Beautiful tours on horseback, following the same roads used by the Conquistadores, settlers, and later the patriots who proclaimed our Independence.
These roads, many of them made of cobble stones using indigenous labor and mules, are called "caminos reales" (royal roads).
They lead to the most emblematic architectural jewels - a legacy of the Spanish colonization in Colombia - such as VILLA DE LEYVA in the Province of Boyacá (central Colombia), and BARICHARA in the Province of Santander (Eastern Colombia).
These routes allow the visitor to appreciate not only some of the most beautiful landscape in the Colombian Andes, but also the kindness of its people and the beauty of many small villages which remain frozen in time, with their beautiful churches and buildings made of stone, adobe and clay roof tiles.
Our itineraries include a visit to Cartagena, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, where visitors can take a rest from their riding activities, and enjoy the Architectural and Gastronomic wonders of this beautiful city located in the Colombian Caribbean coast.
Before returning home, visitors will have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in cosmopolitan Bogotá, touring the most important historic and cultural sights, and also shopping at some of the city's many fashionable malls.
Day 1: Bogotá
Arrival in Bogotá. Transfer Airport / Hotel. Check into hotel and overnight (no meals included).
Day 2: Sisga Dam - Cucunubá
Following a traditional breakfast at a restaurant by the beautiful Sisga Dam, 1 hour from Bogotá, where the horses and guides await us, we will start our riding tour through the valley of the Sisga River until it flows into the Bogotá River, whose water at this point is still crystalline and full of aquatic life. Then, we will take a mountain trail on our way to Suesca Lake, from where we can appreciate the northern side of the Bogotá Savanna with the legendary Tominé Reservoir in the background. After crossing the Cajones Mountain at 3200 m.a.s.l. (meters above sea level) we will descend to the beautiful Suesca Lake where we can see the old railway station, which was used until the middle of last century. We will continue our way to Cucunubá, a beautiful colonial town well-known for its handmade virgin wool fabrics and clothes, located in a corner of the Ubaté Valley where we will spend the night at a cozy inn while the horses rest and are fed.
Day 3: Cucunubá - Monastery of La Candelaria
From Cucunubá we will take the road to Guachetá, admiring the beautiful natural lakes of Cucunubá and Fúquene, through paths that cross artisanal coal mines, and then proceed to Ráquira and the Monastery of La Candelaria where we will spend the night. Along this route we will see native oak tree forests, hundreds of years old and, with the Desert of La Candelaria within sight, we will find the many clay ceramic handicraft workshops for which the Ráquira region is famous. Finally, we will arrive at the beautiful Monastery of La Candelaria, the first to be established in the Americas by the Augustinian monks. It was founded by Father Mateo Delgado in 1604, on the banks of the Gacheneca River, where he started a community by bringing together the hermits that lived scattered in caves in the surrounding area. Today, the convent houses the novitiate of the Augustinian monks, is used for spiritual retreats, and also provides lodging for tourists.
Day 4: Monastery of La Candelaria - Villa de Leyva
After leaving the monastery we will cross the beautiful Desert of La Candelaria on our way to the Valley of Villa de Leyva. We will ride through the cobblestone streets of this beautiful town, founded in 1572 by order of Don Andres Diaz Venero de Leyva, first President of the New Kingdom of Granada, with the main purpose of becoming the supplier of foodstuffs for the conquistador armies stationed in Moniquirá and Tunja.
The horses will stay at a farm in the outskirts of town, and we will proceed to Villa de Leyva where we will enjoy a delicious meal in one of the many excellent restaurants that are available there. We will spend the night at a comfortable colonial hotel.
Day 5: City Tour in Villa de Leyva - Bogotá
We will visit the principal square in the center of the Villa, considerate the biggest square of Colombia. It’s the most important attraction in the town along with the Church located in the principal square. The city tour includes the visit to the “Casa del Cabildo”, a historical relic located next to the Principal Square, the “Casa de Nariño”, house where Antonio Nariño died in 1823. The house is a museum now, where you can find an interesting material of the colonial time and the independence fight. Finally, we will see the “Claustro de San Agustín”, first church of the town and headquarters of the Humboldt Institute.
Return to Bogota in the afternoon and accommodation in a comfortable hotel (no meals included).
Day 6: Bogotá
Transfer Hotel / Airport. End of this great adventure.