Road Cycling Holidays
Alto de Letras
- Acclimatization in the beautiful Oriente de Medellín
- A myth: The Alto de Letras, the longest mountain pass in the world
- Tropics and alpine climate in just one day
- See how tropical fruits are grown and try them directly from the tree
- Colombia’s highest paved road, the Cerro Gualí
For cyclists who find our Fascinating Colombia Cycling Trip too extensive, but still want to climb the longest pass in the world once in their life, we offer the tour to the Alto de Letras separately and also as a package which can be combined with our cycling camps.
Before we head to the Alto de Letras, your body can acclimatize and get used to the altitude for two days at an altitude between 2,100 m and 2,600 m. In Colombia’s cycling paradise, the Oriente Antioqueño, you will enjoy a pleasantly warm climate and ride on the same roads as the Colombian pro cyclists. With a bit of luck, we might see Rigoberto Urán, Sergio Luis Henao, Fernando Gaviria , Sergio Higuita or other Escarabajos while they are training.
The Myth: The Alto de Letras
The Alto de Letras, colloquially also called “Letras”, is a giant among the mountain passes. The pass crosses the entire Central Cordillera of the Andes and connects Mariquita in the department of Tolima with Manizales, the capital of the department of Caldas. It passes by the Nevado del Ruiz, the second highest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere and one of the highest mountains in Colombia (5,321 m).
Letras is not just a “long” climb with a length of 20, 30 or 40 km. We’re talking about a completely different dimension: over a length of 81 kilometers, we climb almost 4,000 meters in one piece (there are, however, some short descends, which make you lose quickly previously hard-earned altitude, that then has to be gained again…) and ride through all climate zones, from hot tropical climate in Mariquita to the alpine glacier climate at the top at almost 3,700 m. But even at this altitude, the landscape is still fascinatingly green! The vegetation of the Páramos, the typical highland steppes of the northern Andes, is unique and can only be found at high altitude and in a humid climate near the equator.
Get to the Top of Colombia: Letras from the West and Cerro Gualí
Although it can’t be compared with the legendary eastern ramp of Letras, the climb from the west is also fantastic and a great finish for your cycling holidays with it’s length of almost 32 kilometers and an elevation gain of about 1,800 meters. And if you still have some energy left, then we have got a last real treat for you: Colombia’s hightest paved road!
|DURATION||5 days | 4 nights|
|TYPE OF TRIP||Hotel to Hotel|
|TOTAL DISTANCE||210 km|
|TOTAL ELEVATION||6,500 m|
|HOTELS||2 nights in|
2 nights in
|INCLUDED MEALS||4 breakfasts|
|NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS||Min. 2 persons|
|PRICE||from 1,199 €|
*depending on exchange rate
With Martin and his team from ELITE CYCLING COLOMBIA and his excellent STORCK rental bikes, a dream came true for us with this cycling trip in Colombia. We had wonderful days! Every ambitious cyclist should experience this at least once in his or her life!
Stefan E. from Vienna, Austria
The Alto de Letras is a real challenge. What makes the climb so hard is it’s length and altitude, however it is never extremly steep. Any well-trained cyclist is generally able to conquer this monster pass. You just have to get it right. Our experienced guides will accompany you and assist you on your way to the top. And if it gets too tough, don’t worry, the support vehicle is always close by.
This trip is suitable for all cyclists that are in good physical condition. You should have a good endurance and be able to climb long passes with passages with gradients in the double-digit percentage range.
Also when selecting our accommodations, only the best is good enough. We place great emphasis on quality, comfort, a special ambience and cleanliness.
The first days we stay at our luxury partner hotel in the Oriente Antioqueño, Colombia’s cycling Eldorado. At 2,100 m you can get used to the altitude in the midst of a beautiful mountain scenery. The hotel offers every imaginable comfort, an excellent service and lots of things to do.
In Mariquita and Manizales we stay at very special and charming hotels with a wonderfull atmosphere, where you will enjoy each and every minute of your stay.
The prices include:
- 2 nights in 5-star hotels
- 2 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels
- 4 x breakfast, lunch and dinner (excluding beverages)
- Airport transfer on arrival
- English-speaking tour guide and personal assistance by Elite Cycling Colombia
- 3 guided tours
- When bringing your own bike: Assistance in assembling
- Accompaniment by service vehicle and luggage transport (days 3 to 5)
- Transport Medellín – Mariquita with stopover and visit of Hacienda Nápoles (optional); transport Manizales – Medellin
- Mobile phone for the duration of your cycling holidays
- Pick-up service in case of emergencies and defects
- Energy bars/gels, fruits and water for the tours
- Elite Cycling Colombia jersey in pro quality
- Financial protection in accordance with German/European law
What’s not included:
All services not listed above. In particular: flights, departure tax, insurance, bike rental, beverages at meals (lunch and dinner), tips, entrance fees and personal expenses.
Alto de Letras Cycling Tour – 5 days
Prices per person, including the services described above, excluding flights
from EUR 1,199
Single Room (double room for single occupancy)
from EUR 1,399
*Alternate currency displayed (USD) is an approximate conversion. All bookings and payments will be made in Euro (EUR).
We offer the Alto de Letras Tour as private custom trip, but also in combination in with our cycling camps on special terms (4 days / 3 nights). If you would like to book the Alto de Letras Tour in combination with a cycling camp, please select the corresponding option in the inquiry form of the camp.
Minimum number of participants for this trip: 2 persons
These road cycling holidays are not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.
Citizens from Germany, Austria and Switzerland do not need a visa in Colombia for stays of less than 90 days as a tourist. If you have a citizenship other than those mentioned above, please let us know this in your booking inquiry so that we can inform you about the entry requirements that apply to you.
Note: By submitting the inquiry you do not enter into any contractual relationship. Based on your request, we will work out an individual offer for you. Only with your confirmation of this offer your commitment will then be binding.