Imagine enjoying stunning landscapes and astonishing biodiversity from a completely different angle - the back of a horse.
There’s a reason horseback riding has become an increasingly popular way to explore and experience Colombia.
Short tours will guide you along beautiful trails and multi-day immersive experiences will help you discover new destinations at your horse's pace.
Horseback riding tours offer a truly unique ecotourism experience, and one that lets you enjoy nature through traditional country roads and trails that are off the beaten path.
You’ll be able to fully appreciate Colombia’s regional and cultural heritage and embrace the warm-hearted welcome of its people.
Here we explore two standout equestrian tourism destinations in Colombia:
What can you expect from equestrian tourism in Colombia?
There are two types of equestrian experience. Day tours lead groups and individuals to interesting places for a couple of hours, sometimes carrying picnics and other treats, and longer tours offer a fully immersive experience. Multi-day tours can run from eight to ten nights and generally have groups of eight to 12 people. Riders are generally older than 12 years-old and ride well into their seventies.
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Ride to Barichara, one of Colombia’s most charming towns
Your horseback riding journey to Barichara, Santander, begins in Bogotá, where you’ll embark on a road trip through the departments of Cundinamarca, Boyacá, and Santander, until you reach the city of Oiba and spend the night.
The next day, your route will be lined with lush green forests and mountains and gentle streams of crystal-clear water. The path leads to Charala, an important town in the history of Colombia’s independence, where you can admire the cathedral and the imposing Saman de Arabia in the town’s main square.
The adventure continues along the imposing Fonce river valley, under a beautiful tree archway, passing sugar cane fields and enjoying lunch by the 200m tall waterfalls of the Juan Curi river. You’ll head to the town of Paramo and spend the night in a working coffee plantation.
The next stop is Socorro. Here, you will take a tour and learn more about the history of this colonial town, which is one of Colombia’s heritage towns.
On the sixth day you’ll stop in El Palmar and La Cabrera, then pass through the old royal road onto the Barichara plateau and finally cross the bridge that leads into this architectural jewel of colonial times. You’ll stroll the cobbled streets, admire the white houses with their red tile roofs, and the pretty parks and churches until you reach the country estate on the outskirts of town where you’ll spend the night.
The next day, your equestrian tourism journey will take you to one of the most amazing spots in Colombia: the Chicamocha Canyon. The second largest canyon in the world at 227 kilometers long and 2,000 meters deep, it offers breathtaking views.
Finally, on the last day, you’ll enjoy your destination: Barichara. This small town is three hours by road from Bucaramanga, the capital of Santander and is often considered the most beautiful in all of Colombia. Its colonial architecture is intact to this day.
You’ll visit the temple of the Immaculate Conception and San Lorenzo, built with stones carved by local artisans in the main square, as well as the chapels of San Juan de Dios, San Antonio and Santa Barbara. You’ll also enjoy the house of Aquileo Parra, former home of a former president, which now operates as a museum.
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Ride to the ethereal town of Villa de Leyva
Your horseback riding journey to this historic town, in the department of Boyaca, begins at the Sisga Lagoon, one hour from the Colombian capital, where you’ll find the horses and guides to begin your adventure.
You’ll head towards the Suesca Lagoon to enjoy the vast landscapes of the Bogota savannah before reaching the old railway station, which operated until the mid-20th Century. You'll spend the night in Cucunuba, an attractive town known for making handicrafts, garments and virgin wool blankets.
The next day, you’ll pass through lush native forests of centenary oaks to reach the colorful town of Raquira, known as Colombia’s artisan capital. The enchanting La Candelaria Monastery is where you’ll spend the night.
The journey crosses the La Candelaria desert in the direction of the Villa de Leyva valley. The horses will rest in a ranch on the outskirts while you enjoy a delicious dinner in Villa de Leyva, and spend the night in one of the town’s colonial hotels.
Next day you’ll explore the town, which is a treat in itself. Villa de Leyva’s main square is one of the largest in the country. Don’t miss Casa del Cabildo, and Casa de Nariño, a museum dedicated to preserving antiques and items that illustrate colonial life. Claustro de San Agustin was the first church in town.
This is why horseback riding in Colombia is a great way to discover its many charms. You’ll experience stunning landscapes and appreciate the country’s unique destinations.
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