Coffee Culture Trail riding holiday in Colombia - Far and Ride
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Coffee Culture Trail, Colombia




Programme


• Coffee Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Mostly Colombian Criollo but some mules are also used.

Nature of horses:

Hardy, reliable and forward going.

Height of horses:

14 hh - 15.2 hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 220lbs (please contact the office is you are heavier than this)

Tack type:

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

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride 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!

See Programmes.

 

Food & 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.

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.

 

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.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portugese, and some basic German.

Health requirements: 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.

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

Tuition: No

Included: Armenia hotel transfers on arrival and airport transfer on departure, accommodation, meals & riding as described in the individual itineraries.

Not included: Flights, airport transfer on arrival, insurance, drinks (can be included at an added cost), tips & personal expenses.

 

Travel Information

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.

Airport: Armenia El Eden International

 

Programme


Coffee Trail



In Colombia, coffee is cultivated with vigorous passion and dedication. There are more than 563,000 families producing coffee and most Colombian coffee farmers live in small haciendas and their cultivation plots are less than 2 hectares on average. Family is therefore their number one priority and it is these families who will welcome you into their homes on this trail.

You will ride through the heart of the coffee triangle, discovering the landscapes of the nature reserve Valley del Cocora, colonial villages of Salento and Filandia, and learn all about coffee growing and drinking.

Your hosts and guides will do everything they can to follow the set itinerary closely, but it can sometimes change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, location and difficulty of the terrain. The trail is recommended for those with a sense of adventure who don't mind being a bit flexible and understanding in these situations.

NOTE: the organisers highly recommend that you arrive one night early and spend a night in Armenia before the ride.

Day One: Armenia - Hacienda La Pilarica

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 Two: Hacienda La Pilanca - Buena Vista - Hacienda El Balcon (30kms)

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 Three: Hacienda El Balcon - Hacienda Combia (30km)

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 Four: Hacienda Combia - Posada El Eden Country (25km)

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 Five: Posada El Eden Country - Salento - Hacienda La Cabana (28km)

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 Six: Salento - Vallee del Cocora - Salento (20km)

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 Seven: Salento - Filandia (22km)

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 Eight: Filandia - Armenia

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



Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 16
Ability description: Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders who are confident on a horse in all paces.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days of riding with c. 6 hours of riding each day.
Departure dates: 2020:
5-12 July, 23-30 August
 
Pricing: 2020:

Price per person: £2181 (shared room)

The price includes 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.

Drinks are not included in the package price but it is possible to pay for open bar service, "all you can drink". The cost is USD 110 per person for all alcohol (except wine) and soft drinks 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 is paid directly to your guide on day 1.

There is also a soft drink option which is USD 60 per person for the week. This is paid directly to your guide 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.