Starting your journey with an 8 am pickup from your Pereira hotel, you’ll travel through the beautiful coffee zone landscape to discover the small town of Viterbo. With a population of only 12,000 people and set in a valley surrounded by lush mountains and plantations of everything from coffee to avocados, Viterbo is a traditional Coffee Zone town. Somewhere that a horse and cart on the street are of common appearance, and that often several streets are often half-filled with coffee beans drying in the sun.
The entrance of this small pueblo (town) is a beautiful tunnel of giant Saman trees. Some with an age close to 100 years, and all providing beautiful shade and shadows of the road below. Traveling through the “Tunnel of the Samanes” you’ll view the trees, the entrance, and the amazing wooden sculptures that also line the entrance. These colorful sculptures have been carved out of fallen or dying Saman trees and range from 2-8m (6-26ft) in height.
Your tour will continue off down another gravel road to a wonderful Finca that produces not only prize-winning coffee but wonderful, sweet cacao and an unimaginable variety of organic fruits. You’ll be greeted with a smile and a refreshing freshly made juice before starting your tour of this astounding farm.
Walking into the valley you’ll feel like you are on another planet surrounded by cacao, coffee, exotic fruits, wonderful nature, birds, and wild bamboo. Your guide will be explaining to you the complete process of the production of both the Cacao and Coffee, as you’re walking through this lush paradise. You’ll cross a small hand-made bridge to continue your journey through the plantations and into a forest of thick bamboo.
Next, you’ll begin your journey up and out of the valley to discover more trees of exotic fruits, along with many wild-growing fruits such as pineapples. You’ll come to a 120-year-old house made of Bahareque (a mix of timber, bamboo, mud, and cattle pooh in the construction of the walls). Once here you’ll not only be shown, but you’ll also get involved with roasting the cacao and coffee beans on the 100-year old stovetop, and actually make the freshest coffee possible, along with some of the richest chocolate you’ll ever try in your life.
This isn’t just a tour where you watch and learn these wonderful artisan methods. This is an experience where you’ll get the chance to make and enjoy the coffee and dark chocolate as they have for hundreds of years.
Following a break for some lunch and a bit of me-time, you’ll travel up the road a short while to arrive at a Finca just 10 minutes out of the town you’ll meet your new 4-legged best friend that will accompany you for the next 3 hours of your journey through this lush landscape.
Already saddled and ready to go you’ll be introduced to your horse and given instructions (if needed) on how to mount and ride this beautiful animal.
Beginning your ride along these gravel roads you’ll enjoy the passing landscapes filled with mountains of forests, plantations of coffee, plantain, avocados, and so much more. Your path will lead you past traditional fincas and across small creeks that sometimes flood the road during the heavy rains.
Turning off this road you’ll travel along the side of a river before entering a forest of giant Guadua (bamboo). You’ll immediately feel the temperature cooldown by 4-5 degrees, as you ride into this beautiful and surreal location. You’ll dismount and enjoy the Guaduales (forest of Guadua) on the banks of the river by foot for a short time, before mounting your horse again and continuing your journey into the river and passing through the other side of the Guadua forest. You’ll continue your ride up the river for a while before coming out onto the banks and into a plantation of sugar cane. Following a path through this sweet plantation, you’ll enjoy new landscapes as you slowly begin your journey back home.