LETRAS – THE LONGEST CLIMB IN THE WORLD!

Road Cycling Holidays

Fascinating Colombia

Highlights

  • Alto de Letras – the longest climb in the world
  • The beautiful coffee region – see how the famous Colombian coffee is grown
  • A cycling paradise: The Oriente Antioqueño
  • Fantastic landscapes
  • Medellín, one of the most attractive cities in Latin America

Experience with us the overwhelming beauty of Colombia! During this 15-day road cycling holidays, you will ride on incredibly beautiful routes through the Colombian Andes, climbing epic passes and ascents, and gaining an insight into the Colombian life far away from the usual tourist paths.

The first week of our road cycling holidays we spend in the Oriente of Antioquia, one of the best and among professionals most popular cycling regions in Colombia. Here we find optimal training conditions, a wide range of routes of varying degrees of difficulty in a beautiful mountain landscape and a year-round pleasantly warm climate. Our hotel for the first week is located at an altitude of 2,100 meters. From here we start our tours, which lead us through varying terrain in the mountains around Medellin. During the first few days, the body acclimatizes and gets used to the altitude, so that our rides are getting longer and more challenging during the week.

Alto de Letras – the longest climb in the world

Well prepared we will then tackle a real challenge: The absolute highlight of our road cycling holidays and certainly one of the highlights in the life of every cycling fan – is our ride to the Alto de Letras, the longest mountain pass in the world. About 81 kilometers long and almost 3.700 m high, we climb nearly 4.000 m! These numbers may frighten you, and in fact any pass in the Alps looks like a dwarf in comparison. But don´t worry! Above all, it is important not to start too ambitious and to overexert yourself too soon. Our experienced guides will accompany you and assist you in mastering this challenge. And if your legs don’t want to go to the end or you need a breather, you can always get on the support vehicle. For our efforts we are rewarded with gigantic views. As we gain altitude, landscape and vegetation change completely. At the starting point of our tour, at less than 500 m above sea level, the climate is tropical. On the Páramo, at an altitude of 3,700 m, it is already very frosty and the landscape gets almost surreal.

Afterwards, our cycling tour takes us to the coffee region in the south-west of Antioquia. In this region, the most tasty and most expensive traded coffee in Colombia is grown. The area is breathtakingly beautiful, you could stop at any corner and take photo… We stay in small, pretty villages that have retained their original charm and are among the most beautiful villages of Antioquia.

On the last tour of our road cycling holidays we ride from the southern Antioquia back to Medellin. From there you fly back home or you can take the opportunity to enjoy a few more days in this exciting metropolis, considered one of the most attractive cities in Latin America.

As always with Elite Cycling Colombia you will stay only at the best hotels and enjoy first class service. Also all restaurants have been selected very carefully (all meals are included in the travel price!). We want to give our guests really personalized attention. This is only possible in small groups. The maximum number of participants for this tour is thus limited to 10. So better be fast and discover this fantastic and emerging cycling destination!

If you don’t want to bring your own bike, you don’t need to! Our guests have the opportunity to rent one of our absolutely top rental bikes from Germany’s carbon specialist and one of the world’s most exclusive bicycle manufacturers STORCK.

Overview

Duration15 days/ 14 nights
Type of TripGroup travel
Guided Tours10
Difficulty
Distance (total)850 km
Ascent (total)19.630 m
Accomodation9 nights in
5-star hotels
5 nights in
3-4-star hotels
Food14 breakfasts
14 lunches
14 dinners
ParticipantsMinimum 4
Price (excl. flight)from 3,199 €
(3,807 US$)*

*depending on exchange rate

Gallery

Get to know the typicla Colombia with Elite Cycling Colombia

Road Cycling Holidays - Schedule

Arrival

Individual flight to Medellin. We will welcome you at the airport and bring you to the hotel (the airport transfer is included in our prices). After checking in at the hotel, you will have time to rest and relax. Handover of the rental bikes or the assembly of your bike (we will help you and provide the necessary tools) takes place on the day of arrival or in the morning of the second day, depending on your arrival time. In the evening we have dinner together and get to know each other.

Warm-up

On the first tour of our road cycling holidays we take it easy. We first cross the flat plateau of Llano Grande towards El Retiro, a typical Antioquian village with many well-preserved colonial-style houses. Then it gets a bit hilly and we climb our first short climb. After a quick descent we reach La Ceja. From there we continue towards San Antonio, where we take a break and try some delicious Buñuelos and Pandequesos. The last few kilometers are flat back to the hotel.

       65 km                           1.040 m elevation gain

Santa Elena

After a short warm-up we climb the pass to Santa Elena, followed by 20 km of rolling terrain in a beautiful mountain landscape until we get to the Alto de Las Palmas. From here we have a fantastic view of the Aburrá-valley and Medellin. From the Alto de Las Palmas we enjoy the beautiful descent to La Fé lake. Then we take a short break before heading to La Ceja. Now we climb again for some 6 km and then we make our way back to the hotel.

       83 km                           1.620 m elevation gain

Parque Arví

First, we have the opportunity to warm up on a good 15 km fairly flat track. Then we turn left and start our 7 km ascend to Parque Arví. On a small road that winds its way through forest and meadow landscapes, it goes steadily uphill with 7 to 8 % until we arrive at Parque Arví, a beautiful national park. After a breather, we continue to enjoy the beautiful nature and follow the hilly route with some snappy climbs before it goes downhill and back to the hotel.

       93 km                           1.560 m elevation gain

Rest day

After the first days in the saddle you are getting used to the altitude, but for form improvement your body needs to recover. Today we will have a rest day and we will draw strength for the next days. But the day will be all but boring: We take a city tour in Medellín and you will get to know the most important sights of this colourfull city.

Mesopotamia

First we ride towards La Ceja and we then turn to La Unión. The well-paved road meanders with a good manageable 6% up the mountain from where we have a great view of the plateau. After leaving behind the village of La Unión, we continue our ride to Mesopotamia through the hills which are covered in dense green. Here we rest for a moment, take a small snack and then head back home. At the end of the tour we still have a last climb, called El Enano, about two kilometers long.

       109 km                           1.710 m elevation gain

El Escobero

Today’s tour may seem short to you, but you better do not underestimate it! After coping with the first pass of 10 km and an average gradient of 4%, we descend to Medellín. Through El Poblado we ride to Envigado and start our climb to El Escobero. This epic pass is legendary and the name alone makes many experienced cyclists shudder. On 9 km, it goes 900 m uphill. With maximum slopes of over 18%, flatter passages of 7% suddenly appear harmless!

       76 km                           1.420 m elevation gain

Granada

Today we ride via Rionegro and Marinilla to Granada. The first 30 kilometers are relatively flat apart from a few short ramps. After El Santuario we turn to Granada and get into rolling terrain. We face several short climbs of 2 to 3 kilometers. In Granada we make a break, enjoy a delicious “Tinto”, the famous Colombian coffee, eat something and watch the action in the village. With the batteries charged, we make our way back through the green hills.

      97 km                           1.040 m elevation gain

Rest day and transfer

Today we use the rest day for the transfer to Mariquita, from where we will start our ride tomorrow. On the way we stop and visit the Hacienda Nápoles. The Hacienda Nápoles was the retreat of Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the former Medellín cartel, who terrorized the entire country. The hacienda, with its huge dimensions of approximately 3,500 hectares, is now used as a theme park and is at the same time a sad memorial of history. In Mariquita we will visit a finca and learn about fruit growing and will also try different delicious exotic fruits.

Alto de Letras – The Myth

The day has come… Letras is waiting for us! An amazing experience, the highlight of this road cycling holidays and an absolute highlight in the life of every cyclist: the Páramo de Letras connects the departments of Tolima and Caldas and overcomes the entire Central Cordillera of the Andes. Letras is not only the longest, but also considered one of the toughest climbs in the world because of its length and height. 81 km long, it goes from under 500 m to 3.700 m above sea level. We will climb nearly 4.000 meters in altitude today and will be rewarded by some of the most breathtaking views you can imagine.

       81 km                           3.970 m elevation gain

Rest day and transfer

After yesterday’s effort, we build in another rest day. After a good breakfast we will visit the center of Manizales and take a walk through the city. Then it goes by car/bus to the coffee region in the south of Antioquia. On the banks of the Cauca River we spend the afternoon and the evening in a wonderful atmosphere.

Jardín

Today we head to the extreme south-west of Antioquia. First, we follow the Cauca River on undulating terrain and work our way up slowly from just under 600 meters to just over 1.700 meters. We drive through the incredibly beautiful and lush vegetation. The green seems almost unreal… The climate in the altitude over 1.000 meters and the fertile soils are ideal for growing coffee. On our way we will pass coffee plantations again and again, and if you want, you can use the afternoon to have a look at the process of growing coffee on a typical finca. Of course, a cup of freshly brewed coffee must not be missing!

       72 km                           1.940 m elevation gain

Jericó

Today, most of the route tends to be downhill as we return to the Cauca Valley on the same route as yesterday. Before we make our way back to Medellín tomorrow, another highlight awaits us: The climb to Jericó is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive climbs in Colombia. With a length of more than 22 km long and a difference in altitude of over 1.450 meters it is categorized as HC (Hors-Catégorie). The first kilometers with ramps in the double-digit percentage range are tough already, but the best comes at the end: If the impressive mountain views have not stolen your breath before, you should be getting short on the last 3 kilometers with an average inclination of just under 10%. We spend the afternoon in the picturesque village of Jericó. Jericó is known for its carriel workshops, which can also be visited. The carriel is the typical shoulder bag of the Paisa (the people of Antioquia), which is divided into many compartments.

       94 km                           2.350 m elevation gain

Medellin

The last tour of our road cycling holidays takes us back from the coffee region to Medellin. We will climb again “a la colombiana”. While we ride, Cerro Tusa passes by, a uniquely shaped mountain that is considered the largest natural pyramid in the world. It is said that it has special powers and indigenous peoples brought offerings to their gods here. Overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, we enjoy every meter of our ride. Once in Medellín, you can enjoy the luxury of our hotel and relax. In the evening we meet for a farewell dinner.

       109 km                           2.980 m elevation gain

Departure / extension Medellin

Unfortunately, also this road cycling holidays come to an end. Those who have booked with us some extra days in Medellín may still enjoy the luxury of our hotel and the great atmosphere of Medellín. For the other guests the day of departure has come. We bring you to the airport where we say goodbye.

Day 1

Arrival

Individual flight to Medellin. We will welcome you at the airport and bring you to the hotel (the airport transfer is included in our prices). After checking in at the hotel, you will have time to rest and relax. Handover of the rental bikes or the assembly of your bike (we will help you and provide the necessary tools) takes place on the day of arrival or in the morning of the second day, depending on your arrival time. In the evening we have dinner together and get to know each other.

Day 2

Warm-up

On the first tour of our road cycling holidays we take it easy. We first cross the flat plateau of Llano Grande towards El Retiro, a typical Antioquian village with many well-preserved colonial-style houses. Then it gets a bit hilly and we climb our first short climb. After a quick descent we reach La Ceja. From there we continue towards San Antonio, where we take a break and try some delicious Buñuelos and Pandequesos. The last few kilometers are flat back to the hotel.

       65 km                           1.040 m elevation gain

Day 3

Santa Elena

After a short warm-up we climb the pass to Santa Elena, followed by 20 km of rolling terrain in a beautiful mountain landscape until we get to the Alto de Las Palmas. From here we have a fantastic view of the Aburrá-valley and Medellin. From the Alto de Las Palmas we enjoy the beautiful descent to La Fé lake. Then we take a short break before heading to La Ceja. Now we climb again for some 6 km and then we make our way back to the hotel.

       83 km                           1.620 m elevation gain

Day 4

Parque Arví

First, we have the opportunity to warm up on a good 15 km fairly flat track. Then we turn left and start our 7 km ascend to Parque Arví. On a small road that winds its way through forest and meadow landscapes, it goes steadily uphill with 7 to 8 % until we arrive at Parque Arví, a beautiful national park. After a breather, we continue to enjoy the beautiful nature and follow the hilly route with some snappy climbs before it goes downhill and back to the hotel.

       93 km                           1.560 m elevation gain

Day 5

Rest day

After the first days in the saddle you are getting used to the altitude, but for form improvement your body needs to recover. Today we will have a rest day and we will draw strength for the next days. But the day will be all but boring: We take a city tour in Medellín and you will get to know the most important sights of this colourfull city.

Day 6

Mesopotamia

First we ride towards La Ceja and we then turn to La Unión. The well-paved road meanders with a good manageable 6% up the mountain from where we have a great view of the plateau. After leaving behind the village of La Unión, we continue our ride to Mesopotamia through the hills which are covered in dense green. Here we rest for a moment, take a small snack and then head back home. At the end of the tour we still have a last climb, called El Enano, about two kilometers long.

       109 km                           1.710 m elevation gain

Day 7

El Escobero

Today’s tour may seem short to you, but you better do not underestimate it! After coping with the first pass of 10 km and an average gradient of 4%, we descend to Medellín. Through El Poblado we ride to Envigado and start our climb to El Escobero. This epic pass is legendary and the name alone makes many experienced cyclists shudder. On 9 km, it goes 900 m uphill. With maximum slopes of over 18%, flatter passages of 7% suddenly appear harmless!

       76 km                           1.420 m elevation gain

Day 8

Granada

Today we ride via Rionegro and Marinilla to Granada. The first 30 kilometers are relatively flat apart from a few short ramps. After El Santuario we turn to Granada and get into rolling terrain. We face several short climbs of 2 to 3 kilometers. In Granada we make a break, enjoy a delicious “Tinto”, the famous Colombian coffee, eat something and watch the action in the village. With the batteries charged, we make our way back through the green hills.

      97 km                           1.040 m elevation gain

Day 9

Rest day and transfer

Today we use the rest day for the transfer to Mariquita, from where we will start our ride tomorrow. On the way we stop and visit the Hacienda Nápoles. The Hacienda Nápoles was the retreat of Pablo Escobar, the notorious head of the former Medellín cartel, who terrorized the entire country. The hacienda, with its huge dimensions of approximately 3,500 hectares, is now used as a theme park and is at the same time a sad memorial of history. In Mariquita we will visit a finca and learn about fruit growing and will also try different delicious exotic fruits.

Day 10

Alto de Letras – The Myth

The day has come… Letras is waiting for us! An amazing experience, the highlight of this road cycling holidays and an absolute highlight in the life of every cyclist: the Páramo de Letras connects the departments of Tolima and Caldas and overcomes the entire Central Cordillera of the Andes. Letras is not only the longest, but also considered one of the toughest climbs in the world because of its length and height. 81 km long, it goes from under 500 m to 3.700 m above sea level. We will climb nearly 4.000 meters in altitude today and will be rewarded by some of the most breathtaking views you can imagine.

       81 km                           3.970 m elevation gain

Day 11

Rest day and transfer

After yesterday’s effort, we build in another rest day. After a good breakfast we will visit the center of Manizales and take a walk through the city. Then it goes by car/bus to the coffee region in the south of Antioquia. On the banks of the Cauca River we spend the afternoon and the evening in a wonderful atmosphere.

Day 12

Jardín

Today we head to the extreme south-west of Antioquia. First, we follow the Cauca River on undulating terrain and work our way up slowly from just under 600 meters to just over 1.700 meters. We drive through the incredibly beautiful and lush vegetation. The green seems almost unreal… The climate in the altitude over 1.000 meters and the fertile soils are ideal for growing coffee. On our way we will pass coffee plantations again and again, and if you want, you can use the afternoon to have a look at the process of growing coffee on a typical finca. Of course, a cup of freshly brewed coffee must not be missing!

       72 km                           1.940 m elevation gain

Day 13

Jericó

Today, most of the route tends to be downhill as we return to the Cauca Valley on the same route as yesterday. Before we make our way back to Medellín tomorrow, another highlight awaits us: The climb to Jericó is considered one of the most beautiful and impressive climbs in Colombia. With a length of more than 22 km long and a difference in altitude of over 1.450 meters it is categorized as HC (Hors-Catégorie). The first kilometers with ramps in the double-digit percentage range are tough already, but the best comes at the end: If the impressive mountain views have not stolen your breath before, you should be getting short on the last 3 kilometers with an average inclination of just under 10%. We spend the afternoon in the picturesque village of Jericó. Jericó is known for its carriel workshops, which can also be visited. The carriel is the typical shoulder bag of the Paisa (the people of Antioquia), which is divided into many compartments.

       94 km                           2.350 m elevation gain

Day 14

Medellin

The last tour of our road cycling holidays takes us back from the coffee region to Medellin. We will climb again “a la colombiana”. While we ride, Cerro Tusa passes by, a uniquely shaped mountain that is considered the largest natural pyramid in the world. It is said that it has special powers and indigenous peoples brought offerings to their gods here. Overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, we enjoy every meter of our ride. Once in Medellín, you can enjoy the luxury of our hotel and relax. In the evening we meet for a farewell dinner.

       109 km                           2.980 m elevation gain

Day 15

Departure / extension Medellin

Unfortunately, also this road cycling holidays come to an end. Those who have booked with us some extra days in Medellín may still enjoy the luxury of our hotel and the great atmosphere of Medellín. For the other guests the day of departure has come. We bring you to the airport where we say goodbye.

Recommended for
Accommodation
What's Included
Dates and Prices
Optional Services

Recommended for

Difficulty:

These road cycling holidays are suitable for all cyclists that are in good physical condition. You should have a good endurance and you should be able to climb even long passes. Climbs with longer passages with gradients in the double-digit percentage range must be conquered. The tours in the second week are sometimes challenging to difficult. But during these tours there is always the possibility to get into the support vehicle and drive part of the route (or on request also a whole tour) in the support vehicle.

Accommodation

When selecting our accommodations, only the best is good enough. We place great emphasis on quality, comfort, a special ambience and cleanliness.

The first week we stay at our 5-star partner hotel, the Movich Las Lomas Hotel. It is located at about 2,100 m altitude in the midst of a beautiful landscape. The hotel offers every imaginable comfort and an excellent service. In addition to a very nice pool area, there is a well-equipped gym with spa, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, as well as exquisite restaurants and a bar. Here you can really enjoy your holidays before and after our tours.

In the second week of our road cycling holidays we stay in very nice 3- and 4-star hotels with a very special charm, mostly decorated in the typical Colombian style. The last night in we stay at the InterContinental Medellin.

Fascinating Colombia, Hotel Jérico, gardenview

What's Included

The prices include:

  • 9 nights in 5-star hotels
  • 5 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels
  • 14 x breakfast, lunch and dinner (excluding beverages)
  • Airport transfer on arrival and departure
  • English-speaking tour guide and personal assistance by Elite Cycling Colombia
  • 10 guided tours
  • When bringing your own bike: Assistance in building and packaging
  • Accompaniment by service vehicle and luggage transport in the second week
  • Transport Medellín – Mariquita with stopover and visit of Hacienda Nápoles;
  • Transport Manizales – Coffee Region
  • Entrance fee Hacienda Nápoles
  • Mobile phone for the duration of your road cycling holidays (1 mobile per room)
  • Pick-up service in case of emergencies and defects
  • Energy bar / gel (1 piece / tour), fruits and water for the tours
  • Elite Cycling Colombia jersey in pro quality
  • Bottle
  • City tour in Medellín on the first rest day
  • 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 (except the above mentioned) and personal expenses.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person, including the services described above, excluding flights

ROOM CATEGORY

PRICE

Double Room

EUR 3,199

(USD 3,807)*

Single Room (double room for single occupancy)

EUR 3,875

(USD 4,611)*

*Alternate currency displayed (USD) is an approximate conversion. All bookings and payments will be made in Euro (EUR).

DATES

STATUS

15.06.2019 – 29.06.2019

10.08.2019 – 24.08.2019

11.01.2020 – 25.01.2020

15.02.2020 – 29.02.2020

04.07.2020 – 18.07.2020

22.08.2020 – 05.09.2020

14.11.2020 – 28.11.2020

Remarks:

Prerequisite for the realization of this trip is a minimum number of participants of 4 persons 28 days prior to commencement of the journey. See section 7.1 of our Terms and Conditions.

These road cycling holidays are not suitable for persons with reduced mobility.

Optional Services

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.

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