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Your equestrian adventure starts in the eastern highlands of Colombia. Here at Cundinamarca, at an altitude of about 2500 meters above sea level, you will be welcomed with open arms at the colonial Hacienda La Casona by Colombian horse fanatic, Ernesto Barreto.
During this trip, you will spend 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 companions as most rooms have 2 to 4 beds.
It is recommended to arrive in Bogota one night before the official start of the trail ride program. That way, nobody has to wait long hours at the airport waiting for other guests to arrive. So, you are suggested to stay one night in a hotel in Bogota (that can be booked for you) and meet all together the next day at breakfast in the hotel at 9 a.m.
After breakfast, start the official program of the trail ride and go all together to the first hacienda with the private bus. A double room is about 75 EUR per room including breakfast. The hotel Entre Orejas will book for you is located in the Zona T, in the north of Bogota, a very nice and safe neighborhood with many restaurants, bars, and shops.
Ernesto, together with his Chalan companion Bernardo (a “chalan” is a Colombian rider) and trip leader Paul Coudenys, will be your hosts and riding guides during your entire riding holiday. For 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.
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 through the province Cundinamarca to the tropical province of Santander. Of course, 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, you will also have the chance to ride a pure-bred Paso Fino Colombiano at a renowned 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 anything that you have ridden before, Es Realismo Magico - It’s Magical Realism! Welcome to Colombia!
The description below is an example of the program. The itinerary can be different during your travel week. Entre Orejas 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, accommodation, and difficulty of terrain. In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, Entre Orejas asks for your flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!
Offical meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Hotel Retiro84 in Bogota (most guests spend the night before in that same hotel). Road transfer to the colonial village Cucunuba, 75 kilometers from Bogotá. Along the way, stop to visit a typical Colombian saddlery where you will learn about Colombian tack. Have lunch along the way in a typical restaurant.
After lunch and a short drive arrive at La Montesa, a renowned breeding farm of Colombian Paso Fino Horses where you will ride these pureblood horses and experience why they say the Paso Fino is the smoothest horse in the world! Continue for a little drive to La Posada de Don Pedro in Cucunuba where you will be accommodated and have dinner.
After breakfast, meet and greet the horses, prepare equipment, and horse selection. Saddle horses and kick off the ride at 9 a.m. After trotting through the colonial village, immediately start climbing in the Juaitoque natural reserve and reach the highest point of 3200-meter height above sea level. Traditional bridle paths will take you through Andino Moorlands.
In the afternoon, descend through “el camino de la punta de la peña” with a view at the Palacio lagoon. Have a great Colombian barbecue and continue or ride until you arrive at Colonial Hacienda La Casona. Have refreshments and dinner at a cozy meeting at the fireplace of this beautiful hacienda.
After breakfast, saddle horses and kick off the ride at 9 a.m., crossing narrow paths in the forest, climbing, and descending till reaching the typical village of Sutatausa. Visit the cathedral and learn about the Spanish domination of the past. Continue the ride to the rocky mountains of the “Hato” Dam where you will have a local traditional lunch. In the late afternoon, arrive again at Hacienda La Cabaña for a second night in this fantastic place where you'll have dinner.
After breakfast, saddle horses and start the ride through the green fields of Cundinamarca, the biggest region of milk cows in Colombia. Around noon, arrive at one of the oldest Colonial farms of Colombia, Punta de Vega where you will have lunch. After a good meal and a siesta, continue riding to “Hacienda Potosi” where you will arrive at around 5 p.m. Owner Marta will more than probably will like to show you her champion draft horses and serve you dinner.
After breakfast, saddle horses and kick off the ride at 8 or 8:30 a.m. Leave hacienda Potosí passing through the green fields of this milk region. After a few canters, you will reach the beautiful hacienda "Ticha" by Dona Patricia. Lunch will be served at the colonial hacienda, a place where history pours from the walls. In the afternoon, ride through oak woods with the Fúquene lagoon on the background.
Leave the province of Cundinamarca to enter the province of Boyacá, till you reach the semi-desert plains of Raquira. At the Raquirq Silvestre farmhouses, you will spend the night and have a great evening with the performance of local folk musicians and the have dinner.
Have breakfast around 9:30 a.m., saddle horses &and kick off the ride at 10:30 a.m. Descending the semi-desert mountains, you will see in the distance the colorfull town of Raquira, well known for its pottery and handicrafts. You will have the time to stroll around the picturesque town,where you will have a cold beer and lunch. In the afternoon, continue the ride all the way till reaching the “Candelaria” monastery, a sacred place founded in 1604 and owned today by the Agustinos community. You will be very comfortably accommodated at the monastery where you'll have dinner as well.
Have breakfast then saddle horses and kick-off your ride at 8 a.m. Today, the scenery changes drastically, just one hour away from the monastery, enter the inhospitable desert of la Candelaria, rocky bridle paths, and strong winds will guide the way. Once in the desert,, visit the “Patio de Brujas”, a magic place of indigenous witches.
In the later afternoon, reach one of Colombia's most beautiful Colonial cities, Villa de Leyva, founded in 1572 and known as a national monument. A place known to keep its traditional architecture between moorlands and deserts. Accommodation will be in a colonial hotel at the main square of Villa de Leyva. Free time in the late afternoon. Dinner will be around 8 p.m. and have some last night drinks.
Have breakfast then get transferred by a private bus to Bogotá airport (approximately 4 hours).
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.
Clean and comfortable ranch and hotel rooms. Single participants of the same sex share rooms in double, triple, and quadruple bedded farm rooms.
Paul rode horses in 53 different countries and is perhaps 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. After years of experience in organizing and guiding equestrian holidays and riding expeditions around the world, he now only concentrates on trail rides and equestrian tourism in Latin America. He is guiding all the riding trips himself and assures you participating at the best horse treks in Latin America. He speaks six languages.
From childhood, Ernesto has been hooked on horses and to the outdoors. He has his own riding school where he infects hundreds of children and adults with the virus horseriding. His colonial hacienda is the ideal starting point for a trail ride. He is fascinated by the equestrian culture of his country and Latin America in general and is also co-founder and representative of ALATCE (Latin American Association of Equestrian Tourism and Culture) in Colombia. Ernesto is the kindness in a person, a gentleman and a born leader. Receiving riders and soulmates in his country is what he loves most.
Bernardo is originally from Bogota. A few years ago he chucked his career as a lawyer and returned to his first love; horses. Horses and everything around the Colombian equine culture is his passion. He is a man that loves the pure and simple things in life. Coming from a family of a great equestrian tradition, he is the ideal riding guide on Colombian trail rides. From day one, you will notice that Bernardo is a waterfall of words (no surprise he once was a lawyer), talks to everybody, has fun all the time, and is at his best when in the saddle. He will welcome you with open arms.
Colombia is 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 have 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, optimized 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. Its smooth and natural gait was much appreciated.
The Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean, the Andes mountains, and the Sierra Nevada, the mighty Amazon forest, Latin America’s most beautiful city Cartagena, plenty of picturesque villages, pre-Colombian sites like the Lost City, fascinating fauna and flora, name it and Colombia has it. No other country on the continent can compete with multi-cultural and natural Colombia.
Staying longer after the trail ride to dance salsa, to relax at a Caribbean beach, to go scuba diving or hiking in the Andes, or to go on a Chalan horseriding course is definitely a good plan and be warned, the risk is that you want to stay! Talk to Entre Orejas to see how you could extend your holiday.
El Dorado International Airport
Transfer not provided
Please arrange your flight to arrive at El Dorado International Airport (BOG). If you either depart from Europe, USA, South-America, Australia, or elsewhere, there is a large choice of airlines flying to Colombia. Entre Orejas will not reserve flights for you but they will be happy to help you with information concerning flights and how to get to the destination.
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