Gone are the days spent in operating theaters and on hospital corridors. Miguel now tends the garden's plants, the forests behind the house, the cabin he is constructing to host his children, grandchildren and friends. His hands flip through books about the Llanos fauna and flora and his alert eyes wander over his property looking for potential improvements to help both conservation and visitors' comfort.
While eco-tourism hasn't been something on the radar, it has certainly become somewhat of a passion project. Welcoming visitors, sharing the natural sights of their hacienda, looking for wildlife and telling stories from "the good old times" are Nancy's and Miguel's interests these days. The retired couple is thrilled to receive guests from all around the world in their home, and Miguel personally guides visitors into the lush forests, past natural springs, towering and mossy trees, fruit orchards, ponds, waterfalls and exotic flowers. He loves to talk about how they have spotted an ocelot there and a couple of squirrels here, how there were capuchins last week to steal some mangos and that there are pumas in the forest. Here at Hacienda Las Cumbres nature is in charge.
While Nancy and Miguel have outdone themselves in creating a paradisiac haven, a colonially inspired home amidst tropical gardens, the great attraction are not last the stunning mountain vistas and the views of the infinite plains and pastures all around. Views so awing that we find it hard to believe we are just a 15 minutes drive away from Yopal, just a steep climb into the Andean foothills behind the city.
We sit by the turquoise pool, one of those infinity ones that melt with the scenery, and sip the sweet coffee, chatting and laughing in the shade of a bougainvillea tree. As the afternoon sun slowly turns from white to gold, we could not feel more relaxed or welcomed on the terrace of the lovely couple. Filled from a hearty meal of juicy roast beef a la llanera, accompanied by ripe avocados, delicious sweet plantains, sweet corn and small yellow potatoes, and soothed by the afternoon's heat we have sunken into comfortable doziness. And the vistas make us feel like dreaming, too.
Here birdwatchers can discover the Andean foothills' colourful species, nature lovers can wander the trails and marvel at the lush vegetation, active travelers can climb the peaks of the Andean foothills and bonvivants can simply enjoy some quality pool time with a view.