Visit the stupendous Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá (A cathedral built inside a Salt Mountain)
Cruise the same roads as the famous Colombian Beetles
Visit the town of Macondo, place where one of the most important novels from the 20th century takes place - "One Hundred Years of Solitude"
Explore the Páramos on your bike - a unique ecosystem of the Colombian mountains
Visit the Tayrona Park in Santa Marta, a Natural Park on Colombia's Caribbean Coast
Villa de Leyva, Barichara y Mompox - Some of the Pueblos Patrimoniales (patrimonial towns) of Colombia suspended in time
If you like challenges, are a passionate cyclist and want to explore a country in a different way passing through small villages and really getting into it this might be a trip for you. This tour will lead you from Bogota, being the capital city Bogotá sits in the middle of the country, to the north of the country ending in Santa Marta. Santa Marta is one of the oldest cities in South America and is located at the Caribbean Sea.
To get there you will experience 9 days of cycling the Colombian Beetle way. We will ride out of Bogota towards Boyaca, a beautiful region and home to some of the most important Colombian cyclists of all time. After spending some time there the landscape will change while gradually descending towards lower altitudes passing by scenic colonial towns like Barichara and Mompox, these small towns where time seems to have been suspended in course.
Getting closer to Santa Marta we will come across some of the places that inspired Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia’s famous writer, to write his probably best-known novel „One Hundred Years of Solitude“, for which he has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Before ending our tour on the Caribbean Sea we will have to cross the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the worldwide highest coastal mountain. A place full of magical nature, which will remind us of Colombia’s immense diversity. This two weeks tour keeps some new surprises for you every day.
On your arrival day, we will come to pick you up at the airport and drop you off at the hotel where we will spend the next two nights. As not all of you will arrive at the same time we will meet in the evening for a first dinner together where we can get to know each other and we will tell you more about the upcoming adventure.
Bogota is a vibrant city with plenty of museums, restaurants, artisanal markets and much more. Have you heard of the Ciclovia? More than 100km are closed for cars and reserved for cyclists, runners, and walkers. It takes place every Sunday and what better way to explore a new city.
DAY 3:Bogotá-Villa de leyva
Today our immersion into the Colombian Beetle Cycling begins. We’ll start our stage in the mountains north of Bogota where we will already face our first challenging climbs going up to 3000 meters above sea level. We will pass some small mountain villages of the regions Boyaca and Cundinamarca, which allows us to get closer and closer to the culture of the "Escarabajo Colombiano". Today ends in one of the most important colonial towns of Colombia - Villa de Leyva, a place full of history, architecture, pretty coffee shops, and incredible people.
Cycling data: Distance 65 km,40 miles-Climbing:1427 meters,4682 feet
DAY 4:Villa de leyva-Paipa
We'll wake up in the region of Boyaca, cradle of the Colombian Beetles. Today is a very special day for all the lovers of the big road races. Nairo Quintana, Colombia's most successful road cyclist and powerful climber, has started his career on the roads of Boyaca. Today we'll pass in front of his house, place where professional cyclists meet and amateurs stop to drink a coffee or an agua panela and maybe get a peek of their idol.
Cycling data: Distance 79 km,49 miles-Climbing:1833 meters,6014 feet
Our big Queen Stage. We'll leave behind Boyaca to head toward the region of Santander. But first, we'll have plenty of time to look back on Boyaca - a 20km climb ending at about 3600 meters above sea level!! Our tours highest point!!! But no climb without a scenic descent to end the day.
Today you will see a different side of Colombia's widely praised biodiversity. A Paramo is an intertropical ecosystem at heights between 2700 and 4000 meters above sea level that you can see in only 6 different countries in America. Paramos are also called water factories because they transform haze into the water and this water nurtures Colombia's lakes and rivers. Over 70% of Colombia's fresh water comes from the Paramos.
Cycling data: Distance 135 km,84 miles-Climbing:2000 meters,6562 feet
DAY 6:Barichara rest day
Barichara is a small town in the mountains of the Santander region with a pleasant temperature. Its well-preserved colonial architecture invites us to stroll along the streets, explore the small shops and of course take plenty of breaks to sit down in a café and observe what's happening around us. Barichara means "place to rest" in the indigenous dialect - staying there you'll immediately understand why. The time passes slower giving us the surely needed recharge for the coming days.
Do you love off-road riding? This is your day!!! Being at lower altitudes you'll feel the higher temperatures and the drastic change of scenery people expect when coming to Colombia. We descend into the valley of the Suarez River. After the river crossing a 7km climb is awaiting us. But no worries at the top there is a small village where we should definitely sit down and have a cold drink. But we wouldn't call ourselves Colombian Beetles if that would had been it for the day. After a shorter descent, we face today's final challenge - a 22km long climb to finish the day in Zapatoca.
Cycling data: Distance:60 km,37 miles -Climbing:1802 meters,5912 feet
After yesterday's strenuous ride we deserve a shorter day today. It will give us the chance to discover Bucaramanga, the town where we'll spend the night. The town is known as "La Ciudad Bonita" - the beautiful town - because of its lush surroundings and many parks.
Even if short today's stage won't let us down, we'll have an incredible 20km descent which will give you plenty of time to look at the serpentine climb on the other side of the valley that is waiting for us to conquer.
Cycling data: Distance:55 km,34 miles-Climbing:905 meters,2969 feet
Let's say goodbye to the Andes on our last descent there and change to flat lands with rolling hills. And as we already saw before the landscape and temperature changes again with every kilometer we get closer to the Caribbean. The next couple of days will be very hot so don't forget to drink enough.
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch/ Dinner
Cycling data: Distance 119 km,74 miles-Climbing:1184 meters,3885 feet
For a change, we'll have a completely flat stage today. It will take us to roads passing morasses and flood areas nourished by multiple rivers including the two most important ones - the Rio Magdalena and the Rio Cauca. Mompox, where we will sleep tonight, is one of the Pueblos Patrimoniales of Colombia. It was a refuge for the gold and silver the Spanish took from Colombia to Spain during the conquest. Mompox' historical center has been declared World Heritage by the UNESCO.
The classical architecture and the romanticism within the streets, the facades of its majestuous colonial houses and of course the friendliness of the people make Mompox a truly magical place.
Cycling data: Distance 99 km,62 miles-Climbing:355 meters,1165 feet
Back on the off-road today, we'll ride through the savannas of Colombia's Caribbean. Keep your eyes open there is plenty to see today. The flora and fauna here are definitely worth seeing, so don't ride to fast.
Cycling data: Distance 129 km,80 miles-Climbing:596 meters,1955 feet
Today we'll get to know Aracataca where Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born and spent the first years of his life. It's also the place where his Nobel Prize-winning novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" takes place.
After leaving Aracataca we will continue our ride towards the coast.
Cycling data: Distance 60 km,37 miles- Climbing:185 meters,607 feet
DAY 13:Ciénaga-Santa Marta
Our final stage will lead us to Santa Marta. After a couple of flat stages, it is now time to get out our climbing legs again. We will explore by bike a part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the worldwide highest coastal mountain. This Sierra Nevada is home to many indigenous people and by the way a paradise of flora and fauna. On this intense climb, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy this miraculous place.
Cycling data: Distance 45 km,28 miles-Climbing: 2705 meters,8865 feet
DAY 14:Santa Marta rest day
We will spend the final day of our adventure in Santa Marta - A city with all the vibrant rhythm and passion of the Caribbean. In Santa Marta, we will again you will encounter plenty of small details which make this place a truly magical one. Many touristic places describe themselves in the same way, having a little bit of everything for ones once in a lifetime holiday. The truth is: In Santa Marta, you won't find a little bit of everything, you'll find much, and much more of everything. To start Santa Marta has a lot of history. It is one of the first cities founded by the Spanish in Colombia. On top, it is the territory of four different indigenous groups which have been settling in this area of northern Colombia for thousands of years. There is an abundance of nature to explore like for example in the Tayrona National Park or the Mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. You'll find the contrast of some of the most beautiful beaches of Colombia in contrast with the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada within kilometers - a truly unique ecosystem on our beautiful planet.
There is so much more to discover in this miraculous place - We are certain you will want to spend more than one day here.
DAY 15:Santa Marta tour end
Today our tour ends. Colombia is one of the most colourful countries in the world. We hope you enjoyed our magical cycling tour. The transport to the airport will be arranged for you, we wish you a nice trip back home.
Arrival + Departure Details
Airport City: Bogota, Colombia
Pick-Up Location: Aeropuerto el Dorado, Bogota
Airport City: Santa Marta, Colombia
Drop-Off Location: El Internacional Simón Bolívar,Santa Marta
Inclusions + Information
All accommodation will be in hotels or guest houses. We choose accommodation on the basis of comfort rather than luxury. Our prices are based on sharing a twin room; single rooms are available at extra cost.
Lunches on riding days
Snacks and local fruit on riding days
Welcome dinner and dinner on our last night
Expert bilingual guide with extensive cycling experience and local knowledge
Support vehicle that follows the day’s route, distributes refreshments, and offers lifts
Bike maintenance to ensure optimal performance
Pick up and drop off at the airport.
Visit the stupendous Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá (A cathedral built inside a Salt Mountain)
Visit to the Macondo Museum
Dates & Prices
CYCLING TOURS 2021
Own Room From: $530
Bike Hire from: $300