The Coffee Trail Ride, Colombia - Practical Information

Practical information - Good to know before you go

    Riding level: 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.
    The riding: Trailride, 6 days on horseback, riding from one place to the other, average of 6 hours per day in the saddle.
    Weight: riders weight limit: 120 Kg 
    Age: minimum age is 12 years, only allowed if accompanied by an adult. 
    Group size: groups comprise a minimum of 6 riders and maximum of 16 riders.
    Horses: Colombian criollo/cruzado
    Saddles: comfortable Colombian trail saddles
    Guides: professional and multilingual guides – Tripleader: Paul Coudenys
    Comfort: clean and comfortable ranch & hotel rooms.(single participants of the same sex share rooms. 2, 3, 4 bedded farm rooms)
    International Passport: Required for most foreigners (still 6 months valid)
     Visa: most European and Latin American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Colombia. Contact the Colombian Embassy in your country for more info.
    Vaccinations: not required in the área were we ride (for other regions consult your physician)

You are alone?
Do not worry, you can individually register/book and join in a group with other riders. Most participants are people who register individually and may just like you, not know the other riders in your group. Since everyone has the same points of interest (horseback riding, nature, travel, culture) there is always a good atmosphere and understanding among the participants. Participants come from all corners of the world, so you can be part of a group with riders from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, Mexico and many others countries. Your friends are suddenly so much more international!  A standard group consists of 6 to 16 riders. In general there are as many female as male participants.

Are your foreign languages not so well? 
No worries, local trip leader Paul is fluent in 6 languages and will help and translate with pleasure where needed.
Trips are always fun as we all speak the same equestrian language.

Night before & Local Transfer
It is recommended to arrive in ARMENIA one night before the official start of the trail ride program. (before day 1) That way nobody has to wait long hours at the airport waiting for other guests to arrive. So we suggest you to stay one night in a hotel in Armenia (we will be happy to book the hotel for you) and we meet all together the next day (day 1) at breakfast in the hotel at 09:00. After breakfast we start the official program of the trail ride and go all together to the first Hacienda with our private bus. A double room is about USD 85 - € 70/room including breakfast. 

Flights:
If you either depart from Europe, The States, South-America, Australia or elsewhere, there is a large choice of airlines flying to Colombia.  
Gateway is ARMENIA
Airport code of Armenia is: AXM
Name of the airport: El Eden airport

 Most of the flights to Armenia will fly via Colombia’s capital BOGOTA where you connect to Armenia. (short flight)
We do not reserve flights for you, but we will be happy to help you with information concerning flights and how to get to destination.

Travel Gear
•    Valid international passport 
•    Travel Insurance
•    Pocket money (you can change EUR/£/USD in the airport) 
•    A warm sweater and a jacket 
•    4 or 5 T-shirts and minimum 1 a shirt with long sleeves.
•     jodhpurs or jeans to ride with 
•    Riding shoes or boots / riding shoes with mini-chaps or long chaps
•    . A second pair of shoes for the evening
•     Swimsuit Comfortable clothing + a Hat 
•    One towel 
•    Toiletries
•     Sun Cream
•     Water canteen 
•    Camera…
* we have raincoats and saddle bags available for you
* It is recommended to put your luggage in travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 10 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 10 suitcases.  (thanks!)

Luggage
The maximum allowable weight of your luggage depends from airline to airline. Check with the airline or travel agent how many kilograms and pieces of luggage you can take. Your personal luggage is transported during the trek to the various stopovers.

Health
The highlands and Coffee Triangle in Colombia is a safe region in terms of health. You can easily eat and drink anything without being stomach bothered. Eating raw vegetables, salads and ice creams is no problem. 
There are no vaccinations required and there is no malaria in this part of Colombia. 
In case of illness or an accident, there are good hospitals and doctors nearby.

Currency 
The Colombian currency is the Colombian Peso or COP > $.  
1 EURO = approx : 3.400 COP (August 2016)
1 USD    = approx : 3.100 COP  (August.2016)
Cash dispensers can be found in all towns and cities.
In the cities you can pay with credit cards. (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, ...)

Electricity and plugs 
http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/colombia/ 

Mobile phone: 
In towns and villages there is mobile phone coverage everywhere. During the riding trip full time coverage is not guaranteed.

Internet: 
In towns and villages there is everywhere Internet access. During the ridingtrip there is almost no internet access.

Time in Colombia: 
http://www.worldtimeserver.com/

Weather in Colombia and during the Trailride : 
Colombia is a tropical country. Hot and humid all year long at the cost (Caribbean and Pacific) and in all low lands. Though a big part of Colombia is mountainous territory with altitudes between 1000m and 5000m. During our trailride we will be riding in the departments of Quindio on an altitude between 1500m and 2500m where temperature is about 25C during the day and about 16C at night all year long. 
Travel Insurance: We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the Trailride without having a personal travel insurance. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.
Trip Cancellation Insurance recommended: In order to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances interfering with your vacation, we strongly suggest that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You can use any travel insurance company you are comfortable with.

Release Agreement:
“The Coffee Trail Ride” guests are required to sign a release agreement at the time of check-in. This is mandatory and guests cannot participate in the tour without signing the release agreement (all moneys paid are non-refundable). Please feel free to read the release agreement prior to your arrival: (please download the form here). Parents or legal guardians of minor children are required to sign the release agreement on their children’s behalf. Please direct all questions to the office.

Safety: 
Colombia has not always the best reputation for safety and crime. Tens of thousands of . European and North American citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved 200% . For the last 5 years Colombia is considered a safe country to travel to. The only risk now a days in Colombia, is that you will want to stay! 
Our ride passes through the department Quindio where there is no need to worry at all!

General info about Colombia: 

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia

Tourism Board: http://www.colombia.travel/en/ 

Video about Colombia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZPzNVwgjVI 

Important information
We will do everything possible to follow the indicated intinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain  In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!

Staying longer in Colombia after the trailride?
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 & 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 trailride to dance salsa, to relax at a Caribbean beach,  to go scubadiving 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 us to see how you could extend your holiday.

Rules: We are not so much into rules, but we reserve the right to refuse service to any individual who jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of any of our guests, staff, family & community members, animals & livestock, or who refuses to follow the rules we have established for your safety and welfare during your visit with us.