Feb 19th – 24th 2019
- 6 days, 5 nights
- 3* and 5* hotels
- 6 people max. (min. 4)
- Difficulty: 4/5
- Avg. distance: 78km/day
- Avg. elevation: 1380m/day
- Total distance: 388km
- Total elevation: 6,902m
- (when selecting the longest option every day – you may choose to do less)
- Transport with an air-conditioned minibus with bike rack
Join us in our bike tours in Colombia
Rigo invites you to ride in Colombia
Boyacá and Santander
The beauty of the colonial villages and the amazing Chicamocha Canyon!
This tour is our other shorter version of our full length bike ride in February 2019. This time, we will be starting in Zipaquira, dept. of Cundinamarca, around 40km away from Bogota, and the tour includes riding to the beautiful colonial village of Villa de Leyva, via the Boyacá plateau at 2700 meters altitude. The second part of the tour will take the group to the department of Santander and its beautiful village of Barichara – also of colonial style – before arriving in the capital city of Santander, Bucaramanga, via the astonishing Chicamocha Canyon, the second biggest in the world after Grand Canyon in the US. Once in Santander, you may try eating the succulent “hormigas culonas” (big-bottomed ants), particularly delicious! You will also have the experience to cross by cable car the Chicamocha Canyon – for sure an unforgettable experience, just before visiting a coffee farm. All these activities being included in the tour (no extra cost).
If you can stay a bit longer in Colombia, you will also have the option to end up your trip in the beautiful city of Cartagena along the Caribbean cost. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to cycle in one of the best region in the world to do so, visit and stay overnight in wonderful small colonial villages, do some epic climbs, all of this with the most professional support you have ever seen.
And don’t forget that none of the rides is mandatory – you may well decide to take a rest one or several days, depending on your physical condition. As long as you are happy, we’re happy.
Prices from $1,290 USD (double occupancy)
- $1,290 USD non-rider
- $1,440 USD rider
- Single supplement (subject to availability): $290 USD
- Preferential prices for small groups
- Registrations until February 10th or until fully booked
Register here and pay $400 USD to reserve your spot:
Or pay 100% of your tour right now and get a $100 USD discount
Join us and ride with Phil Gaimon, our VIP guest in that tour!
Our Boyacá and Santander tour is a nice and short version of our full February tour, slightly easier than the other 6 day tour. You will have the opportunity to ride in the departments of Boyacá and Santander, some of the best places to ride in Colombia.
- Transport: all internal transport in Colombia between each hotel with air-conditioned minibus, support vehicle for each ride (possibility to do some of the rides only, if needed)
- Transfer from Bogota airport or city center to the hotel in Zipaquira on February 19th, and transfer to Bucaramanga airport from the hotel on February 24th
- Hotels mentioned in the plan (base shared double room / single supplement on request)
- Food: all breakfasts and dinners
- Presence every day of former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon (Garmin Pro Team, Cannondale, etc.) as a special guest to help maximise your training sessions
- Guided rides every day with our guides + technical support and mechanics
- Cycling jersey “Colombia Bike Tours”
- Sports nutrition (bars, drinks, etc.)
- Colombian SIM card for cell phone
- The cable car in the Chicamocha Canyon
- Visit of a coffee farm
- Possibility to come with a non-rider partner
What’s not included:
- Anything not mentioned in the plan
- Bike rental (check with us)
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during dinners (may be included from time to time)
- Travel insurance
Day 1 – Tuesday, February 19th Hotel Cacique Real***, Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
That day, you will join – with some other new comers as well – the rest of the group that started the tour a few days earlier in Rionegro. We will organize your transfer from Bogota city center or directly from the airport (tbc). Depending on your time of arrival at the hotel (we will organize only one transfer from Bogota to Zipaquirá for this small group), there will be time for a short ride in the afternoon, in order to do around 40km on flat roads. This will also be a good way to get used to the altitude, in case you come from a country at sea level (Zipaquirá is at 2600 meters’ altitude).
For those who prefer a walk in this small touristic city, there will be later on in the afternoon the opportunity to visit the underground Salt Cathedral, a church built inside an old salt mine. The average temperature in “Zipa” is around 20°C. The hotel where the group will be staying is particularly nice, with its traditional colonial architecture. We will also have time to walk through the main square and taste some of the typical foods of this historic town, where Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal (Team Sky) lives. If we are lucky, we might even share a coffee with him. In the evening we will return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 2 – Wednesday, February 20th, Hotel Villa Roma***, (swimming pool and sauna), Villa de Leyva, Boyacá
We will have breakfast early in the hotel, then we will travel to the amazing colonial town of Villa de Leyva, a city well known for its colonial architecture, its cobbled streets and its wide main square, one of the widest in South America; all of these making you feel like you are going backward a few centuries when visiting this place. From the square, we can see the 17th century church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, and the House of the First Congress of the United Provinces, in which new laws were drafted after the Independence in 1810. In the southwest part of the square is the House Museo Antonio Nariño, where this major Colombian war hero died.
For those who are happy to do a long ride, there is the option to ride directly from the hotel in Zipaquirá to go to Villa de Leyva, meaning a ride of 148km in total, with 2050m of vertical ascent (mostly short and easy climbs). On this route, we will go through Tocancipa, el Sisga, and – most notably – the national monument “Puente de Boyacá” (‘Boyacá Bridge’ literally), the exact place of the very last battle of independence in Colombia’s History. There we can have a quick coffee and take a few photos, before finishing our ride up to Villa de Leyva, 40km from there.
Once we are in the hotel, we will have lunch around the beautiful central square and go through the lovely cobble stones streets in the village, have some typical regional snacks and in the evening we will have dinner in a very nice place near the hotel.
Day 3 – Thursday, February 21st, Hotel Finca Buenos Aires*** (with swimming pool), Barichara, Santander
After an early breakfast at the hotel in Villa de Leyva, we will travel to another beautiful colonial village called Barichara, also declared national cultural patrimony in Colombia. During the trip, we will do a quick stop to buy some typical sweets made of Guayaba (fruit), known as Bocadillos. Then once we get close to Barichara, we will have lunch at the beautiful Hotel Finca Buenos Aires with its true colonial architecture, and we will take time for a coffee at the café-bar La Bicicleta museum, where we will see trophies and photos of the cycling glories of Santander who participated in several great races, including the Tour de France, in the 80’s and 90’s. Some trophies belong to cyclists like Hernán Buenahora, Víctor Hugo Peña (Colombian’s first ever Yellow Jersey in the Tour), and Ana Cristina Sanabria, among others.
From the hotel, we will have the option to go out after lunch in the surrounding villages (Guane, Villa Nueva, etc.) where we will observe the amazing view from the great Chicamocha Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world after Grand Canyon, see the trails of the Camino Real, etc. Then we can end up having some drinks in the main square of the lovely Barichara, close to the 17th century church. For those who do not wish to go out for a ride, we will have the option to do a nice touristic tour in the village (walk through its paved streets, discover its chapels, the main square, museums, stone workshops, shops crafts, etc.), or just relax in the hotel or have a refresh in the swimming pool. At the end of the afternoon, the group will gather to have dinner in a typical restaurant in this beautiful little town.
Day 4 – Friday, February 22nd, Hotel Chicamocha*****, (with swimming pool and spa), Bucaramanga, Santander
Another day of mountain riding for the group, with the exiting opportunity to ride along the Chicamocha Canyon. Once we had breakfast in Barichara, there is a choice of two routes: Barichara-San Gil-Aratoca-Panachi (45km), or an easier option, by starting in the outskirts of San Gil (20km). Taking pictures and observing this great canyon is one of the best experiences you can have in Santander, and it is even better when riding a bicycle. Its majestic mountains of different shades and colours are astonishing. The Chicamocha river and the National Park where we will be able to take the cable car with our bike on board are just amazing, while visiting the Monument to the Santandereanidad are among the interesting activities in Panachi (Parque Nacional del Chicamocha), one of the most beautiful national park in Colombia. Surely, it will be an unforgettable day for the group. Once we arrive in the park, we will take the bikes with us through the cable car, and cross the canyon, more than 100 meters above the river at some points, to arrive at the Mesa de Los Santos station. There, we will continue riding around 12 very easy kilometres up to Hacienda El Roble, to take a typical lunch from Santander, before taking a tour of the coffee plantations. On this farm, one of the best rated coffee in the world is grown up.
In the evening, we will travel to Bucaramanga with our minibus (1.5 hours) and we will arrive at the Hotel Chicamocha***** where we will be able to go out for a walk in the night to get to know the city and have a cold recovery beer. In front of the hotel, there is a huge Specialized bike shop where we will have the opportunity to benefit a few discounts while the staff will provide mechanical advice for our bikes.
Day 5 – Saturday, February 23rd
After an early breakfast in the hotel, we will leave for another day of high mountain, with the climb of the mythical Alto del Picacho, a hors-category climb, 48 km long, with 2391 metres of vertical ascent, at 4.7% on average. We will start directly from the hotel and reach a height of 3,378 meters above sea level at the site known as El Picacho, a place that has been used several times as a stage of the Vuelta a Colombia. This climb is one of the most renown and challenging in the country, its climate changes can be harsh but the landscapes while climbing are astonishing. The approximate time for climbing is 3 hours; the minibus will be accompanying us with our winter jackets so that we have something warm to put on once we arrive at the top (expected temperature around 10-12 degrees). Once the whole group has arrived, we will return with our minibus to the hotel to have lunch. In the afternoon, we will have the option of a tour of Bucaramanga, the capital of the department of Santander, like visiting the hill of the Santísimo, and other sites. In the evening, we will have our special farewell dinner in a very nice place in the city.
Day 6 – Saturday, February 24th
“Everything comes to an end” – unfortunately our wonderful trip through the most amazing places to ride a bike in Colombia is over. We will take the group to Bucaramanga’s airport in the morning after breakfast or we will be more than happy to assist anyone who requires to stay a bit longer in Colombia, with plans and suggestions.