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  #1  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Thumbs up shipping bikes Panama to Colombia

Info for travelers – Panama to Columbia. We are currently in Portobelo Panama, leaving for Cartegena Colombia tomorrow aboard the ‘Melody’. This is the info we have gathered.
Lots of sailboats leaving for Columbia, but only a couple will take motorcycles.
Some ones that will take bikes:
-‘Melody’ Captain Marcos – email freshaircharters(at)yahoo.com
phone 6 669 9359 cost $275US per person and same for bike
-´Stahlratte´ – email info.steelrat(at)les-raisting.de phone 636 6032
-´Seeadler´ - Captain Guido email DLEL(at)sailmail.com ??
What I would do is try to contact one of these before reaching Panama City and set up a date to sail. Otherwise, go to one of the hostels in Panama City – Travellers or Mamalena(a better place to stay) (They are right beside each other), and check their bulletin boards and talk to backpackers. You will get many names of sailboats, all charging $250-275 for about 5 days from Portobelo (on the Colon side) to San Blas Islands for a couple of days, then on to Cartengena, Colombia.
Other than that head straight for Portobelo and hang out at the Drake where all the sailboat captains hangout and ask around (or someone will just approach you). Don’t count on it taking less than 5 days to arrange as the boats usually aren’t leaving for a day or five(or until they get enough people – usually 6-8), unless you have made previous arrangements and have a set day to sail.
Apparently getting more difficult to get bikes into Columbia this way as bikes are considered cargo and not supposed to arrive via sailboat – we will update when we get to the other side as to what we encountered.
Other option is to fly bikes via Girag (223-8328) or Copa (507 304 2660) out of Panama City to Bogota. Really easy to arrange – basically roll your bike into Girag, they do paperwork, and you buy your ticket to fly same day as your bike and Girag in Colombia will do paperwork at that end and you are rolling within 3 hours of landing. More expensive though – about US$650 for the bike and tickets for you $US250-290 via Girag and slightly cheaper via Copa. No problems with salt water on your bikes though…. Girag takes 2 days to set it up.
Sweet travels!!!
Arrived in Cartagena, no problems with bikes. Paperwork took a couple of hours. Captain´s agent stamped us in, we went to Hotel Holiday(Media Luna)near old walled part of city for the night, next morning picked up passports, went to DIAN to start moto import paperwork, went back to boat and unloaded bikes and rode to DIAN as they wanted to see them, waited around for more paperwork and were done easy. Couple of hours, no cost. One hitch - if we were asked how boats got here, were to say on a Colombian banana boat out of Colon, we were on sailboat, but were not asked. Need cheap moto vests here - mesh vests with day glo strips and license no on back and on back of helmet as well. Easy to get. Crazy city to ride in - but beautiful. Heading south tomorrow.
Bon Voyage!!
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  #2  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Good report.
Thanks for taking the time. :thumb
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  #3  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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definately!
this is exactly the information I was looking for!
thanks guys
david
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  #4  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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forgot to ask you guys how you went about getting your pasport and bike documents stamped out of panama.
david
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  #5  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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I would just like to add, because you are a tourist, you DO NOT require to wear a vest in Colombia. I was a little confused with the issue when i arrived, but after two months of travelling in Colombia i can personally confirm that they are nor required. The parerwork on the other hand, i sugest you have it readily available for inspection. You WILL be asked for this on several ocasions. There is a very strong policia and military presence throughout Colombia. Not to worry though, they are all very helpful and for the most part, not corrupt, compared to C. America anyway. Enjoy! Colombia esta major!!
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  #6  
Old 26 Apr 2007
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Hi
Captain of boat took care of stamping out passport in Porvenir as for the Panama mc paperwork-did nothing. (Captain controls your passports for the entire voyage - another good reason to have a reliable Captain...) Colombia is great - beautiful and friendly people. Police and army presence just there for your safety (and they love to talk to bikers - hope your Spanish is better than ours..) Great experience!!!!
And right about the vests - we have them tucked away..... don´t need them...
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  #7  
Old 27 Apr 2007
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Cool Don't HAVE to have vests but.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisandlori View Post
And right about the vests - we have them tucked away..... don´t need them...
I talked to some riders in Ushuaia that did NOT wear the vests and some that DID (I, and my partner did) and it seemed to me like the ones of us that wore them did NOT get stopped at checkpoints and such. We (my partner and I) were NEVER stopped and/or hasseled in any way. Seems that WITHOUT the vests, stops were frequent. If you have them why NOT wear them. :=)
Rick
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  #8  
Old 27 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMcD View Post
If you have them why NOT wear them. :=)
Rick
...because they look funny!
You will pass through literally hundreds of checkpoints in Colombia. Most waved me through, some didn't. I saw LOTS of local moto's pulled over and inspected, all wearing vests. The question was never asked when i was stopped. I really don't think it makes a diference if you wear it or not. It just depends on mood, boredom, luck and the current situation in that area. Here's a curious question: who has purchased insurance in Colombia and have been asked for it? There's a check point south of Cartegena on the way to Sincelleo?? where Dirty and i got stopped. They asked for out ansurance and impounded out bikes. A small bribe of about $25 each and we were off. I've travelled all of Colombia for 2 months and that was the only time i was asked to provide proof of Colombian insurance. Sounds like a shakedown to me.
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  #9  
Old 30 Apr 2007
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insurance in Columbia

Hi We did not get insurance and were stopped twice south of Cartagena and had papers checked, but were never asked for insurance. Everyone was more interested in the bikes and where we came from than even checking the papers. The only time we had a hassle about insurance was in Nicaragua when the police insisted that we needed an insurance decal on the bike (which of course you dont get) and we just played dumb, took back our papers and left.... He was just looking for something... we left him scratching his head.
When in doubt, no entiendo espanol and they get tired of you after awhile..
Cheers
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  #10  
Old 30 Apr 2007
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Smile Colon Is Seriously Dangerous

Hi, I've written various times my experience last year, shipping from Colon to Cartagena and getting unloaded into a launch in the middle of the night and dumped on a beach in Colombia. Cost of self + Honda 125 was $250. Entering Colombia illegally, rode 28 Ks to a police post. 6 a.m. and the duty cop could see himself filling paperwork for the next six months. Aked where we were going. Cartagena. Then please go to Cartagena. An eight hour ride, where both Immigration and Customs were unbelievably helpful - also thought we were crazy to have risked our lives on what we discovered, too late, was a smugglers' boat. As to Colon - the other biker I travelled with on the boat had a knife held to his throat. If you have to stay in Colon try the Harbor Inn out in what was the Canal Zone, Safe, friendly, big rooms with baths, a/c, $16-$18 a night with light breakfast. Colombia was wonderful. So was the rest of the trip south to Ushuaia - though could have done with more power riding across Patagonia against a headwind! Three flats in the rear tyre were the only troubles between Mexico and Tierra del Fuego (account on Blog at home. 160 Ks to the litre. I will be starting the ride north in June to Duchess County, NY. Not the best weather but, at 74, I don't like to delay and have a trip planned across China for '08.

Last edited by simongandolfi; 10 Jul 2007 at 09:55.
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  #11  
Old 5 May 2007
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Colombia to Panamà

I flew the bike with Girag from Bogotà to Panamà for $350. Simple and cheap.

Never had insurance in Colombia (anyway, what's insurance?), no vest, police all very friendly, taking me to hotels and giving me hugs and kisses. I suspect that the fact I look like their grandma may have something to do with that.
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  #12  
Old 14 May 2007
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Smile Vests, Shrimp And Beef

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMcD View Post
I talked to some riders in Ushuaia that did NOT wear the vests and some that DID (I, and my partner did) and it seemed to me like the ones of us that wore them did NOT get stopped at checkpoints and such. We (my partner and I) were NEVER stopped and/or hasseled in any way. Seems that WITHOUT the vests, stops were frequent. If you have them why NOT wear them. :=)
Rick
I never wore a vest - didn't have one. Young soldiers stopped me quite often to ask whether I had really ridden from Mexico and where did I hope to end up and what did my children and grandchildren think of my being away for so many months. I stopped occasionally on the crest of mountain passes to ask police if they knew the altitude (they didn't). I got lost in Bogota and two motorcycle cops, blue lights flashing, lead me right through to the PanAmericano. Officials and civillians were all kind, considerate and hospitable. I was never asked to show my papers. And I ate the best shrimp ceviche ever at a kiosk in the Plaza Centenario, Cartagena. Argentina is great for Hereford beef. My home is in Herefordshire. Give me Colombia every time...
(blog at home)
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  #13  
Old 6 Jun 2007
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bikes AND trucks

looking to get 2 bikes and a truck from panama to columbia. any hints or answers out there? or leads, for that matter.
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  #14  
Old 6 Jun 2007
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shipping

I have info, and am looking for someone to share a container with for next week. There's a boat leaving on the 17th, hopefully another sooner. I have a van and can fit in one, maybe even two bikes. PLEASE contact me! The company I may deal with is Barwil Agencies, but there's also Marfret who are supposed to be cheaper. I've been the name of juan carlos leon from oceanus maritima de panama,236-6954. When are you going?? Where are yu now???
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  #15  
Old 19 Jun 2009
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Motorcycle passage panama-colombia

Metacomet is a 75ft motorcrusier that has been on the scene now for 3 months and running passengers and motorcycles to and from panama and colombia with great sucess.

Check out the website: Sailing Passage to Panama San Blas - Cartagena, Colombia Experience Kuna indian culture

Very professional service, bikes are well taken care of, covered and secured. The capt. is a rider himself so he takes particular attention to detail for the bikes themselves.

The price per person is $385 and per bike is $350, which is $35 cheaper than other boats.

Capt´s name is Herve, he´s French and is speaking English, Spanish and French.
CONTACT: Panama 6777 1876
Colombia: 310 642 0597
EMAIL: metacometpassages@yahoo.com

NEXT DEPARTURE FROM COLOMBIA is Tuesday June 23 or Wed. June 24
NEXT DEPARTURE FROM PANAMA, Puerto Lindo, is JULY 5/6
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