From the Andean Highlands to the Tropical Pacific - an adventure in Colombia
Colombia Bike Tours
Biking, hiking, and local culture
This bike and cultural tour in Colombia is about transformation and resurgence. But first, let's address the elephant in the room. Colombia. The very name brings forth images of drug lords, murder, and violence unspeakable. We know. When we first were presented with the opportunity to travel and explore this South American country, we had to confront our own reaction and asked "Who would want to go?" That is when we learned of the country's reformation, from the inside out, involving many levels of the government, but most importantly, the people themselves, who believe that getting ahead takes a combination of hard work and education.
It has been said that adversity helps build the character of change and nowhere is that more evident than in the city of Medellin. No longer the city of Pablo Escobar and his warlords, but now Latin America’s very own Silicon Valley, with a very impressive infrastructure.
Blessed with a climate of "eternal spring", the city is blossoming into a trendy "must visit" destination.
For destinations like this, emerging from the very bottom, it begins with commitment and a shared vision. We look forward, not back. And good things are happening.
Colombia is not for everyone but destinations seldom are. If you have a bit of the Latin in you, and the sound of Salsa music makes you want to dance, if you enjoy paving the way, stepping a bit out of your comfort zone, than pack your bags. Colombia is waiting. As the new travel slogan, borrowed from Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, says so well, "Colombia is magical realism."
Standard accommodations: £ 1377 $ 2,377 € 1549 NOK 14458 kr 13346 $ 1,735 Luxury accommodations: £ 1655 $ 2,856 € 1862 NOK 17375 kr 16038 $ 2,085
Rates are based on double occupancy.
† Currency exchange rate set 90 days before travel.
This tour can be booked any time with a minimum of 6 people. If you have less than 6 in your group, we can provide pricing for smaller group sizes. The Medellín and Pacific region is great all year round. The very best time is February, March, May, June, July, September, October, and November. The following months are busier and it is important to book early:
Easter week, August (first two weeks due to the flower festival in Medellín) and December and January (from mid December till mid January).
Where You’ll Stay
There are two options for accommodations with this tour, standard and luxury. Just as an example, for the luxury option, you will stay in Hotel Park 10 in Medellin, one of the best hotels in the city. For standard accommodations, you stay in the Hotel Boutique La Campana , a family-run hotel with 12 rooms located in the restaurant district of Poblada.
- 9 nights accommodations with breakfast
- Meals as per itinerary
- Bilingual tour leader
- Private airport transfers
- Guided bike activities (according to the program)
- Mountain bike + helmet, shirt, gloves
- Additional insurance
- Private transportation to and from the place of the activity
- Visit of 2 flower farms in Santa Elena (day 2)
- Community Visits in Nuquí
- Donation to the Community Tourism Alliance in Nuquí
- Canoe ride on Joví River
- Canoe ride on mangrove in Coquí
- Trekking in Termales
- Entrance to the hot springs in Termales
- Private City Tour in Medellín with focus on the transformation of the city
- Coffee Workshop "from the plant to your cup“
- Trekking at San Antonio Nature Reserve in Támesis
What’s Not Included
- Domestic flight (Medellín – Nuquí – Medellín)
- Activities not mentioned in the program
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Alcoholic beverages
- Meals not mentioned in the program
Just ask! We can book extra nights for you or suggest another few days as extension!
Day 1: Arrival to Medillín
Upon your arrival, a private transfer will be provided to your first hotel.
Day 2: Bike tour in Santa Elena, 12.5 mi. - 25 mi. (20 - 40 km)
The small village of Santa Elena is located less than an hour outside of Medellín, in the mountains of Antioquia (over 2000 m high). It is home of a great variety of traditional flower farmers. The flower arrangements of the Flower Festival (“Feria de Flores”), called “silletas” have an impressive history, and are today a cultural symbol of Medellín. Furthermore the area is part of the Nature Reserve “Parque Arví” which protects the water resources of Medellín. You will enjoy a bike tour through Andean forests and explore the lush green highlands visiting several organic farms and experience the traditional small-scale farming culture of Santa Elena. (B, L)
Day 3: The Pacific Ocean and the beaches of Nuquí
A domestic flight (not included) will transfer you to the remote village of Nuquí located on Colombia’s unspoiled Pacific Coast. Colombia´s Chocó region is the most bio diverse region of the country and almost completely covered by tropical rain forest. The days in Nuquí are organized by an initiative of local communities and combines unique community activities and nature experiences while directly supporting the local people.
At the small local airport of Nuquí, the local coordinator will receive you with a fresh coconut and accompany you to the boat that brings you to your accommodation. As there are no streets, all transport is by boat! On the way, you can soak in the incredible landscapes where the mountains full of lush tropical rainforest descend to the sea. After a fresh lunch, you have time to enjoy a free afternoon on the beach of Guachalito, to snorkel, swim, or just relax in a hammock. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Community visits - canoe ride, jungle river and mangrove forest
After breakfast you travel by boat to the idyllic community of Joví, 15 minutes from Guachalito. Here you meet a local guide who will provide you with some information about the community. Joví is small settlement of aprox. 200 habitants. The local people still live as traditional fishermen and grow vegetables in the jungle. You will travel by chingo (canoe) up the Joví River, a shallow, slow moving river where you might see exotic birds and other animals. There is opportunity for a swim in a waterfall in the rainforest, in the crystal-clear water in the middle of the jungle. Return by chingo to Joví, lunch, and then by boat to the neighbouring community of Coquí, located between mangrove forest and the Pacific Ocean. The Coquí population is about 150 people living in the center while the rest of the island is used for traditional agriculture. After meeting the local community leaders, another canoe ride will allow you to explore one of the best preserved mangrove forest in Colombia. You will learn more about the ecological importance of this fragile eco-system and the different mangrove trees. Afterwards return by boat to your accommodation and spend another evening on the beach at Guachalito. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Community visit - hot springs, exotic frogs and rainforest
Today travel by boat to the village of Termales a small community south of Guachalito. The boat ride takes about 20 minutes. Upon arrival in Termales, your community guide will provide rubber boots for hiking in the rain forest. A small trail brings you deep into the tropical rainforest. You might spot tropical birds and monkeys. The trail passes through an area populated by tropical frogs. Your local guide knows best where they are and how to observe them. It´s likely to spot five different species of colored poisonous frogs. Your guide will point out medicinal plants and explain their traditional uses. At the end of the trail you will arrive at a picturesque waterfalls called “The 4 Enchantments” where four waterfalls form pools to swim and relax. Here you will have a traditional lunch while enjoying the unique spot before hiking back to Termales. The name Termales is related to the natural hot springs located out side the village. After the hike, relax in the hot pool surrounded by tropical trees. Before heading back to your accommodation take a short walk through the village meeting the community leaders. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Transformation of Medillín
This morning you travel back to Nuquí and fly to Medellín. On arrival you will be picked up to experience first hand the unique transformation of Medellín from one of the most dangerous cities in the world into a fascinating melting pot of cultures with possibly the friendliest and warmest people anywhere. Back in the early 90s, when the hunt for Pablo Escobar took place, the head of Medellín's drug cartel was at its peak. Thus the reign of “El Patrón” came to its end. Until the turn of the millennium the struggle about Escobar's successor continued, but since 2002 Medellín has begun to change. Local politicians started to invest heavily in infrastructure and public education. Today the “City of Eternal Spring” is one of the most innovative metropolises in the world. (B)
Day 7: Bike tour "the Coffee Railway", 26, 31, or 46 km
Today you leave Medellín and travel to Coffee Region. Just two hours outside of Medellín in the lush green highlands of Antioquia you cycle along by the ancient railway of Colombia. On your way you drive through tunnels and over iron bridges that were built in the 1920s. On this ride you’ll listen to native birds, smell the aroma of just-picked coffee, splash in freshwater streams and observe the beauty of the mountains. Enjoy this ideal nature activity to experience Andean flora and fauna in the hidden coffee region of Antioquia. After this bike tour, get rewarded with a typical Colombian lunch. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Biking and coffee workshop, 25 km, with option to extend
This day is a combination of biking with exploring the traditional coffee culture. Start your day cycling along tiny settlements of coffee farmers and meet a local family. Experience the traditional coffee culture on a typical Colombian farm. On less than three hectares Don Octavio Acevedo and his family produce their own coffee brand and give us the unique opportunity to observe the whole coffee processing from the plant to the cup. Before lunch you stroll through the coffee fields learning more about growing and collecting the coffee beans. After a traditional countryside lunch you get an insight of the roasting process and furthermore about the best way to prepare the coffee. Afterwards travel to the idyllic coffee village of Támesis located high up in the coffee hills. The village is a hidden gem and almost no tourists go there. This for the charming atmosphere of the village is so authentic. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Hike in the Cloud Forest of the “San Antonio” Nature Reserve
On this day hike through the mysterious cloud forests of the “San Antonio” nature reserve which is located in the mountains above Támesis. A pre-Hispanic stone path will take you higher and higher into the impressive mountain rain forest. A guide familiar with the place will show you waterfalls hidden within the rocks, underground rivers, caves, and the most spectacular viewpoints. In the late afternoon return to the village of Támesis and travel back to Medellín. (B, L, D)
Day 10: Departure