Cycling holiday in Colombia
Description of Cycling holiday in Colombia
Cycling in Colombia places you right at the heart of South America's activity tour revolution with coffee plantations and the foothills of the Central Andes providing an incredibly scenic backdrop to complement long and winding paved roads that lead from one characterful town to the next.
A combination of flat rides from Buga to Zaragoza and more challenging ascents to Calarcá via Rio Verde, make this two week Colombia cycling holiday refreshingly diverse with steady climbs and free time offering plenty of chances to experience life in South America both in and out of the saddle.
Stunning scenery and the warmth of Latin America are never in doubt and if you're looking to experience cycling in Colombia as part of a small group then right here is where you set the gears in motion.
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Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) and we take part in the weekly car-free event ‘Ciclovia’ in Bogota to support this progressive event. We use local bike hire and support a number of cultural sites along our journey, including Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, a coffee plantation and botanical gardens.During the free day, we offer an optional Trekking tour to Acaime Reserve, where clients can see hummingbirds. The entrance fee that is paid by the clients helps maintain and preserve this Natural Reserve.
Water is a really important issue on cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. We keep 20 litres in our support vehicle, which clients are welcome to use.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We spend 10 nights in hotels and 2 nights in ‘fincas’ (farmhouse properties). There is a varied selection of properties, including a charming old house within the historic La Candelaria district of Bogota, and a hotel in Chinchina surrounded by coffee plantations. The accommodation is locally staffed, providing people in surrounding communities with alternative employment opportunities. Many of the hotels have strong environmental policies regarding waste management and water usage, whilst Hotel Finca la Tata has also achieved the Colombian Environmental Stamp Certificate. Where meals are provided, local ingredients will be used as much as possible: local eggs, cheese, bread or arepas (corn pancakes) are served for breakfast; fresh trout, grilled meat and salad are popular at dinner. We take lunches at roadside cafes and family owned restaurants, which boosts the local economy.
Local Craft and Culture:
We visit a Women’s Co-operative which manufactures clothing and other products in Anserma. Here the women give a presentation where they explain the process of their craft and at the end clients can purchase products here. This is a great form of additional income for the association and we pay the silk weavers a fair wage regardless of whether anyone buys anything. In Boquía, we also offer the chance to see a folkloric presentation performed by a local school. This benefits the children and encourages them to continue preserving local culture. Afterwards, clients can make donations if they wish and this is used to buy new instruments and traditional clothing etc.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
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