Bogotá’s toughest climbs

Bogotá is surrounded by mountains on all sides of the city, so it isn’t hard to find a good climb. Patios, Canicas, La Cuchilla and El Vino our some of the most known climbs in the Sabana area, but today we wanted to take a closer look at the toughest climbs in the Bogotá area. We are talking about short walls, or endless climbs in double digits.

The climbs in Colombia are mostly long climbs that will go over a complete Cordillera, anything between 15 and 40 kilometers long. If you compare them with the climbs in Europe they are usually a lot longer but less steep. There are however enough climbs around Bogotá that are incredible steep, also known as walls. Let’s have a closer look at these monsters, where can we find them and how extreme are they.

Alto del Romeral

Starting the list is a climb in the south of Bogotá, in Sibaté to be precise. The Alto del Romeral is a well known climb for the Sabana riders, and has been conquered by almost 2000 cyclists. With 9.9km it is one of the longest climbs on this list, but does feature many double digit grades.

Alto del Romeral

The recent asphalting of the road that leads from Sibaté to the path El Romeral has made this climb directly a popular one to conquer. The Romeral is an atypical rise in this area because it includes stretches of over 10% during long journeys.

The start is on the same streets of Sibaté, in a bend of the main streets. The impact of the mountain is immediate. Then the slope is placed over 8%. During the following three kilometers the slope does not give you any truce. At a certain moment a section of 700 meters to more than 11% with tips to 14% will make you suffer the most. When you reach a small attic you have the opportunity to rest from this first hard section. After that follows a kilometer and a half of winding roads that follows by an endless straight with slopes reaching 12%.

Then there is a wide hairpin on the right and we are thrown into the hardest part of the climb: 2.2 kilometers bordering 11% on average, with tips of up to 15%. This section is endless due to the height, the slope and the continuity of the effort. After this sufferfest we can finally enjoy the final three kilometers of the climb that, except for a hard section of 11%, is situated on a reasonable slope between 5 and 6%.

Calle 6, Zipaquira

this climb does not have a specific nickname, but just refers to the street number inside the town of Zipaquira. It does lead to a named climb, el Zipa, which is part of the Aguila climb that connects Zipaquira with Pacho. The Calle 6 is without a doubt a true wall, short and steep!

With less than a kilometer, it is not imposible to reach the top but you do have to have the right gearing installed. With an average gradient of 14% this one is tough as nails! And there is no recovering point at all, it just keeps on going in the double digits.

The road is just another road crossing a neighborhood of Zipaquira, and the people living there need to use this every single day to get their groceries. The maximum percentage goes well above 25%, and there are continuos sections of 20%. Your position on the bike is seriously being tested on these slopes. When you reach the top you can decide to continue climbing on the much more pleasant slopes of El Zipa, or call it a day and descent your way back into town.

Monte Pionono

Also to the north of Bogota, near the town of Sopó, we will find the Monte Pionono. In the beautiful nature of the national park of Pionono you will find this monster of a climb. With a length of 4.2 kilometers we can’t call it a short wall or power climb. Combine that with an average slope of 10%, and you got yourself a top spot on the list of toughest climbs around Bogotá. The road surface of this climb isn’t helping either, as it has bad tarmac combined with unpaved sections.

Alto del Pionono
Alto del Pionono

Some say that this climb is not suited for road bikes, and should only be conquered by MTB, or worse, by foot. But we dare you to try it with your road bike! The Alto del Pionono will scare you off directly from the starts with ramps up to 30%. This is where the boys will be separated from the men. Besides the gradient, the height will also play a big role in crowing the climb. You will cross the line of 3000 meters , where the air is getting thin.

El Muro, Sopó

Another climb in Sopó, with the simple yet scary name of El Muro – The wall. Climbed by very few people, and we understand why. The average percentage of this climb is 24% which seems inhuman to us. This Wall really is for those who like to hurt themselves or impress someone specific.

El Muro de Sopo profile
El Muro de Sopo profile

You can find this monster inside the town of Sopó, and will take you to a small neighborhood up the hill.  With percentages over 35% in the steep corners, this climb is probably most suited for Mountainbikes with granny gears.

La Aguadora

This wall is located inside the capital city of Bogotá. It starts at the Usaquén park, on the left side of the church on 119th street that leads to the La Aguadora club. The road is completely paved, but bear in mind that 700 meters up you will find the club’s entry and it is necessary to talk to the guard to allow you to climb the remaining 600 meters to where the pavement ends. Although the climb does not end there, the road is not suitable for road bike after that.

La Aguadora climb bogota
La Aguadora climb bogota

This wall has two sectors separated by a short break. The first one takes place in an urban area and the average inclination is 10% with a pair of ramps at 13%; while the second sector runs in the middle of a forest area and its average inclination is almost 12% with a final ramp to 14%. The safety of the sector is good and vehicular traffic is very scarce, especially on Sundays.

La Cima

Located between La Calera and the top of Los Patios, in Bogotá, it is a short but hard and beautiful climb that leads to La Cima golf course. Start in front of the Wiesner plant, just in front of the entrance to the San Rafael reservoir.

La Cima climb in la Calera
La Cima climb in la Calera

It starts with 1.2 kilometers to 12.4% of average slope, with 6 beautiful horseshoes. The fourth of them has a maximum inclination of 18%. It is a road with an acceptable pavement for the road bike and not very busy. But you have to be very careful with the vehicles, because the road is very narrow and has several blind spots.

So there you have it, some of the toughest climbs and walls around the Bogotá area. We are sure that we still missed some more, so let us know your favourite wall below in the comments box.

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