THE QUADRICOLOR AND RACEMOSA TOUR – VALLE DEL CAUCA AND CAUCA
Day 1. Arrival
We will pick up the group at the airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón in Palmira and transfer to our hotel, Pension del Oeste in the city of Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca department.
Day 2. Cattleya quadricolor in-situ and Orquídeas del Valle warm nursery – Ginebra, Valle del Cauca
We start our trip at 7am and proceed to Ginebra, the land of the best “Sancocho de gallina” (Chicken soup) of Colombia, in the north of Valle del Cauca. Close to this place we will see in the wild the beautiful Cattleya quadricolor, unfortunately uncommon in its original site due to massive extraction. Next to this wonderful orchid we could have the possibility to see other plants like the notched dimerandra, Dimerandra emarginata, the Scorpion-Like Flower Maxillaria (Maxillaria scorpioidea) and the Leaf-Riding Maxilllaria, (Maxillaria equitans). We’ll finish at 12 m to go to have lunch to the restaurant “El viejo molina” an exquisite place to eat some typical food. In the afternoon we will go to visit the big warm climate growing nursery of Orquídeas del Valle. Then at 5 or 6 pm we go back to Cali to the hotel.
Day 3. San Antonio Cloud Forest and Orquídeas del Valle cold nursery
The “infamous” San Antonio Cloud Forest: This mythical cloud forests has been a complete laboratory for biodiversity research during this timespan. We start at 7 am to visit 3 hotspots for orchids in this magical place. In this forest we could watch a big population of Dracula chimaera, some Maxillarias like M. embreei, M. meridensis, M. brevifolia, other Pleurothallids like Acianthera casapensis, Pleurothallis giraldoi, Pleurothallis cordata, Lepanthes manabina (Green form), Lepanthes smaragdina, Lepanthes acarina, Lepanthopsis acuminata, Masdevallia nidifica, Masdevallia picturata, Masdevallia amanda, Neooreophilus pseudocaulescens, Lepanthopsis acuminata and more species.
Some other orchids are Epidendrum lacustre, Epidendrum catillus, Sobralia virginalis, Sobralia crocea, Chondroscaphe amabilis, Otoglossum globuliferum, Elleanthus aureus, Cyrtochilum divaricatum and Pleurothallopsis microptera. We’ll finish at 12 pm to go to have lunch close to San Antonio and finish the day at Andrea`s Niessen nursery from Orquídeas del Valle.
Day 4. Medio Dapas Orquideas Nursery and Finca Alejandría (The Hummingbirds Paradise)
We start our day at 8 am to go to Medio Dapas Orquideas Nursery, a very nice and complete nursery from Leticia Abdalah’s, dedicated specially to production, cultivation and conservation of orchids, mainly Colombian species, located 3 minutes of 1 km from the hotel in Dapa. At 12 pm we go to get some lunch and the in the afternoon we headed to visit Finca Alejandría, known as Hummingbirds paradise by the amount of species found in it. At the level of orchids we could observe Trichoplia hennisiana, Pescatoria (ex Bollea) coelestis, Brassia antherotes and Brassia euodes (ex Ada elegantula), Maxillaria luteograndiflora and Maxillaria aurea, Sobralia crocea, Lycaste schilleriana, as well as other jewels of the cold cloud forest. We’ll finish the day at 5 pm and go back to the hotel to rest.
From that day on we will head towards the city of Popayán and its region in Cauca department, around 2 hours and a half in the south of Cali. This city is an architectural colonial jewel and it also hosts various good orchid growers such as Roberto de Angulo (grandson of the person for whom the genus Anguloa has been named).
Day 5. Popayán city, the White City
We leave Cali at 6 am to reach our destination early in the morning at 8 am and visit the colonial center of Popayán, especially some places like “Pueblito Patojo”, some churches and plazas to rest a little bit from the trip. After lunch we go to visit AngulOrquídeas , Roberto de Angulo`s nursery which boasts more than 650 species of orchids Colombian. We end the day to prepare to visit the most wonderful ecosystem in the world, the Páramo.
Day 6. Masdevallia racemosa and the Andean Condor’s Stone
We leave Popayán at 7 am, to reach the Natural National Park Puracé. Over 200 orchids and nationally threatened species such as the Colombian Pine, Andean Oak, and Wax palm tree are found in the park. We’ll also have the opportunity to watch the mythical Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) that the San Diego Zoo helped to reintroduce in the 1990s. At 8 am we enter the park to go directly to the Andean Condor’s Stone, where we can appreciate its greatness and beauty. In the road we can watch some rare, endemic and highly local orchids in the wild such as the red Racemose Masdevallia (Masdevallia racemosa), also Masdevallia mooreana, Oncidium cultratum, Caucaea olivacea (ex Oncidium olivaceum), some Lepanthes and Cyrthocilum species. After that we go to San Juan’s thermals to watch them bubbling in the middle of the endemic páramo flora. In this road, we could watch, Telipogon sp., Lepanthes jardinensis, L. amplisepala, L. mucronata, Prescottia stachyodes, Cyrtochilum auropurpureum, Epidendrum frutex and more species. After watching some orchids we go to a station called Pilimbalá to have lunch and rest for the morning driving. After lunch we could walk aroudn the station watch some in-situ and rescue orchids along the road. Like Cyrtochilum sodiroi, C. Angustatum, Epidendrum cylindraceum, Epidendrum mesogastropodium, Pleurothallis canaligera, Pleurothallis rugosa, Caucaea olivácea, Epidendrum gaertelmaniae and some Stelis species. At the end return to Popayán and then Cali to the hotel Pensión del Oeste to rest and finished the trip.
Extra days (Optional)
Day 7. Puracé volcano
For the most adventurous people who like long walks and climbs, we would leave the station at 6am to reach the top of the volcano Puracé at 4650 m high. On the way you will appreciate the grasslands, some national nevados and páramo flora. At the end we go back to Pilimbalá at lunchtime, we leave Puracé to head to Cali and finish the tour.
Day 8. Leaving Cali
We pick you up at the hotel to take you to the airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón.