Colombia

Border: Colon – Cartagena

For shipping information refer to our The Darien Gap – Shipping Your Rig section. The border here is a piece of cake if you sail the San Blas Islands. Basically, the vehicle export part is handled during the shipping process. The passports are handed over to the captain for sailing and when you get them back in Cartagena, they’re all stamped up and ready to go. Easy.

Our Route

Colombia Tips

  • Colombia is not the Colombia of 10 years ago you will hear horror stories about. The people are amazing, the roads are safe to drive with numerous checkpoints, and there are lots of places to camp and hostels/hotels that will accommodate for good prices.
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of money at the peajes! Virtually every road you can drive on in Colombia is a toll road. We went through dozens and dozens of them and they range from $4 to $7 a pop. We spent well over $100, prob closer to $200 just driving.
  • The Refugio de la Roca at the La Mojarra climbing area–whether you climb or not–is one of the most beautifully stunning hostel/camping places we have ever laid eyes on. Amazing place, exquisite views, and it’s built right on the side of the cliff. It’s between Bucaramanga and San Gil. Amazing, go there.
  • Suesca is the best climbing in Colombia and not to be missed if you have trad gear.
  • If you hike Monte Cerade in Bogota, don’t bring anything you care about with you (see our The Most Expensive Picture I’ve Ever Taken – Ups and Downs on the Road post)
  • Seemed like south of Cali it’s best to find a hotel or hostel with parking if you’re going to lay up in a city. Stealth camping on the streets of this area would be risky (and we stealth camped 100% of Mexico’s entirety). You look at the street during the night and not a single car will be seen anywhere. Everything is locked up tight behind iron and spikes. Fortunately, you can get a hotel room with private bath for $10 in this next of the woods. Take advantage, it’s a nice change of pace from camping and hostels.

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The Most Expensive Picture I’ve Ever Taken – Ups and Downs on the Road

Ups – Epic Climbing, Awesome People, and Beautiful Country

We finally left San Gil after staying there for far longer than we had planned. We drove to Villa de Leyva, a beautiful little colonial town surrounded by mountains. The hostel we parked at was very nice and we stayed in the quaint little spot for an extra day because it was so mellow and relaxing. Read More

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How To San Gil

  • Drive over insane, semi-littered, single-lane, winding, mountain pass road like a maniac 4 times
  • Watch wife swim a class 5 rapid on the Rio Suarez… underneath the raft
  • Go very, very budget bungee jumping
  • Swim in a giant waterfall
  • Drink lots of beer and play a game where you score points blowing stuff up by throwing things at explosives
  • Go rafting again. Repeat class 5 but without your guide, backwards
  • Walk on water in a local pool
  • Get tattoos in the middle of Colombia

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