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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 El Balcon

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from Hotel Mocowa in Armenia following a welcome briefing at 9 am. You are then transferred to a saddlery to have a look around before visiting the arrieros show in Parque de los Arrieros. Afterwards you'll transfer to Hacienda El Balcon in the village of Buena Vista for dinner and to overnight.

Day 2 - Hacienda El Balcon - Cordoba (28kms)

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast and preparing the horses you set off riding along the beautiful coffee route. Stop for lunch in the village of Pijao and continue on tracks and paths to reach Cordoba which is renowned for excellent coffee. You can experience first hand the production process from coffee bean cultivation to tasting.

Day 3 - Cordoba radial route.

Riding: 6 hours

A circular route amongst the coffee plantations. Each step tells a story of life here. Visit the best viewpoint in the entire Quidio before returning to your hotel Sonarte de Cordoba for a second night.

Day 4 - Cordoba - Hacienda Hotel La Joya (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 - Hacienda Hotel La Joya - Hacienda La Paloma (28km)

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

The landscape will drastically change today as you arrive at the hill Pensil and descend through tropical forest to reach the Paloma farm in the town of Calarca. Your picnic lunch will be in the middle of the coffee plantations along a clear river.

Day 6 - Hacienda La Paloma - Salento (30km)

Riding: 5 hours

Arrival to Salento is one of the highlights of your trail - this town between the mountains is considered the father of the Quindio region due to being the oldest of the department. This magical town will delight you in each of its corners with fabulous cuisine and an unparalleled atmosphere.

Day 7 - Valle del Cocora

Riding: 5 hours

Today you will have the opportunity to visit the national tree of Colombia - La Palma de Cera in the important Valle del Cocora. Considered one of the most important destinations in the country and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, visiting on horseback is the best way to experience it.

Day 8 - Salento - 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

May 13, 2023 - May 20, 2023

Aug. 19, 2023 - Aug. 26, 2023

Pricing

2023
Sharing
£3445 $3845 €3925
Single rooms are not always possible but could be arranged on some nights - please request a price and availability.
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

2023 - 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.
2023 - 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.