Feb 14th – 19th 2019
- 6 days, 5 nights
- 3* and 5* hotels
- 6 people max. (min. 4)
- Difficulty: 5/5
- Avg. distance: 92km/day
- Avg. elevation: 1601m/día
- Total distance: 462km
- Total elevation: 8,003m
- (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
Tour Colombia 2.1 and Alto de Letras
Five very challenging days of riding!
This tour is our first shorter version of our full length bike ride in February 2019. Also starting in the department of Antioquia in Rionegro, near Medellin, this short tour will take you up the Zipaquira, Cundinamarca, only 40km away from Bogota, and includes the impressive climb of Letras, the second longest bike climb in the world!
In this 6 day tour, you will be able to ride and watch last three days of the Tour Colombia 2.1 UCI, with confirmed participation of Peter Sagan, Chris Froome and Alejandro Valverde, among others. The race will be concentrated near Rionegro, with amazing mountain stages, and also some opportunities for sprinters. During the trip, after watching the race, you will also discover fantastic places where Colombian cyclists train on a daily basis, among others: the department of Tolima and its terrific Alto de Letras climb, one of the longest climb in the world (81km and 3900m of vertical ascent). After Letras (two nights in Honda, Tolima), we will head to Zipaquira, where the main group will carry on its tour towards Santander the folowing day, while we have organized a transport for you to take you back to Bogota, just 1h10 away from Zipaquira.
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.
The quality of the hotels is also particularly good, since we have chosen the best hotels in each place we will be staying. Also – and not the least – in order to launch our activity in Colombia after four years organizing cycling trips in Europe for our South American clients, we have set up particularly competitive prices.
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 $1,490 USD (double occupancy)
- $1,490 USD non-rider
- $1,640 USD rider
- Single supplement (subject to availability): $390 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 Tour Colombia 2.1 and Alto de Letras tour is a nice and short version of our full February tour. After riding and watching the last three days of the Tour Colombia 2.1 UCI pro race, you will have the opportunity to climb the Alto de Letras. Here is the detail of what’s included in your tour, and what’s not.
- 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 Medellin (Rionegro) International airport on February 14th to the hotel and transfer to Bogota airport or city center on February 19th from Zipaquira
- 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
- 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 – Thursday, February 14th – Hotel Movich Las Lomas***** (swimming pool and sauna), Rionegro, Medellin
Arrival and meeting point of the group at José María Córdoba international airport in the city of Rionegro, Antioquia, 20 km from the city of Medellin, in the afternoon (this is actually the international airport of Medellin). From there, we will move on by bus to the hotel Movich*****, definitely the best hotel in the region, where we were able to secure some spots ahead of the Colombian Cycling Federation in order to accommodate our group. There, we will take time to assemble the bikes and go out to see the end of the 3rd stage of the Tour Colombia 2.1 in the afternoon, time permitting. At night we will have dinner in the hotel, followed by a quick briefing about our first ride on the next day.
The hotel Movich where we stay will also be used by several World Tour teams (Team Sky, Movistar, EF Education First, Astana, etc. among others, as confirmed to us by the hotel). So we can share a great time with the pro riders during our stay.
Day 2 – Friday, February 15th
After breakfast, we will organize the bike rides in two groups, if needed (short and easy or long and more difficult, according to the level of the participants). We will ride in the morning and go watch the 4th stage of the race and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Rionegro plateau, oscillating between 2000m and 2300m above sea level (Rionegro is at 2080m). In the Tour Colombia 2.1 UCI race, we will be able to watch and cheer up some of the world best riders: Chris Froome, Peter Sagan, Vincenzo Nibali (tbc), etc. and local riders Rigoberto Uran, Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal, Sergio Luis Henao, among others. Once the stage is over in the afternoon, we will go back to the hotel and relax a bit, before having dinner with the group. We will then explain what we will be doing the following day.
Day 3 – Saturday, February 16th
Today is supposed to take place the queen stage of the Tour Colombia 2.1, even though the final route has not been unveiled to the public at the time of publishing.
After an early breakfast, we will do another ride in the eastern part of the Antioquia region where Rigoberto Uran and Fernando Gaviria – among others – usually train. Our goal will be to climb the Puerto de la Union, a not-too-difficult climb, 7.5km long with a 5% average incline and finalizing 2540m above sea level. Once we are done with the ride, we will find a nice spot from where we will be able to watch the stage. The most motivated and trained riders will be encouraged to go cycling to that place, while the other part of the group will go with our minibus. Then we will regroup to go to the hotel, have dinner and prepare everything for the next day in order to carry on our tour to the warm city of Honda, in the department of Tolima.
Day 4 – Sunday, February 17th Hotel Posada Las Trampas***, (with spa), Honda, Tolima
After breakfast at the hotel in Rionegro, we will go cycling to watch the last stage of the Tour Colombia race – likely to be a criterium in Medellin (tbc). Once the race is over, we will go by bus towards the city of Honda, department of Tolima, which used to be the biggest fluvial port in Colombia in the 19th century. This is approximately a four-hour drive from Medellin.
Once we arrive at the hotel, we will have the adequate dinner in order to load our carbohydrate reserves, as the following day will without doubt be the longest day on the bike: the climbing of the mythical Alto de Letras, supposedly the longest climb in the world. For those who want to rest that day, it is also perfectly fine not to ride the bike, in order to keep some energy for the following day.
Day 5 – Monday, February 18th
With our queen stage coming up, we will need an early waking-up and a nice breakfast: Alto de Letras, the world’s longest climb, is waiting for us!
The Alto de Letras is 81km long, offers some 3392 meters’ vertical ascent (3970m according to Strava but we assume it is slightly overstated), starts 495m above sea level at Mariquita (near Honda), and finishes at an altitude of 3679m. The climate change is extreme. It is a mountain pass located in the central Andes mountain range that separates the Magdalena river valley from the coffee growing areas of Caldas and Antioquia. Also, we will go through four thermal floors during this epic ascent.
With a 4% average gradient, and some stretches at maximum 11%, the climb itself is not that difficult. What makes it really difficult is the length and the climate change, from hot at the bottom (not so hot at 7am in the morning) to cold at the top (some 8-12 degrees, depending on the day). The best time so far was done by multiple Vuelta a Colombia stage winner Juan Pablo Suarez with 3 hours and 31 minutes, but our group is expected to climb in around 5 hours and 30 minutes. For our guest, the former pro WT rider Phil Gaimon, this will be THE challenge of his Colombian trip: tackling the KOM of Letras on Strava.
For the logistics, we will have the main vehicle following the group up to Letras, while a motorbike will be carrying the winter jackets, drinks and snacks up to the summit for the riders who will arrive first.
Once at the Alto, if the weather allows us, we will have a fantastic view at the volcano Nevado del Ruiz and all the surroundings. We will then wait for the last riders to arrive at the top and go back with the minibus down to Honda, where we will have a rest at the hotel.
Day 6 – Tuesday, February 19th, end of the tour in Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca
After the epic climb of Letras, it is time for a more relaxing day, travelling towards the small touristic city of Zipaquirá, which is about two hours and a half from Honda and located around 50km northeast from the Colombian capital, Bogotá D.C. The city is known for its underground Salt Cathedral, a church built inside a salt mine, a place where we will have the opportunity to go in the afternoon. 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.
Unfortunately, for those who have chosen this tour, this is the end of the experience with us. We have organized a transport to take you directly to Bogota airport, or to the city center, should you decide to stay a couple of days more in Colombia. You may also decide to take our 4 day tour – with or without your bike – to Cartagena, to enjoy the colonial beauty of this touristic city on the caribbean coast.