit the national park and the areas where eruptions have occurred. Please note that due to this recent activity, Cotopaxi is currently closed, but we can arrange access by special request.  Santa Ana dela Pedregal (B,L,D)

Day 17: Cotopaxi National Park
Explore Cotopaxi National Park in depth as you hike through this impressive ecosystem, home to some of the most important flora and fauna species in the high Andes such a condor, the national bird of Ecuador, spectacle, bear, mountain tapir, puma, rabbit, wild horses and foxes. It has a unique combination of pine vegetation. You enjoy exploring the park with your volcanologist-guide. Santa Ana dela Pedregal (B,L,D)

Day 18: Cotopaxi National Park / Quito
In the morning, you visit the park again to continue studying Cotopaxi volcanic events and savor a picnic lunch before returning to Quito in the afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure.  Casa Gangotena (B,L)

Day 19: Quito / Depart
Today you will return to the airport for you outward flight. (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy: From US$800 per person, per day.

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