Starting our RTW with a Colombian Tour

Deciding on a Tour

Sylvie and I are flying in to Cartagena, Colombia on Aug 18th.  We had originally planned on spending a few days on the beach and then travel around Colombia.  Sylvie had been reading some US travel advisories and got a little nervous about our safety while in Colombia (the recent Vice episodes on the gangs in the area didn't help either).  Check out the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN).

The safety issues coupled with the obvious benefits of starting a long trip with pre-arranged lodging, transit, and activities Sylvie and I have decided to kickstart our RTW with a tour.

Picking a Tour

I looked into Intrepid Travel and G Adventures for tour options in Colombia.  I have traveled with both companies before and they offer very similar options.  We found a tour with G Adventures that starts Aug 18th in Cartagena and ends Sept 5 in Quito, Ecuador.

 
Click on image to search from over 700 different tours in 134 countries.

Click on image to search from over 700 different tours in 134 countries.

 

About the Tour

Route of Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring

The tour we landed on was a 19 day tour from G Adventures called Cartagena to Quito on a Shoestring and includes a 5 day trek in the Lost City of Teyuna, an overnight excursion to Tyron National Park, 2 flights, and all other busing and transportation, a homestay in Ecuador, half a dozen breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and some walks through the cities.  Bussing in Colombia can be a little dangerous especially the bus route to Quito from Bogota (via Cali).  This tour eliminates a lot of overland travel with the two included flights. Click the links below for a full itinerary:

The retail price for the tour was $2,499/person.  Since we booked it last minute G Adventure was offering a 15% discount--plus an additional 5% discount for all prior G Adventure trip takes.  Unfortunately I never filled out my end-of-trip survey last time so I do not quality for that promotion.  However, I was able to further reduce the cost of the tour.

How we saved $1,123 (22.5%) off the price of the tour...

In addition to the 15% G Adventure offer, I was able to score another 4% discount by booking through a zero-fee 3rd party website (Tour Radar) using the promo code "4THJULY". They also gave me a 3% credit ($122) for future tours booked through them.  Add on top the 2% cash back my Travel MasterCard provides and the savings really add up.  They add up to $1,123 to be exact.

A side note about Tour Radar:  This website offers a plethora of different tours with hundreds of different providers.  They have price assuring, charge no fees, and are very prompt in their customer service.  Most importantly, you can save $$ when booking through them since they offer promotions on top of the lowest price offered on a tour.  Make sure to check them out before booking another tour.