Itinerary help for Family travel

Old May 1st, 2023, 12:58 PM
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Itinerary help for Family travel

Hello fellow travelers,
I am planning a trip with my family ( husband, 2 kids- 2 year old and 4 year old) end of May-early June (12 days) to Colombia from Dallas, Texas. We have been to Brazil with our older one 4 years back and loved it. Now planning this trip as family of 4. We like exploring new places, see its culture, be in nature. light hiking (given the little one)
I have two destinations finalized (Medelin, Salento), struggling with my 3rd destination - Cartegena or Quito, Ecuador. we have a trip to Costa Rica planned this year for beaches, so thinking to skip Cartegena, However, I need a bigger city to fly back to Dallas.
May 23- Fly Dallas to Medelin- 8 hr . Stay Medelin - Park Lleras area
May 24- go around Medelin
May 25- Day trip to Gautape
May 26- Medelin
May 27- Leave Medelin to Pereira. Stay in Salento
May 28- Cocora valley
May 29- Salento
May 30- fly from Pereira to Quito
May 31- Stay Quito
June1- Day trip to Otavalo
June 2- Quito
June 3- Fly from Quito to Dallas (8hr)

My question
1. Is Quito a good alternative to go instead? Given we will be in Colombia before to slowly go up elevation in Quito. Would that help in acclimating with altitude sickness?
2. Are there any issues for immigration flying from Colombia to Ecuador?
3. Does this itinerary seem super rushed? I m placing 3 days at each place.
4. We are vegetarians. Would it be easier to find meals in these places relevantly.

Would love to hear more from you all!
dimpleverma1875 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2023, 02:46 AM
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Hi dimpleverma and welcome to Fodors.

First to answer your specific questions;
  1. You are not really going to hit any altitudes in Colombia to make much difference to the acclimatisation process in Quito. That said, we spent a couple of months in Quito taking Spanish lessons and flew there direct from sea level. At 2800m we only experienced slight breathlessness for a day or two so I wouldn't really worry too much about that. Quito itself is not my favourite South American city. We are by no means nervous travellers but safety is an issue there. A friend of mine was recently subjected to a mugging attempt and our friends Ecuadorian housekeeper came back from visiting here father late last year and was saddened by the state of affair in he home country.
  2. No, we have gone between the two countries by land and air with no issues. You don't say what nationality you are so do check the visa/entrance requirements
  3. It does seem a little rushed in places. Otavalo is great but it will take a couple of hours+ each way. if you can , stay a Friday night and visit the animal market first thing and then explore the artisan market. La Luna, just outside of town is a nice place to stay. some details and photos on our blog @
  4. I am not a vegetarian but IME neither country seemed vegetarian friendly. I am sure you will get veggie substitutes for many of the traditional meat based dishes - get used to using the phrase "soy vegetariano". Even so, many places seem to fry everything in pork fat!
With that amount of time, I think I would stay in Colombia. The old city of Cartagena is very nice but very hot and extremely busy. A couple days there would be around the right amount time. My choice would be to head to Bogota and fly home from there we had 4 days there at the end of three months in Colombia and if we had know, we would have allocated more. Salento and the Cocora valley are very nice, though hiking the valley may be a little challenging with the little ones?

If you did head to Bogota, Villa de Leyva might be a suitable option. Here is a link to our blog which covers some of our travels in Colombia which may provide some ideas of what to expect. I think my wife even wrote a post about the food there.

Hope this helps and if you have any further questions , just ask.
crellston is offline  
Old May 12th, 2023, 04:32 AM
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Good morning,

I have read your itinerary. I think it is a bit rushed, specially the Quito part.
(1) Flights: You could also consider to fly from Medellin to Armenia Airport (El Eden or AXM) . Flights to this city depart from Olaya Herrera (an airport inside Medellin, different to Jose Maria Cordova, outside Medellin) Neither from Pereira or Armenia you would be able to fly directly to Quito. All flights go via Bogota. Avianca, and Wingo have good fares. Wingo and Avianca, both operate in Armenia and Pereira airport.
(2) Suggestions to stay in Salento: Eje Cafetero area is compact, and it has great parks for kids who love animals, colorful towns and breathtaking scenery. My suggestion is to stay in a central location (could be in the city of Armenia) or could be in a typical house in the middle of nature. I was there in a great Airbnb with my family. Check IRUAECOLODGE on Instagram. Thats a great place to stay.
(3) Quito: Two days in Quito is too short. Quito, the city has a beautiful set of churches worth to see in the city center, has the beautiful Cotopaxi Volcano 40 minutes driving, and one of the most scenic hotels I have ever been Check: Cotopaxi Pungo, also on Instagram. Lets say that Quito and Otavalo only need around 3 days, and if you go the beautiful Cotopaxi area, you will need 4 to 5 days.
Have great day. I hope it is not too late to answer
sorossoros7301 is offline  
Old May 16th, 2023, 08:26 AM
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Thank you so much for your response. Unfortunately i already booked my tickets as per the dates. eeps! If i could, i would change the flight to Armenia (as per your comment).
However, if i could ask some specific questions related to Salento and Quito
1. I'll be in Salento 27 May-30 May (with only 2.5 days in total excluding the travel times)
Reach Salento at 27 May evening- walk around Salento neighborhood for dinner and go sleep
May 28- Do cocora valley plus coffee tour. Walk to Miradores for the view points
Q- will this take one full day ? If not, what else to do for the remaining day?
Q- Will the short hike be feasible with kids (i am not looking going to do the longer the one, as it may not be feasible with kids )
May 29- Go Filandia and then to Parque del Cafe?
Q- Is the Parque del Café better to take the kids instead of Panaca. My kids are 2 year old and 4 year old. What would you recommend to do one 2nd day?
May 30- Leave Salento early, go to ecothermals towards the airport. My flight is at 4pm so be there until 1 pm.
Q- does this seem plausible?
Q- What kind of clothing should i keep for the Salento trip? I am planning to keep pants and shoes for sure and a wind sheeter/raincoat. Not sure if the weather will be cooler? Should i keep woolen item as well?

2. Same question for Quito- What should i pack apart from long pants and windsheeter/raincoat? Should i ensure we have long sleeve shirts along with some woolen jackets too? with two kids, i want to ensure i have right items without packing too heavily. Planning to keep it to 2 bags for the trip. Will love to hear from you!

Last edited by dimpleverma1875; May 16th, 2023 at 08:55 AM.
dimpleverma1875 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2023, 09:23 AM
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Good morning, I wonder if you still are trying to organize your trip. My suggestion was to stay longer, and stay near Armenia. They have great family lodges over there. I went last year with my two nieces and they enjoyed a lot. Check Instagram for Iruaecolodge. That could be agreat option
sorossoros7301 is offline  
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