Happy Testing

$100.00$700.00

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5 night/6days $700 shared room double occupancy or $850 private room for solo travelers. Explore the beautiful Cocora Valley by horse or foot, visit a charming colonial town, zip line through a native forest, relax at the hot springs, visit a coffee plantation, let loose and dance all night at the popular La Fonda. We’ll make sure you have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful part of Colombia. Armenia, the capital of the Department of Quindío, is a good jumping off point to explore a territory that UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site in 2011: the Coffee Culture Landscape of Colombia. This city was founded on October 14, 1889 and is well connected by road with other cities where coffee culture is an important part of daily life. This trip is loaded with lots of local food tastings, horseback riding, coffee tours, and visits to local towns of Finlandia and Salento.  Salento is a little town close to the Valley de Cocora. It is a very special place were you can appreciate the houses architectura, the colorful and Spanish style balconies full of plants and the climb roads, the dark green landscape full of fog thats embrace this magic place. All around the central park you can sit down at any of the Fondas or Taverns to have a Pola or beer or an Aguardiente which is the typical liquor from Colombia. If you fell brave do not hesitate to order a Refajo or a Cocktail made by a shot of aguardiente mixed with the Colombian typical Pop “Colombiana”. The main plaza is a very typical one with more side walks than garden, display some romantic benches around it. Have some woman display in a table “Obleas” that you might try or two layers of host with dulce de leche in the middle.

About your accommodations

The Finca El Carmen Del Pinar has been in the Quintero Family for just under 90 years. Manuel Quintero and his young bride, Maria, moved to the new up and coming town called Armenia to start their life together. He acquired land by using his accounting skills to help local land owners. He would often accept land instead of payment and he then used this land to start his coffee plantation. Throughout the following decades, his coffee business grew and prospered. Although coffee was once the main source of income for the finca, it is no longer profitable. The plantain production is plentiful and macadamia nuts are grown and processed on the premises. In the mid 1980’s Sergio Quintero converted the house into an “ecohotel” just as tourism was starting to grow in the Coffee Triangle region. Ofelia Quintero Vanegas is now the main owner along with her children Jim, John, Maria and Monica. Monica Dannas is an American Airlines international flight attendant based in LAX

A $100 deposit secures your spot. Click on our itinerary section for specifics and daily activities. 

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Day 1) 

Let us know what time youll be arriving so we can arrange airport transfer. Armenia El Eden Intl Airport (AXM) is only ten minutes away from the Finca Carmen del Pinar and a thirty-minute flight from Bogota. Pereira (PEI) is also a good option, its about 35 minutes away. We will be so excited to welcome you to the Finca! Relax, check out the grounds and the welcome dinner (D)

 

Day 2) 

Cocora Valley, Horseback riding and Salento. This is a FABULOUS day! After breakfast, well be out all day. Well start by visiting the incomparably gorgeous Cocora Valley. This incredibly beautiful cloud forest, at 6,000 feet above sea level, can be cool and rainy, hot and sunny or anything in between on the same day! I always recommend layers as well as sunblock, hat, umbrella, rain jacket. Youll be able to leave items safely in the bus. Well go horseback riding through this hilly, lush, idyllic valley amongst the worlds tallest palm trees before heading to the town of Salento. The shopping here is extraordinary with vendors selling hand crafted leather goods, clothing, shoes and many beautiful items. If shopping is not your thing, enjoy a cerveza while playing tejoat the local pool hall or go salsa dancing at the square! This is also a perfect opportunity to sample the street food or head to one of the excellent restaurants serving Colombian cuisine or the specialty of the region, trout before heading back to the finca. (B)

Day 3) 

Botanical Garden, Filandia and Tower. After Breakfast, well head out to the most fabulous, gorgeous botanical garden Ive ever been to! Youll see all kinds of flora and fauna with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide as a beautiful array of colorful, exotic birds and butterflies. Well then head out to the charming town of Filandia. There are two very highly recommended restaurants I can suggest for lunch. One has been named the number 1 restaurant in the state of Quindio for two consecutive years. Well head over to the tower for a panorama view of the Quindio before returning to the finca to have dinner and relax under the stars. (B, D)

Day 4)

Breakfast, Granja Estrema Well be cycling on an abandoned railroad track through a lush tropical forest where well bike past tropical flowers, colorful birds, howler monkeys, coffee fields, sugarcane plantations and swim in a refreshing creek. Well have lunch there. Well each get a locker with an electrical outlet to recharge your phone. Bathrooms and showers will also be available if you wish to freshen up after the ride. Bring active wear, bathing suit, a change of clothes, sunblock, hat, mosquito repellent. Don Raul will show us his International Champion Paso Doble horses. Enjoy a dip in the pool after lunch, a siesta in a comfy hammock or a game of volleyball. (B)

Day 5) 

Recuca Coffee Tour, Concordia Farm Breakfast before a short drive to Recuca Coffee tour, where youll learn and participate in the coffee process and finish up with a sampling of different coffees. After Lunch, We will continue to Coffee Concorde or to Casaroma where well have our farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 6)

Departure Day Well be getting your flight information a couple of days before your departure so we can arrange your transportation. Breakfast will be available. (B)

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

Room and board, daily breakfast is included. Each room has a private bathroom, TV, closet and a safe. Transportation to and from airport on arrival and departure day and activities (except for optional Monday activities) included. 3 dinners at the Finca is also included and 1 lunch at Recuca. All  activities on itinerary included This includes entrance entertainment and drinks.

There will be beer, wine, spirits and mixers available at the Finca for a discounted price, or bring your own bottle and we’ll provide the mixers. Please let us know what specific drinks or snacks you would like to have available at the Finca



SPECIAL INFORMATION COLOMBIA  

·  On the flight, you will get a form to fill out.  It is required to put down an address of where you are staying. The address is: Finca Carmen Del Pinar
Colombia no longer requires travellers to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to enter the country.
They only have to do their Check-Mig registration 24 hours before their flight at the following link:

When travelling on Avianca or foreign carriers, make sure you take a print out of your return flight listing. Many foreigners have been traveling to Colombia and not leaving, so they want proof that you have return tickets.

·  You can exchange money at the airport before you leave the USA or you can exchange money at the airport in Bogota. You can also use ATMs to get cash in Armenia. I usually let the bank know that I’ll be traveling to Colombia so that they don’t deactivate my card due to suspected fraud.

· The weather is usually quite temperate in October is between 65 degrees F and 79 F. Since the Quindio is located in the foothills and valley of the Andes, the temperature for the different places we are going to can vary from quite balmy in the valley (sunblock, sun hat, warm weather clothing suggested) to jacket weather, possibly rain. Usually when it does rain, it’s a quick rainfall. Cocora Valley is located in a cloud forest. Bring closed toed shoes for horseback riding or hiking that you won’t mind if they get muddy.  You can leave jackets, change of clothes, etc, in the limo which the driver will make sure is secure at all times.

·  Mosquito and bugs: We are staying in a Ranch style hotel, so you can expect some bugs, but really, nothing crazy or exotic! I have had minimal mosquito bites, however, it may be a good idea to use anti mosquito bracelets or other repellents.

·  Water in Colombia is potable. We will have plenty of bottled water available.

·   WhatsApp is a great way to stay in touch while in Colombia. Jhon, who will be with us the whole time, will have his phone at the ready so he can pick you up at the airport or help you out if anything comes up. I will also be available.

·  Electrical outlets are exactly the same as the US’, so no converter necessary.

·  Each room has a refrigerator, safe and a private full bathroom and a hair dryer.

·  Travel: Avianca has daily nonstop flights to BOG, 1 from LAX, 8 from MIA, 3 from JFK, 3 from Orlando and 2 from IAH daily. The ZED fair from LAX-BOG costs about $89.00. American has 3 from MIA to BOG and 1 daily flight from DFW to BOG. Jet Blue, United, Delta all fly to Bogota from different cities in the US as well.  Starting Dec 19, 2018, American starts daily nonstop service between MIA-PEI, which is only about 40 minutes from our ranch. We will be happy to pick you up from that airport (small extra fee). If you fly into BOG, you can buy a full fair ticket to AXM, Armenia International Airport. It is only 15 minutes from our place. Full fair costs between $60-$90. There are many options to get there and it’s not that far!

 

Trip Insurance 

The travel industry now considers the Coronavirus “a foreseeable event”.  That means many airlines, resorts, charter companies, rental shops, etc are no longer offering refunds due to COVID issues.  They expect YOU to protect yourself with “INSURANCE”.  When looking at insurance options please consider plans that offer a cancel for any reason option. More and more countries and hotels/resorts/charter companies are establishing very onerous cancellation policies. The travel industry as a whole has generally adapted the attitude that you now know the risks of COVID-19 or other illnesses and THEY are not willing to accept the risks of you needing to cancel or delay your travel.

You Can’t Steal My Happy recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 43-0656    Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 55Y”

Click on the link below to get a free quote. 

https://www.travelexinsurance.com/quote/?nc=1

Terms and Conditions 

Group Trip Cancellations.
If YCSMH has to cancel a group trip because a country has closed its borders, everyone will have a choice of receiving a refund or being rolled over to another group trip. The decision to cancel a group trip will be determined by myself and our local guides.

DEPOSITS PAID- CANCEL WITH NO REPLACEMENT 
If you cancel a booking and cannot find a replacement the FULL deposit amount will be lost from the original person making the reservation.

DEPOSITS PAID- CANCEL WITH A REPLACEMENT – $100 Penalty
If YOU cancel and find your own replacement that “helps” but it doesn’t alleviate the time and effort I must spend to get your replacement up to speed (answer questions and send previous emails). A $100 fee will be charged if you cancel and find your own replacement

FULL PAYMENTS PAID- CANCEL WITH NO REPLACEMENT- 60 DAYS BEFORE TRIP DEPARTURE 
Full payments for all Happy trips are due 60 days before departure. If you cancel the trip you will not be eligible to receive a refund. You will need to file a claim with your insurance provider. As a rule most tour vendors, charter companies and hotels require full payment 60 days before arrival. Once we have made reservations MOST resorts, Charter companies, rental shops, etc hold YCSMH financially responsible (i.e. we have to pay them, hence we expect YOU to pay us). 
Final payments for our Croatia Cruise are due 90 days before departure. 

FULL PAYMENTS PAID- CANCEL WITH A REPLACEMENT- 60 DAYS BEFORE TRIP DEPARTURE
In the event of a cancellation, YCSMH will gladly help find a replacement but the responsibility to find the replacement is that of the person canceling. If you find a replacement to fill your spot you will be eligible for a full refund minus a $100 fee. 
If YCSMH finds you a replacement you will receive a refund minus the trip deposit. As I mentioned there is a considerable amount of time and effort spent to send out emails to your replacement to get them up to speed. 

I hope this helps clarify our terms as we all navigate through this post pandemic world. For those of us who are passionate travelers the small inconveniences of testing, insurance and entry requirements are well worth it. 

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