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THE COFFEE LANDS

Read the original post and follow City of Myths's overland adventures on their website: CITY OF MYTHS, RIVER OF DREAMS.


Jose Velazques arrives just as the sun dips beyond the hills. He introduces his dog, a brown mongrel called Lucas Alberto Velazquez. Jose is shirtless and fizzing with nervous energy. He’s a campesino, he tells us,and he’s been working all day in the fields that slope down to the Rio Piedras. The hand that shakes mine is stained from the…

LOST CIVILISATIONS

Read the original post and follow City of Myths's overland adventures on their website: CITY OF MYTHS, RIVER OF DREAMS.


It takes a bit of commitment to reach Tierradentro, one of Colombia’s most important archaeological sites, though it’s definitely worth it. The legend on our map calls the track we’re on a “Secondary Road (partially surfaced)” and the heavy rains, and the trucks hauling agricultural produce, have left it pockmarked, greasy and in need of the occasional bridge. Today is…

IS THIS COLOMBIA’S MOST DANGEROUS ROAD?

Read the original post and follow City of Myths's overland adventures on their website: CITY OF MYTHS, RIVER OF DREAMS.


What does it mean when your friends recommend you drive the most dangerous road in Colombia? Find some new friends? Yes, quite possibly. The Devil’s Trampoline, also known as “adios mi vida” (goodbye my life) is supposedly a ‘must do journey…if a little hairy’. No kidding there!! You could be forgiven for thinking that the Devil’s Trampoline is a wacky…

Colombia – Bogota and Villa de Layva

Read the original post and follow Moglander's Travels's overland adventures on their website: Moglander's Travels.


a look down a street in the evening in Colombia
We have stayed in Villa de Leyva a little longer than expected.  No complaints as it is such a lovely little town. We were able to park our truck on a campsite called Hostal Renacer Colombian Highlands, a super place to park for a few nights while enjoying the ambiance of the…

Colombia 7 – Cartagena de Indias

Read the original post and follow Latin America Road Trip's overland adventures on their website: Latin America Road Trip.


7th December – After discovering that we are unable to visit the “Lost City’ of the Tayronas (Ciudad Perdida) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, without a guide and arrangements for a 6 day hike, we decide to stop at Camping Cantamar in Rodadero, shortly after Santa Marta on the coast.  We catch up with our South African friends…

Colombia Overland

Read the original post and follow Moglander's Travels's overland adventures on their website: Moglander's Travels.


When visiting a Coffee farm, where else would you park?
Colombia is right at the northern tip of South America. It’s bordering countries are Brazil, Ecuador,Panama, Peru and Venezuela. Colombia also can boast that it is the only South American country with coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It’s climate is great with tropical conditions along the…

Colombia – 7 The Caribbean coast and Parque Nacional Tayrona

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5th -6th December – Parque Nacional Tayrona is said to be  one of Colombia’s most unspoilt, tropical areas.  Its name came from the Tayrona Indians who once used this area as a major trading centre and lived a peaceful life there until the arrival of the Spanish.
Arriving at the park entrance we study the costs, as we have been…

Colombia 5 – Reserva Rio Claro, Zipaquira and the Catedral de Sal, Villa de Leyva and the Caribbean coast.

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25th November - It’s a long journey back east to Zipaquira from Medellin, so we plan to make an overnight stop at the Reserva Rio Claro, reached by a turning off the main highway between Medellin and Bogota.
Recent heavy rain prevents us camping down by the river and so we park higher up on dry ground behind the restaurant. Toilets…

Colombia 4 – Don’t miss out on Medellin!

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19th – 24th November –  Many people have told us not to miss visiting Medellin, Colombia’s 2nd largest city situated in the Aburra valley in the department of Antioquia and surrounded by mountains.  It is often called the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ because of its year round, spring-like weather and the production of flowers grown in the nearby villages, which…

Ecuador Market days

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Market Day brings everyone out.
Otavalo in Ecuador is home to one of the largest markets in South America . It has to be said it is one of the most enjoyable alfresco retail experiences we have had here.Up for grabs are handicrafts of every description – ceramics, jewellery,paintings, musical instruments, carvings and a dazzling  array of weavings and textiles.…

Colombia 3 – Discovering more about coffee at Hacienda Venecia, Manizales.

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9th – 18th November – We have decided that we would like to learn more about coffee production and have chosen to stay at Hacienda Venecia in Manizales, a fourth-generation, family-owned, working coffee farm.   It is considered to be one of the best places to learn about  Colombia’s coffee culture!
      
Manizales sits at an altitude of…

Colombia 2 – Salento and the Valle de Cocora.

Read the original post and follow Latin America Road Trip's overland adventures on their website: Latin America Road Trip.


8th November –  Salento is in the heart of coffee country and is one of the region’s earliest settlements.  The adobe buildings surrounding the main square are amazingly well preserved, with brightly painted roof trims, windows, doors and balconies.  There is almost a wild-west feel here, with guys in their straw hats and ponchos (ruanas), a slow pace of life…

Colombia 1 – The Southwest – Ipiales, Las Lajas, Popayan, Parque Nacional Purace, San Agustin and the Desierto Tatacoa.

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COLOMBIA
Capital – Bogota                Currency – Colombian peso (C$ or COP)          Language – Spanish plus indigenous languages
   
31st October – At the border crossing into Colombia we are issued with a visa for 90 days.  Although it takes a while to complete all the formalities everyone…

Tatacoa to Las Lajas

Read the original post and follow The Long Way South's overland adventures on their website: The Long Way South.


After a two day drive from Zipaquira, we ended up in the mysteriously beautiful Desierto Tatacoa.  Stopping for a roadside lunch of strawberries and ham & cheese sandwiches, we enjoyed the dry, warm air and talked about where we would camp for the night. 
We found a perfect little campsite towards the end of the road.  We parked the truck…

Headed to Quito, Ecuador

Read the original post and follow Worldwide Ride.ca's overland adventures on their website: World Wide Ride.


We decided to dry out and go the next day all the way to Pasto.

What was interesting is that there was no news or Internet coverage of the road closure at all. We initially heard of it from an Argentinean newspaper. Also the super nice people at Hacienda Guayabal in Chinchina emailed us to warn us that the road…

Our Pilgrimage To Buga, Colombia

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Most people who visit Buga, Colombia go to see the famous Basilica del Señor de los Milagros. The city receives over 3 million pilgrims per year. Within a few blocks of the basilica, you arrive to a sea of vendors trying to sell all manner of religious paraphernalia – crosses, Jesus paintings, figurines, rosary beads, the list goes on.

Basilica…

Stuck in cali

Read the original post and follow Worldwide Ride.ca's overland adventures on their website: World Wide Ride.


Starting out in the rain from the Hacienda we were sad to leave, but the rain did not last long. The drive is scenic and the only 4- lane road we have been on so far.

Arriving in Cali we headed for the famous Casa Blanca Hostel and Moto shop Motolombia run by Mike and Diana.

Fellow rider from Alabama…

Suesca to Salento… 200 Miles… 13 Hours…

Read the original post and follow Heather And Scotts Adventures's overland adventures on their website: Heather and Scott's Adventures.


Our early celebration of successfully skirting the western edge of Bogatá, with nary a traffic jam, probably jinxed us. Our celebration was mostly silent, but I know both of us were thinking the same thing, “hmm, that was easy.” Bogatá is notorious for horrible traffic.

Our 200-mile, 13-hour route from Suesca to Armenia

We had planned on driving either 150…

Don’t Go “Braking” My Heart

Read the original post and follow The Long Way South's overland adventures on their website: The Long Way South.


Leaving Villa de Leyva was a bittersweet feeling.  On one hand, we were leaving such a relaxed town and the beautiful Hostel Renacer but on the other hand, we were in for more adventure.  Browsing the map, we spotted a little town on Laguna Guatavita which would make a good stop for a night or two before heading through Bogota.…

Colombia’s Gem

Read the original post and follow The Long Way South's overland adventures on their website: The Long Way South.


We woke up to a beautiful morning in the town of Villa de Leyva, Colombia.  We had just spent about a week driving to get as far away from Cartagena as possible and needed to relax. We put the coffee on, set up our chairs and discussed what we would do for the day. It seemed as though we had…

Chinchina

Read the original post and follow Worldwide Ride.ca's overland adventures on their website: World Wide Ride.


The rain over night was very heavy, but by about 10 was a drizzle. We stopped by R2R moto to drop off a sticker and have a photo op. Unfortunately this was a statutory holiday and they were closed.

The day was spent in and over the mountains, and it was mostly raining, which sucked.

We stopped for a drink…

Rock Auto To The Rescue

Read the original post and follow Heather And Scotts Adventures's overland adventures on their website: Heather and Scott's Adventures.


By Scott
Before starting our trip to South America, I spent a couple months and a couple thousand dollars getting El Tigre ready for the journey. Most of that money was spent at RockAuto.com. Despite their barebones website, their prices, speed of delivery, and customer support is excellent (by the way, we are not sponsored by anyone).

Oops

They recently…

Colombia – We’ve Never Meet So Many Overlanders In One Country!

Read the original post and follow Heather And Scotts Adventures's overland adventures on their website: Heather and Scott's Adventures.


After our night with the super-friendly, gun-toting watchman in San Martin, we drove a slow, windy road south to arrive at the top of Chicamocha Canyon (pictured below). It was a stunning landscape so we decided to pay $5 to park overnight in the National Park lot, located conveniently next to the police station. Later, we learned that we could’ve…

Medellin

Read the original post and follow Worldwide Ride.ca's overland adventures on their website: World Wide Ride.


The next day we drove to the center of town to the bank on the main square. As soon as we parked this great guy started to chat us up. He was so funny. People here are SO friendly!

Now to head to Medellin (Meh-de-jene), which was the previous stronghold of Drug lord Pablo Escobar.

We then got on the…

Piedra Rica

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Now we had to reverse our route back 100 km to the highway 25 and then west towards Medallin.

The town was a bit flooded. The storm made the way back out the next day a bit more of a challenge on the dirt, but now mud sections.

We arrived for the 10 boat, which of course had left at…

Riot Gear and Nice Colombianos

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Two day drive from Minca to San Gil

After we stretched our legs and lungs in Minca, we were ready for the 2-day drive through the northeast corner of Colombia. We quickly gained an appreciation for how big Colombia is compared to the itty-bitty Central American countries to which we had become accustomed. Welcome to South America!
We had planned…

Mompox

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Well now we were up for an adventure. On Salvador’s suggestion we decided to make a side trip on our way west to the UNESCO site at Monpox. This place really is stuck in colonial times, and is WAY off the beaten track.

First there is the 60 km detour from the route to Medallin to the town of Manangue.…

Cartegena

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Next was Cartagena (car-the-hay-nah), one of the exotic places we have always wanted to visit. To get there you drive along a narrow isthmus.

There are poorer villages out along here, and they were slash burning which is a challenge to see how long you can hold your breath for while driving.

Its not too often you see an anteater…

Santa Marta

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Next we really wanted to visit Santa Marta, because of its historic significance. It was founded in 1525 by a Spanish conquistador, and it is the oldest existing city in Colombia and it was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia, and second oldest of South America. Simon Bolivar “the liberator of Colombia died here in 1830. We decided not to…