Villa de Leyva Explorer

Andean Colombia: (IT-COL09)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/colombia_villa_de_leyva_explorer.aspx

Introduction
Andean Colombia
This ride will allow you to explore the mountain range and the valleys of Villa de Leyva, Raquira and Tinjacá, located in the state of Boyacá, in the Colombian Andes. 

Come experience natural sights such as the Fuquene Lake, but also typical rural small town such as San Miguel de Sema, a historical monastery in the Candelaria desert and two settlements like Villa de Leyva and Raquira.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride where all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
You will be accommodated at a hotel located just outside Villa de Leyva Town. The hotel is a country house built in the “colonial hacienda” style. It has 8 bedrooms and each room comes with private facilities. There is Wi-Fi access available for free.
We leave the hotel in the morning and come back after 5 pm as the sunset starts around 6 pm.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, a single supplement fee applies.
Single room accommodations are subject to availability.


Meals
All meals are included in this trip from Lunch on Day 1 to lunch on the last day.

Please, note that due to the remote location of the places visited during the ride, you will be served a set-menu (that we will send you before the trip) that showcases typical Colombian food.
Meals are varied and us as many local products as possible

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

Riding

Guide
Hernando, who speaks English, will be your guide. All his life, Hernando´s passions have been horses and hiking. During his childhood and youth, he spent vacations on his ranch surrounded by horses and places to hike.

Horses
Colombian “Criollo” Horses are famous for their endurance capabilities and ability to live in difficult conditions. They are intelligent, willing and sensible. These horses have a smoother stride, similar to what is internationally called a “gaited horse”, so that the rider is more comfortable and feels less fatigue.

Riding Terrain
The ride takes place in the mountainous area of the Raquira Region (Boyacá state), located between 2,200 and 2,800 meters above sea level.  
Most of the ride takes place on small unpaved roads and mountain trails. We will see different kind of landscapes, desert areas and fertile valleys.

Itinerary


Sample itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Monday): Arrival 
We pick you up from your Bogota hotel in the morning and transfer you by car (approx. 3 hours) to your accommodation, outside of Villa de Leyva. We will have a quick lunch and in the afternoon, we will go visit Villa de Leyva for 1-2 hours. Villa de Leyva is a small colonial town founded in 1572  by the Spanish. Therefore, the architecture style has a strong Spanish influence.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel near Villa de Leyva

Day 2 (Tuesday): Ride to San Miguel de Sema
After a good breakfast and a quick transfer to the stables, the ride will begin.
We are going to explore the mountainous area of the Raquira Region, on small mountain trails passing through oak forest and brooks. During the ride, we will see beautiful landscapes of the mountain range and the valleys of Villa de Leyva, and Tinjacá. The goal of today's ride is to reach San Miguel de Sema, a typical rural small town of the region. Here, we can visit the church (if it is open), admire the typical architecture style and eat some snacks.
Once we are back at the stables, we will have a tardy and succulent lunch (between 2 and 3 pm).
In the afternoon (round 3-4 pm) we can take and optional fique workshop (extra cost - need to sign up in advance). The fique workshop lasts for about 1 hour and teaches you how to work with Fique. Fique is a natural fiber that grows in the leaves of the fique plant, (Furcraea andina), a native plant from Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It can be used to make rope, bags, basic shoes (alpargatas), etc
Riding: approx. 3-4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel near Villa de Leyva

Day 3 (Wednesday): Ride to La Chorrera Waterfall
We will take small rural (unpaved) roads and trails in order to reach a beautiful waterfall called “La Chorrera”. There, we will relax and eat a snack. Today's ride has beautiful landscapes and offers great views of the mountain range and the valley of Raquira, which will visit in the next few days.
We will have a tardy and succulent lunch (around 3 pm) back at the stables.
Then, on our way to the hotel, if it is possible, we go visit local people who are going to show us how they make handicrafts out of tagua (vegetable ivory).
Riding: approx. 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel near Villa de Leyva


Day 4 (Thursday): Hike to Periquera waterfall & visit of Candelaria convent and Ráquira town (no riding)
Today is a rest day for the horses.
In the morning, you will hike (1-2 hours) to a beautiful waterfall called "La Periquera".
In the afternoon, we will visit the Candelaria convent. The convent was built in 1604 by the Agustinos religious organization called “recoletos”. It is a museum for the tourist but it maintains its operation as a monastery.
After visiting the Candelaria convent, we will visit Ráquira town. Due to a vast ceramics tradition dating back to pre-Hispanic times, Ráquira is known as the handicrafts capital of Colombia. In addition to pots, pitchers, coffee cups, and kitchen utensils, there are anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, pieces for Nativity scenes, piggy banks, etc. Local indigenous peoples (Chibcha) used them to prepare chicha (a fermented corn drink), store their food, and prepare their meals using various pots. Maybe because of this, Raquira is called “City of Pots” in the “Chibcha” language.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel near Villa de Leyva


Day 5 (Friday): Ride to Fuquene Lake Viewpoint
After a good breakfast and a short transfer to the stables, our day ride begins. Today we are going to go up to the mountains range, taking different dirt roads and trails. We will pass
through oak forest and brooks. Once we reach the mountain top, we get a panoramic view over the valley. After we cross the mountain range, we get a great view over the Fúquene Lake.
Until the 1970’s Fúquene Lake was considered Colombia’s largest lake. Today only 3,000 hectares are left from the originally 10,000 hectares. This is due to the lake being dried in order to gain acreage for agriculture and stock farming.
We will stop at the viewpoint to enjoy the landscape, eat and rest. Once we get back to the stables, we will have a tardy and succulent lunch (between 2 and 3 pm).
In the afternoon (around 3-4 pm), we can take and optional 1 hour adobe workshop (extra cost - sign up in advance required). This workshop will teach you how to create adobe bricks so you will get muddy! Adobe, also called “mud brick”, is a building material made from earth and often-organic material. Most adobe buildings are similar to cob and rammed earth buildings. Adobe is among the earliest building materials, and is used throughout the world.
Riding: approx. 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel near Villa de Leyva


Day 6 (Saturday): Back to Bogota
We will have 1-2 hours to visit Villa de Leyva and its typical stores to see handcraft or to buy some souvenirs. Villa de Leyva is a small colonial town founded in 1572  by the Spanish. Therefore, the architecture style has a strong Spanish influence.
Around 11 am, we will start the travel to Bogota and we will have lunch on the way. On our way, we will visit the place where the battle of independence of Colombia took place in 1819.
We should arrive in Bogota around 2-3 pm.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


Rates and Dates for Villa de Leyva Explorer

Rates include:

Accommodation, All meals, 3 riding days & Transfers from/to Bogota
Saddle bags are provided and helmets can be borrowed

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20216-day tour, AP$1440

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2021 Transfers included from/to Bogotá $0
2021 Single supplement $160

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 01/01 - 01/06 6d / 5n 6-day tour, AP 2 /4 Expired

Dates Note: Custom dates & private trips are possible - please inquire for more info

Rates do not include:

Gratuities, Alcoholic beverages & Insurance (mandatory)

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Villa de Leyva Explorer (IT-COL09):
We offer the possibility for travellers to postpone their trip to a later date.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Bogotá
Airport: Bogotá
Transfer: Bogotá

Climate:
                                                Bogotá area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

68

68

68

67

67

66

65

66

66

67

67

67

Average Low Temperature (°F)

43

45

47

49

49

48

47

46

46

47

47

45

Average High Temperature (°C)

20

20

20

20

19

19

18

19

19

19

19

20

Average Low Temperature (°C)

6

7

8

9

9

9

8

8

8

8

8

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

3

6

9

11

12

9

7

7

8

11

10

7

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Colombia is located in the tropics and therefore, weather is pretty consistent throughout the year.
The ride takes place in the mountainous area of the Raquira Region (Boyacá state), located between 2,200 and 2,800 meters above sea level.
The average temperature in this area is comprised between 14 and 24 centigrade during the day. However, as we ride in the mountains, you should keep in mind that weather and temperature can change quickly!
It is usually quite dry but there are some rainy days from time to time. 

What To Bring:
We recommend bringing the following:
- light waterproof jacket
- cap or hat
- sunscreen
- sunglasses
- chaps or half chaps
- hiking boots
- helmet (bring your own or borrow one)

In order to provide you with a comfortable car transfer from Bogota to Villa de Leyva, we recommend that your luggage has the following dimensions or smaller:
- height: 64 cm
- width: 45 cm
- depth: 27 cm
If your luggage is bigger than this, please, let us know.

This list is only a guideline for you

 

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap