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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Is it Safe to Ride through Colombia?????

I am in Costa Rica and am heading to Panama in a few days to get my bike to south america, I am wondering if it is safe for me to travel through Colombia? I will be riding with my girlfriend 2-up and would like any information that some one could provide. Have you been there recently, what are the safety issues, should I ship my bike to venezuela instead? Am I even posting in the right area... Or is there somewhere else I may get some recent info??? Please help, thanks!
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  #2  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Well, I'm getting ready to ride south in a few months, and I'm more concerned about Venezuela than I am about Colombia!

There've been lots of posts addressing this issue, and basic use of the search function could go a long way towards answering your questions. The prevalent tone here is pretty blasé, since those who care enough to answer questions (particularly oft-repeated questions) are themselves not easily cowed. You'll have to figure out where you fit in relation to what they tell you....but if you're in Central America now you're probably already doing whatever needs to be done to travel safely.

See you on the road, somewhere or other.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Mark thanks for the reply. I have used the general search and have not been able to get a whole lot of info, then again I am new to Horizons Unlimited so I may not be able to get the info I am looking for. What are the concerns that you have more about venezuela??? Once again any info will help. Thanks
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  #4  
Old 16 Jul 2009
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Is it safe to ride through Colombia?

Ryan

In my experience Colombia was a breeze, people were super friendly, the scenery was beautiful, and it rated as one of my favorite South American countries to ride in... as good as Ecuador, but not quite on a par with Chile. Now the next traveller will tell you something different - it's the luck of the draw. We flew our bike and trailer from Panama to Bogota and got to sit up front with the pilot - an awesome experience.

In Venezuela my wife was strip searched at the border, the contents of our bike and trailer emptied on the road, camera taken apart and yet it still was a great place to travel.

Some of my best experiences were those I was warned not to do and some of the worst were those that others insisted were worth doing. Horses for courses right? If you make it to Bogota do take time out to visit Museo de Oro (the Gold Museum). For me, this was one of the highlights along with Cartagena where the campground manager knocked down a brick wall (his) so we could park our wide trailer inside the grounds. I could just see that happening in the West!

Yes, there's rebels, I've read those accounts too. But we've all heard stories about people who were mugged, shot, robbed...and this was while they were still in their own living rooms, so if you are on the road, enjoy the people you meet, revel in each moment and learn a little Spanish. Leave the doubts and fears where they belong, back home with the remote control!

Buena Suerte amigo.
Ron

Last edited by tamandari; 16 Jul 2009 at 10:17. Reason: few mistakes
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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I'm in Bogota now and have ridden north(east-ish) from Ecuador through Pasto, Popayan, Cali and Ibagues. Great roads, no cop hassle at all, amazing scenery, friendly folks, safe as milk (so far!) Prepare to spend more time than you planned in Colombia. This is not a country to be "got through"!
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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Does anyone know if there is an official govt. site which has updated warnings on areas that one should not travel too?
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sime66 View Post
I'm in Bogota now and have ridden north(east-ish) from Ecuador through Pasto, Popayan, Cali and Ibagues. Great roads, no cop hassle at all, amazing scenery, friendly folks, safe as milk (so far!) Prepare to spend more time than you planned in Colombia. This is not a country to be "got through"!
Hey I'm in Bogota as well, which hostel are you staying at?
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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Hey I'm in Bogota as well, which hostel are you staying at?
Cool! I'm at the El Dorado in Candelaria. Beer and motorbike chat? Like, now?!!
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Old 16 Jul 2009
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Spend the last 8 weeks touring around Colombia, and extended my visa to see a bit more. am in san augustin at the moment. Great country, great people, safe as anywhere else i guess.

no worries about safety, go and have fun!!

sanderd.

(note, if you take a boat, try to avoid the Metacomet, had all sorts of problems during the trip. PM me if you want to know why for details).
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Old 17 Jul 2009
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You don't want to miss the trip trough Colombia,
i'm heading there soon, so i might see you on the road.
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Old 17 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Sime66 View Post
Cool! I'm at the El Dorado in Candelaria. Beer and motorbike chat? Like, now?!!
Hey sorry! went to bed for a while this afternoon to catch up on some much needed sleep. I'm at the Cranky Croc hostel, they have a fri-night BBQ if you're keen!
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Old 17 Jul 2009
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Hey Adam

Might just see you there!
Will PM you to avoid further hijackation of this thread.
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Old 19 Jul 2009
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Great night last night Sime!

Back on topic so far my impression of Bogota is that it is very safe during the day however I wouldn't walk around here at night time. I have been frisk searched 3 times in the last 2 days which really makes me wonder what people have on them in the streets.

As we speak the military is locking down the local plaza and searching everyone there as there is a public holiday on Monday and something festive happening so obviously there is an existent threat if they are being that serious about it.

Still so far I've had a great time and I must include that the women are certainly not shy!
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Old 19 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by PocketHead View Post
Great night last night Sime!
...I must include that the women are certainly not shy!
Yes it was! And no they're not!
I kinda agree with that sum up of Bogota - basically normal precautions, don't run around up a back alley at 3am waving a wad of cash etc...
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  #15  
Old 24 Jul 2009
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Colombia safety

I am in Cartagena now, just got in from a sail trip from Panama. I would recommend Cap'n Mark on the Melody, he takes about 16 bikes a year, and my 1150 GSA made here without a scratch. If you take another boat, do your research, I have heard some horror stories. Here is his email address: freshaircharters@yahoo.com

Below is a message regarding Colombian roads from an attorney contact in Bogota (he is the attorney for BMW and Harley dealers in the country, so is bike savvy)

"Not riding at night would be my only advice. I would said that in terms
of public order considerations 95% of the roads are safe to drive during
the day. All the main highways are now highly secure. (I would not go
into the provinces of Caqueta or Putumayo or Choco by road as those are
still so- so locations - but unless you want ot be in the middle of the
Jungle with Capital letters or drink Yage with a native shaman there is
not much to do there) The situation was not so nice about 8 years ago
but now its another story.

The caravans are used by hardly anyone I know although they are
available during the long weekends. Besides from mid june until the
first week of august is vacation time so the military step up the
protection of the roads. I will be away from from the 20 of June until
the 30 of June. Obviously once I know more about the routes you intend
to take I can give you further advice.

Besides we are the attorneys for Harley-Davidson and BMW here in
Colombia and we also work with their local dealer"

So far, I am loving Colombia!
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