Horse riding in Salento was a last-minute plan.
We had originally organised to do a two-night/three-day trek from Salento however, after much consideration, we decided that we were in no way fit enough to survive said trek and opted for another form of adventure where we wouldn’t be doing the leg work…
Salento is a charming small town located around 10 hours South of both Medellín and Bogotá and is best known for its coffee production and nearby Cocora Valley. Surrounded by rolling hills of exciting flora and fauna, a visit to this town would not be complete without getting out and exploring its countryside.
After a little bit of research, we decided that the best way to explore Salento’s landscape was by horse. Lizzie and I have both grown up riding horses so were really excited to get back in the saddle and see what was hiding in the area’s coffee region by hoof.
A quick Google search came up with Cabalgatas San Pablo – a well reputable company with fantastic TripAdvisor reviews. We had a quick browse of their website and then fired off an email to book a hack for the next day.
The company offers four different hack options that cover different sights and areas and are tailored for different riding abilities. We opted for Cascada el Peñon as we had already done a coffee tour elsewhere in Colombia and wanted to spend more time amongst the scenery on the horses.
We were collected by our wonderful guide for the day at 10am and were led to the stables, which were around a 5 minute walk from our hostel. The stables were well-kept and after watching a few minutes of the Colombian football game with the lovely family who live at the stables, we were shown to our rides for the morning…
Saddles tightened and balance established, we set off into the wilderness.
Within minutes we were surrounded by rolling mountains and coffee plantations. The horses knew exactly what they were doing and my friend, who didn’t have much experience riding, felt comfortable and confident that his horse was not going to bolt off with him.
We stopped off at a coffee plantation for a quick cuppa of Salento’s finest brew before hopping back on the horses to continue our adventure.
From here on out, the trip was the definition of a hack. We waded through cascading rivers, cantered up and down mountains and trotted through local communities until we arrived at the hack finale – Cascada el Peñon.
We jumped off our trusty horses and hobbled our way along slippery walkways until we reached a small waterfall. Although the highlight of this trip is definitely the horse riding itself, this hidden waterfall is a great addition to the journey and really does remind you of how far into the middle of nowhere you’ve come.
We went back to the stables a different route, cantering up and down on our weary bruised bums. On our return, we looked over at the next group of backpackers getting ready to embark on their exhilarating adventure with pure envy – they were about to have such a ball!
We then reluctantly waved goodbye to our guide and horses and went into Salento town centre to join the hoards of Colombian’s salsaing in celebration in the streets – they’d won the football!