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On this tour, we will explore the beauty of Antioquia. Antioquia is a department of Colombia that is 1.3 times larger than Costa Rica. The rides on this tour roll through the Andes mountain range. We will be climbing challenging mountains and visiting quaint colonial towns, all the while having the smell of coffee in the background. This region produces almost all the coffee in the Antioquia, which produces approximately 15% of the coffee in Colombia. As well as this, we will visit and learn about the history of Medellín, a flagship city for social innovation.
We start in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia. We will acclimatize to the altitude in a town in eastern Antioqueño at 2,300 meters above sea level, 30 minutes from Medellín. Then we will move to southwest Antioquia. You will never see a cup of coffee in the same way again.
Enjoy Colombia, a country with a perfect climate throughout the year. This trip is recommended by Colombia Cycling.
Upon arrival, we will pick you up at the José María Córdoba airport in Rionegro, which serves the city of Medellín.
We assemble the bikes and make a welcome dinner, where we enjoy our gastronomy. Colombian cuisine is very diverse and varies according to the different regions of Colombia. During dinner, in addition to celebrating the great adventure that is about to begin, we will have a tour presentation where we present the details of the trip.
For our first day we do an acclimatization ride where you will have the opportunity to get to know our famous “Repechos”, get to know the terrain, feel the roads, adapt to traffic, and practice some tips on how to ride in Colombia. We visited 3 towns that have many Spanish features such as churches, main squares, and large houses with interior patios. We have a good coffee in the town that will be our first destination, El Retiro, famous for its knowledge of and work in wood.
Distance: 65.4 km. Elevation gain: 1,292 meters.
We ride towards the region of flowers, famous for the “silleteros”. Our route includes a popular category 2 climb and a series of “bluffs” to burn legs. For this reason, this region has produced many high-level cyclists. We finish the ride in a nice country hotel, where we shower and have lunch.
Then we will get to know Medellín. We will visit one of the most important communes, or “favelas”, that has been one of the symbols of social transformation and development of Medellín. On this day we will share with you how Medellín was selected as the most innovative city in the world in 2013. We will spend the night in Medellin.
We end the day celebrating with a coffee or a beer in the oldest bar in the city.
Distance: 47km/29.2mi. +1,057 m/3,467 ft. Ascent: 7.4km/4.6mi.
Expert cyclists option: 63.1 km/39.2 mi. Elevation: +1,430 m/4,690 ft.
This day takes us to Guatapé, a town that borders one of the main power generation reservoirs in Colombia. During the ride, we pass through a town renowned for its work in ceramics where they combine ancestral Colombian techniques with new Italian techniques to produce hand-painted tableware. We then pass near the Piedra del Peñol, a huge rock that stands 7,005 feet (2,135 m) high. You can only access its top by climbing its 659 steps. We finish the ride, shower in a hotel in the main square, and have lunch. The reservoir was built in the mid-1970s and is one of the highest dams in the world, located at more than 2,000 meters (6,561 ft) above sea level.
Distance: 88.1 km. Elevation gain: 1,229 meters.
We ride towards the region of flowers, famous for the “silleteros”. Our route includes a popular category 2 climb and a series of “bluffs” to burn legs. For some reason, this region has produced so many high-level cyclists. We finished the ride in a nice country hotel, where we bathed and had lunch. Then we will get to know Medellín, passing through one of the most important communes, or “favelas” that have been one of the symbols of social transformation and development of Medellín. On this day we share with you how Medellín was selected as the most innovative city in the world. We spend the night in Medellin.
Distance: 59.2 km. Elevation gain: 1,322 meters.
Getting around by bike is the best way to get to know a city. Get to know Medellín, a surprising, innovative and hospitable city. We visit the main neighborhoods, take a gastronomic tour and end the tour having lunch in the pink zone of the city. Then we will travel by car to the Southwest of Antioquia, where we will have the second part of our tour.
The view of Cerro Tusa is the best omen of what is to come in the coffee zone.
Distance: 63.7 km, Elevation Gain: 1,567 m.
We ride towards the coffee region of Antioquia, with “Cerro Tusa” on our horizon. A pyramid-shaped mountain where the native Indians made offerings to their gods. This is also the same mountain that the famous coffee grower Juan Valdez uses in his image. The trip to the southwest of Antioquia takes us up to 600 meters above sea level, where we experience a different climate and see a wide variety of flora and fauna. Once we cross the Cauca River, one of the largest and most important rivers in Colombia, we continue biking along the San Juan River to start climbing mountains once more.
At an elevation of 1,400 m (4,500 ft), we begin to see the green and imposing coffee crops. We finish the ride in the square of a colorful and lively town that invites us to celebrate with a cold beer.
In the afternoon we visit a couple of good stores and enjoy good Colombian coffee.
Distance: 82.8 km. Elevation gain: 2,020 meters.
A great challenge! We ride to Jericó, another of Antioquia’s colorful coffee towns. As demanding as Mont Ventoux, a 23 km climb, category 1. This town is recognized for its topography, republican style, art, and landscapes. And believers can go to ask for a miracle from Mother Laura, who was declared a Saint of the Catholic Church in December 2012. As a reward, enjoy the view of the town while you relax in the hotel’s jacuzzi.
Distance: 92.7 km. Elevation gain: 2,295 meters.
After one last challenge, we will finish in a traditional roadside “tienda” to eat an snack and drink a local beer. Transfer by car to Medellín to avoid the traffic.
We arrive in Medellín, pack the bikes, and do our closing event to end our adventure.
Last night in Medellín, so if you want, it is the opportunity to celebrate. Night life in Medellín.
Distancia: 78,6 Km. Elevación ganada: 2.449 metros.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.