Swim at … Oscar’s Place, Minca
“At only 600m up the mountain, Oscar’s Place is really something worth experiencing.
The swimming pool was initially installed as a water supply, but is now both a decorative feature, as it reflects the sinking sun, and also practical, as it serves as a hydroelectric power battery.
Each night at 6.30pm, just after dusk, the plug is pulled and so begins five hours of free electricity as the pool is refilled with fresh water for people to jump into in the morning.”
(Minca, tel. 00 57 313 534 4500)
Stay at … Casa Loma, Minca
“Tucked away behind the town’s crumbling colonial church, the eclectic Casa Loma (meaning ‘House on the Hill’ in Spanish) gives guests a boutique experience at budget prices.
“As a seasoned traveller and longtime lover of Latin America, owner Jay’s passion for the details and dedication to keeping guests happy, well-fed and entertained means many often end up staying for weeks in this family-like atmosphere.
“The home-cooked spicy chorizo and plantain breakfast for champions isn’t to be missed either. It only costs £12 per person for a dorm bed or £8 for a hammock.”
Volunteer with … Elemento Outdoor Adventure
“We work with several charities and can combine expeditions with volunteer work in either teaching, medicine or conservation.
“We are directly financially supporting the Mision Gaia Foundation, which is dedicated to biodiversity conservation, and are running a collaborative competition to find, employ and train two new mountain guides from the local schools.”