Coconuco Thermals & Cycling

Founded in 2009, the Coconuco Downhill Cycling Trip is Colombia's longest running and most popular biking trip. Departing from Hostel Trail every single day of the year with a minimum of two people.  Guests are  collected from the hostel at 10am and driven to the indigenous mountain village of Cocouco (2,650m alt.) where you can bathe in the hot thermal springs. 

After a time in the springs, jump on the bikes and start the 30km leisurely ride back to the hostel (1,700m alt). The route is mainly downhill on a paved road with very little traffic.  This trip is  designed for those with limited experience of cycling - there's no guide and so you can take as long as you wish to ride back to Popayan.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Purace Volcano Hike

Puracé is not a technical climb, the ascent is gradual and on rocky, scree like terrain for the most part. The hike begins at 4,050 metres altitude and with your local guide you’ll hike for about 2 hours to the 500m-wide crater at 4,650m. 

If weather conditions are good, you’ll have great views of the steaming crater, the central Andean range with it’s chain of volcanic peaks and over to the coastal range of the Andes before making the descent. At this altitude however, weather conditions are very unpredictable and although we offer the trip all year round, you should always be prepared for wet, cold and windy weather conditions. 

The change in altitude makes this a tough hike and as everyone reacts differently to the effects of altitude, we recommend taking your time and keeping the guide informed about how you are feeling throughout the hike.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Volcano Hike & Bike

After embarking on the hike up Purace Volcano (see description above) grab a bike at the old military base (4,050m) and ride your way back to Popayan (1,750m).  The total ride is 54km downhill of which around 16km is on rough roads and 30km on a paved surface.  A support vehicle follows behind the last rider so you can bail out at any point.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Silvia Paramo Biking

This stunning mountain biking trip follows a beautiful trail starting at 3,100 metres altitude in a small farming community before climbing gently to the spectacular Paramo de las Moras at 3,400 metres. 

Enjoying this special backdrop of mountain peaks and endemic vegetation, we begin the descent through the Indigenous reserve of Ambaló before entering the picturesque Guambia community with traditional farm houses, vegetable gardens, trout farms and roaring rivers. The ride is 32kms on farm roads and finishes in the village of Silvia, famous for the vibrant Tuesday market. 

The trip is of medium difficulty and should be easily achievable by experienced riders and those in good physical condition. There is a support vehicle and mechanic following the bikes and a local mountain biking guide can be contracted for an extra charge if required.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Purace Biking Trip

This mountain biking trip combines the highlights of Puracé national Park, the Puracé indigenous reserve and the spectacular countryside surrounding Popayan. 

The bike ride begins with a 4km section through the Paramo landscape with endemic vegetation and views onto the slopes of the Puracé volcano and on clear days, the crater with steaming gas vents. Arriving at the ´Piedra del Condor´ our local guide will place meat on the rock to allow us (with a bit of luck!) to see the magnificent Andean Condor close up. From here we begin the return journey by bike at 3,200 meters altitude, winding our way through the lowers slopes of the volcano, the mountain villages and scenic landscape of the Southern Colombian Andes. 

The full trip by bike is 46km back to Popayan, 16km on dirt road and the remaining 30km on paved country roads. There is a support vehicle and mechanic following the bikes. Departs Popayan 8am, returns 3-4pm.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Silvia Market

High up in the central Andean range, the village of Silvia comes alive on Tuesdays when farmers from the indigenous communities throughout the region come together to trade produce and socialize.

Made up mainly by the various Misak communities with their colourful traditional dress, preserved native language and community traditions, this is a great chance to visit an authentic market town, try some of the fresh produce and soak up the atmosphere. We leave Popayan at 8am and return around 2pm allowing plenty of time to look around the market, the village itself and buy lunch if you like.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Fedar Coffee Experience

For a great example of how coffee can be used for social change, Fedar is an independent school for children with special learning needs which is partially financed through the sale of export grade coffee.  

Fedar ensures that the school has a sustainable, economic future and can continue to offer alternative education to children and young adults from families who otherwise may not have had the means to access specialized education. Based on a working coffee farm, the school welcomes visitors to see the coffee process and to share in their learning experience.

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website

Southern Loop

via Tierradentro and San Agustin

The Southern loop is a great way to see the two main archeological sites in South Colombia without the hassle of public transport on these remote routes. Enjoy the freedom to stop on the way in Andean villages, admire the mountainous landscape from the comfort of a modern 4x4 and experience the adventure of getting off the beaten track and visiting some of the most important archaeological finds of the continent. Your experienced and knowledgeable driver will be happy to point out places of interest as well as help with recommendations and logistics at the destinations. The following is a typical itinerary although there is some flexibility with departure times and as some of the roads are unpaved and in poor condition, travel times can vary.

Day 1: Leave Popayan at 8am and travel to Tierradentro (5 hours)
Day 2: Leave Tierradentro at 1pm and travel to San Agustin (6 hours)
Day 3: Free day in San Agustin – no services included
Day 4: Leave San Agustin at 9am and travel to Popayan (5 hours)

For more info, prices and photos, visit the Popayan Tours website