Best of Colombia

Orinoquia Colombia: (IT-COL12)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/colombia_andes_casanare_combo.aspx

Introduction
Orinoquia Colombia
Discover 2 beautiful regions of Colombia: the Colombian Orinoquía and the Coffee Cultural Landscape.

In the Colombian Orinoquía we offer a mixture of horseback rides, wildlife safaris through different ecosystems and a cultural experience, with the authentic Colombian cowboys of the eastern plains. 
Learn about the traditional cattle ranches of the region and enjoy beautiful landscapes, delicious gastronomy & friendly people.

The Coffee Cultural Landscape is very representative of the Colombian Andes. This region was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There, you will marvel at beautiful orchids, relax in thermal waters and learn how to make the perfect cup of Colombian coffee.

In addition to providing spectacular experiences, we want to feature places that care about the environment and local culture. We do everything possible to minimize any negative impact on the ecosystem generated in the development of tourist activities, respecting fauna and highlighting local industries such as coffee making, orchid farms and dairy producers. 

Accomodation



Accommodations
This is a progressive ride where nights are spent in 7 different locations. 

Description
All accommodations on this trip offer a mixture of basic comfort and stays in historic haciendas. Wi-Fi is not always available during the first part of the trip (nights 2 to 8).

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Holiday Inn Airport Hotel in Bogota
Night 2: Juan Solito Ecolodge
Night 3: Agua Verde Fundo
Night 4 & 5: Juan Solito Ecolodge
Night 6: Holiday Inn or Hampton by Hilton in Yopal
Night 7 & 8: Hato Barley
Night 9: Holiday Inn or Hampton by Hilton in Yopal
Night 10 & 11: Hacienda El Rosario
Night 12-14: Hacienda Termales de la Quinta



Holiday Inn Airport Hotel in Bogota
This hotel, conveniently located just a few minutes away from the airport, offers modern rooms. All rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, satellite TV and a private bathroom.

Agua Verde Fundo
Tonight, you will sleep like a local (in a hammock) in a basic but authentic fundo, with shared bathroom. In case you prefer to stay at the Ecolodge, we can also arrange this for you.

Eco Lodge Juan Solito in Reserve La Aurora
During your stay here, you will be surrounded by nature while enjoying basic comfort and privacy. This accommodation overlook the Ariporo River and offers to sleep in a private palm tree cabin with its own bathroom. There are also some rooms located in the main building, all with private bathrooms as well. All rooms are equipped with light and a fan. The architecture follows the traditional style of the region with high ceilings. There is no Wi-Fi available at this property.

Hato Barley
Here, you will sleep like an authentic Colombian cowboy (llanero), in hammocks with mosquito netting. Bathrooms and external showers are available and are shared between guests. Wi-Fi is available at this property.

Holiday Inn Express in Yopal
This recent hotel offers comfortable ensuite rooms all fitted with a TV, air conditioning, a safe and a coffee machine. There is also a beautiful outdoor pool on the rooftop, offering views of the city.

Hampton by Hilton in Yopal
Rooms all come with air conditioning, a mini fridge, a safe and a private bathroom. There is a rooftop with great views over the mountains and the city.

Hacienda El Rosario
This charming historic hacienda is a perfect example of the local Colombian Coffee Farm. It has 7 guestrooms with private bathroom, free Wi-Fi access and cable TV. There is also an auxiliary house with 3 extra bedrooms.
Guests are welcome to relax in the garden or go for a swim in the outdoor pool.

Hacienda Termales de la Quinta
This lovely hacienda offers 6 bedrooms, all equipped with private facilities. From the hacienda, there is a beautiful view of the nearby waterfall.
The hacienda is renown for its thermal pool, fed by natural hot springs.
There is internet access available in the common area.

Hotel Mirador del Cocora
This hotel offers a splendid view of the Cocora Valley and the Andean mountains. The bedrooms are simply decorated and feature a safe, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and ensuite bathrooms.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory is we cannot find another rider to share.


Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on the last day.

The food served features local Colombian dishes.

In the Coffee Region of Colombia (nights 10 to 14), you can find a great variety of typical dishes since it is surrounded by rural areas where the ingredients are grown. People from this region still preserve the legacy of their ancestors and their traditional recipes. Modernity has brought some variation in the typical dishes with a combination of flavors, smells and textures from different regions. The base of the traditional local cuisine, is often a wood stove with local ingredients. 

Some of the most typical recipes from this region include:
- The paisa tray; a dish consisting of beans, rice, ground meat, pork rinds, chorizo, arepa, fried plantain, avocado and a fried egg.
- El mondongo, a vegetable soup, accompanied by rice, arepa and avocado.
- Sancocho, another traditional soup, which has kept its recipe intact since it was created in colonial times. A combination of potato, yucca, banana and some type of meat. It is served with rice, a minced herb, salad and avocado.
- La trucha (Trout) often grilled, with garlic, fried or served in a sauce. This dish is more common in the Quindío area where the hatcheries are specialized and supply places such as Salento, Filandia and La Florida.
- El calentado paisa shows that nothing is wasted in the local culture. What is left in the pot of grains and legumes is saved to be stirred with rice and accompanied with a fried egg. It is often eaten in the mornings in the field. It can also be served with a salad.
- The sudado is a kind of stew with potato, banana yucca and a spectacular "hogao" traditional of Colombian cuisine in general. It is based on an onion and tomato mince with a little oil.
- Last but not least, the unmissable arepa. It is a corn tortilla that accompanies almost all our dishes. Whether fried, grilled, with hogao or alone, it is one of the dishes that characterizes this region and Colombia.


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

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

During this trip, you will change horses several times (about 4 in total). This gives participants the opportunity to try out different kinds of horses.

Itinerary



Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Transfer from El Dorado airport to the hotel in Bogotá.
Overnight at Hotel in Bogotá

Day 2: Flight to Yopal & Fundo Ride
This morning, transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Yopal. In Yopal, we go for a short visit to a local hat factory, before transferring to La Aurora Nature Reserve. At the Reserve, enjoy lunch, followed by a brief meeting and meeting with the horses. Once comfortable, we will ride to the “Fundo” Cascabel (typical farmer houses) to admire the sunset. Return to your accommodation in time for dinner.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Juan Solito Ecolodge


Day 3: Safari Ride
After breakfast we will cross the river Ariporo with the horses to start our great adventure through the savannas Casanareñas full of native wildlife. We will go to the estuary of the babillas (Caiman) in order to look for the Orinoco caiman.
Typical lunch at the estuary before continuing our ride to the Lagoon of the Capybaras where we will see hundreds of these large rodents. We should also spot some burrowing owls.
Tonight, we sleep in the green water fundo, llanera style (hammocks with a mosquito net).
Riding approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at the Green Water Fundo


Day 4: Path of the Jaguar
Today, we will follow the "path of the jaguar", and if we are lucky we will see one of these beautiful creatures. About 30 jaguars live in this area., We might also see tracks of jaguars, pumas, jaguarundis and ocelots. Then we will go to the main house of the reserve that was inhabited by the Jesuits many years ago, at the time of the colonization. This reserve promotes the conservation and research of these felines in agreements with the Pantera Foundation.
During our ride, we might also spot some white-tailed deer, capybara and buffalo.
At the end of the day we will reach our Ecolodge. In the evening, listen to local music and songs performed by the llanero cowboys.
Riding approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Juan Solito Ecolodge


Day 5: Ariporo River & Anacondas
Our goal for the day is to look for traces of anacondas. We will also go sailing through the majestic Ariporo River up to the Caño del Indio, where we will fish.
Riding approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Juan Solito Ecolodge


Day 6: Pore Visit
After a rich breakfast, we will ride through forests native plants and orchids, before saying goodbye to the horses. Lunch at the Ecolodge and departure to Yopal.
On the way to Yopal, we will visit Pore, a lovely heritage town that was the capital of New Granada for a few days.
Overnight at a hotel in Yopal.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Yopal


Day 7: Colombian Paso Fino Ranch & Hato Barley
We start the day with a visit to a Colombian Paso Fino ranch. The Colombian Paso Fino horse was declared as the national horse breed of Colombia and as a genetic heritage of the Nation in 2017. It has the peculiarity of walking in four lateral beats, maintaining a harmony and rhythm acquired in training, differentiating it from other horse breeds by the speed and smoothness of its walk.
After lunch, check out of the hotel and transfer to Hato Barley (Casanare Cattle Drive - 2 hours drive from Yopal). 
Once you are settled into your room, we will introduce the local program and activities. Get to know your new riding companion and meet the local cowboys. Go on a short ride with one of them to watch the sunset over the lagoon. During the ride, you might see some deer, capybara and many birds.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hato Barley


Day 8: A Day with the Llaneros
Wake up early (around 4 am) to enjoy a delicious cup of Colombian coffee followed by a morning ride. The llaneros (local cowboys) usually start riding before sunrise. We will help them collect round-up horses in the native savannas and transfer them to the corral.
Once we are back, it is time to enjoy breakfast around 10-11 am. Then, work in the corral with the llaneros, training young horses. This is followed by a typical lunch, traditionally taken in the afternoon between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Then the llanero takes out his musical instruments and relaxes for the rest of the day.
Riding approx. 5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hato Barley


Day 9: Working with Cattle
We will have coffee and ride the horses to work with cattle herds.
Later, we will participate in the elaboration of traditional ropes that are made with raw leather.Discover why the llaneros do not wear shoes and learn more about their culture.
At the end of the afternoon we will transfer back to the city of Yopal where we will stay at a hotel.
Riding approx. 6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel in Yopal


Day 10: Transfer to Hacienda el Rosario
Early breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Pereira or Manizales via Bogotá (2 to 3 hours of connections and flights). Then, private transportation from the airport to Hacienda el Rosario, one of the most authentic and representative accommodations of the coffee cultural landscape. In the afternoon, you can rest or visit the beautiful gardens. At night, you can enjoy some stargazing.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda el Rosario


Day 11: Coffee Farm
After breakfast, transfer to Hacienda Venecia for a coffee tour. While enjoying a cup of artisan coffee, you will learn about the origin and history of coffee, the different varieties and qualities of coffee, aromas and properties. You will also learn about the Coffee Cultural Landscape. At the end of this experience, you will have lunch at the Hacienda.
Then it is time for you barista experience. We will show you how to make an extraordinary cup of coffee. 
Finally, you end the day with a 2-hour ride through surrounding coffee farms. After the ride, transfer back to Hacienda El Rosario, rest and dinner.
Riding approx. 2 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda el Rosario


Day 12: Transfer to Hacienda Termales
We transfer you to Hacienda Termales de la Quinta. Due to its location, it is necessary to reach the hacienda on horseback, as it was done for many years. We will drive for about 2 hours by car until we reach the village of Villa Maria. Then, we will ride for approximately 15 minutes to get to the hacienda from Villa Maria. The suitcases will be carried on the back of a mule. 
In the evening, dinner and Thermal Bath overlooking the Nereidas Waterfall.
Riding approx. 15 min
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda Termales de la Quinta


Day 13: Hike to Thermal Waters & Waterfall Ride
After a delicious breakfast, we will tour the hacienda and walk for approximately 30 minutes to the sources of the thermal waters of La Quinta. There, we enjoy a food cooking activity, with the possibility of spotting some Condors.                                      
We will return to hacienda to rest and have lunch.
In the afternoon, we ride to the Oasis waterfall through the cloud forest. When you return, you can rest in the thermal water pool before dinner.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda Termales de la Quinta


Day 14: Cattle Ranch & Bromeliad Forest
This morning, enjoy a visit on horseback to the cattle herd, and see a milking demonstration. Then we will ride to the different milk deposit points at the top of the mountain. Return to the main house to have lunch and rest.
In the afternoon you go for a walk to the bromeliad forest where you have the possibility of seeing some species of birds such as the Quetzal, the toucan and paramo parrots.
In the evening, dinner and Thermal Bath.
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hacienda Termales de la Quinta


Day 15: Departure
After breakfast, you can take a last thermal bath.
Around 10am, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Bogotá.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Best of Colombia

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Transfers (including local flights mentioned in the itinerary) & Activities as mentioned in the itinerary with local guides

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    202215 day trip, AP$8115

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2022 Small group supplement (2-3 pax only), pp $725
2022 Small group supplement (1 pax only) $1,615
2022 Single supplement $725

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2022 01/01 - 12/31 15d / 14n 15 day trip, AP 4 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: This trip can be arranged at any time of the year depending on availability

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic drinks & Gratuities

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 Best of Colombia (IT-COL12):

We offer the possibility for travellers to postpone their trip to a later date.

Some measures for travelers on flights in Colombia are:
- Enter the terminal maximum 2 hours before the scheduled time of departure of your flight.
- They must allow the transport of antibacterial or antiseptic gels and liquids in hand luggage in the maximum amount of 355 milliliters per person.
- The use of the mask will be mandatory and must be used permanently and correctly.
- Passengers must take their temperature through electronic mechanisms such as laser, digital, thermographic and others, to all people before entering the terminal.
- Carry only as luggage for personal use, bags or small backpacks and what can be stored under the passenger seat, the rest must be sent by hold.


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

Other Info
Meeting: Bogota airport
Airport: Bogota
Transfer: Bogota

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

The average temperature is 26 °C, relative humidity is above 75%, rainy season is between April to November, and summer season or dry season is from December to March.
The climate is hot all year round with plenty of rainfall. The least amount of rainfall occurs in January. The average in this month is 42 mm. The greatest amount of precipitation occurs in October, with an average of 278 mm.

What To Bring:
TO RIDE:
  • Easy-drying seamless pants ideal for reducing skin chafing
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • A set of clothes for the day and an extra set of clothes in case we  would require an extra change
  • Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
  • Equestrian gloves if you use them
  • Hat for windy conditions
PERSONAL CLOTHING:
  • Waterproof jacket (in rainy season April-November)
  • Comfortable T-shirts
  • shirts
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Underwear
  • socks
  • Pajamas
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • runners or boots
  • bathing suit
  • bath shorts
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING:
  • Personal items
  • protection against insects and sunscreen that’s environmentally friendly
  • personal medicines
  • handkerchiefs
  • camera
  • Sunglasses with straps
  • Canteen or thermos (if you have them): we count with water dispenser to fill them
  • Small flashlight.