We arranged to do the horseback ride, waterfall trek and Jardin town coffee tour with Andreas. He picked us up promptly in the morning and even helped my husband get some aspirin for a headache on our way out to the horse adventure. Andreas is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the area. We stopped for coffee at a cute cafe overlooking a river with lush scenery before hitting the road again.
I'm a lifelong equestrian, and I was pleased to find our local horses were well-looked-after and strong. Being paso finos, they are on the small side, but they tromped through mud, galloped up hills and navigated hillsides amazingly well. Jaime, who owns the horses, looked after us very well. We rode for close to an hour and then dismounted to trek to a gorgeous waterfall. Jaime helped us on the path the whole way -- he doesn't speak English but with our rudimentary Spanish and his care we made it down the slippery, but beautiful, path. After snapping some photos and enjoying the spray from the waterfall, we climbed back up and rode back on the horses. We met back up with Andreas and drove to Jaime's house in for lunch, after a quick stop at another beautiful finca (farm) to take in the view. Jaime's wife prepared a hearty country meal, which we all enjoyed. Her patacones were amazing!
After that, Andreas took us on a tour of Jardin, one of the cutest small towns I've ever seen. We saw the main square, got great shots of the intricate balconies, and visited a coffee roasting facility (where we picked up some pure arabica at less than $6/pound). Everywhere we went, people were happy to see Andreas and happy to excited to show us their homes, shops or streets.
We visited one more place off the beaten path -- a coffee processing plant, where each sack of beans is tested and evaluated. For a couple of wine dorks like my husband and me, it was awesome to see the tiny chemistry lab that tests all the coffee.
On the way back, Andreas told us more about his family and the region. We had an absolutely amazing time and would recommend LandVenture to anyone who wants an off-the-beaten-path time in Medellin. We will be back for another tour next time we're in Colombia!
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