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We have been wanting to ride motorcycles in South America for many years now. Finally the time has come! Colombia will be the first country to visit.

A number of fellow motorcyclists that have ridden in South America reported a fantastic experience in Colombia. In fact, the majority cited it as their favorite place to ride in South America due to the natural beauty, friendliness of the people, culture, and food. Apparently they have a very strong motorcycle culture as well with clubs and groups welcoming foreign visitors.

In a country with about 50 million people, there are 9 million registered motorcycles. About 1 in 5 people has a bike!

So, why are we going on an extended visit to Colombia now during the COVID pandemic?

Well, fundamentally two reasons; first, because as of Jan 2021, we are no longer working daily and life is just too short to wait anymore, and second, relative to COVID, it is safer in Colombia. Actually, it is safer nearly everywhere outside the USA.

Some information to provide an example.

All during the COVID experience, I've been using death rates as my primary comparative measure rather than case rates. COVID positive rates are driven by testing (availability and willingness to get tested). Deaths are relatively binary. Clearly death rates are also driven by the availability of quality medical care so there is variability driven by that as well.

Even with what some would argue is poorer qualify of care, fewer people as a percent of population are dying of COVID in both Mexico and Colombia than in the USA.

As of 9 Jan 2021:

  population1 COVID deaths2 death rate
US 331,000,000 372,051 0.112%
Mexico 128,932,753 132,069 0.102%
Colombia 50,882,891 45,784 0.090%
Canada 37,742,154 16,869 0.045%
S Korea 51,269,185 1,100 0.002%

Colombia has a lower COVID death rate than the USA. So, with that subject out of the way, on with the fun stuff—the motorcycle tour!

The good folks at Motolombia will be hosting us for 3 days in Cali, 12 days on the road, and 3 days in Cartagena. They are also providing the bike.

This tour will start in Cali then travel to Cartagena via 1,240 road miles over 12 days. We will be using a rental BMW F750GS motorcycle outfitted with luggage systems.

Planned Tour Route

More updates as we have connectivity and time. All the pictures on our return in February.

1 population data from Worldometer and Macotrends websites.

2 deaths are cumulative thus the total over time from COVID-19 as provided by The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.