Riding through the coffee district mountains in Colombia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia
Horse riding in Columbia

This horseback trail is an unforgettable experience, riding to the top of the mountains with spectacular views over valleys, jungle, mountain rivers and a patchwork of coffee farms.  Pass along ancient mule tracks to river crossings surrounded by jungle and canter along the open trails of the coffee farms and cattle pastures. Colombia's central coffee district was awarded UNESCO heritage status due to its 'coffee cultural landscape' . Farming and life here continues as it did hundreds of years ago. Enjoy horseback riding through beautiful old villages, off the beaten track, while staying in lovely haciendas on farms with good, wholesome fresh food, while the horses rest in the fields. On this equestrian vacation, groups can be catered for, including families and the riding will be tailored accordingly.

Don't forget to smell the coffee!

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from AR of Calgary on 23/01/2024

Ride Summary
Overall had a really great experience! The country is so beautiful. It was great to be able to spend time in the different city centers as well. Yvette and Hugo are so kind and care about both the riders and their horses.
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Personally would have loved more opportunities to canter, but understand with the roads it is not always safe to do so.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Great variety of horses for all skill levels, all have such great personalities.
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
Would just recomend providing clarity on what items are necessary to bring on the additional overnights and if it will be brought by the riders or staff.
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
5
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Easy ride and not difficult terrain for the most part, a lot of riding on roads however that requires some level of comfort.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
Such beautiful location(s) to relax and explore!
Unicorn comments: Thank you for feedback. Glad you had such a great time! :)

Day 1
Embark on a farm tour to get acquanited with fellow riders and the horses. Later, enjoy a short sunset ride to match each rider with a horse based on their riding experience and and preferences. 

Day 2 
Experience a full day of riding through Colombia's stunning coffee district. Traverse small rural villages, adorned with the colourful houses the region is renowned for. Pause by a picturesque river for lunch and a refreshing swim. Cross the river and journey over several mountain ridges, reveling in the breathtaking scenery before returning back to the hacienda. Today offers ample opportunities for a thrilling canter (5-6 hours riding).

Day 3
Today's ride leads through picturesque old towns and into the Barbas Bremen forests. This lush jungle is teeming with wildlife, birds and butterflies, with a chance to glimpse the shy Howler monkeys. After the ride, riders have the option to embark on a 20 minute hike to discover a hidden 50 foot waterfall, or simply relax with a glass of wine or cup of coffee! (approx 4 hours riding).

Day 4
After breakfast, ride across the valley, passing through bamboo forests while keeping an eye out for the blue tailed Mot Mot. Riding out on the other side of the valley, the landscape unfolds to reveal the stunning coffee plantation scenery, punctuated by the central and western branches of the Cordillera mountain range. Enjoy lunch in a small town, experiencing the local food and culture. (4-5 hours riding)

Day 5
Today's route takes riders past coffee farms that still operate in the same traditional manner as they did 100 years ago. Follow the trail through jungle and descend into a valley with a wide meandering riverbed at the bottom. Take a break to relax or have a swin. In the evening, indulge in a traditional meal and watch the sunset while the horses graze in the fields below. (4-5 hours riding).

Day 6
On this final day of riding, enjoy plenty of opportunities for cantering, while passing coffee farms on the way back to the base. Stop for lunch at a traditional Colombian farm and immerse in the friendly, local culture. (4-6 hours riding depending on the route chosen).

Day 7
Relax today, visit the famous 100 ft high palm trees of the Corcora Valley, or hike to the jungle to the local waterfalls. Discover how coffee is made or just have a coffee or a beer in the main square of Filandia before heading back to Pereira or Armenia for the connecting flight to Bogota.

 

 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There is a variety of horses at the stables, all chosen for their temperaments. Heights range from 14.3hh to 16.1hh: several are Criollo and Criollo crosses, Appolosa, quarter horses and Pasa Fino horses, the Colombian gaited breed. Light-weight Western saddles are used with comfy seat covers and the bridles are Colombian made, with English bits, mostly pelhams. They all receive good food, medical care, 5-acres to roam around in during the day, warm stables at night and a minimum of two days rest out in the fields per week.


Rider requirements

Secure on a well-schooled horse at all paces including cantering in open country and riding fit for several hours in the saddle each day.
The riding can be tailored to a group's ability. The horses are well behaved and are used to being ridden by children, so families and less confident riders can be accommodated in private groups. The riding hours can then be adjusted to suit.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

The farm is based in the foothills of the central Andes at 1,800 metres above sea level and has a lovely spring-like climate year round. The farmhouse has 18 rooms, and when not riding, relax in the hammocks on the outside terrace; watch TV from the sofas in our lounge; eat and play games around the large, sociable dining table, and enjoy a sundowner at our open-air bar with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.

This trail combines accommodation at the farmhouse and traditional Columbian fincas along the way, with comfortable beds, hot showers, good food, BBQs and campfires.



 


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

All travellers will be required to show an onward or return ticket valid within the 90 day period allowed for their entry into Colombia as a visitor.

Between 24 hours and 1 hour before departure, you must fill out the ‘Check-Mig’ form, available on the Migración Colombia website. You will receive a confirmation email that you will need to present upon arrival in Colombia.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/colombia

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Colombia.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/colombia

Climate Summary

Colombia is a tropical country and a large part of Colombia is mountainous territory with altitudes between 1,000m and 5,000m. It is hot and humid all year around at the coast (Caribean and Pacific) and in all low lands.

During the trail ride you will be riding in the Cordillera Oriental within the departments of Cundinamarca and Santander on an altitude between 1,500m and 2,500m where temperature is about 23C during the day and about 14C at night all year round.

The last 2 days of the trail ride will be at a lower region in Santander where temperatures go up to about 28C during the day and about 20C at night.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Health authorities have classified Colombia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.

Dengue fever, malaria and yellow fever are present throughout the country, although the coastal and southern states with lower altitudes are the most affected, especially during or shortly after the rainy season between April and November. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Colombia.

Tap water is safe to drink only in Bogota. You should drink only bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Colombia and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Electricity

In Colombia the supply voltage is 110V. If the appliance or its power supply are not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly

Mobile, WiFi and charging

Wifi is available at the hotel and fincas. Mobile reception variable on the trail, the guide has a hotspot connection. If using a GoPro please ensure that the group is willing to be filmed.

Packing List

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384 (One can be provided, but we recommend you bring your own)
- Gloves
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers
- Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
- Chaps
- Comfortable clothing
- 4 or 5 T-shirts and 2 shirts with long sleeves
- A second pair of shoes for the evening
- Hat (a nice Colombian hat can be bought on location)
- One towel
- Swimsuit
- Sunscreen
- Lip sunscreen
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
- Head torch
- Valid international passport
- Travel Insurance
- Pocket money (you can change EUR/£/USD in the airport)

* It is recommended to put your luggage in a soft travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 10 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 10 suitcases,

Provided by hosts:
Riding Helmet
Saddlebags
Poncho raincoats

Programmes

7d / 6n programme with 5 riding days. Sunday arrivals, but can be flexible.
Private departure dates are possible. Group size can be increased to 8 or 9 for private groups who have a similar riding ability and know each other.

Departure Dates

2024: 2. 9, 30 (FULL) June;1, 7 Jul; 6, 13, 20, 27 Oct; 10, 17, 24 Nov; 1, 8, 15, 22 Dec
2025: Available year round. Sunday departures, but other days can be arranged

Pricing
A single room can be booked for no extra supplement when available.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n5double pp1,595
20247d/6n5single supplement339
20257d/6n5double pp1,805
20257d/6n5Single supplement and single room405
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n5double pp1,899
20247d/6n5single supplement405
20257d/6n5double pp2,149
20257d/6n5Single supplement and single room479
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n5double pp2,165
20247d/6n5single supplement459
20257d/6n5double pp2,355
20257d/6n5Single supplement and single room525
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n5double pp22,435
20247d/6n5single supplement4,769
20257d/6n5double pp24,755
20257d/6n5Single supplement and single room5,519
Recommended Reading

We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and if you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.



100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The defining novel of magical realism, this is a family chronicle revolving around an imaginary village. The haunting strangeness of the Colombian interior, as it must have been perceived by the first Spaniards, is beautifully conveyed in the course of a journey in which the village's early settlers encounter a Spanish galleon mysteriously stranded in the middle of a jungle. The rest of the book develops into what can be interpreted as a poetic history of Colombia; a timeless classic.

La Vorágine” (The Vortex)  by José Eustasio Rivera, a Colombian classic of the early 20th century, telling the story of a couple trying to escape Bogota´s society to live in the Eastern plains and Amazon forest during the rubber fever. There are translations of this novel in English, German, French and Russian.

The Mango Orchard: The extraordinary true story of a family lost and found   A young Englishman who travelled in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, in part to trace the fascinating story of his great grandfather's adventures in Central America a century ago. There is a great twist at the end, which we won't spoil.



For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit  www.thelongridersguild.com   

Also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com


Wildlife

Colombia has the largest number of endemic species worldwide. About 10% of the species in the world live in Colombia. Some determinant factors in the distribution range of the species are the weather conditions, temperature, humidity and sun. Some of the most common animals that are found in Colombia are anteaters, sloths, tapirs, spectacled bears, deer, capybaras, pumas, jaguars and several monkey species.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Pereira Airport or Armenia Airport
Transfer:
2024: Payable locally. Airport transfers from Pereira or Armenia approx. US $80 each way. Public transport is also available.
2025: £50 taxi return
Flight Guide:
2024: London - Bogotá (BOG) from £660 pp return
Internal flights Bogota to Pereira (PEI) or Armenia (AXM) from £60 pp ret.
London - Armenia (AXM) or Pereira (PEI) approx return pp £950.00
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