SUMMARY

The best Medellin adventure. Rafting and Trekking.  From snowy peaks to lush tropical rainforests, discover how Colombia’s astounding geography guides its cultures. Embark on a multi-day high-altitude trek in Los Nevado de Santa Isabel National Park and a river rafting expedition on Colombia’s top whitewater attraction, the Samaná River. The fitness level required for this adventure is a 4 out of 5. Get ready for serious, heart-raising physical activity! The more physically fit you are, the more you’ll enjoy these challenging, committing activities.

Highlights

  • Combine Antioquia's best trekking and rafting
  • Gourmet cuisine and high-end accommodation
  • Professionally certified, bilingual guides (languages: English, Spanish, French)
  • Contemporary culture in Medellín and Manizales

BOOK THE TRIP

ITINERARY

  • Travel from Manizales to Los Nevado de Santa Isabel National Park for a multi-day hike through the Paramo ecosystem
  • Travel from Medellín to Río Claro Nature Reserve Hotel, a renown ecolodge in the heart of the rainforest
  • Embark on a multi-day intermediate whitewater rafting run of the pristine Samaná River
  • Biologists confirm the biodiversity of Samaná’s jungle is matched only to that of The Amazon

Meet your guide and enjoy lunch by the Catedral de Manizales and a walk to the park of the Monumento a Los Colonizadores sculpture for a stunning view of the mountainous region. After your visit, begin a 1 hour drive on switchback roads that lead you to a traditional Colombian ranch located in the mountains. Enjoy home-cooked meals and a night of peaceful sleep in the mountains to acclimate to the high-altitude.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: long lightweight pants and breathable shirt, sturdy walking shoes
  • Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra clothes (end of the activity)
  • Camera
  • Refillable water bottle

In the morning, drive 3 hours in a comfortable and durable 4×4 truck to the entrance of “Parque de los Nevados” National Park. Begin your guided 3 hours hike through sub-tropical tundra to the panoramic view of the alpine Lake Otun. On the way, explore the “Páramo” ecosystem, a fascinating spectrum of endemic species, such as the iconic “Frailejones” and Cojines, that only grow above the treeline and below the snowline (between 3000 to 4500). This endemic ecosystem produces 85 percent of Colombia’s drinking water with only accounting for 1.7 percent of the country’s land. Establish base camp at a breathtaking alpine lake, enjoy quality food, and meet the local, knowledgeable park ranger. Camp overnight at a designated camp and wake early to hike to the summit of El Nevado del Santa Isabel.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: lightweight long pants and long shirt for hike, hiking boots, sun-hat, wool-hat, sunglasses, windbreaker rain jacket
  • Sunscreen, repellent
  • Extra clothes (End of the activity)
  • Headlamp
  • Refillable water bottle

An early alpine start allows you to hike six hours with your guide to the snowy summit of El Nevado del Santa Isabel (4960 m.). Look out for high-altitude flyers such as endemic bearded helmetcrest hummingbird and Colombia’s National Bird: the Andean condor, which represents the country’s glory. The largest flying bird in the world, the Andean condor can fly up to three hundred kilometers in a single day. The trail changes from a soft walk to a rockier, steeper path to the summit. Once you are on the summit trail, a stupendous 360° panorama reveals the entire Magdalena valley and its coffee farms on a clear day. Here, witness one of the last remaining glaciers in Colombia. Stay overnight in tents by a lagoon.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: lightweight long pants and long shirt for hike, hiking boots, sun-hat, wool-hat, sunglasses, windbreaker rain jacket
  • Sunscreen and repellent
  • Extra clothes (End of the activity)
  • Headlamp
  • Refillable water bottle

The next morning, complete a new route along Lake Otun Lake to return to the park entrance. Share lunch and tea with the “guardian” family of the park, a knowledgeable and warm Colombian family who live in the park full-time. Trek three hours to the high-altitude alpine Lake Otun. Drive 6 hours back to Medellín to arrive at your hotel by 8 p.m., or opt to take a flight from Airport La Nubia in Manizales (4 ½ hours in travel time). After your retreat in the mountains, enjoy a stay in a boutique hotel, ideally located in the heart of the hip Poblado neighborhood.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: lightweight long pants and long shirt for hike, hiking boots, sun-hat, wool-hat, sunglasses, windbreaker rain jacket
  • Sunscreen and repellent
  • Extra clothes (End of the activity)
  • Headlamp
  • Refillable water bottle

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a relaxing morning and feel free to explore the city of Medellín. At 12 p.m., meet your raft guides at Expedition Colombia’s headquarter cafe (Cra. 43e #11-13, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia). Drive 1 ½ hours through scenic countryside to Río Claro Nature Reserve and enjoy dinner at the reserve’s restaurant. Stay overnight in gorgeous nature reserve with comfortable, romantic rooms overlooking a jungle canopy, or have the option to camp in sheltered hammocks by the river.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: shorts or bathing suit, long lightweight pants and breathable shirt, sunglasses, hat, sandals or adjustable tennis shoes. (No flip flop sandals)
  • Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra clothes (End of the activity)
  • Camera
  • Headlamp

After breakfast at Río Claro’s onsite restaurant, drive 20 minutes to the put-in of the Samaná River, our all-time favorite Expedition Colombia adventure. Get ready for a captivating river expedition packed with natural wonders and 40 km of exhilarating white-water. No prior river rafting experience is necessary as you will be guided by expert guides, the first to pioneer this river by raft and kayak. On your first day on the river, travel through a silver-blue rock canyon. Camp overnight in sheltered hammocks in the rainforest, close to a secluded lagoon and natural swimming pool.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: shorts or bathing suit, long lightweight pants and breathable shirt, sunglasses, hat, sandals or adjustable tennis shoes (no flip flop sandals)
  • Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra clothes (end of the activity)
  • Camera
  • Headlamp

After a campfire breakfast, continue to paddle the Samaná River. Admire tropical plants and birds and enjoy lunch on a secluded beach. Paddle and take out at “Narrises”, a small Colombian village. Enjoy a walk to a waterfall while a traditional fish dish is prepared for you at a local restaurant. Drive 4 hours to Medellín, the city of eternal spring, to celebrate in the warm climate and warm “Paisa” culture. Stay at a boutique hotel located in the heart of Medellín’s hippest, cosmopolitan neighborhood, Poblado.

What to Bring Today:
  • Appropriate clothing: shorts or bathing suit, long lightweight pants and breathable shirt, sunglasses, hat, sandals or adjustable tennis shoes (no flip flop sandals)
  • Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra clothes (end of the activity)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Headlamp

Depending on the time of your departure flight, enjoy a trip to the Botanical Gardens before you are dropped off at Medellín’s José María Córdoba International Airport.

Extend your trip by 2 days and 1 night to stay at Antioquia’s finest coffee estate at the base of Cerro Bravo Peak. From the stables on the coffee estate, enjoy a one hour horseback ride to the trailhead of Cerro Bravo peak. Leaving your horses at the base of the peak, begin a four hours hike to a spectacular view of the Andean coffee region from the summit of Cerro Bravo. Return to your coffee estate by horseback to relax by the private swimming pool and enjoy traditional cuisine prepared by the estate’s chef and staff.

What to Bring on Your Extension:
  • Appropriate clothing: lightweight long pants and long shirt for hike, hiking boots, sun-hat, wool-hat, sunglasses, windbreaker rain jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Bathing Suit

CHECKLIST

  • Airport pickup and drop-off
  • Professional bi-lingual driver for in-country travel
  • Expert bilingual adventure and cultural guides (languages: Spanish, French, English)
  • Water & all breakfasts & lunches
  • Dinners are only included on wilderness trips. Our guides are happy to offer dinner recommendations based on your preference and budget
  • Constant communication and recommendations from Expedition Colombia team based in Medellín
  • For the hike: a solid pair of hiking shoes, two pairs of warm fleece (top and bottom), hiking pants, rain jacket, warm hat, gloves, wool socks, sunglasses, backpack (40 liters or more), personal water bottle
  • For the river: good closed-toe shoes, board shorts, long sleeve top, hat, sunscreen
  • Gear: headlamp, sunglasses, insect repellent, toiletries, knife

* Please notify us before departure of any allergy or special medical condition

  • Enjoy dining out and sharing a gourmet meal with a Colombian family with all breakfasts and lunches included
  • On overnight wilderness trips, all meals are prepared for by a French cook
  • Treated water is offered to guests, please bring a refillable water bottle or opt to purchase bottled water
  • Excellent vegetarian, vegan, gluten- free, and other dietary options
  • During your visits in Medellín, stay in comfortable, boutique hotels located in cultural centers nearby the best selection of traditional and contemporary cuisine
  • On wilderness trips, camp in sheltered hammocks at jungle camps
  • Enjoy resorts at Tierra de Agua Hotel in Cocorná and the Río Claro Nature Reserve Hotel and onsite restaurant

PRICE & RESERVATION

Price is $1,550 USD per person. 100% non-refundable deposit must be made 15 days in advance. Price are for groups of 4 and up! Request a private trip and get a quote!

What they say:

About Us

Expedition Colombia is a collective of dedicated guides, conservationists and professional athletes. We are passionate about the use of adventure tourism as a tool to protect Colombia’s cultural and natural treasures.

Over years of exploration we have discovered Colombia’s unlimited potential for multi-sport experiences and have created a unique line-up of expeditions to help you discover the hidden paradises that exist here.

Contact

  • info@expeditioncolombia.com
  • Carrera 43 E # 11a-15, Barrio Manila, Medellín, Colombia
  • (+57) 314 846-4540 - Español/Français
  • (+57) 312 303-4853 - Español/English

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