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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 10 Aug 2006
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Question Routes South from Bogota

I will be flying my KLR to Bogota (from Panama City) in late October/November and heading south for TDF. Looking at my Colombia map there seems to be two ways to head south toward Ecuador. Hwy 45 past Neiva then east to Popayan OR a couple of other ways east (south first) to Ibague, Armenia, Cali, etc. or northeast to Manizales, Tula, etc. What route do most use? Which do you all recommend and why? Thanks for the input.

Last edited by RickMcD; 10 Aug 2006 at 23:45.
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Old 11 Aug 2006
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Rick,
I'm watching your thread with interest, hoping you'll get some good replies.
If everything goes as planned, I'll be going through Panama/Bogota area about
the same time as you. I'll be riding with another HUBB member Bob Forsee. May
see you there, Bob will be on a KLR also, and I'll be on a Wee Strom.

Harold
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Old 11 Aug 2006
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Routes South from Colombia

Harold, keep in touch. Maybe we can plan a meet. I have been reading other trip reports and it seems that the route straight south may not be a good choice. Some have reported a very bad road on the southern end and also some country that may best be bypassed for any number of reasons. I hope I get some more input. I sent Paul Thorsen (owns a moto hotel in Colombia) an email and ask for input. I'll let you know if he replies.
Rick
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Old 11 Aug 2006
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South From Bogota

Quote:
Originally Posted by hillcityrider
Rick,
I'm watching your thread with interest, hoping you'll get some good replies.
If everything goes as planned, I'll be going through Panama/Bogota area about
the same time as you. I'll be riding with another HUBB member Bob Forsee. May
see you there, Bob will be on a KLR also, and I'll be on a Wee Strom.

Harold
Harold, did I see some posts recently from you or your partner about an Alaska ride? I just returned to Southern California from Prudhoe Bay. Reprovisioning, resting and planning for the "rest of the story" :=)
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Old 11 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMcD
Harold, did I see some posts recently from you or your partner about an Alaska ride? I just returned to Southern California from Prudhoe Bay. Reprovisioning, resting and planning for the "rest of the story" :=)
Rick,
Yes, I did Prudhoe Bay in June. Like you, I'm just waiting for the season
to change so I can head to TDF via Bogota. E-mail me: hbrookz@msn.com

Harold
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  #6  
Old 11 Aug 2006
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Lightbulb From Bogotá-South

Few bikers have gone through Neiva, but I strongly wouldn't reccommend it: There's a long (3-4 hrs) unpaved strech past Neiva en route to Popayan that we (colombians) try to avoid. Instead, the road Bogotá-Girardot-Ibagué-Armenia-Cali, etc is in good shape anf has lots of interest spots. Even tough, some has gone Bogotá-Medellín, and the south Medellín-Manizales-Pereira-Armenia-Cali, etc. A third alternative (1 day longer) could be Bogotá-Honda(yes, there´s an old town called Honda)-Manizales-Pereira-Armenia-Cali, etc.

If you have enough time (2-4 days) I would reccommend alternative #2. Otherwise take any of the other main routes.

JorG
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Old 12 Aug 2006
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Hi guys,

I am currently in Oaxaca City Mexico, headed slowly south. Planning on a similar route through Colombia, keep in touch. I suspect I am far enough ahead of you that you won´t catch up, but who knows.

Andy
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Old 12 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyT
Hi guys,

I am currently in Oaxaca City Mexico, headed slowly south. Planning on a similar route through Colombia, keep in touch. I suspect I am far enough ahead of you that you won´t catch up, but who knows.

Andy
Andy,
Give us some feed back on your border crossings, would like to know if it's
a good crossing or a PITA. Hope to see you at TDF, it'll take that long to catch
up! Have a good trip.

Harold
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Old 12 Aug 2006
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Bogota Info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA
Few bikers have gone through Neiva, but I strongly wouldn't reccommend it: There's a long (3-4 hrs) unpaved strech past Neiva en route to Popayan that we (colombians) try to avoid. Instead, the road Bogotá-Girardot-Ibagué-Armenia-Cali, etc is in good shape anf has lots of interest spots. Even tough, some has gone Bogotá-Medellín, and the south Medellín-Manizales-Pereira-Armenia-Cali, etc. A third alternative (1 day longer) could be Bogotá-Honda(yes, there´s an old town called Honda)-Manizales-Pereira-Armenia-Cali, etc.

If you have enough time (2-4 days) I would reccommend alternative #2. Otherwise take any of the other main routes.

JorG
JorG. Thanks a bunch. That is exactly the kind of info I was looking for. Up to date from someone there. Thanks Again.
Rick
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  #10  
Old 12 Aug 2006
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Trip Info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyT
Hi guys,

I am currently in Oaxaca City Mexico, headed slowly south. Planning on a similar route through Colombia, keep in touch. I suspect I am far enough ahead of you that you won´t catch up, but who knows.

Andy
Andy, I second Harold's reply. Let us know about what borders and such. I have crossed into Belize at Chetumal and then into Guatemala at Mencos then into Honduras at El Florido. No problems at any of those borders. Probably will go that way this time also (maybe not up thru Belize). Probably won't catch up to you but keep in touch.
Rick
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  #11  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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Hola Rick, it looks like you already got your reply. It would certainly agree with JTA's post. You want to avoid the route south from Bogota that appears to be the most direct to Popayan, via Neive.

If you have time, the route north from Bogota past Villa de Leiva, San Gil, Barichara (Canon de Chicamocha) and Bucaramunga is - in my opinion - one of the best routes in Colombia. From Bucaramunga there is a good highway west to Medellin, and then from Medellin south through Manizales to Cali is another great scenic route, stopping off in Salento along the way.

Medellin also has great moto shops and parts (inc tires) if you need them at that point, which you probably will!

I wouldn't worry about security on any of the main highways mentioned above. If you have the time, don't miss out on some of the best riding in South America, and do a nice big loop through Bucaramunga and Medellin (or even throw in Cartagena). If you don't have the time then sure, head west from Bogota to Armenia and then south to the Ecuador border, although then you would be missing out on some of the best that Colombia has to offer.
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Old 15 Aug 2006
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Colombia Routes Info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Thoreson
Hola Rick, it looks like you already got your reply. It would certainly agree with JTA's post. You want to avoid the route south from Bogota that appears to be the most direct to Popayan, via Neive.

If you have time, the route north from Bogota past Villa de Leiva, San Gil, Barichara (Canon de Chicamocha) and Bucaramunga is - in my opinion - one of the best routes in Colombia. From Bucaramunga there is a good highway west to Medellin, and then from Medellin south through Manizales to Cali is another great scenic route, stopping off in Salento along the way.

Medellin also has great moto shops and parts (inc tires) if you need them at that point, which you probably will!

I wouldn't worry about security on any of the main highways mentioned above. If you have the time, don't miss out on some of the best riding in South America, and do a nice big loop through Bucaramunga and Medellin (or even throw in Cartagena). If you don't have the time then sure, head west from Bogota to Armenia and then south to the Ecuador border, although then you would be missing out on some of the best that Colombia has to offer.
Paul, thanks for the great info. I sent you an email at your hotel reminding you that we met in Mexico in Dec. 2002. I have just looked up your suggested route (big loop up to Bucaramunga) on the map and depending on time (trying to make Cusco around Thanksgiving to meet my sweetheart), I may try that route but will definitely try to make it to your hotel in Medellin. Thanks again.
Rick
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