Summary

Destinations: South America
  • 13 Days From
    R 45600
  • Trip code: MAY
  • Activity: Cycling, Road Cycling
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 5 - 16
Challenging

Rewarding cycling in a beautiful region of rural 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.

Key information
  • 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
Activities
  • 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
Highlights
  • Direct London to Bogota flights with Avianca
  • Acclimatise in Bogota whilst 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)
What's included
  • All breakfasts and 11 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire
    Food

    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.

Highlights

  • Direct London to Bogota flights with Avianca
  • Acclimatise in Bogota whilst 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)

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Sep 2019
26 Sep 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 45700
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
09 Nov 2019
21 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 48500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Dec 2019
26 Dec 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 48500
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
11 Jan 2020
23 Jan 2020
Guaranteed (Available)
R 52300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Feb 2020
27 Feb 2020
Available
R 51400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
04 Apr 2020
16 Apr 2020
Available
R 53300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
12 Sep 2020
24 Sep 2020
Available
R 51400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
07 Nov 2020
19 Nov 2020
Available
R 51400
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
19 Dec 2020
31 Dec 2020
Available
R 51400

Reviews

Personally Challenging Trip

Despite missing the first day's sight-seeing around Bogota, having a slight ninjury the first week, and then succumbing to some gastric bug the second nweek, this trip had enough highlights to be memorable for other reasons. The nsubterranean Salt Cathedral is amazing and unique, the orchid farm collection nanother superb destination. Long climbs followed by the inevitable nspeed-junky's downhills ensure that the challenging label is lived up to.nThere are many miles of busy main roads with pollution-belching monster ntrucks, but if you can see past those then this is a great cycle.nThe team of Andrea, Gabriel, assisted by Jonathan, Jose and Cezza are always non hand with help and a smile; thank you guys.

Rating 4
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Achieving BuenaVista summit the first week, and then the hard climbs the nsecond week running on an empty tank.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Very good and ably assisted by a good team.

Cycling in wonderful Colombia

Colombia is a fascinating country and we experienced it all from bustling nBogota with its 8 million population to the lived in non touristy Cartago and nthe locally very popular Salento. When cycling, one is struck by the lush ngreen cultivated hills rising up on both sides of you. it could be sugar ncane, plantain, bananas, papaya or the distinctive coffee plants, all nstunning and all tended by hard working locals. Colombians are really nbeautiful people and welcoming. We visited over Easter and observed the nlocals attending in large numbers the various religious services in beautiful nchurches.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • There were many magic moments but conquering the climb to the hilltop town nof Anserma probably stands out. A long steady climb to a bustling little town nlike no other. My madeira cake in a little bakery near the mini bus hub was nmost welcome that afternoon. Our visit to the amazingly beautiful Finca La nRomelia on our last day of cycling will also live long in the memory. I would nalso have to mention the king of the mountains and drum playing Australian nfrom Wales who supports Liverpool and cycled with a sombrero attached to his nhelmet and a poncho in Colombian colours, he inspired me too.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Andres our group leader was an absolute gentleman with a great sense of nhumour. I also found him to be extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of nhis country. While soft spoken he was a very competent leader of an noutstanding team who delivered time and again when they were called upon. nWhenever you needed information, help or just encouragement one of the team nwould appear as if by magic. We could not have asked for more from this nspecial team of people who worked non stop every day to make our visit to ntheir country so memorable.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • The cycling is classified as challenging and it was, so come prepared. Expect nsome rain during your trip, it really is inevitable but does not take away nfrom the enjoyment. Doing the Ciclovia in Bogota on the same morning as you narrive in Colombia is probably not a good idea, consider arriving earlier if nyou can. Carry insect repellent on the cycles as there are lots of stops at ncoffee plantations etc. We received an excellent booklet covering each days ncycle on our first night. It is a good idea to bring this to each briefing nand note down the coffee and lunch stop points for the next day, this helps nin pacing yourself. Some of the roads cycled are very busy and on occasions ndiesel emitting trucks on uphill sections are also challenging.

Cycling Colombiau2019s coffee region

Beautiful landscapes

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The coffee region so green and lush and the beautiful green mountains

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Found the leading guide Andres a bit arrogant and failing sometimes to convey ninformation. Oscar, another guide, was amazing.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Climbs are tough but very rewarding. Just need to get your rhythm. No need nfor snacks as they were provided. Insect repellent and sunscreen absolutely nnecessary.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • Colombia is an amazing country every bit worth a visit. Lovely people, nbeautiful landscapes, a lot of history and delicious fruits!

Cycling Colombia

Really brilliant country really brilliant staff.Weather very changeable and ncycling was challenging with in everyones abilities[im 70 and another cyclist n76]Felt safe at all times and really enjoyed the scenery which was amazing I nthink vegetarians may need to be aware of limited options at some of the nremote hotels as you cycle point to point on most days.Suggest more use is nmade of supermarkets during the day so as to supplement any needs.Didnt worry nme but it can be difficult for some.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Ready to throw in towel on a massive climb to our finishing town TEMP was 38c ndown to last couple of gears then saw a small child struggling up the nmountain leg in plaster using a zimmer frame following her dad to get to nwhere ever they were going .Got up the rest of the climb in a bigger gear and npigged out on cakes and juice at the local supermarket.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • The whole crew were amazing and worked as a team Impressed with respect they nall showed to the mechanic[Hose] who they referred to as Don Hose.Brilliant nto see and we all were delived safely to the trips conclusion.No mean feat

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Make use of the Supermarkets as you may not eat a given hotel meal eg Fish as none rider didnt Was the only option.I ate everything but did buy up a few nextras from time to time All good fun loved it even if things went pear nshaped from time to time[things of my own doing eg Bumping into a car riding noff at the wrong time] Just stick to your own ability and pace When I felt ok nI went hard if not took it slowly and looked at the incredible scenery

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I will go back to see the rest of Colombia it was simply the biggest but best nsurprise packet of all my travels I have ever been on

Cycling Colombia

Really brilliant country really brilliant staff.Weather very changeable and ncycling was challenging with in everyones abilities[im 70 and another cyclist n76]Felt safe at all times and really enjoyed the scenery which was amazing I nthink vegetarians may need to be aware of limited options at some of the nremote hotels as you cycle point to point on most days.Suggest more use is nmade of supermarkets during the day so as to supplement any needs.Didnt worry nme but it can be difficult for some.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Ready to throw in towel on a massive climb to our finishing town TEMP was 38c ndown to last couple of gears then saw a small child struggling up the nmountain leg in plaster using a zimmer frame following her dad to get to nwhere ever they were going .Got up the rest of the climb in a bigger gear and npigged out on cakes and juice at the local supermarket.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • The whole crew were amazing and worked as a team Impressed with respect they nall showed to the mechanic[Hose] who they referred to as Don Hose.Brilliant nto see and we all were delived safely to the trips conclusion.No mean feat

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Make use of the Supermarkets as you may not eat a given hotel meal eg Fish as none rider didnt Was the only option.I ate everything but did buy up a few nextras from time to time All good fun loved it even if things went pear nshaped from time to time[things of my own doing eg Bumping into a car riding noff at the wrong time] Just stick to your own ability and pace When I felt ok nI went hard if not took it slowly and looked at the incredible scenery

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I will go back to see the rest of Colombia it was simply the biggest but best nsurprise packet of all my travels I have ever been on

cycling columbia - the ups with the downs

I absolutely loved this holiday. Have a group of like-minded people all nsweating around me and puffing and panting, made for a very cathartic nexperience. At times I thought that I was going to collapse, but I also knew n(or hoped) that all the other people in our party were feeling the same way. nI would not have gone as fast or as far just off my own steam.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Seeing or rather hearing other cyclists behind me passing me which urging me non.nSharing moments with other exodus travellers and guides.nDelighting in the wonderful array of fruits and fruit juices offered ninbetween our cycling efforts.nKnowing that no matter how slow we were (or rather I was), that there would nalways be a guide behind urging me on).nThe list goes on and is too numerous to put down on paper.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Gabriel was an inspiration with his 'universal' helmet and helpful insights ninto the history, politics and culture of the towns and departments we cycled nthrough.nAxel was a great help making sure that nobody was left behind and always made nsure we were ok.nOscar, words cannot describe how much I enjoyed his company, always showing nmore concern for us than himself.nJonathan was the quiet one but always there and an inspiration.nCesar was such a support making sure we all had enough drinks and snacks nwhenever the van stopped for a break.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Don't underestimate your ability even though everyone else 'seems' to look nfitter, faster and stronger. No matter how slow you might be, everyone npulled together and supported those of us that struggled. It was a fantastic nopportunity to get to know a beautiful area of the world which added to the nenjoyment sometimes helped alleviate the sore 'saddle'.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I am always impressed by the enthusiasm and effort that is put in to these nholidays. All the staff regardless of roles seem to really pull their weight nand by the time the holiday was at its end, it felt as though we were one ngreat big family where it felt to me as if so much had been shared and nlearned.

Cycling Colombia - quite a challenge.

Described as challenging, this is a not a trip for the faint-hearted. Plenty nof hills but with magnificent views once you make it to the top. Rather a nlot of riding on busy roads, but may be it was because of the Easter holiday nthat there was so much traffic. Excellent accommodation and support.

Rating 4
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Getting to the top of the patios hill climb in Bogota, after thinking I was ngoing to die due to the altitude!

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • The support team were excellent. Gabriel at the front, Oscar in the middle nand Axel at the back, all provided encouragement.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Get fit and don't be afraid of getting wet!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • A very good group of fellow travellers.

A Great Trip

Columbia is a huge and varied country. This was a great trip that gave our nparty a terrific view of part of Columbia in a short space of time.

Rating 4
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The cycling was through a wonderful hilly landscape so the views achieved nthrough the climbs had to be the highlight of the trip. There were many 'made nit' moments rewarded by the fabulous landscape.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Gabriel was a novice leader who did a great job. He had a nice light touch nand was fun to be with. Potentially he could have been more definitive with nwhat the days cycling would involve but was always happy to answer individual nquestions. In addition, we were provided with a booklet of the exact profile nof each days ride (a great innovation which I have not experienced on other ntrips) so questions were more to do with reassurance than lack of ninformation.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Some of the climbs are quite long and some short and steep. All of our party nhad done some preparation or were already cyclists therefore no one found the nchallenges too hard. My advice is prepare as much as you can. For some of us nwho are not cyclists spin classes really helped get the legs in gear.The team nwere great at accompanying the group which was all ages up to nearly 70.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I think the local operator, Pure Columbia, had put a lot of thought into nmaking the best out of the local conditions. Most of the hotels were above my nexpectations and where they were more simple I was confident that given we nwere experiencing non tourist areas they were as good as they could possibly nbe. The same went for the roads, yes there were some stretches of highway but nthese were kept to a minimum and a means to get us to long stretches of nbeautiful country sections. Also we did the Cartagena extension and Pure nColumbia did a great job on the organisation. If you can do it do so, the nCaribbean coast is a fantastic contrast to the interior. We loved the nboutique hotel in Cartagena's old town. The guided tour was great and they nmade available a trip to nearby islands for a bit of real Caribbean swimming.

Cycle colombia

I have done many trips with exodus but this rates as probably the best cycle ntrip I have ever been on so well organized the fantastic scenery the people nthe food the cycling was just amazing although the group was ok there were 2 npeople on the trip that did make me feel quite uncomfortable at times n.Colombia is just a great country and it deserves more western visitors go nnow before it becomes to overcrowded with tourists.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Well what can I say Oscar a fantastic guy leader person nothing was to much ntrouble for this amazing man also having Gabriel and Andreas plus a great man nAxel who stayed with me pulling me up the climbs and how can I forget Adelmo nthe mechanic also a former pro cyclist and of cause Augustus and Cesar the ndriver supplying us with endless water which was very welcome.These men all nwhere 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

Brilliant cycle trip to Colombia

Fantastic trip. 100% recommend it. Point to point cycling in beautiful nscenery with great staff.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Being part of the Bogota Ciclovia - Sunday riding through the closed streets nof Bogota with thousands of other people.nSome amazing downhillsnI really liked the side trip to the salt cathedral - the main chapel was nstunning!

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Tatiana is great. Very warm and friendly. She really took the time to look nafter us, and share her enthusiasm for Colombia. I'd really like to give the nwhole brilliant staff team, Oscar, Cesar and Jonathan, a mention as well as nit was all of them coming together to look after us that made for such a ngreat trip. Whether it was Oscar pointing out glaciers and sharing his nboundless enthusiasm for cycling, Cesar filling up our water bottles without neven being asked, or Jonathan sorting out the bikes and helping carry our nluggage, we were thoughtfully looked after at every point. It really felt nlike nothing was too much trouble and they were all very keen to show us the nbest 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 nto look around Bogota. It was also good to have an extra day to get used to nthe time difference before heading off for the Sunday cycling - otherwise you nland at 4am and then head out for a steep hill ride on just a few hours nsleep.nMake the most of all the juices - many like Loulo and Guanabana are really ndelicious. We really enjoyed trying them at the different rest stops.nRecommend organising a kitty approach for lunch and rest stops. It makes it nmuch easier than everyone trying to find small amounts of money at each stop.nIf you want to visit Coffee Theme Park at Pueblo Tapao be aware the last nentry is at 4pm.nDo the Sunday hill ride - it really boosts your confidence and it's brilliant nto be cycling with so many other riders who are all having a lot of fun! A ntotally 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 nwere great, really friendly and organised so everything went very smoothly nbut you never got the feeling that you were 'being organised'.nI much preferred being able to cycle point to point - the bus transfers on nother trips I have done can feel a bit disruptive to the cycling.nI'd also say that doing the Sunday hill ride in Bogota is a real confidence nbooster and although there are some long uphill rides in the rest of the ntrip, the support from the staff means that they are doable and the downhills nafterwards are amazing.nWe added on some days at the end (to go to Cartagena and Tayrona National nPark - highly recommend both) and felt completely safe at all times. The npeople of Colombia are really friendly and welcoming and it is them that make nthe trip as much as the scenery.

Accommodation

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.

Essential Info

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. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

 

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start Bogota.

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

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 25 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 86 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 62 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 44 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 64 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 32 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 29 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 75 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 58 km

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*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner
Distance covered : 47 km

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.

Meals Included : breakfast

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