Colombia produces some of the worlds greatest road cyclists;all of them are superb climbers, able to simply dance on the pedals as the road rises. This is a classic route in Colombia, following this amazing valley, with epic views all around. Join Vanessa as she climbs into the clouds.
Distance & ascent: 176 km and 3100 feet of climbing
I’m thinking of special places to go cycling. I want to share somewhere with you, to inspire you by telling you the emotions that I feel in special places on two wheels. When I think of writing about the Chicamocha Canyon, the most heartbreakingly beautiful images, my most charming site imaginable come to my mind; I could ride it every day on my two wheels, noting the greatness of the world, of my Colombia, of my Santander.
The Chicamocha Canyon (CHEE-k?-MOH-ch?) is a steep sided canyon carved by the Chicamocha River, and administered by the National Park of the same name here in our beautiful Colombia. The Chicamocha canyon samples the most beautiful mountains that I have seen in my 26 years of life; It is majestic, surrounds any person that surround it, to know it, so the less observant.
It is not only beautiful, it can be rolled around and explored, you can go on two wheels by those who love life, in efforts to absolute endurance, since it is a climbers place; but as the popular saying goes: to see the best in life, we have to climb high. It has a noise that surrounds the larger senses, a smell that leads to paradise and makes rolling through this place a tropical pleasure. In fact, I’d say that tropical is a great way to define it; hot and green and wild and free and untamed and wondrous.
When I look over the Canyon, its colors lead me to places with meaning; perhaps that only gets people who want to go to different worlds. I’m an explorer and adventurous spirit. I cycle to discover new places and to discover myself. Places such as the canyon open my eyes to new possibilities and enrich me.
Climbing around the Canyon leads me to the larger definition of all, happiness, FULFILLMENT, pleasure, gratitude about what God has created.
To visit the canyon and take in its beauty, you locate it from Bucaramanga to the Chicamocha National Park, 40 km, where there are giant boulders surrounding roads and mountains born with greatness. The road becomes difficult and heat devours the body, and the Canon permeates a sweltering heat, but it’s worth every damn pedaling moment to reach it.
And it is definitely a place to go by bike; to go to worlds unknown, full of grandeur. So come and viisit Colombia – visit the Chicamocha Canyon and be inspired.
Vanessa Jimenez, Colombia
1. Head out of Bucaramanga towards Floridablanca on the 45A road.
2. Pass through Piedecuesta and start some serious climbing in glorious countryside, with greenery clad hills all around, on twisting and turning tarmac.
3. Crossing the Chicamocha River the views open up even more, as you skirt the river toone side and mountains to the other.
4. Then it’s time for some serious hairpin climbs as the mountain road weaves its route upwards.
5. By Aratoca you’re descending and heading towards Canaveral and Curiti, where you can enjoy a break and bite to eat, before reversing the route back through the mountains – or better still, stop over for a night and explore even more of this amazing countryside on a two day ride.
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