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Flag of Colombia Colombia
Language: Spanish
Capital: Bogota
Population: 44,660,000
Currency: Columbian peso (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. 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
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