Humboldtian Expedition

To the wax palm forests


4 - 5 days

mountain gear

Physical level

Technical knowledge

In 1801, the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, accompanied by the French botanist Aimé Bonpland, visited Colombia. During their stop in Ibagué, they discovered the Wax Palm, which is now the national tree and symbol of Colombia. Our expedition, on horseback, will follow the same route that Humboldt took. We will enjoy the wildlife and flora that they observed, recorded, and admired many years ago.

During the journey, we will verify some of the physical and natural findings made by this naturalist and record them in our field notebook. It will be an experience similar to the one lived during that time. View map

Description of the expedition

Starting from Bogotá and passing through the warm valley of the Magdalena River, we will arrive at the musical city of Colombia: Ibagué. There we will have a taste sensation by visiting three experiences with special coffees and we will tour the old city on bicycles with the Urban Coffee Bike. Then we will move to the green Combeima Canyon where we will stay at the beautiful Ukuku Rural Lodge, an experience with the scent of the mountains.

After spending a night at Ukuku and enjoying its gardens, with hummingbirds and a diversity of birds, we will embark on our expedition into the mountains towards the forests of the Wax Palm. It will take us two days to reach this unique and magical place.

We will camp in the San Juan creek valley, verify novel experiments of the time, visit the Machín volcano, immerse ourselves in its hot springs, and make geological observations as Humboldt did in his time.

We will also meet the Yellow-eared Parrots, descend through frozen waterfalls, and enter the wax palm forests, the only forests in the world with a double canopy, to learn about the dynamics of all its natural elements, all with the company of a professional guide.

After having visited the largest and most preserved wax palm forests in Colombia and the world, and having spent the night in the same place as Humboldt did in 1801, we will take a winding road through deep canyons towards the city of Ibagué. At the height of Coello, we will embark on the turbulent waters of the Coello River, for a rafting experience.
Finally, we will arrive at the Santafé de Los Guaduales reserve to rest and take a relaxing Temazcal (an ancestral practice) to share our stories of the exciting expedition. Thus, we have become the 21st-century explorers.


  • Transport Bogotá-Ibagué-Juntas
  • Urban Coffee Bike en Ibagué
  • Accommodation at Ukuku Rural Lodge (C&D)
  • Mules for carrying and riding
  • Two box-lunches
  • Two camping sites (C&D)
  • Entry to Machín volcano
  • thermal bath
  • Translation: Transportation in typical jeep from Machín to Las Cruces.
  • Horse ride to the nesting site of the Yellow-eared Parrot
  • Canyoning in Toche
  • Transportation from Las Cruces to Ibagué.
  • Rafting on the Coello River.
  • Lodging at the Santafe de los Guaduales Reserve - Temazcal
  • Travel insurance
  • Souvenir
  • Professional guide

Not included:

  • Unplanned meals or beverages
  • Activities not described
  • Equipment not listed
  • Bilingual guide
  • VAT

Please request your reservation for this experience by completing the following information.

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