The Colombian Motofiesta
The old saying goes ‘A guest is always as welcome as God himself’ and we believe that the Colombians are a perfect reflection of this sentence. Hospitality, friendliness and diversity – these three words describe the inhabitants of this unique country, where a tourist is not treated like a client, but like a guest; a country famous for its coffee plantations admired all over the world. Through the tops of the Andes, the jungle, to the shores of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the Columbian diversity manifests itself not only in the landscape, but also in food and attractions. We can visit there the monuments of ancient civilizations, go crazy at the colorful festivals, calm down in the jungle or talk to the local people at the markets.
To quote the Colombian Ministry of Tourism, we can assure you: “The only risk is that you will want to stay forever!”
If the description above makes you want to admire the beauty of the local exotic nature, what would you say if we told you that you can do it all on a motorcycle? The roads are made mainly of asphalt, but there will be also some gravel surface. Anyone, even a novice motorcyclist, will do just fine. We avoid the main routes and use side, less frequented roads not only to avoid crowds and traffic jams, but also to discover the most charming places in Colombia. However, there will be no shortage of convenience and comfort during the trip. We provide you with the stay in trusted hotels with private bathrooms and WiFi access.
THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS
El Peñón de Guatapé – the monolith created millions of years ago, consisting mainly of quartz, feldspar and mica, about 220 m high with an estimated weight of 66 million tons. In 1940, it was declared a national monument by the Colombian government.
San Gil – a city which is known mainly for the possibility of practicing extreme sports in almost all forms – we decide to go rafting.
Parque Nacional el Cocuy – we will pass this little-known, beautiful mountain National Park, climbing up to 4000 meters above sea level in some places.
Medellin – a city tour with a visit to the property which belongs to probably the most famous drug cartel boss, Pablo Escobar. You can even play a paintball game there now.
Candelaria – the old town in Bogota, a city with over 10 million inhabitants located higher than the Polish Rysy plus the entrance to Monserrate with a beautiful panorama of the city.
We start and end our journey around Colombia in Bogota, its capital. During the almost two-week trip, we will travel about 2000 km. It will be an active holiday, but without any unnecessary stress.
Our vehicles in Colombia are the not available on the European market Yamaha XTZ250 motorcycles which work great on the roads of that country. We will be not accompanied by a luggage car, so it is necessary to carry all of our equipment on the motorcycle.
Our journey is not only about riding a motorcycle, but also discovering the charms of both larger cities and small villages. We will be accommodated in the hotels with private bathrooms, fresh bedsheets and internet access.
Riding through the Andes, we will visit the world-famous El Penon De Guatape, the bustling Bogota and the extreme San Gil, offering many tourist attractions. There will be also a chance to relax in places distant from civilization, get familiar with the culture of the inhabitants of South America and have a taste of the local cuisine.
So if you like to combine the active leisure with collecting impressions, this trip is for you!
Sesquile – Tauramena; 199 km; about 7 hours ride.
Our day will start with a traditional Colombian breakfast and discussing the schedule. After complying all of the formalities of picking up the motorcycles we will head towards Tauramena. The beautiful route will be leading us downhill basically all day long. The air may feel quite crisp for the first part of the day, but it will get warmer with each passing hour. The real tropical climate will welcome us in Tauramena.
Tauramena – Duitama; 175 km; 4,5 hours ride.
In the morning we will visit the little-known waterfall, under which we can take a bath and relax in the hot weather. This place is quiet and hidden from the beaten track. We can get there by gravel road, but the last part is a walk through the jungle. On the way we will go through the suspension bridge. After a bath, we will start riding motorcycles to the east Andes cordillera. The landscape will change very much. It will become more deserted and raw than before. At an altitude of 3300 m above sea level, we will taste the unique mountain cheese, which is produced only in this part of Colombia, from a mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk. We will also visit the area of Laguna de Tota – the highest located lake in Colombia (3030 m above sea level), where we will eat dinner and rest a bit. Then we go to Duitama and our accommodation at Pueblito Boyacense. It’s a mini town in Duitama, designed by the best architects and artists from the city. It’s style combines the special features of the 5 Colombian departments, and the whole looks just phenomenal.
Duitama – El Cucuy; 173 km; 6.5 hours ride.
As usual, we will leave after breakfast, but this time north. The first part of the day will guide us through curvy roads with high quality asphalt. In the second part of the day we will ride on gravel roads carved in rocks. We will visit the second highest situated city in Colombia, then we enter the pass at the height of 4,200 m above sea level, where there is an extremely different vegetation than anywhere else. The views will be amazing. We will be enchanted by the endless fields of paramo shrubs existing only in the high – northern Andes. If we’re lucky will see a view of the snow capped peaks of the El Cocuy National Park. We will rest in a modest, but very nice hotel in the town of El Cocuy.
Day 5 AND 6
El Cucuy – San Andres; 140 km; 5 hours ride,
San Andres – San Gil; 143 km; 4.5 hours ride.
We will admire the mountain views, but different than before. From the altitude of 2700 m above sea level where El Cucuy is located, we will go to the Santander riverbed at 700 m above sea level, only to climb using beautiful corners on over 3000 m above sea level again and this will not be the end yet. From there, we will again go to 1500m above sea level where we will spend the night in a beautiful and atmospheric town. We will stay at a hotel with a local standard. Do not worry – it will definitely be clean and safe with a tasty breakfast. In addition, the beauty of this route is enhanced by the fact that many of its parts run through the gravel road. It will not be a technically demanding expedition, but to be safe and make it with a smile on our face, we will divide it into two days. Our destination will be San Gil. The last stretch before San Gil will lead through the spectacular Chicamocha National Park. In total, we will travel about 300 km during those two days.
San Gil; rest day; rafting
First week of Columbian adventure and many kilometers wound on the wheels of our motorcycles are behing us. Both we and our machines will need rest and regeneration. That is why we will leave the motorcycles in the friendly wash and service for inspection and dirty clothes in the laundry. We will go to a hotel with a swimming pool, which is our base for the next two nights. You can not get bored in the town of San Gil. It is famous for having the best infrastructure for extreme sports in Colombia. We will definitely try some of these sports. We will be able to take part in crazy rafting on the Suarez River or take a paraglider flight over the canyon of Chicamocha. Those who have the need to rest and catch up with European civilization will be able to do this in a hotel, sipping drinks over the pool. And those who are indestructible and always ready for the new impressions may find their paradise on earth!
San Gil – Villa De Leyva – Otanche; 302 km; 7.5 hour ride,
Rested after two nights without a motorcycle, we will start the day early in the morning becausethe is a long section waiting for us. First, we will go to Villa De Leyva where we will visit the largest and the most bizarre clay house in the world. We will have a delicious dinner at the Peruvian restaurant. Then we will move west where the scenery will become more hilly and green. We will spend the night in a small town famous for extracting emeralds. It will be an opportunity to purchase first-hand emerald green souvenirs.
Otanche – Guatape; 270 km; 7 hours ride,
We will have breakfast in the early morning with a view of the green mountains. Next, we’ll go on the road where for the first 3 hours we will ride through the real jungle. We will be able to see waterfalls and streams, lush vegetation and beautiful birds and butterflies. This day will remain in our memory for many years. We will spend the second part of the day on asphalt roads. We stop for a dinner where there is also an opportunity of paragliding flight in tandem over the Cocorna valley. We check in at the hotel with a swimming pool and views of the region with it’s biggest attraction of El Peñón de Guatapé in the afternoon. In the evening, our befriended chef will prepare a delicious dinner for us.
Guatape – SonSon, 126 km; 3.5 hours ride,
The monolith that we admired the previous evening from the hotel terrace will now stand in front of us. Only 707 concrete steps divide us from it’s peak. When we happily put a foot on the top of the rock, we’ll see a panorama that will remain in our memory forever. On each side, we will be surrounded by beautifully shaped waters and El Embalse Peñol-Guatapé bays. Enjoying the view, we will drink the fresh fruit juice. The route will be with good asphalt and many corners that we all love so much. On the way, we will stop at nice restaurant for dinner. In the evening we will reach the famous coffee-producing town of Sonson. We will visit the most beautiful corners of the town and have a rest before starting another day of our adventure.
SonSon – Salamine; 90 km; 4 hours ride,
After breakfast and a cup of regional coffee, we will set off to conquer ‘Zona Cafetera’. The road will be almost exclusively covered with gravel, full of beautiful views, which will include beautifully maintained coffee plantations. Tourists rarely go to this area, so the whole day including dinner will provide us with the feeling of discovering new territory. We will feel it for sure during dinner, which we will eat in a small town that can not be reached by any asphalt road. We will stay overnight in a colonial-style hotel to get some rest after the day-long offroad riding.
Salamina – Mariquita, 160 km; 5.5 hours ride,
In the first part of the day, we will stay on gravel roads, this will be the last off-road part of this trip. We will stop to take pictures of wax palms. The highest can reach a height of up to 50m! There will be many valleys on the way, where we will be able to see how local residents deal with the transport of goods between the mountains using special rope lifts. We will spend the second part of the day on asphalt roads. They will take us to a hotel with a swimming pool where we will spend the evening and another night.
Mariquita – Bogota; 190 km; 4.5 hours ride,
In the morning there will be time to take advantage of the offer in our hotel, such as: the possibility of fishing, using the pool, admiring the walking flamingos or a great restaurant. We are only a four and a half hour drive from Bogota on beautiful asphalt curves. After crossing the bridge over the main river of Colombia – Rio Magdalena, from the height of 200 m above sea level, we will go to the capital of the country lying at 2600 m above sea level. On the way, we will stop to photograph the panorama of the Magdalena valley stretching to the horizon. In good weather you can see from there, 70 km to the west, snow-capped peaks of three volcanoes.
Bogota – Departure
After breakfast, along with those who have enough time before departure and a desire to explore, we will set off to explore the most interesting places in the capital of Colombia, and there are a lot of them. Certainly, the famous Monserrate is one of them, from which the peak (3152 m.n.p.m.) offers a spectacular view of the city. Fortunately, we will not have to climb it, but we will use a comfortable cable car. Probably only then will you realize how big this city is – Bogota currently has over 10 million inhabitants. We will visit the old town, enjoy a delicious dinner, and then head for the most famous and richest gold museum in the world – Museo del Oro, which exhibits over 30,000 exhibits.At lunch time, we will go for the steaks to a friendly restaurant where, with a glass of good wine, we will discuss our two weeks adventure day after day. Of course, some of those attractions can be limited due to flight hours. And finally, time for the transfer to the airport and a farewell.
DATES AND PRICES
Date: 5th February – 19th February 2022
Price: 2 600 € per rider
The price includes: transfers from and to the airport in Colombia, accommodation in a double room with breakfast (extra charge for a single room – € 600), Yamaha XTZ250 motorbikes rental for the duration of the stay, a Polish resident as a guide on a motorcycle, tickets to all attractions (visiting a clay house, climbing el Peñol, cable car rides to Monserrate in Bogota), travel insurance.
The price does not include: plane tickets, motorcycle fuel, any meals other than breakfast and own expenses.
●The total area of Colombia is equal to that of France, Spain and Portugal combined.
● Colombia is the only South American country with simultaneous access to the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
● It is called the “gateway to South America” because of its location: it lies at the point where the North, Central and South America meet.
● It is part of the Ring of Fire – countries prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
● Colombia has the second highest number of the national holidays per year in the world due to its cultural wealth.
● Colombia has the highest number of endemic species; the species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
● It’s Shakira’s home country.
● Children drink coffee after lunch from an early age. Of course, while adults drink strong black coffee, children can have a milder version with milk.
● Colombia is the place where the legendary El Dorado was supposed to be located.
● The country provides as much as 60% of the world’s emerald production.
● Each major city in Colombia has its own nickname: Bogota is called the Athens of South America, and the world’s salsa capital, Cali, is called the Branch of Heaven.