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Colombia – The Colombian Coffee Trail

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from £2,175 or €2,080

Horse Riding Holidays The Colombian Coffee Trail – Colombia

PRICES & DATES top

The Colombian Coffee Trail: Prices 2020

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
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  • 7 nights $2,931
    • GBP: 2,175
    • EUR: 2,620
    per person sharing
  • Single Supplement $69
    • GBP: 51
    • EUR: 62
    per night,
  • available on some nights, but other dates may have to share, due to authentic accommodation, not built for mass tourism.

We would also advise arriving the day before in Armenia, the meeting time is at 9am on the first day. An extra night in the Armenia hotel is $85.

The Colombian Coffee Trail: Dates 2020

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

5 – 12 July, 2020
23 – 30 August, 2020

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All riding, accommodation, meals, snacks, guiding, back up vehicle and transfer from meeting point in Armenia to Hacienda El Balcon & back from Salento on the last day.

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

Getting There
International flight to Armenia Airport

Transfer
The best option is to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel in Armenia.

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

Horses & Coffee that’s what it’s all about in Colombia….!

An 8-day horseback adventure in the Colombian Coffee Triangle. Discover colonial villages and one of Colombia’s most beautiful national parks; the Cocora Valley!

Colombia is a country of contrasts in geography and climate but as well in its natural environment and culture., there are differences in habits, traditions, beliefs and ways of life depending on the region you visit. But the one thing all Colombians have in common is; they are crazy about coffee and horses!

In Colombia, coffee is cultivated with vigorous passion and dedication. You taste this love for coffee in the final product. Coffee goes hand in hand with the horse and mule, which are indispensable partners on the plantations, carrying your coffee beans from the tree to your cup.

There are more than 563,000 families producing coffee in Colombia. Most Colombian coffee farmers live in small haciendas whose coffee cultivation plots are no more than 2 hectares (5 acres). Only around 5% of Colombian coffee producers have coffee plantations larger than 5 hectares (12 acres). The size of their coffee plots have allowed the Colombian coffee growing industry to remain essentially a family run business. Thus, the coffee people in Colombia believe that the family is their most important priority, and are very keen on protecting and maintaining a strong set of family values and traditions. And it’s exactly those families who will host and meet you on this trail ride!

We will take you to the heart of Colombia’s coffee triangle where at Hacienda Pilarica, at about 40km from Armenia, you will be received with open arms by a team of Colombian horse guides, hosts and by your trip leader Paul. After a traditional first night at the Hacienda your Colombian crossed 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 riding)

On average, you will be about six hours a day in the saddle and discover the stunning landscapes of the nature reserve Valley del Cócora and colonial villages like Salento, arriving at different coffee farms where you will find warm hospitality and learn all about coffee growing and coffee drinking.

And don’t just count on coffee to be drunk, there will of course be the odd shot of rum in the local, picturesque villages along the trail ride. Average altitude during the ride is 2.000mts with an all year round ideal temperature of about 25C°.

Also note that in addition to the riding, the wildlife here is also fantastic, especially birdlife! Plus the vegetation and flowers were beautiful.

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 have travelled now twice to Colombia in May 2017 and more recently November 2019 – and I will go back, I have truly fallen in love with Colombia, 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 always 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, Cruzados and Crosses, plus some mules. Be warned, once you ride a mule there is no going back!

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced.

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

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

Group Size – Maximum 16 – 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.  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 pasta or chickpea salads, with breads, meat platters and cheese. Dinners are a mix of visits to restaurants in the local towns or at your hacienda, includes bbq meat, potatoes, rice, avocado, salsa’s, plantain & deep fried banana.

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 : Armenia – Hacienda El Balcón

Meeting in Armenia at the Mocawa hotel at 9 a.m. Visit a saddlery. Visit the arrieros show in Parque de los arrieros. Arrival at Hacienda El Balcón in Buena Vista coffee taste.
Welcome and accommodation at Hacienda. Dinner.​

* (we strongly recommend to arrive the night before! So you can spend the night at the above mentioned hotel Mocowa so you can meet the guides and group the next day at breakfast 09:00 AM in the hotel. We will be happy to make the hotel reservation for you.)

Day 2 : Hacienda El Balcón – Córdoba (28km)

After the assignment of horses and equipment, we will start the ride along the coffee route, which will accompany us every moment with its beauty. In the afternoon after lunch in the village of Pijao, we will ride on tracks paths until we reach Cordoba coffee village par excellence where we can experience first-hand the productive process of coffee from cultivation to tasting.

Day 3 : Córdoba Radial Route

For this day the scenario is horseback riding among coffee plantations. Roads and paths surrounded by coffee plantations that tell stories every step of the way visiting the best viewpoint of the entire Quindio, let’s sleep again at the Soñarte de Córdoba Hotel.

Day 4 : Córdoba – Hacienda Hotel La Joya (25km)

After a good night and a strong breakfast we continue our ride through tropical rolling hills, coffee plantations and see the biodiversity of the mountains, sometimes even snow covered. We arrive at the very comfortable Posada El Edén Country where we will have dinner and spend our night.

We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!

Day 5 : Hacienda Hotel La Joya – Hacienda La Paloma. (28km)

This day of riding we will have the opportunity to drastically change the landscape when we arrive at the hill the pensil and to descend through the tropical forest until arriving at the Paloma farm in the town of Calarca. This day we have a picnic in the middle of the coffee plantations beside the clear river

Day 6 : Hacienda La Paloma – Salento (30 km)

The arrival to Salento is one of the most impressive of this ride because this town between mountains, is considered as the father of the Quindío region for being the oldest of the department. This magical town will delight us in each of its corners and colours accompanied by cuisine and an unparalleled atmosphere

Day 7 : Valle del Cocora

This day we will have the great opportunity to visit the national tree of Colombia La Palma de Cera and ride in the in the important Valle del Cocora considered one of the most important destinations in the country and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Day 8 : Salento – Armenia

After breakfast transfer to the airport of Armenia. (about 1,1/2hrs drive) ​

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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