Los Llanos Cattle Drive
Always wanted to be a Cowboy?
Work, Eat and Sleep the life of a Ranch Hand.
6 days 5 nights All inclusive Authentic Cowboy Adventure.
We will take you on an incredible journey.
Join us on our next trip 17th November 2019
(Minimum of 10 persons required for a Cattle Drive to take place)
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- Vacation StyleHoliday Type
- Activity LevelChallenging
Looking for an incredible and wild adventure that will take you away from the concrete jungle? This five nights’ plan is an all-round introduction to the Llanos region, its sceneries, culture and wildlife. We will take you to the beautiful area of Yopal and spend the rest of our time working and sleeping like cowboys. We will be working cattle every day as you take your position in the cattle drive working hand in hand with experienced ranchers. You will be shown and participate in everything from lassoing your horse, getting comfortable with it. To driving heads of cattle to the final coral. Crossing a body of water in a controlled manner with your cattle. This is an everyday in the saddle adventure that will have you testing your riding skills in real cowboy situations.
Accommodation at the hatos in hammocks with mosquito nets.
Transfers and transport for your adventure. Including internal flights.
Medical support and 1 emergency 4WD available & for logistics.
Guidance and support – local and bilingual.
Insurance in case of accident or illness.
Activities and services as outlined (incl. materials and horse hire)
The accommodation we use along the route can be located in remote areas, where standard of accommodation can be simple (no running hot water). Wifi and other luxuries may be low to none.
All Meals full board, refreshments, hydration & 2 beers in the evening.
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Equipment and Clothing
All necessary equipment during your adventure. Each participant is responsible for their own equipment loaned to them.
A separate packing list suggestion will be sent with your documents.
(additional items may be available on request – please ask if there is a particular item of clothing or equipment you require)
Instruction in safety and horse handling.
Services of local guide.
Return transfer between Medellin (or from accommodation locally) and the hotels in connection with your tour.
Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel not related to your package, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Alcoholic drinks other than the two supplied with your evening meal.
Tips & gifts
- Day 1 Ranch Hato Altamira
After our arrival into Yopal in the morning & with a little welcome. We shall walk across the central park of Yopal and receive a brief introduction to the region, the culture and history (to put everything into context)
The hat is the most important accessory of a Llanero, a symbol like no other – We will head to a nearby hat shop, where we can learn how the region’s cowboy hats are made and we can even brand our own name on them (so we can always distinguish it throughout the next few days)
Later on we will be transferred to the Hatos for our great adventure (2 hour transfer).
Lunch will be at the farm house and introduction to the hatos and the challenges of the next few days. We will take a short rest (We learn how to safely install a hammock)
In the afternoon we round up the horses on foot and push them towards the “corral” (fenced holding area). Here we will practice how to lasso horses & in teams of two gear up the horses – an important practice for the oncoming days.
Dinner & our first overnight in hammocks with mosquito nets.
- Day 2 Riding out into the prairies.
We shall start the day with an early breakfast followed by a short talk by one of the guides to explain today’s challenges & tasks.
Challenge: We lasso and gear up our horses as we have learned the day before, testing if everyone is familiar with the task yet.
Challenge: We refine our riding skills step by step – steering around obstacles, stopping, going faster, etc.
We then will embark on a long ride out into the prairies to prepare for our cattle drive and get familiar with being in the saddle.
Challenge: Preparing our own lunch in the wilderness. At the lagoon we have to catch piranhas and other fish with a line, the artisanal way. Collect firewood and light a fire. Fry the fish over the wood fire for lunch. We keep riding until we reach the next hato’s main house in the late afternoon.
We define the roles for the next day: the people with the best singing voices lead the cattle drive, those with the loudest screaming ability flank the cattle from the sides, some push from behind and one will be the “food provider”, etc.
- Day 3 Riding out into the prairies.
Again we shall take an early breakfast followed by another short talk by one of the guides to explain today’s challenges & tasks.
We lasso and gear up our horses for the first great cattle drive.
Challenge: The cattle drive (lunch provided as picnic) Rounding up cattle and pushing it across large distances and in wild territory.
Eventually we push the cattle into the “corral” (cattle holding area) to be able to work them.
We install our hammocks for the night in a simple rancho at the hato.
- Day 4 Working The Cattle
By now we are in a routine and again will have an early breakfast and short talk by one of the guides to explain today’s challenges & tasks.
We head to the “corral” to work the cattle that we have driven here the day before. Applying injections. Brand young cattle. Wash the cattle / spray them against insects, especially ticks, Castrate young bulls.
By then we should of built a good appetite for a typical lunch at the ranch house. Afterwards we return to the main hato by horse.
We will install our hammocks for the night followed by dinner and more stories.
- Day 5 Constructing a rancho and celebrating a parrando, a llanero
As normal we will start with an early breakfast followed by the short talk by one of the guides to explain today’s challenges & tasks.
Today we will skin and slaughter a young cow. We will learn how every part of the animal is being used for something.
We prepare a traditional Asado Llanero – tender beef roasted around the fire along with other typical food: yucca, rice,
guacamole, plantain crisps.
As the meat is roasting, we embark on the next challenge: Constructing a traditional Rancho (palm roofed / thatched house)
We have to cross the lagoon in a typical dugout canoe and transport the wood, the materials, to the other shore. We will construct the rancho. Then inside our newly constructed rancho we enjoy the meal and also a traditional parrando until late to celebrate the finished work.
- Day 6 Departure
We shall have a relaxing breakfast & a free morning to reflect on what you achieved during the weeks adventure.
Lunch & concluding conversation and experience and challenge analysis followed by the return to Yopal.
Please note that the above is a preliminary itinerary and may vary due to factors such as weather conditions, access to river portage points and seasonal changes and local activities. During periods of extreme bad weather, for comfort and safety the duration of each day can be shortened.
It is advantageous that you have prior experience as you will be in the saddle every day. You will be shown how to move your horse in relation to the cattle.
You should have a general good level of fitness and enjoy the outdoors. You should also be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Minimum age 18.
It is advised to have your yellow fever jab up to date and remember it is suggested that you receive this 10 days or more before you travel to insure of its effectiveness.
Bring all medicines required for personal use to cover the length of your trip as most locations we will be staying at are remote and do not have access to local shops.
There may be times of heavy rains but the areas we are in will still feel warm and this at times could lead to mosquitos.
No previous experience is required. Hiking, Horseback riding can be physically demanding. You must be able to swim a minimum distance of 10 meters and be able to assist in carrying equipment. Tasks around the corral can also be physically demanding.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under Included.
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
You are more than welcome to participate. We encourage solo travelers, Groups, Women only and other parties to take part. You will be working in different positions of the drive and will make new friends from the start.
We must have a minimum of four persons for a package to take part.
We encourage private groups to book and inquire for special pricing for larger numbers.