21 May 2017

Touring Colombia by bike: places to stay

Part 5 of Biking through Colombia

Colombia is such a fantastic place to tour by bicycle. The ecosystems transform from jungle to farmland to barren mountain, all in the span of a few days. Nearer to the Caribbean coast, you’ll find mango trees dotting the roadside which offer a refreshing respite from the hot sun.

There are many rural villages in Colombia, and they are spaced pretty evenly every 30-50 kilometres along the main roads. This makes it ideal for touring by bicycle. At our leisurely pace, we covered about 40 kilometres per day on average. Each town, no matter how small, will have a restaurant and a hotel. Hotels attached to gas stations are quite common too, and these are often cleaner and more comfortable than hotels in town.

We found that hotel prices range from 12,000 – 100,000 Colombian Pesos per night, for a private room for two people. In a small town, you shouldn’t have to pay more than 50,000. These prices reflect our experience in Spring 2016.

Here’s a quick rundown of every place we stayed during our tour of Colombia. We started cycling in Necoclí (Day 2), and left our bikes in Cali (Day 32). After Cali, we rode buses for the remainder of our trip. So no, we didn’t cycle 700 kilometres from Cali to Bogotá in four days!

Day City Hotel Price per night for double occupancy (COP) Rating /5 Pros Cons
1 Capurganá Marlin Hostal 35000 2 Lots of mangoes for the taking Water only available 2hrs/day
2 Necoclí Costa del Mar 30000 3 Free coffee, public balcony Shabby rooms
3 Mulatos Green Hotel 12000 2 Excellent fruit juice No lock, pig slaughter
4 Arboletes Zona Camping 40000 3.5 Nice beachfront lounging area Run-down rooms
5 Montería Casa Linda V 70000 3.5 Clean, AC, good staff
6 Montería Miami Central 35000 2 Cheaper than Casa Linda Dingy, loud street, cockroach
7 Planeta Rica Casas Blancas 40000 4 Clean, courtyard window Unfriendly staff
8 La Apartada El Cairo 30000 2.5 AC AC is noisy, dated décor, also a liquor store
9 El Jardin El Lago (Gas Station) 25000 4 AC, window, horses in paddock, swimming pool available at extra cost
10 El Doce El 15 (Gas Station) 25000 3 AC Terrible location (isolated), frog in bathroom
11 Valdivia Diocelina 25000 4 Great jungle mountain view, cute room, good water
12 Yarumal Centro Residencial 40000 2 Hot water Unprofessional and confusing staff, noisy
13 Yarumal Real Plaza 40000 3 Clean, laundry service, public balcony
14 Carolina Los Balcones 30000 4 Charming, friendly, great service No window
15 Barbosa Central Park 55000 3 Hot water, windows Terrible staff
16 Medellín Arcadia Hostel 68000 3 Patio Dirty, loud, shared bathroom down hall
17-18 Caldas Manantial del Sur 35000 2 Mold, hot water, angry yelling
19 La Pintada Hotel Dimar 40000 3 Big room with windows No hot water, lazy staff
20 La Felisa Hotel Nancy 12000 3 River view, cheap No gate control, no hot water
21 Chinchiná Chinchiná Plaza 40000 4 Fancy lounges, good bed, hot water, good staff, window
22 Termales Santa Rosa El P…? 70000 2 Nice first-floor hangout, backyard river Tourist trap
23-26 Filandia Colina de Lluvia 50000 3 Nice kitchen, nice courtyard Overbearing host, annoying kitten
27 La Tebaida Hotel California Tropical 35000 3 Window Couldn’t exit easily, small room, flooding washroom
28 Tuluá Los Cristales 35000 4 Great service, clean big room, warm water Awkward window
29 Restrepo Los Balcones 50000 4 Charming, warm water, balcony, big bathroom
30 San Cipriano Hotel David 30000 2 Tourist meeting place Locked gate, no private bath, gross toilets
31 Dagua Beside railway tracks 18000 2.5 Excellent restaurant, friendly staff No private bath, dingy barebones room
32-39 Cali Diego’s house
40 Silvia La Parilla 40000 4 Cute, hot showers, private courtyard Cold rooms
41 Popayán Hotel Toledo 50000 3.5 Large rooms w/ windows, large bath No hot water
42 Neiva Hospedaje D’Cache 40000 1 Stained sheets, huge mirror, no bathroom door
43 Tatacoa Estadero Villa Marquez 30000 1 Swimming pool Hot small tent, scorpion
44-46 Bogotá B&B Chorro de Quevdo 100000 4.5 Stunning, charming, breakfast, hot water Had to wait for the door

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