Outdoor Sports in Colombia
Find out about the outdoor activities and sports – cycling, hiking, paragliding and golf – available in Colombia...
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Cycling is Colombia's second most popular sport after football (soccer). Cycling holidays are popular in Colombia with many routes taking in beautiful scenery, unspoilt South American towns as well as cultural destinations. At certain times cities and municipalities across the country close themselves off for Ciclovía - meaning cycleway or bike path. The larger streets in the towns are closed off to traffic, usually on Sunday mornings and national holidays, for the use of cyclists, roller skaters and runners.
The terrain in Colombia has attracted mountain biking fanatics for years and has become a featured tourism activity. The areas around Medellín, Santa Marta, San Gil and Villa de Leyva are particularly popular due to their challenging terrain.
There are many tour operators offering mountain biking in Colombia. Wikiloc is a good reference point for mountain bike routes, distances and difficulty, around Colombia.
Walking and Hiking
Colombia has a large ecological and geographical diversity. It is these factors that have contributed to the establishment of some 58 National Parks covering 11 percent of the country since 1960. Parks provide an excellent backdrop for hiking and walking trips; often having spectacular views and an opportunity to discover animal life and birds.
The parks are each placed into one of five categories:
- National Park (Parque Nacional Natural)
- Wildlife Sanctuary (Sanctuario de Flora y Fauna)
- Nature reserve (Reserva Natural Nacional)
- Unique Natural Area (Área Natural Única)
- Park Road (Vía Parque)
Find a full list of National Parks in Colombia.
Colombia's consistently long daylight hours throughout the year and spectacular scenery make it an ideal location for playing golf. It has over 50 golf courses, which are considered among the best in Latin America.
In Colombia the sport is regulated by the Colombian Golf Federation (Federación Colombiana de Golf). The official website provides all the information required for playing golf in the country including the handicap system and a list of golf courses by zone.
Many courses are private with players requiring a membership in order to play; however, other courses such as Club de Golf La Cima and Campo de Golf Briceño in Bogatá are open to the public. As a visitor to the country, rounds on the membership-only courses can be booked through online companies.
With accessible terrain at high altitude and very few cables and power lines, Colombia is also an ideal location for paragliding. The main sites for the activity are located in Santander, Bogatá, Valle de Cauca and in Medellín. More information can be found in the official Colombian Travel Guide.