Bikepacking in Colombia: Mountain madness - How we crossed two cordilleras from Bogota to Medellin

Updated: Feb 19

Insane ride - This is how we explore the country, or at least we thought we would. All the trip was planned to arrive from Bogota to Medellin in 5 days, only through gravel roads. If you took the normal road, it would take you 3 days to arrive to Medellin in a road bike. Our plan was to find a new way to arrive in 5 days, reaching our daily destination by mid-day.


We had no idea what was lying ahead, until the mountains started to reveal themselves. The roads we chose are dead ends for cars because they are usually flooded, rivers are crossing them or they are just too steep to drive. Lonely roads meant for us more concentration but also beautiful distractions like birds and nature sounds all around.


Each day we rode at least 70km (43,5 mi) with 2.500m (8.200ft) elevation gain, arriving late at night wishing nothing but a bed to sleep and have some energy for the next day. Weather was unpredictable, but stil we had to get on our saddles and keep on riding. Descending and ascending mountains as we crossed the Andes Central cordillera towards the Magdalena river.


Every day we encountered a new landscape, new shades of green, new temperatures. As in the tropic seasons change with altitude, we started our trip in the cold, 3.300m (10.800ft) above the sea level, and went down to 200m (656ft) on the third day. Reaching the Magdalena was supossed to wind us down as it is plain, but when mountains are not staging, the heat won't let you forget this isn't an easy quest.


And... guess what... then we had to climb again. The Andes Western Cordillera was waiting for us.


We never reached Medellin, but a nearby town called Guatape, famous for its lake and little islands. We had to come back by bus, which was part of the plan, we we never got to rest for an afternoon on a nice pool. Anyway, we got a lot of knowledge from this adventure, and if you want something similar, fill our booking form and get ready for madness.


Total distance: 273mi / 440km

Elevation gain: 49.212ft / 15.000m


Let us make your cycling trip come true, tell us about it in our booking form.

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All photos by @julianmanrique unless stated otherwise 
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