Colombia Cycle Tour

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Colombia Cycle Tour, embark on South America's most iconic biking adventure

Colourful Colombia - a cycling paradise! Imagine a country that is one of the most beautiful and least visited in South America, claims to be “one of the happiest places on earth” and where cycling is not just a pastime but a national sport! Find all this on our Colombia Cycle Tour.

Yes, Colombians are bike mad!  They love road cycling; they love extreme mountain biking; they love urban downhill…. they love bikes, any bikes and most Colombians ride a bike… just any old bike will do and Sundays is cyclovia where the main roads in the the towns and cities close to motorised traffic and are filled with people riding bikes, skates, skate boards and scooters!

We make the most of the cycling culture and epic cycling terrain as we ride through thriving cities and friendly cowboy towns; vast coffee growing regions, tropics, jungle, semi-desert and Andean alpine environments.

Colombia is so diverse that it boasts every growing climate imaginable: hot steamy tropical valleys full of pineapples and papayas, higher up coffee, cacao and banana plantations thrive and in the highlands almost they grow every fruit and vegetable you can imagine!

If ever there was a land of diversity – Colombia is it!  With a turbulent history of European colonialism, political struggles and drug wars, Colombia has now moved on and as a cycle touring destination – it is pretty much perfect!

We can’t wait to share with you this land of divine cycling and warm welcomes from everyone we meet!

Colombia Tour Highlights

Departure & Return Location

Start: Colombia, Manizales
Finish: Colombia, Manizales

Price Includes

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • 14 nights Accommodation
  • Meals as per tour itinerary
  • Two NZ based Escape Adventures leaders
  • Local interpreter & driver
  • Local support vehicle
  • Entry fees as per itinerary
  • Bogota city bike tour
  • Coffee tour
  • River transfer

Optional Extras

  • Bike Hire: If required hire fee is NZD $450

Price Excludes

  • Airfares, visas, or airport taxes
  • Optional activities and excursions
  • A couple of meals as per the detailed itinerary
  • Personal vaccinations or personal equipment

Solo Travellers - Single Supplement

  • NO Single Supplement! If you are traveling on your own, we will pair you with another single biker of the same gender to share a twin room.
  • If you do not wish to share that is fine too, a single supplement of NZD 1460 will apply.
Itinerary - Colombia Supported Cycle Tour
The daily riding distances listed below are the maximum we plan to ride each day. Our support vehicle is always close by if you would like a break from the saddle.

DAY 1: Meet at our starting hotel in Manizales

Meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers at 5pm for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together. Please plan to arrive no later than mid-afternoon. 

Accommodation: Hotel

 Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: Let starts with caffeine!

Ever wondered about the origins of your morning coffee? Well now you can find out! After riding out of Manizales city we descend into the heart of Colombia’s coffee region and learn how the humble coffee berry goes from bush to cup then spend the night on a working coffee farm.

Cycling Distance: 37km

Accommodation: Coffee Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: Bike through bountiful plantations

We continue pedaling today through a rolling patchwork of coffee, banana, citrus and cacao plantations as we drop down to the valley floor. After lunch, a short transfer takes us up to a bird and butterfly sanctuary for the night.

Cycling Distance: 32km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: Up and away on the Central Andean range

An early start today, it’s only a short ride but mostly up as we climb up into Los Nevados National Park on the Central Andean Range. We end our climb at Colombia’s highest hotel at 3500m and home to masses of hummingbirds.

Cycling Distance: 21km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: Big climbs = Big descents!

Our day starts with more climbing as we make our way up to the highest point of the tour at just over 4000m and around the base of the active volcano Nevado Del Ruiz. The next 30 km are optional to ride as the road gets pretty rough as we traverse high in the Andes through an ever- changing alpine landscape.

Cycling Distance: 54km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Pedal power through volcanic landscapes

We continue riding down the Andes to the valley floor below to Armero, the site of the 1985 tragic mudflow following the eruption of the volcano Nevado Del Ruiz. In the afternoon we take a vehicle transfer up to Bogota City at 2640m.

Cycling Distance: 58km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

DAY 7: Explore Bogota by Bike

Optional: Join us on a morning bike tour of Colombia’s capital city. Check out the sights and sounds of Bogota including graffiti art, fresh fruit markets, coffee roastery and so much more! Free Afternoon

Cycling Distance: 20km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: Cycle a diverse canvas of landscapes

After a transfer away from Bogota City our ride is an ever-changing canvas as we pass through coal mining regions, lush dairy farms and finally drop into a semi-desert landscape and an area well known locally for its handicrafts and pottery.

Cycling Distance: 53km

Accommodation: Hospedaje

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: Rural riding, vineyards and historic towns await

We continue biking through this dry semi-desert region, through small villages making BIG sausages.. and visit Colombia’s finest vineyard for a wee tipple or two….before reaching Villa De Leyva: An historic colonial town known for having Colombia’s largest town square.

Riding Distance: 30km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10: Hop on your steed, its real cowboy country now

We continue biking through this dry semi-desert region, through small villages making BIG sausages.. and visit Colombia’s finest vineyard for a wee tipple or two….before reaching Villa De Leyva: An historic colonial town known for having Colombia’s largest town square.

Cycling Distance: 74km

Accommodation:Basic Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: Pedal to remote hillside villages

We have a short transfer drive to avoid a busy road before we start our climb up to a wee village nestled high in the hills.

Cycling Distance: 17km
Accommodation: Hospedaje
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12: Cycle the Magdalena River valley

As the saying goes: What goes up must come down. Another 13 km’s of a gentle winding climb will earn us 60 plus km’s of twisting, turning, hair blowing descent into the Magdalena River valley. Refuel this evening on Colombian street food in the town square.

Cycling Distance: 79km

Accommodation: Hospedaje

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13: The land of birds, butterflies and iguanas!

We start the day with a transfer across the hot and sweaty valley floor then ride on through cattle and buffalo country. Keep your eyes open spotting birds, butterflies and iguanas as we pass-through ever-changing flora to a small riverside village on the banks of the Magdalena River.

Cycling Distance: 50km

Accommodation: Hospedaje

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Dinner

DAY 14: Boats and bikes get us back to Manizales

First, we swap our bikes for a short boat journey up the Magdalena river. Then a vehicle transfer up and over a 3700m pass before getting back on our bikes for our final descent to Manizales city.

Cycling Distance: 33km

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: Farewell

Our final breakfast then on to your next adventure!

Meals: Breakfast

Photos from the Colombia Cycle Tour

Map - Colombia Cycle Tour

Colombia Cycle Tour Frequently Asked Questions

Escape Adventures fully supported bike tours have been running for decades, if you have any questions "just ask us"

The biking lowdown

Your tour itinerary offers 17-80km biking per day; a total distance of up to 560km spread over 13 days of biking.

The Terrain: includes 70% paved roads and 30% un-paved roads with one 30km optional rough section which mountain-bikers will love, but others may not! The riding is mostly undulating with rolling hills and includes two days with long sustained climbs reaching a maximum altitude of 4200m, and of course some lovely long descents!! The trip is suited to riders with a good level of biking fitness who are happy chugging their way up a couple of long climbs, and off-road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour. A mountain bike with front suspension and fast rolling tyres is the ideal bike and we have a fleet of our own mountain bikes available for hire.

Support: Our trusty support vehicle carries all your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water at hand, and is there if you need a break from the saddle.

How fit do I need to be for this cycle tour?

Please do read about the daily riding distances and riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure! However, please do not judge the rides by daily distances alone! Hills and altitude offer added challenge to your cycle tour. The tour is mostly in the Colombian Andes and ranges from between 150m-4200m altitude with plenty of ups and downs. Some days offer 30km climbs (however the gradients are usually pretty gentle).

You should be comfortable riding 3-4 times a week with regular rides of 30-50km in length. Please do contact us if you would like some help with a detailed training plan.

What type of bikes do we ride?

In Colombia we have a fleet of our own mountain bikes available for hire. They are Trek X-Caliber 8 which are a quality hard tail mountain bike with 29 inch wheels for medium, large and XL frame sizes and 27.5 inch wheels for small frame size. They have Rockshox 100mm front suspension, Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano 1×10 gearing. We have all spare parts on board and maintain them ourselves to make sure they are in optimal riding condition for your ride with us.

If you will be hiring a bike from us please let us know prior to your trip, and please feel free to bring your favourite saddle and clip in pedals (if you normally clip in).

 

What kind of meals do you provide?

Your tour leaders will take care of your meals and snacks throughout your journey with us which mostly takes advantage of the delicious fare in local restaurants. This excludes two lunches and four evening meals which are at your own cost to give you the opportunity to explore local eating options of your own choosing. We are able to cater for vegetarians* and special diets and if this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.
Typical meals include:

  • Breakfasts – Colombian style: Eggs, bread, coffee and juice.
  • Lunches – Mostly in local restaurants**
  • Evening Meals – Mostly in local restaurants**

*Vegetarians – Please note that in Colombia meat is considered staple and vegetarianism is not widely understood. We will be doing our best to request dishes with plenty of vegetables (and meat-free dishes) however vegetarian options are limited and hence can be repetitive and you really need to be the type of vegetarian who is OK to ‘eat around the meat’.
**Colombian traditional food consists of rice and bean dishes with plenty of meat, eggs, plantain, corn bread and meat-based soups. We will do our best to supplement with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

What kind of accommodation can I expect?

All accommodation for the duration of your tour is included in locally owned hospedajes and hotels on a twin share basis (2-4 star), and one night in basic farm-stay dormitory rooms. 

Most hotels and hospedajes have en-suite bathrooms however it is occasionally necessary to share bathroom facilities.

Singles: We do not charge a single supplement! 
If you are traveling on your own, we will pair you with another single biker of the same gender to share a twin room.  If you do not wish to share, that is fine too, but a single supplement will apply.

What is the maximum size of the cycle group?

This trip has 8-12 bikers, plus two experienced Escape Adventures tour leaders and a small local team with a bilingual interpreter and support drivers.

6 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Hamish Wilcox

Solo Traveller

We biked Colombia with Escape Adventures and experienced another unforgettable adventure. I understand why Escape Adventures has so many repeat customers! It has been 8 years since we biked Laos with Mandy and John for an amazing journey in remote Asia. Colombia met and exceeded our high expectations. So many varied and different landscapes from tropical jungle and alpine tundra. In between this was the coffee and chocolate plantations, buffalo farms, mining and pottery towns and of course amazing people everywhere. It’s easy to see why Colombians have the reputation for being the happiest people on the planet. We were warmly welcomed and met only happy people, no sign of PABLO and his bad men

October 3, 2020

Penny Nash

Couple Traveller

In September 2019 we enjoyed another amazing Escape Adventures holiday – our third and this time in Colombia – and finished absolutely exhilarated by the experiences and fun that we had had in the packed two and a half weeks! Yet again, John, Mandy and their team have masterminded and executed a fantastic adventure. Every day brought different surprises and showed us another side to the multi faceted country that is Colombia – from breathtaking scenery, to varied towns and villages and great food (and some of eateries that we went to were fabulously eclectic). Bruce and Sarah were both excellent tour leaders – organised, calm, helpful, supportive and everything done with enthusiasm and a great sense of humour. Milton, the local guide, was fantastically knowledgeable about his beloved country, took us to lots of interesting places and gave us heaps of background information on everything we did – as well as being a mine of information on the history and politics of the country. Our driver, Hoover, was outstanding – and that is not easy in Colombian traffic – as well as being an integral member of the support team generally. Yes, the cycling was hard – but I managed better than I have done on previous trips and felt that I learned a lot through the support that Sarah and Bruce gave me. Perhaps the best aspect of the whole trip was the cohesion and camaraderie of our whole group. We always love spending time with our Perth friends, and it was great to catch up again with the kiwis and make new friends amongst the other members of the group. Although they were all amongst the strongest cyclists, they were all supportive of us weaker ones and always generous with their help and encouragement. Lovely, lovely people all of them and we hope to meet up with them again (and with Bruce and Sarah) one day. So many thanks again Escape Adventures for another wonderful holiday. We just hope we can stay fit enough to enjoy another adventure with you in the future!

October 15, 2019

Julie Hamilton

Couple Traveller

This is the third cycle tour we have done with Escape Adventures. We keep going back for more! I will have to admit I was nervous about heading to Colombia – but I had nothing to fear. A country of friendly open people who just love cyclists and felt so welcomed by them to their country. Lots of hills but all very doable even for a chick like me. Hills allow great views. Colombia is a little more developed than the other two countries we had done the trips to – but that’s what we like, ‘different’. None of the trips have been the same. I totally recommend this one. Thanks John, Bruce and Sarah you ran a great ‘tight ship’.

June 1, 2019

Karen Savage

Solo Traveller

I came home from my latest adventure quite convinced I had experienced the “real” Colombia. Our morning cycle tour of Bogota (10 million people) was truly amazing and informative, but it was the tiny villages on mountain ridges that I really loved to explore. I imagine they demonstrate the true character of Colombian society; the people and their lifestyle, food, music, language, industry, dress and accommodation. I became part of each village for just a short while and each night I slept in “the best hotel in town”. I am so lucky I get to follow my guides to such out-of-the-way places. I am safe in John’s care, the locals are super friendly, I am well informed by local guide Alex and I wonder how on earth John and Mandy found their way to these special places! Every day is a new adventure; I love the element of surprise that is fundamental to all Escape Adventure journeys. Yet again you have enriched my life. Don’t change a thing! Especially the 60km downhill ride.

October 10, 2018

Carl & Rose Robinson

Couple Traveller

Expect the unexpected and know everything will turn out alright. This was our second tour with Escape Adventures and again we were left in awe with the level of preparatory work that goes into these tours. This was the “maiden tour” of Colombia and there were a few hiccups but we always felt everything was under control. Again we were amazed with the route that John and Mandy have come up with; biking through villages and countryside that few, if any, tourists get to see. Fabulous adventure and we look forward to doing EA again for another tour.

October 1, 2018
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