I've been trying to plan out the next trip as to where I'd like to travel to and bike. I have several locations in mind like South Africa, India, and Alberta Canada. However, I've always poked interest in South America. I' have been looking at traveling to Bogota, Columbia and touring to several locations. I would fly into the city from New York and my attractions would be Medellin, Barranquilla and perhaps, Cartagena.
If I actually make this happen I would look into staying there for a month on a very low budget. I'm currently planning this solo but would like to invite a friend or two who may be able to help out. Also, my spanish is very poor so it would be beneficial if I were with someone who spoke it fluently.
My experience, I've cycled across the U.S. the summer of 2014 from New York to California. It was an impactful journey and I would like to now explore the greater ranges of the world. I'll be using my Surly Long Haul Trucker to get around, and this time I'll be packing extremely light. i have plenty of time for planning as I have no set dates for departure as of yet. I'd really like to know from everyones experiences who has travelled and biked there. All help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the share! Has anyone else traveled to this location. I've been looking into riding from Bogota to Medellin, but also keeping aware of guerrilla groups that travel the area and countryside. This is something that would possibly worry me a bit but would be great to travel with someone. Still doing my research here, can anyone give any tips or recommendations? I've also thought about staying in Medellin as my base and traveling out from there to different locations throughout the month.
I visited Colombia last year but wasn't touring, though I biked in the department of Boyacá. I was in Bogota and a few departments to the north. I've done a fair bit of research about touring in Colombia, and 2 regions consistently come up as good touring areas. The "zona cafetera", comprised of the departments Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío, sounds excellent for touring. It's west of Bogota. I think that at least one British tour operator offers bike tours in that region, so that's usually a good indicator of an area's suitability for bike touring. The other region touring cyclists seem to especially like is the far south near the border of Ecuador. I don't know what the present-day security situation is like in that area.
Thanks for the information thus far. I'm still planing out this route and getting things into place before I make this happen, including my Spanish. My projected departure date is June 2016. I've been looking into several routes people have ridden in Columbia and I think I'd be interested in riding from Cartagena to Bogota. From what I've read it's best to do this in reverse but not entirely sure why. Can anyone recommend routes that would be safe to travel through? I've been thinking of riding the Pan- American route. I've also found a route along the Magdalena River. Now lots of the stories I've read were from blogs from cyclist who've travelled there. Though some were from 2005, I wonder if these routes are still in existence. I also was thinking about brining my Surly LHT for this trip. I would need new wheels and considered building a set with DT TK540 with Dura Ace 9000 hubs or DT hub. Not sure yet but I get deals on everything since I work at a shop. I'll get to the bike stuff later but wanted some help with routes if anyone can shed some light.
I've been looking into several routes people have ridden in Columbia and I think I'd be interested in riding from Cartagena to Bogota. From what I've read it's best to do this in reverse but not entirely sure why.
Well, Cartagena is at sea level, and Bogota is about 8,600 feet/2,600 m. As they say, "you do the math".
I've been researching routes, too. I suspect I read the same posting you found about the route along the Magdalena river. I'm considering the Zona Cafetera, possibly combined with the Magdelena River route. The south sounds nice but my friend doesn't want to go there because he's concerned about security there. The Caribbean coast doesn't sound that great for cycling, from what I've read. A few portions of Boyacá state would be good, but I was already there and I'd like to see new parts of the country. FWIW, we'll be riding on Bike Friday folders.
Thanks axoloti for the info, looks like I'll most likely be starting in Bogota. I've been looking into building a gpx route as I did on my trip last year using Basecamp. I was thinking of getting the City Navigator maps to use on my Garmin as a backup to other maps that will be used. Has anyone used gps while traveling through Colombia? Was planning this trip solo but have a friend who I met last year who said she wants to come. Do know her to well but I'm wondering if that could be a good idea. I usually travel solo but this is something to consider.