Cycling in Bogota and Colombia

May 3, 2015
Hi all, am traveling to Colombia for 10 days on business and would love to take my road bike with me, but have no cycling contacts there.
I know it's not nearly as dangerous now, but still have read various posts warning of being on your own etc as a foreigner!
So am trying to find ,hook up with cyclists in bogota who could possibly advise or even take me riding!
Many thanks in advance
David HK
Jun 30, 2012
Bogota is a beautiful city, but completely car-***. Dangers of riding in Bogota likely arise from the ridiculous traffic, more than from anything else. I'd think that you have exactly the right idea of hooking up with locals who can show you the best rides. Just heading out at random would be for the adventurous due to traffic. Get out into the country for some of the best adventure cycling anywhere.

They are cycling-mad in Colombia, though. Everyone wears Movistar jerseys. Don't miss the car-free circuit each Sunday where they close a large loop in the city for cylists, bladers, joggers and walkers to enjoy. It is a spectacular idea. Every city should do it. They do also have extensive bike path networks.
Bogota is fantastic for cycling, you should definitely bring your bike if you can (a small bike box/bag counts as a normal bag on Avianca with no extra charge), though I'd recommend bringing the winter bike due to mainly the weather (it usually only rains in the afternoon, but any given day in Bogota it can rain at any time for any amount of time) and also the small risk that you can, unfortunately, get bike jacked. I mean, you see guys riding Di2 Tarmacs and Dogmas solo around Bogota every so often but I wouldn't risk it myself. Colombians are generally nice but be wary of anyone being too friendly.

Early in the morning is the best time to go out for a ride. Patios ( is the local climb, Saturdays and Sundays it's jam packed and pretty safe (just try to keep right) past midday on the weekends (I'd suggest early and not-even-bright on weekdays). Try extending it to the Vuelta a la Sabana (, clockwise or counterclockwise, or even adding on the Cuchilla de Guasca ( if you want a longer outing within the general vicinity of the city. There is also a pretty decent cycle path network ( if riding in the roads seems dangerous at first. You can also ride in the bus lanes (not the Transmilenio ones, though), but not all bus drivers seem to know this, so be careful. City streets are absolutely awash in potholes, but the roads in and out of the city are pretty well kept (they're toll roads - but are free for cyclists).
Mar 13, 2009
I recently talked to a friend who is a big fan of Colombia and has travelled there various times. He also told me about the car-free sundays in parts of Bogota, and the many cyclists. Sounds like a lot of fun. Enjoy your trip!
Ride Patios and from there to La Calera town. I used to do this ride every Sunday back in my school days. Take advantage of the Ciclovia on Sundays. On Saturdays a lot of Avid cyclist do the same ride but not the same as in Sundays. It is packed with cars. Don't ride on weekdays. It is dangerous.

In La Calera you can eat your "Arepa Boyaca" cooked on hot stone. Very good. Going back you will need those calories. I think both ways is a 2nd cat climb. Going back is just steeper. I think is 6-7 kms one way and half the other way.

There are other longer rides that I don't know off. Many riders do "La Tribuna" on Sundays which is a Hors Category. That could be too much for you. Another tipycal one is "El Alto del Vino". Not sure how to get to these two but you are going to have to ask. If you stay around the North part of the city then your best option is the first one that I told you about.

El Vino on its HC side ( is easy enough to find - just take Avenida Calle 80 to La Vega. It also has a pretty decent shoulder to ride on. But it's a very hard ride, a typical easy but long Colombian HC, plus you're coming up to Bogota so once you go past the summit from the Cat 3 side there's no turning back. It's a 160km there-and-back, a net gain and distance (but not profile) similar to tomorrow's mid-mountain Giro stage to Abetone. Not something I'd attempt solo but many do.

Anyway, I'd like to second the arepas (best served after a good climb atop Patios or the named Alto de las Arepas a little past La Calera from Patios). Also, I forgot to point out that it's probably best to give your body at least couple of days to get used to the elevation before hitting the roads.

P.S. Outside Bogota, el Eje Cafetero (between Armenia and Manizales) and Antioquia (around Medellin) are really lovely cycling destinations. Armenia and Manizales are right below Colombia's two most famous climbs, La Linea and Letras (you need to pass through them to get in) and are less than 300km from Bogota (I wouldn't recommend cycling there because of the traffic, though its basically all flats and downhills before the final climbs).