Colombia - Medellin to Bogota
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Colombia - Medellin to Bogota cycling holidays...
Dale Beames, Florida, USA
Before leaving for this trip I told my daughter that it would be either really bad or really good. I'm happy to report it was the latter. This trip in every way exceeded my expectations. Geovanny and Adrian had thought of every detail. They know the small towns we visited well and always offered something extra at each stop, be it a trip to a coffee farm or seeing scrambled eggs made with an espresso machine! Julian was an excellent bicycle guide and is an exceptionally talented cyclist. Adrian, Julian, and Javier were always available to answer questions, provide snacks while cycling, and help us get set in the hotels and with meals.
I'm 59 years old and live in flat, flat South Florida in the US. I was worried that despite my preparation I would ride poorly up hills and at elevation. I wasn't fast, but I was able to complete all segments. Colombia is a beautiful place populated with wonderful people. My advice for those considering this trip: do it. Also: I rented a bike there and that turned out to be the best decision, other that signing up for the tour initially, I made. The bikes had hydraulic disc brakes for the descents and were geared appropriately for the ascents. The crew brought along knobby tired for the rougher roads. Every detail was thought out in advance. I'm already thinking about going back when they change the route!
Ruth and Phil Dunnell, Surrey, UK
Adrian, Julian, Javier and Jaime were all great - nothing was too much trouble & on many occasions they went that extra mile. Yes Colombia is hilly but none of the climbs were extreme and the crew were always on hand with well timed stops and refreshments. We saw amazing mountain scenery and stayed in small towns of great character and authenticity. There was some traffic in a couple of places, but we often had the roads largely to ourselves. All round, we had a fantastic trip.
Angela Riddell, London, UK
The trip comes highly recommended. A wonderful experience in a beautiful, vibrant country. The people were so welcoming and Adrian & his team could not have done more to ensure we all had a great time. The views of endless stunning green hillsides whilst cycling and the sound of bird song live on even now in my mind. I'd go back tomorrow. Thank you!
Nigel Moore, Amersham, England, UK
We were so very well looked after and enjoyed a wonderful insight into a fabulous country. Everyone was so welcoming and made it a super trip!
Also many thanks to your office staff for the pre-holiday admin to ensure we got there suitably prepared – this part also worked well.
Bruce Irving, Norwich, UK
Colombia turned out to be much better than expected. The Colombians are honest and a delight. Happy dance music coming out of all the houses along the way. Lots of exotic fruit made the cycling a party!
Donal Burke, New York, United States
All guides were very helpful and make the trip fun. The scenery is incredible and the hills very challenging. As the trip covered some beautiful small towns as well as the two largest cities I felt that we got to see a good cross section of Colombia.
I would love for others to discover the magic of Colombia
Richard Bedal, California, USA
Here is an article I wrote for our Cycling Club Newsletter:
BIKING COLOMBIA One of the first things I learned when preparing for our Colombia bike trip is that the country’s name is spelled and pronounced differently than the Ohio city with a similar name. After looking at the ride profiles provided by our bike touring company, I also quickly learned that the Andes are well represented in Colombia. Another clue that Janet and I were in for some challenging climbs was the 25 mile taxi ride from the airport to our Medellin hotel—the last 10 miles was all downhill, with a grade ranging from 8% to 15%. We were afraid we would be climbing this hill when we left this city surrounded by mountains. Watching the numerous cyclists zoom in and out of traffic and pass our already too fast taxi, on a windy road, did not allay my growing doubts of the wisdom in choosing this bike trip. Fortunately, the first meeting with our guides that evening was calming and made me believe I could do this. Although I was the oldest on this trip, our four cycling companions were not 20 or 30 year olds who I feared would only be seen at breakfast and dinner. Additionally, the guides assured us that the support van would always be available. Our first day of riding was on Sunday in Medellin (pronounced “med-a-gene” by the natives), with a population of 2.5 million. Not to worry. Every Sunday they have a Ciclovia, where they close some major roads to cars from 7am to 1 pm, to encourage physical activity, such as cycling, skateboarding, walking, running, etc. There are over 60 cities throughout Colombia that have a Ciclovia every Sunday. On the second day our guides had us leaving at 7am to avoid the commuter traffic. Apparently unbeknownst to the guides the Medellians are early risers. Although the natives are respectful of cyclists, they do not have a three-foot rule. Our cycling guide got us cleverly through town on some major roads, without any mishaps. Soon after we got out of town we were on rural roads, with little traffic, in the midst of beautiful green mountains and canyons. We stopped to take pictures, and then around the next corner there would be another beautiful view. The pictures I took really don’t do it justice. Besides the scenery, the people and their culture were a delight to embrace. Our guides, being from Colombia, are very proud of their country and enjoyed sharing it with us. We met many people, young and old, and had many enjoyable, memorable experiences. One that stands out occurred in a very small town. I was sitting on a curb with a 10 year-old boy who wanted to practice English. He took out his text book that had pictures of items. I helped with his English pronunciation and he helped me with the Spanish. Perhaps the most memorable is when Janet and I, while cycling, came across a young man who was using a machete to trim the vegetation on a bank next to the road. What first caught our attention was his ladder that was hand made out of bamboo. Janet asked, in Spanish, if we could take his picture. He thought a brief moment and said "Gringos." He wasn't being rude, judgmental or critical, but merely stating a fact. We chatted with him for a while in our meagre Spanish. He then posed and we took this photo. We liked him. He was much like all the Colombians we met—kind, friendly, self-assured, and confident, with a strong work ethic. Oh, lest I forget, bicycling up the hills was very challenging. Twice I had to use the support van. Once, when my blood sugar got too low, I got a ride up part of the way. On the other occasion, Janet and I were so slow bicycling up this long climb (27 miles and 5,800 feet of climbing), with lengthy stretches of gravel, we had to get a ride the last three miles because we were going to miss dinner. However, on another day I was able to complete a 50 mile day, with 7,500 feet of climbing and a 12,000 foot pass, the highest point of our bike trip. If anyone is interested in biking Colombia, I highly recommend Red Spokes Adventure Tours. We also used them when we cycled in Chile and Argentina.
Wendy Holland, Whangarei, New Zealand
Thank you redspokes for another amazing, memorable trip. I love Colombia, the people, the culture, the landscape! It is an amazing country, you will be blown away - its developing fast so GO there now before it becomes a tourist mecca. I felt we had a REAL Colombian experience, the trip largely away from the tourist routes; we were mostly the only gringos in town! Sure the cycling was hard at times (lots of hills) and the heat full on (30-35C on some days (August)) but as always it is the experience, the engagement with the people and the culture that are the standout and the strongest memories - viva happy friendly faces, beautiful women, coffee, sugar cane, somberos, pongos, empanadas, chicken sopa, great fish, exotic fruits, beer, aquadiente and much, much more. Adrian, Julian and Javier are an exceptional team, they looked after us impeccably well, way beyond what you would expect- we became a close family and had the best time together, loads of fun and laughs. This is the third trip I have done with Redspokes and I am so impressed, Redspokes you get it right every time with the guides and support team, you really do pick the best people. Many, many thanks and many thanks to my fellow team members, you were the best!!!!
Marius Krikstopaitis, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Amazing tour with beautiful views, tasty food and great guides, very much recommended.
Allan Meek, Cardiff, Wales
The trip was magical and the Colombian people were so friendly and welcoming. The whole redspokes team were just brilliant and went above and beyond to make it such a happy experience. I'll definitely tour with redspokes again.