May 3, 2019
Cycle Colombia with BikePlusTours!
Written By Carolyn Maessen
Spectacular roads and scenery, a rich history and welcoming people with a real love of cycling! After decades of political turmoil and crime, Colombia has made giant progress in recent years to become a viable cycling destination. Our itinerary has been carefully put together to showcase the diversity of the country. You’ll experience the unique car-free Ciclovia ride in Bogota, the lush tropical jungle, the beautiful coffee region and the ‘longest climb in the world’. The rides are fully supported with a vehicle and guides on bikes. You won’t need to bring your own bike: we have Trek Domane bikes with electronic shifting available.
Saturday December 7th:
Flight to Bogota and group transfer to the hotel in the ‘Zona Rosa’, the entertainment and shopping district of Bogota.
Sunday December 8th: Ciclovia (distance: 25 mi, vertical: 2,000 ft)
For over 40 years, Bogota’s main roads have been closed to motorized traffic on Sunday mornings to allow its residents to get out on their bikes, and they do so in masses! Join thousands of cyclists of all sorts for an easy paced sightseeing tour of the city and a celebration of cycling. Many locals combine the Ciclovia with the short climb to Patios which we will tackle as well. It’s all downhill from there back to the hotel. In the afternoon we have an excursion planned to Usaquen, a vibrant historic quarter with a busy Sunday market and lots of restaurants and bars.
Monday December 9th: Alban to Cambao ( 48 mi, 2,800 ft)
After an early transfer to Alban and a hearty breakfast, we’ll set off on a spectacular descent through lush countryside on a road with very little traffic. There is only one climb in today’s ride but it is steep and long enough to give us a real taste of what we’ll encounter later in the week. After a rest stop at the top with cold drinks we’ll descend almost 30 miles to the Magdalena river valley. We’ll have lunch in Cambao, followed by a short transfer to our boutique hotel in Mariquita. In the afternoon you can rest by the hotel pool or join us for an excursion to waterfalls in the jungle.
Tuesday December 10th: Alto de las Letras (51 mi, 13,000 ft)
The longest climb in the world! An early start again today to avoid the heat in the first few hours of the climb. It will get cooler later as we’re topping out at an altitude of 12,070ft. Luckily there are a few short descents to break up the distance, although it can be a bit disheartening to lose altitude. The road offers magnificent views and it is great to see the change in landscape and vegetation along the way. Those wanting to do a shorter climb will be shuttled for the first 15 miles and start riding from there. We’ll have a van transfer of just over an hour from the top of Letras to an authentic coffee farm down in the valley. We’ll stay there for the next two nights.
Wednesday December 11th: Rest Day
Time to recover! There is no scheduled ride today and you can spend the day as you wish. The farm has two nice pools and offers tours and hikes as well as a barista training workshop.
Thursday December 12th: Chinchina to Supia ( 65 mi, 8,400 ft)
After a 20 minute transfer we’ll start from the center of Chinchina for a gorgeous ride through the coffee region. After a stop in the typical town of Arauca we’ll climb the scenic and quiet road to Risaralda, a town perched on a ridge high above the valley. This is followed by another big climb to San Clemente. A long descent takes us back to the heat and our hotel in Supia.
Friday December 13th: Supia to Jerico ( 69 mi, 8,500 ft)
An easy start today with a downhill and a flat stretch following the Cauca river downstream. We’ll climb a few smaller hills before a rest stop at a viewpoint over the river. The ride remains rolling until our lunch stop. Then it is onto the ‘beyond category’ climb to the historic town of Jerico. It is 15 miles and almost 5,000ft to the top with prolonged sections of 12% or more!
Saturday December 14th: Jerico to Estadero El Calvario ( 30 mi, 4,300 ft)
This morning we’ll get to descent yesterday’s climb all the way back to the Cauca river. We’ll cross the river onto our last climb of this trip up to the Estadero El Calvario restaurant. The climb is lush and quiet, with an irregular grade to give your legs one final workout. At the restaurant we’ll load the bikes onto the van for the transfer (2 hrs) to our hotel in the heart of Medellin.
Sunday December 15th: Flight home
Airport transfer and flight home. If you have an evening flight you can explore Medellin today.
Our package includes:
- Group airport transfers in Bogota and Medellin for you, your luggage and your bike
- Support vehicle during the rides and Carolyn and Pieter guiding on bikes
- 8 nights of hotel accommodation
- All breakfasts and dinners
- Water, snacks and fruit on the rides
- Laminated stage sheets with ride details and altitude profiles
- GPS files of all rides
- Lots of fun!
- Flights to Bogota and from Medellin
- Travel and medical insurance
- Lunches, drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
- Rental bike (Trek Domane with Ultegra Di2 electric gears): $250 for the whole trip
- Regular price $3495. 10% discount to The Top Travel Club Members = $3235. A saving of $350!
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