Colombia - Medellin to Bogota
Here are what some of our customers have had to say about our Colombia - Medellin to Bogota cycling holidays...
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