Colombia

by Bicycle

San Antero to Medellin

Second chapter of our journey through Colombia is sketch and cycle Medellin. Started from San Onofre we pedal inside the country, through Valdivia, Entrerrios, Medellin, until Perreira. As we go further, the road slowly inclining that lead us to over 2500 m altitude.

ROUTE DONE IN September 2017

Distance

535 km

days

20

Difficulty (1-10)

6

In this second chapter of sketch and cycle Colombia, we started from San Antero to Medellin. The view gradually becomes green and greener as we ride to the higher altitude.

Finca

The next destination after San Antero was Tuchin. It is a small town where the typical hat of Colombia originally came. Here, we stayed in a finca of one of our friends, John Mario, whom we met in Puerto Colombia. From San Antero, we took small roads to John’s house. We rode our bicycles through the greeny countryside peacefully. It was a nice ride.  His family welcomed us and gave the best of them. The warmth of the family touched us, and the feeling remains in our hearts. Also, this experience is one of our highlights in this route – Sketch and Cycle Medellin.

The next day, John’s father leads us to Tuchin through dirt roads 7 km long. Without him, we wouldn’t know these fun tracks exist! And once again, we arrive at the tarred road in the center of Tuchin, which remains flat until Tarraza.

The Colombian Andes

From Taraza, we pedaled by rivers that are the source of livelihood for the local population. We went through so many car washes with the water splashing around. On that road, it seems that we went through drizzle rain.

After we passed the second river, we started to cycling up. It was the beginning of the Colombian andes that also our first time climb a mountain by bicycle. These days, I think I push my bike more than I really ride it – LOL. Besides that, we traveled less km than before – <30 km/day – until we reach Medellin.

In this route – Sketch and Cycle Medellin – every town we passed has beautiful churches in the main square that dominates Luís’s sketchbook. “While the churches in Santa Rosa de Osos and Entrerrios have typical Spanish churches, in Valdivia and Yarumal have Italian churches style,” he said.

Unexpected surprise

From Santa Rosa de Osos, we decided to avoid the main road and went through Entrerrios. As much as we read bunches of blogs, we never read about this little town. However, we take our chance to explore the unknown.

It turns out that Entrerrios has captured our hearts. From the quiet main square, the warm people we met, to the beautiful places around were an unexpected surprise from this little town. Read the whole story here.

After Enterrios, we stayed a night in San Pedro before we reach Medellin on the next day. In Medellin, we stayed with Dana, a friend we met through Couchsurfing. Here, we stayed for two weeks to explore around the city and sketch. We also met the Couchsurfing and Urban Sketchers community during our break.

It took us 20 days to do this route with five days of rest. Although it was a tough section – especially for me – we enjoyed it a lot the scenery. As we go up, the different perspective of over 2000 meters of altitude makes the landscape seem more spectacular. The natural features have erased our pain. In addition, as we pedal up, was the best part of this route – Sketch and Cycle Colombia pt. 2.

Do you want to see more? Watch our adventure video through Colombia HERE!

Sketchbook

click on the image to see the sketches of this journey
  • Amazing landscape from over than 2000 m altitude along the route.
  • Tuchin: A small town where the typical hat of Colombia originally come from  – sombrero vueltiao.
  • Lecheira: good cheese along the route
  • Tourist destinations in around Medellin and Guatape

From Taraza we started pedaling up and it was the beginning of the Colombian Andes that also our first time climb a mountain by bicycle. These days, I think I push my bicycle more than I actually ride on it – LOL. Besides that, we traveled less km than before – <30 km/day – until we reach Medellin.

  • This route contain long up that can be 1000 meter climb in less than 30 km.
  • The final destination of this route is Medellin that located in a valley. So, whether you came from north or south, you have to climb up to reach the top and roll down to the city.
  • There is a zoo park in Buenavista, between Pueblo Nuevo and Caucasia, that sell caiman steak. It’s good to try if you like something different.

We didn’t take a risk to do wild camp. The rooms also affordable room along this route. Since the weather is fresher, we rent a room without AC and it’s cheaper compare to the rooms we stayed along the Caribbean coast.

  • Food and water are easy to find in this route.
  • We didn’t cook since Colombia have good portion in affordable price everywhere.
  • In this route, tap water wasn’t drinkable that we had to buy bottled water which was easy to find too.

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