Both Butterfield & Robinson and Backroads have added Colombia to their Latin American destinations. While off the radar for many years, Colombia offers a varied terrain from high mountain peaks to coffee plantations to beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Plus it’s a country passionate about cycling, from supporting world-class cyclists such as Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Urán – who came 1-2 in last year’s Giro d’Italia – to constructing extensive bike paths in its major cities.
Butterfield offers two guided itineraries in late fall and winter involving gentle biking and hiking as you descend from the capital Bogotá at 8,500 feet above sea level to coastal Cartagena, which boasts the best-preserved colonial architecture in all of South America. Meanwhile, Backroads offers a guided walking and hiking alternative, also starting in Bogotá, which takes in coffee plantations and tropical forests, including Tayrona National Park, before the final night in Cartagena. Bogotá can be reached in about 5 hours via non-stop flights from Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth.
For a unique Latin American adventure, consider DuVine’s guided multi-sport tour of Ecuador and the Galápagos. Beginning at 10,000 feet above sea level in the Andes, after adjusting to the altitude on your arrival day, the following day you hike around a crater lake and cycle 15 miles while crossing the equator. After two more days of biking and hiking, you fly to the Galapagos where you enjoy several days of exploring on and around those incredible islands while biking, hiking, kayaking and snorkeling.
New River Cruising/Biking Options
River cruises provide an ideal way to offer a changing itinerary of biking for those with varied levels of ability & interest without having to pack up and change rooms from day to day. Backroads has teamed up with AmaWaterways to offer biking river cruise trips this summer along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Portugal’s Duoro rivers. For a more exotic locale, Backroads has added a 10-day Mekong river cruise bike tour of Vietnam and Cambodia with departures this December and January, in addition to next November & December. Butterfield & Robinson has introduced a biking itinerary for September starting in Munich with 7 nights aboard Uniworld’s 78-stateroom River Beatrice along the Danube from Passau to Budapest.
And Now Cuba!
Backroads now offer Americans the opportunity to bike and hike in Cuba with their new multi-sport tour. Starting this December, and available every month apart from July to October, Backroads offers this special week-long, people-to-people trip licensed by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The tour starts and ends in Miami, with several days of biking – including riding with members of the Cuban National Cycling Team – and hiking in the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve and the Viñales Valley amid tobacco farms. Backroads also offers a week-long walking tour visiting many of the same locations.
For more information or reservations, email [email protected].