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Old 5 Oct 2006
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Post Panama to Colombia

Because of the price difference i chose to ship myself and the bike to Cartagena Colombia instead of Quito Ecuador.
I arranged to have the bike an I shipped for $500 USD total from Colon Panama to Cartagena Colombia on a 35ft sail boat. The trip took a total of 5 days, 3 days of open ocean travel and 2 days at Panama´s San Blas islands.

I went through captain Ruben - Fujimo Charters
Tel Panama 507 6735 3714
Tel Colombia 57 313 5000 229
I saw ads for other charters scattered around hostels in Panama.

Ruben doesn't speak much english but is more than happy to help. Included in the price was food for the voyage and immigration BS in Colombia.
Immigration went extremely smooth. I gave the guy at the docs my passport, he went to the airport to get the stamp, returned 2 hours later and i was done. No hidden fees or BS. The immigrations guy has a pretty good rep and handles all the US/UK travelers for immigration and customs.

When it came to getting the bike documented he wanted $100 USD because he said the boat (Fujimo) wasn't licenced to carry anything besides passengers and the bike was brought in illegally. This may be true but I wasn't going to pay $100. After talking to two other people, one cop and some guy who said he worked for the department of transportation, both said I didn't need anything besides the bike title and a passport... (i speak VERY little spanish so the conversation / translation is a bit rough)
So I decided to chance it...

a note on Cartagena Colombia... As i understand it...
Bike taxis own the roads out there but the car taxies are trying to put them out of business and are paying the Gov good money to do so. As a result there are all kinds of weird rules for motorcycles (like you can only ride every other day...). anyway if you drive after dark in Cartagena you WILL get pulled over by a police check point. When i got pulled over (moving the bike less than half a mile from the docs to the hostel) they asked for title, insurance, and passport. Asked me where i was going and how i liked the country and sent me on my way... As i´m answering questions the best i can in my shitty Spanish i look ahead and see a large truck, a ramp into the truck, and a bed full of motorcycles.... anyway scary but i wasn't their target and they were very respectful.

Leaving the country was just as easy as getting in. During the trip from Cartagena to Ecuador I was only stopped once at a military check point (i... ´´failed´´ to stop at two others) and the same questions were asked. Passport, title, how do you like the country, where are you going, enjoy.

I left the country with another bike traveler who had the proper paper work. When he went to turn in the temporary import permit he said the guy took the paper, didn't check the bike and say bye... There is no exit paperwork involved and they don't even look to see if you have the bike. The boarder was so relaxed id didn't even know i left the country till i saw the immigration office for Ecuador.

Bottom line (again my experience only)
Easiest country to get into or out of out of the 8 (or so) ive been through so far.
Cops/military who are either respectful/friendly or too scary to stop for.
Women are top notch.


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Old 5 Oct 2006
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Thanks for the info. How did you handle the salt on the bike.
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Old 5 Oct 2006
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100 fee

that $100 fine is legit though its aginst the captain of the boat that brought you in (not agianst you), so all you have to do is tell them a different ship name (preferable some large cargo ship that pulled in recently) and everone is happy (provided they didn't see you unloading the bike).

as for the salt, just wash the bike as soon as you hit dry land (there is a high pressure wash at the fueling dock by the yaht club) and i put a coat of silicon on the metal parts before loading the bike (oil is bad cause washes off and messes up the boat deck, making the captain angry) and that worked out fine for me.

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Old 6 Oct 2006
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well he said there would be a $500 fine against the cap and the $100 was to pay off 3 other people... so it didnt seem very legit.

but anyway i was never asked for the temp import permit and there was no exit procedure... just an fyi
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Old 9 Oct 2006
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Location: Santa Marta, Colombia, South America
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Nice one! Thanks for posting this. I did it the the other way round back in March 2005 with "Captain Mark" - Well worth doing. I intend sailing from Panama back to Colombia around the middle of November if anyone cares. Don't know who with yet. Interest folks??
How much does a man live, after all?
Does he live a thousand days, or one only?
For a week, or several centuries?
How long does a man spend dying?
What does it mean to say “forever”? - Pablo Neruda
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Old 15 Oct 2006
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Great information, this is just what we will be doing when we arrive in the end of November. Did you stay in Colon or Panama City and do you have any
suggestions for a nice hotel in Cartagena.

Max and Bonnie, two up on a KTM 950 Adventure.
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