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If you travel longer distances, you probably want to hitch the ''panamericana'', called ''Ruta 5'' here, which goes from north all the way to the south. Around larger cities, it's developed as a motorway. It's very common to walk or cycle on the emergency lane, so you can also stand there and put your thumb out. Cops won't bother either (I was standing right next to them holding my thumb out (to try out the hard way if it is legal) and they didn't care). Maximum Speed is 120 km/h, so if you are in a visible place, everyone can stop fast enough. Using a sign can prevent taxis, micros and buses to stop for you. They won't take you for free.
The traffic is not very dense in general. In rural areas, there might be one car in 5 or 10 minutes, so prepare for longer waiting times if you can't stay on the main roads. To get to towns and out of there take a Micro or a collectivo, it is not worth it hitchhiking within a city (although sometimes possible).
If you are a tourist be sure to show it with your backpack, flags attached to your backpack, etc. The locals love chatting with foreign travellers. However, many people don't like U.S. Americans.