Colombia's diverse landscapes, fascinating history and love of horses make it an exciting destination. Itineraries planned take you to two very different regions - firstly to the tropical coffee growing area, the province of Quindio, with its incredible lush vegetation, fruits of every shape and size and colourful birdlife. After visiting the beautiful Cocora Valley, famous for its wax palms, some of which are 60 meters high, and the enchanting colonial town of Salento, you head to the highlands north of Bogota. Starting from a typical 200 year old colonial hacienda you ride through dairy and beef farms in the provinces of Cundinamarca and Boyaca. 4 days riding takes you to Villa de Leyva, one on Colombia's gems, with classic colonial architecture and the largest cobbled square in all South America.
Rides are run from fixed dates year round usually for 9 nights. Private trips and tailor made itineraries can also be arranged for groups of 2 or more. Please contact us to discuss
Riding: 5-8 hours a day.
Horses: local Colombian criollos.
Pace: moderate, slow in places due to terrain.
Riding ability: intermediate to experienced riders only.
Weight limit: 85 kg (13st 5lbs).
Accommodation: private houses & haciendas, 2-3* hotels.
Group size: max 8 (10 for private groups).
Season: year round
Horses: The horses used are local Colombian criollos, bred for farm work and transport in the mountains. Most are between about 14.2hh and 15.2hh, generally narrow in build, sure footed and well suited to the terrain. Most horses are trained western style, so neck reign, and go best when ridden with a loose contact.
Hours: The rides include an average of 5 to 8 hours riding a day.
Pace and experience required: The pace varies with the terrain and altitude but overall is moderate to slow. There will be plenty of chances for canters along dirt tracks but also some steep climbs, riding on narrow paths. You are expected to be a competant rider, with experience over different terrain, secure and well balanced at walk, trot & canter. The horses are sensible, calm and well trained.
Accommodation varies from day to day. Some nights are in simple, privately owned farms and haciendas where rooms tend to basic, even quite monastic. Most have their own bathrooms attached with shower and loo - you may be asked to share bathrooms on one or two nights. Some haciendas are more comfortable, several in the coffee region have swimming pools. 2 nights are spent at Hacienda La Cabana, a lovely colonial building which is the base for the rides. Rooms are simple, some with 3 or 4 beds, but all have their own bathroom. 2 nights are spent in 2* to 3* hotels in the towns of Salento and Villa de Leyva.
Coffee Farms & Highland Haciendas (9 nights)
10th to 19th March
Itinerary in Brief - Coffee Farms & Highland Haciendas
|Day 1||[Fly to Bogota, internal flight to Armenia] You will be met on arrival in Armenia and driven to a coffee farm for a visit and lunch, then on to the cattle & fruit farm where the horses are waiting. A short evening ride to try the horses. Night at the hacienda.|
||Breakfast and set off on a full day ride, following a lush valley, past coffee and banana plantations. Stop for lunch at a lovely isolated farm then ride on to Hacienda La Joya where the night is spent.|
||Today's ride takes you into the hills. Leaving the coffee plantations you climb into montane forest, then descend to Finca La Paloma for the night.|
||Breakfast and set off again, firstly on a paved road then once more into the hills, traversing the slopes of forested mountains. After stopping at a local inn for a picnic lunch you continue towards the beautiful colonial town of Salento. Leave the horses a little out of town and transfer the last part by jeep. The night is spent in a hotel in the centre of Salento.|
||Breakfast and a short drive, meeting new horses for a morning ride into the amazing Cocora Valley. Lunch and then drive back to Armenia in time for an afternoon flight to Bogota. Met on arrival and driven about 2 hours north to Hacienda La Cabana, near the town of Ubate.|
||Today's ride takes you to the colonial town of Cucunaba. Lunch is at a small posada in the square before riding back to La Cabana by a different route.|
||Breakfast and leave Hacienda La Cabana, traversing the Ubate valley, stopping and an amazing old hacienda that once bred fighting bulls. Lunch here then continue to Hacienda Potosi where the night is spent.|
||The ride continues on dirt tracks through forested hills, crossing the border of Boyaca and Cudinamarca provinces. Stop for a picnic and in the afternoon finally descend to a lovely country guesthouse near the town of Raquira.|
|Day 9||The ride today takes you through a high, dry, desolated area, the "desierto de Candelaria". Lunch at a view point then descend to the outskirts of Villa de Leyva. Say goodbye to the horses and drive a short way in to the wonderful colonial town, which boasts the largest cobbled square of all South America. Night at a hotel in town.|
|Day 10||Breakfast and set off early, driving back to Bogota. Stop on the way at a stud farm that breeds Colombian Paso Finos. A chance to witness these quick stepping horses in action, and maybe even try riding one yourself. Lunch in a local restaurant then continue to Bogota. Transfer to the airport for onward travel.|
|Contact us on 01837-82544 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions|
The meeting point for the rides is Bogota or Armenia depending on the itinerary. Avianca have direct flights from varuios European destinations (including London, Paris, Madrid). Airfares vary depending on the airline and season but expect to pay between £750 to £950 for an economy return, including internal sectors.