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Cycling Colombia

from $4,199.00

Rewarding cycling in a beautiful region of rural Colombia

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Challenging
    7/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    5 - 16
All about the Cycling Colombia.

With Colombia’s road cyclists gaining worldwide recognition and the country revelling as an up and coming active tourism destination, there really is no better time for a cycling trip to one of South America’s most scenic regions. The coffee zone of Colombia lies at the heart of the country on the Western slopes of the Central Andes and our route takes us along paved winding roads that traverse a lush environment populated by coffee plantations and picturesque towns. Your effort on two wheels will be duly rewarded by stunning views and a taste of the famously warm Latin American hospitality.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 11 dinners
* All accommodation (see accommodation section)
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Local bike rental

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Acclimatize in Bogota while joining the city’s residents in their weekly traffic-free day of urban cycling!
  • Ride through lush green landscapes and mountainous terrain in the ‘Eje Cafetero’ coffee zone
  • No vehicles transfers, just point to point rides
  • Hike in the beautiful Cocora Valley amid wax palms (optional on rest day)
  • Extend your trip to visit Cartagena on the balmy Caribbean coast (Unesco World Heritage Site)
  • 10 nights hotels, 2 nights in a finca (ranch property)
  • 10 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved tracks
  • Routes predominantly follow quiet well-paved roads
  • Group normally 5 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  1. Day 1 Start Bogota.

    Land only passengers can arrive at the hotel in Bogota this afternoon/evening.*Standard Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Bike fitting followed by Bogota 'Ciclovia' city ride and welcome dinner.

    Passengers on our Avianca group flight will have flown overnight and arrive today in the early hours of the morning. There will be time for a few hours rest and breakfast before setting out with the tour leader in order to try out your bike and cycle the car-free streets of Bogota as part of the weekly ’ciclovia’ event. Every Sunday large parts of the city are closed to traffic as residents cycle, jog, walk, roller-skate in a remarkable display of utilising public space in the interest of leisure and togetherness. You’ll have a chance to see the modern Bogota and also visit a market in the bohemian neighborhood of Usaquen. This immediate exercise is a great way to minimise the effects of jetlag! At a certain point after a couple of hours in the ciclovia, the leaders will give the option of climbing ’Los Patios’. This is an optional ascent that is practiced by hundreds of Colombians. It is approx a 7km climb at an ascent of 6% for most of the route. If you are nervous about the rides later in the itinerary then completing this challenge is a great confidence boost. Note that the road used is not closed to traffic so you should be happy cycling on a busy road, and of course afterwards you have a fun downhill ride with spectacular views of the city. You will have the afternoon at leisure and we strongly recommend visiting one of the fantastic museums the city has to offer, which all offer free entrance on Sundays.*Standard Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Visit Zipaquira Salt Cathedral; fly to Cali and transfer to Buga.

    In the morning we will visit the famous and unique Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, located inside a commercial salt mine. After the visit we will be driven to Bogota airport to catch a flight travelling southwest to Cali. From here we will be driven a short distance (approx. 1 hour 15 minutes) to the town of Buga where we stay and prepare for the point-to-point riding that will commence the following morning.*Standard Hotel*

  4. Day 4 Mostly flat ride following the Cauca River to Roldanillo.

    Buga is one of the oldest settlements in the region and an important religious place for the country as pilgrims flock to visit the Basilica which contains an image of Christ. Buga is surrounded by sugar cane fields and is located in close vicinity of the Cauca River. The tour starts out travelling in a northward direction, staying parallel to the Cauca River as we pass fields of sugar cane and fruit trees. Along the route we will stop to visit a sugar cane farm. The vast majority of today’s road is fairly flat or with small undulations, and the route is very scenic thanks to the proximity of the Andean Western Cordillera and the possibility to see peaks of the Central Cordillera on a clear day. The temperature in the valley can get very high so be sure to wear sun cream and stay hydrated. Our destination is the town of Roldanillo and we will spend the night at a hotel just off the main plaza.(Ascent: 515m, descent: 530m)*Standard Hotel*

  5. Day 5 Another flat ride passing fields of sugar cane and vineyards towards Cartago.

    Another day of cycling on a predominantly flat and quiet road which will take us through beautiful landscapes in preparation for the more mountainous rides in the days to come. We’ll stop for some grape juice along the way and continue to the hotel on the outskirts of a small town called Cartago for a refreshing dip in the swimming pool!(Ascent: 381m, descent: 394m)*Standard Hotel*

  6. Day 6 First mountain ride into the coffee country and the town of Pueblo Tapao.

    The first few kilometres of today’s ride are along a flat road leading to an intersection from where we’ll take an undulating road south-eastwards to Alcalá and up into coffee plantation region. This section will involve the first real climb of the tour. After passing Alcalá we’ll have lunch in a village called Quimbaya and continue through Montenegro. We’ll arrive at the hotel and have the afternoon free to rest and enjoy the swimming pool and surroundings. In addition to coffee plantations, the landscape is also home to banana and plantain, bamboo trees and flowers. A short walk down the road from the hotel there is a coffee theme park with a viewing platform at the entrance which is definitely worth a visit.(Ascent: 890m, descent: 530m)*Standard Hotel*

  7. Day 7 Some challenging climbs with rewarding views and coffee tasting on the way to Calarcá via Rio Verde.

    Today we start riding on a quiet and fairly flat road surrounded by coffee, banana and pineapple plantations to the town of La Tebaida. After passing this town, we’ll stop for a drink break and ride for a short section on a busier road. At a point called ’La Y’ we will deviate and take a secondary road to enjoy a nice downhill to Rio Verde and then continue onwards to the town of Buenavista. From Rio Verde there is a challenging steep uphill of about 3km to get to Buenavista – this is the hardest climb of the tour but very rewarding. We’ll visit a local school before having lunch in the town of Buenavista, and then there will be an opportunity to try one of the region’s best exported coffee brands at a wonderful terrace with a beautiful view. After the break, there is still some climbing to be done but after reaching the the top it will all be downhill back to Rio Verde on a different road. From Rio Verde, you will take the same road previously ridden to the hotel for the night.(Ascent: 1000m, descent: 1147m)*Standard Hotel*

  8. Day 8 A day of steady climbing through typical natural scenery to Boquia, included coffee tour and botanical gardens.

    Today’s ride is 90% uphill! But don’t worry as it is not too steep. There is a steady climb after crossing the river all the way up to Boquia (near Salento). On the way we’ll stop for a Coffee Experience Tour at Café Sorrento and have a chance to learn about the process of growing coffee. After this tour the next stop will be at the Quindío Botanic Gardens where we will learn about the local flora and we also visit a butterfly farm. Lunch will be in the town of Calarca and then we’ll ride the last portion of the route involving a very scenic final downhill to Boquia. The finca for the next two nights is beautifully situated and is a peaceful place for us to be based. After dinner some kids from the area will give a folklore performance . It’s also a good opportunity to enjoy a beer.(Ascent: 591m, descent: 282m)*Finca*

  9. Day 9 Free day to relax; optional ride or hike to Salento and Cocora Valley.

    You may wish to rest today and take a well-earned break from the saddle, remaining in the surroundings of our beautifully located ranch just outside of Salento. Alternatively you can opt for a wonderful walk in Cocora Valley to see the picturesque endemic Wax Palm trees. There are different walk options varying in difficulty and duration (approx. 11km), all of which are signposted. For those who want to cycle up to the highest point that we’ll meet on the tour (2410m above sea level), the ride from the accommodation and up to Cocora involves a 1000m climb.(Ascent: 1000m, descent: 1000m)*Finca*

  10. Day 10 Some climbs in the morning towards Filandia followed by an exhilarating descent to Cerritos.

    Today we tackle an initially tough climb out of Boquia and the valley up to join the main road to take us towards the pretty coffee town of Filandia. It is claimed that because of its architecture, landscapes and hospitable nature of the locals, that Filandia is one of the most charming and attractive towns in the whole of Colombia. We’ll take a break here before setting off on a beautiful stretch of road down to Quimbaya and onwards to Alcala for lunch. This stretch from Filandia to Quimbaya is one of the tour highlights. In the afternoon we continue in the direction of Pereira and take a left turn before the city in order to reach Cerritos, our location for the night. (Ascent: 1220m, descent: 1830m)*Standard Hotel*

  11. Day 11 Gentle ride along the Cauca River before a climb to Anserma.

    Our penultimate day of cycling has it all. We start off gently with a fun downhill section leading to the Cauca River from where our route plateaus out as we are flanked on both sides by sugar cane fields. After lunch at a roadside restaurant with an adjoining trout farm, we follow a branch of the river northwards (Rio Risaralda). As the road becomes steeper and offers up spectacular views on our final climb into the highland town of Anserma. The town’s location on the edge of a mountain makes it completely different from other places seen on the tour, and several of the streets are too steep to be cycled so it lends itself to being explored on foot in order to get the maximum enjoyment! We will have dinner at a local restaurant and there are a couple of nearby bars to explore afterwards.(Ascent: 955m, descent: 375m)*Standard Hotel*

  12. Day 12 Final day of riding involves a spectacular downhill section plus some climbs to Chinchina.

    Our last day of cycling is another stunning ride as we navigate some hilly sections on our way to Risaralda. From here we face a delightful downhill to cross the Cauca River once more and stop for refreshments in nearby La Rochela. After La Rochela we will ride to the place where we have lunch. We will have to tackle a few more climbs to reach Finca La Romelia, where we will stop for lunch. After lunch you will be transfered to your hotel where you will spend the last night in Colombia.(Ascent: 874m, descent: 1481m)*Standard Hotel*

  13. Day 13 Transfer to Pereira; fly to Bogota; end Bogota.

    After breakfast we will transfer by private bus to Pereira airport where the tour will end and we’ll fly back to Bogota in order to connect with international departure flights. Those who have booked the Cartagena trip extension will fly via Bogota up to the Carribean Coast.If there is a long wait at Bogota airport between arriving from Pereira and departing in the evening, it is possible for the tour leader to organise additional services for you should you wish. They will be able to organise this locally for a small charge.

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Where you stay

Hotels & Fincas

10 nights hotels, 2 nights fincas (ranch property), in a mixture of traditional and modern properties with en suite facilities, some with swimming pools.

The hotels we use are mid-range and will provide us with all the facilities that we’ll require throughout the trip. A varied selection of properties includes a hotel in La Candelaria district of Bogota, and a wonderfully situated ranch in Boquia surrounded by beautiful scenery for our two night stay at Cocora Valley.

We can arrange single rooms throughout the trip for a supplement (subject to availability). Please ask your sales consultant for details.

10 nights hotels, 2 nights fincas (ranch property), in a mixture of traditional and modern properties with en suite facilities, some with swimming pools.

The hotels we use are mid-range and will provide us with all the facilities that we’ll require throughout the trip. A varied selection of properties includes a hotel in La Candelaria district of Bogota, and a wonderfully situated ranch in Boquia surrounded by beautiful scenery for our two night stay at Cocora Valley.

We can arrange single rooms throughout the trip for a supplement (subject to availability). Please ask your sales consultant for details.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 11 dinners included.

We’ll have early breakfasts throughout the tour in order to make the most of cycling in the cooler morning temperatures, typically there will be eggs, bread or arepas (thick corn pancakes), local cheese, and no shortage of great coffee! Lunch stops will be made at appropriate points each day, generally at roadside cafes/restaurants where we can get our calorie intake from grilled meats, rice, potato chips, fruit, chocolate, juice etc. Lunches are not included so you should make sure you carry some cash each day for this, preferably in low denominations that are easier to change. The tour leader may suggest collecting a small amount of money from the group for a collective kitty – this would be used to buy fruit and snacks for eating at pit stops whilst on the rides.

The only evening where we don’t include the evening meal is the first night in Bogota because there is a lot of choice and enables people to choose where they wish to dine. For the rest of the trip we will be travelling through remote areas where there isn’t much in the way of choice for evening meal locations. Most days we will arrive in the afternoon to our accommodation and have a few hours of rest before being fed by our Colombian hosts either in the same hotel or somewhere close by.

Please note that Colombia is not particularly vegetarian friendly, especially in rural areas, as meat forms a major part of the diet and many soups are often made with a meat base. Bogota is an exception, as there are sufficient options to cater to all dietary requirements.

Each day you will have the opportunity to try a fantastic array of delicious fruit juices – some of them familiar to the UK and some of them more exotic! We recommend you to try these as they taste much better in Colombia than anywhere else and cost a fraction of the price.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Road. 
Activity Level: 5 (Challenging).
Please see the introductory pages of the cycling holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading.
Average daily distance: 54km (33 miles)
Number of days cycling: 10
Vehicle Support: 100%
Terrain and route: surface 95% tarmac, 5% unpaved roads, hilly terrain. Routes follow mainly quiet back roads with some challenging climbs.

Total distance covered is approx. 540km taking an estimated distance for the ciclovia and including the optional ride in Cocora Valley on day 9. You will be provided with a cycle computer to record your daily distances each day – please take good care of these on all of your drinks stops as there may be a fee to replace any lost units.

This tour covers some remote and lesser visited parts of the region where international tourism is yet to reach. As a result we are unlikely to encounter many other foreign nationalities and can expect a fully immersive Colombian experience. The vast majority of the roads that we use are in very good condition, although there can occasionally be potholes and poorer conditions in some short sections. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic until we reach small towns where we are more likely to encounter other vehicles. Some of the routes that we take are the same as those used on the ‘Vuelta a Colombia’ annual cycling race.

The trip is graded as challenging and most days involve some difficult climbs. The first couple of rides from Buga and Roldanillo are fairly flat as they follow the length of a valley, in the later rides we tackle some more challenging ascents, with the hardest being the climb to Buenavista on day 7. You need a good level of fitness in order to complete all of the rides but don’t be put off by the grading as the rides are completely achievable. The beautiful surroundings and incredibly supportive team make the rides easier!

Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a legal requirement by the tourism authorities in Colombia.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Cycle Colombia - Excellent trip through a beautiful and varied country. Recommended.

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    As ever there are so many. Here are a few. 1. We added a couple of days in Medellin before the main trip started and were glad we did. A lovely city centre in the valley & stunning views from the cable car network that soars up the steep valley sides. Plus one of the best meals I have ever had. 2. We added a couple of days in Bogota too and that gave us a chance to see as many of the many sights as possible, as well as go on a cycle tour of the capital. We loved the street art in both cities. 3. Once the tour proper started - the Sunday cyclovia - shutting down swathes of the city of cyclists, skateboarders, walkers and runner of all ages & abilities to come together and play. What a wonderful idea. Cities around the world - please copy. 4. Catedral de Sal at Zipaquira : spectacular. 5. Views from the coffee stop San Alberto Estate at Buena Vista. 5. The wax palm trees at El Bosque de las Palmas near Solento. 6. The Orchid tour at Finca Romelia in Palmera on the final bike day. 6. We added the Cartegena Extention on the end of the trip & this too was well worth doing with colonial Spanish architecture and an energetic vibe particularly around the various plazas.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Gustavo was Head Boy in the nicest sense - organised, thorough, enthusiastic - making it all happen without hitch so that you are able to leave your brain at the airport knowing everything will be sorted for you, leaving you to ride, eat drink and enjoy. His sidekicks - the double act that was Gustavo & Paola - were a truly delightful couple - albeit they did make those hills look remarkably easy. Completing the foursome was driver Cezar - not a man of many words but someone who made everything (bikes, luggage, etc) magically appear at the right place and time, every time. A good team.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be put off by the Grade 5 - the route is almost entirely on road, not technical, and whilst undulating, it is (based on figures from my Garmin) no harder (in terms of ascent) than grade 4 trips we have completed in Chile/Argentina and Albania/Macedonia. There is some (but not a lot) of traffic but this is far less than in the UK (& we live in the country).
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bogota is a city with lots to offer and its worth spending extra time there before or after the trip to do it justice. Some of the museums were superb, and there is much more besides. Go visit Medellin - before everyone else cottons on. Cartegena is a nice unwind after the time on the bike. Our whole trip ended up being a full three weeks and that felt about right.

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

cycling Colombia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I couldn't choose just one moment! The scenery everywhere we went was breathtaking, long and sometimes steep climbs up mountains gave me the opportunity to take in the atmosphere of the Colombian Andes, while fantastic, fast, sweeping descents were exhilarating. The people that we met on our journey were friendly and welcoming, it was amazing to see the huge numbers of cyclists out on the roads. Our local guides and support team were so attentive and supportive, they were committed to cycling and tourism in Colombia.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leaders were Oscar and Tatiana, they were always smiling and attentive to everyone's needs. They made sure that we all had everything that we needed and were all having the best holiday. Oscar was very skilled at making sure that the group didn't get too spread, while also allowing individuals to go at their own pace. The whole team, including Jonathan the mechanic and Cesar the driver, had a good vibe, they obviously got on well together and all had a very positive outlook.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a challenging and rewarding cycling experience, but don't be put off by the challenging grade. We all made it to the top of the steepest and toughest climb, and we were a mixed group with a variety of cycling backgrounds. I took too much cash with me (USD) and ended up changing money back when I got home, there is not much to spend money on. Lunches are amazingly cheap and all dinners were included in the trip price, wine was not available in many places and beer was about £1 a bottle.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip lived up to all my expectations of a challenging bike ride in an amazing country. I'm still buzzing a week later and ready to think about my next Exodus adventure.

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Cycle Colombia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the whole of Bogota coming out for a Sunday cycle, most of it in Lycra.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    She was lovely, very keen to show off Colombia and wanted to make us as happy as possible. Nothing was too much trouble.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Fly out on the Fridays if you can make it to London in time as an extra day in Bogota to recover and look around is worth it. It's cold in Bogota, especially at the top of the hill and the long down hill so take a jacket. The rest of the cycling will be hot, around 30C, but not too humid. The evenings get cold during the two night on the Ranch so take a sweater and long trousers. Most of the hotels have Wifi in the communal areas, some of it quite quick. Breakfast is mainly eggs and fruit, but Tatyana supplied those of us who preferred cereal with oats after the first couple of days. If you drink tea take tea bags, you can get the hot water, but the Colombian tea is not good. Tatyana really like the English teas so take some for her to try.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is well organised, has good bikes and great staff. We added extra days on to the beginning and end of the trip (it finishes on a Thursday!!). Traveling both with Exodus and afterwards, independently, I felt completely safe at all times. Trip wise it was similar to the Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama trip, but much better organised, with better staff and without the long bus transfers.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Cycle colombia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Well what can I say Oscar a fantastic guy leader person nothing was to much trouble for this amazing man also having Gabriel and Andreas plus a great man Axel who stayed with me pulling me up the climbs and how can I forget Adelmo the mechanic also a former pro cyclist and of cause Augustus and Cesar the driver supplying us with endless water which was very welcome.These men all where a credit to the country one word EXCELLENT
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the best I have ever had
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Brilliant cycle trip to Colombia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being part of the Bogota Ciclovia - Sunday riding through the closed streets of Bogota with thousands of other people. Some amazing downhills I really liked the side trip to the salt cathedral - the main chapel was stunning!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Tatiana is great. Very warm and friendly. She really took the time to look after us, and share her enthusiasm for Colombia. I'd really like to give the whole brilliant staff team, Oscar, Cesar and Jonathan, a mention as well as it was all of them coming together to look after us that made for such a great trip. Whether it was Oscar pointing out glaciers and sharing his boundless enthusiasm for cycling, Cesar filling up our water bottles without even being asked, or Jonathan sorting out the bikes and helping carry our luggage, we were thoughtfully looked after at every point. It really felt like nothing was too much trouble and they were all very keen to show us the best of their beautiful country.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We came out a day early (Friday night) and it was worth having the extra time to look around Bogota. It was also good to have an extra day to get used to the time difference before heading off for the Sunday cycling - otherwise you land at 4am and then head out for a steep hill ride on just a few hours sleep. Make the most of all the juices - many like Loulo and Guanabana are really delicious. We really enjoyed trying them at the different rest stops. Recommend organising a kitty approach for lunch and rest stops. It makes it much easier than everyone trying to find small amounts of money at each stop. If you want to visit Coffee Theme Park at Pueblo Tapao be aware the last entry is at 4pm. Do the Sunday hill ride - it really boosts your confidence and it's brilliant to be cycling with so many other riders who are all having a lot of fun! A totally unique experience.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip had the best bikes of any Exodus trip I have been on. The staff were great, really friendly and organised so everything went very smoothly but you never got the feeling that you were 'being organised'. I much preferred being able to cycle point to point - the bus transfers on other trips I have done can feel a bit disruptive to the cycling. I'd also say that doing the Sunday hill ride in Bogota is a real confidence booster and although there are some long uphill rides in the rest of the trip, the support from the staff means that they are doable and the downhills afterwards are amazing. We added on some days at the end (to go to Cartagena and Tayrona National Park - highly recommend both) and felt completely safe at all times. The people of Colombia are really friendly and welcoming and it is them that make the trip as much as the scenery.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
November 7, 2020
Available
$4,199.00
N/A
December 19, 2020
Available
$4,349.00
N/A
January 9, 2021
Available
$4,579.00
N/A
February 13, 2021
Available
$4,579.00
N/A
March 6, 2021
Available
$4,579.00
N/A
March 27, 2021
Available
$4,749.00
N/A
September 11, 2021
Available
$4,579.00
N/A
November 6, 2021
Available
$4,579.00
N/A
December 18, 2021
Available
$4,749.00
N/A