Imagine riding up to a waterfall and taking the ultimate selfie while on the back of a horse! Colombia has a surprising amount of opportunity and advantages for equestrian vacations where horse lovers will find their paradise.
Come along with us as I start a new section on this blog dedicated to a passion which started for me in childhood, adolescence and on through my college years. We are going to very lightly cover the different types of horse tours available in Colombia and in future posts it is our desire to go and experience each one. Call it a bucket list if you will.
Now that you have decided to Visit Colombia, it’s time to decide where to go, and what to do! If you have that special passion for four legged hay munching beauties, then here are some of our top tips for Equestrian Vacations in Colombia.
Ride up to a Stunning Waterfall in Aranzazu, Caldas
My favorite horse experience in the Coffee Region, this is my top recommendation for Equestrian Vacations in Colombia.
Aranzazu is to the north of Manizales, and can easily be reached by jeep or bus from the city. You will know you have arrived by the blue cupola of the church on the main plaza. A conservative pueblo, Aranzazu residents are horse people. Many people who live here have horses or rent them to go on weekend rides or picnics during the week.
From the main plaza you can also see a waterfall high up the mountain off in the distance. Imagine riding up to that waterfall and taking the ultimate selfie! Learn how by Clicking HERE to read about An Incredible Horse Adventure in Colombia.
Trail Rides in Salento, Quindio
Salento, the Village of Artisans, is also famous for the wax palms of the Cocora Valley. In fact, the wax palm is the national tree of Colombia too. Visitors can go on guided rides from the pueblo of Salento, or they can take a jeep to the Cocora Valley then rent a horse. The quality of the horses can vary a bit. Everything from half-dead hags to well-cared for, but tame steeds can be found. Great for beginner riders who want to go for a little jaunt on a rented horse or as part of your equestrians vacations.
To learn more about what to go see and do in Salento Click Here >>
Experience a Paso Fino Colombiano in Pereira, Risaralda
Pereira, is the capital of the coffee region, and not surprisingly, it is also a bit of a capital for horses too. With several breeders, trainers and riding stables, called chalaneria’s. Visitors can take lessons on how to ride and manage the magnificent Paso Fino Colombians. In a soon-to-come feature story we are going to visit and review the stables in Pereira. We will tell you where to go for the best Equestrian Vacations in the Coffee Region!
To learn more about the Paso Fino Colombiano Click Here >>
Run on the Wild Side in Colombia’s Pacific Region
In some parts of Colombia, horses/mules are still a very important mode of transport for goods and people. The Pacific region or the Department of El Choco, is one of these places. Many residential areas in these forgotten pueblos can only be reached on horse or by foot. Near to Pereira, in a little-known area visitors can safely dip their toe in the red zone. As of May 2017, safety precautions are in place to ensure the safety of small groups of visitors. I have written quite extensively about the jungles of El Choco here, here and here.
For me it is one of the most beautiful and equestrian vacations in Colombia. Ride a traditional Colombian Chiva into the mists of El Choco, upon arrival you will spend one night in the pueblo.
The next day you will take a jeep down to the river and then travel by horse up to the wildest jungle in Colombia. Take a cool dip under a 50 meter waterfall, swing on a vine just like Tarzan, and experience Colombian jungles on horseback.
Ride up to a Lost City and Camp
La Ciudad Perdida is like the Machu Picchu of Colombia. It is a series of terraced hilltops which were made by ancient pre-colombino cultures. And, they have withstood the test of time. The ruins are located up on a mountain Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in a jungle forest along the northern coast of Colombia in a national park called Parque Tayrona. This one we are including because we are convinced that there is a horse trek you can do with this.
But, don’t run out and bank your equestrian vacations on it because I haven’t been there. The online information about renting a horse is spotty at best. Of course you will have a guide, but we can’t verify cost or pinpoint where to go. If you would like to sponsor us to go up there, hook up with a horse tour and write a really cool story about the whole thing (and maybe even help you promo your Colombia tourism related business?), then be sure to reach us via our contact form on this page: Contact Us >>
Ride on the Beach in Santa Marta
According to Experiencia Colombia, you can rent horses and go riding down the beach in Parque Tayrona. An indigenous reserve, Parque Tayrona, is very biodiverse and beautiful.
From the sun-kissed beaches to the Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City up in the Sierra Nevadas de Santa Marta, you won’t be disappointed. This is one of the most popular Equestrian Vacations. Be sure to bring cash as amenities are not well-developed.
Ride With The Cowboys on the Eastern Plains
Discover the heart of beef cattle and cowboy country, also called “Los Llanos.” There you will earn about the cowboys who do the dirty work for their ranch bosses, called “llaneros.” Stay on a working ranch and discover the cowboy life as you ride out on the plains. Watch out for crocodiles!
This is the wild wild eastern plains, places like Yopal and Casanare, were once hotbeds of guerrilla activity. Today they are becoming safer, but plan your equestrian vacations with caution as recent flare ups with guerrillas have made some of these regions more unstable.
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