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Everybody wants to get off the beaten path and it seems that every tour company south of Santa Marta claims ownership of this cliché but Café Alban is exactly this. Located in the beautiful region of San José de Alban, this new agro-tourism project started as a result of a cultural exchange between Ivan Pasaje, the president of a local coffee growers association and a hostel-weary traveller. The project was created to provide an opportunity to experience “real” Colombian life and culture, while simultaneously supporting the association’s development work in the community. Tours officially started as of June 2009 and are managed by Ivan Pasaje, Louis Deering and Max Gallardo, Jr.
Tours...
Activities range from eco hikes, visiting local farms, learning about rural life in Colombia and about the sustainable farming practices that they do as well as learning more about how coffee, panela, fique and other products are cultivated and processed. The best part of this project is that your tourism pesos will go directly to the families and their organization.
Tours range from 2-7 days with the option to stay longer. It includes all meals, accommodations, tour guide and transportation once in San José de Alban.
Once you arrive in San José de Alban you will be placed in a local’s house and will have the opportunity to see what goes on in a small Colombian community not yet infected by tourism. This experience has no set itinerary, it all depends the season and the activities that members in the association are doing that day. If there is a particular activity that you would like to see, you can contact Ivan or Max prior to your visit and they will do their best to accommodate you. The basic tour price is 80,000 pesos per day (includes a full day and night) all inclusive.
So, if you want to experience a piece of Colombia that really is off the beaten path, this could possibly be a good option for you.
How to get there...
Your adventure begins at San José de Alban - located approximately 90 kilometers outside of Pasto, in the province of Nariño. To get here from Pasto you can either chose to take a 3 hour scenic bus ride from the main terminal for about 9,000 pesos or if you enjoy tossing some hard earned pesos out the window you can take a 2 hour taxi ride with the same scenery for about 30,000 pesos.
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photos
Report & Photos by: Anthony Andrzyczak
Contact Info...
San José de Alban
90km outside Pasto
092 736 1024
320 640 2946 (cel)
3122980312 (cel)
maxgallardojr
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