In this article we will be discussing top travel tips, top locations to visit and where you can book your next expedition to go horse riding in Colombia.
Author: Hebe Webber
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For a deeper more fully loaded guidebook with some information and top tips I would definitely recommend that you get a copy of our World Travel Guide for Equestrians. You can get a paperback version or download the ebook for free. I absolutely love to have this book on my coffee table. I think that it makes a great gift also to friends and family members. We update the information in this travel guide book every year. Please make sure you’ve downloaded the most recent addition.
If you do book a stables or go on a tour or expedition with horses because of this video then please share your videos, photos. Leave your feedback with us in our Facebook group Equestrian Adventuresses. It’s a fun place where we exchange information and ideas, and share our trips and adventures together.
Horse Welfare is Priority
I just want to give a quick disclaimer. When you are travelling around the world on horses, I’m sure you’ve probably heard some horror stories. That the horses are not treated as well as they are in other countries. If you want to go horse riding in Colombia, please do your research. Make sure you check out the outfitter or stables website. You could post in our Facebook group and talk with other people who have actually been there and seen the horses. They will be able to confirm whether the welfare of the horses at the location is paramount and comes first priority.
I will say in our travel guide books we do have a verification badge. It’s a little blue badge and it means that our EQA Founder Krystal Kelly has personally visited these stables. And that she has seen them with her own eyes. So she can verify that the horse’s are happy and healthy.
Stables with the blue verification badge means that you definitely know that it’s safe to go there. However, if they don’t have the badge it doesn’t really mean that they’re not having happy, healthy horses. It just means that Krystal hasn’t personally been there and seen them herself.
There’s a whole lot of stables in a whole lot of countries.. It’s just physically impossible for her to visit and verify them all. She’s done her best to collect all the information for you in these books.
Indiana Jones Style
Colombia. Soaring tropical mountains, pristine Caribbean waters, the Amazon jungle. All these terrains mixed with historical colonial cities is enough to make you feel like you’ve stepped into an Indiana Jones movie. Horse riding in Colombia is far from anything you have experienced before. And it’s a place well worth exploring.
Fresh fruits and a rich culture, exotic biodiversity makes this destination a true adventure. The best part about Colombia is that it’s extremely underrated, which means it’s not super touristy and it’s very easy to get off-the-beaten-track and to feel like you’re basically the only one there.
I think collectively as horse riders we love nature. We love pristine places, we love going to places that feel untouched by man. Colombia is definitely one of those places. I know I get really annoyed when I’m visiting mainstream places like the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal and it’s just so crowded. There’s so many people and so many tourists and everyone’s trying to take selfies and kind of blocking the view. And I know I always get really overwhelmed and frustrated when I’m in places like that. I feel like in Colombia, if you are like me, and you don’t want to be in the crowds… this is where you need to go.
Learn Some Spanish… and Drink Coffee
In Colombia Spanish is commonly spoken, so learning a few basic words in Spanish will definitely come in handy. There are definitely a lot of sites and things to do while visiting Colombia. Which means sightseeing the various colonial cities is worth adding to your list especially if you want to dive into the rich culture, arts and even dancing.
What other things that you should do is visit the Lost City which is an archaeological site. The Cocora Valley, historical Bogota and the Tatacoa Desert. You can walk down old Cartagena, go party in Medellín and experience life in the rural pueblos.
Colombia is super diverse. They have beaches, mountains and rainforest. And if you love tropical birds and jungle wildlife, then definitely Colombia is for you. In Colombia there is something known as the Coffee Trail. This is definitely a highlight.
This trail is along a certain region of Colombia which is famous for producing coffee. So of course, if you’re a coffee lover then you’re going to love horse riding in Colombia on the coffee trail! You’re going to have fresh Colombian coffee and you’re going to be able to get some delicious coffee to take back home to your jealous family members.
Where Can You Ride… on a Mule?!
So by this point you might be wondering where can I actually go horse riding in Colombia? What I suggest is experiencing the tropical Andes of Colombia with mules. It’s funny because mules are considered to be the four by fours of Columbia. If you want to travel steep mountains and difficult terrain then you’re going to want a mule.
I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve asked them would you want to ride a mule and a lot of them, the first thing that they would say is no! They’re too stubborn or something stereotypical like that. EQA Founder Krystal has actually spoken with a woman (it’s on our very first podcast episode) and if you listen to her she actually had the privilege of riding a mule. She said that it was the best experience of her life.
That she was mind blown at how well trained the mule was. How intelligent it was and how super sure footed it was. In steep rocky terrain mules are basically like mountain goats. She said after that trip she was addicted to mules and she would almost prefer to ride mules over horses in the kind of terrain you’ll find in Colombia!
If you haven’t ridden a mule this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually experience mules in their prime in the tropical rainforest of the Andes mountains.
Appreciating the Cultural Heritage
The coffee region is actually declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site. It is well worth the visit. Colombia is a very Christian nation. You definitely need to visit some of their churches and maybe even go on a little pilgrimage. One of the famous churches that is worth a little pilgrimage is Las Lajas. Las Lajas church is frequently voted as the world’s most beautiful. It’s built in a canyon and has an impressively high bridge.
When to Visit?
I think the best thing about travelling to Colombia, is that you can visit all year round. It doesn’t matter when you want to book your trip. I mean you have no excuse! You’re going to be riding in mountains and forests and in meadows. The weather in Colombia can be quite varied. It can be a little bit humid, it can be hot at times, sometimes it’s going to rain. Or maybe it’s going to be sunshiney. You’re going to want to pack a little light jacket, a little raincoat but also some light cotton breathable shirts as well.
Because you’re going to be in a lot of steep terrain, an intermediate riding ability will be fine. You are going to be doing quite a lot of walking (because it’s so steep). Non-riders are usually welcome to join. Some outfitters will take them to go and site-see during the day. Meanwhile you’re out riding having your fun horseback adventure!
Safe Travel Tips
I’m sure the number one thing that you’re probably thinking about is that you’ve seen one too many movies in Colombia. You just think of drug lords or something. And you think is it actually safe to travel to Colombia? My advice would be if you are unsure or if this is the first time that you’re going to be travelling solo as a woman. What I would suggest you do is to actually complete the Equestrian Adventuresses Women’s Travel Safety course.
It will help you develop your confidence and your skills to be able to travel in any country. Our other online courses include topics such as how to have a sticky butt. How to be able to ride any horse, in any country, in any kind of terrain comfortably. We don’t want you falling off and having to go to the hospital while you’re horse riding in Colombia. We want that you’re a strong rider. That you have the confidence in different trains on different horses. Again no matter which country you’re travelling too or what terrain!
Love Colombia? The only risk is wanting to stay. Read more about one adventuress’s life changing experience in this country.
If you’ve got the travel bug and want to make international horse work your lifestyle, we have great tips on how to get started. All of these tips come from our amazing founder who has worked overseas with horses for more than 10 years.
I love riding whenever I am on holiday. The Cavago app lets me book amazing horseback adventures wherever I go in the world. The process is so simple that it takes barely any time to make the booking.