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4.9
| 16 reviews

100km Jungle Expedition into the Heart of Colombia

Trek through untouched rainforest in South America and raft one of the world’s last truly wild rivers

Duration

7 nights

Annual Leave

5 days off work

Group Size

Up to 12 people

Season

Nov-Mar, Jun-Aug

Location

Colombia

Meeting Point

Medellín Jose Maria Córdova Airport, Rio Negro

Classic Accommodation

Hotel · Homestay · Wild camping

Customer Reviews

(16)

4.9

Difficulty

Challenging

From

From

What's it like?

4.9
| 16 reviews
Amazing trip! Totally recommended.
Colombi...
February 2023
Lucia
Amazing trip! Totally recommended.
Colombi...
February 2023
Lucia
Amazing trip! Totally recommended.
Colombi...
February 2023
Lucia
Amazing trip! Totally recommended.
Colombi...
February 2023
Lucia
What a trip! One of the best things I have...
September 2022
Olivia
Fantastic adventure that will test your gri...
March 2020
Joseph
Fantastic adventure that will test your gri...
March 2020
Joseph
Fantastic adventure that will test your gri...
March 2020
Joseph
This was a truly amazing experience. The gu...
March 2020
Rachel
This was a truly amazing experience. The gu...
March 2020
Rachel
This was a truly amazing experience. The gu...
March 2020
Rachel
Expect digital detox, challenging terrain,...
March 2020
Jana
Expect digital detox, challenging terrain,...
March 2020
Jana
Jungle Expedition to the heart of Colombia

Be among the first intrepid explorers to trailblaze through an extraordinarily untouched corner of Colombia

Hike and raft through the untamed wilderness, supporting local communities and protecting free-flowing waterways lined with pristine rainforest

Get off-grid in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet – teeming with life, if you’re lucky you might see tigrillos, tapirs or monkeys

Day 1

Welcome to Medellin

Drive through the lush Medellin valley and into one of Latin America’s most exciting cities. Explore the friendly, green spaces of the Manila district, then after a team briefing to prepare you for the expedition ahead, spend the night in a boutique hotel ln the heart of Medellin’s hippest neighbourhood, El Poblado.

Day 2

Into the wilderness

Hiking

7hrs · 22km · 200m up · 800m down

Head into the Samana Watershed, a tropical paradise that few foreign eyes have ever seen. Push through the humid, jungle-covered mountains as you hike into the valley of the Rio Verde of Los Henados. Spend the night in a remote finca, where you’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal alongside a local family and hear fascinating stories about this hidden area of Colombia (it was once a stronghold of FARC, but is now entirely safe, so everyone has a story to share).

Day 3

Journey through the jungle

Hiking

7hrs · 23km · 700m up · 300m down

Greet the day with some strong, local coffee or a hot chocolate, then return to the jungle. From now on, your group will be totally self-sufficient and see very few people. Follow the trail (or make one) and learn from your guide about the abundance of plants traditionally used in local culture and medicine. Keep an eye out for clouds of butterflies and families of otters along the water’s edge. After lunch, cross the river on a suspension bridge, set up camp and learn how to sling the perfect hammock between the trees.

Day 4

The big push

Hiking

6hrs · 18km · 600m up · 600m down

Rafting

3hrs · 5km

Navigate through a chunk of pristine rainforest. If you’re lucky, you might even see a tigrillo, tapir or monkey. Push on to the Rio Verde where your raft will be waiting. Then, after a refreshing swim in the cool emerald waters, set off along the wild Samana River. In the evening, set up your hammock on the riverbank and fall asleep to the sound of the jungle orchestra.

Day 5

Raft to the Samana Bridge

Rafting

7hrs · 32km

Wake yourself up with a morning dip in the river and then take a short hike through the jungle to a dramatic canyon. Return to the Rio Samana - a power-house of a river cloaked in dense jungle and constricted between low granite walls - stopping to explore the secluded beaches and swim in hidden waterfalls. Brace yourself for whitewater as you tackle some Class IV rapids, passing prospectors panning for gold on the calmer stretches. Rest and resupply in Puente Samana where you'll spend the night in a rural homestay with a view over the river. Accommodation will either be in mixed dorms or in hammocks under a hard roof.

Day 6

Through the Grand Gorge

Rafting

7hrs · 22km

Descend some more Class IV+ rapids as you cross through a rainforest teeming with life, into a beautiful silver-blue canyon. Witness the rare birds, butterflies, and exotic plants that live in this lowland forest and camp close to a secluded lagoon and natural pool. Finish the day with a swim as you watch the sun set through the canopy.

Day 7

Paddle to the village of Narices

Rafting

4hrs · 16km

Continue along the canyon and watch as cascading waterfalls drop from high mountain peaks into blue swimming pools only accessible from the river. Leave your raft in the little village of Narices and enjoy a final walk to a secret waterfall whilst lunch is being prepared. Say goodbye to the jungle and head back to Medellin for a final evening with your team.

Day 8

Goodbye Colombia

Free day today to explore some more of Medellin. Or just relax, you've earned it! Your final transfer will leave in time to arrive at the airport at 17:00.

Included

Guides

Local, expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

2 nights in Medellin, 3 nights wild camping and 2 nights homestay with local campesinos

Meals

Enjoy traditional local cuisine and hearty energy-giving camping food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Equipment

All the camping and rafting equipment you need

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Homestay · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Wild camping · Hammock

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Homestay · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Wild camping · Hammock

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Meals will be largely based around locally grown products. Each day you’ll discover new fruits, nuts and other tasty local treats that all grow in the area, including cacao and of course, coffee. On the trek, you’ll also come across sugar cane plantations where the cane is processed into panela - blocks of raw crystallised sugar cane juice, the only sugar you will find around here. It has an incredible caramel taste and is still processed in the traditional way, with horses spinning the press.

Meals vary, but will always be fresh and healthy to keep you fuelled for the adventure. Breakfast includes fruits, cereal, traditional arepa and eggs. For lunches, we like to keep it quick and easy - sandwiches, wraps or fiambre (a Colombian meal packed in banana leaves) is the standard. For dinner, there will be a campfire and a variety of meals served, from traditional Colombian fare of rice, meat, beans etc, to pasta and campfire food.

Vegan and vegetarians can be catered for, just let your host know upon booking. Other dietary requirements are possible, but Kosher and Halal food can be difficult to source in Colombia. If you have specific requirements, please enquire with your host.

What is the accommodation like?

Medellin

At the beginning and end of the trip, you’ll spend two nights staying in Medellin at the Masaya Hotel (twin-share rooms with en suite bathrooms) located within El Poblado neighbourhood - a safe, pedestrianised area of town filled with restaurants and bars.

Start of trek

You’ll stay in a community that still lives off the land in brightly coloured houses. If the group is more than six people, you will stay with two families to ensure that everyone shares in the experience.

Jungle of the Samana

You’ll wild camp in a hammock in the jungle, at a spot strategically located close to a water source and swimming holes or rivers. The jungle of the Samana is remarkably bug-free and the temperature at night is usually pleasant.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked only for the two nights in Medellin - see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability). For wild camping, you'll have your own hammock and tarp set up.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Medellin Airport (Jose Maria Córdova International Airport, Rio Negro)

09:00 on Day 1

Ends

Medellin Airport (Jose Maria Córdova International Airport, Rio Negro)

17:00 on Day 8

Transfers

Group airport transfers are provided at fixed times on Day 1 and on Day 8 (see below). Should you wish to travel at alternative times then you'll have to request and purchase a private airport transfer - See Optional Extras.

Aim to arrive by 08:30 on Day 1, your transfer will meet you at the airport at 09:00. You can arrange pre-tour accommodation and airport transfers if you would like to arrive at the hotel earlier than the morning of Day 1.

Catch any flight departing after 19:00 on Day 8, you will be dropped at the airport at 17:00.

If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange private airport transfers - see the Optional Extras section for prices.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Medellín's Jose Maria Córdova International Airport from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

Bags

  • 30 litre backpack
  • Small drybag for the raft
  • Sturdy hiking shoes, ideally waterproof and ankle-height
  • Lightweight sandals or flip flops for the evening
  • Hiking socks
  • Rain jacket
  • Lightweight trousers or shorts
  • 2 x long sleeved, lightweight, breathable shirts
  • Sunhat, sunglasses and suncream
  • 2 x refillable, 1 litre water bottles (purification tablets provided)
  • Insect repellent
  • Headtorch
  • Small personal first-aid kit
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Clothes for pre- and post-expedition nights in Medellin

What's included?

  • Lightweight hammock
  • Tarp
  • Blanket

Please note
Packing light is key as you will be carrying your own kit on this expedition. This includes your lightweight hammock, tarp and blanket as well as some food supplies between refill stops. The rafts only have minimal space for bags, so 30 litres is the maximum. You may wish to bring a change of clothes and these can be transported by mules (with the rafts) to the halfway point.

*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Extra night Medellin (double/ twin or single room). Prices From:

Payable Before Departure

Extra night Medellin (double/ twin or single room). Prices From:

Per Night

Optional Solo Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Solo Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Private transfer between Medellin airport and hostel

Payable Before Departure

Private transfer between Medellin airport and hostel

James B.(March 2024)
100km hike/rafting

Been on about 9 MBA trips so far all of which were amazing but this was probably my favourite if not in the top 3. The guides Diana, Mael, Oscar and Didier were really friendly and experienced at what they do. The local communities were very welcoming and it was a unique experience to stay with them. The scenery during the hikes were stunning despite the heat with some waterfalls to cool down in, rafting was super fun especially in the rapids aswell as some cliff jumping along the way. It was a pleasure to meet everyone in the group and glad I got to see such a beautiful country with them!

David(November 2023)

Had a great time on this trip. Was lucky to join a group who all made the effort and looked out for one another. The guides were really professional, friendly and made every effort to make sure we were all having a good time. Hiking through the jungle was hot but we stopped a good few times at perfect water holes to cool down. The rafting was good craic, some great rapids. I'd recommend bringing walking poles to help on a few of the downhill sections, and wearing long pants to avoid sunburn while rafting. Top trip, would definitely recommend.

Andrew(August 2023)

This was a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I joined as a solo traveler and all four other guys on the trip were the same. Everyone was around the age of 30ish and quite like-minded. The trip consisted of 2-3 days of hiking followed by another few more days rafting and exploring around the river before heading back. On around day 5, overnight rainfall meant that we had to divert onto a different river, which was done really efficiently. The team of guides were fantastic, skilled and really enthusiastic about the area and preservation of the area. The activities themselves were tough at times. The hikes were long and had plenty of uphill sections. The terrain was also tricky. The rafting was really fun and the guides really knew what they were doing. When I was there the rain was quite strong over most nights with some thunder. However, it would typically clear up by morning. Our first and last nights were both in Medellin, which is a fantastic, vibrant city. The hotel we stayed in had a brilliant rooftop bar and was nearby several great cafes, bars, restaurants etc. All-in-all it's not for the faint-hearted, but an awesome experience that I'll never forget!

Dan(July 2023)
This was one of the best weeks of my life! ...

This was one of the best weeks of my life!

Hiking through the jungle was stunning. It was a very challenging but rewarding hike with many special views and waterfall swim stops. You felt very remote, only seeing the odd farmer or miner often traveling on donkey and very little else.

The group that were on the trip were all like minded people and really made the trip as enjoyable as it was. The team on the ground were also amazing! They were all passionate and full of enthusiasm for the trip and the country, their company over the week further enhanced the experience. They were also very diligent adapting the schedule to suit the ability of our group. The logistics were almost seamless from the rustic homestays, to camping on the side of the river to picking up food from a donkey in the jungle everything went without a hitch. Even when the heavens opened and we had to swap rivers due to the high water.

I would highly recommend this trip to anybody who wants a wild adventure in a beautiful country with some amazing people!

Richard(March 2023)

Brilliant trip - a real adventure. Trekking was great and hard work - don't expect to just turn up with no training and cruise it. Lots of ups and downs through amazing scenery with some tricky paths in places. Rafting was much more sedate! Although we had to swap to an easier river for the last 2 days due to rain making the original one unsafe. I think those days were to be more thrilling. Rafting was still great though, just not as difficult as the trekking - lots of jumping into the river if that's your thing.

Fiona(February 2023)

Amazing experience. Definitely a challenge. Jungle trek very remote and challenging terrain. Long steep downs and ups. Very long days, but the group support was brilliant. 3 very long tiring but great days trekking. Rafting really good, although due to days of rain had to do less challenging river on last day for safety.

Lucia(February 2023)

Amazing trip! Totally recommended. Colombia is a beautiful country and the outdoor spaces are just incredible. The hosts were great, they really taught us about the country, customs, people and area. The hike was more difficult than I had expected due to the terrain: lots of narrow paths, wet slippery rocks, loose pebbles etc. But still completely manageable. Sleeping in a hammock was a different experience but I did enjoy it. The rafting is just fun, not physically difficult at all.

Suzanne(February 2023)

Definitely off the beaten track, a real wilderness experience!

Olivia(September 2022)

What a trip! One of the best things I have ever done. The guides were truly fantastic and made everything we experienced so exciting and fun. A special thank you to Diana, Jonathan and Didier 😊 The landscape was breath-taking, I kept pinching myself and could hardly believe I was there. The rafting was unbelievably cool! One of the best things about it was getting to meet so many local people along the way too. It’s great to know our trip contributes in some way to keeping the area beautiful and providing sustainable livelihoods that don’t rely on deforestation. Oh my goodness and the food – it was hearty, wholesome and fresh and we got to try lots of interesting new things. Still dreaming about those pork ribs cooked on a bbq in the jungle. We were so lucky our trip coincided with a local fiesta so we saw a great band and latin American dancing in a tiny village in the mountains after 10h walking. I would agree with the other reviews that the trek is tough and definitely important to be prepared. A lot of my companions suffered from terrible blisters and as walking poles were not on the essential kit list, they didn’t have them which made it so much tougher. I would say walking poles are essential (unless you are a mountain goat), as are good socks that fit well, waterproof good quality hiking boots are too. I found the kit list confusing in places and a little incomplete. If they run the trip in the same way they ran ours, I found it useful to have a 30 litre dry bag and a smaller dry bag to take on the raft, and then a 30 litre backpack for the hike separately (we didn’t need to hike with our raft gear). Finally, I would recommend a medical kit with blister plasters, Imodium, insect bite cream and savlon.

Jim(March 2020)

What an experience! Tough days trekking through pristine jungle, rafting an untamed river, wholesome food cooked on an open fire, and sleeping under the stars. A true adventure in every sense.

Katie(March 2020)

I couldn’t rate this trip more highly. MBA and hosts were absolutely fantastic, the guides were probably the best I’ve ever had on any adventure: experienced, knowledgeable and really hard-working (how they managed the behind the scenes logistics so well in such a remote area amazes me), as well as generally kind, supportive (and hilarious) human beings. The surroundings were absolutely beautiful, both the pristine jungle and the river, it felt like a privilege to be there. The links the company appeared to have with the local communities made me feel we were a part of something positive and special, rather than intruding, and people we met along the way were warm and welcoming. I loved wild camping in hammocks, washing in streams and eating and chatting around the campfire in the evening, under the starry sky. Being this close to nature, as well as having no phones or any idea (or cares) what we looked like for a week was a real tonic for the soul. A much-needed break from modern life and a reminder of the important things. I was also incredibly lucky to be part of an amazing group of people. We had a brilliant tour group, which is always such a big part of any experience. The terrain and conditions, particularly for the trekking, was quite challenging, so do train and prepare properly if you’re going and make sure you have the right kit. The trip is more than worth it :-). This really was an amazing life experience, thanks so much to all involved.

Sophie(March 2020)

Love, love, loved it. If you're up for beautiful, remote landscapes, superb guides, great food, traveling light, sleeping in the open, and hard graft then this is the trip for you.

Russell(March 2020)

This was an epic trip, a must for the adventurous among us. I have previous hiking experience and also have spent time in the Amazon, so I thought I was fully prepared....wrong! This was the toughest hike I have done. The heat and humidity was always going to be a challenge but the hike itself was on another level to anything I have previously done. I had spent time in the gym working on my cardio, time well spent! But I would also recommend a few good hikes in the weeks leading up to this trip. I made the mistake of not taking hiking poles, I’m not a big fan of them....or rather I wasn’t! They are an essential piece of kit for this hike. Our guides were excellent all the way through this trip, we surely tested their patience!

Joseph(March 2020)

Fantastic adventure that will test your grit and determination. Not for the faint of heart or mind but a lot of fun and amazing experiences to be had.

Rachel(March 2020)

This was a truly amazing experience. The guide team was exceptionally capable, and Colombia was spectacular - such a treat to explore such remote parts. The trekking was physically challenging, and a good level of both fitness and trekking experience is a must. I would not hesitate to do an expedition with Jules and his team again.

Jana(March 2020)

Expect digital detox, challenging terrain, amazing views, extraordinary guides, bring loads of humour and stamina and you will have an adventure of a lifetime. This is not for faint-hearted, and I have done some epic hikes in my life i.e hiking across Iceland and Kilimanjaro climb.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 118kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The rafting is entry-level, however, you will be spending long days paddling on the river so you should have reasonable upper body strength. The rapids involve bursts of energetic paddling, interspersed with gentle stretches of river where you can often sit back or take a dip ahead of the next batch of rapids.

The trekking is tough going and a definite physical challenge. You'll be carrying your own pack over long distances in humid conditions, so you need to arrive physically prepared for this section of the adventure. The terrain is uneven at times, with tough downhill sections which will test your ankles and knees. Trekking poles and good waterproof ankle boots will help with the descents.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

There are plenty of safe options to fill up whilst in the jungle and fresh water is in abundance. Your host will provide water purification tablets for those who would like them although they are not really necessary.

Sure thing! You will be able to leave anything you don’t need at the hotel in Medellin where it will be kept safe until your return post-expedition.

Modern-day Colombia is not 1980s Narcos. For decades Colombia was in the international press for all the wrong reasons – drugs, kidnappings and civil war. Now with a peace agreement in place between the FARC and the government, Colombia is much safer and tourism has skyrocketed in the last ten years.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we'd suggest $3-$5USD per person per day as a guideline, however, if you would like to bring a gift from the UK as a thank you, this will also go a long way!

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Colombia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.