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Colombia Fair Trade Adventure
A small group community-based adventure giving you the opportunity to explore some of Colombia’s captivating colonial towns, horseback ride and hike through charming rural landscapes, and meet the inspiring farmers and artisans producing some of the country’s Fair Trade products. This Colombia Fair Trade adventure is 12 days of unique experiences, culture, wildlife and iconic Colombian destinations that will take you far off the tourist trail.
- Visit Salt Cathedral, 180m below ground
- Visit El Roble Hacienda where they produce some of the world’s finest coffees
- Participate in a workshop on traditional homebuilding techniques
- Hike around the immense Chicamocha Canyon for some fantastic mountain landscapes
- Sheer sheep and spin wool in a quaint mountain village
- Discover Bogata and the world famous ciclovia
Right from the beginning you’ll be wowed as you explore Bogata and take in the unbelievable view from Monserrate Mountain. Go deeper back in time when you arrive at Villa de Leyva, one of the country’s loveliest mountain villages. You’ll have a blast sheering sheep and learning about local farm life. Before leaving you have the chance to bike or horseback ride through archaeological sites just outside the village. In Barichara take a guided walk along one of the cobblestoned Royal Paths which connect Bogata with the Caribbean coast.
Next, travel to Chicamocha Canyon, a phenomenal landform 227m long and 2km deep. It’s deeper than the Grand Canyon. While there discover Guane cave paintings and the first hanging bridge in Columbia, the McCormick Bridge. Outside Bucaramange you’ll visit an agro-tourism farm on your way to Columbia’s Coffee Region. Before leaving you’ll learn about sustainable agriculture, learn how to make Arequipe (toffee), bird watch, stroll through the foothills of the Andes, and horseback ride through the Acaime Natural Reserve.
Fair Trade is a major focus of this trip. Whether it’s coffee at Finca Cafe Luqman, where coffee is produced “bean to cup” or a visit with seed jewellery artisans working to give local youths a positive lifeline, you’ll have a rare and wonderful opportunity to meet all kinds of artisans and farmers working to produce fair trade chocolate, coffee, and handicrafts. This operator works hard to create a fabulous adventure for you while also having a positive impact on locals and their environment. They emphasise small-scale and low impact which translates to intimate and deeply rewarding.
Day 1: Arrive Bogota. Transfer to your hotel in the historic centre. Free day to relax.
Day 2: Bogota
Experience the world famous ciclovia (bikes and helmets are provided), then explore the city on a guided tour and enjoy stunning views from Monserrate mountain.
Day 3: Zipaquira and Villa de Leyva
Step back in time on a journey to Villa de Leyva, one of Colombia’s loveliest mountain towns, where you can shear sheep and spin wool at a local farm. En route, stop at Zipaquirá to visit the fascinating Salt Cathedral, built 180 meters below ground. Optional visit of nearby Raquira, known for its ceramics.
Days 4 – 5: Villa de Leyva to Barichara
Explore Villa de Leyva’s desert landscapes and numerous archaeological treasures, by bike or horse. Visit the world’s largest ceramics workshop, enjoy a home-cooked lunch on an eco-farm, and meet artisans at a fair trade seed jewellery workshop that provides much-needed work for local Colombian youths. Later, transfer to the charming town of Barichara, renowned for its colonial architecture. The next day, set out on a guided walk along one of the historic, cobblestoned Royal Paths that link Bogota with the Caribbean coast, and join a workshop to learn traditional home-building techniques.
Day 6: Chicamocha Canyon
Follow the mountains from Villanueva to the village of Jordán Sube, on a cobblestoned trail through a spectacular landscape framed by the Chicamocha Canyon. This remarkable landform is 227km long and 2km deep, making it deeper than the Grand Canyon. Discover invaluable Guane cave paintings and see the McCormick Bridge, the first hanging bridge of its kind in Colombia.
Day 7: Barichara to Bucaramanga
Meet the farmers at El Roble Hacienda, where some of the world’s finest coffee has been grown for more than 100 years. Admire exotic plants and animals at an agro-tourism farm, before continuing to Bucaramanga. An optional paragliding activity offers astonishing views of the Chicamocha Canyon.
Days 8 – 10: Bucaramanga to the Coffee Region
Fly to Armenia and journey along winding roads until you reach the coffee region. Next day, saddle up the horses and ride to a family farm in Palermo, to learn about sustainable agriculture and see how local Arequipe (toffee) is made. Stay overnight at the farm, where you can lend a hand the following morning, or go bird watching. Visit Finca Café Luqman, to see how coffee is produced from ‘bean to cup’, before enjoying a coffee tasting session in the picturesque town of Salento.
Day 11: Valle del Cocora
Hop on an immaculate old Willy´s jeep through super-scenic Valle del Cocora, and take in some mountain air as you stroll in the foothills of the Andes. Go horseback riding to the Acaime Natural Reserve, home to more than 14 varieties of hummingbird.
Day 12: Depart Salento. Transfer to Pereira airport for your flight home.
Group size: 4 to 10 travellers
Transport: Private transfers, airplane, coach
Accommodation: Private double/twin room. Single supplement £190 per person.
International flights: Prices for London Heathrow – Bogota, Pereira – London Heathrow flights start from £860pp with Avianca.
Amazon Rainforest (4 days) Meet indigenous communities and get up close to incredible wildlife, including primates and pink dolphins, as you explore the Amazon in native boats and on foot.
The Lost City & Cartagena (7 days) Trek deep into the Colombian jungle with a local guide, staying in native cabins and swimming in cool rivers, on an adventure to the ancient ‘Lost City’ of Teyuna. Explore the city of Cartagena and relax on the beach at Islas del Rosario, or go fishing on the lagoon.
Dates: 20th – 31st August 2016
Price: from 1,680 GBP per person (excluding international flights)
We chose to offer trips by this innovative operator because we salute their mode and philosophy of travel. They are a social enterprise that puts local communities and the environment at the centre of its model. Profits are reinvested into the business and into community-led, productive projects in Latin America. Their mission is to contribute to the empowerment of local communities in Latin America by running an ethical business that provides rewarding and authentic experiences for discerning travellers. Oh, and because they have some of the most exciting and considered itineraries and trips we’ve ever found in this region!
Travelling with these guys is about travel that is smaller scale, much more human, and therefore much more enjoyable and unique. You will see astonishing landscapes, take part in exhilarating experiences, learn about amazing cultures, and enjoy many magical moments. But you will be doing that with, rather than against the grain of the local people, their communities, and customs. You will in fact be the guest of the locals and that means your whole perspective will be different.
Their name means “good living” in Quechua which for them, and us, embodies the idea of caring for people, cultures and nature – principles that are key to true, sustainable development.
Fair Trade Adventure Colombia
- Trip Code: AWA338
- Dates: 20th – 31st August 2016
- Price: from 1,680 GBP
- Depart: Bogota, Colombia
- Arrive: Salento, Colombia
- Length: 12 days
- Adventure: explore captivating colonial towns, horseback ride and hike through charming rural landscapes, and meet inspiring Fair Trade artisans.