Mono500 News

10 reasons to travel in Colombia

1 – A touristic country on the rise  :
Even though Colombia is witnessing a great deal of development in its tourism industry, with more visitors each year. The country still offers a true and authentic experience, far from the dangerous and violent images the world has seen decades ago.

2 – National heritage’s villages :
Mountain villages, historical and picturesque town offer authenticity to all visitors wandering around their streets. Far from the modernization of main cities across the country, one will live an authentic experience as one explores its cobbled streets full of history.

3 – Mono 500 Organization :
After Argentina and Ecuador, we are going after Colombia, with the desire of offering astonishing rides with the same quality service and the same state of mind. All the conditions are there to provide you with comfortable accommodations and rich gastronomy.

4 – Security :
For several years, the colombian tourism has been opening up to the world. Appeasement in national conflicts, social and economic developpments are as many reason the country can be visited in total safety and confidence.

5 – Direct flights from europe en North America :
Colombia is well conneted from Europe and North America, you can find direct flights at a very competitive price. Jump on a plane, and come discover the beauty of Colombia.

6 – Trendy Bars and Restaurant in Medellin :
At the heart of the trendy neighborhood of El Poblado, you’ll find a wide selection of very well designed bars, cafés, and restaurants. You’ll find all kind of cuisine from all over the world, in various laid-back atmosphere. Medellin is among cities of the world where partying and dancing to the break of dawn is a religion.

7 – Colombians citizens:
Their joy of life, their optimism, and their hospitability is worldly known. Smiles are being consumed on a daily basis, they are glad to help you out and assist you with anything you need.

8 – Stunning winding roads :
If you plan on traveling Colombia on motorbikes, you’ll find paradise. The country is made for motorcycle adventures. Perfectly asphalted winding roads up and down the mountain, gravel and dirt tracks through bananas and coffee fields will provide you with the best experience possible. 

9 – Cartagena de los Indias :
Its history, its architecture, and its colorful streets will give you goose bumps. Just its name is an inspiration to world travelers. It’s an undeniable stop for every visitor just like it was for all wonders and treasures sent by Spaniards to Europe.

10 – Carabean coast :
The north coast of Colombia isn’t left behind with wonders and natural beauties. The national park of Tayrona and the island of Providencia are among those beautiful natural environments the country has to offer. Very easy to let a week pass by in this atmosphere.

Discover our itineraries on moto :
Decouverte de la Colombie

Colombia: A colorful Adventure

Colombia is rich in history and offers a surprising mix of colonial past, aboriginal culture and modern expansion. Located on the northeast tip of the South American continent, Colombia provides a wide variety of natural environments and eco-systems, from the Pacific coastline on the west to central Andes mountain range to the eastern rainforests.

But by now you’ve probably already asked yourself: “Colombia? Isn’t this an unsafe place to travel?”

If you are willing to set aside for a moment the clichés and old notions; if you are willing to forgive the country’s painful past; if you are keen to install the newest version of Colombia 2.0.17 in your cultural system—this article is written just for you.

So, why Colombia?

Mono500 and I haven’t blindly thrown ourselves into this. We have been planning for a long time, have done extensive research and multiple expeditions, and we’ve contacted numerous acquaintances and local characters to help us through the developing process. (Also, Colombia wasn’t exactly new to me; four years ago, I cycled the entire length of the country. This astonishing leg of my Pan-America journey left me yearning to return. And that is how — a few years and some extra pounds later — I came to be driving a 4X4 vehicle over highways and back roads, rediscovering Colombia’s extreme beauty and falling in love again.)

Immersing myself in Colombia’s culture, experiencing its traditions, absorbing the atmosphere, and uncovering the hidden roads and trails—there were my missions during the month of June 2017.

I first stopped in Medellin, Colombia’s second lung, as it were, right after Bogota, the capital city. Medellin’s growth is in full swing, far from the images we’ve all seen on TV shows and at the movies. More than a decade, the city has been beating to the rhythms of young entrepreneurs, start-ups, trendy cafes and fine restaurants. Enormous social progress is underway and the modernization and the rehabilitation of numerous boroughs are undeniable.

Medellin has done a complete 180, turning away from its violent past to become the most innovative city in the county. One wanders with enthusiasm and serenity in the city called “The City of Eternal Spring.” Remove yourself from the most touristy places, and you’ll discover peaceful and authentic neighborhoods where locals spend the bulk of their spare time outside in the cafés, market places and main squares.

But what really catches our attention is the Colombians’ positive energy. The smiles are free and frequent. Whether you are buying a metro ticket, a fresh juice or asking for directions, everything is done with relaxed attitudes and sincere kindness.

After a couple of days in Medellin, it was time for me to chase after winding and scenic roads, challenging trails, and postcard-ready landscapes. I headed to the South, to the coffee region, where the famous bean is produced.

I remember the startled looks of the locals when I cycled this region with the giant pack trailing my bike; this time, my mud-covered car got the same kind of reaction. On board my 4X4 Vitara Chevrolet, armed with two GPS, a roadmap and a notepad, I roamed the little roads—the ones you barely see on a map, the one along the streams and coffee fields. I faced multiple dead ends and closed roads. On multiple occasions I had to back up and pry my way through steep trails to avoid yet an other throwback. I got lost more than once, but it was all worth the effort in order to find the best roads possible for our legendary motorbikes and Mono500’s travelers.

Discover our 2 colombian itineraries :
Decouverte de la Colombie

Colombia has striking contrasts; you can leave a modern city such as Manizales, drive less than 15 miles, and find yourself in a village that seems to be stuck in time.

On the main square of the village of Murillo, on the edge of the National Parc Nevado Ruiz, I counted more phone booth than cell phones, more traditional hats than baseball caps, and more horses than cars. Yes: here, horses remain the principal mean of transportation among local inhabitants, and they remain patiently outside the local coffee bars while the horsemen slowly sip their cups while reading an outdated newspaper.

Further north, I discovered an entirely differently kind of atmosphere as I drove into the historic coastal town of Cartagena de Indias, wind-swept by the Caribbean breeze. Its name alone can inspire world travelers, and the streets, filled with bright colors and architectural wonders, will leave you in awe. This 16th-century trading port was mandatory and final stop for all the wealth gathered by the Spaniards before returning to Europe. Here, tourists and locals wander the streets to the sound of champeta, a local genre that invites everyone to dance.

I continued adding miles, passing by one side and the other of mountains, driving up and down valleys, in a region where straight roads are as rare as a Royal Enfield without oil leaks. Without a doubt, Colombia was made for motorcycle adventures.

During the scouting tour, I met a lot of great people. I lent a hand to many; driven some people home. I shared with them my ideas and goals, and in return these wonderful Colombians revealed to me many great insights and tips to better understand their culture and country. These new friends provided many valuable pieces to solve my puzzle, bringing me closer and closer to the motorcycle experience I dreamed to offer, one filled with cultural discoveries and great, challenging rides.

Creating the routes and destinations for a motorcycle road trip is like an enormous puzzle. One searches among the huge stack of possibilities to find the pieces that will set the base. These are the authentic villages (some classified as national heritage sites) and the vista points. Fine restaurants and charming hotels are also important pieces to start from. Little by little, the whole image begins to appear and the entire journey starts to sharpen. Secondary roads and historical monuments fill in the gaps.

I have done more than 7,000 miles in three weeks to find the perfect 1,000. I’ve visited more than 60 hotels to find the best 12. This is the base of the puzzle. I now invite every passionate rider and adventure seeker to join me on the Royal Enfield 500 classic to live a true Colombian experience.

I am relying on you to make your contribution to this great puzzle.

Discover our 2 colombian itineraries :
Decouverte de la Colombie

Appearance in french national TV news

Mono 500’s Team in Ecuador has had the honor to host the two journalists; Romain Reverdy and Nastasia Haftman. The two reporters from the french national tv channel TF1 in South America have followed our riders on their Royal Enfield during one of our trip in Ecuador.

Ecuador, the South American country is world known to have given its name to the imaginary line that separates earth in two, but it’s less known for its natural wonders, and its dream-like roads for motorcyclists.
Ecuador, land of thousand curves, ideal playground for Sylvie, Véronique, Olivier and Hervé, 4 passionate riders. Here they go for 2300 kms on two wheels…

Broadcast on August 27, 2017

DECOUVREZ NOS CIRCUITS A MOTO EN EQUATEUR

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Road Trip in Ecuador: Mono500 by 4H10

A Video to Witness a Country, a Culture... a Road Trip.

Over the years, 4H10 has become an inevitable platform for the old and new motorcycle devotees. A two-wheels culture that found a second wind thanks to a smart mix of “back to the roots” and modernization. 4H10 dissects the news and put forward major actors of the motorcycle world, in constant search of quirkyand original ways.

Subscribers to the same passion for adventures, motorbikes and cultural discoveries, we would’nt have waited any longer to see Mono500 and 4H10 teams share the road in Ecuador.

During a trip: “Land of 4 Worlds” organized by Mono 500, 4H10 has shot a highly colorful clip to depict a great Royal Enfield ride.

Don’t hesitate to check the detailled program and the schedule of our trips in Ecuador.

 

Text: Simon Basuyau

Mono 500’s Recipe for a Perfect Ride

In a saucepan, add two broad mineral-rich lands and soak in water. Add a pinch of salt and simmer on low heat. With a wooden spoon, start clattering the two lands for several million years. Bring the water to a boil, and allow the volcanic activity to proceed!

Once the volcanic rock sauce spreads on a good half of the land, leave it to rest in the open air for another few millions years. This will generates a perfect erosion and sedimentation. The small amount of remaining water is fine; indeed, it will lead to magnificent natural resources.

 

And that’s it, it’s cooked! The “Quebrada de las Flechas”, an astonishing natural environment located in between the famous wine town of Cafayate, and the authentic Andean village of Cachi. (Don’t forget, before serving it to your guests, to add a pinch of sand.)

By now, you should have a clear idea of who your guests should be. To help you out, they should your best friends—you know, the ones you can scream and yell at, and cry with. They are also the ones you laugh with, you fool around with, and the ones who remind you’re still 25 years old. There has to be quite a few to eat it all and leave nothing, and to make sure that such a motorbike ride logs in the collective memory.

Now comes the time to trust the Mono 500’s team, to let them be in charge of this unique motorcycle journey, a true slalom among impressive and colorful rock formations. This breathtaking landscape may overwhelm your imagination. It is not unusual to wonder if you’re really in Argentina, or if your plane has diverted to a small piece of moon.

The trails and gravel roads of this stage are made for motorcycle adventures. The curved turns, the dusty dust, the sandy sand, and the muddy mud are the condiments of this great feast. The Royal Enfield motorcycle, our legendary choice, acts as our utensil to devour every single kilometer without leaving a single crumb, just a bit of engine oil.

This stage is similar to a family dinner. You’ll leave it stuffed. The authentic village of Cachi will let us witness the traditional Andean culture; allow us to cheer this successful recipe, and rest in a highly comfortable hotel. And while you are recovering from that day’s feast, your Mono500’s motorcycle guide, a true chef, is already concocting the next recipe for the following day.

Don’t forget to check our detailled progams here. 

 

Text: Simon Basuyau

Julian Izquierdo, Photographer.

During a Mono500 motorcycle trip organized in Ecuador, Julian has had the opportunity to make a great quality video that brings a fresh look upon Mono 500 custom tours. Julian Izquierdo Official Page

Julian grew up on the South West French cost, rocked by the sound of the Atlantic waves, certainly the source of his love for nature, and his desire to capture the world’s best.

Julian is a fine video technician, and has been exploring the world as a cameraman for several documentaries productions. The cameraman loves to showcase travels, a true source of inspiration. The need for escapes and his quest for adventure are the blueprint of his work.

Julian is also a true passionate of motorbike rides, he discovered the motocycle world on a Bandit 600, and since then, he has never missed a Wheels & Waves show. It’s a great way to permeate himself with a unique atmosphere and admire the finest motorcycles in the world.

His experiences have sharpened his look upon the world; he now delivers surprising shots, witnessing the whole freedom of travels.

Mechanical Surgeons

Mono 500 is giving you access to its workshop—or shall we say its operating room.

The first regiment of cavalry Royal Enfield sets out every year to conquer the Andean Highlands, and take on the dust, the heat, the altitude, and the various rock formations. It’s a battle, the purpose of which is achieving a bold sense of grandeur, and eternal souvenirs.

By covering thousands of kilometers every year, those iron beasts are on the front line, and injuries aren’t uncommon. After each campaign, a stop at the infirmary is mandatory for each one of our ladies. No exceptions are made; each is given an intravenous drip, fed with engine oil. And in the garage, medics don’t leave anything to chance. The slightest scratch is disinfected, sanded, and painted again.

Some get away with a minor chain stretch or sprained bearings. But if any report with recurring groans or unusual cylindrical noise, it’s open-engine surgery for them! 


These difficult and sensitive surgeries require the full attention of our surgeons. In the Mono 500 workshop, oil pumps and valve guide transplants are delicate and time-consuming procedures.

However, recovery is never too long, and our Mono500 surgical team has never recorded a failure.

The cavalry is always ready, waiting for freedom’s knights to conquer new grounds!

 

Text & photos by Simon Basuyau

« A Motorcycle Road Trip in Argentina » by David Marvier

A l’occasion d’un road trip en Argentine organisé par Mono500 à bord d’une Royal Enfield, David Marvier nous livre un récit photo, haut en couleur, témoignant de la riche culture Argentine et des grands espaces de ce pays.

« Quand je me mets les fesses sur une selle, et que j’entends ronfler une machine, quelle qu’elle soit, tous les soucis disparaissent comme par enchantement ».

David est un passionné de la moto et de la photo depuis son plus jeune âge, il a usé de la gomme sur une MZ 125, puis une 600 Hornet, avant de prendre un peu de vitesse avec une FZ1. Il parcourt la France, puis l’Europe, et goute au sable chaud du Maroc en trial enduro rétro.

Le photographe est un passionné sans limites, il se nourrit de tous les milieux de la moto, de ses expériences avec Harley et 4h10, il participe au Wheels and Waves, au Bike Shed, au Glemseck101 en Allemagne ou au Motorbeach en Espagne pour affiner son point de vue, sa vision, et témoigner de cet incroyable nouvel essor que connait la moto à notre époque.

Ce qui le motive le plus, c’est de partir à la rencontre des acteurs de ces milieux motorisés, que ce soit des pilotes enduro, cross, trial, piste, route ou des préparateurs de café racer, des organisateurs de voyage, des fabricants, ou des patrons de shop, et de retranscrire par l’image cette même passion qui les animent.

David a su être patient, enchainer les petits boulots, apprendre, aiguiser son œil de photographe. A force de courage, de travail et de détermination, il a su imposer son style et travailler avec les plus grands noms du milieu. Que ce soit pour Harley, Triumph, Motoheroes, Sandraiders, Mono500, Kytone, Ride&Sons et bien d’autres, ses clichés apportent une véritable touche artistique, et mettent en lumière le travail de tous ces passionnés.

« A Motorcycle Road Trip in Argentina  »  by David Marvier.

Rental and Tourist circuits in a 4WD vehicle in Salta

Specialized in motorized tourist circuits in the north west region of Argentina, our team is offering for more than 4 years. Authentic trips in the Andes mountain range. Our core business is the organization of atytical roadtrips in remote areas.

Based in Argentina, we have grown a logistic expertise, and a sharp knowledge of the region we travel all year long.

For now on, we are putting forward our 4WD vehicles fleet for your road trips in Argentina,  as well as passionate and talented guides/drivers. You are looking for a French/English-speaking guide in Salta? You love on and off-road drives? You are looking for someone to assist you in your dreaming holydays plans? You are in the right place…

For several months, we have been offering 4WD tours to the Altiplano’s confins. Guided by our talented drivers, on the steering wheel of a Toyota Hilux XRV or a Ford Ranger XLT, travelers will explore the remote areas of Argentina: Volcanos, Pumis stone desert, sand dunes, salt lake desert, lagoons, and many more.

vehicule 4x4On board of full option cars, take advantage of our exclusive services and personalized guidance throughout the length of your journey, we can share our contacts for accommodation booking and extra activities.

We have also decided to go one step further in your holidays planning, you have the opportunity to leave us in charge of everything, and let us plan your perfect trip from start to finish.

Let’s exchange, we want to know your ideal time of vacation, your budget, and your preferences, we’ll do the rest.

 

You can choose to be driven by our guide. On board of our comfortable 4WD SUVs, you will discover places only very few tourists have seen, you can meet with locals and share time with them, and you can just go and stop wherever you feel like.

 

crédit photo David Marvier

crédit photo David Marvier

However, you can also decide to go on your own. Arriving in Salta, we will leave you with the car keys, a personalized road-book and guide-book (made by our team), a GPS, and all the accommodations. For hardened drivers, we can give you waffle boards, camping tents, canteens for a true “on your own” raid. Of course, we give you technical support if needed. Drive free-spirited, we got your back!

 

For those who aren’t looking for personalized trips, we are simply renting various types of vehicles: SUVs, compact sedan, motos. We offer competitive prices!

 

In Mono500, we don’t keep our motorcycle tours exclusively to riders, you can choose our 4WD SUVs to explore them and share amazing times with friends.
You have a travel plan? Please Contact us, we can help you!

Our 4WD SUVs available for renting

Toyota HILUX XRV

With a 3L engine and 180 hp, this Hilux has all the options to get you anywhere with comfort and safety. It has a proud reputation of being among the toughest 4X4.

Ford Ranger XLT

Nothing Beats Cubic Inches for this big 5 cylinders, 3.2L, and 205hp. You will overcome sand dunes like a true rally racer.

All of our vehicles are fully prepared for off-roads trips, and maintained by our specialized mechanics team.

Mono500’s Lodge in Ecuador!

Lodge Mono 500, Equateur, Location Vehicules et séjour Zen

Mono500 is opening its mechanical workshop and its new Lodge in Ecuador.

IMG_5938The extensive search has finally come to an end; we have found the perfect spot to welcome you in Ecuador! We are proud to announce you the Mono500 Lodge is operating!

We have been touring Ecuador over a year now, and were searching for this ideal spot to host our Royal Enfield fleet and offices. We have left no stones unturned to find this ideal lodge right on Santa Marianita’s beach, only 15mins away from Manta’s airport.

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We are welcoming you now, to this beautiful bamboo lodge, only few yards short of the Ocean Pacific shore. The water temperature rarely goes under 85°F, and you won’t wait long before jumping into it…

On the property, Richard, our guide and mechanic, is finishing the construction of the mechanical workshop, using bamboos to stay in the same spirit and natural style.

In this paradise spot, our logistic team and its travelers are forced to swim in the ocean, practice kite surfing, and watch the whales coming nearby as you eat fresh seafood…

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Fishing is an inevitable activity in the region of Manta. Every day, local fishermen are selling out on the beach. Don Henry, our chef in the Lodge’s kitchen will do the rest with perfection.

You are planning a motorcycle trip in Ecuador? You are willing to extend your journey in this beautiful country? You are simply passing by Ecuador and want to delight yourself? Feel at home here in Mono500’s Lodge! We are welcoming you all year long, and if you are driving by and need mechanical support, our team will be pleased to help you  !

Contact us for more details !