Colombia Road Cycling Adventure

13 Day Road Cycling Tour from $5409 NZD
13 Days
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If the cycling gods could have designed their own country, it would probably look something like Colombia. Here, the Andes mountains split into three huge ranges, providing plenty of opportunities for epic climbs as well as some dramatic descents! We will ride the longest and possibly the most demanding climb in the world: Paramo de Letras’. This is where Colombian cyclists train for international competitions where the top of the 81 km climb sits at 3,600 m above sea level.

Join us as we slowly unpeel the layers of this South American cycling heaven. The region has it all, with its mix of sweeping terrain, short punchy climbs and of course the long ascents and switchbacks that have carved the Colombian champions of European pelotons.

When we’re not riding, we can visit farms, sample local food and drink coffee at traditional coffee roasters.

Medellín to Bogota

Medellín
  • Road Cycling
  • Grade
  • Group size: minimum 12 / maximum 24
  • USD425* single room surcharge
  • Bring your own road bike
  • E-bike hire - TBA
  • Prices from Oct 2020 subject to change

At night our accommodation will be a mix of charming (often boutique), hotels and resorts.

Colombia has become a very friendly and popular travel destination which may not be the Colombia you're used to hearing about.  Although some areas do need to be avoided, generally it's safe for visitors.

Throughout the tour, you will be fully supported by local guides and drivers who take pleasure in showcasing their beautiful country.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival Day: Medellín

No cycling

Our adventure starts in Medellin, a city known for its music, museums and friendly people. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the tour hotel. Situated in the narrow Aburra Valley, Medellín packs the punch of a city twice its size. Its skyline reaches for the heavens, and high-rise apartments and office buildings are set against a backdrop of jagged peaks in every direction. The pleasant climate gives rise to its nickname ‘the City of Eternal Spring’. The city has a colourful past and is well set up for visitors to explore via its modern metro.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Medellín

Cycling: 20 km

Today we’ll acclimatize to the Colombian way of life as we explore the city by bike. We’ll drink premium coffee, sample local fruit, visit some of the top attractions and maybe take a cable car ride over the Barrios.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3

Medellín to Guatape

Cycling: 76 km

Now in the saddle, we have our first introduction to Colombia’s famous hilly terrain! From Medellín as we head east, we start with a reasonably challenging 16km climb on a good tarseal road. At the top of the climb (at 2,609m asl) we’ll take a well-earned break before continuing to Guatape on a mostly downhill and flatter route. This small town of Guatape was named after the native chief of the tribes that lived here. It’s situated on the shore of a beautiful lake between mountains. We may have the option of a little trip to the Piedra del Peñol, a famous giant rock, which is a well-known and popular tourist site.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4

Guatape to Cocorna

Cycling: 67 km

As we make our way to Cocorna, the ride will be a gentle (almost flat) climb until the 50 km mark, from where we’ll descend into the town. Cocorna is surrounded by several waterfalls and creeks, making it a good place for swimming and other water activities!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Cocorna to Reserve Rio Claro

Cycling: 86 km

Cycling to the reserve of Rio Claro is very special, as few people know that within just 3 hours of Colombia’s second biggest city, lies a stunning area of protected tropical rainforest. Most people tend to associate tropical jungles with Colombia’s Amazon region and don’t realise that the middle and lower-lengths of the Magdalena Valley were once covered in lush tropical rainforest, protecting thousands of important species. Sadly, much of that jungle is now under threat, but several important conservation pockets still exist with Rio Claro being one of them.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6

Reserve Rio Claro (Rafting Trip)

Rafting

As we navigate our way down the river ‘Rio Claro’ in inflatable rafts, we’ll be surrounded by the exuberant tropical rainforest that covers the entire canyon. This guided trip gives us an excellent opportunity to appreciate the amazing biodiversity of the region as we’ll be totally immersed in thick jungle which lines both sides of the riverbank. We’ll finish under an imposing vaulted limestone ceiling that is testimony to the transformative powers of the river’s water cutting into the bedrock. It will be spectacular to see water droplets falling from gigantic stalactites that hang from the towering limestone cliff.

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7

Rerserve Rio Claro to Mariquita

Cycling:: 53 km

Firstly, a bus transfer takes us over a mountain to the town of La Dorada from where we start our ride. On flat terrain, today is an easy stage which helps us to prepare for tomorrow’s big day to Manizales, the longest climb of the tour.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Mariquita to Manizales

Cycling: 119 km

Our challenge today and a tour highlight, is the ‘Paramo de Letras’, one of the longest and most demanding climbs in the world. This is where Colombian cyclists train for international competitions. The top of the 81km climb sits at 3,600m above sea level and by this time you will have achieved nearly 4,000m of climbing. Its mostly downhill from here through the mountainous coffee growing region to Manizales, a midsize city with steep streets and well known for its culture and theatre festivals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9

Manizales to Pereira

Cycling: 59 km

We’ll venture deep into Colombia’s coffee producing region as we head to Pereira, located in the foothills of the Andes. The route is mostly downhill except for a shortish climb right before the final descent into Pereira. This capital city of the Risaralda department is the centre of the coffee region and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the ‘Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia’.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Pereira to Salento

Cycling: 99 km

During today’s ride we can explore some of the most interesting towns and small cities near Pereira: Cartago: a city well known for its water parks. Alcala: a small town and gateway to many sites of interest in the coffee region. Quimbaya: an ancient town loaded with indigenous cultural sites. Filandia: a colourful, traditional Colombian village. Salento: a quaint, beautiful and friendly Andean town near the Cocora Valley where lofty wax palm trees, a national symbol, are home to rare parrots.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11

Salento to Ibague

Cycling: 108 km

Today’s ride includes a climb to the second highest point in Colombia, so some of you may be pleased that the support vehicle will always be nearby. Ibague, known for its musical heritage, is referred to as Colombia’s ‘City of Music’. This small, friendly city with great infrastructure is an important economic centre for the region.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12

Ibague to Bogota

Cycling: 53 km

To celebrate our last cycling day its a fantastic descent all the way to La Casacada where we’ll stop for lunch. From here we’ll transfer in the vehicle for the final 145km to Colombia’s capital city of Bogota which will take around 3 hrs 30 mins. This high altitude city (2,640m asl) with its cobblestoned centre, is engaging and vibrant. It features colonial buildings, museums, old houses, churches and convents, as well as many bars and restaurants. Tonight we’ll celebrate the end of the tour with a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Departure from Bogota

No cycling

We bid you farewell as our tour finishes today after breakfast. Please arrange your own transfer to the airport or you may like to stay a few more days in Bogota.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation in 2* to 5* hotels
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Group arrival transfer (day 1)
  • Rafting (day 6)
  • Support vehicle(s) and driver(s)
  • Cycling guide(s)
  • Drinking water while cycling
  • Route maps and profiles
  • Basic tip for guides and drivers

Tour Excludes:

  • International & domestic flights and airport taxes
  • E-bike hire (available on request at extra cost)
  • Meals not listed in the daily itinerary
  • Passport and Travel Visa requirements
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Optional trips, sightseeing tours, entrance fees to sites
  • Pre and post tour nights
  • Personal expenses and drinks (except water while cycling)
  • Departure transfer to Bogota airport (day 13)
  • Single room surcharge
  • Extra Tip for guides and drivers