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In September I bought 4 hectares (10 acres) of land 2 hours outside of Medellin in a beautiful (and warm!) valley just outside of Cocorna. (1 direct bus from Medellin right to the driveway).
I bought it as a refuge of sorts, but did not expect it to be so immediately useful. This is probably one of the best places you can be to weather the current coronavirus storm.
The property has waterfalls, streams, a natural swimming pool, fruit trees, avocado trees, chickens, dogs and cats. The property is hilly - from the top it has excellent views across the valley. There are 3 basic cabins on the property, I'm slowly fixing them up, improving the land, adding a garden, a chicken coop (and now a hot tub and patio!) The water is pure from natural springs on the property. The air is pure. There are hammocks. Loving dogs. Regular BBQs (veggie okay, meat okay, vegans - best talk to me first!).
In the area around there's paragliding, white water rafting and kayaking, horseback riding and one of the coolest little typical colombian towns you'll find with a lively town square and very few other extranjeros (I've actually never seen any, but I'm sure there must be some, sometimes).
There are 3 big rivers nearby - rio melcocho - a favourite weekend destination for colombians where you can hang out on glass-like river, float, fish etc., rio Santa Domingo (just down the road), and rio Samana (with white water rafting).
I can point you in the right direction for paragliding and white water rafting if you're interested. I can also point you in the right direction if you're interested in trying more life-expanding activities like ayahuasca.
This property is a little paradise, but it needs some work. I have spare cabins and beds (they are basic, but they work and you'll likely spend most of your time outside anyways), so I thought this seemed like it might benefit everyone.
This place is well suited for a relaxed and chilled stay. Bring a book (or two!) for your downtime. If you're into nature - you'll love it here. There are more birds, insects and plant varieties than I could possibly count. I have a Facebook page with lots more fotos and project updates. Message me and I'll send you the link.
About me, I'm Canadian, and have travelled extensively, and spent most of my life living in other countries. Former adrenaline junky, downhill mountain biker, kitesurfer, snowboarder. I'm a software engineer by profession that quit the corporate life a long time ago then spent a lot of time learning about health, food, disease. Now mostly work hard on the land, spend time on inner exploration with Ayahuasca, and slowly building a few cabins here to turn this into something special. In the meantime, sharing the land with travelers who want to experience nature and offer a helping hand in exchange.
Help with Eco project
The area is as of yet still unknown to most foreign travellers (though a well-known vacation destination for colombians). The local town is as colombian as it gets. You'll never hear english spoken there. Basically, as soon as you set foot off the property - you're in a totally local, immersive, colombian small town experience.
If you're interested in experiencing an ayahuasca ceremony while you're here - I can recommend a couple of places where you'll be in safe hands. (On that note, alcohol & mind-expanding substances are welcome - in reasonable amounts AFTER work is done)
As it's such an early stage - anyone is welcome as long as you're willing to put in some work, and are respectful of the place and the people.
That said - if you have particular experience with: building (wood, bamboo, earthbags, lime mortar or other sustainable), carpentry, permaculture, landscaping, plumbing or electricity - I'd particularly love to have you.
At this moment, most of the help is building with rocks (a beautiful new pool platform, a hot tub and a rock wall). If you are really good at jigsaw puzzles - then I'd love to have you to lay and mortar some rock. Soon we'll be moving into building the first new cabin - so that will be bamboo construction, some earthbags and wood for infill.
There's also always some digging to be done, and tons of random jobs around. Come prepared to put in some honest work, some of it quite physical, and we'll figure out where you fit best.
Usually i work pretty hard in the mornings before it gets hot, then knock off early afternoon, go for a swim, lounge around the pool for a bit (fully natural fresh water - no chemicals at all!) and then do a bit of online work during the heat of the day. If you get up early, you'll be done in the morning and will have all afternoon to explore either the property, or nearby towns.
In general, be a decent person. You'll note the reviews vary widely. Be a good person, respect the place, come prepared to put in some work, don't do anything too stupid (you would not believe some of the things people have done...) and if you're after nature, peace and quiet then you'll have a great time here.
Minimum stay is now 3 weeks (unless you have a particular skillset mentioned above, in which case message me), because it's really much more enjoyable for me to have a few people around for longer than to have a constantly rotating group of people here. If you're thinking about coming for a few months - I'd really love that. I can sort it out so long-term volunteers get the room to themselves to make things more comfortable.
Basic cabins. One cabin is a 2 bedroom for 3 people (one room with bunk bed, other with single bed), the other cabin is also a 2 bedroom, one single bed in one, one double bed in the other. This cabin is further up, so a bit of climbing is needed to reach it. Please note - not all the bedrooms have doors - some have dangly bead type things. Basically, don't expect a ton of privacy, but there won't be more than 3 people in a cabin, and you may have your own room, so it's better than most hostels. Bottom cabin just got upgraded with new mattresses too.
I live in a 3rd cabin.
Each cabin has a basic kitchen with stove, fridge, basic dishes, pots, cutlery etc. Wood BBQ is available, and I try to do a group bbq once a week or so. Some fruit available on the property. Bananas, platanos, avocados, limes, guanabana, papaya, mango and a few as yet unidentified species are available at certain times, depending on when they mature (and how willing you are to climb trees to get them!)
NOTE:: (2 important pieces of info!)
Food!! There's no cook here, you are responsible for cooking for yourself, though mostly volunteers tend to rotate cooking duties and share meals.
Workaway suggests 5 hours a day if food is included, 3 hours a day if not. I've tried both and after talking about it with the volunteers, have settled on a middle ground. 4 hours a day, and some food provided. Fruit,veg, meat and eggs, you're responsible for getting. All shared foodstuffs like coffee, oils, butter, salt, spices, oats, flour I'll provide because they're either hard to get here or a hassle because they're shared. Food is cheap here, 3 to 5 bucks a day should cover it.
Whilst I would love to provide you with everything, after experimenting this seems to work best.
2nd - internet! It took 2 months, but internet finally has been installed. There is wifi in the bottom cabin. It's fast enough for most things - can watch youtube videos if there aren't too many people trying to do it at once. Probably not good enough for video calls. If you need faster internet, or must be connected at all times, or if you are in the top cabin and need internet there (you are welcome to use it at the bottom cabin of course), then you will need to get a Claro sim card. Prepaid plans are 20 mil pesos for 2gb/14 days and the tower is right across the valley so reception is great and speeds are usually pretty decent.
The whole area is beautiful, and there are lots of other activities available. I mentioned them above. Truth is, I'm still discovering them myself as well, so will update as I discover.
You can get to the local town (5km away) anytime - there's a local 'paid hitchhiking' system, generally costs about 3000 pesos to get a lift into town. From there you can get buses to Cocorna or anywhere else nearby you want to explore. To get to Medellin or Rio Negro/Marinilla you don't even need to do that - buses pass right in front of the property. Please note, the local town does not have an ATM. The nearest ATM is 30 minutes away by car, or about an hour by bus, so best to make sure you bring enough cash.
To get here - take a bus from Medellin to San Francisco (buy a ticket for Pailania - 14 000 pesos) and get off 5km past La Pinuela. They can literally drop you off at the driveway. It's a 2 hour bus ride, buses depart Medellin from the North Terminal. Buses leave Medellin at: 6:15 a.m, 9:00 a.m, 11:15 p.m, 1:30 p.m.
You can also get here from Bogota - just take a bus to Medellin and get off at La Pinuela. From there it's a 10 minute moto taxi ride.
Before you come we'll exchange whats app details and I can send you the exact location from there so you know where to get off the bus.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4 hours/day, 5 days a week
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