We are Yvette, Paul, Kristell, and Dan. Here is the story of how we ended up living in Colombia and following our dreams of motorcycle travel and Horseback Adventure Trekking.
In 2014 two travellers from the UK, Yvette and Paul, set off on an adventure around South America by motorcycle. After 60,000km and 18 wonderful months of exploring this incredible continent, they came upon a sleepy coffee farming town in the heart of Colombia’s Andes Mountains. The name of the town is Filandia. Completely by accident they fell in love with this magical place. They tried to continue on the journey but somehow were swept back, captivated by the magic of this very special place.
After searching high and low they found an old, tired hacienda surrounded by magnificent views of the rolling mountains. From the first time they set eyes on the farm they knew it was going to be something special. The hacienda is set on its own hill with 360 degree views of magnificent, lush green rolling scenery (think ‘Lord of the Rings’, or ‘The Shire’ from J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and you are there!).
After 6 long months of battling with contracts, bureaucracy and lawyers they finally earned the keys and set about restoring the old house, outbuildings, gardens and stables to their former glory.
They named the farm ‘Steel Horse’ after their combined love for motorcycles and also Yvette’s obsession for horses. The hostel started out from humble beginnings. The day they moved in, the house was empty. The old owner greeted them at the door and asked if he could help with our bags. The look on his face was priceless when they told him that everything they owned was here in their hands, stuffed into small motorcycle panniers, with the exception of Benji Sanchez, the dog they picked up from Cartagena. She was riding on the back of the motorcycle. There was no furniture, no hot water, no wifi, no cinema, no table tennis, no beer fridge, no guest kitchen, no horses, pigs or chickens! The main roof leaked creating a swimming pool on the second floor every time it rained, the electrics were downright dangerous, the stables were in disrepair and the water supply would often be cut off.
Despite this they opened our doors to travellers just 2 weeks after moving in at Christmas 2016. At the same time work began to bring the farm back to its former glory.
Since opening, word of the farm spread and an unusual mix of travellers, wanderers and adventurers started showing up. People circumnavigating the world in scooters with side cars, army veterans that crossed the darien gap on foot dragging their motorcycles through the treacherous jungle, people walking from Argentina to Alaska, couples on world record attempts and a peculiar English guy travelling from the northern most pub in the world to the Southern most pub in a TVR chimera.
Everyone had a different story to tell. Two of the most interesting stories came from Lenny, a French man, and Dan, an Aussie/Brit.
Lenny and Dan planned to travel into the untouched wilderness of Los Nevados, a stunning National park located on the east side of Steel Horse in Colombia’s Central Andes mountains. Many adventurers staying at Steel Horse had ventured into the edges of the park on motorcycle or foot, a few had hiked up to the tropical glaciers with a local guide, but none had ventured into the heart of mountains by horseback. We helped them prepare as best as we could at Steel Horse, but as with all journeys of this magnitude, there comes a point where you simply have to head out into the unknown.
The journey was to take them into the depths of one of the worlds most stunning wilderness’. After 2 months of riding, sleeping under the stars and living with remote farmers, they returned. The journey had been life changing for them and they decided to join the Steel Horse team to offer unforgettable trekking tours and holidays to adventurers from around the world.
So that’s us, now we want to hear about YOU! We invite you to come and stay with us all! We love hosting people from all backgrounds and all places. The big farm house has now been restored to it‘s former glory and is a welcoming retreat for all those looking for a base to relax, meet interesting people and to explore this incredible part of the world. Whether you are on a short holiday or are planning to travel longer term, let us show you around this amazing area and help plan your adventures.
Join us at Steel Horse Colombia and find out why this place is so special that we decided to stay!