October 7, 2015
More Local – Criollo Experience
Written By Admin
Discover Colombia like a local
The Criollo experience is quite simply a full-on crash-test-course on the delights, peculiarities and trivialities of Colombian life…
At More Local we design our itineraries based on the independent-style of travel we love to do ourselves, so although we travel as a group, you will not lose your independence. Our travel experiences in Colombia can also be tailor-made to ensure you get a very unique off-the-trail trip.
All of our trips and excursions in Colombia embrace responsible travel and incorporate eco-friendly practices. You will have the opportunity to get involved in our meaningful travel project in the indigenous community of San Juan del Soco (Colombian Amazon) as well as to contribute towards a reforestation program in Antioquia & Nariño and give back to the destination first hand – just like it should be.
The Criollo Experience
The Criollo experience is quite simply a full-on crash-test-course on the delights, peculiarities and trivialities of Colombian life. So, don’t be surprised if you develop asudden fascination for magical realism, religion, nature and soccer. If you’re hungry, you might start craving a local lunch of ground beef, rice, fried egg, beans, plantain, chorizo, arepa, pork crackling and avocado.
This excursion highlights some of the most contrasting regions in the country. From breathtaking Villa de Leyva to the wild Amazon Rainforest, through the charmingCoffee region and back to Bogota, the nation’s capital – it’s a complete Colombia travel experience.
Colombia: you’re sweet, charming and delightful – we adore you!
Day 1 – Bogota
Colombia’s capital city can be an overwhelming surprise. This massive concrete jungle is intimidating at first, but soon captivates most visitors. The city has a blossoming bohemian sub-culture, a hint of Europe with a local twist. La Candelaria, in the center of town, is the perfect place to start our adventure – its colonial alleys and houses are home to the most interesting vibe in the city.
Day 2 – Leticia (Colombia)
This morning we head to the airport and catch our flight to Leticia.
Colombia’s Amazonian capital pulses with energy. This gateway into the jungle offers the perfect balance between urban and rural life. Explore the one and only paved road (fully 14 miles long) and start your trip with a nature walk to an indigenous Maloka (hut) where you will learn all about the process of Mambe, Rape and Tambil.
Day 3 – San Juan Del Soco (Colombia)
Feel the wind whip past while traveling down the almighty Amazon in a speedboat. Visit this distant community and see the reality of Amazonian life. Witness the impact of shortsighted development and the constant struggle to save customs and traditions.Learn the local ways and get back to basics.
Relish a walk through the virgin jungle and get involved in community activities. Take part in our project setting up a sustainable water supply for the local people beforespending the night in a hammock on a riverbank.
Day 4 – Puerto Narino (Colombia)
Arrive at Puerto Narino, the prime jewel of the Amazon and a world-class model forsustainable living. This ecological community is living proof that man and nature can peacefully exist. Explore this captivating symbol of hope and meet the local community.
Spot the gentle pink and playful grey dolphins on a visit to the Tarapoto lakes. Turn hunter-gatherer, as you catch piranhas that you might have the chance to chuck on an evening BBQ.
At night, hit the billiards hall, bar and disco.
Day 5 – Sacambu (Peru)
Cruise on a traditional slow boat down the enigmatic Amazon. Stop for lunch and a swim at Benjamin Constant (Brazil) before heading on a motorbike-taxi jaunt through the funky little town. Pass by Islandia (Peru) an enchanting, sleepy, semi-floating village before cruising down the River Yavari to Sacambu.
At Sacambu, the delightful owner and his family will charm you with their Amazonian hospitality. Spend the night suspended in a hammock over wooden decking above a pristine lake, surrounded by the enchanting sounds of nature.
Day 6 -Yavari (Peru)
A slow ride through winding canals and thick mangroves take you to the Yavari Nature Reserve. Kayaking, canoeing, fishing, swimming, walking and bird watching guarantee an unforgettable day.
Day 7 – Leticia (Colombia)
Visit the central square, walk the crowded streets, explore the one and only paved road (fully 14 miles long) and feast on local delicacies. Cross the border to Tabatinga (Brazil) to watch the sunset and drink the potent cachaca.
Day 8 – La Tebaida
In the afternoon, we fly to Armenia via Bogota.
Colombia’s legendary coffee region is one of the most charming and tranquil spots in the tri-color nation. Its winding roads take you through lush plantations of plantain, bamboo and world-class coffee. We begin our trip in a stunning spot overlooking the beautiful area of La Tebaida.
Day 9 – Montenegro
We begin our day with a stunning horse-back ride through rural lands where you will get a chance to enjoy beautiful views of coffee and plantain plantations. Next our trip takes us to Montenegro, another of the many colonial towns in the area, where we will visit a local organic coffee farm. Kick back and relax for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 10 – Boquia
Today, you’ll get stuck into the action on a coffee-producing finca. Enjoy shadowing the farm’s staff and, through hands-on experience, you’ll learn everything involved in thecoffee-making process. Meet the visionary grower responsible for producing some ofColombia’s best organic coffee. After a local lunch in Salento you will get a chance to experience a coffee tasting session.
Day 11 – Palermo
In the morning, we stride out with a pleasant hike, followed by a picnic and trip to the valley of Cocora. We then crack on up to Quimbaya, where a local family will warmly welcome you to their self-sufficient farm, established in 1984. Hernando, (the eldest son) and the rest of the family, will share their philosophy of sustainable rural life.
Get to know the family and enjoy farm work such as cow milking or animal feeding. Our idea is that you chat with whomever you like and try your skills at farming. When it comes to making dinner, we hope you might even want to lend the family a hand.
Day 12 – Palermo
We rise early to the sounds of rural life and get involved in various farming activities. In the afternoon learn local bamboo handicrafts. Kick back and relax for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 13 – Villa de Leyva
This morning we fly to Bogota.
Out of the capital, our first stop is Raquira, a colorful town renowned for its handicrafts. Get involved in a pottery handicraft workshop.
We then head to Villa de Leyva, one of the prettiest towns in Colombia. La Villa, as locals call it, is without doubt Boyaca’s crown jewel. Approximately 3.5 hours from Bogota, this is the perfect little place to step back in time and feel what urban life used to be like.
Meet authentic artisans and get involved in a traditional wool-workshop. Then head back to Villa de Leyva and enjoy its charming cobbled streets and well-preserved buildings. Be impressed by the massive town square. Among other things, we will play the Criollo game of tejo, possibly your only opportunity to throw lumps of led at a gunpowder target.
Day 14 – Guasca
The following morning, we head to Guasca and visit an organic farm which produces fruits & veggies for a natural cancer treatment. You will have the opportunity to get involved in different agro-tourism activities. In the evening you can choose whether to stay at the local farm or camp.
Days 15 & 16 – Bogota
This morning we start off with farm work such as cow milking, animal feeding, harvesting etc. We then go for a nature hike to Chingaza National Park, home to 3 sublime lagoons which date back to Pre-Columbian Muisca times. We then head back to Bogota where you can unwind in Colombia’s capital city before we say “hasta la vista” the following day.
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