Read the inside scoop from San Fran dad and travel pro Clark Kotula on Hacienda Bambusa, an intimate eight-room traditional farmhouse in Colombia's lush and verdant coffee growing region, around 180 miles west of Bogota. A fun add-on to a South American adventure, Bambusa recently reopened as a hotel yet remains a working estancia where kids can roam 400 acres of banana, cacao and orange plants, take a rafting trip, ride horses or zip line.
An NYC mom took a September trip there as a last hurrah before school started. Here's what she said:
"We all (the 6, 11 and 16 year olds included) loved Bambusa because it feels like a really magical place! The lodge itself feels more like a family home than a hotel and the location invited exploration of the ecosystem that surrounds you. We loved being cared for by the staff. The chef became our buddy and spent time with us every day planning our meals, which was great with kids. The rooms are simple but tastefully done, and the verandahs with the hammocks were wonderful for afternoon naps or morning bird watching. The location was great in and of itself (some amazing nature touring with their naturalist guide who is wonderful with kids, humming birds everywhere, or mountain biking for my husband) and also as a gateway to some other beautiful experiences (like horseback riding, canopy tours, or hikes around the amazing Dr. Seuss looking Wax Palms!). And then there were the friendly cows and banana plantations all around!"
Sounds pretty good to us.
- Free WiFi is available throughout the hacienda, as well as direct TV in each room.
- Ground-floor suites, Cocli and Azulejo, have patios overlooking the pool, so you can watch little swimmers from the comfort of your hammock. Two upstairs suites, Barranquero and Cardenal, have a connecting wrap around patio.
- Rooms are equipped with min-fridges, and extra beds and cribs can be added to most rooms.
- Set on a working hacienda of over 500 acres producing cacao, bananas and oranges — with jaw-dropping views of the surroundings.
- Each of the eight rooms has their own shaded patio or porch where you can lounge in a hammock and watch hummingbirds whiz around between dips in the pool.
- Ideal location to explore on foot by yourself, or choose from about a dozen great local guided excursions.
- The hacienda is at the end of a long bumpy dirt road, so most local excursions involve considerable time in a vehicle.
- This is the tropics, if you are freaked out by insects and bugs, it may not be your cup of tea.
- There is no spa or massage room at Hacienda Bambusa. The pool and trails around the property are the main amenities.
- Although the surrounding property is an absolute joy to explore solo on foot or by provided bicycles, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the hacienda’s inner workings accompanied by their naturalist guide Camilo.
- The hacienda is owned by a very interesting Colombian artist whose brightly colored modern art complements the architecture and design of this rustic farmhouse.
- Keep a half day to yourself just to relax and enjoy the hacienda, pool and wonderful weather.
El Tebaida, Colombia