Colombia is back on the map! Delivering ten foot-peg scraping bends per minute through lush green forests, mountains and valleys, everyone we have ever taken here has been staggered by this incredibly beautiful and friendly country.
This is an exciting 12 days exploring the extraordinary country of Colombia, a place of startling contrasts, from dense Amazonian jungle, spectacular tropical beaches and snow-capped Andean mountain ranges to Bogotá’s fast-growing metropolis and the immaculate colonial architecture of Villa de Leyva.
GlobeBusters Founders, Kevin & Julia Sanders, first travelled here in 1999 and celebrated New Year and the start of the new millenium in one of the many fabulous restaurants in Cartagena. They returned in 2003 on their Guinness World Record™, hosted by a group of amazing Colombian BMW GS Riders. Since then we have also taken our Trans Americas Expedition through Colombia since 2009. Without exception, riders are thrilled at the riding and are always sad to leave. Colombia – the only danger is wanting to stay!
At a glance
Prices shown are based on a rider using their own motorcycle. If you need to rent a motorcycle, there is an additional charge shown.
|Feb 10 – 21, 2017||£2,450||£750||£2,450||BMW R 1200 GS: £1,650
BMW F 800 GS: £1,450
BMW F 700 GS: £1,250
Dates & Prices
|Prices shown are based on a rider using their own motorcycle. If you need to rent a motorcycle, there is an additional charge shown.|
|Date:||Feb 10 – 21, 2017|
|Rider Shared Room:||£2,450|
|Passenger Shared Room:||£2,450|
|Bike Rental:||BMW R 1200 GS: £1,650
BMW F 800 GS: £1,450
BMW F 700 GS: £1,250
This Colombia motorcycle tour is led by Mauricio Escobar who heads up our Colombian team. Mauricio’s perfect English, combined with local knowledge and the fact that he is an approved BMW Instructor, means you are in great hands.
This is a 12 day itinerary, covering around 1,380 miles (2,220 kms). It starts in Bogota and ends in Cartagena.
10 Feb 2017. Day 1: Bogotá
Fly into the Colombian capital welcome briefing. Evening in Bogota’s La Zona T for our Welcome Group Dinner.
11 Feb 2017. Day 2: Bogotá (80 miles)
Short ride out to visit the underground Salt Cathedral in the town of Zipaquirá to familiarise yourself with the bikes.
12 Feb 2017. Day 3: Bogotá – Barichara (215 miles)
We leave the city heading north, through the multi-coloured mountains of the Cundiboyacense Plateau. with a stop at the colonial gem, UNESCO listed Villa de Leyva for lunch – it has Latin America’s biggest cobbled plaza. Lush green, twisting mountain roads to the colonial town of Barichara.
13 Feb 2017. Day 4: Barichara – Los Santos (75 miles)
You have the morning to explore Barichara and then more great roads through the Colombian Highlands. The Chichamocha Canyon has fantastic hairpin bends. Enjoy! Tonight we stay in a 200 year old hacienda in the middle of a coffee plantation. A perfect place to relax. Group dinner tonight.
14 Feb 2017. Day 5: Bucuramanga – Honda (290 miles)
Turning south, we follow the Magdelana River Valley – you can take a small diversion en route to the hacienda that was once the home of Pablo Escobar. We spent tonight at the old port town of Honda, on the banks of the river.
15 Feb 2017. Day 6: Honda – Alcalá (150 miles)
More great mountain riding today, as we circle around the Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano. Cross the cities of Manizales and Pereira, with bustling traffic, before reaching the famous “Zona Cafetera”. Group dinner tonight.
16 & 17 Feb 2017. Day 7 & 8 : Alcalá – Medellín (220 miles)
Over 100 miles of pure bends today, bordering the Cauca River, through tropical vistas, to the cosmopolitan city Medellín. Rest day to explore the Fernando Botero Sculpture Park for curvaceous figures!
18 Feb 2017. Day 9: Medellín – Planeta Rica (225 miles)
We follow the I25 all the way north to Planeta Rica. This is a day of two halves. Mountain riding followed by the great plains. Temperatures will rise! We’ll stop for lunch at Yarumal. We stay at Planeta Rica as an “en route” stop. It is a simple hotel, but has a pool and we eat here for tonight as a group dinner.
19 & 20 Feb 2017. Day 10 & 11: Planeta Rica – Cartagena (180 miles)
Across the plains to beautiful city of Cartagena. With just the right mix of sun, sand, and old world charm, much of the attraction of Cartagena lies in strolling through its colonial streets. It is a World Heritage City (raided by Sir Francis Drake in 1586 in the Battle of Cartagena) and is considered to be one of the most picturesque cities in South America. Group Farewell Dinner on the final night.
21 Feb 2017. Day 12: Cartagena – Home
Transfer to the international airport for your flight back home.
Colombia offers a good standard of hotel accommodation through this tour. We then treat you to a gorgeous 5 star hotel within the City Walls of Cartagena for your two night stay. In the colonial locations, we use, unsurprisingly, old colonial hotels or haciendas. We have one simple hotel in Planeta Rica, which is an overnight stop. For Bogota and Medellin, we use good quality 4 star hotels.
You have the benefit of booking with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.
Before you go
Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised us with the local motorcycle rental provider, who is the Approved BMW Travel Partner for Colombia. Your rental fee includes:
We act as agent for the local provider and on arrival you will be required to sign the local motorcycle rental contract and provide your credit card details as a guarantee against damages.
For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights. It is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination. You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Bogota to arrive no later than around 2pm on 10 February 2017. The earliest leave date is any time on 21 February 2017 from Cartagena. However, do not book your flights until the tour is designated as a Guaranteed Departure.
Should you wish to arrive before the official start date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.
What riding experience do I need?
This tour is suitable for a good road rider, with previous experience of touring. It is also suitable for experienced two-up couples. Traffic conditions in Bogota and Medellin are very busy and quite chaotic, with poor lane discipline. Once outside of these major cities, the main roads are quieter but please be aware of slow trucks on some of the great twisty roads. You must ensure your overtakes are safe and progressive. We have included some unpaved sections of road to get you off the beaten track to see some hidden gems.
Do I have to ride in a group?
No! We do not make you ride in convoy. We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride. We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates and hotel information. You can use this to self-navigate. If you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Leader, then you can do this.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 6 – 10 riders (some riders will have passengers). Most of our groups are from the UK, but we also have customers from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland etc.
Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
Yes. In fact, every tour we have operated in Colombia has had couples riding two-up, but we do recommend that your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer.
Is there a support vehicle?
Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver. The support vehicle will carry your luggage – you must ensure that your bags are suitable to be packed into a 4×4. Hard suitcases are not suitable for en route. We recommend soft bags, such as Ortlieb, that are waterproof and dustproof.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit. In addition you must have travel/medical insurance (compulsory requirement). As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and can be complex, with constantly changing requirements, we would direct you to our appointed visa agency for advice. www.thevisamachine.com
How safe is Colombia?
Colombia has a long democratic history, but the country has suffered from internal conflict for over 50 years. However, security levels have improved significantly and as at June 2016, the British FCO has not issued any travel advisory warnings for the regions / route in Colombia that we travel through. However, travel advisory warnings are in place for other parts of the country where risks relating to drug gangs and other criminal or terrorist activity is higher. We do not travel in these regions. As with all countries, you should take common sense precautions for your safety. All previous participants on our rides through Colombia have been very positive about their experience.