Colombia - Emerald Mountains - Guided Road Cycling Holiday
- Exploring unspoiled Andean highlands
- The historic city of Cartagena
- The hospitality of locals, so proud to show off their country
- The challenges offered by Colombia’s dramatic mountains
- Cycling with the warm Caribbean breeze at your back
- Being amongst the first to ride in this emerging destination
View Trip Schedule
|1||Arrival: Bogota Airport||Non Riding Day|
|2||Cajicá to Vianí||64 Miles / 102 Kms Approx.||1,300 Metres Approx.||B L|
|3||Vianí to Mariquita||62 Miles / 100 Kms Approx.||800 Metres Approx.||B L|
|4||Mariquita to Manizales||75 Miles / 120 Kms Approx.||4,200 Metres Approx.||B L|
|5||Manizales to Anserma||45 Miles / 72 Kms Approx.||1,600 Metres Approx.||B L|
|6||Anserma to La Pintada||67 Miles / 108 Kms Approx.||1,600 Metres Approx.||B L|
|7||La Pintada to Medellin||47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.||1,900 Metres Approx.||B L|
|8||Rest Day: Medellin||Non Riding Day||B|
|9||Medellin to Santa Rosa de Osos||52 Miles / 85 Kms Approx.||2,200 Metres Approx.||B L|
|10||Santa Rosa de Osos to Taraza||93 Miles / 150 Kms Approx.||1,300 Metres Approx.||B L|
|11||Chinu to Tolu||51 Miles / 82 Kms Approx.||500 Metres Approx.||B L|
|12||Tolu to Cartagena||90 Miles / 144 Kms Approx.||700 Metres Approx.||B L|
|13||Departure: Cartagena Airport||Non Riding Day||B|
Meals: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner Please keep in mind the distances and ascent information provided are intended to be indicative and may vary from the actuals due to accommodation changes or when compared on different GPS devices and software
For more information download our trip notes
For more information download our trip notes
An excellent cycling holiday...
The second day with the long climb, from Mariquita to Manizales was great. Also really enjoyed the day after Medellin, Medllin to Yarumal. Rolling hills with short ascents.
Excellent – I orginally brought my own bike but, due to unfortunate circumstances, “ended up” using a bike from Skedaddle. Excellent road bike.
David helped turn an otherwise disastrous vacation into one I will remember the rest of my life. I broke both a carbon front wheel and a carbon frame just prior to our rest day in Medellin. The alternative appeared to be for me to purchase a bike. But I decided that this just wasn’t worth doing and had planned on heading back to the USA. But David went so far as to contact his company’s headquarters and got approval to purchase a spare bike…and they did not simply purchase some cheap hybrid. But got a “proper” (as you Brits put it!) road bike! A bike I really enjoyed riding. My holiday was resurrected. You know the quality of a guide not by how they react when things go well but how they respond when “shit hits the fan” (as we say here). And David came through for me! Thanks Dave!
Unbelievably gorgeous scenery, tough but doable climbs, stunning descents. The roads were, for the most part in great shape (when they weren’t, they weren’t!) and the riding was really great. TomÃ¡s was a terrific guide who shared a little of Colombian life with us and kept us as a safe as possible.
I thought the food was quite good almost everywhere. The lunches and some of the dinners, while way more food than I would ever think of eating back home were great for feeding the monster of an appetite I was getting with all the riding.
Randolph, Washington, USA
Amazing two weeks!
The riding and the people were all fantastic. It was such an amazing two weeks. The service really was excellent. All we had to do was ride and everything else was taken care of for us.
You definitely don’t do this tour for the food. Again, there weren’t a lot of options where we were. But still the food was always good. In addition, I’m vegetarian, which limited my food options. However, they did a great job of making sure I had a good meal and that I never got anything with meat, which I greatly appreciate.
The first half of the third day (to Mariquita) was just amazing. I also surprising loved the climb on Day 7 (Alto de Minas). Finally, the descent on Day 6 (to La Pintada) was fantastic!
I went into this trip with high expectations and these expectations were fulfilled, if not exceeded.
Very day was different and brought with it different experiences and challenges. I thoroughly enjoyed every day. Climbing Letras led to a real sense of achievement. I am very appreciative of the efforts Skedaddle and David Hall in particular went to in making this trip a reality. I look forward to riding with Skedaddle again in, hopefully, the not-too-distant future.
Tour leader is is worth his weight in gold!
Superb organisation and well structured route. Excellent customer service from the office and the information on the web site very helpful. Our tour leader’s combination of knowledge, riding ability, communication skills and sense of humour made the holiday a pleasure. He showed great ability to deal with the range of characters and abilities of the guests and was always prioritising our safety. I would say he is worth his weight in gold but he’s not heavy enough!
Chris, Hertfordshire, UK
As seen in the press...
There is no rule that a break in the Caribbean has to be all cocktails and indolence. Saddle Skedaddle has a 13-day “Emerald Mountains” guided cycle trip due to flirt with the north coast of Colombia from February 20.
The Telegraph (2018), The great escape: 13 last-minute winter sun holidays
Skedaddle team have exceeded our expectations
It has been a fabulous trip – we’ve been impressed with the attention to detail and the professional approach at every stage of the holiday. I have been very impressed with the customer service from before we left the UK to after the trip ended, but while we were still in Colombia. At every stage, all of the Skedaddle team have exceeded our expectations. It has made our holiday smooth, easy and very enjoyable. The team in Colombia (David and Tomas) remained in touch and helped us while we continued to travel in Colombia, even after our trip with Skedaddle had formally ended – that was above and beyond what we could have expected. I also appreciate the extra effort that the team made to accommodate my vegetarian needs… this is not easy in Colombia.
Joanne, West Yorkshire, UK
Nearly all my cycling has been in Europe, so this was a bit of an adventure for me. I was not disappointed. The trip combined great cycling with the chance to see some of the variety of landscapes, towns and cities that Colombia has to offer. So many memories – the sights, sounds and smells passing through villages, the mini-city-break in Medellin and riding out on closed roads, leaving Tolu on the final day in early morning light, the views, the colours, the friendliness of the people, of course the sense of achievement (or relief!) at the top of Alto de Letras. And much, much more.
Andy, Worcestershire, UK
A fantastic trip overall, which I’m really glad to have been on. I am definitely on board with the idea that cycling is the best way of seeing a country and Skedaddle make this hassle free in challenging destinations. I’d definitely recommend to friends. Colombia was a great destination and the roads were generally impressive.
Letras was definitely a highlight, as was riding on the sections of good road through the mountains
David, London, UK
As seen in the press...
As well as fantastically beautiful and challenging climbs this tour will take you through coffee-growing regions and to the emerald waters of the Caribbean.
The Telegraph (June 2016)
As seen in the press...
Cycling takes you to parts of a country other trips rarely visit, such as Viani, our stop on the first night. I spent a lovely hour at sunset in the main plaza practising my Spanish on the steps of the church with the local children.
By the end we were getting the hang of things, flying along beside the Colombian riders (the slower ones, at least), becoming part of the landscape rather than just outside observers, our colours mingling with everything else in this warm, joyous country.
Cycling the Alto de Letras, reputedly the longest climb in the cycling world, is a matter of bloody-minded persistence.
Financial Times (March 2016)
I am hoping to book again...
Absolute brilliant. I am hoping to book again for next year and that probably says it all! I have been on cycling holidays for over 35 years and this really is one of the best.
Karen, Worcestershire, UK
The trip was amazing...
The trip was amazing and exceeded my expectations. The route was spectacular and well thought, a perfect mix of challenges and easier days to cater for different abilities, levels of fitness and recovery times, without ever being boring. I found Colombia to be a very safe and happy place, with plenty of good food and great quality accommodations. The team supporting us did a great job by keeping us safe and making our lives easier when needed. What’s not to like? I simply loved it!
I think the level of accommodation was extremely good and it was the perfect mixture of basic followed by more comfortable hotels. Even the most basic places were spotlessly clean.The food offering always had choice available and most of all consisted of delicious local produce/dishes.
Difficult to say which was my favourite day! Of course Las Letras was a highlight for many reasons: the longest climb in the world to start with. Plus the fact that the weather was amazing and there was no stress on the day. Despite a few of us not quite making it to the top, it was a happy and drama free day which allowed us to make the most of it and enjoy. The coffee region was fantastic too, Manizales to Anserma, La Pintada, Medellin, Santa Rosa. Great cycling and beautiful scenery.
Our tour leaders passion for Colombia makes him an excellent Ride Leader for this trip. Great briefings, the right level of detailed instructions and information on what to expect to ensure a safe riding experience. Going the extra mile to make clients happy, even with what I thought were quite “interesting” requests. No stress, no drama, plenty of info on Colombia and what to experience/enjoy in each place we stopped/went through.
The second guide was also amazing. Big kudos for taking the time to teach a few of us how to improve our descending skills: quite a few tried and failed miserably with me in the past! I didn’t turn into a pro but I have so much more confidence that I can actually enjoy descending now, life changing experience! He was always available to help, answer questions and everything seemed so effortless. He has the power of making you feel good no matter what!
Our third was also a can of happiness and joy, which was contagious! He knew what he was doing and he was constantly making sure that we were OK, we had what we needed, the bikes were ready etc. I think he may have more than 2 eyes as he saw everything and more, and took action before things became problematic.
Our final guide was like a big teddy bear waiting for you at every stop, filling your bottle before you had the time to take a breath and ask for it, giving you plenty of food “just in case“. Not to mention all the times he waited under the scorching sun to make sure we did not miss a cafe stop.
One of the best holidays I have done with Skedaddle!
Really well done to David and his team for putting together such varied and quality itinerary and achieving excellence in often challenging conditions.
What I would say to someone considering this trip: definitely go for it, expect most amazing scenery, be aware the roads can be rough in places in Colombia (perhaps an obvious point to most!), the food is probably not the main attraction but the cycling well and over makes up for it, and finally – the weather can be varied, so all seasons stuff. Overall though would recommend to everyone and go again!
Tanya, London, UK
A very mixed bag of accommodation, it was great to experience such diversity. David Hall was my tour leader and I would like to say how professional and courteous he was. He coped very well in all situations and was nothing but supportive of me and the others at all times. A very big thank you to Dave.
Dan, Devon, UK
You guys excel on the more exotic trips...
The best thing was it turned out to be a holiday – a rarity for me as my last two bike trips were hard core cycling and I actually fantasised about getting back to work – an amazing opportunity to experience a different culture!
Stacey, London, UK
What an experience! Always knowing that this was the first of its kind, the holiday was perhaps more challenging than fun. The country is amazing and with much to offer the tourist.
Please note that whilst Colombia is not the foodie capital of the world – quantity provided during lunch breaks was excellent and of high quality. All days were very different – impossible to say favourite or not! Favourite moments included: fabulous, swooping descents, glorious views, challenging climbs.
David and his local helpers did a great job!
The views were amazing, the climbs were challenging and the descents were thrilling. You can tell the trip has been finessed since the first time it ran.
Our hire bikes were very high quality, and the accommodation was far better than I had anticipated!
Phil, London, UK
I loved Colombia...
David Hall should be knighted for his dedication. The big climb up the Estes was my favourite day!
Tony, Cambridge, UK
It was an interesting and enjoyable trip...
I enjoyed all of the days biking! It was good to have the opportunity to road cycle across Colombia.
Kevin, Dorset, UK
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- 13 days
- Prices From:
Place to place
12 nights hotel accommodation
10 days riding
1 rest day
Breakfast and lunch
Guided and vehicle support
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Last Updated: 30/04/2019