Colombia with Elephant Expeditions


I went to Colombia in December of 2014 on assignment for Overland Journal. It was such an amazing trip I couldn't wait to get back. It was Latin America untouched by the outside world, very few multi-national corporations were seen outside of the big cities. Over 2015 I invited all of my friends that would consider it. One by one they all bailed and the only guy left was Adam McCarty who I'd never met in person, but was a friend of a friend.

Micho Escobar is the owner of Elephant Expeditions and is the guide we used in 2014. As my group dwindled from 5 to 2 he was still accommodating even lowering the price and shifting the schedule to suit a smaller groups needs.

We started our trip in Bogota, Colombia's capitol and home to over 10 million people.

We hit the road on day one with a small warm up riding into Villa laLeyva and then onto Sagamoso where we stayed at a ranch that has been around for over a hundred years.

The grounds were unbelievable in their authenticity and rustic charm. They now breed championship bulls.

It was a great way to get acclimated and warm up on the bikes...


The next day things got interesting as we started to climb and pass through small villages. It's amazing how clean this country is. Sure there are parts of the cities that were filthy, but once you were out in the country it was remarkably tidy.

There are huge investments going into the infrastructure and hanging out at road construction would happen from time to time. This usually meant one of two things... You were about to get treated to some amazing fresh pavement or you just finished some amazing fresh pavement.

We climbed to 4000 meters for the first time during the trip. It was beautiful looking down the valley from where we came, the Andes laid out behind us.



The original itinerary had us riding high into the Cocuy National Park in the Northern Andes, but a little civil unrest in the form of protesting potato farmers had closed the park. Micho was great in reacting to an unforeseen event while getting us across the mountains. We ended up in a small farming town. The hotel was small, charming and the electrical was definitely not up to code. We were grabbing a beer in the town square when our chef came strolling by, odd since dinner was supposed to be in 20 minutes. She explained she couldn't find a chicken for dinner... She had a knife in her hand...

We dropped out of the high mountains into an arid canyon.

We were back down at almost 200mts, there was cactus everywhere and we may as well have been on a mountainside in Baja California. The temp was hovering at about 37º C and we boogied through the valley and up another mountain pass at 4000mts. We stared down the ridge line watching the clouds rake over the mountains. Like that we were in a whole new biosphere.


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Great photos. Colombia is an amazing place, was there last year and the whole time wished I had my own vehicle and time to explore.