Testimonials - Colombia
Medellin to Bogota
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Colombia cycling holidays...
Showing 1 to 49 of 49 Testimonials
Benjamin Whittaker, Massachusetts, United States
Spending two weeks cycling and eating my way through Colombia was an amazing experience. The country is a lush green everywhere you look. The people are friendly, beautiful, and willing to put up with my middle school Spanish and help get what I needed in stores or at restaurants. The food can start to be similar in the middle of the trip, but it always tasted good and there were enough breaks into bigger towns for a wider variety of food to keep things fresh. Visiting small towns that don't get many gringo tourists you will get a lot of stares, but it's mostly because they are curious and rarely see people that look like us.
Geovanny, Javier, and Geovanny Jr our guides and helpers were consummate professionals. They were able to help out with anything needed, and always available. When Geovanny had to go home to tend to an emergency situation with illness in his family, Javier and Geovanny Jr. stepped up and filled his shoes. It was a pretty small group of cyclists on this trip, 6 in total which was perfect. We all got along well and everyone cycled at their own pace, regrouping at stops to chat and share their experiences. In summary, excellent trip, I will be back again to conquer the full Alto de Letras 80k size of the mountain at some point.
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.
Roland Moodie, Horsmonden, England, UK
The tour was extremely well planned and the tour guides were excellent, going over and above what they needed to do and extremely professional in everything they did and always very helpful. My 13 year old son loved it and was treated extremely well by the tour guides and the other adults in the group. It was far more than a cycle ride as we went on a coffee tour and saw how sugar cane was processed. Can't recommend this trip enough if you want to see the Colombia that most tourists don't see.
Evelyn Mullins, London, England, UK
The team where fantastic, also there to help with all problems and queries. Please thanks them for making it an amazing trip for everyone.
Janet Rose, Colorado, USA
Colombia was everything I expected and more - great scenery and interesting culture. The roads were steep, long and challenging and the views outstanding. There is no such thing as "flat" in that area of the country.
Adrian brought the culture alive. He was always finding places where he could give us a taste (literally) of the local culture including sugar cane juice and fresh cakes of sugar cane to put warm on crackers, bonuela (deep-fried cheese balls), arepa (corn tortilla at every meal) sometimes with salsa, cocoa beans, and a variety of juices from fruit we had never heard of. We also saw a family drying grass and making brooms and sombreros, a hat museum, a coffee plantation, and a farmer protecting rare and unique palm trees. Julian always made sure he knew where we were on the tough climbs and on busy city streets. Javier was always ready with fresh water and to take your jacket once the day warmed up.
Sandra Morris, Ramsgate, England, UK
This cycle trip is a fantastic introduction to the highlands of Colombia - getting off the tourist trail to experience 'real' Colombia. This cycle trip was exceedingly well organised and led by a fantastic team - Adrian, Javier & Julian. Lots of support and laughter and the bicycle van was always parked ready with snacks just when you needed it up a hill. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone with a sense of adventure - it is indeed quite hilly, but the landscape, the downhills, the friendly people, the music, the fruit - make it all worth while. Visit Colombia!
Andrew & Yvonne Lindsay, Otford, England, UK
Really enjoyed trip. Excellent group. Great tour staff. We enjoyed Colombia.
Aidan Prior, London, England, UK
An amazing trip; quite tough with a lot of climbing but the rewards are many.
The views, the birds and butterflies and the exotic fruits and plants. The small towns along the route are bustling with life and activity and a delicious coffee is never far away. The opportunity to explore two fascinating cities at the beginning and end of the trip in Medellin and Bogota is a real bonus. (We tried running in Bogota and forgot that it is at 2,640m! - Mui Durita.)
Cheryl Hyslop, Ottawa, Canada
Another excellent redspokes tour! The Colombian people were incredibly warm and welcoming. The scenery and cycling terrain were amazing. We do not have that many shades of green where we live!
Adrian, Julian, Javier, and Geovanny Jr went above and beyond to make sure that everything went smoothly and that we had opportunities to experience the best of the area. Many thanks for a great trip.
Eli Baron, Texas, United States
The Colombia trip was outstanding with extremely beautiful scenery and a great support.
Robert Travers, Maryland, Baltimore, USA
I thought redspokes did a great job for its clients in the cycling adventure in Colombia. This is for the experienced cyclist as well as the intrepid traveler. I truly enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside while riding my bike and the staff was wonderful
Robert Oddo, San Molina, Peru
A way to explore a very interesting country and culture!!!
Nigel Fielden, Cheshire, England, UK
Definitely the best way to see and get a feel for Colombia. Wonderful cycling through a beautiful part of the country. Support crew, as usual, were spot on - helpful, smiling and patient.
Paul Brissette, Massachusetts, USA
Our cycling guides were skilled professionals. They work very hard to make everyone comfortable in the challenging climbs, hotel arrangements, food and transportation. They were kind hearted, funny, responding to every request and always went the extra mile to create a kind of supportive family for the two weeks.
John Lingford, London, England, UK
An excellent way to see the Colombian countryside and small towns.
Graeme Guilford, Matamata, New Zealand
In Colombia we got to experience cities, small towns and rural environments, meeting local people and getting to know the real Colombia. We had a really good group and Adrian and Javier did a great job.
This is my 6th trip with redspokes and they have all been awesome experiences. Definitely will be doing some more.
Manisha and Guido Szamocki, Bristol, UK
Colombia deserves to be known for it's good side, the magnificent landscape, the really friendly, polite and gracious people we met everywhere we went. Don't let the negative cover about drugs and violence put you off. Riding in a group with redspokes is very safe and a great way to see the countryside. Adrian and Javier took really good care of us all, with Adrian whipping out delicious fresh fruit and guava jelly bars just as everyone was starting to flag going up the interminable hills! The only thing about riding in Colombia is that there's no avoiding hills! Even the flat bits seem to be at least undulating! You just have to grit your teeth and face up to them! We had a great group of riders who were all about the same level, and we had a lot of laughs!
Ms Sharlene Rainford, Lewisham, NSW, Australia
Wonderful trip. Colombia is forever in my heart and the crew were just lovely. I never thought I'd enjoy cycling up mountains so much. Be warned, the cycling on some days isn't for the feint hearted. The 130km day is pretty tough especially in the heat. The 'monster mountain climb' however was fantastic and not as hard as it sounds. The views are spectacular and of course there's the downhill reward. Be prepared for fairly same-ish food most of the time but it won't matter because Colombia is a special place!
André BINON, Beloeil, Belgium
wonderful discovery of Columbia with an excellent team
Minaxi Patel, London, UK
Another trip with redspokes, where I couldn't fault the organisation, care and attention to detail. The cycling was slightly tougher that the other trips I have been on but the hills are what make this part of Columbia so beautiful. There was plenty of time to explore the towns we stayed in and the excursions arranged by the guides added to the cultural experience.
Javier and his team were fabulous at looking after the group.
Cornelia Demmel, Munich, Germany
This trip rates amongst the best ones I have done in my life - just everything worked out perfectly: a magnificent country with wonderful genuine people and picturesque countryside, an absolutely fabulous support team that looked after us well beyond the call of duty and a terrific group of fellow cyclists sharing the adventure on and off the bike. Thank you redspokes for having organized yet another great tour. I will be back again.
Keith & Pat Green, Dudley, England, UK
Keith & I really enjoyed the Colombian experience. The people there are really friendly. In fact, 4 of us were invited into someone's home for a baptism celebration! The scenery is really impressive. High green mountains with lots of coffee, banana and exotic fruit plantations. Most of the towns seem to be hanging onto the side of a mountain with practically vertical streets! Our guides Geovanny, Alex, Adrian and John were great and the group were really friendly and lots of fun and we will miss everyone.
Robert Travers, Maryland, USA
To all adventurous bicyclist, redspokes is an incredible company that will take you into some of the best areas of the world to experience biking, culture and the people. I rate this trip and the company behind it 5 stars as everything came off perfectly. In addition the company and its trip leaders focused on safety and being the best, friendly, helpful and we all had a great time and fun. I highly recommend redspokes. In addition the bikes they provided were perfect and exceeded expectations and the trip leaders totally maintained them during the entire trip
Susan Lincoln, Idaho, USA
Colombia was a fantastic trip, cycling through beautiful terrain, friendly people and with a staff that made every effort to support us on our journey. Be prepared for lots of climbing, lots of swooping downhills, greens of all shades, views, rivers, non touristy towns, and a warm welcome from all that we met. There is so much here, and the seat of a bicycle (the rentals were excellent, well tuned and a good match for the varied terrain you will traverse) is the perfect vantage point to sample it. Geovanny, Alex, Adrian and John were a great team, so much fun both on the road and off.
Rory Morrison, London, England, UK
Thanks a lot redspokes and Colombia ground crew for an eye opening and relaxing break. From a cycling perspective the holiday builds up nicely over a few climbs towards a more challenging mountain pass at altitude in week two. The discovery of the holiday was the warm reception and seemingly inexhaustible hospitality we received from the Colombian people, especially those connected with the group (mis parceros), but also from those we met along the way. Special thanks to the Colombianas who patiently taught me how to muddle along with some of the latest rhythms. Coasting along mainly back roads we were reminded at every switchback of the grinding individual effort which goes into the raw material for each Starbucks or Costa skinny caramel machiato. In Colombia we had no such thing - just filtered coffee served immediately from an urn with optional warm milk - nice!
Ingrid Perols, Napier, New Zealand
What an amazingly fantastic trip I had. The cycling was great, Colombia one of the most scenic countries you could imagine, the people soooo friendly and the guides absolutely brilliant.
Richard Edwards, Edinburgh, Scotland
redspokes gives you an unparalleled opportunity to explore what a country's really like. In our trip to Colombia, we experienced amazing hospitality and warmth from the local people, great weather, aguardiente and dancing, and of course... as many hills as we could handle! redspokes take care of all the logistics and provide great support, leaving you free to relax, cycle and soak it all up! Highly recommended and would book again.
Karen / Geoff, London, England, UK
Another great trip with redspokes, lots of interaction with the local people whilst cycling through some stunning Colombian Highland scenery. We feel that we saw the "real Colombia", the side that most tourists don't see, we would do it all over again! A big thanks to our fellow travellers, what a great bunch of people to travel with!
Cindy Richards, Surrey, British Columbia Canada
This was my first cycling adventure and Dermot and the group helped me feel comfortable with cycling at my own pace. I could challenge myself without feeling I had to compete or keep up with others. I loved it; it was one of the most satisfying and gratifying vacations I have ever had.
John and Judy Roche Bedford, Leeds, England, UK
A fantastic and unforgettable cycling adventure. Experienced Colombian people as very hospitable and welcoming of us as cyclists exploring part of their country. Involving Melba and her family meant we had a very special experience of life in rural Columbia which we will always remember as a special time in our lives...Thank you Dermot and the team!
Catherine & Stuart Wyse, Vancouver, Canada
Another great trip with redspokes - the Colombian people could not have been more welcoming as we cycled through the region. The scenery was spectacular. Lots of challenging climbs but as the old adage goes "what goes up, must come down!" Highly recommend redspokes for those who really want to experience the country.
Hannah MacDonald, Liverpool, England, UK
A fantastic trip with a great group of people and a redspokes crew who really were outstanding. Once again I feel humbled by the hospitality that we received. A beautiful country rich in so many ways, redspokes offering a true insight.
Steve Schleppe, Surrey B.C. Canada
I really enjoyed my redspokes trip to Colombia. This ride took us into Central Colombia where we were given an honest look at the rural Colombian way of life. This ride is in no way sugar coated with extras, the food was plentiful but repetitive, the riding was challenging but rewarding, the Colombians were friendly and giving, the support staff were wonderful and the scenery was worth every drop of sweat it took to climb to the top of the mountains.
Dominique Bongaerts, TN Leiden, The Netherlands
Again a fantastic cycling trip with overwhelming hospitality of the local people. It was great to be accompanied by local cyclistas while going up hill and I still wonder whether the Movie star guy waving at us was Quintana.
Mark and Julia Swindall, West Sussex, England
A great opportunity to experience the beauty of rural Columbia and encounter the refreshing unrestrained hospitality and warmth of the local people. Outstanding support from Geovanny as generous hearted guide, Alex as indefatigable cycle leader and Eduardo as irrepressible driver.
Tony Hocking, Melbourne, Australia
The trip was well organized from start to finish, excellent tour guides - personable and informed and did everything possible to make the tour enjoyable and the cyclists tour group got on well together. All the tour guides were interested and pleased to be on the tour.
Paul Brown, Cumbernauld, Scotland
I have not travelled extensively and so was unsure what to expect from the group and the country itself. The group was a mixed bag of individuals who maintained the delicate balance of making sure no-one was left isolated while respecting everybody's personal space. Time spent alone was not seen as disrespecting the group ethos. Colombia was different from any other country I have visited. The big cities were very westernised, which disappointed me. The attraction of Colombia is in the countryside where almost all of the trip took place. The perennial hills were full of life. A combination of man made coffee and sugar plantations and jungle. Cycling over high passes surrounded by these rolling hills with higher mountains lurking in the background while fast flowing rivers cut through the valley below gave a unique sense of perspective.
Even the spectacular Colombian countryside took second place to the most enjoyable part of the tour, namely the people of Colombia. In every small town we passed through with it's replica square and church people gathered round us eager to welcome us and engage with us. Local media wanted to interview us, local people wanted pictures taken with us and local cyclists wanted ride part of the way with us. In some of the small towns people were not as forthcoming until we initiated some sort of dialogue and then they opened up. These were vibrant places where almost everybody was out on the streets. The few who stayed inside left their doors opened so as not to shut themselves off from the gathering. The communities seemed more integrated with young and old mingling with the general population and a benign harmony permeating the atmosphere. redspokes allowed us to glimpse the real Colombia far removed from the perception we receive in Britain and the West and for that I am very grateful. Thank you Dermot.
Benny Faria, London, England, UK
It was a privilege and pleasure to tour Colombia's coffee growing district with redspokes. This is a verdant, alluring part of the country, with bright colours and fertile earth, bursting with tropical fruit and veg. The tour stayed well off the tourist hotspots, and it was very gratifying to encounter genuine and very friendly curiosity. I was humbled by the Colombianos friendliness and generosity. My highpoint was our stay at Neira and the overwhelming hospitality from Melva and her lovely family. We cycled through beautiful little towns, each with their characteristic central green squares, overlooked by mostly Spanish-era churches. Being Christmas (v big in Colombia!), there were evening lights, parades, and lots of exciting feliz navidad anticipation, very welcome after a long day's ride. I still dream of paisa, sanconcho, bunuelos and empanadas (world class at Melva's brother's house), and pine for those mangoes, papaya, and consistently good coffee. We had an excellent tour group, and an outstanding support team. Thank you Dermot, Melva, Stella, Fernando, Camilo, and Diego for the absolutely cracking holiday. Finally, a make-noise, big-up Hackney thank you to Geovanny Aranzazu, our erudite, songful, ever cheerful and helpful guide for Gracias a la vida and Solo le pido a dios.
David Watson, Norwich, England, UK
We were a good mix, in both age (from early thirties to late sixties) and cycling experience, and from varied backgrounds, (hod carriers to company directors). A motley crew with eyes wide open to the exciting prospect of experiencing the heartlands of Colombia on a bike. We knew from the start of the trip that this was redspokes' inaugural visit to Colombia. Dermot and Melva had planned it all, and the other members of the team were Melva's sister Stella, their cousin Fernando, our two drivers, Camilo and Diego and last, but by no means least, Geovanny Aranzazu our local guide. All apart from Dermot had no previous experience in running a cycle tour, but looked after us impeccably. When we visited Melva and Stella's family, I think we were quite literally bowled over by the welcome and hospitality. Good food, good music and good rum.
The people of Colombia are without doubt very warm and open. Those without much spoken Spanish were still able to communicate, because arriving anywhere in Colombia by bike assures you an automatic welcome, with knowing smiles and nods of approval. The country, like the people, is infectious. Great roads with endless hills and beautiful vistas that seem to go on for ever. The group found its own pace. The nice thing being that everyone was comfortable doing their own thing. Whenever we stopped for a rest, the team was always there offering beautiful fruit and snacks, and filling our water bottles. The accommodation was great - especially in the smaller colonial towns. In these places one got the sense of being in the real Colombia. The larger cities are all too soon becoming very westernised, which I fear is the general direction for the whole Country. Colombia is rapidly changing. Gone are the days of Pablo Escobar and drug cartels. On our last day in Bogota we walked through the commercial centre and I felt we could have been in any western city. Bright lights and Dolce and Gabbana. We had travelled through the soul of Colombia only to end up where we all come from... Many thanks to everyone. My fellow cyclists. The whole team. Melva and her family. Demot. And especially the beautiful people of Colombia.
Arthur Brittenden, York, England
What a fantastic holiday in a wonderful group. Geovanny along with Polly the cycling guide and Eduardo the driver provided the best service possible. Considering my Laos, NW Vietnam and Burma trips I would say that the Colombian experience comes out on top
Showing 1 to 49 of 49 Testimonials