It used to be that Colombia ranked up their as one of the most dangerous places in the world to cycle.

No longer.

Security has greatly improved and Colombia is quickly becoming a favorite amongst cyclists on the Pan-American Highway.

Belinda and Roland from Cycling with Sally tell us why:

Reason #1:

  • The Panaderias
Although we never warmed to cheese in our Milo or understand their fanatic love of Arrepas, we did get addicted to all the goodies you can buy in the numerous Panaderias (bakeries) dotted over this wonderful country.  From your staple of Pan (bread) to sweet pastries, we won’t be surprised if you get to know these bakeries intimately.  Don’t leave without trying a Pan de Bono, Buñuelo, and Pan de Yuca.

Reason #2:

  • Fruit
The endless variety of colourful fruit, much endemic to Colombia, creates a visually fascinating, mouth-watering, taste-exploding experience to the new comer.  Delicious fresh fruit juice and smoothies are also found in abundance.  Make sure you try all the weird and the wonderful, such as the guanabana…… do dooo do doo do……. ma naaa ma na………

Reason #3:

  • Coffee

If you love coffee as much as my husband, you’ll start to wonder why you didn’t visit Colombia sooner.  Not only do you have access to internationally recognised, locally grown, great quality coffee, you can visit a coffee plantation first hand which are very easy to find.  It makes for an interesting day out for you, as well as supporting this vital industry for Colombia.

Reason #4:

  • Colombians love tourists and love cycling.

After so many years as a no-go zone for tourists, Colombians embrace foreigners as old friends and want to ensure you have the best possible experience in their country.  More than once we were at the receiving end of unexpected generous hospitality and kindness. Because Colombia still doesn’t get a lot of tourists, it feels like you are getting a more authentic experience. Also, it’s easy to find kindred spirits in this country as cycling seems to be a popular sport.  Don’t be surprised (particularly on the outskirts of the big cities) to have pelotons speeding by you with friendly smiles and some encouraging words to boot.

Reason #5:

  • Variety
Colombia has a bit of everything – Salsa dancing and music galore; a great environment to learn Spanish; Surprise gems, such as Las Lajas; Caribbean coastline; beaches aplenty; different cultures; exciting and remote cycling routes; mountains and the start of The Andes; a piece of the Amazon jungle; historic colonial towns such as Cartagena and Popayán and large modern cities such as Medellín and Bogota.  There’s no chance of getting bored in this welcoming and friendly country.
After passing through 16 countries on our bike trip through The Americas, Colombia is still one of our favourites and one that we want to return to and explore more.

 

 

About the Cyclists

Roland and Belinda began their epic journey together in July 2009, when they started heading south on a tandem bike (Big Bird) from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Their goal was to cycle approximately 30,000km on the Pan-American Highway and ultimately end up in Ushuaia,  Argentina.

And they did it!  After adventures a plenty they packed up Big Bird in January 2011 and are now trying to aclimatise to “normal” life back in New Zealand.

You can read about their adventures cycling the Americas at Cycling with Sally.

You, too can be a part of the A-Z of Bicycle Touring. Find out how.

Top 5 Reasons to Cycle Colombia
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