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Flag of Colombia Colombia
Language: Spanish
Capital: Bogota
Population: 51,000,000 (2020)
Currency: Peso colombiano (COP)
Hitchability: <rating country='co' />
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<map lat='4.609' lng='-73.652' zoom='5' view='0' country='Colombia' height='400'/>

Colombia is a country in South America. It borders Panama to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the southeast, and Ecuador and Peru to the south. Although it's not an easy country to hitchhike, it is not as bad as they say. There is a lot of paranoia about the security situation in the country. And some areas are outright dangerous due to fights between government and FARC rebels. However, the conflict is very predictable and usually limited to certain areas in the countryside. Check with your foreign ministry or recent guidebook.

Hitchhikers Katja and Augustas with a driver of a hitched a truck in Colombia

Like anywhere in Latin America, the biggest danger is to be robbed, which may happen if you travel alone. Bus transport is decent and reasonably priced, although not as cheap as countries like Bolivia or Venezuela.

As mentioned, the security situation makes hitching difficult, but certainly not as bad as you would think. To know which areas are outright no-go zones, ask around and check the newspapers. People tend to tell you that the whole country is muy peligroso, only take information seriously if there is something concrete going on (example : the FARC have attacked a military outpost on the road to Turbo...) Thumbs up hitch-hiking might get you a ride, but isn't the best approach. Much easier is talking to people at gas stations and peajes (toll booths), or asking soldiers at check-points and explaining where you are going, either they should let you talk to cars that slow for the check-point, or they may even ask people for you...

To cross from Colombia to Panama you've got to travel around the the Darién Gap somehow. See the article on the gap itself for details on that.


Personal Experiences

Hitchhiker Katja resting in a hammock under the truck

Hitchhiking from febraury 2022 to May 2022 around Colombia. Hitchhiking is working, it is a bit hard because normal drivers don´t trust in others. There are some migrants around and they feel insecure. Although we completed our rides from Bogotá to Ibagué, Ibagué to Armenia, Armenia to Salento and Filandia, Armenia to Pereira, Pereira to Chinchiná, Chinchiná to Manizales, Manizales to Medellín, Atlantic coast and the way down by Eje Cafetero to Cali, Popayán, Pasto and border with Ecuador. -Patagonia.almundo 18:40, 30 April 2022.

In the spring of 2008 me and a Colombian female friend went for some hikes in the countryside around Bogotá. We went to the village of Guatavita, where a 7 km dirt road leads up to the 'Laguna Sagrada'. On the way a milk truck picked us up. A great experience, standing on the back of a truck driving up a bumpy road, the wind in our hair. On the way back we easily scored a ride back to Bogotá, in a car with a bank employee who liked talking about football. The dirt roads in the countryside are not busy, but everybody seems willing to pick you up. Same experience in Puente Nacional late one evening, where we got a ride from a farmer for a few pesos. --Leimac 21:50, 25 September 2008 (CEST)

In 2007 I hitched from Cartagena to Ipiales in a few days. Stayed on the main roads. No troubles. Rode trucks & personal cars. God Colombia is beautiful. -k

I hitchhiked through Colombia in 2010. After making it across the Darién Gap by hitchhiking on speedboats, I went through most of the Colombian Andean territory. It is a fantastic country, and the only place where the truckers let me ride in the little space between the cab and the trailer! -themodernnomad

I arrived in Cartagena, and walked all the way to Turbaco with no luck whatsoever. Eventually rides came. My experience was that thumbing took a heck of a lot longer, but that if you spoke with someone when they were stopped, you were taken almost every single time. Hitched to Medellin, back up to Barranquilla, down to Bogota, to San Agustin, Popayan, and to Ipiales. Spectacular country. -Chael777

Hitched from Ipiales north in April 2012. The difference between talking face to face and thumb-out hitching can't be understated. The people are extremely nice to you when you talk to them but are definitely not trusting when they look at you from their driver's seat. Even if it might be slow in this country, it's the least of your worries.-Sark

March 2014, for about a month- much, much better than I had anticipated. I hitched from the very north to the very south of Colombia, with nerry an issue. Hitching around the Darien proved frustrating and impossible for me, but when I was in country, things got much better. It is more difficult than say Ecuador, but I rarely waited longer than an hour. The far north is easy to hitch, but getting around big cities can be a real bitch, as there are very few bypasses and you get sucked in. Public transport costs are very high relatively. Police are always nice, and gas station attendants. Do direct hitchhike and ask people at petrol stations, they are always super nice and honest. Was given money for food a number of time, despite refusing weakly. I got offered my longest hitch ever here outside of Neiva, as far as Ushushia in Patagonia which I took as far as Ecuador border. Also had three drivers on cocaine which were great, fast rides, very entertaining and obvious ! -lukeyboy95

Very easy to hitch hike, including with a bicycle. I was offered a lift quite often (especialy when going uphills) without asking for it. Colombians are the most generous". (from September to December 2014) --Anne-laure (talk) 20:42, 7 February 2015 (CET)

Very easy to hitchhike if you do it right, talk to peoplo at a gas station is a sure ride and if you want to thumb-out it is also very good in the right place many people dont stop thinking you wont like to get a short ride so make a sign it helps a lot. Hitchhiked all the coast from Cartagena to Guajira, in towns like Barranquilla,Cienaga, Santa Marta, Taganga, Tayrona park, Palomino, Mendihuaca, Quebrada de Valencia, Buritaca, Camarones and Rioacha. Everybody is very nice yust get a little out of the city its easy by moto taxi or bus that way people will know you are going out.

I hitchhiked from Medellin to Ipiales Colombia in 2015. Around Cartagena and Santa Marta proved very difficult. Spanish is extremely helpful. Some basic words are needed without a doubt. Have patience when thumbing as some places have little traffic. Truck drivers are the best to get and will often buy you lunch. Girls will find it easier of course, try not to be too dirty guys and keep clean clothes. Wild camping here is super, bring a jungle hammock. Most of all smile and enjoy the wild roads, I loved Colombia and got plenty of material to write about on my blog here. Also be prepared for bikes, I hitchhiked a motorbike and a moped in Colombia. It gets easier in Ecuador -HoboSpirit

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