Arrive at Bogota International Airport – El Dorado or be picked up at your hotel in Bogota for the drive to Villa de Leyva. Tonight we will experience a farm-to-table culinary experience on our first night in Boyaca – the training grounds of Nairo Quintana.
Note: Estimated pickup from Bogota airport or hotel should be before 3pm.
Today’s ride takes us north of the colonial town of Villa de Leyva for about 100km towards Sachica, Sutamarchan and Tinjaca.
The beautiful and rustic region of Boyaca is filled with culture and we’ll spend the next 3 days exploring the tranquil country roads and mountain landscapes filled with organic tomatoes, potatoes, tropical flowers and vineyards!
After today’s ride we’ll enjoy an afternoon wine tour – Winery Marques de Villa de Leyva. This local winery has been producing a range of wine for almost 30 years.
This morning, we head towards the home town of Nairo Quintana on bikes and we’ll learn the training grounds revered by many local cyclists. The altitude will be challenging as we ride at elevations over 2,500 meters to complete a rigorous 100km cycling tour of Boyaca.
We will ride from Boyaca towards Bogota to rest in the colonial town of Zipaquira. This mountain colonial town is very well-known for a unique and one-of-a-kind Cathedral of Salt. Our challenging ride will be full of rollers, false flats and small climbs. Crossing more agricultural towns in the region of Cundinamarca, we ride through Chiquinquira, Suza, Ubate with its great viewpoints, leading to Zipaquira. The ride in total is 140km – 5 hours.
Dinner at Andres Carne de Res – Chia
We’re getting closer to the most challenging ride, on the next day to Alto de Letras. We start our ride from Zipiquera to Guaduas, approximately 100km, towards the climb to Letras. Gorgeous green, mountain views, smooth descents, small climbs and false flats, a perfect formula to be ready for Letras. Relax in the afternoon with a light massage to get the legs ready for tomorrow’s queen stage.
The Queen Stage. The day’s challenges begin early with a 2-4% inclination to warm up for first 20km towards Mariquita. Riders will scarcely notice this bump, though, as what awaits are two hors categorie climbs over the next 82km totaling almost 12,000 of climbing. It’s a monstrosity and a challenge to all cyclists no matter your toughness. It will feel like crossing different countries as the terrain on sea level starts with high humidity switching to tropical climate surrounding us with coffee plantations and endless species of birds as we surprass 3,000 meters.
After the agony of the Queen Stage this route may seem like a recovery day at under 80 km. Fortunately this stage takes riders up picturesque ascents meandering through coffee plantations – a tranquil journey on endless gentle rollers and take in the views of the surrounding mighty, Andes as we head towards the city of Pereira. Return to the hotel for a full body massage.
Exclusive dinner – Farm-to-table culinary experience at the hotel
We circle the coffee region to include the colorful village of Salento along with Valle del Cocora and its mystical, towering wax palms. We ride towards Tres Puertas to descend to Alcala, crossing fast to quiet villages of Quimbaya, to climb the wide open roads of Autopista del Café heading to Salento and Valle del Cocora. We ride past endless plantations of pitaya, papaya, coffee and plantain in all directions. We’ll make a stop for a typical Colombian lunch with fresh trucha or trout. We have an optional return to the hotel in SAG vehicles or get in more miles on bikes. On our last evening, we enjoy a delightful Colombian dinner at Helena Adentro Restaurant.
On our final riding day, we tune up both legs and bikes, turning on the turbos through flat cane fields towards Colombia’s third largest city. After the end of Ultimate Challenge itinerary, we head to the Palmira, 30 minutes in the outskirts of Cali to be spectators for the inauguration event for Colombia’s Oro y Paz race. We bring closure to the week around creative cuisine made possible by Cali’s talented chefs and key stops for refreshments and local Colombian cuisine.
> Riding time 5 hours
On our final day, we return you to Jose Maria Cordoba International Airport in Medellin after breakfast and time with fellow riders.