COLOMBIA: Riding the haciendas (ranches) of Colombia.
An 8-day horseback adventure in central Colombia.
The ultimate trail ride for riders looking for a truly Latin American equestrian experience.
Colombia, named after Christopher Columbus. Its wild and unpredictable geography in combination with its still very present rich history in all towns and cities creates the sort of scenario that most has only dreamed of.
Although its excellent coffee and the purity of its emeralds have made the country famous, Colombia is also the homeland to another treasure; “El Paso Fino Colombiano” one of the most amazing horse breeds in the world!
Colombians are crazy for horses. Fairs, festivals and horse parades are widely common all over the country. And that’s what this trip is all about, horses!
On his second trip to America, Christopher Columbus took some horses along. These horses were a mix of Andalusian, Berber, and the extinct gaited Spanish horse the Jennet. They formed the basis for the horses with which the Spanish conquered the Caribbean and South America.
Hundreds of years breeding with those bloodlines, especially in Puerto Rico and Colombia, optimizing the gait, endurance and strength. This is how the Paso Fino, literally translated as The Horse with the Fine Step, has been created. The Paso Fino Colombiano is, despite its sophisticated appearance a very strong horse that was mainly used for long distances. His smooth and natural gait was indispensable.
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 his Chalan compagnon Luis ( a “chalan” is a Colombian rider) will be your hosts and riding guides during your entire riding holiday. For eight (8) days long you will be immersed in one of the most appealing horse cultures in the world.
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 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 the province Cundinamara to the tropical province of Santander. Ofcourse more than often you will drink a refreshing beer in a picturesque village where you will meet the most friendly Latin Americans of the continent and discover the hidden places of central Colombia. 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”!
And last but not least, on this trip, in the afternoon of day 4, you will have the chance to ride a pure bred Paso Fino Colombiano at a renown breeding stable and experience the smoothness of the gaited Colombian criollo horse, the Paso Fino Colombiano! A unique experience as this horse is so different than all what you have ridden before, Es Realismo Magico – It’s Magical Realism! Welcome to Colombia!
DAY 1 Bogota – Ubaté, Hacienda Potosi
DAY 2 Hacienda La Casona – Hacienda Potosí 21 Km (aprox. 5h riding)
DAY 3 Hacienda Potosí – Ráquira Silvestre 34 Km (aprox. 6h riding)
DAY 4 Ráquira – El Monasterio 13 Kilometers (aprox. 3,1/2h riding)
DAY 5 Monasterio – Villa de Leyva 35 km (aprox. 8h riding)
DAY 6 Villa de Leyva – Puente Nacional 30 Km (aprox. 7h riding)
DAY 7 Puente Nacional – Guepsa 31 kilometers (aprox. 7h riding)
DAY 8 Guepsa – Bogota
- Accommodation: nights in authentic and comfortable farm rooms in different colonial Haciendas. Based on double-rooms. (the Haciendas are original farms, not build for tourism, couples will have their private rooms but other participants will share the room with other travel compagnons as most rooms have 2 to 4 beds)
- Meals: full board. (From lunch first day to breakfast last day)
- Guides: Colombian guides and Hacienda owners Ernsto a Luis. On this first Try-Out trailride you will be escorted by Paul Coudenys. (Paul speaks fluent English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and speaks basic German). Furthermore, you will be accompanied by local chalanes. The guides are equipped with cell phones so they can call for assistance if needed.
- Backup Vehicle: brings your personal luggage to the daily overnight place/hacienda.
- Horses & tack, including saddle bags and raincoat
- Transfer: From and to the Airport of Bogota.
- Insurance: We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the trail ride without having a personal travel insurance.
- Flight: international and local flights are not included.Gateway is Bogota.
- Alcoholic beverages & soft drinks: Open bar at an additional costo
- Single Supplement: 160 Euro to pay only if you specifically want to sleep in a single room and not want to share the room.
- Personal expenses
- Tips: (optional)
- Riding level: Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders.You should be confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk,trot and canter.
- The riding: Trailride, 6 days on horseback, riding from one place to the other, average of 6 hours per day in the saddle.
- Weight: riders weight limit:120 Kg
- Age: minimum age is 12 years, only allowed if accompanied by an adult.
- Group size: groups comprise a minimum of 6 riders and maximum of 16 riders.
- Horses: Colombian criollo/cruzado (on day 4 you will have the chance to ride a pure bred passo fino criollo horse)
- Saddles: comfortable Colombian trailsaddles
- Guides: professional and multilingual guides
- Comfort: clean and comfortable ranch & hotel rooms.(single participants of the same sex share rooms)
- International Passport: Required for most foreigners
- Visa: most European and Latin American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Colombia. Contact the Colombian Embassy in your country for more info.
- Vaccinations: not required in the área were we ride (for other regions consult your physician)
- Valid international passport
- Travel Insurance
- Pocket money (you can change EUR/£/USD in the airport)
- A warm sweater and a jacket
- 4 or 5 T-shirts and minimum 1 a shirt with long sleeves.
- jodhpurs or jeans to ride with
- Riding shoes or boots / riding shoes with mini-chaps or long chaps
- . A second pair of shoes for the evening
- Swimsuit Comfortable clothing + a Hat (a nice colombian hat can be bought on location)
- One towel