Patagonia is a remote and incredibly beautiful part of the world, at the southernmost tip of South America. Set in both Chile and Argentina, this region offers an amazing combination of gravel and asphalt riding through a unique and undisturbed wilderness. Against a backdrop of turquoise lakes, jagged granite mountains, and blue glaciers, we ride through “off the beaten track” places and stay with a local family on their working estancia (local ranch) to enjoy a traditional racked roast lamb. Ride to the most southern place on the planet reachable by road – Bahia Lapataia in Tierra del Fuego National Park, before heading north along the South Atlantic coast to Buenos Aires.
This tour is a standalone ride and forms part of Stage 4 of the Trans Americas Expedition. If 31 days is too long away for you, then look at our shorter 17 day Patagonia Tour with rental motorcycle – Patagonia: To the End of the World.
At a glance
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.
|Nov 7 – Dec 7, 2018||£8,995||£1,900||£4,995||Triumph Tiger 800: £2,930|
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:||Nov 7 – Dec 7, 2018|
|Rider Shared Room:||£8,995|
|Passenger Shared Room:||£4,995|
|Bike Rental:||Triumph Tiger 800: £2,930|
Patagonia (Stage 4)
This is our extended tour of Patagonia, for 31 days, starting in Santiago, Chile and finishing in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Weeks 1 & 2 PATAGONIA (CHILE & ARGENTINA)
Arrive in Santiago, collect your motorcycle and to explore the city. Then we set off south to the famous Ruta Interlagos and the Chilean Lake District. One of many Andean border crossings between Chile and Argentina, takes us to the beautiful lakeside town of Bariloche. Be prepared to think you are in Switzerland! Cross back to Chile to ride the Carretera Austral, an incredible dirt road nestling between the ocean and the mountains, curling around turquoise lakes, passing jagged hanging glaciers and sparkling waterfalls. Stay in the old wooden houses of the original German settlers and pine cabins by the lakes. This section of riding can be challenging, but the region is pristine and stunning.
Then it’s the most infamous road in South America – Ruta 40. A gravel road through the heart of Patagonia where the strong crosswinds can battle you for the bike! We rest overnight at a traditional estancia and dine on fresh racked roast lamb. In El Calafate, we divert from the main route to visit the immense ice colossus of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Again, it’s back to Chile to see the soaring granite peaks in Torres del Paine National Park, yet another World Heritage Listed sight.
Week 3 TIERRA DEL FUEGO
The ferry, crossing the Magellan Straits to Tierra del Fuego, steams back and forth without respite. We cross from Chile back to Argentina amidst reminders and memorials to the Falklands War. Then all too soon, you’ll ride the final pass – The Garibaldi, before dropping into Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel. It’s straight to the Tierra del Fuego National Park and the “End of the Road” sign. Congratulations! You are one of a tiny handful of riders to have ridden to the most southerly point accessible by road. Time to celebrate!
Week 4 ARGENTINA
Turning north, we re-trace our tracks across the island back to the Argentine mainland and begin our ride on the Atlantic coast road to Buenos Aires. En route, we stop on the Peninsula Valdez, famous for its wildlife to see penguins, sea lions and maybe even whales, as well as visiting old Welsh settlements for tea. Our final nights are across the Pampas, so watch out for the gauchos. In Buenos Aires, it’s a night out at the most famous tango bar in the city. We head over the Rio Plata and take the bikes to the docks in Montevideo, before our final night in Buenos Aires and then home.
We use 100% hotel accommodation, which is booked in advance. We primarily use good quality 4* and some 3* hotels. In bigger cities, this tends to be 4* hotels, sometimes belonging to an international chain; in smaller or more remote places, hotels can be more independent, characterful hotels.
This tour is primarily located in more remote locations, and so this means accommodation can be limited and more basic in places. It may be a pine cabin by a river and for one night we stay on an estancia (local ranch) and in these places, please don’t expect wifi or even a mobile phone signal.
Most riders are surprised at the quality of the accommodation included. Almost all hotels we use as standard will have rooms with en suite bathrooms, satellite TV, free wifi, bar and restaurant.
However, what we don’t promise you is to stop at the best hotel in every town we pull into. This is not billed as a luxury tour, but we do ensure that you are comfortable, have a clean bed, can get a cold beer and a hot shower. And remember that sometimes “best in the location” may end up being fairly basic, but this is only on a few destinations.
Before you go
We understand that booking an expedition is a big commitment both financially and in terms of time and preparation. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked before riders book. If you wish to meet with us prior to booking to ask more questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
What type of bike do I need?
We recommend that you use a medium to large capacity dual purpose / adventure style bike. We support any make and model of motorcycle. Our Support Crew ride the Triumph Tiger 800XCA or Triumph Explorer XCA. We also have extensive experience with the BMW GS range, having ridden them for over 15 years. What is important is that you have a reliable and robust bike that you are comfortable riding and has been fully serviced prior to the start and has new tyres.
What riding experience do I need?
This trip is not suitable for novice riders. We generally recommend that you are an experienced motorcyclist, who has ridden overseas before and is used to touring. You will enjoy the experience more if your riding is of an advanced standard and by that we mean you have a good command of slow control (eg you don’t dangle your feet or paddle at slow speeds and can U-turn your bike), you are assertive on the road and have good forward planning and hazard perception, you are able to perform safe and precise overtakes and are able ride to the legal speed limits.
You also need to have some experience of riding your motorcycle on unpaved surfaces such as gravel, and dirt as some of the expedition routes are on these types of roads. In addition, if there any roadworks on our route, normally diversions will be on temporary dirt roads.
Please note that our route covers around 10% of dirt and gravel roads (up to 2,000 miles), although as the infrastructure develops, this may reduce in future years.
How does motorcycle freight work?
Included in your price is freight to and from the UK, but no matter where you are based in the world, we can facilitate freight of your motorcycle. In the USA, we can facilitate freight from Los Angeles, Houston and New York. In Australia, freight from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth. In Canada, freight from Vancouver and Toronto. In Europe, we can transport your motorcycle to London to join our group freight. Freight outside of the UK may incur additional costs – please ask us for a quote.
You must take your motorcycle to the appointed freight depot. Our agents crates your motorcycle and does all the necessary documents. Your bike is either air freighted or sea freighted to the start point. At the other end, we do the Customs Clearance of your motorcycle, but sometimes you must be physically present at Customs to do this, with your original documents. When the trip finishes, we freight your motorcycle back to the original leave point.
What about servicing & tyres?
For expeditions of over 6000 miles, we will facilitate all servicing, by making the appointment in advance at the dealer and we pre-order tyres for you if you have requested this. Where possible all servicing is arranged at an authorised dealer for your make of bike. You are responsible for the costs of the service directly with the dealer, as well as the costs of any new tyres you have requested.
Is it difficult to get fuel?
We have never had any issue with finding fuel. In certain regions, once en route, we will warn you in advance of any possible fuel shortages or if there is a route with a key fuel stop, where everyone must fill up with fuel to get to the next destination. It is not necessary to fit any after-market large fuel tank or carry fuel bottles, although some riders chose to do so. Our support vehicle also carries spare fuel for emergencies.
What is the average group size?
Our groups are normally between 8 – 12 riders (some have passengers). Our groups are often very international and whilst the majority of riders come from the UK, we also get riders from USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and so on. Groups are predominantly solo male riders.
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?
All our expeditions have a dedicated GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, driven by a GlobeBusters Support Driver. It is capable of carrying two motorcycle and two passengers. Our support vehicles carry a satellite phone, mobile phone, medical bag and spinal board, spare fuel, water, tools, some spare parts, some spare tyres. Our support vehicle provides temporary assistance to you if you have a mechanical problem or an accident and are injured.
This is not a luggage vehicle – you must carry your own luggage on your motorcycle. For more information, please see our Support Vehicle section.
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 and hotel information. You can use this to self-navigate. If you prefer to ride with our Expedition Leader, then you can do this. Occasionally we will ask you to ride in a group when we are crossing a border or if there is a security issue.
What documents do I need?
You will need your original documents as follows: Passport, Motorcycle Registration Document or Title, Driving Licence, International Driving Permit. In addition you must have travel/medical insurance and 3rd party motorcycle insurance (where available). [Carnet de Passage]. As visa requirements are dependent on your nationality and a complex with constantly changing requirements, we would direct you to our appointed visa agency for advice. www.thevisamachine.com
Are these countries safe?
We travel the length of the world, through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, USA, Canada and Alaska. We advise you to check with your own government about the safety and security of these places. As of July 2016, and according to British FCO advice at that time, none of the route runs through areas that have travel warnings in place, although some of the countries do have some regions that are advised against travel. We do not go to any of these regions.
What will the weather be like?
We are travelling in Patagonia in November and December and this is the start of the summer season. It will be warm and sunny in Santiago and Buenos Aires, but as we head south, temperatures will fall and weather becomes more unpredictable. There is still the possibility of snow flurries at this time or you could be wearing a T-shirt! Come prepared.
UK / EU Citizens do not require a visa in advance for travel in Chile and Argentina. USA and Canadian Citizens have a Reciprocity Fee to pay for entering Argentina.
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.
Travel Health / Medical
It is a condition of your travel with us that you have in place travel / 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.
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.
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. The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.
USA – US Dollar
Chile – Chilean Peso
Argentina – Argentina Peso