Escape for a week of magnificent cycling in one of the world’s fastest developing cycling nations.
11 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
This trip was very last minute for me, and could be one of my favorite trips, between the riding/training, the people, the moto experience, the guides, the sightings of ex-pros, and the culture was beyond fantastic. It was great to put a bit of sightseeing in there. I am still on a high from this trip and back to reality is a rude awakening. I will be back Columbia.
Learning that Colombia is not the terrifying place I grew up hearing about was what I hoped for and was not disappointed. The drivers were exceptionally courteous and the seeing the number of local riders on the roads made everything feel very comfortable. The weather was phenomenal. Never too hot or too cold even with a few sprinkles falling on us. An unexpected thrill was seeing some true legends rolling around and getting to ride with the likes of Mauricio. I knew these guys could ride, but seeing what they can do on a stupid-steep piece of road is something else. Finally, using this mid-winter trip as motivation to slog away on the trainer was an obvious benefit. Seeing what a week at altitude has done for my legs has convinced me this is something I should do every January!
If tough, hilly rides is what you are looking for then this is the trip for you. Add in the altitude and you will finish the week very satisfied with your increased fitness. Add in Colombia, a great hotel and the expertise and support of Thomson Tours and this is a week all serious riders should put on the “must do” list!
I loved it. Having been on a Thomson Tour before the Colombia cycling camp was exactly as I expected. Challenging riding with excellent guides and great accommodations along with a good mix of other riders. Well done. It was a fantastic week and I would do it again.
Colombia was beautiful, the people of Colombia were welcoming and respectful of bikes on the road, the roads are very well maintained, being at altitude was great for training, the climbs were hard - but not too hard for January, food was good, and as always the Thomson team was fantastic!
I went for the adventure of riding in South America. I got what I went for! Fantastic experience!
The Colombia ride camp was better than I thought it was going to be. The rides were shorter than the usual Thomson rides, but they were plenty tough. It was an experience riding the same roads that so many pros train on. The ride leaders and support were top notch as usual. I had a great time and got home quite a bit stronger on the bike than I had been when I left. I think that one of the reasons I loved this camp is that I treated it like a camp.
Great trip. Interesting landscape. Interesting routes
Really enjoyed it.
Extremely well done for a first-time trip in a new country!!!
I had a great experience on this trip. The climbs were challenging without being brutal (which for me is important to avoid injuries early in the season). We had some rain, but generally it was warm and usually brief. The traffic required attention on portions of the rides, but we had many nice stretches of beautiful scenery on quiet mountain roads. The food, coffee and water were all excellent. This trip changed my opinion of Colombia as I felt it was a very safe and interesting place to visit. The idea of traveling to a new country (and continent) was very appealing. Combine that with my love of challenging cycling and the incredible Thomson support made for an outstanding adventure.
Medellin is our destination for our Colombian cycling week. Only 5 hours from New York and sharing the same time-zone, Medellin is the perfect destination to escape and enjoy a week of top-class cycling. Our hotel for the week is the luxury Hotel Movich, situated at an altitude of 2200m and very close to Medellin’s International airport.
During the week you’ll be riding at elevations of between 2000m and 3000m and you’ll be following in the tire tracks of the many top professionals that live and train in Medellin. Fernando Gaviria (4-time stage winner at the 2017 Giro d’Italia), Rigoberto Uran (2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France) and Team Sky’s top climbers, Sebastian & Sergio Henao, all hail from Medellin and prepare for the Grand Tours on the very same routes that we’ll be riding all week. Our staff will be joined by Mauricio Ardila, a local ex-pro who won the Tour of Britain back in 2004 and will be one of your ride leaders and local expert for the week.
Check out what our guests said about the January trip:
It’s also worth watching this video from Rigoberto Uran. Rigo’s private Colombia gives you the chance to discover more about the beauty of Colombia and the passion Colombians have for cycling.
Bienvenido a Medellin!
Our trip starts at the luxury 4-star Hotel Movich situated just 5 minutes from the José Maria Cordoba International Airport. Meet our staff at the Hotel Movich at 10am for a brief Orientation Meeting followed by the bike build and lunch by the hotel pool.
After lunch we’ll head out on our first ride in Colombia. From the hotel we head south to La Ceja, home town of Fernando Gaviria - winner of 4 stages of the 2017 Giro d’Italia. In La Ceja we start the 2.5km climb to Los Enanos. Enjoy the beautiful descent from Los Enanos to Don Diego, then the final 15km of rolling terrain through El Tablazo back to our hotel.
Meeting Time and Place
Our hotel is situated just 5 minutes from Medellin Airport and a free shuttle is available. Fly in any time and take the shuttle to the hotel. Our staff will meet you in the Hotel Movich Reception at 10:00am.
Arvi Natural Park and La Ceja
A beautiful ride today around the mountains that lie to the east of Medellin. Riding from the hotel, we head north towards Guarne and the start of our first climb - the 6km Alto Medina - which tops out in the magnificent Arvi Natural Park.
The next 40km are “rolling”, actually a series of short, steep climbs (with one very steep climb!) that are quite reminiscent of the Ardennes. After 70km the road kicks up again for our last climb of the day - the 10km Alto de Pantanillo from the Retiro side.
From the Pantanillo we descend to La Ceja then the final 20km back to the hotel through Buenavista. Save something in the legs for these last 20km, there are a couple of short but super-steep kickers to contend with before the final run-in to the hotel!
A really tough stage today with no less than 6 categorised climbs on the route and a total elevation gain of 2400m. Our destination is the beautiful colonial town of Abejorral which was declared a national monument in Colombia.
The ride itself is a roller-coaster of ups and downs through rural Antioquia. Enjoy the riding along traffic-free, quiet roads that wind their way through the green fields and valleys of this beautiful part of the Andes mountains.
Today’s destination is the town of Guatapé which claims to be the most colourful town in Colombia.
Along the way we’ll stop at the famous Peñón de Guatapé for some extra training. The Peñón is a massive rock that sticks out of the surrounding landscape - and we’ll climb the 740 steps to the top (yes - that’s correct - 740 steps!) to enjoy the magnificent views of the huge reservoir and hundreds of islands below.
There’s also a fair bit of climbing to do - on the bike. Only one long climb, the Alto del Chocho, but there are lots of short, steep climbs - and a total elevation of just under 1800m for the day.
Alto del Escobero
Today we’ll tackle one f the toughest climbs in Colombia - the Escobero! Frequently used by riders like Rigoberto Uran in his training before the Tour de France, the Escobero is on a par with the infamous Monte Zoncolan in Italy.
Leaving the hotel we start the long, gradual climb to the Alto Sant Elena followed by 20km of beautiful country lanes that lead to Las Palmas. Las Palmas sits 800m above the city of Medellin and you can enjoy the views of this magnificent city down in the valley below.
After a long downhill we cut across the southern side of the city to Envigado where the Escobero climb starts. With an average grade of over 10%, the Hors-Categorie Escobero is a favourite training climb for the Colombian climbers preparing the Giro or the Tour! From the summit enjoy the long descent back to our hotel.
La Ceja & las Palmas
Today’s ride features much of Rigoberto Uran’s favourite training routes to the east of Medellin. After yesterday’s challenging ride, and with a big ride on the cards for tomorrow, we’ve planned a shorter ride today with not too much climbing.
From the hotel we head north to La Ramada then turn south towards Marinilla and eventually on to El Carmen de Viboral. Although just a small village, El Carmen is the capital of handcrafted ceramics in the region and we’ll have a short coffee shop and look around to see the local craftsmen at work. From El Carmen we head back to Gaviria’s home town of La Ceja and the climb to the Alto Pantanillo.
A beautiful ride today, into the Andes Mountains to the south of Medellin. Our destination is the tiny rural village of Mesopotamia where we’ll stop for a coffee at the Rico Pollo Café.
From the hotel we head south to La Ceja where our main climb of the day starts. The Alto de la Union tops out at over 2500m and is one of the favorite climbs of local rider, Rigoberto Uran, who finished 2nd overall in the 2017 Tour de France. These roads are where Rigoberto trains before heading over to Europe and with a bit of luck we might cross paths with Rigoberto over the course of the week.
From the summit of the Alto de la Union, the next 50km pretty much stay at an elevation of between 2400 and 2500 metres with a number of short, steep climbs to contend with.
Unfortunately, our Colombian experience has come to an end.