Bike Ecuador & Colombia
Day 1 Tues Guayaquil
For those travelling from NZ you can travel on LATAM Airlines direct to Santiago with a connection to Guayaquil , arriving there late evening . On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel .
Accommodation: Grand Hotel
Guayaquil is Ecuador's major commercial city, quite tropical , situated on the coast
Day 2 Wed Guayaquil- Cuenca (B)
Later this morning transfer to the bus station and travel by bus from the tropical lowlands through banana plantations and into the Andes climbing to 2500m to the lovely colonial city of Cuenca
Accommodation: Hotel Casa del Aguila
Day 3 Thurs Cuenca (B,L)
Cuenca – Macas – first you have an hour and a half drive out of Cuenca through Gualeceo to the Virgin – start again at 4000m – it is a really interesting ride – mainly downhill (with some up and downs) from paramo to rainforest – so spectacular scenery changes. From the Virgin through Paute to Macas. Road is mostly paved and has much less traffic.
Day 4 Fri Cuenca-Riobamba (B,L)
Cuenca through to Quito is known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes - spectacular scenery
Travel from Cuenca to Alausi – bike in the morning from Alausi towards Huigra – you drive about 10 to 15 minutes up out of Alausi – mountain bike along a paved road – little traffic – very scenic (farmland) – downhill – around 2 hours. Then we ride the Devils Nose Railway – a series of spectacular switchbacks on and travel onto Riobamba for the night.
Accommodation: Hacienda Abraspungo
Day 5 Sat Riobamba- Patate (B,L)
Drive up towards the Chimborazo Volcano and mountain bike down - downhill - again it is a paved road but there is little traffic – paramo, farmland and volcano scenery - again you bike along a river canyon to the town of Ambato , then travel onto our hacienda near Patate .
Accommodation: Hacienda Manteles
Day 6 Sun Patate -Cotopaxi (B,L)
This morning you mountain bike from Manteles region into Banos – around 2 hours – paved road with little traffic. Great views including Tungurahua Volcano. In the afternoon visit the waterfalls by bike .A fun time is certain to be had with this tour of the incredible Route of the Waterfalls! Begin with a 20 minute bike ride to the first waterfall, Agoyan, where we will stop to rest and take photos. The next stop is the spectacular Manto de la Novia. The cable car ride we will take over the booming Pastaza river will give us an up-close view of the crashing falls. The Ecuadorian landscapes will amaze you as we wind our way 18 km through the small village of Rio Verde and stop to stand in awe of the massive Pailon del Diablo waterfall. Afterward, we will ride to Machay falls, hike to its base and cool off in its powerful and refreshing waters. Travel onto Cotopaxi in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Hacienda La Cienega
Day 7 Mon Cotopaxi - Quito (B,L)
This morning we do the typical Cotopaxi mountain biking route – really great ride in the national park – around 3 hours.Start with 4km of uphill then flat and downhill with some single track. In the afternoon continue on to Quito.
Accommodation: Hostal La Rabida
Day 8 Tues Quito (B)
Morning tour of Quito .Optional hike Tour to Teleferico & Guagua Pichincha
You will be taken to the Teleférico, a gondola lift, running from the edge of the city up the east side of Pichincha Volcano. It’s one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, and the ascent takes about ten minutes.
Hike from the summit of Cruz Loma toward Volcán Guagua Pichincha, a steady uphill trail which takes a couple of hours allowing for pauses to take in the extraordinary views of Quito and the surrounding volcanos
Day 9 Wed Quito – Tumbaco – Otavalo (B,L)
This morning we head to Tumbaco where we take a bike trail which follows the old railroad track through beautiful green countryside and down into the Chiche canyon rising up again through some original and interesting train tunnels. Box lunch included. We continue on to the pre-Incan ruins at Quito Loma and can get back on our bikes once again from here for a downhill, through the Andean communities of this region ending up on the Equator line in Cayambe. Visit to Quitsato museum.In the afternoon ride along old railway tracks from el Cajas. Continue by bus to Otavalo
Accommodation: Posada Quinde
Day 10 Thurs Otavalo - Salinas (B,L)
Today we begin in Zuleta, a beautiful zone in the Northern Andes where the local villages are dedicated to producing colourful and intricate embroideries. From here we cycle through Andean farmlands, along the flanks of the Imbabura Volcano, with great views of the San Pablo Lake. From here we continue through Peguche and onto the indigenous handicraft market at Otavalo. Time to explore the markets and then by bus Salinas in the drier Chota region
Accommodation: Hosteria Pantavi
a superb country hotel with spa and wonderful art collection
Continue on to Salinas in the drier Chota region
Day 11 Fri El Angel Ecological Reserve (B,L)
Today we can explore on foot and on bike the strange and mystical polylepis and frailejon forests of the Angel Ecological Reserve. Then start a downhill ride towards San Isidro and on to the old train station-Estacion Carchi.Riding through highland haciendas with their agricultural lands, then down to the dry Chota canyon which offers spectacular views.The Chota Valley , a warmer and drier region of Ecuador, is known for its Afro-Ecuadorian people and culture. Return to Hosteria Pantavi.
Day 12 Sat Salinas - Ipiales (B,L)
Starting at Cuicocha Lake , we take a partly paved & gravel road, with some uphills at the start, then downhill travelling from 3400m down to 1700m . A 40km ride from paramo down into the cloud forest.We then head north to Tulcan and cross the border into Colombia . Continue to Ipiales
Accommodation: Hotel Santa Isabel
Day 13 Sun Ipiales -Popayan (B,L)
Visit the Las Lajas Sanctuary and then a spectacular days drive northn through canyons,steep valleys to the beautiful city of Popayan.
Accommodation: Hotel La Plazuela
This small colonial city is famous for its chalk-white facades( its nickname is La Cuidad Blanca or the"White City") and is second only to Caratagena as Colombia's most impressive colonial settlement.
Day 14 Mon Popayan (B,L)
This morning drive to the indigenous mountain village of Cocouco(2650m) where you can bathe in the hot thermal springs. Then jump on the bikes and start the 30km leisurely ride back to Popayan.The route is mainly downhill on a paved road with very little traffic
This afternoon a walking tour around Popayan and a salsa class to feel the rhythm of the wonderful Colombian music
Day 15 Tues Popayan-Armenia (B,L)
We travel by van into the heart of the country's coffee production to arrive in Armenia . situated in the mountains with steep slopes all round. Continue through the peaceful surroundings of the lush green countryside to arrive at our converted finca ( coffee farm) with its wonderful accommodation. Learn about the coffee production
Accommodation: Hotel DE La Vega
Day 16 Wed Armenia-Salento (B,L)
Our bike tour goes through the beautiful Colombian coffee Cultural landscape , declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. You will be riding through coffee and plantain plantations , bamboo forests, view exotic fruits and other native species.Ride through stunning country lanes to the charming coffee town of Salento
Accommodation: Hotel Finca El Rancho de Salento
Day 17 Thurs Salento - Medellin (B)
Travel this morning by van through to the city of eternal spring -Medellin
Accommodation: Hotel Aqua
The city of Medellin sits in a narrow valley originally inhabited by the Aburras Indians. It is the second largest city in Colombia and is said to be, "One of the most beautiful cities in South America." by experienced travelers who have discovered the magic of Colombia.
Medellin's pleasant spring-like climate year round makes it known as 'La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera' or "City of the Eternal Spring".
Medellin is a safe, modern city filled with sophistication and charm from its Spanish heritage.It is known by its cultural encounters, the warmth of its people and the amazing views that are accompanied by clear blue skies and beautiful sunsets
Sample Medellin's famous nightlife in the Zona Rosa
Day 18 Fri Medellin (B,L)
Travel to the Santa Fe region. From the highlands through cloud forests, we descend for more than 1700m down into the Cauca River Gorge , over 35km in length , along exuberant landsacpes with breathtaking views to the valleys below. Passing through various ecosystems, colourfuil towns and farmlands, this full day of adventure offers varied riding terrain with many "single track" trail options . The tour ends just outside Santa Fe ,a very historical and patrimonial city which we then visit before returning to Medellin
Day 19 Sat Medellin- Bogota (B,L)
Best way to see Medellin is by bike . The route will orient you to the rest of the city and our guide's local knowledge and insight are invaluable. The trip is about 20 km and takes about 4 hours. Although most of the tour is flat, there are two challenging climbs that are rewarded with fantastic views. Also, you may be required to lift your bike to occasionally climb stairs so we can use walking bridges to avoid dangerous highway crossings.
Later this afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Bogota . Transfer to hotel
Accommodation: Hotel Casa Deco
Day 20 Sun Bogota (B)
Ride in the world-famous Ciclovía – when major avenues are closed to cars and fill with cyclists, skaters, joggers and walkers!
We head to the colourful streets of La Candeleria, something not to be missed are the“chocolaterias “where you can sample the famous Bogotano hot chocolate .
This afternoon you might like to head out of town and take the cable car up Mount Monserrate for magnificent views of the city or visit the splendid Gold Museum ( optional)
Day 21 Mon Bogota -Villa de Leyva (B,L)
We depart to the town of Cucunuba and commence a ride towards Raquira. Then to Villa de Leyva which is one of the most beautiful colonial villages in Colombia. Declared National Monument in 1945, the village has been preserved in it’s entirely with cobblestone roads, tiled roofs and whitewashed buildings.
Accommodation: Hotel Arcadia Colonial
Day 22 Tues Villa de Leyva (B,L)
We explore Villa de Leyva and surroundings. We will discover one of the most important paleontology regions in South America. This valley is an ancient ocean floor, home to many dinosaur fossils, as well as thousands of ammonites from the Cretaceous period. Evidence is found everywhere including decorations in floors and buildings. We prepare our mountain bikes for a 20 Km ride along the country side. En route we visit El Infiernito, a dry area with waterholes, and the Paleontological Museum which displays the most important assortment of fossils in South America. Here we find the most complete Kronosaurus fossil known to date. Our ride continues all the way to El Monasterio, a magnificent structure originally built in 1620 that was visited by Simon Bolivar himself. It has a great collection of religious and colonial art, as well as Muisca Indian displays – all adorned with fossils from the area. We return to Villa the Leyva to relax in its time suspended streets and coffee shops.
Day 23 Wed Villa de Leyva- Barichara (B,L)
Today we start early by van driving towards San Gil.Enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the Suarez River Canyon . Then commence a 35km bike towards Barichara, a perfectly preserved Spanish town declared National Monument in 1978. Barichara is a charming colonial town with a magical ambience. Its cobblestone streets, red tiled roofs, squares, and laid back lifestyle give us the feeling of being transported to another era.
Accommodation: Hotel Mision de Santa Barbara
Day 24 Thurs Barichara (B,L)
We start the day at 2000m above the town. Descend 25km down by bike the the base of the majestic Suarez Canyon passing through scenic agricultural landscapes. Then explore Barichara by bike and you will see why Barichara is deemed "the most beautiful pueblo in Colombia".
After lunch some more rolling cross country biking descending another 25km
Day 25 Fri Barichara - Bucamaranga (B,L)
Begin the day with a hike on a historica trail that was originally built by the Guane. During the colonial era, this trail was rebuilt in stone by the Spanish to gain access to the Atlantic . Along the way we get great views to the gorge below and excellent birding, as a high concentration of species feed and inhabit this area . At the end of this 7km hike we reach Guane, another colonial town that seems lost in time. It has a dreamlike feel and great Spanish architecture. We visit the local anthropological museum to learn about the extinct Guane culture.
In the afternoon, we bike into the Chicamocha River Gorge, the country’s most scenic canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of Colombia”. The ride starts at the edge of the canyon along a dirt road that zigzags down into the bottom of the gorge. We will feel the rising heat during this exhilarating downhill as we descend 1,400 m. The environment here is a unique dry forest filled with acacia, agave and cacti. Here we can also find remnants of a tropical forest where howler monkeys still survive. Other species found in this area are: iguanas, falcons and eagles. At the end of this 16 Km ride we will reach the town of Jordan at 430m. Located along the Royal Road from the Andes to the Caribbean, El Jordan used to be a prosperous merchant trade center. Today it has an eerie feeling, as it seems to be abandoned. We continue our journey to the city of Bucamaranga
Accommodation: Hotel Ciudad Bonita
Day 26 Sat Bucamaranga - Bogota (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bogota and connect with your international flight
Day 26 Sat Bogota - Cartagena (B)
Connect from Bogota by air to Cartagena de Indias , a lovely walled city which has preserved its colonial heritage and UNESCO World Heritage site . Cartagena was the major trading port from South America to Spain and saw numerous battles for control as its key position as a trading port . Its captivating streets move to a laid back Caribbean rhythm
From Milke Newell's interpretation of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, Love in the Time of Cholera to Robert de Niro's The Mission, Cartagena has been the backdrop to some cinema classics.
Transfer to your hotel
Accommodation: Hotel Don Pedro Heredia
Day 27 Cartagena (B)
Walking tour of the old city this morning .
Gold-crafting indigenous tribes, Spanish colonialism,pirates and corsairs,African slaves, fortifications,Catholicism, and the Inquistion,immigrants, independence, cholera, drugs,crime,beauty pageants, books,art and movies - Cartagena has led a very interesting life!
With such a fascinating and turbulent history , you can bet your arepa e huevo that there are plenty of must-see sites .
Day 28 Mon Cartagena (B)
Day free to explore Cartagena or we would suggest a trip to the beautiful Rosario Islands
Day 29 Tues Depart Cartagena (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight departure
Dates & Prices: Guayaquil -Bogota 26 Days
Departure: 22 May 2018
Price per person NZ$
2018 Double / Twin
22 May $7950
Cartagena Extension $460
single room supplement $1050 , addit $270 for Cartagena
Cost is subject to currency fluctuations & based on a minimum of 6 people travelling – there are no hidden costs.