There are several gems in South America that have been added to MotoQuest’s list of adventures, each one being picked with careful consideration. The addition of Colombia to our roster of amazing trips was truly a no-brainer as its topography makes for some of the most incredible riding the continent has to offer. Add in its rich culture and you have a trip to rival any destination on our calendar.
Coming off an incredible custom tour of Colombia this past April (which we’ll speak to at the end of the email), we’ve asked Brenden Anders to be your guide into why Colombia is a worthwhile trip, especially when adventured on two wheels. The custom tour was actually the inspiration for the new itinerary that will be experienced this October 6th – 18th. And yes, you’ll visit Pablo Escobar’s ranch and museum – we know you were curious. Will you join us?
I often find myself talking to other travelers about the difference between ‘airport hopping’ and true overland travel. You can fly into any international airport around the world, stay in the adjoining city and get a taste of the culture, history and cuisine, but it can sometimes feel like a watered down experience. What I really look forward to after arriving at any destination is hitting the road. It’s the smaller dots on the map between major cities that I think really define the country and expose you to the people that make any culture unique.
Traveling overland, visiting these small colonial towns and rural areas are the stand-out experiences during our Colombia Valleys of the Andes ride. Don’t get me wrong, Medellín and Cali are great, but if I have some extra time in Colombia I think you will find me in Salento, or Villa de Leyva, or even possibly eating fried ants at a roadside stand in Chicamocha Canyon.
Colombia is an incredible, modern and up-and-coming country that is quickly shaking its old, unsafe reputation. Every major city in the world and most countries have areas that are not recommended for outsiders to visit, and Colombia is no exception. On our ride we avoid these areas, utilizing a combination of local knowledge and careful planning to run a very safe and enjoyable itinerary. The influx of tourism in recent years has created a very friendly environment for travelers, all the while keeping the heart and soul of Colombia intact. This makes for a very authentic and rewarding experience.
In pursuit of world-class overland travel, our itinerary features a wonderful balance of quaint colonial towns and mid-sized modern cities, with just a dash of metropolitan population centers like Cali, the Salsa dancing Capital of the world. The locations we visit are scattered at varying elevations throughout the three cordilleras (or mountain ranges) of the Andes. You can imagine that this makes for some world class riding.
We start the trip in the shadows of the western cordillera, as we travel the Cauca valley from Cali to near Medellín. We rotate clockwise, also visiting the central and eastern cordilleras. Constant elevation changes, corners, twisties, rivers, mountains and amazing views. Riding in Colombia is a thrilling experience.
As you carve through the thick vegetation and rolling plantations your senses are overwhelmed. Explosions of color burst through the jungle as you pass remote fincas accented with every color of the rainbow. The fresh earthy scents of plantations and lush jungle alternate as the kilometers tick by. The suddenly cool or warm air through your suit is noticeable as you constantly ascend and descend the winding mountain roads of the Andes. This goes on for hundreds of kilometers every day, and is only interrupted by world-class coffee stops and boutique-style hotels. There are worse lives to live.
Words and even photos really don’t do justice for the beauty experienced on our adventures in Colombia, and oftentimes there just isn’t a place to stop along the road for photos. This, I hope, has piqued your curiosity for a land that I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled more than once. I just returned from my fourth trip to the country and can’t wait to experience it again this fall. Are you ready?
Custom Tours – Another Way To Explore
The most recent trip I guided in Colombia was a small private tour with just three other riders. With the customizable tour, we were able to try out a new itinerary, and it was a real winner.
Custom Tours are becoming very popular with our riders. Many times a group will want to go with us, but they want to choose different dates than what we are offering on our tour menu, or tweak the itinerary slightly to accommodate their particular tastes. We have sent custom tours to more than 20 countries, with our most recent being in Colombia. We aren’t in the business of saying “no” – even on our regular tours – and we work diligently to make sure that whatever you dream up becomes a reality. If you’re interested in curating your own tour that would be a memorable experience for all, reach out today to learn more about a custom adventure.