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Old 07-17-2013, 10:22 AM   #76
NCK
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Here is my first list of places to see... adding to it every hour!



Casa Blanca Hostel

Bogotá, Bogota
Colombia

Shamrock Irish Pub - Medellin

Gaviotas, Meta
Gaviotas Off the beaten path, Gaviotas, about 100km southeast of Villavicencio, is a ‘green’ success story. The United Nations called the village a model of sustainable development, and Gabriel Garcí...

Palacio da la Inquisicion
The haunting Palace of the Inquisition is one of the finest buildings in town. Although the site was the seat of the Punishment Tribunal of the Holy Office from 1610, the palace wasn't completed until...

Parque Gallineral
Parque El Gallineral San Gil’s showpiece is the mystical Parque El Gallineral, a 4-hectare park set on a triangle-shaped island between two arms of the Quebrada Curití and Río Fonce. Nearly all of...

Museo histórico Policía Nacional
This surprisingly worthwhile museum not only gets you inside the lovely ex-HQ (built in 1923) of Bogotá's police force, but gives you 45 minutes or so of contact time with 18-year-old, English-speakin...

Plaza de Bolívar
Plaza de Bolívar The usual place to start discovering Bogotá is Plaza de Bolívar, the heart of the original town. In the middle of the square is a bronze statue of Simón Bolívar (cast in 1846), the wo...

Castillo De San Felipe De Barajas
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas The castillo is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. The original fort was commissioned in 1630 and was quite sma...

National Museum of Colombia
Museo Nacional Housed in the expansive, Greek cross-shaped building called El Panóptico and designed as a prison by English architect Thomas Reed in 1874. Walking through the (more or less) chronologi...

Catedral Metropolitana de Medellín
Catedral Metropolitana Overlooking Parque de Bolívar, Medellín's neo-Romanesque cathedral was completed in 1931. Its spacious but dim interior has Spanish stained-glass windows. Read more: http://w...

Pueblito Paisa
Pueblito Paisa On top of the 80m-tall hill known as Cerro Nutibara, 2km southwest of the city center, sits the kitschy Pueblito Paisa, a miniature version of typical Antioquian township. Views from an...

Cerro De Monserrate
Cerro de Monserrate To get a view of Bogotá from dizzying heights take the teleférico (cable car) or funicular to the top of Cerro de Monserrate (3160m/10,400ft), the mountain overlooking the city cen...

El Fósil
Estación Astronómica Muisca (El Infiernito) The Estación Astronómica Muisca (El Infiernito) dates from the early centuries AD and, like a sort of Stonehenge, was used by the Indians to determine the s...

Mompos, Bolivar
Mompós Minding its own business in the northern Colombian interior, Mompós is another colonial time warp. The atmosphere around here is certainly unique in Colombia - it feels more like the bayous of...

Puerto Triunfo, Antioquia
Río Claro Valley Thanks to Colombia's improving security situation, it is once again safe to visit the Río Claro Valley in eastern Antioquia, where a crystal-clear river has carved stunning shapes in...

Las Bovedas
Las Bóvedas These are 23 dungeons, built between 1792 and 1796, hidden within the 15m-thick city walls. These dungeons were the last major construction carried out in colonial times and were destined ...

Parque Nacional Los Nevados
Parque Nacional Los Nevados This snow-caked range of volcanic peaks - topped by the 5325m-tall (17500ft) Nevado del Ruiz - offers some of the most stunning views in the Colombian Andes, plus some fine...

Villa de Leyva, Boyaca
Villa de Leyva Villa de Leyva is a leisurely place made for wandering around charming stone streets, listening to the sound of church bells and enjoying the lazy rhythm of days gone by. It's still ve...

Popayan, Cauca Dept
Popayán Founded in 1537, this is one of Colombia's most beautiful old towns. Beautifully whitewashed, Popayán doesn't need to be tarted up for the tourist hordes - it's a living, breathing historic s...

Acuario y Museo Del Mar
Acuario y Museo Del Mar The aquarium and museum are on the seashore 2km northwest of El Rodadero. The aquarium has sharks, dolphins, turtles, seals and other marine species, and a dolphin show is held...

Museo de Arte Moderno
Museum of Modern Art Opened in the mid-1980s in a spacious hall designed by a revered local architect, Rogelio Salmona, the Museum of Modern Art focuses on various forms of visual arts (painting, scul...

Amacayacu National Park
Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Amacayacu Sprawling across almost 300,000 hectares, PNN Amacayacu is an ideal spot from which to observe the Amazonian rainforest up close. About 75km upriver from Letici...

Santa Fe de Antioquia, Antioquia
Santa Fe de Antioquia Another Colombian town that seems to have stopped dead some time in the 18th century, Santa Fe de Antioquia is in the heart of paisa (Antioquian) country. Cobbled streets, colon...

San Agustin, Huila
San Agustín One of South America's most important archaeological sites, San Agustín is made up of more than 500 statues and stone tombs from a civilization that existed long before the Europeans arri...

Casa Museo Hacienda El Paraíso
Hacienda El Paraíso Escape the city for a day and head to the old sugarcane plantations to see how the Colombian elite lived in the 19th century. Hacienda El Paraíso, a lovingly restored manor house, ...

Observatorio Astronómico
Conceptualized by celebrated Colombian botanist José Celestino Mutis, the 1803 tower is reputedly the first astronomical observatory built on the continent. It's possible to visit Monday to Friday at ...

SANTUARIO DE FAUNA Y FLORA MALPELO
Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo The center of the vast Santuario de Flora y Fauna Malpelo is Isla Malpelo, a remote Colombian island that has some of the best diving in the world. It’s a mere 1643m...

Tayrona National Park
Parque Nacional Tayrona Tayrona, with its beaches set in deep bays and shaded with coconut palms, is one of Colombia's most popular national parks. Some beaches are bordered by coral reefs, and there'...

El Tuparro National Park
Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) El Tuparro Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) El Tuparro is a 548,000-hectare nature reserve on the Venezuelan border, and the only national park in Los Llanos. This biosphere...

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá
Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral The hauntingly beautiful underground salt cathedral at Zipaquirá is one of Colombia's most fascinating attractions. The cathedral was born from an old salt mine, dug straight ...

Parque Explora
Parque Explora With exhibits on physics, biology and technology as well as a 3D cinema and an excellent aquarium full of species from the Amazon and other Colombian waterways, this is a science museum...

Puracé National Natural Park
Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Puracé Forty-five kilometers east of Popayán along the unpaved road to La Plata lies this 83,000- hectare national park. It’s the only place in Colombia you can see condo...

Colpatria Torre Colpatria
Colpatria Tower Monserrate offers superb views, but only from the 46th-floor outside deck of the Colpatria Tower can you catch a superb view of the bullring, backed by office buildings and the mountai...

Gold Museum
Museo del Oro Bogotá's most famous museum and one of the most fascinating in all of South America, the recently renovated Gold Museum contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold and other materials from ...

Mercado de Las Pulgas en Usaquén
Plaza Central de Usaquén It's best coming on the weekend for its flea market, which is at its most vibrant on Sunday. Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia...za/plaza-centr...

Parque Arví
Parque Arví Accessible by the fantastic new Cable Arví Metrocable (Linea L) from the Santo Domingo interchange (COP$3500 one way, 15 minutes), Parque Arví is a big chunk of mountain wilderness in Sant...

Bahía Taganga
Bahía de Taganga Taganga is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay and small fishing village just north of Santa Marta. It's fast developing into a backpacker hang-out and scuba-diving center, where you ca...

Islas del Rosario
Islas del Rosario Take a day cruise out to this archipelago of 27 small coral islands, now designated as a national park, the Corales del Rosario. Cruises depart year-round from the Muelle Turístico ...

Mercado de Bazurto
Mercado Bazurto For adventurous souls only, Cartagena's labyrinthine central market is both dirty and enthralling, an all-out assault on your senses. If it's marketable, it's for sale here: endless st...
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #77
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If there are any ADV riders out there with a garage I could use, I need to do a little teardown on my electrical and a oil change and I'd really appreciate it if I could swing by for like 8 hours and knock it out! I have all my own tools, just need the space...

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Old 07-17-2013, 04:48 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by NCK View Post
If there are any ADV riders out there with a garage I could use, I need to do a little teardown on my electrical and a oil change and I'd really appreciate it if I could swing by for like 8 hours and knock it out! I have all my own tools, just need the space...

Where are you now?
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:14 AM   #79
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Where are you now?
Panama City. Loading onto the Steel Rat tomorrow, in Cartahena by the 24th.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:49 AM   #80
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Panama City. Loading onto the Steel Rat tomorrow, in Cartahena by the 24th.
Argh ok, we on on the next sailing 12 August, currently in Nicaragua
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:37 PM   #81
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Argh ok, we on on the next sailing 12 August, currently in Nicaragua
Sorry to miss you! If yah'll want to streak down here overnight I know there were a bunch of cancelations and there's room
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #82
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Sorry to miss you! If yah'll want to streak down here overnight I know there were a bunch of cancelations and there's room
That could have been a good idea but we still have a bit to see in the middle.

12 August has changed from the 10 day to 4 day now
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #83
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I need new KLR forks, would love to find a pair in Colombia. I posted in flea but wanted to drop a note here too... http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post21936780
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #84
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Colombia folks - I happened upon a few friends who know the regional security folks at the US Embassy here in Bogota, and they offered to connect me with their people who know the national security situation to offer advice about routes to maybe skip. I figured - sure, why not? Can't hurt.

I was really surprised when I received the following advice. What do you guys all think of this? It's got me a bit spooked.

In general overland travel in Colombia is dangerous and we don’t recommend it with limited exceptions. (the North Coast, Cundinamarca, Coffee Country)

If he wants to use the mountains and an alternate route to Cartagena I assume he means the mountains to the East which would generally take him into Norte de Santander and the Catatumbo region. Both of which are extremely dangerous. If he stays on 45 and does not go East he should be ok but as I said we still don’t encourage it. If he does this trip I recommend he takes the same route back as the route he took on the way down thru Antioquia is more dangerous.

As far as the trip South. There are not many options to get thru Colombia and into Ecuador and all of them involve travel thru either Putumayo or Nariño and both of those areas are very dangerous and should be avoided. Bottom line is he should NOT/NOT drive thru Southern Colombia enroute to Ecuador.


In another exchange somebody cites the two kidnapped Spanish women in Santa Marta from last month and the other guy who was kidnapped recently but I can't remember where.

I'm not trying to start a thing here, I just want some honest and good advice about the above from people who know the country well.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:57 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by NCK View Post
Colombia folks - I happened upon a few friends who know the regional security folks at the US Embassy here in Bogota, and they offered to connect me with their people who know the national security situation to offer advice about routes to maybe skip. I figured - sure, why not? Can't hurt.

I was really surprised when I received the following advice. What do you guys all think of this? It's got me a bit spooked.

In general overland travel in Colombia is dangerous and we don’t recommend it with limited exceptions. (the North Coast, Cundinamarca, Coffee Country)

If he wants to use the mountains and an alternate route to Cartagena I assume he means the mountains to the East which would generally take him into Norte de Santander and the Catatumbo region. Both of which are extremely dangerous. If he stays on 45 and does not go East he should be ok but as I said we still don’t encourage it. If he does this trip I recommend he takes the same route back as the route he took on the way down thru Antioquia is more dangerous.

As far as the trip South. There are not many options to get thru Colombia and into Ecuador and all of them involve travel thru either Putumayo or Nariño and both of those areas are very dangerous and should be avoided. Bottom line is he should NOT/NOT drive thru Southern Colombia enroute to Ecuador.


In another exchange somebody cites the two kidnapped Spanish women in Santa Marta from last month and the other guy who was kidnapped recently but I can't remember where.

I'm not trying to start a thing here, I just want some honest and good advice about the above from people who know the country well.
Hmmm we have our ears open, we land in Colombia 16th August so keen to know the lowdown, contact Trevor Angel on here, he is DC Strom and and just travelled through there on his 12 Tenere.

Cheers Andi
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Two Moto Kiwis Home Page ..Danger Is Real ... Fear Is Optional
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:22 AM   #86
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I once contacted my State Department security people in a certain faraway country which was then recovering from a civil war. I had this fantasy that they would surely have timely, boots-on-the-ground information about which areas were unstable and which safe, useful travel protocols, etc. The specific country in question had essentially no tourists at all at the time, so reliable information was difficult to come by.

What I discovered was that State Department personnel were all strictly forbidden to leave the capital city under any circumstances--and even within that city their movements were limited, and they were required to travel in convoys using specified vehicles. They knew nothing whatsoever of any use to me, and worse yet seemed to have no idea that the information they did have was inaccurate, years outdated, and in other respects worthless.

This is the standard by which the US State Department operates. Really. It's perfectly possible that someone in a given consulate knows more than they're willing to tell you, but that does you know good because--no matter what logic might dictate--they're really not going to tell you. In any case, the norm is truly abysmal ignorance.

You'll note that I'm not telling you the abovementioned routes are safe or unsafe--I'm just telling you not to look to embassy staff for advice or accurate information.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:35 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCK View Post
Colombia folks - I happened upon a few friends who know the regional security folks at the US Embassy here in Bogota, and they offered to connect me with their people who know the national security situation to offer advice about routes to maybe skip. I figured - sure, why not? Can't hurt.

I was really surprised when I received the following advice. What do you guys all think of this? It's got me a bit spooked.

In general overland travel in Colombia is dangerous and we don’t recommend it with limited exceptions. (the North Coast, Cundinamarca, Coffee Country)

If he wants to use the mountains and an alternate route to Cartagena I assume he means the mountains to the East which would generally take him into Norte de Santander and the Catatumbo region. Both of which are extremely dangerous. If he stays on 45 and does not go East he should be ok but as I said we still don’t encourage it. If he does this trip I recommend he takes the same route back as the route he took on the way down thru Antioquia is more dangerous.

As far as the trip South. There are not many options to get thru Colombia and into Ecuador and all of them involve travel thru either Putumayo or Nariño and both of those areas are very dangerous and should be avoided. Bottom line is he should NOT/NOT drive thru Southern Colombia enroute to Ecuador.


In another exchange somebody cites the two kidnapped Spanish women in Santa Marta from last month and the other guy who was kidnapped recently but I can't remember where.

I'm not trying to start a thing here, I just want some honest and good advice about the above from people who know the country well.
Hey Nic,

As you know, went through some significant disturbances in the Caucasia area last Monday. Was assured by army guys that in this particular case the danger to a solo rider like myself were zero, that it was a local battle to raise goverment awareness of the damage being done by miners. Am north of Santa Marta currently and the B&B owner says for the first time in 7 or 8 years the larger hotel here is empty due to the nervousness of local travellers.

Like you, no idea what to believe. Thinking that the big ADV names here may tell us we're being pathetic pussies even talking about it!
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:39 AM   #88
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Colombia folks

I'm not trying to start a thing here, I just want some honest and good advice about the above from people who know the country well.
It's good to seek out information and advice, and the State Dept is one resource. But keep in mind that they will always suggest the most extremely cautious approach, usually over the top. Of course, on the other side of the spectrum would be to ignore any warnings and travel through places oblivious to any risks. I personally feel it's good to fall somewhere between those 2 extremes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post

You'll note that I'm not telling you the abovementioned routes are safe or unsafe--I'm just telling you not to look to embassy staff for advice or accurate information.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
+1 I knew State Dept staff in Panama and Suriname when we were in those two countries last year. The security advice that they had received was quite strict, not appropriate for the minimal security risk in those two relatively safe countries.

I won't offer you any specific advice on routes as I'm no expert and was there over a year ago anyways, but I hope that you enjoy whatever path that you take through that amazing country!
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #89
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Hi all. Thought I would throw my opinion in here as well. I am a Floridian living and working in Colombia for the last 18 months. Its great to get advise from the State Dept but also check out all the posts in this forum and tons of blogs throughout the net about Colombia and its people. I am living in the center of Colombia, literally about 45 minutes to the monument that marks the spot. We dont get many foreign tourists here. I dont speak Spanish, yeah I know 18 months and no Spanish WTF!....okay so I am a terrible student. but anyway my point is I am 200 lbs, a pasty white complexion and a full head of grey hair. I stick out like a sore thumb. I have never felt unsafe here in this town or when traveling around Colombia. I just spent 2 weeks doing the Bogota, Guatape, Medellin, Salento, Armenia, Bogota loop, in a car with my wife, son and cousin who was visiting us from the USA in July. We had a great time and only ran into friendly helpful people along the way. I ride a small Yamaha FZ16 around here and manage to get gas, tires and anything else I need with my terrible broken Spanish, finger pointing and a smile. The only thing I ever worry about is price gouging because they obviously know Im a Gringo but even that seems to only happen at about 1 of 10 places I may visit. I guess what I am trying to say and what most everyone says is be smart, use caution wherever you go but most of all GO and have a good time. Discover the real people of Colombia. The people that work hard to make a buck, just like you and me, that hope to take their family on vacation, just like you and me and that are interested in meeting new friends and hearing new travel stories, just like you and me. LIke someone once said on this forum THERE ARE A LOT MORE GOOD PEOPLE HERE IN COLOMBIA THAN THERE ARE BAD PEOPLE. Good luck and enjoy Colombia.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:39 PM   #90
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Panties

Unbunch your panties and keep driving-that would be my advice
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