What’s the security situation in Colombia?

You should not believe everything you read in the media, Colombia is possibly now the most organized and secure country in Latin America. Colombia has seen a incredible growth in GDP and living standard for it citizens over the last decade. Huge infrastructure projects have been and are being completed everywhere. It can hardly be called a 3rd world country any more – maybe 2nd world if that term exists and its a country full of paradoxes from super modern cities to Colonial villages where life have stood still for centuries. In the past decade under the last couple presidents, the country has seen enormous changes. The right wing paramilitary has for the most part laid down their weapons and the left-wing guerrillas FARC has signed a peace treaty negotiated in Cuba ending decades of unrest and resulting in president Santos receiving the Nobel peace prize.

What documents do I need to rent and ride in Colombia?
  • Passport with minimum 6 months until expiration
  • Valid tourist entry stamp from Colombian Immigration 
  • Driver’s license with clear motorcycle endorsement (international drivers license is a good backup, but not mandatory)
  • Valid credit card with sufficient funds to cover the security deposit hold
How do I make reservation?
  • First fill out our “Get Quote” form found on all pages or green button upper right hand corner.
  • Make sure to make your reservation well in advance.
    (A reservation is not valid before we receive a booking payment and confirm this in writing to you)
  • To pay your booking deposit please wait for a secure credit card online payment link to be emailed to you with a order confirmation.
  • We are also happy to receive a money transfer to one of our American, European or Colombian Bank accounts.
  • Finally we can issue a Paypal money request that can be paid online.
    (There is a fee of 3,5% added to the total for this option).
Am I insured?
    • All rentals include the Mandatory Insurance called SOAT, which includes Basic Medical Coverage for rider, pillion and any 3rd party involved in an accident.
    • We offer an Optional Damage and Theft Liability Reduction Insurance. The optional insurance reduces your damage and theft responsibility significantly. If you purchase this insurance your responsibility will be limited to a maximum deductible equal to the security deposit held on the bike = 10% of the commercial value of the bike in Colombia. The Security deposit depends on the bike model. If you decline the optional insurance you will sign separately taking full responsibility for all expenses including, but not limited to, damage, loss or theft and recovery of the vehicle. The insurance reduces, but do not eliminate responsibility for damage or theft and the rider must comply with all terms and conditions in the rental contract. Personal property is not covered. Neither does the Liability Reduction Insurance cover 3 party property. A Security Deposit will be held on your credit card before hand-over of the bike can take place and it is fully refunded once the bike is returned unharmed.
    • We recommend that you take out adequate Travel and Health Insurance, as well as Trip Cancellation Insurance as this is not covered by us.
    • We also recommend buying a membership with Global Rescue for Emergency Evacuation
What riding gear do I need?

There are no riding gear included in the Motorcycle rental or tour. We do have limited gear available to rent (but no boots are available).

We strongly recommend you bring your own helmet and riding gear for optimal comfort and safety. We also recommend that you use high touring boots and protective gear at all times while on the bike and you should carry a pull-over rain-suite on the bike at all times if your riding gear is not waterproof.

Full face or 3/4 DOT approved helmets are required by law in Colombia.

Can I expect that everything is exactly as described?

Most times yes, but please bring good spirit and an ability to stay calm and be patient as things sometimes take longer in Latin America. However, we are experts in finding solutions to everything that might happen unexpected, so rest assure you will be in good hands with Motolombia.

Can I leave extra luggage somewhere while on tour?

You can safely leave luggage at the hotels we recommend or at the Motolombia facility in Cali. It’s free of charge while renting or on tour with Motolombia.

Where will we sleep on tour?

This depends on which type of tour you are booked to join!

We normally stay in the best option available (Hotels, Guesthouses, Resorts and some of the nicest Boutique Hotels or private mansions) with focus on 4 main features: safety, cleanliness, great location and good service.

The tour price is based on sharing a room either as a couple or in two separate beds. Upgrades to single room is available on all tours.

Where will we eat?

Breakfast is usually served at the place where we overnight, if not the guide will arrange for breakfast elsewhere before we ride. Breakfast is always included.

Lunches, dinners and drinks are not included on tour.

We always do about 1 hour lunch stop along the route and at night the guide will suggest a local restaurant where the group has the option of dining together.

Vegetarian options are available most everywhere. Pescetarians will have good options for seafood and fish most everywhere. And meat lovers will be very happy!

Do I need to worry about altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is usually not a problem, you need to get quite high up to feel the effect of altitude. In Colombia we go up to about 4000 meters and in Peru we on some trips cross passes of up to 4800 meters. We avoid staying overnight at higher altitudes, but there are a few exceptions on our multiple country and Global tours. If in doubt feel free to ask us if the tour you are booking involves staying at altitudes that could possibly be uncomfortable for some.

Do I need to worry about mosquitos, snakes or other dangerous animals?

This depends on which tour you are looking to join. Generally in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina there are no issues. We recommend you consult with your doctor rather than guessing. Be aware that some malaria medicine have bad side effects.

We very rarely see animals that could pose any danger to us.

How many hours a day do we spend on the bikes?

Our typical day starts with breakfast between 6:30 and 8:00. Stand up at 8:00. We stop more or less every hours for a photo opp., water/toilet break or to fuel bikes. Between 12:00 and 2:00 we do a lunch break for about an hour and then we ride another 2-3 hours in the afternoon. Total riding per day is usually about 6-7 hours plus breaks. Some days we stop to do off-bike activities along the route that take longer.

Can I cross borders on the rental bikes?

We can arrange for a special permit to cross into Ecuador on individual rentals. This has an additional cost of $100 USD and needs to be arranged well in advance. It is not possible to bring the bikes into any other country without a guide.

On tour the experienced Motolombia staff will handle paperwork for the motorcycles at border crossings.

What happens in case of an accident?

The very first thing you need to do is get a hold of the guide or for renters contact Motolombia by tel. (2) 665 95 48 to inform and get guidance on what to do next.

If there are injuries authorities should be notified immediately. The mandatory insurance SOAT will cover injuries to 3rd party, rider and passenger.

Do not move the vehicles until the authorities have been notified and arrived on the scene. If the vehicles are moved before authorities have had an opportunity to make their evaluation this could affect how the insurance company will handle the incident and who the police will report as the wrongdoer.

If there is “only” property damage it is recommended that you attempt to make a deal on the spot with the involved parties and pay a reasonable amount for repairs to the 3rd party. Be aware that the insurances does not cover damage to 3rd party property.

If authorities arrive on the scene this could result in the vehicles being confiscated and fees for impounding, judges and lawyers could quickly become a lot. Be aware if you are at fault in such an incident motorcycle insurance will be a avoid and you will also be responsible for damages to the rental motorcycle. This is the case if you can not present an official police report.

What airlines fly to Colombia?

The nearest international airport is only 20 minutes from our facility in Cali and is called Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (Code: CLO).

There are many daily connections directly from Europe, USA, South and Central America and Caribbean islands. But there are even more options available with national connection through Bogota (40 min flight), Medellin (35 min. flight), Cartagena (1 hour flight) and several smaller Colombian cities.

Airlines flying to Colombia from Europe are KLM Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Iberia Airlines and Avianca Airlines.

Airlines flying from the US and South and Central America are American Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Avianca Airlines, Copa Airlines, Lan Airlines and Aeromexico.

And new airlines open up routes all the time.

What happens if I return the rental bike late?

We invite you to pick up the rental motorcycle as early as 8 AM on the start day, but we also require that you return it before 10 AM of the day of return. The rentals are therefor 24 hours rental days (effectivly 26 hours on the last day). We do NOT accept returns after 10 AM without charging an additional day of rental.

If you decide to keep the motorcycle longer than planed, please contact us as soon as possible to program the extension. We can not guarantee that extensions are available depending on other bookings, but we will try to accommodate you best we can. If you do not inform us about returning latethis will result in a penalty being applied to the additional charge for rental.

How much money should I bring to Colombia and what is the currency?

ATM’s are available most everywhere. The only real foreign currency that is fairly easy to exchange is US dollars, but also EUROS can be exchanged in major cities and airports. We strongly recommend carrying only small amounts of currency and rely more on taking out cash when needed. Travelers cheques are very hard to exchange in Colombia.

Will we reach the ocean for a swim?

We are all about AWESOME motorcycle riding. This is why the majority of our tours are in the central parts of Colombia in the Andes mountains where the most exciting motorcycle roads in the world can be found. The coastal areas are for the most part flat, straight and very hot and humid. We do reach the Caribbean coast on our Giant Loop of Colombia tour and all our multi-country tours reach the Pacific ocean. The coastal regions are of course also available on customized tours.

What’s the climate and temperature like?

Due to the geography and topography of Colombia temperatures will swing widely from nice summer temperatures in the valleys around 25 to 35 degrees Celsius to extremely hot in the coastal areas between 30-40 degrees Celsius and colder temperatures in the higher altitudes as low as 0 degrees. For most of the time during our tours temperatures will be between 15-30 degrees Celsius and the extremes only for short periods of time crossing a mountain pass

What percentage of the trip is off-road or on dirt roads?

We have divided our tours into 3 categories. All-Paved, Adventure All-Terrain and Expert Off-Roader.

All-Paved: usually means 90% of the route or more is sealed roads. These tours are ideal for riding two up and usually go to more touristic destinations and bigger cities with better infrastructure and accommodations. Occasional gravel driveways, construction de-tours and small sections of hard packed gravel can occur. Hot shower and WiFi guaranteed.

Adventure All-Terrain: is more adventurous with between 30-50% of gravel, dirt and other type terrain. Experience with off-road is required and an adventurous spirit needed as the type routes we use are constantly changing. Accommodation is more simple in there rural destinations where infrastructure is limited and less tourist go, but we always stay in the best option available. Hot showers and Wifi available most nights.

Expert Off-Roader: this format is designed for expert off roaders who enjoy being off the beaten track with minimum 50% of the route on gravel, dirt, car tracks and everything else you can imagine. It is absolutely required that you are excellent at riding off-road and can handle long days in the saddle in all types of terrain, including riding on road. Accommodation is more basic at the rural destinations where infrastructure is limited. Hot water shower and WiFi access is not guaranteed.

How many kilometers will we ride per day?

In South America you rarely speak about mileage to a destinations. Distance is more commonly referred to in time. So “how far is the ride between Cali and Medellin?” and the answer will be “8 hours of riding”, rather than the 420 kilometers that the odometer will read. The reason for giving distances in time is due to changing terrain, city traffic, mountains, curves, condition of roads and many other factors that make the concept of time rather than mileage a much more precise description on what to expect. So in terms of our daily mileage we usually prefer to say we ride between 6-7 hours per day which can mean 180 to 450 kilometers on the odometer. In general a 250 kilometer day is a BIG day.