Engage with ex-FARC members to learn about Colombia's history of armed conflict and the impressive story of how peace is being built with this group who chose to change their rifles for paddles.
Rafting For Peace
Explore San Vicente del Caguán (Caquetá), a region that was known for the country’s armed conflict. You’ll meet a group of former guerrilla members from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who chose rafting as their path to social reintegration. These ex-combatants and some of the community members are now athletes and certified rafting guides who will lead you in a life-changing experience that combines adventure, history, nature, and peace-building teachings.
Your guide will pick you up in Bogotá and take you to the airport to fly with you to San Vicente del Caguán, the starting point of your adventure. After your arrival, you will head to Miravalle on a 2-hour vehicle ride. You’ll arrive at the Miravalle-ETCR (Territorial Training and Reintegration Area) to settle in the shared dormitories and take a guided tour of the place. You’ll hear the stories of the murals of the ETCR, meet and interact with locals while having fun playing traditional colombian games such as rana(frog) or tejo. You'll end the day with a dinner prepared by one of the families that live in the ETCR.
Next day, after having your breakfast, you’ll leave the ETCR to live the rafting experience at the historic Pato River guided by ex-combatants. You can choose between rafting on the river rapids or enjoying a relaxing tour by boat. Heading downstream through Los Cajones sector, you’ll get to know the impressive canyon of the Pato River and go by its caves, where Guácharos (oilbirds) and other wildlife species inhabit. For both rafting activities, you'll receive an introduction to the history of the Pato River and all the safety instructions you need to enjoy this unforgettable experience. The boat trip lasts two and a half hours.
After the river experience, you’ll return to the ETCR to have your lunch and get ready to go on a walk to the community's productive projects and to the local museum of memory. This museum is a space created by ex-combatant women who have collected artifacts that the community has preserved since the time of conflict as a way to preserve history and local heritage. They'll tell you about their experiences and lessons learned after surviving the war, and the importance and meaning of the objects you'll see. Before leaving, you’ll taste a frozen juice of arazá, an Amazonian fruit, prepared by a woman from the community. After dinner, you’ll hang out with people who live in the ETCR during a cultural night, where you will get to know more about the area’s historical memory, some life stories, as well as participating in a music activity.
On the last day, you'll leave early in the morning to make a 2-hour bird watching walk through the sector of La Punta, where you can take pictures and be able to watch different species of flora and fauna in the middle of the tropical rainforest. You'll return to the ETCR to have a special breakfast and will have time to get ready for the trip back to the airport. After the flight, your guide will take you to a desired place within Bogotá.
This tour supports ex-combatants that are now athletes and rafting guides. It provides economic opportunities to a community that left war behind, and builds peace through narrative and empathy.