Now You Can Explore the Most Beautiful Parts of Colombia by 4WD
Motolombia started out as a motorcycle tour and rental company to help introduce motorcyclists to the beauty of Colombia – and in particular, its off-the-beaten track destinations. We’re talking about the sorts of places where busloads of tourists rarely venture. Not because they’re not worthy of outside attention, but quite often because they’re not so easy to reach by conventional means. But with the right set of wheels, entire parts of the country suddenly ae unlocked, making so much more of the country free to be explored.
But what if you can’t, or don’t want to ride through Colombia on a motorbike?
We’ve always felt that anyone with an adventurous spirit and a desire to see the “other” side of Colombia should still have the opportunity to visit some of these amazing but hard to get to destinations.
So, in the spirit of encouraging more intrepid souls to see Colombia beyond the “Gringo Trail”, the team at Motolombia have put together a series of 4WD guided expeditions.
Join a guided 4×4 tour, leave the driving to the experts, and see the best of “hidden” Colombia, without having to worry about getting lost or the joys of roadside “makeshift mechanicking”. Colombia is an adventure traveller’s paradise, and if you can’t go adventuring on two wheels, we say do it on four wheels! And if they’re the kind of wheels that eat dirt, mud and sand for breakfast, all the better!
Guided 4WD Tours in Colombia – Why They Are Awesome
Colombia is a country of wild, empty coastlines, remote deserts, immense mountain ranges and vast tracts of uninhabited montane forest and jungle. The sheer number of different ecosystems and wildly varying landscapes all connected with one densely concentrated patchwork make Colombia one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. It’s a country in which long-distance travel is extremely rewarding. Certainly, with some planning, it’s possible to travel throughout much of Colombia without your own transport When it comes to overland travel, your main options are:
Traveling in Colombia by bus
The majority of visitors to Colombia make use of the country’s network of public buses to travel long distances between locations, and there’s a lot to be said for that. They’re a cheap, comfortable and easy method for visiting just about all of the major cities and popular attractions in Colombia.
However, bus travel is frequently slow in Colombia. The humble autobus isn’t built for speed and agility on those twisty mountain roads (i.e. Colombia’s main highways). Then there are the inevitable traffic jams, endless passenger pick-ups, numerous roadside pit stops (always in the most uninspiring places imaginable).
Long distance travel by bus takes time (sometimes much more than the timetable/guidebook advises) and there are some places an ostensibly city and highway only vehicle simply can’t venture.
Travelling by private vehicle in Colombia
Travelling in a private vehicle shortens those huge distances considerably, allowing you to see so much more in a shorter space of time.
For those unwilling to rent and a vehicle drive themselves (understandable, given the challenging and unfamiliar conditions the first-time traveller to Colombia would find themselves up against), one option is to hire a private car and driver.
However, for long distances, this is prohibitively expensive for most travellers. Travelling in a small group can make journeying by private vehicle considerably more affordable.
Touring in a 4WD isn’t a necessity in Colombia. All the major highways are sealed and well-maintained, as are roads through the cities and many secondary roads throughout much of the country.
But some of the most spectacular places in Colombia simply can’t be accessed, or fully appreciated by conventional vehicle.
Reaching natural wonders like the incredible ‘rainbow river’ Caño Cristales, the cloud forests near Florencia and the sand dunes of Guajira desert without your own transport would mean navigating a series of plane, bus or taxi journeys, before making the rest of your way there on foot.
Instead, you could go the fastest way, which also happens, by far to be the most fun way! Overland, off-road in a mighty, mountain conquering Motolombia 4WD!
Mountains, Coasts and Jungles – Choose Your Own Adventure
To date, Motolombia have launched three separate, 10 guided 4WD tours, all covering completely unique parts of Colombia. Every tour includes an expert guide-driver per truck, all road-related expenses and accommodation. Each truck takes a maximum of three passengers. All trucks are air conditioned, all-terrain vehicles – trust us, this is as comfortable as off-roading in Colombia gets! Check out the 4WD Tour page for detailed information including full itineraries. Here’s a brief summary of what’s on offer.
10 Day Carribean Desert Tour
From the colourful colonial city of Cartagena, this tour takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the tropical tourist town to some of the wildest coastline in the entire Caribbean. As you leave the resorts far behind, a surreal landscape of barren deserts, orange sandhills, turquoise coves and vivid blue ocean begin to open around you.
- Not far from town, the real fun begins, as we spend around 70% of our drive-time off-road!
- Imagine driving for hours without so much as a building in sight – just empty beaches, crashing waves, arid deserts and hundreds of bird species (including the pink flamingos of Punta Gallinas).
- We cross La Guajira with the blessing of the Wayuu people. This is their land and we’ll attempt to learn a little of their culture and history while visiting some of the local communities.
- Guajira is famous for its massive coastal sand dunes. Drive to the top or test your stamina trudging up the crests for sensational views of the ocean and its otherworldly desert surroundings.
- Experience epic 4×4 beach driving, fresh lobster dinners, tackle the Caribbean waves on a kite surf, and sleep in hammocks under a pristine star-studded sky. (View Tour details)
10 Day Amazon Jungle Tour
This adventure tour focuses on the rarely visited south-central and eastern parts of Colombia, where the Andes meet the Amazon rainforest.
- From the handsome “White City” of Popayan and the mysterious ancient statues of San Agustin Archaeological Park, we’ll traverse magnificent mountain roads descending into the lowlands and the heart of the Colombian wilderness.
- Go for rambling drive along jungle roads through the mist-shrouded cloud forests near Florencia.
- From La Macarena, it’s near full-day’s trek on foot through the forest to reach Caño Cristales. Bursting with vibrant reds, pinks, yellows, oranges and greens caused by blooming aquatic flowers, the locals sometimes refer to this natural wonder of the world as the River of the Gods.
- From the steamy jungles of La Macarena, we’ll experience an incredible transformation in the scenery as we enter the Tatacoa Desert, where we’ll spend a night glamping beneath the stars.
- After driving from the desert to the Andean foothills, we’ll overnight in Colombia’s famous zona cafetera, home to giant wax palms and sprawling coffee plantations. (View Tour details)
10 Day Andean Mountain Tour
We’ve built a little more comfort into this luxury tour of Colombia’s scenic Andean region, crisscrossing the smooth, paved highways between some of the most enchanting Colonial villages in the country. With just a few minor sections of dirt to navigate, this trip is perfect for folks who want to get off the tourist trail and experience the authentic, rural side of Colombia without sacrificing on comfort.
- Take a guided stroll through a working coffee plantation, soak in the waterfall pools of the gorgeous hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal, tour the bizarre former ranch of Pablo Escobar and explore Jardin, one of the most beautiful towns in the coffee region.
- You’ll sleep soundly in the best hotels every night, but the highlight of this tour is undoubtedly the jaw-dropping scenery that awaits around every turn. If the weather is clear, you may even see all the way to the summit of the active volcano Nevado del Ruiz. Soaring to 5,311m above sea level, this fearsome Andean giant is one of the highest peaks in Colombia. (View Tour details)