Chile & Argentina: Ride Patagonia, a world of vast blue skies, deep blue glaciers and towering snow capped peaks
Motorcycling through Chile and Argentina will be some of the greatest biking moments of your life. This adventure is a scenic overload; beginning in the Chilean Lakes district town of Pucon we ride into Argentina and onto Bariloche, via the famous seven lakes ride, every inch is a scenic splendour. Further south we enter the vast and remote Patagonia stopping overnight at a, still working, Estancia before riding into more sensational scenery as we hit the Andes at El Chalten. No motorbike tour to this region should miss the incredible Moreno Glacier, we ride our bikes out to this staggeringly beautiful part of Patagonia before riding into Torres Del Paine National Park with it’s deep blue glaciers and lakes. This place will leave you awe struck and we dare to say that it is possibly the most scenic motorcycle ride in the world. This is an incredible motorcycle tour through some of the most amazing, remote and mythical regions in the world, no wonder it’s our top selling tour.
This ride also runs in reverse: Northbound
Patagonia Explorer was voted by National Geographic Traveler in their 2011 “Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime”
Dates & Prices
At a Glance
- The tranquil lakeside setting of Pucon
- The world famous Seven Lakes Drive
- Stunning mountains and lakes around Bariloche; as well as great dining and world class chocolates
- Accommodation in an authentic still working estancia
- Spectacular mountain scenery around El Chalten
- Moreno Glacier
- The unparalleled beauty of Torres del Paine
- Tierra del Fuego, lands end, Ushuaia
- Airport Transfers
- Motorcycle rental as per your selection.
- Flight Punta Arenas to Santiago or reverse, depending on direction of travel
- Support vehicle with passenger carrying ability
- 18 nights accommodation in excellent small hotels
- 1 bonus night accommodation
- 19 breakfasts
- 10 Lunches
- 7 Dinners
- Services of ride leader and support vehicle driver
- Pre-departure material and route maps
- Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
- Compass Expeditions polo shirt
- Entrances to all national parks mentioned in the itinerary
- Moreno Glacier boat cruise
- International Flights
- Visas (if required)
- Personal Health/Travel Insurance
- Tips and gratuities
If you require a low bike option we have a lowered suspension or lowered seat BMW F700 GS available: Free of charge
All accommodation is twin or double share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: US$ 990
(please note, you may be required to share a bathroom at least once on this trip).
Our motorcycles are insured and have a damage excess of US$ 4000, you can reduce the excess by taking advantage of our Excess Reduction Policy: US$ 25 per day
SOUTHBOUND (January departure)
Joining Day: Your Santiago airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, ready for an early start tomorrow. Today you will meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 1: A morning flight and group transfer to Pucón, where you will pick up your bikes and have your orientation/safety ride.
Day 2: Today you’ll have a free day to explore Pucón.
Day 3: A scenic ride and your first border crossing into Argentina, our overnight stay is stunning San Carlos de Bariloche.
Day 4: A free day for you to explore San Carlos de Bariloche.
Day 5: Today’s ride will take you towards the sparsely forested foothills of the Western Chubut province, arriving for a restful night at Esquel.
Day 6: Riding through some stunning Patagonian wilderness, you will stop for the night in the remote settlement of Perito Moreno.
Day 7: The horizon seems to stretch on forever as you ride to a beautiful and remote estancia (Argentinean farm). Prepare yourself for a fantastic traditional Argentinean meal.
Day 8 & 9: You’ll ride across the plains to the peaceful village of El Chalten in the shadow of the Fitzroy Range. Two nights in El Chalten will give you a chance to take a walk into the range and give our legs a much-needed stretch.
Day 10: Today you’ll head further south to the town of El Calafate for a two-night stay.
Day 11: Ride out to the spectacular Moreno Glacier and enjoy the day in the National Park.
Day 12: Today’s ride will take us back into Chile and into the beautiful Torres del Paine National Park.
Day 13: You will have a full day to hike the rugged trails throughout the park or ride among the many winding roads that cover this region. The choice is yours.
Day 14: Leaving Torres National Park, you’ll ride out to Puerto Natales and then cross the Magellan Straits to our overnight accommodation in Cerro Sombrero.
Day 15: Ride triumphantly into the southernmost city in the world, the beautiful Ushuaia.
Day 16: Enjoy a morning Beagle Channel cruise (optional) or ride through the Tierra del Fuego National Park to the end of the world. We will leave after lunch for a short ride to Rio Grande where we will overnight.
Day 17: We travel north back into Chile, riding alongside the Magellan Straits to the town of Punta Arenas where we will return the motorcycles.
Day 18: Your included flight will take you to the capital of Santiago for your final night of the tour.
Departure day: Spend some time in Santiago or fly home, the choice is yours.
NORTHBOUND (February departure)
Joining Day: Your Santiago airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, ready for an early start tomorrow.
Day 1: Today you’ll take a flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, where you’ll meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 2: We cross the Magellan Straits and ride to our overnight accommodation in Rio Grande.
Day 3: We ride to the southernmost city in the world, the beautiful Ushuaia. Enjoy an afternoon Beagle Channel cruise (optional) or ride through the Tierra del Fuego National Park where you’ll truly come to the end of the world.
Day 4: You’ll ride through the southern forests and mountains to arrive into Chile and onto your overnight stay at Cerro Sombrero.
Day 5: Crossing the Magellan Straights, you will ride into Torres del Paine National Park.
Day 6: You will have a full day to hike the rugged trails throughout the park or ride among the many winding roads that cover this region. The choice is yours.
Day 7: Today’s ride will have you crossing the border back into Argentina. Your overnight stay is El Calafate.
Day 8: Ride out to the spectacular Moreno Glacier and enjoy the day in the National Park.
Day 9 & 10: Today you’ll head north to the town of El Chalten, nestled in the shadow of the Fitzroy Range. Two nights in El Chalten will give you a chance to take a walk into the range and give our legs a much-needed stretch.
Day 11: The horizon seems to stretch on forever as you ride to a beautiful and remote estancia (Argentinean farm). Prepare yourself for a fantastic traditional Argentinean meal.
Day 12: Leaving the estancia you’ll continue north and stop for the night in the remote settlement of Perito Moreno.
Day 13: Today’s ride will take you towards the sparsely forested foothills of the Western Chubut province, arriving for a restful night at Esquel.
Day 14: A scenic ride into the forested mountains and lakes area, our overnight stay is stunning San Carlos de Bariloche.
Day 15: A free day for you to explore San Carlos de Bariloche.
Day 16: Today you’ll cross back into Chile and ride into Pucón for your overnight stay.
Day 17: The ride north today is toward the wonderful Salto Lago where you will be spending the night.
Day 18: Today will see you continue north and onto the vibrant capital of Chile, Santiago for your final night of the tour.
Departure day: Spend some time in Santiago or fly home, the choice is yours.
On the more difficult sections pillions can travel in the support vehicle.
- 19 nights of accommodation.
- Our accommodations range from small family run hotels through to 4 star hotels.
- A flexible attitude is needed as standards are not always what we are accustomed to.
- All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are traveling alone we will pair you up with another solo traveler. However, if you prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available: US$ 990.00 (please note that you may be required to share a bathroom at least once on this trip)
- On every day of the tour we include breakfast: 19 Breakfasts
- On mentioned ride days we provide a picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen: 10 Lunches
- We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants we have used many times before: 7 Dinners
- You will need to be in Santiago, one day prior to start of expedition, for your joining day (a bonus nights accommodation is included)
- All riders must have a valid motorcycle license and at least two years riding experience.
- It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
TRIP EXTENSIONS – SOUTH AMERICA
It may be hard for a rider to believe, but there are wonderful places to see and experience around South America that we are not able to visit by motorcycle.
Have no fear with our many years of touring experience we are able to offer great destinations and tours to extend your stay either before your Compass Expeditions tour or after.
Simply let us know if you are interested in extending your trip when you book. Then give us an idea of the time you have and type of destination you prefer and we can suggest an itinerary, book tours with our trusted partners and organise additional transfers and accommodation for your entire South American experience.
Perhaps you would like to spend a few days before or after your tour getting to know the city, acclimatise to altitude or get over your jetlag? We are able to book accommodation for you in our tour hotels, where you will be staying for the joining and departing nights, avoiding the inconvenience of changing hotel
Our Patagonia Explorer Motorcycle tour takes you right to the Southern most tip of South America, any further south and you are in Antarctica. Antarctic cruises run from November to March and often take in South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). There are many itineraries and ships to choose from including expedition style and luxury options.
|Galapagos and Easter Island Cruises
Remote and wonderfully intriguing for different reasons, both of these destinations have plenty to offer the curious and adventurous traveller. It is the amazing diversity of the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands that captivated Charles Darwin and inspired his “Origin Of The Species”. With world class diving and island excursions you will see the likes of the Galapagos tortoise, sea lions, amphibious iguanas and many bird species that are unique to this chain of islands.
|Easter Island is fascinating for other reasons. It is the massive stone figures and puzzling human history of this remote place that are an irresistible attraction for traveler.|
|Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
High in the Peruvian Andes lies the lost city of the Incas. Machu Picchu is referred to as the 7th wonder of the world and with good reason. There is much speculation over the origins and demise of this impressive abandoned citadel, but the mysteries will have to wait as you witness the sunrise over this hauntingly beautiful and spectacular scene. Machu Picchu can only be visited on an organised tour either by train from nearby Aguas Callentes or by hiking the equally spectacular and strenuous Inca Trail over four days.
|Amazon Jungle Excursion
Iquitos, deep in the Peruvian jungle is the starting point for exploring the rainforest of the Amazon River.
Soak up the atmosphere of river life; it’s people and the wildlife. Biologically speaking. You are in one of the most rich and diverse regions on the planet. A multitude of birdlife aquatic and jungle animals still abound in this remote area and our local guides will have pleasure showing you all there is to see and introducing you to the local people and their customs.
|Rio De Janeiro
The vibrant and lively city of Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer and we can help you experience it all. Our Rio City Tour showcases all of the highlights and unique sites of the city from the beaches to Christ The Redeemer high on the peak overlooking the city.
The Favela tour will show you the colourful and notorious hillside suburbs of Rio, but don’t worry you are with a local.
We also offer an amazing Rio Carnival package that will have you partying Brazilian style.
Rio De Janeiro Favela Tour The vibrant and lively city of Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer and we can help you experience it all.
Our Favela tour will show you the colourful and notorious hillside suburbs of Rio, but don’t worry you are with a local.
|Ride The Death Road
The Death Road in Bolivia is one of our most popular tour options. What biker could resist riding a Suzuki DR650 or Honda XR400 from La Paz at over 4,000 meters above sea level down to the jungle town of Coroico at 1,700 meters.
The views from The Death Road are spectacular and this is a ride that you will never forget.
|Rio De Janeiro Favela Tour
The vibrant and lively city of Rio de Janeiro has a lot to offer and we can help you experience it all.
Our Favela tour will show you the colourful and notorious hillside suburbs of Rio, but don’t worry you are with a local.
|La Sebastiana Apartment Hotel is located in the heart of the exclusive district El Golf, San Sebastian 2727. This famous area invites you to discover and enjoy the city, surrounded by excellent restaurants, beautiful parks and squares, aromatic coffees, design stores just two blocks from the main Chile’s shopping center Costanera Center, nearby Tobalaba Subway Station.
In La Sebastiana Suites we want to combine a quality service with a warmth and trendy design. Regardless the reason for you trip, business or tourism, La Sebastiana Suites offers you a privileged location, a great infrastructure made it to your satisfaction, and a special attention to make of your stay an unforgettable experience.
La Sebastiana Apartment Hotel is our joining or final night hotel for all of our tours that start or conclude in Santiago Chile.
|Welcome to El Conquistador Hotel, we offer to our guests, a resting space, located in Retiro, Buenos Aires downtown, excellent service quality, very convenient for pleasure and business travel.
The Conquistador is our tour hotel for all of our tours that begin, conclude or pass through Buenos Aires.
TOUR AND EXPEDITION TRAVEL INSURANCE
|At Compass Expeditions we work hard to make sure that your motorcycle tour runs smoothly and safely. Your welfare is of primary concern to us and we know that we cannot control every situation on the road or while you are traveling.
Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining a Compass Expeditions motorcycle tour, but it makes sense.
|We have sourced a number of companies that will provide you coverage in the event of an accident and/or other losses, depending on the policy selected and better still will give all Compass Expeditions customers a 10% discount off the advertised rates when purchasing through the our website, (this offer is not available over the phone). Compass Expeditions does not endorse, recommend or guarantee payment in the event of a claim from any of the insurers mentioned. We do know that they will offer a policy for clients riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy. Compass Expeditions are offering this information as a service only to ensure all our clients are properly protected.|
Travel Cover for Australians:
We have enjoyed the tour to Ushuaia immensely, it certainly had a mega, mega, wow factor for us. Ruth enjoyed it as the only pillion, taking photo's with her usual aplomb!
Firstly, thank you for making it possible for us and providing the BMW 1200GS. Then the same old question, how can we top this tour?
Secondly, thanks to Felix and J. C., who dealt competently with the group and incidents along the way with great humour.
Ruth & George, UK
Thanks again for all of your hard work!
We can’t speak highly enough of these 2 very impressive young guys.
They went out of their way to look after the group and displayed absolute professionalism throughout the 18 days.
My congratulations on hiring them; they do your company proud!
I just returned from the Patagonia Explorer trip and had a fantastic time and now I want to learn more about the London to Madagan Road of bones tour!
Great job with them; they did Compass very proud.
Great trip and Hugo and Dennis are perfect for the job.
Compass is only as good as the people you employ and they were absolutely professional.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and they were one of the reasons for that.
We had a blast on the Patagonia ride!
Enjoyed the trip immensely. The tour guides Hugo Penasco and Dennis were top notch, professional, personable and available.
Must give a big thank you to Compass Expeditions for providing the excellent BMW 700 GS (it’s actually 800cc!!) The bike cruised on tarmac easily at the legal limit and more if required. On gravel you could safely purr along at 60-80k in 5th or 6th gear standing on the pegs or sitting.
A big thank you to the crew on the trip, Danny and Justin. They are both perfect for the job, with Danny enthusiastically leading the way with the ever present Justin checking on the stragglers and arriving at chosen stopping places with the truck , trailer , the impressive Compass Picnic and his laconic smile. Above we see Danny and Justin loading up a days supply of essential stores!!
Peter and David, UK
Best trip I have ever done in my life, unbelievable!
Hi Jerry .
I had a fantastic tour with your company. I can’t tell you with words how impressed I am with the people you have working for you.
How you managed to find two guys like that, while you reside on the other side of the world is amazing. Roberto and Feddy are a definite asset to your company. I had already been looking at the possibility of doing the Highlights of Peru tour even before I left for Chile. Is it true that Roberto and Federico also lead that tour as well?
Well organized – Local knowledge good. Nothing too much trouble. Language skills excellent. No hesitation in recommending or availing to further tours – Great 10 days. Many thanks.
You get to do it at your own pace, if you want a break, you have a break, there is no pushing, if you want a photo you take a photo!
Best ride of my life to date – entering Bariloche Ruta 40, Argentina
It’s been a great trip from start to finish, all in all absolutely no complaints, it was super!
When it comes to riding dirt and experiencing spectacular scenery, this is the real deal!
The tour out-shined my wildest expectations on every level! I really enjoyed the “go at your own pace” format of the tour. Great for the faster riders and the slower riders as well. I wouldn’t hesitate to book another tour with Compass; in fact I wouldn’t book with anyone else.
Really professional and really great to deal with. We both love riding and what better way to see a place like this, its pretty darn spectacular!
Wilder than my best imaginings, these guys are awesome!
The scenery is beyond words and it’s a fabulous experience!
If I had twelve months to live, I would book Compass Expeditions for the remainder of my life!
Some of the best money we’ve ever spent. Would do it again in a heartbeat
What an amazing tour. Given that neither of us have done more than farm track and car park gravel before, to say it was hard work was an understatement, but with leo’s guidance, a real learning experience. Leo was awesome. Lots of knowledge, very friendly, always smiling, great sense of humour, first class person. Tavo could not do enough to please everyone, what a great guy. Andy tried so hard to please, very friendly guy a real asset to the team. As for the Compass organisation – wow. Nothing was not thought of, every little detail was covered. The support & backup were first class & I doubt could not be bettered. As for the locations & scenery! Patagonia was always somewhere as a young rock climber I always wanted to come to but never got the chance, now I have seen the best of it with Compass, it has gone way beyond my expectations, a wonderful & enchanting place.
This trip has inspired us to do more. We will be riding with you again for sure, now we have coped with some tough terrain.
Thank you again for one, if not THE best experience of a life time
Chris and Glynis, Australia
I absolutely loved the trip, utterly absorbing.
Leo was an excellent leader, competent, diplomatic and assured. Andrew was ever helpful and a very nice person
I can only congratulate you on a superbly organised trip. I will definitely travel with you again and would recommend Compass without hesitation
Dear Compass Team,
We recently returned from a Patagonia Explorer trip and are not surprised about the recognition by National Geographic. We found the trip to be an incredible experience. The pre trip information was terrific and any additional queries were answered quickly. The trip itself was unbelievably well run, a credit to your Tour Leader (Leo) and Support Driver (Andrew). The research and pre-planning that went into organizing the trip showed through in the easy and safe way we journeyed through Chile and Argentina. We are that confident that all tours run by Compass Expeditions are approached and conducted in the same manner and hence at the earliest opportunity we will be doing another trip with Compass Expeditions.
Andrew and Sue, Australia
Awesome trip, definitely a tour of a lifetime
Sue and I have recently come back to OZ after having done Compass Expeditions’ Patagonia Explorer Tour – Ushuaia to Pucon. We want all at Compass to know what a fabulous tour it was in every respect, so much so that we intend doing one of the Highlights of Peru tours in 2013. Our tour leader Hans, and support vehicle driver, Silvana were just ideal for their respective roles, and could not have been more supportive to the group – nothing was too much trouble. They worked together so well that each ride day flowed smoothly from start to finish – loading bags, ensuring everyone’s hotel bills were paid, setting up the scrumptious picnic lunches, fuel stops, coffee stops, photo stops, unloading bags and finally, ensuring everyone was settled into the new accommodation.
Plenty of options were given for things to do on non ride days, and the information sheets handed out throughout the tour were very comprehensive. Hans and Silvana’s assistance during the various border crossings enabled the transition to be carried out relatively quickly and with a minimum of fuss. They really are a credit to Compass and we’d love to be able to tour with them again. The food throughout Argentina and Chile was mostly excellent (only a couple of not so good choices on our part), and the steaks sensational (everything I expected them to be), not to mention the asado at Estancia La Angostura.
The sizzling trays of traditional BBQ’d lamb still make me drool today – please pass me a napkin. Whilst “on the road”, the lunches prepared by Silvana and Hans were just great. There was plenty of it, and good variety, not only the main but also the fruit. If you couldn’t find something to your liking in the condiments box, then I reckon you’d be awfully hard to please. The BMW F650GS was a brilliant bike for the tour. It was an easy bike to ride both on gravel and sealed roads – its excellent handling on sealed roads particularly, surprised us both. The bike is also pretty tough. So, in closing, what can we say about the Compass Expeditions Patagonia Explorer Tour but WOW! That was really something, and we want to do it again
Pete & Sue, Australia
We had an absolute cracker of a trip and really appreciated the effort your team over there put in. The whole operation worked really well and the tour was everything promised and more.
What a blast. I can’t speak highly enough about the tour, your staff, the whole thing. It was sensational from go to woe. Thanks for everything mate, we all intend on riding with you again.
It was the best tour yet! I knew it would be. I am just finishing laundry and will think about packing for our next adventure. And the pick pocketers can not detour us from continuing to travel and experience all that the Lord has to offer! Great people, great food, awesome scenery, priceless memorios. I will send you some pics soon. I took about 4,000!!! Digital is great. I rode with a Nikon D40 around my neck. Walt and I counted, we have traveled with at least ten other companies-this was the best. Hans and Silvana were a great team. I hope Hans and Thomas can continue the excellent tour that we experienced .We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to experience this adventure with. Your logo could be “More than a ride, It’s an adventure”
Pam & Walt, USA
We had a great vacation! Everything was wonderful. Hans was a terrific tour leader, and I think we all felt very safe under his direction. I had been a little apprehensive about having 12 bikes traveling together, but it worked out great. Everyone rode at their own speed, stopping to take pictures, adding or subtracting clothing as the weather changed etc, then we all waited until the group had reassembled before we moved on. Silvana and Thomas did a wonderful job also. Having the truck stay behind the last rider was also comforting. In one instance one of the group got separated from the rest and he just waited until the truck appeared! Pam and I were also grateful to have the opportunity to ride in the truck on the ripio. It was so rough for such long distances, that we were happy to let the guys ride by themselves, and I’m sure they were equally happy not to have us to worry about on the back while negotiating the bumps!
The accommodation was great on the whole and the food was terrific. I don’t think we had a bad meal the entire trip. Hans, Silvana and Thomas made us some wonderful lunches, and although I don’t often eat lunch, I was ravenous when we stopped and I ate far more than usual! The dinners provided by Compass were also very good.
As for the journey itself, I think it was well balanced. The sights we saw
were breathtaking. Even Patagonia with its miles of nothing and big sky had a charm of its own and gave time for a bit of self reflection! Reaching Ushuaia was unbelievable…such a sense of exhilaration! Terrific!
Janet & Martyn, USA
Jerry. I had a fantastic time on the tour and I can’t say enough about Hans and Thomas as a team. I’ve done some guiding and rescue work myself in the paddling and climbing fields and I was really impressed with their ability to manage safety, schedule and personalities without seeming to be managing. That’s really a trick as I am sure you know.
You guys put on a helluva tour, Jerry, all the way around. I’ll be paying the piper here at work for quite a while before I can do another trip that long, but in the interim I will certainly recommend Compass to my friends, and you may feel free to use me as a reference any time. All the best,