Multi – sport: Gravel cycling and hiking – 4 days, 3 nights
An incredible route scouted by Bikepacking.com for a beautiful program by Conservation International called Bikepacking for Conservation. We’ve been following closely this project and created an itinerary for the route that was later called “El Dorado” at the bikepacking.com site. This route takes you through all the ecosystems that play a major part in the sustainability of Bogota and meet some of the actors like civil society natural reserve owners, local nature guides and farmer families that play a part on their conservation.
Why we love this route
In February 2020 we met the team that included members of Bikepacking.com and Conservation International (CI), and ultracycling world-champion Lael Wilcox and filmmaker Rugile Kaladyte. We were mesmerized by this bikepacking dream-team sitting in the courtyard with us, but as they started telling us why they were in Bogota, we fell in love with this project, called Ruta Chingaza, on the pilot phase of CI’s Bikepacking for Conservation Programme.
We participated in some of the logistics of their scouting trip, and in 2022 we also were part of the scouting of Ruta El Dorado, an alternative to Ruta Chingaza that inspired this version. The Ruta Chingaza project allowed us to meet amazing local initiatives that have been supported by CI, and through them, learn how we could create an itinerary that brought together the different elements of conservation: human wellbeing, economic impact, nature preservation and respecting local governance.
So, we decided to design a travel package for Ruta Chingaza / Ruta El Dorado – one that combines challenging cycling segments with mesmerizing rural and natural landscapes and community-based initiatives. We created a supported package since the terrain is hard, so you need a good level of cycling performance, but you will have a support car to carry your luggage. We also designed the package so you always have a local cyclist riding with you and translating the interesting conversations you will have with local actors in the field.
Difficulty and activity profile
This route requires a good cycling and hiking level, you must be in optimal health and be prepared with frequent training before attempting this itinerary. The gravel segments are short but challenging, especially considering the altitude at which you will be riding. The hike on day 2 is a 5 hour activity rising up over 3.600m (11.800 ft) above the sea level. Both activities can be adapted to shorter riding segments using the support vehicle, or a shorter hike in the civil society reserve instead of entering the national park.
Day 1 riding segment: 37 Km (23 mi), 1,290m (4.232 ft) elevation gain; 54% Pavement, 46% unpaved
Day 2 hike: 5Km (3.1 mi), 600m (1.968) elevation gain; 100% hiking trail
Day 3 riding segment 50 Km (31 mi), 680m (2.230 ft) elevation gain; 40% Pavement, 60% unpaved
Morning: Gravel cycling with a local, English speaking cycling advisor. Bogotá to Bosque de Niebla Civil Society Nature Reserve (8am to 2pm)
Afternoon: Introductory talk the reserve and free time
Morning: Hike to Lagunas de Siecha at Chingaza National Natural Park with local guide and translator (8am to 3pm)
Afternoon: Recovery and free time
Morning: Gravel cycling to local farm with a local, English speaking cycling advisor (9am to 1pm)
Afternoon: Bee keeping and introduction to the farm
Morning: Farm Duty! (4am to 9am)
Afternoon: Private transfer to Bogota by car (10am to 12m)
Prices and services
For your convenience, we design our packages based on 3 levels of service: Full support, including luggage transfers and support car, and a local advisor fluent in English with you at all times; Bikepacking, including the local advisor’s company without the luggage transfers (so you will have to carry your clothes in the bikepacking bags we include in our bike rental); and Self-guided, where we take care of the logistics behind the reservations and activities, but you will be navigating solo along your itinerary. If you are not sure what if the best level of service for you, take our test to check it out!
Services included in each service category:
Self - guided
Preparation video call prior to your trip and GPX files
Lodging: 3 nights, shared accommodation (up to 5 people)