Venezuela to Colombia, Maicao, Paraguachon, Border Crossing
The crossing between Venezuela and Colombia was touted as the worst crossing of all the America's and in lieu of this thought, I spent the night in Maracaibo barely able to sleep. (possibly because Hotel Monte Video was a breezy place with ample cigarette burns in each individual bed sheet)
I filled up with gasoline one last time in Venezuela about 10km from the border and only 2km further I found the Aduana, well signed and very modern. The building had "Aduana Subalterna de Paraguachon" written in big block letters right on the face of the building adjacent from the military stop roughly 8km inside the border. The folks inside called me to the window and accepted my papers right away and dismissed me. It happened too fast and I had to inquire if they did everything correctly.
Next I proceeded toward the border and at roughly 5km from the line I had to stop at a tiny little police building and pay 65 Boliviars to exit the country. At the actual border you'll find the immigration office. I exchanged my Boliviars for Colombian Peso's at half the rate I paid for them with some men hanging outwaiving a mitt-full of cash so ensure you don't have too much left over, just enough for a tank of gas or just enough to get you to Santa Marta where there are banks in the big shopping mall. Getting stamped out of Venezuela was a breeze and I didn't feel like this border was scary or unsafe. In fact I just left my bike parked and went ahead with the paperwork worrying a bit, but really for nothing.
Crossing through no-mans-land over to Colombia was approximately 300 meters of bumpy dirt road but the highway up to that point was fine.
On the Colombian side the Immigracion and the Aduana are on opposite sides of the street. DAS Migracion stamped my passport in 3 minutes after inputting my info into the computer and DIAN (aduana) filled in all my paperwork for me and I was stampped into Colombia within 20 minutes. Of all my border crossings this one was the only one which I lost sleep over and it turned out to be the easiest of them all. It cost me nothing to get into Colombia. I out right refused insurance when it was offered to me stating falsely that I had international insurance. Whenever I get pulled over by the police or military I just smile and keep telling them I'm Canadian, and that the bike is a Kawasaki and very reliable, After about 3 minutes they realise that I'm just a dude on a bike and waive me on.
The Venezuelan side has alot of animals on the road and it was shocking to see how many police and military there were on the Colombian side after being in Brasil and Venezuela for some time. Easy border crossing once you know where you need to go, but don't worry there will alway be someone to point you in the right direction if you were to drive by the little police building that charges 65 boliviars.
Toques on Moto
Last edited by greggeorge; 2 Jun 2010 at 23:16.