Patagonia is a remote and incredibly beautiful part of the world, at the southernmost tip of South America. Set in Chile and Argentina, this region offers a combination of gravel and asphalt riding, through a unique and undisturbed wilderness. Turquoise lakes, jagged granite mountains, and blue glaciers provide a perfect backdrop for your Patagonian adventure.
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. There is a short ferry journey across the Magellan Straits to Tierra del Fuego. Then let’s make our way to the most southern place on the planet reachable by road. Riding through Ushuaia, we reach Bahia Lapataia in Tierra del Fuego National Park. It will be a big celebration!
This tour is a standalone ride and forms part of Stage 4 of the Trans Americas Motorcycle Expedition.
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 17 – Dec 12, 2020||£9,495||£1,600||£5,595||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 17 – Dec 12, 2020|
|Rider Shared Room:||£9,495|
|Passenger Shared Room:||£5,595|
|Bike Rental:||Tiger 800: £2,930|
Patagonia – Stage 4 Trans Americas
This is our extended motorcycle tour of Patagonia, for 26 days, starting in Santiago, Chile and finishing in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Week 1 CHILE & ARGENTINA LAKE DISTRICT
After time to rest in Santiago, and a few days to explore the city, we set off south to the famous Ruta Interlagos and the Chilean Lake District. We have time to explore the Lago Panguipulli and Lago Calafquen and take a remote dirt road across Conguillo National Park. Our road to the border is in the shadow of Volcan Llaima and once in Argentina, it’s the Seven Lakes Road en route to the beautiful lakeside town of Bariloche. Be prepared to think you are in Switzerland!
Week 2 CARRETERA AUSTRAL & RUTA 40
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 will 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.
Week 3 TORRES DEL PAINE & TIERRA DEL FUEGO
We return to Chile again to explore the soaring granite peaks in Torres del Paine National Park, yet another World Heritage Listed sight.
We will board the ferry, traversing the Magellan Straits to Tierra del Fuego, which 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 TIERRA DEL FUEGO & PUNTA ARENAS
There are two free days in Ushuaia for you to soak up the atmosphere, before heading back north. Our final night on Tierra del Fuego is at a remote estancia overlooking Lago Blanco. It’s a perfect location to reflect on the magnificence of Patagonia. Our final days ride still has some awesome dirt roads across the island before taking the ferry again and a short ride to Punta Arenas (Chile). We drop of our bikes for freight and say our good-byes. You’ll leave with life-long memories and friends.
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.
Many riders are delighted at the quality and variety of the accommodation included. Most hotels will have rooms with en suite bathrooms, satellite TV, free wifi, bar and restaurant, but as this tour is primarily located in more remote locations, this means accommodation can be limited and more simple 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 – you are hundreds of miles away from anything that can be described genuinely as a town!
Some our favourite accommodation on this trip is our stay by Lago Blanco at Hosteria Las Lengas and at Green Baker Lodge on the Carretera Austral. We also love staying at Estancia Angostura and eating fresh roast Patagonia lamb.
In addition in these remote locations, a single room is not always possible, so please note that there are four nights in this tour where you will not be able to have a single room and also where there are multiple shared rooms (ie three or four riders to a room).
You have the benefit of booking your motorcycle expedition 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
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 start and end point.
You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Santiago to arrive no later than 17 November 2020. The earliest leave date is any time on 12 December 2020 from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Only book your flights once we have confirmed that your motorcycle expedition 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.
We understand that booking a motorcycle 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. In addition, we hold a Pre-Expedition Meeting for the group at our premises between 3 – 6 months prior to the start of the expedition.
What type of bike do I need?
We recommend that you use a dual purpose / adventure style bike. We support any make and model. Our Support Crew ride the Triumph Tiger 800XCA or Tiger 1200XCA. We also have extensive experience with the BMW GS motorcycle 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?
Riding in Patagonia 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.
It is strongly recommended to have 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. You do not need to be an expert, but riders normally have undertaken off road training, such as that provided by Adventure Bike Training or Off Road Skills.
Please note that our route covers around 25% of dirt and gravel roads (up to 1,000 miles), although as the infrastructure develops, this may reduce in future years. In addition the weather conditions can be challenging and in particular, Patagonia is known for its strong crosswinds.
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. 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 freight agent will crate your motorcycle and do all the necessary documents. Your bike is either air freighted or sea freighted to the start point. At the other end, the GlobeBusters Team facilitate the Customs Clearance of your motorcycle. Sometimes you must be physically present for your motorcycle to be cleared; sometimes we can do this on your behalf. Each trip is different and processes regularly change. When the trip finishes, you will ride your bike to our freight agent, who will freight your motorcycle back to the original leave point.
What about servicing & tyres?
This ride is approximately 3,500 miles and so we do not organise any service points for the bikes or to pick up new tyres. You must ensure that your motorcycle has had a full service prior to arriving and has new tyres. Tyre choice is your responsibility but we do provide advice on this at our Pre-Expedition Meeting.
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 motorcycle groups are normally between 10 – 16 riders, some with 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, but every expedition normally has between one to four couples travelling.
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 Motorcycle 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). 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 in Chile and Argentina. We advise you to check with your own government about the safety and security of these places. As of March 2019, and according to British FCO advice at that time, none of the route runs through areas that have travel warnings in place, and the countries do not have travel warnings in place.
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, 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.
Do I need visas for travel?
UK / EU Citizens do not require a visa in advance for travel in Chile and Argentina. 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.
What about my health when I am abroad?
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. This is a risk you need to accept when 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. The websites below will give you the current rates of exchange.
USA – US Dollar
Chile – Chilean Peso
Argentina – Argentina Peso