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Coffee Culture Trail

Overview

Colombia has not always had the best reputation for safety and crime, due to a turbulent political past. However, these days it is a far cry from the Colombia of the last decade and tens of thousands of tourists and visitors from all over the globe safely travel to the country for tourism, business…

Highlights

  • Ride through the coffee culture landscapes of Colombia
  • Meet local growers & sample their fresh roasted coffee
  • Enjoy the unique tropical climate of this region
  • Witness the rainbow coloured colonial homes & haciendas
  • Immerse yourself in the relaxed & jovial local life

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 16 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220lbs / 15 st 10 lbs.
    more info Heavier riders may be accepted if they are experienced - please contact us to enquire.

Description

Colombia has not always had the best reputation for safety and crime, due to a turbulent political past. However, these days it is a far cry from the Colombia of the last decade and tens of thousands of tourists and visitors from all over the globe safely travel to the country for tourism, business, university studies and voluntary work.

This wonderful trail has been designed in partnership with Paul Coudenys, one of the most experienced guides in the world and organiser of our Brazilian trails. He or one of his associates will personally accompany you on the ride, making sure you are safe and imparting their keen knowledge of the area too. Paul has long suspected that Colombia would be an excellent location for riders, offering a huge variety of landscapes, environments, cultures and wonderful rural traditions too.

During the coffee culture trail, you will discover the delights of the famous Colombian "coffee triangle" region, located between Armenia, Manizales and Pereira. Here you will find a relatively warm and more tropical climate as the region is sheltered to the east by the highest of the three mountain ranges of Colombia, the "Cordillera Central". Annual temperatures rarely stray outside of the range between 18-25C during the day and only drop to between 14-16C at night. However, as a very tropical environment, there is an increased chance of rain in this area, meaning that the forests and coffee plantations are green and lush year-round - the perfect environment in which to grow some of the world favourite and best-known coffee!

Horses & Riding

Tack

Colombian Trail Saddles (very comfortable). Saddlebags and rain coat will be provided.

Horses

Mostly Colombian Criollo but some mules are also used.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Coffee Trail is a trail ride

Ages

Riders can be accepted from 12 years of age, provided they are experienced and accompanied by an adult.

Health

General good health and fitness advised. Some of the riding days can be very demanding and long, so we would recommend you factor in some time to become saddle fit if you are not already riding regularly.

Weight

100kg / 220lbs / 15 st 10 lbs. Heavier riders may be accepted if they are experienced - please contact us to enquire.

Food & Accommodation

Food

Colombia's cuisine is influenced by its variety of landscapes, with a great diversity of fauna and flora as well as a huge mixture of cultural traditions in each region. Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. Colombia cuisine also features a variety of tropical fruits such as cape gooseberry, feijoa, arazá, dragon fruit, mangostino, granadilla, papaya, guava, blackberry, lulo, soursop and passionfruit.

During the trail all of your meals are included with the package. These may be simple home-cooked dishes, prepared by your host family, or maybe more extravagant plates served at a local restaurant.

Of course, trying the local coffee is a must when you are in the coffee capital of Colombia.

Accommodation

The accommodation for this ride will be in rustic yet authentic Colombian colonial homesteads. These building were originally homes to the owners of the coffee plantations of the area and were not necessarily built for the tourism market. This does mean that rooming arrangements can be fairly basic, and sharing with more than 1 person may well be necessary (most rooms have 2-4 beds). Those of mixed gender will not be expected to share a room together, but couples will have private rooms.

Itineraries

Coffee Trail Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Opportunities for additional excursions and activities outside of the riding programme are not necessarily available besides those already included in the itinerary. If you ahve the time and the inclination, we would highly recommend factoring in some additional days and nights in Colombia so that you can visit other parts of the country whilst you are there. There are so many different landscapes to discover that you are sure to find something you love in Colombia.

If you require any advice or ideas with other areas you might like to visit during your time in Colombia then please do let us know and well be happy to discuss some suggestions with you.

Travel

Transfers are organised from a hotel in Armenia city on Day 1. and then back to the airport in Armenia on the last day. These are included in the price, but a transfer from the airport on arrival is NOT included.

We recommend that those travelling over from Europe consider staying an additional night in the city prior to their trail ride in order to recover from jet lag and to factor in that the meeting time on day 1 is at 9 am. Additional nights can be booked through us at an additional cost of approx. US$110 per night.

* Please note that most European citizens do not require a visa to visit Colombia. You will simply have to complete a landing card on arrival.

Testimonials

Sofia, Feb. 18, 2020

I really enjoyed my holiday the food and places we stayed were very good, the staff were very helpful, beautiful scenery the horses were fantastic!


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Armenia - Hacienda La Pilarica

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from Hotel Mocowa in Armenia following a welcome briefing at 9 am. You are then transferred c. 40mins to Hacienda La Pilarica in the Marabeles valley where you will be shown to your room and offered a welcome drink before being introduced to the horses.

In the afternoon the next-door hacienda will put on a local roping demonstration with their vaquero (cowboy). Dinner and overnight at the hacienda.

Day 2 - Hacienda La Pilanca - Buena Vista - Hacienda El Balcon (30kms)

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast and preparing the horses you set off riding at 9 am. Your first day takes you through green coffee plantations where you can canter through beautiful valleys and cross some rivers. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive at the coffee village of Buena Vista where you will see the coffee making process and experience some coffee tasting.

Dinner and overnight at Hacienda El Balcon.

Day 3 - Hacienda El Balcon - Hacienda Combia (30km)

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast, there is time to visit the coffee plantation on the farm. After a strong cup of coffee you mount up and ride along old bridle paths in marvellous mountainous countryside until reaching the romantic farm Hacienda Combia. This is a great place to relax after a day in the saddle and sample the coffee and rum beside the swimming pool.

Dinner and overnight at Hacienda Combia.

Day 4 - Hacienda Combia - Posada El Eden Country (25km)

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Today's ride takes you through tropical rolling hills and coffee plantations. You will see the vast biodiversity of the mountains, some of which may have snow upon their peaks. Eventually you arrive at Posada El Eden Country where you have dinner and overnight.

Day 5 - Posada El Eden Country - Salento - Hacienda La Cabana (28km)

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Continue riding along coffee trails whilst admiring the typical tropical landscape of this region. Little villages, old paths, green valleys and the ever-present smell of coffee follow you until reaching one of Colombia's most beautiful colonial towns - Salento. This charming town will tempt you to get lost amongst its picturesque streets, discovering romantic corners and meeting friendly villagers. After arriving at Hacienda La Cabana and settling the horses, you head back into town for a drink.

Dinner and overnight at Hacienda La Cabana.

Day 6 - Salento - Vallee del Cocora - Salento (20km)

Riding: 5 hours

Today is a day of extreme beauty as you ride to and within the national park of the Cocora Valley. The valley is dotted with the highest and most beautiful palm trees in the world - La Palma de Cera - which are the national tree of Colombia. You will discover the beautiful scenery of the Cocora valley which is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Colombia, with huge palm trees within a green, mountainous landscape with the snowy peaks of the Andes mountain range as a backdrop!

After about 20kms of riding you head back to the charming town of Salento and Hacienda La Cabana for a second night. Here you will enjoy local gastronomy, drink some fresh beers and rum and finish with strong coffee.

Day 7 - Salento - Filandia (22km)

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast you leave Salento behind and discover another pretty and colourful village - Filandia - but not before riding through more breathtaking landscapes and breathing the fresh mountain air.

Tonight you stay in a typical colonial hotel right by the central plaza in town and dine either in the hotel or in a local restaurant.

Day 8 - Filandia - Armenia

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, you are transferred to Armenia airport (c. 1.5 hours drive) for your flight to Bogota and back home.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders who are confident on a horse in all paces and over a variety of terrain.

Minimum group size 6
Maximum group size 16
Departure windows

Aug. 22, 2021 - Aug. 29, 2021

June 5, 2022 - June 12, 2022

July 17, 2022 - July 24, 2022

Aug. 14, 2022 - Aug. 21, 2022

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£2675 $3700 €3170
2022
Sharing
£2710 $3745 €3215
Included Transfer from meeting point in Armenia on arrival and to the airport on departure, 7 nights of accommodation (couples will have private double rooms, other riders should be willing to share rooms with 2 - 4 beds), all meals from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8, guided riding as described in the programme and support from the back up vehicle.
Not included Flights, airport transfer on arrival, personal travel insurance, drinks (can be included at an added cost), tips & personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Bar tab (all-inclusive) $110
Paid locally
This price includes an open bar service with all alcohol (except wine) and soft drinks covered during the entire week. It is possible to buy wine at each hacienda at an additional cost but prices vary depending on brand and quality. This charge will need to be paid directly to your guide, in cash, on day 1.
2021/2022 - Bar tab (soft drinks only) $60
Paid locally
This price includes an open bar service with all soft drinks covered during the entire week. This charge will need to be paid directly to your guide, in cash, on day 1.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.