Ivey Grad Trip: 20 Days
You've been working your ass off to get that MBA so now you should travel/adventure/party your ass off in a couple of the most amazing/inspiring/beautiful countries on earth!
Starting off in Caribbean Cartagena, Colombia we will get all those travel jollies pumpin' by exploring this impeccably preserved colonial city situated on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea. Then we'll start to get some elevation by heading up to the Andes Mountains and taking in the beautiful natural wonders of Guatapé and the cool af urban life in Medellìn. Narcos lovers will get a kick out of the history of this part.
Next, we take it even higher up to the former capital of the Incan Empire - Cusco, Peru which is an epic experience on its own but it is the jumping-off point for the crown jewel of the trip - Machu Pichu! We'll have our hearts and minds inspired by the massiveness of the history and culture, our bellies will be full of Peruvian cuisine and our heads will hurt from the bad decisions resulting from those pisco sours.
This trip will be custom-built for your group. We'll have our Spanish-speaking "trip concierge" along for the good times to make sure that you get exactly what you want out of this trip. Nobody in your group wants to be the one making sure the bus is on time, making sure you get a good price on activities or finding a pharmacy for that rash. Josh is your guy and he's practically local.
This is going to be the perfect trip to blow off all that steam coming from studies and pandemic stress.
Day 1-4 (Cartagena)
Fly into Cartagena.
Amazing coastal city on the Caribbean Sea with Spanish colonial architecture, lots to do and see along with a bumpin’ nightlife. There’s no place like it.
We stay in the walled part of the city and make sure to walk around and catch the sunset over the ocean before we start our night. Check out some cool roof top pools, world-class SCUBA diving, a boat ride to our own beach for a BBQ, and more.
Don't forget about Cartagena's famous nightlife and shopping! We finish the trip off with a fun trip around the city on a Colombian Chiva bus (picture a school bus that has been pimped out to be the ultimate fiesta bus). Cartegena is sure to blow your mind!
Day 5-8 (Guatapé)
Fly from Cartagena to Medellin and transfer to Guatapé
Arrive during the day. It's time to have your mind blown with some of the world's best views and indulge in the colourful community and sites of Guatapé.
A smaller town on a lake with La Piedra Del Peñol for a fun afternoon hike up to the top, lots of activities in surrounding mountains and lakes (for example: rock climbing, paragliding, wakeboarding, booze cruise)
Day 9-10 (Medellín)
We will spend two nights in this jungle city and get settled into the Colombian lifestyle. Prepare to get hit with some amazing culture, history, and nightlife! We will take a private bus to Guatapé on the last day.
Crazy cool city situated in the Andes Mountains. Lots of unique city things to do like bike tours, graffiti tours, football games (maybe) not to mention the Pablo Escobar history. Of course, the night life here is incredible.
Day 11-14 (Cusco)
Three full days to explore Cusco with an introductory walking tour of the area. Downtime and ability to explore more of the Sacred Valley and do some adrenaline fuelled activities or hike up to Rainbow Mountain.
The former capital of the Incan Empire is also the jumping off point for Machu Pichu. Lots of fun things to do like wandering the tiny streets, going to the planetarium, acquainting yourself with Incan and Peruvian culture and of course indulge in the legendary Peruvian cuisine.
Day 15-16 (Machu Picchu)
Take private bus then an executive glass rooftop train through the Andes to Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu town. Sunrise hike up Machu Picchu!
Summit Machu Picchu mountain then explore the ruins of Machu Picchu site all with our hand-picked guides for a unique experience.
Day 17 (Cusco)
Take the train back to Cusco. Stay one night in Cusco
Day 18-20 (Lima)
Take private transfer to airport and flight to Lima. Enjoy these last moments with your group while exploring Lima together, taking in breathtaking parks & views (including the "Cat park"), spanish architecture, delicious food and drinks! There's even a beach and some waves if the weather permits!
Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure.
IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.
The Free & Easy Commitment
We strive to ensure everyone who wants to travel has the opportunity to have the most epic experience ever. Free & Easy delivers awe-inspiring travel experiences and creates lifelong connections between incredible people + incredible places.
See below for more details about what else is included in this amazing adventure.
Included Experiences: Ivey Grad Trip
- NEW for 2022! All Free & Easy travelers will have access to our industry leading app to help manage your trip. This provides pre-trip planning advice, itinerary management, activity suggestions for free time, maps, chat support and more!
- Cartagena City and Fortress walking tour
- Enjoy beverages and the sunset on the old city walls of Cartagena
- Experience the tranquility of Colombia's beaches, wild life, and city cultures
- Medellin City tour
- Culture and graffiti tour of Medellin including District 13
- Explore Cusco, the oldest city in South America
- Entrance and professionally guided tour of Machu Picchu! (and time to explore at your own leisure)
- Additional entrance to a Machu Pichu hike and viewpoint
- Pisco Wine Tour and Tasting
Accommodation: Ivey Grad Trip
All accommodations - We send our trip planners to each of our destinations so they can do on the ground, research. Checking for the best location, comfort and vibe that we can get for our budget while also supporting local businesses.
In the case of this trip, our local guide will be sussing out the coolest, unique places for a group of friends like yourselves.
Transportation: Ivey Grad Trip
All transport - This trip will find us taking private A/C vans, A/C bus, train to Machu Pichu town and 3 flights.
Leaders: Ivey Grad Trip
1 group leader - Our staff is consistently ranked as the #1 reason that people loved their trips. We meet most of our leaders while traveling with them so we can see in person if they are fun yet responsible, cool yet down to earth, professional yet laid back. This creates that perfect mix which makes our "tours" feel like a group of friends.
Optional Experiences: Ivey Grad Trip
These experiences are at an added cost and are all options for you on your trip! You can be as active or as relaxed as you like!
- Mountain Biking
- Scuba Wreck Dive
- Waterfall hike
- Food and Exotic fruits tour
- Horseback riding
- Surfing (depending on weather)
- SUP boarding and kayaking
- Fortress tours
- Chiva party bus tour of Cartagena
- Spa day
- Sky Diving
- Resort and roof top pool lounging
- Salsa lessons
- Shopping inside the walled city
- Cusco Foodie Scene
- Rainbow Mountain
- Incan hot stone Massages
- White water rafting
- Paragliding in Lima
- Bungy jumping
- Cooking Classes
- Explore the Peruvian Craft Beer scene
- Mountain biking
- Coca Leaf Reading
- City Ruin Tour
- Artisinal Chocolate Lessons
- Atv tour/Zipline
- Salt Flat Tour
And so much more! If you're interested in something that isn't on the list just ask us, if it's possible we will find you some options. We are here to try and help you find your ideal trip!
- All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
- Activities outside of the ones listed above (optional activities are not included)
- Any Visa or Visa fees
Textile History and Workshop
Take this opportunity to learn the difference between alpaca, llama, and vicuña hair fibres. You will also get the chance to sheer and naturally wash and colour the fibres using a wide range of dyeing agents.
It doesn’t end there though, you will receive a thorough explanation of what certain textile patterns represent. And to make this experience truly epic, you will get to feed and take photos with the most adorable llamas. Don’t miss out on this opportunity if you want to have a truly local Peruvian experience.
Explore Machu Picchu
Perched high up in the Andes Mountains, surrounded by lush green peaks and misty clouds, sits the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu. One of the 7 Wonders of the World and the most renowned archaeological site in the western hemisphere it's incredible in every way.
From its mysterious and elaborate temples to its out-of-this-world location, it's a sight that everyone should aim to see once in their lifetime. Our local Incan guide will take us on a spiritual journey up the mountain, stopping for Coca Leaf and thankfulness ceremonies along the way. This is one experience that will leave your soul rejuvenated.
Cooking class in Cusco
After getting a taste of some of the local delicacies Peru has to offer, you’ll be itching to get in the kitchen and learn how to make some of these dishes on your own!
In the culturally rich city of Cusco, we have the opportunity to throw on some colorful aprons and get to cooking alongside our very own Peruvian chef. With step by step instructions on how to prepare a popular drink and delicious main dish, we leave the class ready to show all our family and friends back home the tasty treats Peru has to offer!
Yoga in Pisac
Wind down after some invigorating hikes and enjoy a tranquil yoga class in the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas just outside of Cusco, also known as the Urubamba Valley.
The quaint town of Pisac is surrounded by Incan Ruins and nestled along the same river that flows to Machu Picchu town known as the Urubamba River. Guided by an experienced and trained yoga teacher, we move through restorative poses and meditative postures to stretch out those sore legs post-Colca Canyon trek.
Palo Santo and gentle music fill the room to create a serene environment for quieting the mind as we connect deeper within ourselves. The energy from the ancient ruins that lay in Peru is known to be felt by locals and tourists alike.
Through this mindful yoga practice, we get the chance to receive the powerful energy that lies in the Sacred Valley. Leave this class feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, with an improved balance between body and mind.
Surf A Wave
Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, it feels right and you'll always ALWAYS remember that first time you caught that first wave. Don't be surprised if this experience leads to an eternal addiction.
Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you'll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. It's the timing of your prescence in the ocean combined with nature providing you with that perfect wave, just for you. It's no coincidence that 6 of the countries that we run trips to (Indonesia, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru & Colombia) have wicked surf scenes because there's nothing quite like it.
Paragliding in Lima
Have you always wanted to fly like a bird? Then head out for an awesome paragliding session in Lima! Right on the edge of the Miraflores district (where we stay) and on a set of beautiful cliffs overlooking the ocean, multiple Peruvian paragliding schools are available to take you out.
Whether you take a one-day paragliding course or just fly tandem with a professional, there’s nothing like running off the cliff and feeling the wind grab the canopy as you soar away. From way up above Lima, you’ll get an incredible ocean view, see how huge the city really is (10 million people!), and your instructor can point out beautiful sights and cool restaurants for you to check out later. This is definitely an amazing way to start or finish your trip to Peru!
Hike to an Amazing Viewpoint in Guatapé
Looking for the best views in Colombia? Well get your camera ready and head on up to El Peñón de Guatapé! Put on a comfy pair of shoes, fill up a water bottle, and grab your hiking partner: we’re going to a viewpoint!
Here at Free & Easy, we’re huge fans of viewpoints, and this is one of our favourites, so that’s saying something! In Guatapé, there are amazing rock formations all around, but El Peñón (The Rock) is made of a type of granite, and has avoided erosion. Former indigenous inhabitants of the region worshiped the monstrous formation, and today it is a National Monument in Colombia.
Up we go! The hike takes you up concrete stairs, 740 steps to be exact. Not exactly grueling, but a feat none-the-less, and you are well rewarded! Overlooking beautiful, flourishing islands in all directions across the lake, this peaceful viewpoint is totally worth the climb! Take a deep breath, take it all in, and take a selfie! There are also locals selling their handicrafts at the top, giving you a chance to pick up a souvenir before heading back down!
Walking Tour with Metrocable Ride
Foodies Get Ready!
If you like food, you’ll love Colombia! Especially in the city centres, Medellin and Cartagena, the food scene is unreal! These great culinary experiences won’t break the bank, either! You will have some of the best meals of your life for a fraction of what you’d pay at home.
The restaurants range from great local eats, to funky cafes with specialty items, to cool bars with signature cocktails, to amazing fusion restaurants with brand new flavour combinations that will blow you away! The food is a major highlight in the two cities that bookend our 20-day trip in Colombia. Throughout Colombia, there is a definite European vibe, and it extends into the food.
From street meat to classy and artistic restaurants, you won’t be disappointed with your dinners here. Plus, in classic Colombian fashion, there’s more than meets the eye. Many establishments will have live DJs, street terraces, hidden gardens out back, and a really cool vibe that will remind you that you aren’t in any rush. Just eat, drink, and be happy!
Experience Colombian Nightlife
A trip to Colombia is not complete without letting loose and enjoying some of the nightlife! The cities that book end our trip, Medellin and Cartagena, both offer unforgettable experiences.
Nightlife in Colombia has a unique Latin flare that is unlike anywhere in the Americas. All over the country, bars offer vibrant nightlife with amazing food and drinks, and the dancing will keep you grooving until the wee hours of the morning. While you’re out, you have to try some locally brewed beer, and of course, the rum!
Famous for its rum, Colombia even has whole bars dedicated to the local brew! In Cartagena, try out some of their cocktail bars, focused on perfecting their unique recipes. In Medellin, just grab your favourite drink and hit the streets!
It’s hard to explain, you have to see it to believe it, but the colourful streets are filled with happy people, all evening long, enjoying food, drinks, and a uniquely vibrant social atmosphere. You’ll see street performers, eat fresh street food, and join people dancing everywhere! So if you’re looking for a good time, join us in Colombia, and we’ll show you around!
It becomes clear upon arrival why the colonial city of Cartagena is an essential stop while in Colombia as you’re hit with the colourful streets lined with street performers, food carts, amazing restaurants, and cocktail bars. Also, the architecture is awesome, you feel like you’ve stepped into a piece of European explorer past, you can sense the history that exists in the ancient buildings and streets.
We love it so much that we include a guided tour of the city to take it all in at a FnEZ pace. You can expect to have your mind blown while sitting atop La Popa Monastery overlooking the entire city with your group, or walking the walled old city with a fresh coconut in hand.
We love Cartagena so much that we dedicate 3 days to properly explore this Caribbean gem, once you’ve arrived we dare you to take the smile off of your face!
Experience Colombian Coffee
It’s smooth, it’s aromatic, it’s bold: it’s coffee and your life wouldn’t be the same without it. Heck, a lot of things probably wouldn’t exist without it (that project you’re working on, for example).
Luckily for you, Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest coffee producer! If you’re a coffee fan, you could be at the source of it all. Once you try good, Colombian coffee, you’ll find it hard to go back to your regular brew. Colombia has a reputation for having a mild, well-balanced flavour to their coffee beans, and it’s darn delicious.
If you are into coffee at all, you’ll love what they’re brewing down here! If you aren’t, that’s because you haven’t been drinking this! Give it a try, trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
Pour yourself a cup of joe every morning, and bring some beans home with you when you sadly have to leave this beautiful country. Just make sure you bring enough: once you share it with your friends, you’ll have them begging for more!
Go Paragliding in Colombia!
There may be no better way to get a feel for how beautiful a place is than by slowly soaring above it. As backpackers, an excursion like paragliding often gets neglected by the need for things like rum and more rum.
But when you get to a place that is just so visually incredible that it defies description then we highly recommend forking out the extra dough to get yourself high and enjoy a view like none you've ever had.
There are plenty of places in the world where you can paraglide, but Colombia is one of the best and when you're flying through the sky and staring down at the beauty below, it's easy to see why.