Ubaté – Zipaquirá – Bogotá

On 31 August I had the last ascend to do – on the route from Ubaté to Zipaquirá, and up to an altitude of 3084m. The beginning of the route was reasonably easy, but from the village of Sutatausa on I had to climb up until shortly after Tausa – more or less 10km to ascend from 2600m to 3084m. It was not too hard, but the traffic got annoying at times because the road has not hard shoulder on the side, and at time large trucks overtook me (luckily not too fast due to the ascend).

The last 2km of the ascend are pretty relaxed, and pass through what looks like a mining village. 

Later follows the descend from 3084m to more or less 2600m. Impressive, and in this case I did not have too much trouble with the traffic. The last 10km until Zipaquirá are pretty flat. I arrived shortly before midday and after some natural juice and looked for and found an economical hotel (Hotel Colonial) (economical for this area).

After lunch I went to visit the Catedral de Sal, constructed in a salt mine (which is still operating). The entrance fee is not cheap – 50000 COP (17€) - and before paying I made sure that the money goes to the municipality and not to the Catholic church.

The cathedral is an impressive work, at the end of a path through the mine full of religious symbols. Personally I find it hard to tolerate this amount of religious symbolism (and it doesn’t matter which religion).

Next to the cathedral, within the salt mine, there is a series of shops – ‘exit through the gift shop’. That was a bit horrible. I’m not sure it is really worth paying 50000 COP (Colombian residents pay 30000 COP).


On 1 September, after breakfast, I began the last part of my trip – the 50km to Bogota. This part wasn’t very nice. Almost from the beginning the road was a dual carriageway, luckily in parts with a bike lane. Nevertheless, there were parts – above all the last 10-15km up to the limits of the city of Bogota – without a bike lane, and I had to cycle on the motorway, which on the last 5-7km also did not have a hard shoulder.

Arriving to the limits of the city of Bogota there was at least a bike line, even though in parts in a very bad state. I first went to the centre of the city – further that I had to go to get to the house of my friend – but I could not get onto Plaza Bolivar due to an event organised by the political party launched by the ex-guerilla of the FARC. I went back to the house of the friend to rést.

With this my bike trip through Colombia comes to an end. I still have a few days left in Bogota, but I have no more route to do, and I have my doubts I will use my bicycle a lot in the city … I also still have to organise a box to pack up my bicycle for the return trip to Madrid.