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Why book with us?

  • We are locals and we know the routes deeply.
  • ¡We are cyclists! We are not only your tourist option by bike in Colombia, we are passionate about bikes
  • We have more than 10 years of experience sharing our country with the world
  • National and international awards and recognitions
  • We speak your same language: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish

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Alto de Letras Colombia

Alto de Letras Colombia

  • From Medellín or Bogotá
  • Minimum 4 people
  • Difficulty 4/5
  • Get to know 3 regions of Colombia
  • 8 days, 8 nights and 7 rides
  • Approximate elevation gain 11.000 m. Approximate total distance: 460 km

Custom your trip

You can customize this tour according to your needs, times or budget.

  • Choose the city where the tour begins (Medellín or Bogotá)
  • Possibility of reducing or increasing the number of days and nights.
  • Some rides can be lengthened or shortened depending on the level of the cyclists.
Chris T
Chris T
2020-05-23
Medellin - Retiro ¡Fantástico! muy recomendable! muy amable y organizado empresa! Paisaje muy hermoso! ¡ Qué país tan asombroso!
Scott Witthoff
Scott Witthoff
2020-05-19
Tour Of Coffee Region and Alto De Letras Exploring the coffee region, "luxury-glamping" in the jungle, tasting all the wonderful Colombian cuisine and climbing many famous climbs including Alto De Letras were the highlights of our experience in beautiful Colombia! Tomás and Marci were wonderful hosts. We landed in Medellin and were greeting by Tomás at the airport which made our transfer to the beautiful Casa Colombia Cycling super easy. Each day at Casa Colombia Cycling, we were treated to delicious home cooked meals. Our guest room was authentically Colombian and offered spectacular mountain views. On each ride, we would stop at roadside fruit stands and markets where Tomás would order us a few freshly squeezed juices and explain all the varieties of fruits grown in that Region of Colombia--his explanation of all things Colombia remained consistent throughout the entire trip. Marci drove sweep, providing support and followed us each day. She would pull the SAG vehicle over for us to fill our water bottles and feed us all kinds of delicious snacks (bocadillos were my all time favorite snack of Colombia). Tomás and Marci are true Colombian patriots and love to share their knowledge of the history and culture of Colombia. They shared so many truly amazing stories of the region and the country with us. We are thankful to have had our first (of hopefully many) Colombian experience with them. They run a first-class cycling tour company that provides a fully immersed experience in the Colombian culture. This trip was the best way to learn about another culture, explore a beautiful country, and ride big climbs! We cannot wait to go back. Love you two, Scotty and Linda
Shentos
Shentos
2020-05-07
Adventure in Colombia I can’t recommend a trip with Colombia Cycling highly enough. If you like adventure, stunning scenery, open roads and spending time around genuine and wonderful warm people (and who doesn’t?) then sign up now! I have been lucky enough to travel much of the world and this was right up there as an experience. Tomas and Marcela are lovely, kind and fun people who know Colombia like the back of their hands. The cycling is immense (think 45km downhills through the tropical Andes and 80km uphills at Letras and everything in between). Do not be put off by the Narco’s reputation of Colombia. It is safe and a vibrant place full of music and laughter and happiness. I spent five days cycling there, culminating in Letras- hard yards, but one of the greatest days on a bike. The accommodation was top class at all stops and Marcela and Tomas really went above and beyond with their attention to detail and passion for showing their country in its best light. Just go! It’s brilliant
Mark B
Mark B
2020-05-05
Fantastic Cycling Tour My time riding with Colombia Cycling was far and away the best cycling tour that I've been on. Marcela and Tomas provided excellent service throughout - from pre-trip communications, excellent logistics when I arrived and then an excellent itinerary of riding there. The quality of the climbs and the roads was fantastic, with multiple 10km+ climbs (and of course Letras at 80km, sweeping descents and a variety of climates. The trip was a great balance of cycling, but also experiencing the local culture and feeling more immersed than "just coming to cycle", understanding the history and geography of Colombia. I cannot recommend them enough and look forward to visiting again in the future.
Nathan T
Nathan T
2020-05-04
Explore Colombia From the moment I landed in Medellin, I was in very good hands. Tomas and Marcella had everything arranged - from the pickup at the airport to accommodations, food, transportation, and most importantly the incredible cycling. The accommodations were absolutely stunning and our hosts were warm, friendly, and very welcoming. Tomas spent the first day with us going over the route plan, setting up our bicycles and getting us familiar with our surroundings. Each day had its own surprise and each day I spent with the group was so remarkable I can hardly describe. What a fantastic way to explore Colombia, develop my cycling skills, make great friends, and experience the first-rate cycling culture Colombia has to offer. In my opinion, Tomas and Marcella represent Colombia's greatest ambassadors to the world of cycling and cycle tourism. I can say this with certainty as I enjoyed the first trip so much that I returned the next year to do it all again!
Edward M
Edward M
2020-04-27
Awesome cycling in a fantastic country! Everything about our trip with Colombia Cycling was brilliantly organised by Tomas and Marcela. From the tour of Medellin to the suffering into Jerico both were there to provide unrelenting support both on the bike and with delicious energising snacks from the vehicle. Away from the great food, hotels and company they also ensured we had superb bikes to get us up and down the beautiful mountains. This was absolutely the best cycling trip we have ever made and it would be great to go back and do it again. Thanks for an awesome trip! Note: we visited in October 2017 but TA won't allow a backdate that far.
karlsbad79
karlsbad79
2020-04-21
Our favorite vacation! My husband and I spent 5 days cycling with Colombia cycling in June 2018. We had the BEST vacation. The trip was tailored to us, given our limited schedule, and was expertly guided. Our goal was to climb letras. We accomplished that feat, and so much more! We stayed at the coolest local lodging, had wonderful meals, saw beautiful scenery, learned a ton about Colombia, were coached and encouraged up all the repechos, and were treated to little surprises and delights around every corner. The best was how welcoming Tomas and Marcella were and how much fun we had with them. It simply was an amazing experience. We hope to return for more cycling around Medellin soon!
Mark K
Mark K
2020-04-20
Cycling in Heaven I have cycled twice with Colombia Cycling, in 2016 and 2017. I still remember my very first day riding around Rio Negro (just outside of Medellin) that Sunday, seeing so many of the locals out on their bikes and witnessing how courteous the local motorists were to cyclists, overwhelmed by the beauty of the country and the warmth of its people, and thrilled with how fun the roads were to cycle on. And that was my first day. And it only got better each and every day after. Cycling in Colombia is pure joy. It's also a lot of hard work. The climbs can be steep and unrelenting, the descents very technical. There is much suffering when riding there (as a roadie you embrace it), you earn every kilometre, but there is so much joy to be had as you take in beautiful vistas that make you forget how hard you are woking, as you ride through some of the most picturesque towns with their vibrant colours, past the coffee bean fields, and through the clouds to the summit of the day's ride. And the coffee is the best. My two fantastic trips to Colombia are due to the hard work of Tomas and Marcella, the husband and wife team who own Colombia Cycling. They take of everything, leaving you only to focus on riding. Tomas is an exceptional guide and will help you improve as a cyclist. And Marcella ensures everything runs smoothly. Both are very warm and kind and want to share their beautiful country with you. You'll be happy to have spent time with them. I'm looking forward to riding with them again this fall (fingers crossed we'll be allowed to travel once again by then).
Morten P
Morten P
2020-04-17
Most AWESOME cycling adventure ever! My wife and I had the awesome experience of cycling in Colombia in the fall of 2017. We didn't know what to expect but were ready for a week of cycling and adventures. Colombia Cycling delivered the most splendid, incredible and superb service minded experience of Colombia on 2 wheels. Tomas and Marcela are just faboulous owners and cycling and tourism ambassadors for Colombia. I feel proud to got to know them and felt the friendliness of Colombia Cycling, of Colombia, and of conquering Letras plus many other hill climbs. The mix of experiencing Colombia, the cuisine, small town squares and endless rolling hills was truly amazing!!!
Roy L
Roy L
2020-04-16
The best way to tackle Letras It all starts with the warm welcome from Tomas and Marcela... and from there it unfolds into a very personalized experience from very knowledgeable people. Knowledge of their country, their traditions, the food, the places and if course cycling! All the accommodations and meals are carefully curated. My adventure buddy and I decided to spend around 10 days in Colombia and included a trip to the famous Alto de Letras. We are known for going for the full adventure, so we didn’t drive to the start but decided to ride out of Medellin was the way to go! A stop for a riverside beer before finishing up in the small town of Honda. What a nice town and hotel! The next day, there was only one way to go: up, up to the top of Letras. The support that Marcela provides along the way was outstanding: having snacks and hydration along the way. In no time we were at the top, but that wasn’t enough! we wanted to go higher and talking about personalized service: Tomas took us up the road towards el Parque los Nevados... even higher than Letras! My buddy and I wanted to descend to Manizales, it looked like a fun descent and it was until it started pouring rain! But we had Colombia Cycling’s car following is safe to the bottom to end our Letras adventure with a Colombian plate appetizers, a beer and soaking our legs in the hot springs. What a memory that will live in our minds and our legs for years to come!

“Alto de Letras” is truly a “bucket list” climb for serious cyclists. As Colombia’s most challenging climb, it ranks next to Hawaii’s Mauna Loa as one of the longest mountains passes in the world, which can be done on a road bike.

Through its more than 3,800 meters of gained elevation over the course of 82 kilometers, you’ll discover beautiful landscapes, new scents, and typical villages.

We will stay 45 kilometers outside the city to pedal our first ride at 2,300 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level. This region is the second-largest flower producer in Colombia, and produces 20% of all the flowers that our country exports. After we’ve completed our big challenge, we will relax in natural hot springs. To finish the trip, we spend time enjoying the coffee region, riding around coffee plantations, learning about coffee, and closing with the best records in our cycling profile.

After much grit, dedication and passion, when you complete the challenge that is this climb, you will be left with incredible feelings of accomplishment.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ride on previously explored and selected roads with less traffic.
  • Medellín, its transformation, history, and fashionable places.
  • Cultural immersion, a visit to Colombian artisans and gourmet restaurants.
  • Natural hot springs.
  • Accommodation in boutique hotels.

City where it starts

Medellín

City where it ends

Salento (Nearest airport PEI or AXM)

What includes

  • Transport from and to the airport
  • All lodgings are included - premium accommodation for 8 nights (double accommodation) in authentic country houses or luxury “haciendas”.
  • All breakfasts, lunch, and dinners.
  • Hydrating drinks, sports snacks, electrolytes, granolas, stops at each ride with a typical snack (juices, coffee, fruits, fritters)
  • Support 7 rides, Car support, and motorcycle (depend on the ride)
  • Guides in your language: English, Italian, French, Portuguese.
  • Mechanic service: All bike servicing, including one standard tune-ups provided by certified camp staff.
  • Transportation (transfers by car in some routes)
  • Activities designed to enhance your knowledge of the local culture. Discover the economy and culture of the towns we pass by.
  • Personal accident insurance

Does not include

  • Additional services
  • Taxes
  • Airlines tickets and tips.
  • Alcoholic beverages during lunch and dinner.

Additional services

  • Early arrivals or departures will incur a $50USD fee. Arrangements for accommodations and food are an additional charge.
  • Full kit Colombia Cycling (bib short and jersey; Special Edition) $150 USD
  • Sports Massage: $40 USD
  • Colombia Cycling bag (60 USD), giving you the space you need for all your essentials, cycling gadgets, bike helmet and clothes.
  • Bikes for rent are available at a price of $55 USD/day.
Gallery

This is how we live the tour

The experience and our hotels

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Colombia

From your arrival, you only have to worry about enjoying yourself and pedaling. We will pick you up at the José María Córdova International Airport (MDE), or in Medellín if you arrived in the city a few days before.

Our transportation service will then take you to the hotel. Our mechanics will assemble and service your bike so that it is ready for adventure. At the end of the afternoon, we will present the trip, share recommendations for riding safely here, and outline in detail the itinerary. We will resolve any doubts to guarantee a pleasant and enjoyable trip for everyone.

This day includes dinner. If you arrive very early in the morning we will help you organize your time so that you can enjoy Colombia until the time of our meeting.

Day 2Antioquia towns of the east

We start the ride at 2,200 meters above sea level, in a region that has been used in recent years by the greatest figures in international cycling (Julien Alaphilippe, Dumoulin, Jungels, Sagan, Froome, Sep Kuss, Annemiek, De La Part, Simon Pellaud) and the Colombian “escarabajos” Rigo Urán, Higuita, Martínez, Tejada, just to name a few. It will not be unusual to meet one of them in our first conditioning round.

On this day you will get to know some famous slopes and republican towns such as La Ceja and El Retiro. We will do this along previously chosen routes with less traffic and we will stop at the best places for a coffee, a juice or a delicious “buñuelo”.

It will be around 50 km and depending on the day we will stop at an artisan brewery and close the ride in the town with a delicious lunch. You will have a free afternoon to walk, drink coffee, and experience the Antioquian culture.

Approximate distance: 50 km / 31 mi, positive elevation gain: 1,000 m / 3,280 ft

Beginner cyclist option: 40 km/ 24 mi, positive elevation gain 780 m/2,560 ft

Advanced cyclists option: 80km / 50mi, positive elevation gain 1,300 m /4,270 ft

Day 3City ​​of flowers

We ride towards the Alto de las Flores, well known because it was the origin of the Flower Fair in Medellín. Here, we will learn about the silletera culture. We will finish the ride in a beautiful hotel located on a nature reserve, there we will shower and enjoy lunch in Medellín in comfort.

On this day, we will also show you why Medellín was selected as the most innovative city in the world in 2013. From the hand of an expert, we will learn the history of Medellín and how we went from being the most violent city in the world to one of the cities with the greatest tourist projection and the best reception. We will visit the most important communes or “favelas” in the city, an example of transformation and social development.

We end the day celebrating with a coffee or a beer in the oldest bar in the city.

Distance: 47km/29.2 mi. +1,057 m/3,467 ft. Ascent: 7.4km/4.6 mi.

Expert cyclists option: 63.1 km/39.2 mi. Elevation: +1,430 m/4,690 ft.

Day 4Like kings in a heritage town

We start with a transfer by car to take care of our legs and avoid traffic.

We ride towards a beautiful patrimonial town that takes its name from the Ondaimas, the indigenous people that inhabited the banks of the Magdalena River. This town is known as “the City of Bridges” with more than 40 of them over the Magdalena River. The tour through one of the flattest areas of Colombia will serve as preparation for the challenge that lies ahead. We are going to experience several climatic zones and a unique landscape. A grape juice in the main market of the town will be the reward upon arrival.

We will enjoy the afternoon in a hotel that belonged to the viceroys of the time, with a pool and beer. Here, we will talk about what will be our next stage, El Alto de Letras.

Distance: 45.2 km / 28 mi, elevation gain: 328 m /1,070 ft

Day 5Alto de Letras! The big challenge

Letras, The big challenge!

We are going to climb one of the longest mountain pass in the world.

Don’t worry about water, granolas, bananas, and assistance. Our experience along with escorts on bike, motorbike and car will be ready to help you with whatever you need.

The effort and sweat will be rewarded by the amazing landscapes of the route, the small towns and the people cheering you on throughout the ride. The smells, the change of vegetation, and the different crops will make the climb always varied and interesting.

Usually, we will make a stop at approximately kilometer 40, but feel free to continue if you don’t want to stop. At the end of the ride, you will get to enjoy the hot springs at our next hotel in the middle of nature. That night over a big dinner, we will celebrate!

Distance: 100 km / 62 mi, elevation gain: 4,150 m / 13,600 ft

Short option: 80 km / 50 mi, elevation gain: 3800 m / 12,460 ft

Long option: 120 km / 75mi, elevation gain: 4,250 m / 13,950 ft

Day 6Colombian coffee axis

Colombia produces a lot of very good coffee. Annual production is estimated at 14 million bags (60 kg). In this second part of the tour, we are going to visit one of the most renowned areas, the “Coffee Cultural Landscape”, declared in 2011 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The area made up of the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío, will be our destination in the coming days. We will ride among coffee plantations, will visit typical towns, experience excellent gastronomy and, of course, we will ride on the famous ¨willys¨ jeep.

Today will not be a “coffee ride”, or rest day, after Letras, and the legs will surely feel it! At the beginning of the day, we will transfer by car to avoid the city traffic and then we will complete a ride with a couple of mountain passes of 3 km and 6 km. We will enjoy a good coffee in a square and then finish at the hotel with a pool, lunch, and a very pleasant climate.

Distance: 63.7 km, Elevation Gain: 1,567 m.

Day 7The most beautiful coffee town

This town has some of the best-preserved architecture in the region, a panoramic viewpoint, fine handicrafts, and exuberant natural reserves full of wildlife.

Located in the highlands of Quindío, surrounded by coffee, with colors that spread from the houses to its main square. This picturesque town is also known as El Cerro Iluminado de los Andes. There, we will travel in a jeep, a ¨Willy¨ (a representative icon of the coffee region) and will eat in one of the best restaurants in the coffee region. Then, we will enjoy an agua diente while listening to salsa at night.

The ride this day begins with a small transfer of 20 minutes after breakfast, where we can change and have a coffee to start the ride. At the beginning, we may encounter some traffic, then will face our first climb of 5 km. When we arrive at Quimbaya we will make a stop and then finish with a ¨false flat climb and some ramps of around 10 km. Get ready to enjoy one of the best hotels designed for cyclists in Colombia, good food, rest, a jacuzzi, and the possibility of a massage and laundry upon arrival.*

Distance: 54.2km/33.8 mi. Elevation +1,336 m/ 4,480 ft.

*Additional costs apply

Día 8Encanto! Valle de Cocora

Located in the middle of beautiful green mountains in the department of Armenia, Salento has become the image of the coffee region. Good coffees, handicrafts, impressive nature, trout with patacón, and an incredible view over the Cocora Valley make visitors “enchanted”.

Its architecture from the paisa colonization, reflected in its brightly colored and beautifully carved wooden doors and windows, will transport us to another era. At the end of royal street, after visiting the handicrafts, we can go up the stairs that lead to Alto de la Cruz, from where we can see the green Valley and the mountains that surround it.

We start the ride from the hotel. This will be our last stage. We will ride to Salento (we will have two options depending on the legs) and the plan will be to go up to the wonderful Valle de Cocora, 10km, surrounded by nature that will help us make the climb more enjoyable. Before we reach Salento, we will have a 3km climb that will be the prelude to our last challenge of this wonderful trip.

In Salento we will bathe, have lunch and enjoy the afternoon and then close with dinner and celebrate.

Note: people who have to travel that same can do it at the end of the afternoon to make their international connection will have no problem, but it is recommended to spend the night there and fly the next day.

Distance: 42.1 km / 26.1 mi. Elevation + 1,217 m /3,993 ft

Challenging option: 78.9 km / 49 mi. Elevation +1,856 m / 6,089 ft

Day 9End of tour

Airport transfer. Homecoming.

Maps

Map of the trip ... Coming soon

FAQ

How do you accommodate different levels of cyclists on the same trip?

We love having groups of mixed-ability cyclists. That being said, though, we want all riders to enjoy their experience; we understand the need for some cyclists to take a break now and again. We always cycle with a support car, so any cyclist may ride in the car in any moment.

How will cycling in high altitudes affect me?

If your body is not used to high altitudes, the first few days can be slightly more challenging than expected. The first rides of our tours are “easy going” to get use. We offer also an option to arrive early! For many people, the body adjusts to the altitude within 24-48 hours.

How does training in a higher altitude improve my physical shape?

Training in high altitudes is one way many athletes improve their overall potential. Colombia is full of varying elevations, so you will sleep, ride, and live in altitudes much higher than most people are used to. Doing so will increase your red blood cell counts, which can improve your athleticism.

Should I train for my trip?

The bike is our favorite way to get to know a country and its culture. We recommend that you be in good shape to maximize your enjoyment. Also you will enjoy your experience the most if you choose a plan that best matches your cycling level. Please ask for our Cycling Level taste to calculate your level and to determine which plan is the best fit for you.

What happens if it rains during our rides?

It’s likely that we will get wet at some point during the trip, as rain isn’t uncommon, especially during certain times throughout the year. Fortunately, though, we do most of our rides during the morning and the rain usually occurs in the late afternoons and evenings. Either way, you won’t freeze in Colombia!

How many cyclists do you allow on your tours at one time?

Our average, our cycling groups have between 7 and 12 people, and the planned tours max out at 22 people (not including our staff). Our logistics team will evaluate these situations according to your needs and how we can best accommodate your group.

What kinds of accommodations are provided?

All of our lodging accommodations are double occupancy. We want you to experience the unique culture of each area we ride, so the specific types of accommodations vary by region. All accommodations will be comfortable, welcoming, and conveniently located.

I’ve heard about Colombia’s reputation as a violent and corrupt country. Is Colombia safe?

Yes, Colombia is safe. All the regions that we will visit to shoot are “recommended areas” to travel to and have been marked as safe areas. (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/colombia). At Colombia Cycling we are in constant contact with the authorities and we are updated on any eventuality that may arise in these areas.

If you want to talk to a cyclist who has already ridden with us to find out about their experience, tell us and we will put you in touch with someone who can be close to you.

professional support

We love our country and riding a bike

There are already hundreds of Colombian ambassadors around the world, with whom you can have a coffee or share their experience in our country in a call. They will tell you how improved their level with the advice of Tomás who ran local races. Colombia is a country full of culture, rich gastronomy, and traditions, and our wonderful people will surprise you every day with their warmth. Live an authentic experience in the best Colombia Cycling style.

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