COLOMBIA 2024

I've been to Colombia a couple of times in 2023. Both times I'd done day rides with Moto Ride Medellin. When taking a break from riding the back roads of Antioquia and admiring the incredible Colombian landscape, I spoke to Ruben, (the guide and owner of of the company) about what a longer tour might look like that could take in some more of the country.
They have been running multi-day tours for a while, and hearing the tales of 4000m+ passes, jungle, canyons and desert, all within a six day loop from Medellin, I thought this was something I really wanted to see.
I'd also quite like to share it, so I'm planning two tours to Colombia in May 2024.

This is a fly-ride motorcycle trip. This means you fly in to Medellin, and the itinerary is as follows:
Saturday Arrive into Medellin and depending on arrival time, either enjoy the city or head straight for the hotel
Sunday Pick up the bikes and then on to Jardin via lunch in Jerico. This is an easy day to become familar with the bikes and to leave the city at a quiet time (4h riding/152km)
Monday To Salamina via the La Samaria Valley, home to the tallest palm trees in the world (7h riding/181km)
Tuesday Murillo via the hot springs in Manizales and the Parque Natural Los Nevados (5h30 riding/174km)
Wednesday Descending from Murillo and heading for a farm stay at the Finca Villa del Rio for a relaxing evening (5h riding/191km)
Thursday Today we ride through a nature reserve in the Rio Claro Marble Canyon to stay in Rio Claro. There's much to do in and around the water and see so it's a short day on the bikes (2h30 riding/49km)
Friday There is a choice of activities in Rio Claro before we set off for Medellin to drop the bikes off and check in at the hotel. (3h riding/150km)
Saturday A day to explore the incredible city of Medellin. There is a lot to see which can include the Comuna 13 and/or a bike tour mentioned in the add-ons.
Sunday Fly home

Cost for the trip is GBP1,400/USD1,800 which includes:
  • Airport transfers from and to Medellin Jose Maria Cordoba airport
  • Colombian Sim card with 7gb of data
  • 3 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in Medellin (one before, two after, extra days can be arranged if required)
  • 6 Riding days on AKT TTR 200cc. Helmets, gas & gloves.
  • 5 nights tour accommodation on single rooms when possible
  • 5 breakfasts 6 lunches, 5 dinners and snacks while on the tour
  • End of tour dinner on the Friday evening when when back in Medellin
  • English/Spanish speaking motorcycle guide
  • Support vehicle for luggage with driver
  • Tour shirt
Optional add-ons:
  • Honda XRE300 +£300
  • Comuna 13 and Bike Tour in Medellin on the second Saturday +£42
Flights from the UK are £700-£900 depending on demand. Options include Heathrow > Bogota > Medellin with Avianca (overnight flight) or Gatwick > Madrid > Medellin with Air Europa (day flight).
From the US or elsewhere, there are direct flights from Miami to Medellin with American Airlines, and several other connections through central and South America with Avianca, Copa and others.

FAQ's

Is it safe? 
This is a question many people have asked me. I've been twice in 2023 and had no problems at all. This is the UK Foreign Office travel advice. The tour stays only within the green areas marked.
I'd suggest you leave any fancy watches and jewellery at home, don't use your expensive smart phone on the street, travel by Uber or a licenced taxi when in the city, and don't go exploring unknown neighbourhoods at night, on your own.

Do I need to have off-road motorcycle experience?
No, but it would be useful. This trip is not extreme off road. It's riding low powered trail bikes on public roads. In and around the city the roads are paved.
Away from the city they are dirt roads, a bit like green lanes in the UK, but they are also used by cars, buses, trucks and horses. If you've never ridden on a trail before, then I'd suggest trying it before you travel. I can recommend a few places in the UK, and if there's enough interest, perhaps even arrange a pre-tour weekend for those that are interested.

What's the weather like?
In Medellin it is always spring. 15-20C at night and 22-30C during the day. It has tropical rains which can be heavy, but tend to be warm. Murillo is at an elevation of 2950m above sea level so will be cooler. I'd suggest UK summer riding gear (e.g. mesh clothing) with a waterproof layer just in case and something warmer for going up high. A suggested kit list will be provided prior to departure.

Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. 100%. I wouldn't suggest you travel without it. Riding a motorcycle comes with it's own risks, much like it does at home. If you need to get out or get home urgently, then travel insurance that covers you for riding motorcycles on public roads (paved or unpaved) is essential.

Have you done the tour yourself?
No. Not yet. I've ridden the AKT200's for three days out of Medellin but haven't visited the places listed. The English and Spanish speaking guide will be provided by Moto Ride Medellin, though I will come on the tour. There is an element of 'tour development' here, in that it's the first time it's been run this way, and the price reflects that. Your feedback on the riding, distances, accommodation, food, bikes etc. is welcome and will help to improve future tours. The tour has been planned to allow people to do it with one week off work, to showcase some of the highlights of Colombia and to do this for a reasonable price.

What are the bikes?
The bikes are the Colombian made AKT TTR200. They have six speed gearboxes, disc brakes and fuel injection. They make about 16.5hp, but at 120kg dry, it's enough for the roads out in Colombia and while you won't be the fastest thing on the road, they are pretty close.

What is the seat height?
The standard seat height is 800mm, which is 7cm/3in lower than a standard CRF250L. Lower seat options are available.

Could a non-riding partner come along?
Yes, though the bikes have rear footpegs but due to the terrain and the 16.5hp bikes, it is not recommended to ride two-up.
As an alternative, there is one space in the support vehicle on each tour if you have a non-riding partner who would like to come along. The vehicle will follow the same route as the bikes with the same stops. They may get diverted if one of the riders needs some assistance, but otherwise we travel together. The vehicle has the snacks so will never be far away!
The cost for the 8 nights for a non-riding passenger sharing a hotel room with the rider is GBP700/USD875.
Please note that the driver may not speak English.

How do I book? 
A 25% deposit is required to secure a place with the balance due one month before the tour starts. You can request further information with the following links:
Request information on the tour departing 4-May-2024
Request information on the tour departing 11-May-2024

I've published two videos from the day rides I've done with Moto Ride Medellin which can be viewed on the Peak Motorcycles YouTube Channel: