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Thread: Ecuador & Columbia-If you've traveled there talk to me

  1. #1
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    Question Ecuador & Columbia-If you've traveled there talk to me

    I'm in early planning stage of a trip for next winter, will be a fly & MC rental tour of either or both of these countries. As rented MC's can cross that border it's a possible 2 country trip but I have a natural lean toward doing one country well, rather than 2 and zoom through. This also saves the extra $ for crossing paperwork from the rental company. I am looking for your experience from either place.
    I'm also willing to talk about a possible ride partner/s for the trip. I'm interested in both on/off road but not out to set daily mileage records nor am I interested in "finding mud" on purpose. I do like to get off the beaten path. I'm a lifelong rider & have toured in Mexico extensively so certainly not my 1st trip but I've never been to SA. Both countries are safe these days & economical destinations with good roads & much scenery & varied topography. You can expect that if you were to partner with me the trip will cost far less than the tour group affairs. I have no interest in large group tours, just not my style. My dates can flex but have been pricing air tics using 1/13/14-2/03/14 & am willing for a bit longer. best to avoid Easter because of Latin travelers & Christmas is off limits for me.
    Two websites I'm viewing are www.motolombia.com for Columbia & www.freedombikerental.com for Ecuador, both of which have good reviews on ADV. www.ridetheworld.com has a worldwide MC rental listing too. While I've also considered Chile & Peru and they certainly are on my list I lean toward the others this time around. This last several days of snow sure has me thinking about next winters ride!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  2. #2
    UJ tio jaimito's Avatar
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    I have traveled but not ridden in both countries. I can tell you that either one is fabulous in terms of scenery, lushness and great people. A few things to think about. There is rainy and dry seasons but the fall and spring are verdant. You are wise to choose a reputable tour provider, but don't be afraid to move around. Stay away from Bogota, the traffic in these larger Colombian cities in markedly more dangerous than in Ecuador. Equadorian Government doesn't like the U.S. Government do your visa and permission research up front.

    I personally liked the terrain of Equador better. There are great Hotels in Quito, great nightlife, You can see the snow covered Andes from the Capital. The Amazonian Headwaters originate in these mountains so it must be beautiful. However, I haven't been to Sta Marta on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, But I have heard that there is this hemispheres' greatest altitude to sealevel difference there. I have also been to Venezuela, and Chile I would say that a Summer trip from Santiago, Chile, down to Porto Montt and further South by ferry to the Glacial Reserves in January would be fantastic and one of a kind experience.

    Venezuela, is also very cool, Caracas is crazy, but once out of the city it would make for great riding, down to Valencia, Morrocoy Preserve and La Islas Margaritas. This would be a coastal tropical adventure with beautiful scenery. I have Motorcycle club contacts there from he K100 forum.

    Spanish is very easy to learn, where 1/3 of all words are cognates (words that are similar in English), so with minimal courses you can learn enough to get by and that will open doors and go a long way to have respect not normally reserved for the American Tourists. Don't get me wrong, you know youve traveled, people are great but they see you as a walking talking billfold with $3000 in it, if you don't speak Spanish. I had my wallet stolen in Santiago, with my cash and credit cards. The pick-pocket was so cool he took the Cash and dropped the wallet off at the church next to my Hotel and I got my card back before I could cancel them. That was a good criminal. They are just poor, desperate, quick witted and opportunistic. Leave nothing in your hotel room of value, ever. Put belongings in the hotel safe.


    Ecuador is the highest European Adventure trekking Destination, Followed by Chile and Venezuela. But don't agonize over it you won't go wrong. If you are single and enjoy the opposite sex (just saying) Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador then Chile is my ranking (as I far as I can remember, since I'm very happily married). Learning the language in a year would be my highest priorty. Also having traveled down there, it is good to have Wikipedia level knowledge of Geography or History of whichever country you choose.

    Good Luck and send lots of photos (fotos)

  3. #3
    UJ tio jaimito's Avatar
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    PS. If it were me, I would hook up with a club, let them get you a used dependable rental bike and not book a tour. The club will take good care of you. That is a real adventure.
    UJ

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. FWIW, I'm a healthy 69 yr old guy, married many years with lots of grandkids & little interest in nightlife beyond a good supper & a cold one to go with it. I do enjoy riding! along with foreign cultures & geography,outdoors stuff and maybe you missed the fact that I'm a frequent Mexico traveler, just never been to SA. Also I thought I'd made the point that I am not an "organized tour guy". The two companies I gave links for do it 3 ways: full guided tour,self guided & a GPS route & lodging setup or rent the bike and take off alone.
    I'm the last one-go it alone or preferably with a ride partner but might use their lodgings some as not always lots of choices out there. I'm pretty sure the cities you mention can't be much worse traffic than Guadalajara or a few others in Mexico. I have heard the Columbian drivers are aggressive.
    I've seen enough cathedrals & art galleries to last a lifetime( been to Smithsonian many times & many in USA & Europe) . I did catch a nice car museum last time in Mexico City while out walking the city with a friend.
    Spanish- I get along fine in Mexico.
    You mention clubs-I'm open to a club contact in Ecuador or Columbia. PM me or give a link, & again, thanks!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Motolombia Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    ...Two websites I'm viewing are www.motolombia.com for Columbia...
    I rented a KLR from Motolombia a few years ago and have nothing but positive recommendations from my experiences (both rental and riding Colombia experiences). I stayed at Mike's hostel before and after my rental and enjoyed his hospitality. He is usually helping out adventure riders as they pass through Cali.

    Dick

    PS. Like many advised me, it's Colombia.
    Dick
    R1200GS '08
    "Hey, where you goin'?" "Nowhere in particular." "Man, I wish I was you." "Well, Hang in there..."

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    Keep it coming. Honestly , on ADV rider I get a lot of positives for both countries. Also, same good comments on Mike @ Motolombia. What were your dates there?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  7. #7
    Nuckin' Futs! tonyfr's Avatar
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    Check out this guy's blog. I think he has done this trip twice.
    SABMWRA MOA #62
    2005 BMW R1200RT
    2008 Honda CBR1000RR LE
    1984 Kawasaki 750 Turbo E1

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the link!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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