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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 27 Feb 2007
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Update on Bogata to Quito - any recent concerns?

I`m planning to ride from Bogata to Ecuador in two weeks. Any recent travellers with advice?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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Similar query

We are in Quito and will be heading north to Colombia at the end of this week, then up to Cartagena.

We are planning to stick to the main route via Cali, Medellin etc without much deviation.

Where are the current no-go areas and would we be be safe enough sticking to this route?


Also, can we buy those Colombia waitcoat things and numberplate stickers at the border in Ecuador?

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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Talking Pasto

All the jackets and so on you can get sorted out in Pasto,the guys at the border should be able to point you in right direction
Cheers
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  #4  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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Nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeybutt View Post
I`m planning to ride from Bogata to Ecuador in two weeks. Any recent travellers with advice?
Thanks
All the current info says Colombia is honkydory,don,t forget to drop by Cartegena,Medellin,Pereira and Cali,Lucky bastard!!!
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  #5  
Old 27 Feb 2007
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Colombia

I've been in Colombia nearly 2 months. I've done nearly 5000 kilometers of riding in country the past several weeks, from Bucaramanga down through Bogota and Villavicencio in the Cordillera Oriental (eastern range), and Manizales north in the Cordillera Occidental (central range).

I've done lots of riding - almost every kilometer of paved road - within 150 kilometers or so of Medellin. No problems. There's military everywhere - they sometimes stop me and check my papers but mostly I just ride by and wave. There's also National Police out and about - the few times I've been stopped, they've looked at my papers as well but otherwise no problems there either. (Not a single time was there any attempt at extracting dinero).

I did get stopped by the traffic cops once using radar, doing 90+kph in a 80 kph stretch north of Villavicencio (south from Aguazul on the edge of the Amazon Plateau), which is a hoot because its the flatest, straightest, most lightly travelled road I've been on in Colombia. (no ticket - just a warning).

I'm leaving tomorrow or Wednesday for Ecuador, I'll spend several days riding the coffee area south of Manizales - again, the paved roads. There's some parks to check out, some hotsprings, some nice towns - and good eating.

Basically anywhere there's paved roads are ok - can't say the same about wandering off into the backcountry on unpaved roads although I've done some off-pavement riding as well up in the mountains around Medellin.

I've been told not to stray off the main highway between Cali and the border of Ecuador. Nothing really of interest, since I've already seen the best, and its a bit suspect.

Of course, I'm not endorsing anything, mind you. Its just the best riding I've done in South America (ok, I just got here, heading south, but way better than anything in Central America).

And the best thing - the people are great. The majority of the people want to move on from the troubles of the recent past, and are really excited to see foriegners travelling through there country. Make sure you stop in the small towns, sit down and have a coffee and chances are, some complete stranger will wind up paying for it (that's been my experience travelling solo).

Enjoy
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  #6  
Old 28 Feb 2007
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Thanks

Thanks for the info everyone. It´s much appreciated.
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  #7  
Old 28 Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeybutt View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. It´s much appreciated.
Have been in Colombia for almost three months now, no hassles at all & no sign of corruption.

Its almost as if the police here have been told to 'leave the tourists alone'. I've been stopped once so far & as soon as the cop saw the UK number plate he let us go with a smile and a handshake, didnt even ask for documents.

I didnt bother getting the waistcoat until Medellin, never heard of numberplate stickers.

Expect to see lots of military & police checkpoints. I slow right down, open up my helment & raise a glove - they seem to appreciate this.

The dodgy bit is between Ecuador & Cali, also from Santa Marta to Venezuela. I'm guessing the bit near Venezuela is worse as instead of just soldiers with assault rifles you see armoured personnel carriers with 50 caliber machine guns. Again no hassles for us.

If they do stop you, be sure to stay polite & dont provoke them. Near Santa Marta we passed a military checkpoint where they were dragging a guy through the window of his car and beating the crap out of him. The car boot was open so I'm guessing they didnt like what they found, didnt stop to ask.

Like Chuck said - the people are amazing & its a fantastic country.
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  #8  
Old 3 Mar 2007
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Good stuff...

Way to go guys, now you are talking!!
It feels good inside to hear that my contry is so well regarded. Besides the fact that I am Colombian, I do agree on everything you said. According to Lonely Planet, 90% of the people that have travelled around south america agree when saying that Colombia was the highlight of their trip.
The helmet sticker with the license plate numbers, and the waitcoat are not mandatory for foreigners, they wont give you trouble for that, but to minimize chances of getting potential B.S. you could get one, plus, the reflective waitcoat (very cheap) will come in handy on the road making you more visible for other vehicles.
Between cali and ecuador i recommend you stick to the panamerican, there is great scenery along and few troubles, provided you are reasonably careful, and dont travel at night (which you should never do anyway).
Parque Tayrona, 40 km from Santa Marta is a must, avoid holidays.
You guys have fun out there, it is a hidden jewel.
Juan
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  #9  
Old 5 Mar 2007
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Well we´ve just ridden from Equador, (crossed at Tulcan, only took 50 mins all in, very easy) to Medellin with no bother at all. Lots of armed police/army etc and the usual document checks.

Shame we have to rush it as we need to catch a boat in Cartagena mid march as theres nothing but lovely scenery and very friendy people!
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  #10  
Old 5 Mar 2007
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Border Crossing ECUADOR-Colombia.....ISPIALES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeybutt View Post
I`m planning to ride from Bogata to Ecuador in two weeks. Any recent travellers with advice?
Thanks
Hi MonkeyButt.....i just came up from quito to bogota.........border crossing in TULCAN was a long wait 3 1/2 hours ....get there early, ecuador imigration officers are always out to lunch or comp. sys. is not working.
In colombia take Hwy. bogota to armenia,cali, boyoban,pasto,ispiales,quito. stay in the cauca valley, i had a fantastic ride lots of curves and high mountains from bogota to armenia , then it flatens out till after boyoban and once again high mountains all the way to quito ....enjoy the ride i did.
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  #11  
Old 20 Aug 2007
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Has anyone done the Columbia to Ecuador route recently? This is on Lonely Planet's website currently-

"There is a high risk to the security of those traveling in the northern areas of Ecuador that border with Colombia because of kidnappings and increased crime. Landmines are also present in the Cordillera del Cóndor region, bordering Peru. These areas should be avoided."

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldgui...apagos-islands
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  #12  
Old 21 Aug 2007
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Yes, be very careful as you get to the border. You must hire a local guide to guide you through the minefields... LOL. Sorry, couldn´t resist!!!

I think this might be more in reference to extreme adventure hikers or such that might go into the jungle or else, unguided in way out of the way places.

PS. It´s ColOmbia, by the way...
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  #13  
Old 22 Aug 2007
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Its safe to say you won't see any landminds on your KLR.

A friend in Medellin advised me not to stop for any length of time on the highway between Popayan and the Ecuador border - wasn't much reason to stop there in the first place, so I didn't.

As far as the kidnappers go - they like to go after high-value targets, local politicians, executives for the big multi-nationals who have lots of dinero to bargain for - a grungy looking biker riding by on a KLR doesn't fit the profile.
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  #14  
Old 22 Aug 2007
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OK, OK- Be nice to the new guy.....
Colombia, Colombia, Colombia, Colombia,Colombia, Colombia....
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  #15  
Old 12 Dec 2007
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Nothin to worry about...

There is now a Popoyan checkpoint manned by guerrillas! I swear it. Bloody hilarious.

The Guerrillas have a big sya in Popayan tourism now, they're not gonna bite the hand that feeeds them, quite the opposite, you will probably meet one, not know it and think gee he was nicest guy I've met!

The road from Popoyan, if you don't stop you'll miss all those yummy 25 cents a bag glazed peanuts. RISK IT DUDE, they're excellent!!! lol

Close to Chrsitmas don't fly through there. I went thru 24th December and the kids put ropes over the road to slow down travellers who may throw them a few dollars, or a Santa present. Bring some trinkets, hand em out and give your Christmas a kickstart!!!!

Watch the dogs. F u k i n dogs all the way down there, and a couple of big ones that think motorbikes are edible.
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