Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Central America and Mexico

Central America and Mexico Topics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14 May 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK but currently on the road RTW
Posts: 195
Crossing the Darien - How much is too much?

Back in 2008 when I first started researching crossing the Darien Gap I was told the going rate was U$250 each (bike $ rider) = U$500. Heading north through Bolivia in 2009 I met two Englishmen heading south who recommended 'Fritz the Kat' - they'd just paid US$320ea )U$640).
After getting sidetracked with a broken motorcycle I didn't get to cross the Gap until February this year by which time the price on the Stahlratte was U$780inc, those who sailed on 'Wild Card Jack' at the same time paid U$850 (and weren't very happy, but that's their story).

Last weekend I was in Casa Blanca Hostel, Cali when three Canadian guys arrived on KLR's. They were planning on air-freighting to Panama and had to wait until Monday to get their quote - U$1500! (from Bogota. +U$300 from Cali) Yep, even hostel owner Mike (HUBB - Kaiserkyll) was shocked, it was U$950 two weeks ago!
I suggested a few boats and they got lucky. Fritz was leaving four days later - his price now U$950 (over U$1000 for a big bike. GS etc)

How long before this route becomes the sole domain of the 'new' breed of motorcycle traveller (post Ewan & Charlie) who are short on time, not money; or will the 'old school' (short on money, not time) probe the Pacific coastt for a reliable, cheaper but ultimately more time consuming crossing?

Either way, given the rate of 'Gap Inflation' we won't have to wait long for an answer.
__________________
ShortWayRound - OTR RTW since 2006

Photo Galleries

ShortWayRound/Facebook
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14 May 2011
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: OK
Posts: 124
Hola Senor Adam
I just saw that the rate on the SteelRat was up to $820 for the ride across the gap now! Its all about money and how much the boats can push for until the pack backers and motorbikers can't pay any more. Its getting to the point where its just best to ship straight from home to SA or vice versa instead of crossing the gap on a standard ship or plane.

That leaves the cargo boats and working on the Pacific side as the cheapest options for going by sea. These both take time and lots of effort to get it all right but will be the cheapest way to cross. I will attempt the Pacific side on my way back North but may have to become a crew member again on the ole Rat once more if I don't have good luck.


It's going to be a lot more adventure to cross in the sub $500 range but I'm sure it can be done for that and even less with some effort. I'll see for myself when my time comes...


Hope your back enjoying the lands in the South, I can't wait to get going again myself and will be looking around for you down there.

Adios Amigo!

John
__________________
www.throttlemeister.net
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15 May 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 163
Hi lads. I'm catching fritz the cat tomorrow with those 3 Canadians you mentioned. The price for it is 448 for you and 428 for the bike. More if it's over 250 kg. Total price of 876. It works out more if you pay in pesos as his exchange is bad.

Seems like these guys are certainly taking advantage of the needy bikers. Maybe sometime the price will cone down with competition. Ha! And maybe they'll build a road too huh. Who wants to don fatigues and grab a machete and cut up some Darien for a ride! Looks like it's boats or planes! Good luck to you all!
__________________
'10 Suzuki DR650. 2011+ RTW trip. Currently in Canada. www.followtheakubra.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16 May 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Panama City, Panama
Posts: 31
It is getting mighty expensive.

The larger vehicles that we help cross the gap (Defenders, Land Cruisers, pickups with popup campers) and all looking at about $2,000 - $2,500 to ship their babies - not including passenger air freight.

I think the most economical option right now would be to share a 20' container - but the logistics involved are a nightmare. Easy for a group of 20 riders but hard to setup with individuals doing their own trip.

A container would run about $1,500 and take a few days... You can fit a lot of bikes in a 20'...
__________________
KTM 690 SMC for sale in Punta Arenas, Chile http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18077994
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16 May 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
Someone with a little more ethics and not out just to rip folk of, living in Colombia or somewhere close, needs to set up a bi-monthly container for riders, maybe it happens whenever they have bookings a month out. They'd make a killing without needing to rip people off.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18 May 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: melbourne
Posts: 22
I came over from Panama to Bogota in january with 4 other riders, and cos of this Air Girag gave us a discount so to fly the bikes then cost $750 US then we managed to get flights for ourselves for about $400. I recommend Air Girag, it was very easy, quick and painless... and our bikes also didn't have to suffer the rusty ride over the sea, I have heard of some riders who had to replace chains etc cos of rust right after the boat or had worse problems down the line...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19 May 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Black Forest
Posts: 168
Hi Y`ll

I remember times when the transfer was $ 250 for the bike and $ 250 for yourself ....

OK, price for oil is nowadays more .... but 3 - 4 times

In my opinion, just a further ripoff from Girag and boats .... like so many other places

Thanks Adam for the information and thoughts

Hope you doing well and have fun

See you Thomas


PS: a monthly container with a fixed date .... could be working
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 2 Jun 2011
Moderated Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 16
RoRo is the way to go without crating, safe and sound, for less money from/to Panama and Catagena as flying your bike from Bogota.

The same RoRo service goes all the way up to Tacoma crossing the Panama canal and also down to Brazil and Argentina. Cartagena is one of the ports of load.

Bikes had been shipped before with a good end result.

There is a similar thread about this on ADV regional forum(Latin America)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 3 Jun 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: On the road, Homeward bound :-(
Posts: 121
Crossing the Darien

Hi
We shipped from Cartagena to Carti with Fritz end of April this year, cost for the two of us and the GS (we are not Ewan wannabes) was over US$1300, the price to fly wasn't much different. We opted for the sailing as it was inclusive of 5 nights accom and food for the duration making it a slightly cheaper option and we thought it would be a bit of a holiday. However, the proof that it is just about the money was the boat being overcrowded, 4 bikes with riders and 15 backpackers, a very cramped 5 days. Some people didn't even get a bunk!
There are other boats that do the crossing but all around the same price and maybe not all of them are high on the safety list, you pays your money you takes your chance!
Anyone thinking of doing the gap in the future might well be a good idea contacting Shaun at
When we stayed there he was looking at trying to set something up.
__________________
RTW Jan 2009 - Aug 2012. Currently in Europe waiting for the next ride
www.takingthelongwayhome.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Jun 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 27
Gap crossing reservations?

Okay. We're in. People are talking about trying to set something up, a container or maybe dealing with another private boat, if we can sort out a group far enough in advance.
This might be too far in advance for now, but my fiance and I will be crossing the Gap in about 3ish months. We're on a Ural. Very flexible with dates, of course.
Any chance?

Tyler
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Jun 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Panama City, Panama
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by panhandle1300 View Post
Hi

Anyone thinking of doing the gap in the future might well be a good idea contacting Shaun at www.panamapassage.com
When we stayed there he was looking at trying to set something up.
Hey Kev -

We have a british couple here riding 2 up on an R80 that took you and Lorraine's place on the porch. Almost a direct replacement!

Give us a call or email - we are indeed trying to figure out how to get prices down to cross the gap. We're getting some lines on decent boats that don't overcrowd. For now - you get what you pay for.

Hopefully soon you'll pay less and get more.
__________________
KTM 690 SMC for sale in Punta Arenas, Chile http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18077994
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 5 Jun 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: On the road, Homeward bound :-(
Posts: 121
Darien crossing

Don't know what the logistics or cost would be for someone to set it up, but when we crossed from Cape Town, South Africa to Buenos Aires, Argentina it was in a "Groupage Container". A 40 foot container booked onto a regular sailing which went whether it was full or not. Cost for us was very reasonable and I know the container we shipped in was less than half full as ours was the last crate loaded. I guess the shipping agent in SA just pays a set price for the container and 9 times out of 10 makes a good killing from the smaller goods that are transported... win, win situation maybe!!
__________________
RTW Jan 2009 - Aug 2012. Currently in Europe waiting for the next ride
www.takingthelongwayhome.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11 Jun 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: melbourne
Posts: 24
panama to colombia(same old story!!)

I am in panama city now heading to colombia!!! anyone near by want to search for a cheaper alternative together, safety in number i guess!!! Keep hearing stories of people doing it cheaper but i am yet to meet anyone or get any concrete evidence!!!!!

dean_202@hotmail.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 28 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 66
Setting up a container?

Guys

this is Christian here, from Panama Passage.
I just came back from the San Blas islands and I agree, there has to be a cheaper way to do that. Shaun (who ran the place for the last 6 months) just took a sailboat across with his KMT SM690 and said it was a great trip, but I believe around $850.

I can ship a 20' container for about $1050 for one vehicle. it would be a bit more if we had motorcycles but it can't be more than $1500.

How many motorcycle can you fit in a 20'? I am game to try to arrange a monthly shipping if there are enough party interested.

Christian
Panama Passage | Overlander Resource Center in Panama City
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28 Sep 2011
BruceP's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St Helens
Posts: 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by zundapp View Post
I came over from Panama to Bogota in january with 4 other riders, and cos of this Air Girag gave us a discount so to fly the bikes then cost $750 US then we managed to get flights for ourselves for about $400. I recommend Air Girag, it was very easy, quick and painless... and our bikes also didn't have to suffer the rusty ride over the sea, I have heard of some riders who had to replace chains etc cos of rust right after the boat or had worse problems down the line...
I don't recommend them, but as there is no other choice (currently) to fly then gap, then no choice.

Calls not returned, cut off, emails ignored.

Poor handling of bikes, 2 hours to do paper work and then the bikes didn't fly on time.

But, what should I have expected for 900USD/bike :-)
__________________
--

http://www.ytc1.co.uk
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crossing the Darien Gap (Pacific Side) cruthas Ride Tales 2 11 Jan 2010 00:54
darien gap spitfire Central America and Mexico 1 28 May 2007 22:18
Crossing the Darien Gap 2 Columbia 8/24 yarglien Travellers Seeking Travellers 0 16 Aug 2006 17:24
CROSSING THE DARIEN GAP? ezrdr Central America and Mexico 38 15 Aug 2006 22:14
Darien Gap Carrera12003 Route Planning 10 27 Dec 2005 00:17

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:19.