Conservation & Nature
- Airport Pick-up – Your dedicated CAS Trips tour guides will meet you at Medellin’s Rio Negro airport and take you directly to your accommodation at Santa Lucia country house in Santa Elena (a small town 40 minutes from Medellin city) via private coach transport.
- Introductory Presentation – A talk with a local expert will help the students get to grips with the history of the area and what to expect over the coming days.
- Evening Meal – Enjoy a typical Colombian home-cooked dinner and a first taste of the sumptuous tropical fruit juices.
- Reflections Challenge – Using the online CAS Connect! network and Reflections Centre, you will be given personal logins in advance of arrival, containing all your CAS Trips’ practical information and food orders etc. Upon arrival, your tour director will set an exciting digital reflections challenge to be completed throughout the trip
- Your CAS Trips tour guide hotel pick-up
- Walking tour: Medellin city’s past, present and future – Multilingual local guides will take us on a colourful journey through the region’s beginnings to the present day. Exploring the ever-entertaining downtown area, the tour will discover the fascinating history and culture of this beautiful city and people. We will encounter vendors selling mountains of luminous tropical fruits like lulos, guavas, and passion fruit, and succumb to the seductive aroma of freshly percolated Colombian coffee. The tour will end with a poignant image of how the city has, and continues, to strive against violence and destabilizing forces.
- Lunch – A wholesome Cazuela – a traditional local stew with emblematic frijoles (beans)
- Colombian Culture & Language Workshop – We return to the country house to engage in a wonderful active workshop lead by local teachers from Medellin’s finest university EAFIT. Topics will include a mini-course in the local language, dialect and culture.
- Evening Meal – A homemade meal by the in-house chefs at the country house
- Don Carlos’ ECO Farm- We begin our journey into Colombian sustainability with the visit to an inspiring Eco farm in the town of El Carmen. The farm’s owner, 65-year-old local Don Carlos has an extraordinary story. About 30 years ago Don Carlos, an el Carmen native, was forced to change his life forever when he became ill because of the pesticides and chemicals he was using on his fruit and vegetables. On doctors’ advice, he self-learned new organic production methods and now has the only 100 per cent organic agriculture in the area. Don Carlos also owns a shop and a restaurant where the fresh produce is sold, eaten and the waste used for the highest quality compost. Our day journey explores the entire organic agricultural process with a tour around the farm, hands-on practical work, tasters along the way and lunch at Don Carlos’ restaurant.
- Ceramic Factory – El Carmen attracts visitors thanks to its spectacular ceramic traditions. Students get the chance to design their own plate or mug under the guidance of local experts. We organize for these charming souvenirs to be cast and molded then delivered to the students on the penultimate day.
- Organic Cooking Challenge – As part of the day trip, students will be challenged in advance to harvest ingredients to later prepare and cook as part of a meal for the whole group back at the country house. Team work, planning and communication will be key to producing a successful meal!
- Visit the ‘Silliteros’ – Medellin hosts one of the biggest festivals in Colombia’s calendar: The Feria de las Flores (Flower Festival). Although this week-long celebration takes place in August, the beautiful floral displays are made throughout the year and students will explore a fascinating community that revolves around this wonderful festival.We explore two traditional fincas (country houses), meeting the specialist flower growers and helping make floral reefs. Students will then get the chance to try of one of these floral reefs, strapping the wooden frame to their backs as the country folk do in the festival. Don’t forget your camera as this is a photo moment not to miss.
- Lunch – in the beautiful mountainside village of Santa Elena.
- Salsa Classes – In the afternoon, we will learn how to become true paisas (as the locals are known). With the help of a local dance school, we will take to the dancefloor to learn and master the first steps in salsa dancing.
- Rio Claro 2-day trip** – Discover how this stunning natural reserve, shrouded in jungle and teeming with wildlife, was discovered by a local man while he followed a jaguar! Since then its outstanding beauty has been protected by its owners against the forays of paramilitary groups and left-wing guerrillas, and more recently road planners.As well exploring the importance of preserving nature, and how individuals have the power to do so, students will understand how their presence can impact nature in a positive and negative way as well as taking part in thrilling teamwork activities.
- Lunch – We enjoy a typical Colombian lunch with fresh fruit and exotic fruit juice.
- Caving and Swimming – We explore of the most unique and astounding features of this natural reserve: a 400-meter-long marble cave. Students will work in teams to navigate through this pitch-black labyrinth, often wading through waist-high water and spotting stalagmites, stalactites and the odd fluorescent scorpion along the way. Afterwards we’ll take a dip or a dive into the crystal clear river.
- Evening Meal – Another delicious traditional meal using locally-sourced produce
**The Rio Claro adventure trip can be a 1-night/2-day or 2-day/3-day experience, depending on your preference Please Enquire HERE for further information and potential add-on activities
- Kayaking and Rafting Challenge – Students test their kayaking skills with an 8km ride down the spectacular crystal river. Expert guides set team-building challenges for groups of students.
- Lunch – Once dried off we’ll enjoy a traditional menu of the day lunch.
- Canopy Jungle Zipline – Students feel the adrenaline of flying through the high-altitude forest as we end with a canopy activity. Crossing from one platform to the other, students will get close and personal with the treetops, zipping and swinging alongside exotic birds and howler monkeys. Full guidance will be given by the reserve’s experts.
- Evening Meal – We will dine early at a local restaurant before heading back to Medellin.
- Free Time – Breakfast, lunch and dinner will provided depending on the necessary check-out time ahead of your flight
- Airport Drop-Off – Your dedicated CAS Trips tour guide will take you directly to the airport check-in via private transport.
Itineraries are illustrative and can be altered to your specific academic needs or time constraints.
*not including international flights