bicycle travelling
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TourSur – Info – Crossing Darien Gap

20. August 2013

THANKS A LOT to Ali and Glenn for inspiring us to do this trip on the pacific side! And thanks for all the information!

View related pictures: Bypassing the Darien Gap



We in general informed us about the folloging possibilities to get from the road system of Panamá to the road sytem of Colombia. The mentioned Pros and Cons are our personal opinions which finally led to our decision of how we bypassed the Daríen Gap:

Airplane (1 day)

  • Pros: fast, reliable
  • Cons: expensive, uninteresting, transportation of bicycle problem-prown, not ecofriendly
  • Internet:


Organised sailing trip Carti-Cartagena (5 days)

  • Pros: comfortable, reliable, island-sightseeing
  • Cons: "Kuna people zoo", very expensive (about 500 USD per person), about 24 hours sailing on open sea, get to Carti (boat necessary), booking in advance, pre-determined departure date
  • Internet:


Organised boat trip Carti- Obaldia - Carpurganá - Turbo (4 days)

  • Pros: a little bit cheaper (350 USD per person, plus 80 USD to get to Turbo) than sailing tour, comfortable, reliable, overnight on land (not boat), island-sightseeing, short boat trips along the coast
  • Cons: "Kuna people zoo", still expensive, booking in advance, pre-determined departure date
  • Internet:


Self-organised boat trips Carti- Obaldia - Carpurganá - Turbo (2-? days)

  • Pros: more cheap, no "Kuna people zoo", quite fast, short boat rides
  • Cons: unreliable and unpredictable, long period of delays possible, negotiating price of every single boat trip, uncomfortable, limited space for bicycle and luggage
  • Internet:
  • Internet:

Self-organsied boat trips Panamá City - Jaque - (Jeradó) - Bahía Solano - Buenaventura (4-? days)

  • Pros: cheapest option, departing from Panamá City, 2 times cargo boats (bicycle and luggage no problem)
  • Cons: unreliable and unpredictable, long period of delays possible, negotiating price of onward boat trip from Jaque, uncomfortable, very long boat rides (totally about 55 hours), reaching Colombia quite far in the south
  • Internet:

Further possibilities which we did not investigate:

  • Crossing Darién jungle overland (currently not advised)
  • finding a private boat joining the trip to Colombia (eg in the sailing clubs in Panamá City or Colón)


Our bypassing of the Daríen Gap - Panamá City to Buenaventura


 Location Duration Facts Price per person Infos
cargo boat Panamá City-Jaque 21 hours
  • departure time: friday, 3 PM
  • location: national port at the fish market
  • 25,- USD (ticket)
  • 7,50 USD (bicycle)
  • 4,- USD (boats used during low tide)
  • not much space (!)
  • no real possibility to lay down
Jaque 3 days delayed departure:
  • immigration not working on weekends
  • immigration opened too late on monday for departing before  low tide
  • 10,5 USD (3 nights)
  • immigration for exit
  • nice and interesting place
  • Hostals, Tiendas and restaurants available
Lancha Jaque-Bahía Solano 8 hours
  • departure time: 7 AM
  • location: at Immigration
  • 100,- USD (ticket)
  • 7,50 USD (bicycle)
  • non-stop trip
  • rough sea
  • not comfortable
Bahía Solano 4 days
  • waiting for next cargo boat
  • 20,- USD (4 nights)
  • immigration office  for immigration
  • nice and interesting place
  • ATM available
  • shops, hotels and restaurants available
cargo boat Bahía Solano-Buenaventura 24 hours
  • departure time: 2 PM
  • location: port of Bahía Solano
  • 79,- USD (ticket)
  • 0,- USD (bicycle)
  • boat ticket to be payed with colombian pesos
  • ticket includes a bed and 3 meals
  • more space, but rough trip
TOTALS 10 days   253,50 USD  
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