FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

In the FAQ you will find answers to frequently asked questions about your cycling holidays in Colombia. If your question is not or not completely answered, please contact us!

Airlines
Airport
Airport transfers
Arrival and departure days
Assembly of bikes
Bicycle transport
Climate
Clothing
Credit cards
Currency
Cycling Clothing
Departure tax
Electricity
Flight booking
Helmet
Inseam
Insurance
Massage
Medical care
Passport
Protection of payments
Safety and security
Sun protection
Taxi
Vaccinations
Visa

Airlines

Which airlines fly to Colombia / Medellin?

Almost all major European airlines fly directly to Colombia (Lufthansa, Air France / KLM, British Airways, Iberia, Air Europa) and also the two most important Latin American airlines (Avianca and LATAM). Most flights go via Bogotá, but there are also direct flights to Medellín (Avianca, LATAM, Iberia and British Airways).

Airport

What is the destination airport in Medellin?

The airport (MDE) is located just outside Medellín in Rionegro and is called “Aeropuerto Internacional José María Córdova”.

Airport transfers

How much is the transfer from and to the airport in Medellin (Aeropuerto Internacional José María Córdova) to the hotel?

Airport transfers are already included in our prices.

Arrival and departure days

Are there fixed arrival and departure days or can I arrive or depart every day of the week?

There are no fixed arrival and departure days for the training camps in Medellín/Oriente Antioqueño, so there are not restrictions when planning in your holidays and can benefit from the best available air fares or offers.

Assembly of bikes

How do I mount my bike after arrival?

Of course, we will help you with the assembly of your bike and provide you with the necessary tools.

Also with the dismantling and the packing of your bicycle for the return flight we gladly help you. However, due to liability reasons, airworthy packaging is your responsibility.

Bicycle transport

How much does the transport of my bike on a plane cost?

The transport costs vary depending on the airline and fare, but are usually between EUR 80, – and USD 150, – each way. We organize transportation from José María Córdova airport to the hotel and back and the costs are included in our prices.

Please note the restrictions and specifications of your airline regarding the maximum permissible weight, weight and packaging of the bicycle. It should also be noted that sports baggage often must be registered with the airlines several days in advance to the flight. In order to avoid any negative surprise during check-in, please inform yourself in time about the regulations and conditions of your airline for the transport of bicycles.

If you want to avoid any risk of damage during transport, just leave your bike at home and hire one of our top rental bikes. More information on our rental bikes you can find here.

Climate

What is the climate in Medellin and what kind of weather can I expect?

The climate in Colombia is tropical, i.e. the temperature is stable throughout the year. Temperature differences are primarily due to altitude changes. The average temperature in Medellín is around 21 °C (approx. 70 °F). During the day it is about 27-28 °C (approx. 81 °F) warm, at night temperatures drop to 16-17 °C (approx. 62 °F). Our hotel is located on a plateau about 600 m above Medellín, which is why temperatures here are always 4 to 5 °C lower than in Medellin.

There are no seasons – even though Colombians refer to the rainy season as “winter” (“invierno”) and the dry season as “summer” (“verano”). Precipitation falls throughout the year, with April / May and October / November being the “rainy season”. In the rainy season it often rains in the morning and afternoon / evening. In between it is usually dry and sunny. The climate in Medellin is extremely pleasant. The nice weather has also earned the city the epithet “City of Eternal Spring” (“ciudad de la eterna primavera”).

Clothing

What clothes do I need?

The climate in Medellín is very pleasant with temperatures oscillating usually around 20 to 25 °C or 68 to 77 °F. Our hotel and base of our training camp is located just outside Medellín at 2.100 m. Due to the altitude, temperatures decrease especially at night, which is why it is recommended to bring a summer jacket and a sweater.

Also with regard to the cycling wear, you should consider your preferences for spring/summer temperatures (as a rule, we wear short/short all year round).

Credit cards

Which credit cards are accepted in Colombia?

Most common are VISA and Master Card. American Express is also widely accepted. For the use of credit cards outside the euro area / USA usually a fee is being charged. Please note the terms and conditions of your bank or credit card company.

In order to have the data of your credit cards ready in case of loss, you should make copies of the cards and store them separately.

Currency

Which currency is used in Colombia?

The currency of Colombia is the Colombian Peso (COP; $). The conversion rate EUR/COP currently fluctuates around 3,650 (€ 1 equals about 3,650 Pesos, as of January 2019) and the conversion rate USD/COP around 3,250 (1 US$ equals about 3,250 Pesos).

The following banknotes are in circulation: 1,000 pesos, 2,000 pesos, 5,000 pesos, 10,000 pesos, 20,000 pesos, 50,000 pesos, 100,000 pesos. In addition, the following coins circulate: 50 pesos, 100 pesos, 200 pesos, 500 pesos, 1,000 pesos.

Where can I buy Colombian Pesos?

You can exchange Euros or Dollars in exchange offices, which can be found in the airports and in almost every major shopping center. Outside the big cities, the exchange of Euros or Dollars is much more complicated. Money can also be withdrawn from ATMs with credit cards, which is usually cheaper than purchasing Colombian Pesos (COP) in exchange offices, as these usually work with less favorable exchange rates. Bank cards from the Maestro or VISA Plus network are also accepted by many ATMs.

Before traveling, check the costs and conditions of your bank or credit card company when using the card outside of your country.

Cycling Clothing

What should I take along with my bike clothes?

You can wear all year long short / short. For long downhill slopes you should carry a windbreaker jacket with you.

If you book a trip which includes a tour to the Alto de Letras you should also bring a pair of arm warmers, an undershirt and a rain jacket. Furthermore you should have a second set of cycling clothes at hand in the service vehicle.

Departure tax

Muss bei Ausreise eine Steuer bezahlt werden?

Ja. Diese beträgt für Touristen derzeit USD 38,00 und ist in bar bei Ausreise am Flughafen zu entrichten. Allerdings nur bei Aufenthalten von über 60 Tagen.

Electricity

Which connectors / adapters do I need for Colombia?

Plugs and sockets are American standard. Two different versions of plugs are used: With two flat pins or with two flat and one round pin (NEMA 1-15 (Type A) and NEMA 5-15 (Type B)). The Colombian power grid is based on 110 V AC 60 Hz.

Flight booking

Does Elite Cycling Colombia book my flight?

No, Elite Cycling Colombia does not book flights, as the best fares are usually available on the internet for direct booking. But we are happy to assist you in finding the proper flight.

Helmet

Do I have to wear a helmet on the cycling tours?

Yes, on our tours there is a helmet requirement for all participants. For hygienic reasons, we do not rent helmets. Please bring your own helmet.

Inseam

How do I measure my inseam?

It’s easy: just stand against a wall. Clamp a thick book or water level between your legs and pull it up to simulate saddle pressure. Then measure the distance from the top of the book / water level to the floor (without shoes!).

Insurance

Am I covered by an insurance policy during my holidays with  Elite Cycling Colombia?

No. We therefore recommend to sign an appropriate travel insurance, with at least a travel cancellation insurance and a travel health insurance. In order to be able to assist our guests if necessary, we ask for the details of the travel health insurance policies of all participants (insurer, contract number and emergency number).

Massage

Is there a possibility to have a massage after cycling?

Yes. Just make your reservation in the morning before we start our ride.

Medical care

How is the medical care in Colombia?

The quality of medical care in the cities is good and quite comparable to Western Europe or USA. Since not all health insurance policies include worldwide medical treatments, you should read carefully your insurance policy before travelling. In case you are not covered by your health insurance it is strongly recommended to buy a travel health insurance.

Passport

Do I need a passport for entering Colombia or is my identity card also sufficient?

For the entry into Colombia a valid passport with sufficient free pages for the stamps is required (validity at entry at least 6 months). An ID card will not be accepted as an entry/travel document.

Make a color copy of your passport and always carry it with you. The pass itself is better kept in the hotel safe.

Protection of payments

Are my payments to ECC Radsportreisen protected?

Yes, the travel price and your payments are protected in accordance with the German/European legal regulations. The insurer is R + V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, Wiesbaden. Together with your travel documents you will receive the corresponding insurance certificate.

Safety and security

Is Colombia a safe travel destination?

Yes. The security situation has improved dramatically over the past 15 years and Colombia is as safe or even safer today than most other Latin American countries. Of course, you should be aware, however, that you are in Latin America and behave accordingly (see also the travel and security information of the German Foreign Office). You should not carry valuables, the expensive watch and the precious jewelry better stay at home and you should not challenge potential thieves with a camera around your neck. Certain areas and neighborhoods should better be avoided and not entered out of curiosity. Colombians are very nice and open-minded people. Unfortunately, there are always some black sheep, here as well. Be open minded and interested, but always stay a little skeptical and do not give away too much private information. When cycling, you should always ride in a group, especially if you do not know the area.

Sun protection

Which sun protection is recommended?

Due to the altitude and the proximity to the equator, the UV radiation is very intense. Therefore, a good sunblock (minimum SPF 30) is highly recommended. For those of us with sparse head hair, wearing a headscarf or a cap under the helmet is recommended.

Taxi

Are taxi rides in Colombia expensive?

Compared to the U.S. or Western Europe riding in taxi in Colombia is very cheap. For safety reasons, you should not stop a taxi on the road, but always order one by phone or app.

Vaccinations

Which vaccinations are recommended for a trip to Colombia?

There is currently no compulsory vaccination for entry. Further information on this subject and a list of the recommended vaccinations can be found for instance in the Travel and Safety Information of the German Foreign Office. In case of any doubt, please consult your doctor.

Visa

Is a visa required to enter Colombia?

No, U.S. citizens and citizens of the European Union or Switzerland do not need a visa in Colombia for stays of less than 90 days as a tourist. A passport is required for entry. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry and have enough space for the stamps on entry and exit.

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