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Itinerary - Viva Colombia

Colombia A Cyclist's Paradise

Day 1: Pereira

Pereira, known as ‘the pearl of the Otun’, is the capital of Risaralda, and full of friendly people. There are many sites of interest to visit such as the Ukumari Park, Noah’s Farm an Eco centre and water park and Pereira Museum of Art. The town has a lively nightlife with fine restaurants and bars. There are opportunities to visit a local coffee farm and appreciate Colombia’s finest export. Touch, hear, smell, see, and taste some of the best coffee in the world.

Accommodation: Hotel (D)

 Day 2: Pereira to Salento 

At the break of dawn, we embark on our journey, following an ancient railway track leading away from the bustling city. As we pedal along, the path meanders, offering both flat stretches and undulating terrain. In Alcalá, a striking feature is the grand Saman tree that graces the heart of the central square - a tree species that thrives in this warm-climate region and adds to the town's allure.

Our route takes us northward from Alcalá toward Salento, starting with an uphill cycle that brings us to the charming Filandia, well=known for its picturesque main square. Continuing our northward trek, we eventually arrive in Salento, nestled within the scenic Quindío region. Here, we are greeted by breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Our journey to Salento allows us to traverse a portion of the Coffee Highway, affording awe-inspiring views of the majestic Central Mountain Range of the Colombian Andes. Just before reaching Salento, we embark on our final ascent, passing through lush pine and eucalyptus forests, which serve as a splendid prelude to our arrival in one of the most enchanting and vibrant towns in Quindío. 

Cycling Distance: 69km (43 miles) 
Cycling Ascent: 1,485m (4,875ft)
Cycling Descent: 906m (2,975ft)

Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)


Day 3: Salento to Santa Rosa

We leave Salento downhill with a short climb before making a 20km descent towards our starting point Pereira, we pass through the centre of the town on a mainly flat road continuing uphill to Santa Rosa de Cabal, a small, picturesque town, famous for its hot springs and delicious sausages.

Cycling Distance: 51km (32 miles) 
Cycling Ascent: 1,356m (4,450ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,540m (5,052ft)

Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 4: Santa Rosa to Anserma

Today will be our longest, most enjoyable cycling day. We start with a gentle downhill ride out of Santa Rosa then cover 50km over an undulating hillside. Along this stretch of our route we will enjoy stunning views as we journey through the coffee zone passing some of Colombia’s most beautiful plantations. The ride ends with a final 20km uphill.  Risaralda is a pretty mountainside colonial town, with panoramic views of the Caldas and Risaralda regions: an expanse of mountains, valleys and rivers. The town is famous for its botanical gardens, with native birds, important local plants (there are over 100 species of native banana) The town has a traditional Colombian galleria (Market) selling local produce. We set off on 15km of relatively flat road

Cycling Distance: 62.5km (39 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 2,060 m
 (6,758 ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,970m (6,463 ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 5: Anserma to Riosucio

Today, we kick-start our cycling adventure with an exhilarating ascent over multiple rugged peaks, leading us on a thrilling journey towards the captivating town of Riosucio. This charming town has gained fame for hosting the biennial Carnival of the Devil, a widely attended festival in Colombia that takes place every January, drawing thousands of enthusiastic Colombians in celebration. This joyous event serves as a poignant reminder of the unification of two once-feuding communities, making it one of the most cherished festivals in the country. Furthermore, the region is renowned for its traditional production of Guarapo: a fermented sugar cane juice that adds to the festive spirit, and it's a favorite among carnival-goers during these lively celebrations.

Cycling Distance: 48.5km (30 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,290m (4,232ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,280m (4,199ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 6: Jardin - Rest Day

A rest day in Jardin, offers a delightful opportunity to unwind and soak in the charm of this picturesque town. Start your morning with a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets, where you can admire the vibrant, well-preserved colonial architecture. Don't miss a visit to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, a stunning church with panoramic views from its bell tower. You can also savour a cup of locally grown coffee at one of the cozy cafes or simply relax in the main square, Parque Libertad, while watching the world go by.

Accommodation: Guest House (B)

Day 7: Riosucio to Jardin

Departing from Riosucio, our cycling journey begins with a challenging uphill stretch, covering a distance of 22 kilometers. We'll encounter a blend of ascents and descents, navigating through the terrain for approximately 10 kilometers, reaching a peak altitude of 2,882 meters. From there, our route gracefully descends through the lush Andean forest, guiding us on a 20-kilometer downhill ride as we approach the charming town of Jardin, a picturesque town known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich coffee heritage.

Cycling Distance: 50km (31 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,592m (5,225ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,448m (4,750ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 8: Jardin to Jerico

Todays cycle ride from Jardin to Jerico promises an exciting day of exploration in the Colombian countryside. It's worth noting that today's adventure will predominantly lead you along unpaved and gravel tracks, offering an authentic off-road experience. As you navigate these rugged terrains, you'll be immersed in the raw beauty of the landscape, surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking vistas, making this cycling route an ideal choice for those seeking a taste of adventure and natural splendor. Get ready for an exhilarating ride that connects you with the untamed charm of Colombia's heartland.

A large white statue of Christ with extended arms looks down from the hillside over Jericó.   You can take a cable car from here to Las Nubes Eco Park, the name derives from its altitude and the frequent presence of clouds. It’s also possible to  hike up or down to the park on the “Camino ecológico La Gruta de la Virgen de la Peña.”

Cycling Distance: 49.5km (31 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,590m (5,216ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,450m (4,757ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 9: Jerico to Fredonia

Our journey to Fredonia commences with a gentle ascent, setting the stage for an exhilarating descent spanning a generous 20 kilometers. Along the way, we'll have the opportunity to marvel at the diverse array of crops that paint the landscape. Our path eventually leads us to the banks of the Cauca River, the second-largest river in Colombia. Here, we'll encounter terrain that offers a mix of undulating stretches for approximately 15 kilometers before embarking on a challenging ascent covering around 20 kilometers.

Upon reaching Fredonia, there are delightful experiences to savour. The town boasts a museum that beckons for exploration, and its traditional main square exudes charm, with inviting coffee shops that invite you to sample the local flavors and ambiance.

Cycling Distance: 55km (34 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,580m (5,183ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,750m (5,741ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 10: Fredonia to Versalles  

As we leave Fredonia toward Versailles, we'll traverse approximately 30 kilometers of gravel terrain, navigating through canyons and surmounting mountains until we attain an elevation of 2,180 meters above sea level. The ultimate gratification awaits us at the hotel, where we'll be treated to a breathtaking panoramic view that is nothing short of majestic.

Cycling Distance: 29km (18 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,112m (3,650ft)
Cycling Descent: 830m (2,725ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

 Day 11: Versalles  to El Carmen de Viboral

From Versalles we cycle on through the Antioquia region climbing the hillsides to reach El Carmen de Viboral, a picturesque friendly town in idyllic pastoral surroundings. The area is rich in feldspar and Quartz, minerals fundamental to the production of ceramics and El Carmen is renowned for its handmade products which feature in the town buildings and other structures as well as being sold as culinary wares. No two ceramic pieces will be identical as they are all hand painted.  The town folk are known for their distinctive hazel/green eyes.  ‘ojos verdes’.

Cycling Distance: 54km (33 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,272m (4,175ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,196m (3,925ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 12: El Carmen de Viboral to Guatape

Your route today is through charming villages like Santuario and Granada, where the essence of Colombian rural life comes alive. Pedal through the cobbled streets of Santuario, surrounded by lush green hills and coffee plantations, before reaching the vibrant village of Granada, known for its colorful facades and delectable local cuisine.

One of the most breathtaking moments on this journey is encountering the awe-inspiring La Piedra, a massive 220-meter-high granite rock formation that dominates the landscape. Cyclists often take a pause here to hike to the summit, which rewards them with a panoramic view of the picturesque surroundings. La Piedra is not just a geological wonder but also a testament to Colombia's rich natural beauty, making this cycling expedition an unforgettable experience for those seeking both adventure and cultural immersion.

Cycling Distance: 49.5km (31 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,040m (3,412ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,300m (4,265ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 13:  Guatape to  Medellin

Our last day of cycling takes us to the vibrant city of Medellin. The first part of the day is a flat cycle for around 35km. Then it’s an uphill ride to the outskirts of Medellin before we make our final sweeping 20km descent into the 'City of Eternal Spring'.

Cycling Distance: 81km (50 miles)
Cycling Ascent: 1,546m (5,075ft)
Cycling Descent: 1,890m (6,200ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)

Day 14: Home

The tour ends this morning. We will arrange a transfer to the airport for your journey home. 


If you are looking to book a place on our Viva Colombia cycling holiday in Colombia, then please call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on office@redspokes.co.uk for more information on this adventure holiday.