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Colombia – The Central Colombian Trail

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from £1,735 or €1,990

Horse Riding Holidays Colombia – The Central Colombian Trail

PRICES & DATES top

The Central Colombian Trail: Prices 2017

7 nights – £1,735/€1,990/$2,230, per person sharing

Single Supplement – £47/€55/$60 per night, available most nights, but on occasion may have to share

The Central Colombian Trail: Dates 2017

Set departure dates throughout the year. Private group dates also available on request.

22 – 29 January
14 – 21 February
15 – 22 October

Included – All riding, accommodation, meals, snacks, guiding, back up vehicle and drop off in Bogota on last day.

Excluded – Flights, arrival transfer to hotel meeting point in Bogota on day 1, drinks (alcoholic package $110 soft drinks package $60 paid at start of ride) and tips.

Getting There
International flight to Bogota Airport.

Transfer
There is the option to take a taxi from the airport to the Bogota hotel meeting point $35 or we can arrange a private transfer $50 per person.

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

After leaving the bright lights of Bogota city behind, your Colombian riding adventure starts on the eastern highlands of Colombia. Here at Cundinamarca at an altitude of about 2500m above sea level, you will be welcomed with open arms at the colonial Hacienda La Casona by Colombian horse fanatic Ernesto Barreto.

Ernesto, together with Bernardo and trip leader Paul Coudenys (Paul personally guides all his trails in South America, he is one of the most experienced and best guides on the world, good natured, fun and chilled out!) will guide and lead you through this extraordinary country for the next 8 days and 7 nights on a unique Colombian riding adventure.

After a traditional first night at the Hacienda your Colombian criollo horses will be saddled (very comfortable authentic saddles) to leave for a 6-day trip from hacienda to hacienda. (8 days / 7 nights / 6 days on horseback).

On average, you will be about six hours a day riding in the saddle and make your way along centuries old rolling horse trails, riding through the mountain landscapes of the Cordillera Oriental, crossing the desert of La Candelaria and pulling through the province Cundinamarca to the tropical province of Santander.

While off the beaten track in South America you will soon understand why they say; “Colombia, el unico riesgo es que te quieras quedar” meaning; “Colombia, the only risk is that you want to stay”.

‘How true that saying is, I travelled to Colombia in May 2017 and cried when I had to leave, such was the experience I had while riding in this beautiful country. The mix of the people, the horses and the fantastic scenery, was such that it is now one of my top rides in the world!’ Jill Dolan, MD, Zara’s Planet UK.

A bit about Paul Codeny, your Ride Leader;
Paul Coudenys, originally born in Belgian, at the age of 21, travelled backpacking around the globe, 3 years later and with a luggage full of travel and riding experiences he returned to Belgium. During his “long journey”, he worked as a blacksmith shoeing horses at the polo club in Singapore and cowboy at a cattle station in Australia, then became a gaucho in South America and as a rider in too many other places and countries to mention.

In 1996 he founded “Hippo-Trek” and became one of the pioneers of worldwide riding holidays in Europe. Paul rode horses in 53 different countries and is in our opinion one of the most experienced trail riders in the world. Loving the great horse culture and hospitality in Latin America Paul decided to move to Brazil in 2010. He lives in the southern state of Santa Catarina, home of the South American gaucho (cowboy).

After years of experience in organising and guiding equestrian holidays and riding expeditions around the world, he now concentrates on trail rides and equestrian tourism in Latin America. He speaks 6 languages, loves life, is a very social person and knows like no other how to take you on a ride on the wild side!

Zara’s Planet is excited to work with Paul and having ridden with him ourselves, we can’t think of a better guide in South America to entrust our clients.

THE RIDING top

Horses – The horses are chilled out rides, forward going with plenty of gas in the engine for long canters and gallops. There are pure bred Colombian Criollo’s and Saddle Horses, plus lots of cross breeds of Criollo’s with Arab, Andalucian, Lusitano, Saddle Horses and with Belgians to give weight carrying heavier horses. They also have some of the finest Mules to ride which are fought over by the guides and riders. They are excellent to ride and can pick their way up and down the mountains with such ease.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced. Although the horses are easy to ride, well behaved and responsive, there is some technical riding involved when ascending and descending off the mountains, in addition to some river crossings.

Tack – Western style tack and riding. The saddles are incredibly comfortable.

Weight Restriction – 114kg / 250lbs / 17 stone 12lbs.

Group Size – Maximum 18 – It’s a big group size, but works extremely well, with 4 guides to the group. The horses are all well socialised with each other and it’s a pleasure cantering and galloping in a group of this size.

ACCOMMODATION top

All the Haciendas have been carefully chosen for their individuality and charm. They all have incredibly friendly owners that are excited to see you and show you round their homes. They all have comfortable rooms which are set off the central courtyards, which are beautifully kept, with colourful displays of flowering plants. The Haciendas are original farms, not built for tourism, which is part of their appeal, but it can sometimes mean by that you will be at the most 4 to a room.

The food is all home cooked, using fresh, local ingredients. Breakfasts are usually fruit platters, followed by eggs, ham, cheese, breads and jam. Lunches are corn soups, with shredded chicken and salsa verde or a picnic lunch of roast chicken, baked salted potatoes and salad. Dinners are 3 courses, a soup, followed by salmon or beef that’s been salted, covered in linen and cooked traditionally in the fire, followed by fruit and caramel sauce.

Snacks are also on offer throughout and there is a help yourself system for beer, red & white wine, fizzy drinks and water. There is also lots of the local drink Aguardiente, which is pretty good for a shot or 5! It has an aniseedy taste and is heavily consumed throughout!

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

DAY 1 - Bogota – Ubaté, Hacienda La Casona

Pick up at the International Airport of Bogota or selected hotel in Bogota. Road transfer to the Hacienda “La Casona” in Ubaté, 64 kms from Bogotá. Along the way we stop for lunch in a typical restaurant. After lunch and a short drive we arrive at La Montesa, a renowned breeding farm of Colombian Paso Fino Horses where you will ride these pureblood horses and experience why they say the Paso Fino is the smoothest horse in the world!

We continue to hacienda “La Casona” our for our first overnight stay.

DAY 2 - Hacienda La Casona – Hacienda Potosí 21 Km (aprox. 5h riding)

Breakfast & then off to meet & greet the horses. During our first day we ride through the green fields of Cundinamarca, the biggest region of milk cows in Colombia. Around noon we arrive a one of the oldest Colonial farms of Colombia, Punta de Vega where we will have lunch. After a good meal and siesta we continue riding to “Hacienda Potosi” where we will arrive around 17:00hrs. Owner Marta will probably want to show off her champion draft horses.

DAY 3 - Hacienda Potosí – Ráquira Silvestre 34 Km (aprox. 6h riding)

Breakfast, then saddle horses and our ride kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Snack at colonial Hacienda Ticha. Crossing Oak tree forest, panoramic sightseeing of Ráquira, Arrive at the country house “Ráquira Silvestre” Lunch (3:00 p.m) Choose your bed at this typical Colombian country style accommodation – Relax! Dinner & Carrangueros (Colombian folk typical music)

DAY 4 - Ráquira – El Monasterie 13 Kms (aprox. 4h riding)

Breakfast , then saddle horses and ride to Ráquira. Lunch at Ráquira (1:30 p.m) handcrafts. Ride to Monasterio La Candelaria. Arrive at the monastery. Dinner. Accommodation at the monastery. (double rooms for couples, and bedrooms with 2 to 4 beds for the single participants).

DAY 5 - Monasterio – Villa de Leyva 35 km (aprox. 8h riding)

Breakfast & then saddle horses and kick off ride to Villa de Leyva at 8:30 a.m. Picnic in the dessert. Arrival at the beautiful colonial city of Villa de Leyva 5:00 p.m. Accommodation at Hotel Plazuela de San Agustín. (double rooms for couples, and bedrooms with 2 to 4 beds for the single participants). Rest, walk into town. Dinner.

DAY 6 - Villa de Leyva - Gachantiva 25 Km (aprox. 6h riding)

Breakfast around 09:30, then saddle horses & kick off ride at 10:30 p.m, snack. Lunch along the ride near the waterfalls of La Periquera (those who want can have a swim). We continue the ride and see the landscape changing into a more tropical environment. After a nice day in the saddle we arrive at the guesthouse El Molino. We will have a good local dinner and play Teja, the most popular rural sport of Colombia.

DAY 7 - Ganchantiva – Moniquira 35 Km (aprox. 7h riding)

Breakfast, then saddle horses & kick off ride at 8:00 a.m. Ride through a lovely tropical landscape. We end our week in the saddle at a local and typical sugarcane mill where we will have a drink and a toast to the end of the trip. Lunch around 2:30 p.m. In the afternoon we will enjoy the swimming pool of rural hotel Los Arrayanes where we will have our farewell dinner and spent the night.

DAY 8 - Moniquira - Bogota

Breakfast Bogotá, then transfer by private bus to Bogotá airport (4 hours aprox)

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding hol

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