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Car & Motorcycle

  • Useful for traveling at your own pace, or for visiting regions with minimal public transport. Cars can be hired in major cities, but they're generally not cheap.
  • What's more, the security situation remains dodgy in remote and rural parts of the country, increasing the risk of vehicle theft and pushing up insurance prices. Check government websites for warnings before setting out anywhere remote.
  • In the cities, on the other hand, traffic is heavy, chaotic and mad. Driving 'manners' are wild and unpredictable. It takes some time to get used to the local style of driving. This goes without saying for motorcycle travel as well.
  • Colombians drive on the right-hand side of the road and there are seatbelt requirements, so buckle up or risk a fine. The speed limit is 60km/h in the city and 80km/h on the highway. The nationwide highway police telephone number is 767.
  • If you do plan to drive in Colombia, bring your driver's license. The driver's license from your country will normally do unless it's one of non-Latin-alphabet origin, in which case, you'll need an International Driving Permit as well.

Car Hire

Several international car-rental companies, Avis and Hertz (www.hertz.com) for example, operate in Colombia. Expect to pay from COP$170,000 per day including the Loss Damage Waiver, plus gasoline. You'll get better deals, as always, by booking online. Carefully check clauses pertaining to insurance and liability before you sign a rental contract. Pay close attention to any theft clause as it may load a large percentage of any loss onto the hirer. If you rent a car with tinted windows, you'll need a special document from the rental agency that police at checkpoints will ask for. Agencies don't generally volunteer the info so be sure to inquire.