Chile & Argentina – Atacama & Andes

On this new Chile and Argentina Motorcycle Tour, you could be riding on another planet – how about Valley of the Moon!  Northern Chile and Argentina is a region of astonishing contrasts – from the driest desert in the world to high altitude vineyards, making world class wines.  Sand dunes, ghost towns, smoking volcanoes, shimmering white salt flats, mountain passes of 4,200m in the sky, cloud forests & butterflies, flamingos area all part of this motorcycle adventure!  You’ll ride where skies are so clear, major observatories dot the top of the mountains for the best star gazing in the world.  Bike along the spectacular Pacific Coast road, through the twisting road of Cuesta de Miranda, with its rugged cliffs and red rocky outcrops and past South America’s highest mountain, Aconcagua before riding the amazing switchbacks of the Cristo Redentor Pass as you descend from the Andes to Santiago.  The north of Chile & Argentina may not be as famous as its southern Patagonia counterparts, but it’s significantly more diverse and delivers superb mountain motorcycling!

At a glance

13

Duration (days)

1995

Miles Covered

Moderate

Riding difficulty

<5%

Unpaved Roads

Small

Culture Shock

At a glance

Duration (days): 13
Miles Covered: 1995
Riding difficulty: Moderate
Unpaved Roads: <5%
Culture Shock: Small

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.

DateRider
Shared Room
Single SupplementPassenger
Shared Room
Bike Rental
Oct 29 – Nov 10, 2020£3,100£800£2,800BMW R 1200 GS: £2,295
BMW F 800 GS: £1,995
BMW F 700 GS: £1,895

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.
Date:Oct 29 – Nov 10, 2020
Rider Shared Room: £3,100
Single Supplement:£800
Passenger Shared Room:£2,800
Bike Rental:BMW R 1200 GS: £2,295
BMW F 800 GS: £1,995
BMW F 700 GS: £1,895
  • This superb Chile & Argentina motorcycle tour delivers great experiences:

    • Spectacular Pacific Coast road sandwiched between sheer cliffs and the ocean – take a tour around the mining ghost town at Humberstone
    • Ride the Valley of the Moon at sunset, with a superb view of Lincancabur volcano
    • Awesome route over the 4,200m Paso de Jama into Argentina – try riding on the salt flats of Salinas Grandes
    • Magnificent views of the Mountain of Seven Colours and ride the UNESCO Listed Quebrada de Humahuaca
    • Winetasting at Etchart Vineyards in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley, home to some of the highest altitude vineyards – our favourite is Torrontes!
    • The twisting road of Cuesta de Miranda, through rugged cliffs and intense red rocky outcrops to the Garganta del Diablo (The Devils Throat)!
    • South America’s highest mountain, Aconcagua and the Cristo Redentor Pass, with stunning switchbacks descending to Santiago
  • This is a 13 day, 12 night tour covering approximately 1,995 miles (3,210 kms)

    Day 1 – Arica, Chile
    Fly into Arica and transfer to group hotel.  Bike familiarisation.  Group Evening Dinner

    Day 2 – Arica to Iquique (195 miles)
    Head into the vast expanses of the Atacama Desert.  Magnificent views of Cuesta de Camarones.  Explore the ghost town of Humberstone.  Massive cliff descent into the port town of Iquique.  Overnight at a beach side hotel.

    Day 3 – Iquique to San Pedro de Atacama (300 miles)
    Superb ride along the Pacific Coast – you have the road to yourself.  Then inland across the desert to San Pedro de Atacama.

    Day 4 – San Pedro de Atacama
    Time to explore in San Pedro and surrounding areas.  Head to the Tatio Geysers (best early morning), ride through the Valley of the Moon (best at sunset), go star gazing at night – these are the clearest skies in the world.

    Day 5 – San Pedro de Atacama to Purmamarca (Argentina) (256 miles)
    Exit Chile and climb up to 4,200m on the Paso de Jama.  Cross into Argentina.  Divert off the road to play on the Salinas Grandes salt flats.  Massive twisty descent through the mountains to Purmamarca.

    Day 6 – Purmamarca to Cafayate (231 miles)
    Beautiful roads in the foothills of the Andes to the famous high altitude vineyards of Cafayate, birthplace of Torrontes.  Overnight in a superb boutique lodge.

    Day 7 – Cafayate
    Day off to explore the vineyards – our favourite is to rent bicycles to cycle Bodega Etchart for plenty of wine tasting!  Or you can chill out in the local sleepy plaza and drink wine in the little bars around ts edge.

    Day 8 – Cafayate to Catamarca (226 miles)
    Why not pull in to see the ancient ruins of Quilmes? Ride through Tafi de Valle (stop and try delicious alfajores with your coffee!) and into the cloud forest – if we’re lucky there’ll be butterflies – lots of twists and turns.

    Day 9 – Catamarca to Villa Union (275 miles)
    Today’s includes the lovely Cuesta de Miranda, with its wonderful red rock formations – you can walk even through the Devil’s Throat!

    Day 10 – Villa Union to Lujan de Cuyo (305 miles)
    A longer days ride through the foothills of the Andes and through the famous Mendoza wine region. Overnight in a wine lodge.

    Day 11 – Lujan de Cuyo to Santiago (Chile) (213 miles)
    A superb final ride into the Andes, past Aconcagua and back into Chile.  The descent after the border crossing is a classic glut of hairpins, snaking its way back down to the valley.  Once in Santiago, we drop the bikes off at the depot.

    Day 12 – Santiago
    A day to enjoy the city before heading home – we have a final group dinner tonight to celebrate the ride.

    Day 13 – Fly Home
    Transfer to the international airport for your flight home.

  • You have the benefit of booking your motorcycle tour with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

    Before you go

    • The assurance of booking with a fully bonded and insured UK tour operator and knowing that your money paid in advance is protected.
    • Motorcycle Tour Travel Pack, including Tour Specific Guidance Handbook, SD Card with GPS Route, riding and safety tips, information about the hotels, the route and the sights
    • Access to the GlobeBusters Team for one to one meeting about preparing for the tour and what to expect.

    En Route

    • Hotel bed and breakfast accommodation on a shared basis (unless Single Room booked).
    • Standard of accommodation is equivalent 4* standard.
    • Two evening meals – your Welcome & Farewell Dinners. Alcoholic drinks excluded.
    • Local overnight hotel parking charges.
    • Airport Transfers at the start and the end of the Tour, provided you arrive on the official start and end dates.

    Support Crew

    • GlobeBusters Motorcycle Tour Leader on a motorcycle to accompany the group
    • Support Driver and Vehicle, equipped with satellite phone, spare fuel, water, tools, selected spare parts and emergency first aid kit, acting as a sweeper vehicle

    Motorcycle Hire

    Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised by us with the local motorcycle rental provider, who is the Approved BMW Travel Partner for Chile.   Your rental fee includes:

    • 11 days of motorcycle rental of the model as chosen by you (or equivalent model) – you drop your bike off with the rental provider on the day you arrive in Santiago.
    • Motorcycle is supplied with side cases / panniers.
    • International third party motorcycle insurance in Argentina and third party motorcycle insurance in Chile.
    • One way charge to deliver the motorcycle to Arica from the original hiring depot

    We act as agent for the local provider and on arrival, you are required to sign the local rental agency terms and conditions of hire – please request these, if you require sight in advance.  It is mandatory that you provide valid credit card details as a guarantee against damages.  On collection, we advise you to check your rental motorcycle carefully and to take photographs of it, as proof of its condition.

    Please note that on rare occasions we may need to substitute your choice of motorcycle for something similar.

    If you require any other motorcycle accessories (tank bag, top box, GPS mount, GPS unit etc), please request these on booking and an additional charge may be applicable.

    Not Included

    • Return passenger airline flights or any other travel costs to get to the start and from the finish point for the tour.
    • Personal travel, accident and medical insurance
    • Entrance fees to sights and parks, optional excursions or activities, (except where stated)
    • Lunches, snacks or evening meals (except where stated). Any meals whilst on board ferries.
    • Personal spending money, tips, souvenirs or other extras.
    • Personal documentation (eg visas, passport), vaccinations, personal taxes, border crossing fees.
    • Fuel, oil & other motorcycle consumables, toll road fees, traffic fines.
    • Cost of parts, labour or other indirect costs relating to the repair of any damage to your motorcycle or a rental motorcycle
    • We do not supply riding gear; you must bring your own helmet, jacket, trousers and gloves.
    • Any other item not specifically stated as included in the price.

    Flights

    For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights.  Once we have confirmed that this tour is a guaranteed departure, it is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination.  You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Arica (Chile) to arrive after 2pm on 29 October 2020.  The earliest leave date is any time on 10 November 2020 from Santiago (Chile).

    Your flight route will normally be an international flight to Santiago (Chile’s capital) and then via LATAM or Sky Airlines to/from the start/end points.

    Only book your flights once we have confirmed that your tour is a guaranteed departure.  We do not refund flight costs if you have booked flights for a tour that has not been notified as a guaranteed departure.

    Should you wish to arrive before the official date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.

    Please also refer to our terms and conditions.
  • When you book a motorcycle tour with us, we provide you with Tour Specific Guidance Notes that give you detailed information about what you need to know to prepare and plan your tour, and what to expect when on our motorcycle tour.  Here are some of the questions that we often get asked before a rider makes a booking.   If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us and we can set up a one-to-one meeting.

    What riding experience do I need?
    This route is primarily a paved road route, with sweeping coastal roads and twisting mountain roads that go to high altitudes.  Generally road conditions are good and once out of town, roads are traffic free.  You do need to watch out for slow moving trucks in blind bends and skittish wildlife.  The larger cities of Mendoza and Santiago are busy and a little chaotic.  This tour is suitable for a good road rider, preferably with previous experience of touring overseas.  It is also suitable for experienced two-up couples.

    Do I have to ride in a group?
    No!  We do not make you ride in convoy.  We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride.  We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates, a highlighted map and hotel information.  You can use this to self-navigate, or if you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Tour Leader, then you can do this.

    What is the average group size?
    Our groups are normally around 12 riders (some riders will have passengers), up to a maximum of 16 riders.  8 riders is the minimum number to confirm the guaranteed departure of the tour.

    Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
    We have had other riders successfully complete this ride with a pillion passenger.  Your passenger needs to also be an experienced tourer.

    Is there a support vehicle?
    Yes, this tour operates with a local support vehicle and driver.  The support vehicle will carry one piece of luggage per person, up to a maximum of 60 litres each.  Your luggage should be dustproof and waterproof and we recommend soft bags such as Ortleib. Hard suitcases or baggage with wheels are not recommended.

    Tell me about motorcycle rental
    Where you have chosen to rent a motorcycle, this is organised by us with the local motorcycle rental provider, who is the Approved BMW Travel Partner for Chile.   Your rental fee includes:

    • 11 days of motorcycle rental of the model as chosen by you (or equivalent model)
    • Motorcycle is supplied with side cases / panniers.
    • International third party motorcycle insurance in Argentina and third party motorcycle insurance in Chile.
    • One way charge to deliver the motorcycle to Arica from the original hiring depot

    We act as agent for the local provider and on arrival, you are required to sign the local rental agency terms and conditions of hire – please request these, if you require sight in advance.  It is mandatory that you provide valid credit card details as a guarantee against damages.  On collection, we advise you to check your rental motorcycle carefully and to take photographs of it as proof of its condition.

    Please note that on rare occasions we may need to substitute your choice of motorcycle for something similar.

    If you require any other motorcycle accessories (tank bag, top box, GPS mount, GPS unit etc), please request these on booking and an additional charge may be applicable.

    What documents do I need?
    You will need your original documents as follows:  Passport, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit.

    What about flights?
    For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights.  Once we have confirmed that this tour is a guaranteed departure, it is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination.  You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Arica (Chile) to arrive after 2pm on 29 October 2020.  The earliest leave date is any time on 10 November 2020 from Santiago (Chile).

    Your flight route will normally be an international flight to Santiago (Chile’s capital) and then via LATAM or Sky Airlines to/from the start/end points.

    Only book your flights once we have confirmed that your tour is a guaranteed departure.  We do not refund flight costs if you have booked flights for a tour that has not been notified as a guaranteed departure.  Should you wish to arrive before the official date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.

    What will the weather be like?
    In Northern Chile skies are normally clear, with warm and pleasant temperatures and dry conditions.  As you go to altitude, evenings will be chilly and riding over the mountain peaks with also be cool.  Similar conditions are experienced in Northern Argentina.  Santiago is normally warm and sunny – it is the start of summer.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather
    http://www.worldclimate.com/

    Do I need visas for travel?
    UK, most EU, USA citizens do not require visas in advance of travel.

    The above information is provided in good faith.  It is your responsibility to have the correct visas in place prior to travel.  Please check what requirements are necessary for your nationality.

    http://www.thevisamachine.com/

    What about my health when I am abroad?
    It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel and medical insurance to cover you for medical treatment and repatriation if you suffer any illness or injury when on the expedition, including any injury sustained from riding or being a passenger on a motorcycle.  Before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit your GP or a specialised travel clinic to get advice on the recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures needed for the countries on this trip. As background, the websites listed below may prove useful.

    http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/
    http://www.masta-travel-health.com/

    Please note that many countries on this route do not have the same level of medical infrastructure nor consistent medical standards that you may be used to.  In particular, emergency services often may be a long distance away, with no co-ordinated response, or sometimes no medical response available within reasonable times. This is a risk you accept on booking.

    What about local currency?
    The base currency for this trip is the US Dollar. The US Dollar is readily exchangeable for the local currencies. When you bring US Dollars, it must be in MINT condition or locals will not readily exchange the notes.  Chile uses the Chilean Peso.  Argentina uses the Argentinian Peso.  The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.

    http://www.oanda.com/
    http://www.travelex.co.uk/