We have six weeks to cycle/bus about Colombia. Our starting point is Quito, Ecuador (we live there) and we don't want to fly. We want to avoid larger cities if possible. We are slow and steady on our bikes and go about 60km to 80km a day, depending on weather/road conditions.
We are thinking about trying to reach the Caribbean coast, to do the 'Lost city' hike, near Santa Marta. We have heard many positive things about cycling in Colombia but would like more info on road conditions, getting the bikes on buses,if possible and safety when wild camping.
What have your experiences been? Where would you skip out if you did your route again? How easy/difficult is it to take bikes on the bus?
Please don't judge us for taking the bikes on the bus! We want to do a tourist type trip and not be too exhausted when we return to work! :)
May the wind be always on your back!
just sent u email, hope u got it and best wishes ,
We did get your message! Thanks for your input and thoughts. I also think we have spoken through the forum before!
I noticed your post regarding bringing bikes on buses in Colombia. Did you do so on your trip? If so, do you have advice to share? I will be flying into Bogota with a bike and would like to combine bus travel with biking (using buses for the long highway sections of my itinerary and biking for the beautiful small towns and parks).
Any advice on bus lines, procedures, fees - and overall hassle - would be so appreciated!
It is quite easy to bike and bus in Colombia. We only paid once for our bikes to go on a bus and that was coming out of Cartagena. We paid $20 for each bike to get to Calí. a rip off I know, but we had already bought our own tickets for the bus. Sometimes we had to take our front wheel off to fit the bikes in the bus luggage area as it was quite full.
As for riding. I hated cycling out of Bogatá. It was raining and the road to Zipaquirá for the first while was very busy. I also did not enjoy riding into Barranquilla, a busy port city.
However, I loved riding on Sundays with local cycling groups. They always offered cheers and encouragement. I loved the ride up the mountain fro Villa de Leva to Tunja, finding the back roads from Zipaquirá to Villa de Leva and staying in some grotty places along the way! I loved riding along the coast from Santa Marta to Cartagena.
Buslines - Bolivarina is one we used as well as transIpiales, I think.
I would recommend getting a mapa de Ruta published by IGAC (instituto geográfico Agustín Cadazzi) It is aimed at car drivers but is useful enough for cyclists too. We used it to plan routes away from the main roads.
Another thing I should mention is that when we cycled this route (1.5 years ago0 there was little to no accommodation between Pasto and Popayán and the road to San Augustín was not recommended to cyce due to a FARC risk. If you plan to do this stretch I would suggest you ask local people about the risks there. I have not cycled it but I know people who have, without issues.
I hope this info helps. If you have any other questions, Please just ask! I will try to answer.
So, im planning doing Bogotá, Medellin, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta. How is the bus transportation from one city to the other and is it good to take the bikes to the rest of the cities, i know Bogotá its super bike friendly, but what about the rest of the country? Please let me know your experience :).
Hi I saw where you were previously asking for information on biking in Colombia and taking your bike on buses I was planing on biking there this winter and was wondering if you wouldn't mind passing along any of your collected info and experience thanks very much Dale
Cycling in Colombia and using buses is relatively easy. In my experience I have made some bicycle trips with four saddlebags and used buses between main cities. I usually arrive at the bus terminals, I buy the bus ticket, and when I go to board I present the bicycle. The drivers have not presented a problem, but sometimes they ask for extra money for the dimensions of the bike that can reach from 4 to 8 US (If they charge you 20 US they are crazy and they are seeing you the face of foreigner). As I say, there is no problem between capital cities because they use large buses. Buslines - Bolivarino is good!
In the case of small cities or towns, there may be a problem because the buses are smaller.
Any question let me know. Regards!
Are you Colombian? I am a female 53 years old beginning a bike tour through Colombia and would like to camp as much as possible. Is that cool? I dont mind being in campgrounds, what do you know about their availability?
When will you go to Colombia? I was thinking we should do some comparative note sharing. We arrive the 14th Jan in Bogota (my wife and I). We’re taking our camping stuff, heading north to Baricharra, taking it slow given the climbs and altitude issues. We’re experienced cycle tourists but Colombia is terra incógnita for us.. George and Patti Baumgardner. [email protected]