Riding through Colombia

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by artia, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. artia

    artia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    54
    Helloooo fellow riders ! :pynd

    Me and my buddy are currently in Peru and will head north in a few days towards Colombia. I'm starting a new thread for sake of being organized...I know there aren't many Colombia trip reports and hope this will be helpful for others.

    We plan to spend 2.5 weeks riding through the country. Not much time, but we hope to make the best of our finale as we head back home early December.

    Our planned route: Pasto, Cali, Medellín, Tayrona, La Guajira, Bogota (fly home)
    Map: http://goo.gl/maps/n7AVu

    We've heard that some of the best riding is from Pasto to Popoyan and Cali to Medellín. We would seriously appreciate general advice on this route, great places for day breaks on a secluded beach, detours that we absolutely should not miss. Anything away from tourists is usually gold. Thanks a ton

    Here is a recent photo of our super organized Chinese rig :clap

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    #1
  2. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    580
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    You will be traveling a very good basic route, although make sure you get off the main road and check out some of the coolest places to ride in that excellent country. On the way into Colombia from Ecuador, don't miss Las Lajas Sanctuary just outside of Ipiales. Be sure to check out the very picturesque Tatacoa desert, Popayan (the white city), San Agustin (great ancient ruins). When you get to Cali I would recommend staying in the Casa Blanca hostel, a very biker-friendly place owned by the Motolombia tour operator, Mikkel Thomsen.

    When you get to Medellín go to The Shamrock Bar in El Poblado, owned by Albert Crutcher, a biker himself. He has some rooms for rent upstairs, and could point you to some great day trips and roads. If he's not around when you're there, here's some advice for day trips around Medellín:

    For a day trip, go check out Mesopotamia. It's a very small but cool town southwest of Medellín. Check it out on a map. Take Via Las Palmas out of Medellín (starts near El Poblado, where Al's bar--The Shamrock--is located. Then follow signs to La Ceja, La Union, and then Mesopotamia. Nothing but twisties all the way. From there you can go to Abejorral, another very nice little town. From Mesopotamia to Abejorral it's all dirt. Could be some challenging road conditions especially after rain. After Abejorral, you can go to Sonsón (more cool roads) or head east to route 25 and boogie back to Medellín. Or, you can spend the night and then head south into the Coffee Zone, although you might have already been there.

    Another good day trip would be Bucaramanga. There's a hostel there and the owner also has a para sailing business. You can do that to get some great views of the area. Owner's name is Ritchie and I think the hostel is called Kasa Guane.

    I have lots of friends and contacts in Colombia, been there dozens of times on and off my bike, might even be there when you are, so PM me if you need anything.

    Ride safe and enjoy. Colombia rocks!
    #2
  3. DaytonaMike

    DaytonaMike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Florida native >> Colorado >> Colombia
    Definitely do Tayrona. Although I don't believe there is anywhere inside the park to secure your bike and gear while you make the hike out to the ocean. If you find a way the hike to Cabo San Juan is worth it. We were there for a day trip at the height of a holiday week here in Colombia and I didn't think it was crowded at all. Maybe 20 people per beach. You pass 3 or 4 on your hike. Its about a 2 hour hike from the parking area but incredible views and beaches along the route make it worth it. Wish I could comment on your other stops but I have been stuck in Villavicencio, the place nobody says "you gotta see this place", for a year and haven't had time to get out much. But like everyone recommends, take time to really see Colombia and the people here. You won't be disappointed and "your only fear should be wanting to stay". Ride safe!
    #3
  4. artia

    artia Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Thank you Parcero! Really helpful. We will probably get to Colombia in 5-6 days and we'd love to meet if you are around??
    #4
  5. artia

    artia Adventurer

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    Aug 4, 2011
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    Tayrona sounds like a winner

    Have you heard of Turbo? North of Medellin? Secluded beaches and all. We've heard great things and that they hardly get any traffic...considering a visit if we have time
    #5
  6. csustewy

    csustewy Motojero

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    back in Denver
    Hey man - I love the Chinese rig and your style of travel - get somewhere and make it work. It's fantastic. Keeping that attitude through Colombia, and turning off of the basic route you outlined will let you see some of those out of the way amazing places that Colombia is full of. In fact, going to places that people don't tell you to go (not that they are telling you to stay away from them, but rather the unmentioned places) will get you into those golden spots.

    There are a number of RR that do include Colombia, many of them are contained within longer RR's. There is lots of good info out there. But your info will just add to the wealth of knowledge. Thanks for sharing your experiences! I look forward to seeing where you end up...

    +1
    #6
  7. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    580
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    Just send me a PM when you know your schedule. Pretty good chance I'll be there.
    #7
  8. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,548
    Location:
    Alaska
    Once you spend a little time there, I can see why its really easy to get stuck in Villavicencio. :evil

    Just a couple recs for you guys:

    Desierto Tatacoa

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    Around San Augustin

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    The fun road from Manizales to Parque de los Nevados

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    The spectacular road from los Nevados to Murillo

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    Just up the hill from Ibague

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    Fun riding

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    Villa de Leyva

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    Get off the main highways when you can and try some alternate routes as they are the most fun and scenic IMO. Youre going to become experts at yellow lining it in mountian twisties in Colombia.

    buen viaje
    #8