Cabo de la Vela- Self Guided

Eat some sand

The following information is about a self-guided tour and motorcycle rental, departing from and returning to Santa Marta.
In addition to what we provide for a normal rental, you will be supplied with spare parts, tools, inner tubes, and a detailed instruction handout regarding the best riding routes, places to visit, and accomodation recommendations.
For guided tours of La Guajira desert, Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas, check out our Riohacha office.

Day 1

4-5 hours riding time
Leave Santa Marta at 10:00 and start heading up the coast towards Riohacha. Along the way, you will have the option of stopping in to see beaches, waterfalls, jungle-hikes, and sleepy local villages which are all clearly marked on your area map, before arriving in Riohacha and enjoying the hospitality of our friends at Pura Guajira hostel, voted Best Hostel in Colombia 2017.


Day 2

5-6 hours riding time
Leave Riohacha at 9:00 and you have two options. Take the coastal, dirt road to Manuare salt complex and see how salt is extracted, or head east along the paved highway. We recommend stopping in Uribia, the last large town before the desert for lunch and to stock up on snacks and water, before taking on the final 2-3 hours of riding to get to Cabo de la Vela. Options for accommodation in the desert range from the most basic hammocks on the beach, to twin share private cabins at Rancheria Utta.

Day 3

Free day
There are a few options to choose from here. If you are feeling like a break from the bikes, kite surfing is by far the most popular activity in Cabo de la Vela, and with 365 days of wind per year and kilometers of shallow, flat water it is the perfect place to learn. If you feel like getting back on the bikes and exploring, you can head out into the desert around Cabo for several hours to ride through some of the more difficult terrains and find some untouched beaches. Pilon de Azucar and El Faro beach are both about a 1-hour ride from Cabo.
Another popular option is making the ride to the northernmost point of Colombia, Punta Gallinas. This journey should never be attempted unaccompanied, due to the difficulty of navigating the desert and the instability in the area, and you should either organize to follow a jeep or 4wd on the bike or take a guided 4wd tour, both of which we can help to organize. Visiting Punta Gallinas will add 1 extra day to your trip, but is well worth it if you have the time.

Day 4

4-5 hours riding time
Leave Cabo de la Vela in the morning and make your way back to Uribia, and then towards Riohacha either via the paved highway or head towards the coast and follow the dirt road back. We recommend stopping in at Mayapo and checking out the untouched beaches for a late lunch or a drink in the afternoon before heading back to Pura Guajira hostel for the night. In the evening it is well worth a visit to the boardwalk and pier to watch the sunset over the surprisingly uncrowded beach.

Day 5

4 hours riding time
Leaving Riohacha around 9-10am will give you plenty of time to make your way back to Santa Marta, stopping in to see the flamingos in Camarones (2-3 hour activity) just outside of Riohacha, or to stop in at Palomino or any of the other attractions along the way that you missed on Day 1. Typically you will return to our main office in Santa Marta at approximately 5-6pm, where we have a hostel on site for a convenient place to stay, or where we can arrange onward travel to your next destination.


What to know:


  • 5 Days Motorcycle rental
  • Medical Insurance
  • Full suggested itinerary and accommodation
  • Area maps and riding routes
  • Tool kit and spare parts
  • Wheel lock
  • All safety equipment

  • Rider $259 USD/750.000 COP
  • Passenger: $25 USD/75.000 COP
  • GoPro+helmet mount: 25.000 COP/Day
  • Elbow+Knee pads: 20.000 COP/Day
  • Onsite Accommodation at Drop Bear Hostel: Dorm 30.000 COP, Private 125.000 COP

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Long pants
  • Swimsuit
  • Water and snacks
  • Driver's licence
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