SOLD OUT FOR 2018. 2020 DATES TO BE RELEASED SHORTLY.
It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this! This 24,000 mile motorcycle expedition is the ultimate adventure through diverse terrain, cultures and peoples, bringing you the best balance of spectacular and challenging riding, with time to explore the countries that you are travelling through.
From monolithic skyscrapers to crumbling shanty towns, towering glaciers to steamy tropical rain forest, race track tarmac to tiny snaking dirt tracks, this ride has it all. The longest mountain range in the world, the deepest canyon, the highest navigable lake, the driest desert, the most southerly city and an abundance of world heritage and indigenous cultural to discover on the way.
“Awesome, The Ultimate, Epic, Extraordinary and Life Changing“.
Not our words, but the words of our customers. Quite literally, this ride can change your life.
At a glance
North America (Stage 1)
Central America & Mexico (Stage 2)
Northern Andes (Stage 3)
Patagonia (Stage 4)
This epic motorcycle tour operates for 21 weeks. It starts in Anchorage, Alaska and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Week 1 – ALASKA
In Anchorage we celebrate the start with a wild salmon BBQ and shooting guns, Alaskan style! Ride the infamous dirt of the Dalton Highway into the Arctic Circle. Arrive at Prudhoe Bay, the most northerly point accessible by road in the Americas. Getting to Prudhoe Bay is a massive achievement in its own right! Join the Polar Bear Club and swim in the Arctic Ocean. Turn south down the Alaskan Highway.
Weeks 2 & 3 – CANADA
The “town” of Boundary marks our entrance to Canada as we head to the frontier town of Dawson City still with its wooden sidewalks, and dirt roads. Pristine turquoise lakes and endless forests line your route through the Yukon. Most riders spot bear and moose from the side of the road. In British Columbia, we take the peaceful and pretty Stewart Cassiar Highway to Bear Glacier, Stewart and Hyder (the most southerly town in Alaska). If you’ve not seen bears yet, you’ll see them feeding at Fish Creek. Then have your own fresh halibut feast at “The Bus”.
Riding south to Jasper National Park, the scenery continues to be massive vistas of nature at its best – mountains, glaciers and forests. Throughout it all are uncongested beautiful winding roads to enjoy. We are now in the Indian territories of old – visit Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump and learn how generations of Indians hunted and preserved the herds, before relaxing by the lakeshore in Waterton National Park.
Weeks 4 & 5 – USA
Glacier National Park and its famous “Going to the Sun” Road will take your breath away as you cross the Continental Divide at Logans Pass. Ride by the bubbling volcanic mud pools and huge herds of bison in Yellowstone National Park. We stay at Old Faithful Inn, overlooking the world’s most famous geyser. On to Buffalo Bill’s home, Cody to see the cowboys of old and marvel at the rodeo antics.
Then it’s more of the USA’s spectacular national parks. See the famous arch in Arches National Park. Wind your way through the striking red monoliths of Valley of the Gods and Monument Valley. Then take a remote dirt road out to the narrowest point of the Grand Canyon (North Rim), a tourist free zone! In Las Vegas, we rest briefly for bike servicing and new tyres or if you are finishing here, then we will say good-bye.
Weeks 6 & 7 – MEXICO
Some riders may be joining us in Las Vegas. Head south via Tombstone to enter Mexico through a small border post and spend our first night at Nuevo Casa Grandes, over 100 miles south of the border. Copper Canyon is larger than the Grand Canyon and we follow the narrow road that winds its way through the lush and spectacular scenery to Batopilas. Head for the colonial heartland of Zacatecas, the centre of silver mining production and the tiny cobbled streets and pink cathedral of San Miguel de Allende.
Climb high into the steamy cloud forests and tiny mountain villages, before descending to the Caribbean coast and endless miles of deserted beaches. Take a plunge in the ocean for the first time since Alaska! Enter Chiapas Province, once the stronghold of the Zapatista rebels, and visit the breathtaking Mayan ruins of Palenque, before spending our final night in Mexico in another colonial gem, San Cristobal.
Week 8 – GUATEMALA
Head into steamy Guatemala and ride to the small town of Panajachel on the edge of Lake Atitlan, with its stunning volcanic backdrop. Then it’s a short ride into the highlands to visit the famous Indian market at Chichicastenango. Relax for a few nights at the exquisite colonial town of Antigua Guatemala. Dodge the old smoking colourful buses in a hectic ride around Guatemala City to head to the border with Honduras.
Week 9 – HONDURAS & NICARAGUA
Visit the most southern Mayan ruins at Copan. The ride across Honduras takes only a day, but we go off the main Pan American to see local life in smaller villages. In Nicaragua, our first stop is on the main plaza in Granada, where we can sit on the veranda and watch life go by or go boating on Lake Nicaragua. We head to the coast to get our first taste of Pacific beach life and enjoy the best sunsets and fresh lobster.
Week 10 – COSTA RICA & PANAMA
Our penultimate Central American country is Costa Rica. Ride from the palm fringed beaches of the Pacific, past Arenal Volcano to the Caribbean coast for a cocktail on the beach. Stop along the way in the jungle with a chance to walk, raft or zip line through the jungle canopy. Down the coast we cross into Panama on a route used by banana traders since the 1900’s.
Ride over the Bridge of the Americas into our first real city since Tucson and prepare the bikes for freight to South America (or back home if you leave us here) – but not before exploring the old city and seeing the huge container ships pass through the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal.
Week 11 & 12 – COLOMBIA
We spend enough time in Bogota for you to collect the bikes, have them serviced and also see some of the city itself. The Gold Museum is a must! We head north to Villa de Leyva and Bucaramanga through the Chichamocha Canyon, turning across the flat plains to the UNESCO Listed town of Mompox on the banks of the Magdalena River. Ride through coffee plantations and sugar cane fields and through lush green mountains. Your first experience of riding in the Andes will never be forgotten!
Our furthest point north in South America will be a two night stop over in Cartagena, on the Caribbean Coast, arguably the best preserved colonial town in South America. We turn back south and into the mountains to the city of Medellin, former stomping ground of Pablo Escobar, and then it twists and turns the whole way south, where we’ll stay at a coffee plantation lodge, and an 16th century converted monastery. The biggest danger in Colombia will be wanting to stay!
Week 13 – ECUADOR
Crossing into Ecuador, we head for the quaint Indian market town of Otovalo. Then it’s a major milestone – The Equator! We can park one wheel in the north and one in the south as we straddle the line with our bikes. Time to explore Quito is followed by two days in the Amazonian Rain Forest, teaming with life. Through to Cuenca we can relax in the thermal pools, before taking a small mountain road to a quiet border and our entry to Peru
Weeks 14 & 15 – PERU
Peru is a contrast to what has gone before and you’ll encounter desert! We head through the Sechura Desert to the city of Trujillo, from where you can head out to the surf beaches at Huanchaco or explore the adobe ruins of Chan Chan. Travel the tiny dirt road of Canyon del Pato, back into the high Andes, where we take a new mountain route through Peru’s highest peaks and the Huascaran National Park, before reaching the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. We spend two night here and you have time to take the train to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. After, we ride to Cusco, where we can enjoy a beer at the famous motorcycle overlander bar, The Norton Rats!
It’s a high altitude ride across the altiplano to Puno on the edge of Lake Titicaca where you can take a boat out to the reed islands of Uros, followed by more breathtaking riding to Chivay – let’s see if we can spot condors at Colca Canyon, before we take more uncongested roads (well, ok, watch out for llama and alpaca!), to the White City of Arequipa & El Misti Volcano.
Weeks 16 & 17 NORTHERN CHILE & ARGENTINA
Then over the border and settle down to enjoy your first juicy Argentine steak with a glass of full bodied red wine. Enjoy good mountain tracks through red rocks and canyons and ride in the shadow of Aconcagua, South America’s highest peak. Crossing the Andes, we reach Chile’s modern, bustling, cosmopolitan capital, Santiago with time to explore and to prepare the bikes for the final leg or, if you leave here, your bike is freighted home.
Weeks 18 & 19 PATAGONIA (CHILE & ARGENTINA)
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. 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 20 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 21 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 on occasion, 3* hotels. In bigger cities, this tends to be 4* hotels, sometimes belonging to an international chain; in smaller or more remote places, hotels will be more independent, characterful hotels. In some more remote locations, we use the best available. Most riders are delighted at the high quality of the accommodation included. Almost all hotels we use will have rooms with en suite bathrooms, satellite TV, free wifi, bar and restaurant. In warmer climates, hotels generally have swimming pools.
We like to favour independent hotels with character where we can. So for example: In Quito, we use the Cafe Cultura Manor Boutique Hotel rather than the Marriott down the road. In Copan Ruinas, we stay at a small guesthouse ” Casa de Cafe” that serves delicious organic coffee and macadamia nuts pancakes on its terrace. In Cody, we stay in Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel rather than a big chain. In Cusco, we stay at a hotel set in a 17th century colonial mansion, just off the main plaza, even though parking is a couple of blocks away. In Patagonia, there are plenty of incredible accommodations that are remote – we love Hosteria Las Lengas in Tierra del Fuego. We hope you get the idea!
What we don’t promise you is to stop at the top 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 remote and “off the beaten track” destinations.
A note for riders who book Single Room – there are five locations on this motorcycle expedition, where there is no single room option. We have already taken this into account when calculating your price.
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 should to book an outward flight to our start point, Anchorage, Alaska to arrive on 19 July 2018. The earliest leave date is any time on 12 December 2018 from Buenos Aires, Argentina. This trip also has an intermediate flight between Panama and Colombia. This is booked via an agent in Panama and you will pay for this at that time – please do not book it in advance of travel.
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.
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?
This motorcycle expedition 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. 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?
For motorcycle 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, parts, labour etc 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 motorcycle groups are normally between 8 – 12 riders (some have passengers), to a maximum of 16 riders. 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 motorcycle 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 preferred visa agency, The Visa Machine, 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 November 2017, 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?
This motorcycle expedition is run at the most optimum time for the best weather possible. However, given we are travelling the length of the planet, there are some sections of the trip which will not have the best weather conditions. We are in the Arctic in July, but it can still be unpredictable and there could be very low temperatures and even snow. Equally, we are in Ushuaia in November – late spring – but it is so far south, that summer can still mean snow. The bottom line is that on this trip, it is possible to experience every weather condition – from below freezing to above 45 degrees centigrade heat, from baked searing deserts to flooded Panamanian streets. So be prepared!
Do I need visas for travel?
UK Citizens will normally require a USA visa in advance, because we are leaving the USA overland into Mexico and do not have a return flight ticket out of the USA. We recommend each person check out the US requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme and visa requirements for the US to satisfy themselves. No other visas are currently needed 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.
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 motorcycle 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 that 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
Canada – Canadian Dollar
Mexico – Mexican Peso
Guatemala – Quetzales
Honduras – Lempiras
Nicaragua – Cordobas
Costa Rica – Colones
Panama – US Dollar
Colombia – Colombian Peso
Ecuador – US Dollar
Peru – Sol
Chile – Chilean Peso
Argentina – Argentina Peso