Apr 29

Getting Around in Colombia: Bicycles in Tolú

Tolú is a small, lively village on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. It’s notable for its beautiful beaches, its nearby tropical islands, and for the volume of the music the locals play as they cycle around town. Yes, you read that right, as they cycle.

Colorful sunset in Tolú

In Tolú cars are dinosaurs of the 20th Century, incapable of playing host to the enormous speakers that the locals want attached to their mode of transport. Bikes are better for the environment, they keep you fitter and there are no windows to dampen or obscure the music. Of course, you’ll see cars around, but one of Tolú’s most charming features is its love of bicycles.

Indeed, from the very first moment you step off the bus and into the station you’ll very quickly become acquainted with this trademark of Tolú. Instead of the usual line of yellow Colombian taxis you’ll be greeted by a rather intimidating group of incredibly athletic looking men that are asking for your bags. But don’t worry; they’re so big because they own bici-taxis, meaning they’re there to cycle you from the station into Tolú’s center.

Yup, you, your husband, your child and your 20kg luggage can all squeeze onto these bikes and be cycled around at your will in the scorching Caribbean sun. You’d almost feel bad for these guys if they didn’t make it look so easy.

Sunset in Tolú, Colombia
Sunset in Tolú, Colombia

A bici-taxi from the bus station to the center of town will set you back about $3,000 per person with a bit of friendly negotiation, and once in town it should be around $2,000. That said, the gym membership you’ll be inspired to take up when you get back home from your Colombian vacation will probably cost you much more.


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