Santiago, Chile to Cartagena, Colombia: The ultimate South American adventure 100 days of discovery
Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador & Colombia
South America, home to the world’s longest mountain range, largest rainforest, driest desert, highest navigable lake and incredible Incan ruins all await us on this epic motorcycle tour. During this incredible adventure we will experience the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni, explore Machu Picchu, gaze in awe at the Foz do Iguazu waterfalls, see glaciers, fjords and rare forests of Patagonia and experience some of the world’s most iconic cities. From the mythical Patagonia to the beat of Brazil, the dawn-lit ruins of Machu Picchu to the rocky slopes of Galapagos, South America is alive with sights, sounds and experiences unique to this continent. This is the only journey of its kind on the continent, join us to be part of a very exclusive club.
This tour will run in 2024. Contact us to express your interest and receive a notification when the dates and prices are available
Dates & Prices
At a Glance
- Tranquil Pucon
- Seven Lakes Drive
- Argentinean estancia (sheep farm)
- Moreno Glacier
- Torres del Paine, Ushuaia & Tierra del Fuego
- Puerto Madryn
- Buenos Aires
- Iguazu Falls
- Rio de Janeiro
- Yacht cruise off the coast Brazil
- The Emerald Coast
- The world's largest tropical wetland area
- Colonial city of Salta
- Wild west town of Tupiza
- The Salar de Uyuni
- La Paz and the Death Road
- Floating islands of Lake Titicaca
- Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
- Colca Canyon
- Ancient city of the Chan Chan
- Galapagos Islands
- Ville de Levya
- Bike shipping from a selected port in your home country to Valparaiso, Chile and return from Cartagena
- Airport transfers
- 100 nights’ accommodation and 1 bonus night
- Breakfast everyday
- Lunches on all ride days
- One dinner per week
- Return flights from Cusco to the Amazon Jungle, Peru
- Galapagos Islands Cruise
- Services of ride leader and support vehicle driver
- Support vehicle with passenger & luggage carrying ability
- Pre-departure material and route maps
- 2 x Compass duffle bags
- Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
- Compass Expeditions tour shirt
- Extensive list of sights and inclusions as per the Client Info Kit SIGHTS INCLUDED ON THIS EXPEDITION
- Entrances to all National Parks mentioned in the itinerary
- Moreno Glacier boat trip
- Puerto Madryn tour
- Buenos Aires city tour
- Tango show in Buenos Aires
- Foz do Iguaçu Park Entrances (both Brazil and Argentina)
- Schooner boat trip off the coast of Brazil
- Rio city tour, including Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain
- Potosi mine tour
- 4 x 4 day tour across the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- La Paz city tour
- Excursion to the “Uros” floating islands of Lake Titicaca
- Return internal flights in Peru to the Amazon Jungle excursion
- Machu Picchu excursion, including train tickets
- Entrance to Colca Canyon
- Galapagos Islands tour
- Museo de Oro entrance, Bogota
- International Flights
- Visas (if required)
- Personal Health/Travel Insurance
- Third party bike insurance (if on your own bike)
- Tips and gratuities
- Servicing of your bike, repairs and transport cost to repair point
- Meals not mentioned in the included list
- Traffic fines
- Repairs and / or recovery costs to your bike
- Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
All accommodation is twin or double share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: US$ 3,500
(please note, you will likely to be required to share a room and perhaps a bathroom at least once on this trip).
Our motorcycles are insured and have a damage excess of US$ 6000, you can reduce the excess by taking advantage of our Excess Reduction Policy: US$ 20 per day
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.
Week 1: Departing Santiago, we shall ride south on the Pan American Highway before reaching the stunning Chilean Lakes District which is centred around the resort town of Pucon. We cross into Argentina and ride onto the spectacular Seven Lakes Drive to Bariloche, a Swiss style town surrounded by Alpine forests and snow-capped peaks. We enter Patagonia now as we ride further south toward Esquel, the terminus of the legendary Patagonia Express. We are now riding the famous Ruta 40 and rounding off the first week of this expedition at the remote and authentic Estancia La Angostura, where we will enjoy a real Asado (traditional Argentinean BBQ).
Week 2: Continuing through Patagonia on Ruta 40 the Andes become larger. At days end we are in the mightiest mountain range on earth. We overnight at the magnificent El Chalten, nestled at the foot of the Mt. Fitzroy Range. We spend another two nights at El Calafate, home of the unbelievable Moreno Glacier a massive wall of advancing ice that terminates at Lake Argentina, affording some incredible calving action if we are lucky. Back in Chile we are at what some consider the most scenic and impressive National parks on earth, Torres Del Paine. Riding amongst these immense mountains surrounded by epic scenery is truly biking nirvana. We shall ride back into Argentina and cross the Magellan Straits before entering the southernmost city on earth, Ushuaia. This beautiful city is nestled on the banks of the Beagle Channel where Charles Darwin made his voyage. Tierra del Fuego lies just south of the city; we ride to the very end of the Pan American Highway.
Week 3: We now turn north and ride through the vast emptiness of Patagonia before stopping off at Pt. Madryn where we spend a day riding this amazing peninsular viewing a wealth of sea life, we might be lucky and spot whales. Leaving Pt Madryn, we shall ride north into Buenos Aires where we shall spend three nights. This vibrant city is one of the greatest in South America and certainly the most fashionable. We shall watch a traditional tango show and visit the wealth of sights within the city, including La Boca, the colourful port precinct and the famous football Stadium, home of Boca Juniors.
Week 4: Continuing north we shall reach the most amazing waterfalls in the world at Foz do Iguaçu. We shall see the rising mist and hear the thunder long before we see the falls, all 275 of them, it’s an inspiring sight. Ample time shall be spent at Foz do Iguaçu allowing us to visit the National park that surrounds the falls. This is one of the premier sights of South America.
Week 5: The expedition now turns towards the Atlantic Ocean where we eventually reach the coastal township of Paraty. This UNESCO listed town is stunning with its cobblestone alleyways and traffic free streets. More than forty islands surround the coastline off Paraty where we enjoy a day on a schooner boat. We shall ride what has often been described as the most beautiful coastal road in the world, the Costa Verde, before reaching one of the world’s most iconic cities of Rio de Janeiro. While in Rio we shall enjoy all the renowned sights that this city has to offer including the cable car to Pao do Azucar where we can see incredible views of the city and the ocean, Copacabana and the Sambadrome, home to the legendary Rio Carnival, the greatest party on earth
Week 6: Leaving Rio, we head to the UNESCO listed Pantanal, a region National Geographic calls Brazils best kept secret. The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland area which is renowned for its unbelievable diversity, fantastic wildlife & blue of its rivers and cave lakes. Leaving the mighty Pantanal, we ride back to Foz do Iguaçu
Week 7: We cross back into Argentina and pass though San Ignacio and Posadas. This region is where the Jesuits established some of their missions in the early 1600’s and using Guarani Indian labour they flourished. We ride into the region known as the “Chaco”. Chaco is a Quechua word meaning hunting lands and is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Rio de la Plata basin, divided between eastern Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. This area is home of the Gauchos, traditional Argentinean cowboys. Salta is the capital of the region and one of Argentina’s finest cities with incredible colonial architecture and a magnificent Plaza de Armas. Our last night in Argentina is spent in Purmamarca, a small town with beautiful adobe style buildings. We head into what is referred as the “Badlands of Bolivia” due to the stunning, rugged landscape that abounds. We pass amazing rainbow coloured rocks, canyons and mountains as well as small remote villages. This tranquil settlement is the ideal place to spend the night in this wild remote region. Of historical interest is its proximity to the reputed site where the demise of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid took place. Two nights are spent in Potosi, a UNESCO listed city, which was once one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world due to the abundance of silver
Week 8: We start the week off at the utterly breathtaking Salar De Uyuni where we take a 4x4 across the Salar to Fish Island where we view the giant cacti and enjoy a picnic lunch. The drive across here can be hallucinogenic; being out on the vast expanse of the Salar, everything is a reflection of everything else. We will also see a train cemetery, a wonderful collection of old steam trains simply driven into the Salar region and left to rust. Arriving to the city of La Paz, we enter via El Alto sitting at 3660m/12078ft. La Paz has to be seen to be believed. Located in a crater, the city is set at just under 4000mt / 13000 ft and is home to some remarkable witch’s markets complete with Llama foetuses for sale. A city tour is included and there is the opportunity to ride the infamous Death Road.
Week 9: Leaving La Paz, we skirt the shores of Lake Titicaca, we enter Peru and the town of Puno, which is our access point for Lake Titicaca. We include a boat excursion out to the amazing “Uros”, the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca. The views across the world’s highest navigable lake are astounding and the reed islands have to be seen to be believed, just don’t stand in the one spot for too long. We arrive at the “White City” of Arequipa with the snow-capped volcano of El Misti looming above. There is a day to explore this beautiful city with arguably South America’s finest Plaza de Armas. Visit the fabulous Santa Catalina Convent or the frozen Incan mummy known as “Juanita the Ice Princess” sacrificed over 500 years ago by the Incas. An amazing ride across the Andes we take what seems to be never ending twisties to the world’s deepest canyon at Chivay, home of the giant Condors. The ride is magnificent as we get well off the Gringo Trail riding amongst volcanoes and mountains in this spectacular desert landscape. It is in these very mountains that the mighty Amazon River begins its journey. The hot springs of Chivay are a perfect way to relax and unwind after a day’s ride. Next is South America’s oldest continually inhabited city, Cusco. A treasure trove of Incan antiquities Cusco which has one of the finest Plaza de Armas in all of South America. Bordered by colonial arcades it has the mighty cathedral as its centrepiece. We take a local flight to the river port city of Puerto Maldonado located between the mighty Amazonian rivers of Rio Madre de Dios and Rio Tambopata. Puerto Maldonado is the stepping off point for us to visit the unspoiled Amazon Rainforest. Twenty-foot-long roofed canoes will transport us into another world of river and jungle for the next two days of adventure. You will have local English-speaking guides to show you the true Amazon, the people, the flora and the fauna. An experience you will remember forever.
Week 10: After the return flight to Cusco we ride the impressive Sacred Valley, dotted with enormous Incan ruins of Saqsaywaman, Pisac and the Quechuan village of Ollantaytambo with its massive fortress looming above. This is a stunning ride as we follow the course of the mighty Urubamba River with the towering peaks of the Andes all around before leaving our bikes at Ollantaytambo then catching the train to Agua Calientes, the stepping off point for the legendary Machu Picchu. Perhaps a defining moment of your ride; nothing can prepare us for the splendour of the sight of the iconic “Lost City” of Machu Picchu. A half day will be spent exploring this magical antiquity with an included guided tour before catching the train back to Ollantaytambo, reuniting with the bikes and riding back to Cusco, perhaps enjoying a beer at the famous Norton’s Rats biker bar that overlooks the beautiful Plaza de Armas. We take the road less travelled through the Andean towns of Abancay, Ayancucho & Huancayo in the Apurimac region of Peru.
Week 11: The weeks starts off spectacularly as we reach the breathtaking Huaraz in Peru’s stunning Cordillera Blanca before we descend from the Andes to Trujillo where we stay for two nights allowing us time to explore the huge adobe complex of Chan Chan is an abandoned city once home to the ancient Chimu kingdom and the fantastic Huacas del Sol y de la Luna complex. Moving ever north we overnight at Punta Sal renowned for its left-hand breaks, apparently something great in the surfing world! before we cross into the up and coming tourist hotspot of Ecuador. We will see the week out in the wonderful city of Cuenca, a spectacular colonial laid back city, curiously known as the birthplace of the Panama Hat.
Week 12: The next three days are spent at the international renown UNESCO listed Galapagos Islands, known the world over as one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing, much of which is found nowhere else on earth. Our days here in the Galapagos will stay with you forever. Back on the mainland we ride into the Andes again and overnight at Banos, a beautiful town located at the foot of the still active Tungurahua Volcano, with luck we may see a fiery lava flow at night. We continue onto the Ecuadorian capital of Quito located in the foothills of the Andes at 2850mt / 9400ft and spend three nights here allowing us time to explore this wonderful old town with its 16th & 17th century old town and take a trip out to the nearby legendary Otavalo Markets
Week 13: Crossing into Colombia we overnight at the wonderful Ipiales and visit the amazing Las Lajas church towering Gothic-style church and its arched bridge that span the Guáitara River, it’s an impressive sight. Riding into the Colombian interior we overnight at the wonderful Popayán, a wonderful city of cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings. Onward we spend the days riding a seemingly endless series of twisties before visiting Salento, a beautiful colonial town within the Coffee Triangle, the perfect place for a superb coffee. We ride further north east and spend two nights in the Colombian capital of Bogota. A must see if the Amazing Museo de Oro (Gold Museum). Quickly back in the countryside we ride valley after verdant valley visiting the jewel in the “colonial town” of Ville de Levya. We see the week out in beautiful Doradal with its amazing rock formations.
Week 14: Our final week will see us head ever further north through this amazing country; we overnight near the legendary, for all the wrong reasons, Medellin and visit Pablo Escobar’s former mansion. We ride triumphantly into UNESCO listed Cartagena; the absolutely stunning medieval fortress city located on the Caribbean. Renown as one of the most beautiful cites in all of Colombia we spend the last 4 nights of our 100-day epic ride exploring this fantastic city and preparing our bikes for their onward journey home.
Departure day: Spend some time in Cartagena or fly home, the choice is yours.
- 101 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 prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available for US$3,500 (please note that you may be required to share a bathroom on a small number of occasions on this trip).
- On every day of the tour we include breakfast: 101 Breakfasts
- On mentioned ride days we provide a picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen (on some occasion we may eat locally): 70 Lunches
- We include mentioned dinners in excellent restaurants we have used before: 16 Dinners
- You will need to be in Santiago two days prior to start of expedition. One bonus night 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 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
Janet & Martyn, USA