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A Caballo por ColombiaHorse welcomes you to join this amazing riding vacation for seven days and six nights. You will meet the team in Bogotá, participate in four days of horseback riding, and visit Villa de Leyva before back to Bogotá where you will end your trip and get home or start your new journey. Come and make this tour be one of your precious memorable traveling experiences in your life!
You will be staying in various accommodations during this tour
During the expedition, accommodation is in rural hotels, simple but comfortable, clean, and with good food available. Accommodation is normally on a double basis, and single accommodation is normally available for a small extra charge. During the day, you go mostly through unpopulated places without the possibility of finding a bathroom.
At night, you will stay at cottages without luxury but with the essential amenities. Actually, there are no bathrooms throughout the tour. A Caballo por Colombia recommends the use of wet wipes which are then recycled in bags for subsequent transfer. There is intimacy because the fields are spacious and you can walk to get to be alone.
Horses and guides await for you near the beautiful Sisga Dam, one hour from Bogotá. You will start your riding tour through the valley of the Sisga River until it flows into the Bogotá River, whose water at this point is still crystalline and full of aquatic life. Then, you will take a mountain trail on your way to Suesca Lake, from where you can appreciate the northern side of the Bogotá Savanna with the legendary Tominé Reservoir in the background.
After crossing the Cajones Mountain at 3200 m.a.s.l. (meters above sea level), you will descend to the beautiful Suesca Lake where you can see the old railway station, which was used until the middle of last century. You will continue your way to Cucunubá, a beautiful colonial town well-known for its handmade virgin wool fabrics and clothes, located in a corner of the Ubaté Valley where you will spend the night at a cozy inn while the horses rest and are fed.
From Cucunubá, you will take the road to Guachetá, admiring the beautiful natural lakes of Cucunubá and Fúquene, through paths that cross artisanal coal mines, arriving in the afternoon to a cozy hostel in the way to San Miguel.
After breakfast, you will proceed to Ráquira and the Monastery of La Candelaria where you will spend the night. Along this route, you will see native oak tree forests, hundreds of years old, and with the Desert of La Candelaria within sight, you will find many clay ceramic handicraft workshops for which the Ráquira region is famous. Finally, you will arrive at the beautiful Monastery of La Candelaria, the first to be established in the Americas by the Augustinian monks.
It was founded by Father Mateo Delgado in 1604, on the banks of the Gacheneca River, where he started a community by bringing together the hermits that lived scattered in caves in the surrounding area. Today, the convent houses the novitiate of the Augustinian monks is used for spiritual retreats and also provides lodging for tourists.
After leaving the monastery, you will cross the beautiful Desert of La Candelaria on your way to the Valley of Villa de Leyva. You will ride along the hills surrounding this beautiful town, founded in 1572 by order of Don Andres Diaz Venero de Leyva, first President of the New Kingdom of Granada, with the main purpose of becoming the supplier of foodstuffs for the conquistador armies stationed in Moniquirá and Tunja.
In the afternoon, you will arrive at a farm in the outskirts of town and will proceed to Villa de Leyva where you will enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many excellent restaurants that are available there.
You will visit the main square in the center of the villa, considered the biggest square in Colombia. It is the most important attraction in the town along with the church located in the principal square. The city tour includes the visit to the Casa del Cabildo - a historical relic located next to the Principal Square and the Casa de Nariño - house where Antonio Nariño died in 1823.
The house is a museum now, where you can find interesting material of the colonial time and the independence fight. Finally, you will see the Claustro de San Agustín, the first church of the town and headquarters of the Humboldt Institute. Return to Bogota in the afternoon and accommodation in a comfortable hotel (no meals included).
The horses are the result of a careful selection for more than 30 years, and all of them have some Colombian Criollo in their blood, even the Anglo-Arabians used in 80 and 120-kilometer endurance rides, and of course Anglo-Arabians crossings with Colombian Criollos for intermediate riders, which makes them particularly suitable for several days, long-distance rides. Horses of their breed have on their left forearm the mark of the heart that has been used in cattle and horses in family haciendas for more than 150 years. 90 percent of their horses descend from Paka, Icaro, and Salalah el Dakar.
Paka (63 percent Thoroughbred and 37 percent Criollo) was a wonderful endurance mare, daughter of Pluma (25 percent Thoroughbred and 75 percent Criollo), an outstanding polo mare, and Many Names, a beautiful jumping Chilean Thoroughbred. Paka won many competitions in the Colombian endurance calendar between 2003 and 2005 when she got lamed in one foreleg's joint and was dedicated to breeding, she died in 2019 at the age of 22. A Caballo por Colombia has eight sons and daughters of Paka and 21 of their current horses have some of her blood.
Icaro (50 percent Thoroughbred and 50 percent Shagya) was the son of K.S. Tradition, an outstanding Shagya bred in the U.S. and Demigod, a Thoroughbred also bred in the U.S. by Eduardo Gaviria, both imported to Colombia by him, a very well-known Colombian breeder who had a horse breeding farm in Ocala, Florida. He was the breeder of Real Quiet, winner of two of the three races of the American triple crown in 1998. Icaro is registered in the Venezuelan Association of Arabian Horse Breeders under the number SHA 080. He was tamed in 2012, did some endurance rides, and was a stallion until 2014 when he was castrated and we had to put him down shortly after that because a mare kicked him and broke one of his front legs.
Salalah El Dakar (Sally) was a very nice and gentle pure Arabian, bred in California. Imported to Colombia in 2006, she competed in endurance and did many rides with A Caballo por Colombia, unfortunately, died in 2019 at the age of 18. She had an abortion in 2017 and never recovered. Sally is registered in the American Arabian Horse Breeders Association under the number 0606222 and in the Colombian Association of Arabian Horses Breeders under the number CSB 302-07.
The routes are considered difficult, ideal for experienced riders (strong intermediate and above) with good and demanding horses, suitable for several long journeys. Journeys vary between six to nine hours on horseback. Participants in any adventure activity as horseback riding are active people and consequently candidates to suffer accidents. Hospitals will not be quickly available during part of the rides and rescues or evacuations may not be immediate.
Ensuring a real adventure experience, controlling the risks inherent to it, is one of the main concerns of A Caballo por Colombia from the physical safety of the participants to the reliability of the food. To mitigate the risks implicit in the activity, they train the guides permanently and give the participants instructions on safety before the rides. Some key aspects regarding security they take into consideration are:
They review the routes a few days before the rides to confirm the adequate security conditions of the areas to visit and the state of the roads. They use communication elements (two-way radios and satellite tracker) to maintain permanent contact with the support vehicle, assistance company, and authorities.
They work with partners who are aware of the importance of hygiene in the processes and the quality of the raw materials used and their team previously verifies compliance with these conditions in all places where food is consumed during the activity.
The tour will take place in Colombia. Your route will be Bogotá - Sisga Dam - Cucunubá - Guachetá - Monastery of La Candelaria - Villa de Leyva and finally back to Bogotá.
All meals and drinks during the riding program, except for meals on days one and nine and alcoholic beverages, are included in the price. Breakfasts include eggs, bread, arepas (kind of corn cake), coffee, tea, chocolate, milk, and fruit or juices of tropical fruits, in which Colombia has a wide variety and availability throughout the year (pineapple, papaya, melon, soursop, feijoa, mango, grapefruit, passion fruit, lulo, etc.).
For lunch, you will carry sandwiches, accompanied by potato chips, various drinks (soda, beer, and water), and brownies or cookies for dessert. For dinner, depending on the place, it is possible to have at least two menu options normally including beef or chicken with potatoes, salad, and fruit. If you are a vegetarian, simply let A Caballo por Colombia know to prepare meals without meat. For other special diets, please let them know before.
El Dorado International Airport
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