Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

100km Jungle Expedition into the Heart of Colombia

Trek through an untouched tropical rainforest and raft one of the world’s last truly wild rivers

Annual Leave

5 days off work

Location

Colombia

Difficulty

Challenging

Battling through an untouched pocket of wild Colombia? It was always going to be a challenge, but you’ll love every minute.

Why it's Much Better

Be one of the first explorers to set foot in a totally remote and untouched corner of Colombia

Start in the tropical mountains and then blaze a trail through the wilderness as you descend into the mysterious Magdalena Basin

Begin your day with the ultimate wake up call - a cup of strong local coffee and a shower beneath a wild waterfall. Then in the evening, set up your hammock on the riverbank and fall asleep to the sound of a jungle orchestra

Pass through one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet with no less than five different ecosystems all teeming with life - If you’re lucky you might see a tigrillo, tapir or monkey

Raft the rapids of the Rio Samana – the jewel of the Magdalena Valley - wild swimming in hidden lagoons, paddling through clouds of butterflies and visiting isolated villages

What's Included

Guides

Local, expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

2 nights in Medellin, 4 nights wild camping and 1 nights homestay with local campesinos

Meals

Munch on traditional local cuisine throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Equipment

All the camping and rafting equipment you need

Happiness Guaranteed

We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it

Feel Good Vibes

We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Medellin

Activity

Easy day

Accommodation Type

Hotel

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

On your Feet

Approx. 7 hours of trekking

Distance

22km

Elevation

200m up / 800m down

Accommodation Type

Homestay

Meals

All meals

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

On your Feet

Approx. 7 hours of trekking

Distance

23km

Elevation

700m up / 300m down

Accommodation Type

Wild camp

Meals

All meals

Greet the day with some strong, local coffee or a hot chocolate and 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

On your Feet

Approx. 6 hours of trekking

On the Water

5km of rafting

Distance

18km

Elevation

600m up / 600m down

Accommodation Type

Wild camp

Meals

All meals

Navigate through a chunk of pristine rainforest. If you’re lucky you might see a tigrillo, tapir or monkey.

Push on to the Rio Verde where your raft will be waiting for you. 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

On the Water

Approx. 7 hours of rafting

Distance

32km

Accommodation Type

Wild camp

Meals

All meals

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. Toucans fly overhead, while clouds of butterflies hang in the air.

Brace yourself for whitewater as you tackle some class 4 rapids, passing prospectors panning for gold on the calmer stretches.

Rest and resupply in Puente Samana and then set up camp on a jungle-flanked beach.

Day 6

Through the Grand Gorge

On the Water

Approx. 7 hours of rafting

Distance

22km

Accommodation Type

Wild camp

Meals

All meals

Descend some more class 4+ rapids as you cross through a rainforest teeming with life and into a beautiful silver-blue rock 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

On the Water

Approx. 4 hours of rafting

Distance

16km

Accommodation Type

Hotel

Meals

All meals

Continue along the grey-blue 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 while 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

Activity

Easy day

Meals

Breakfast

Take a final drive through the Medellin Valley before returning to the airport and back to reality.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

Accommodation

Medellin

Accommodation

Hotel

Rooms

Twin or triple share

Meals

All meals

You’ll spend two nights pre and post-expedition in a same sex, twin share room at the Los Patios Boutique Hotel, in El Poblado, a safe, pedestrianised area of town filled with local restaurants and bars.

Private room upgrade

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for $90USD per person (subject to availability). This is only for the 2 x nights in Medellin and is subject to availability. Please request this at the time of booking.

Start of trek

Accommodation

Homestay

Rooms

Twin or triple share

Meals

All meals

You’ll stay in a community that still lives off the land in brightly coloured houses. If the group is above 6 people, you will stay with two families to ensure that everyone shares in the experience.

Jungle of the Samana

Accommodation

Campsite

Rooms

Twin or triple share

Meals

All meals

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 always pleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Lunch and dinner on day 1 and dinner on day 8

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.

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 trekking, while not technically difficult, also requires that you be in good physical shape as the days are long with a lot of up and down across uneven ground.

This trip will run with a minimum of 3 people, and a maximum of 12.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Meals will be largely based around locally grown products and 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 it's processed into Panela - blocks of raw crystallized sugar cane juice, the only sugar you will find around here. It has an incredible 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, cereals and 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 bookings. 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.

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.

Medellín is known as ‘La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera - the city of eternal spring, thanks to a comfortable climate that’s consistent all year-round due to its high elevation and proximity to the equator.

The tropical rainforest climate you will encounter sees average temperatures of 28 - 32 degrees with high humidity, however, at night the temperatures drop to a cooler low 20’s degrees and rain often occurs as we’re sleeping.

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.

Many destinations require a visa and for your passport to be valid for 6 months minimum. Up to date advice for UK citizens can be found here.

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

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

Modern-day Colombia is not 1980’s 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.

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

Afraid not, this group adventure is adult only so not suitable for children.

Meeting Point

Start

Where

Jose Maria Córdova International Airport, Rio Negro

When

9.00am

Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before the meeting time.

End

Where

Jose Maria Córdova International Airport, Rio Negro

When

5.00pm

At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Medellin Airport. If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange airport transfers for an extra cost.

Kitlist

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

Bags

  • 30ltr backpack
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Lightweight sandals/flip flops for the evening
  • Hiking socks
  • Rain jacket
  • Lightweight trousers or shorts
  • 2 Lightweight breathable shirts
  • Sunhat, sunglasses and suncream
  • Refillable water bottle x 1ltr (purification tablets provided)
  • Insect repellent
  • Headtorch
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • 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 re-fill stops. The rafts only have minimal space for bags, so 30ltrs 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.

Meet Your Host

Jules and team

Jules and his team of local conservationists originally established their business to fund the protection of the beautiful Samana Watershed. As well as holding an annual festival to fundraise for this great cause, they also campaign to keep it pristine and provide alternative employment to the locals by training them in tourism and outdoor adventure sports.

Contact Host

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Dates & Prices

Bespoke trips only

There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.

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