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“An awesome experience!”

Elemento Outdoor Adventure - Day Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Love Adventure? We are the adventure specialists of Colombia. We run unique eco, community and high adrenaline experiences in the most diverse region on earth. Choose from our core activities of mountain biking, canyoning and vertical jungle trekking mixed in with genuinely fascinating ecological and community experiences. Or create a multi day unlimited adventure package from the top of the Sierra to the bottom of the Caribe adding surfing, freediving, sailing, kitesurfing, paintball, climbing, sport fishing, survival tours and off-road motorcycling. What are you waiting for? Live the dream with Elemento!
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I recently did the 2 day El Dorado trek and bike tour with Elemento and it was probably the best tour I have ever undertaken. Tom and Claudia were more than accommodating in even running the tour for just myself. I had booked the tour weeks before arriving in Colombia but when I arrived no-one else had booked in. In hindsight this was a blessing as I was lucky enough to get a one-on-one trip up the mountain with Miguel.
Like others on this post I am struggling to articulate the experience I had, due to the fact it was just so awesome, so I am going to break it down in no particular order.
Highlights: the cool little houses on the way up the mountain all blaring their favourite Colombian tunes; the delicious homemade blackberry wine purchased from a little old lady on the trek up; hanging out with an eccentric coffee grower tasting his wares while looking over his plantation; the beautiful butterflies; the birds; walking through pouring tropical rain for an hour (it wasn’t cold, just wet); the stunning scenery at almost every point; the paramilitary bunker; arriving at this amazing old farm house on the side of the Sierra Nevada just before dusk; the delicious hearty meal made by Sophia after a long day trekking; the comfy warm bed; waking up to the cows being brought in for milking with the snow-capped mountains in the distance; trekking back down the other side of the mountain through passion-fruit vines; a tour through a working coffee factory producing commercial quantities; more traditional Colombian fare for lunch before collecting our bikes and starting our descent; the serenity; the friendly people you meet along the way; and last but not least, the enthusiasm of Miguel.
Lowlight: still trying to find one.
I would certainly recommend taking a dry bag or similar to ensure you keep any valuables / camera etc dry. And definitely take a change of clothes for the evening. Also take some money as you never know what you might like to buy along the way eg blackberry wine (I wish I bought more), and coffee beans.
If you love the outdoors and like a challenge then this is for you.
Thank you Tom, Claudia, and especially Miguel, for an unforgettable Colombian experience!!

1  Thank BadmanG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (85)
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23 - 27 of 85 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2013

As I sit here writing this review I have deleted and re-written it several times... I do not even know where to begin... The adventure I had with Elemento was truly an experience of a lifetime and one in which words will fail to fully describe. We signed up for the El Dorado Hike/Bike adventure after being recommended to us by fellow travelers we had met at a cafe the night before. Our guides were Tom and Claudia, two very special humans whose presence alone enriched the experience. The first day was a full day of hiking the Sierra Nevada, 4 climate zones with butterflies and exotic birds galore. With stops for Mora berry juice, bird watching and scenic outlooks, I was in Heaven. I did come ill-prepared for the 1 hour rainforest monsoon but others on the trek had ponchos and came out dry. We spent the night in the sweetest lil mountain house where Señora Sophia made us a feast to fill our hungry bellies. A 5am sharp wake up call from the farm's resident cock only to watch the sun sneak up out of the snowcapped peaks in the distance. Day two was filled with more hiking, biking, waterfalls and coffee plantations. I cannot recommend this enough, take the time out of your travels to enjoy this experience!

Prep items I wish I would have had:
Hiking boots
But even without the above items I had a perfect time!

Thank Natalie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

One of the most memorable times I had throughout my stay in Colombia. My friends and I did the El Dorado 2-day tour with our awesome and energetic tour guide, Adrian. Climbing Sierra Nevada, meeting the different locals/people, and having awe-inspiring views of the Santa Marta region was unlike anything I’ve ever done before—it was just surreal.

The downhill biking part was kind of tricky (we were mostly beginners), but we managed to pull through and have just enough time to experience the coffee finca and waterfall along the way. I’d definitely recommend Elemento to anyone at any level of experience!!

Thanks Elemento! :)

1  Thank Elio88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

Great guides, amazing views from the Sierra Nevada, very satisfying activity!
The best outdoor activity to do in Taganga. If you´re tired from lying on the beach all day you should consider this activity to add some adrenaline to your traveling.

Thank ita w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 4, 2013

The owner of the business sold me the El Dorado adventure explaining it was very popular and the highlight of his tours. Our guide Adrian was enthusiastic about 2 things, bikes and pedi cabbing.
The tour of the coffee farm was a laugh, it's a guy squatting on the side of a mountain living under a sheet of roofing iron with about 100 coffee plants.
The accommodation was basic but comfortable, the evening meal left a lot to be desired.
The real disappointment came with the downhill bike riding. I paid extra to do a more advanced track. However the tour guide who arrived to take me didn't have any repair gear for the bikes meaning we had to do another track for beginners. The safety pads also didn't fit properly.
After along hold up of nearly 2 hours because the other tour guide didn't follow the agreed plan and meet us at the designated place we completed the half hour ride. In the process the chain broke on my bike so to his credit my new tour guide Aaron gave me his bike and rode mine down with no chain.
I then spent another 30 minutes riding along the road on my own to try and find the rest of the group.

When we got back to the office and the owner heard how the trip went and the problems we had he replied "sorry for the inconvenience, thank you for understanding things go wrong, have you got that extra money you owe us". I had explained I only had US currency at the time of the ride, so gave them that before we went, with the agreement I would get it changed upon my return. Tom however said I could not take the money and change it, instead he gave me a really poor exchange rate and demanded more cash from me. Not only that, but I then had to go to the surrounding businesses and ask for change because he didn't have any.

It is sad to see people like this use the environment and beautiful country to rip other people off. I would recommend anyone looking at doing this tour to not bother, simply enjoy Tyrona park, it's better than all we saw on the tour, and wait to go home and bike ride, it would be a cheaper and better experience.

Thank Clearlyconfused
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elemento Outdoo... A, Owner at Elemento Outdoor Adventure - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded July 22, 2013

Hey man, I met you after the tour and we spoke about everything at length. Apart from the guide Adrian who took the other guides Aaron's tools you told me you had an amazing time so I was very surprised and saddened to see this comment. However it is highly unfortunate the way Adrian behaved on this tour and I was very upset with him, rest assured that was his last one with Elemento so you can rest assured this will not happen again - I apologise whole heartedly for the fact you were not able to do the more extreme downhill.

The cost of this tour is the same regardless of which side of the mountain you come down and the easier descent actually has more in the way of activities.

I apologise but I could not let you leave the shop with the dollar money as that would have left us with nothing in terms of security or cash to cover the expenses of the tour. I don't think it is unreasonable to charge commission to change the cash as we have to take transport into Santa Marta, take the risk of it all getting stolen and the rate there is not favourable either. There is a cash machine round the corner and we accept online credit card payments neither of which were suitable for you either.

The coffee tour is loved by all other clients. They are amazed that this guy lives and breathes his coffee. He actually has 3000 plants on his one hectare farm and he works the land organically and by hand. He does the whole process himself and even carries the coffee 20km by foot down the mountain to sell directly.

The food at La Cumbre is simple, hearty campesino fayre. The isolated location of the farm means that it is difficult to bring much ingredients in, but this also means most things you eat are produced within eyeshot which all of our other clients absolutely love.

We never rip people off and pride ourselves on the honesty and excellent value of our tours. We support the local community and employ and train many Colombians. You only had the minimum three péople on your tour which means only the costs are covered, there is no profit to speak of.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of Colombia and were able to have a more positive experience elsewhere.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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