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Ultimate South America

Duration

100 Days

Ride Grade

5

Ride / Rest day

63 / 37

Sealed / Dirt

95% / 5%

Distance

24,000 km / 15,000 mi


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.

No info kit available

Dates and Pricing

21st Feb 2026 to 1st Jun 2026
Tour code: UL/210226
from US$36,490.00
View prices

Tour Highlights


Itinerary


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 centered 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 on the shores of the beautiful Lago Nahual Huapi . We enter Patagonia now as we ride further south toward Esquel, the terminus of the legendary Patagonia Express.

Week 2: We enter Patagonia proper and ride the renown Ruta 40 as the Andes loom larger, soon we are in the mightiest mountain range on earth. We spend two nights at the magnificent El Chalten, nestled at the foot of the Mt. Fitzroy Range allowing us time to explore the magnificent Los Galcieres Natioanl Park. Further south we spend another two nights at El Calafate, home to the unbelievable Moreno Glacier, a massive wall of advancing ice that terminates at Lago Argentino, affording some incredible calving action if we are lucky. Crossing back into Chile we reach what some consider the most scenic and impressive National parks on earth, Torres Del Paine.

Week 3: We start the week off exploring Torres del Paine riding amongst these immense mountains surrounded by epic scenery its 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. We visit the nearby Tierra del Fuego that lies just south of the city; and is the very end of the Pan American Highway. We now turn north and ride through the vast emptiness of Patagonia before stopping off at Cerro Sombrero then Comodoro where we see the week out.

Week 4: Continuing north we shall spend two nights at Pt. Madryn where we spend a day riding the amazing UNESCO listed Valdes peninsular viewing a wealth of sea life, we might be lucky and spot whales. Further north shall see us reach one of the most vibrant cities on the continent, Buenos Aires. While in BA we will take in a tango show, visit the wonderful Plaza de Mayo and visit the colorful port region of La Boca to name a few sights as we enjoy the vibe of this very cosmopolitan city.

Week 5: Departing Buenos Aires we ride north again visiting the most amazing waterfalls on earth, 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 time to visit the National park that surrounds the falls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, this is one of the premier sights of South America. The expedition now turns east and the landscape become more verdant as we ride amongst the forest clad mountains as we make our way towards the Atlantic Ocean where we eventually reach the coastal township of Bertoiga.

Week 6: Starting week six off we reach magnificent Paraty, a UNESCO listed town lined with cobblestone alleyways and traffic free streets. More than forty islands surround the coastline off Paraty where we enjoy a day on a schooner boat exploring some of the remote isolated islands and pristine beaches. 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. Leaving Rio, we head to the UNESCO listed Pantanal, a region National Geographic calls Brazils best kept secret.

Week 7: The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland area which is renowned for its unbelievable diversity, fantastic wildlife & blue of its impossibly clear rivers and cave lakes. Leaving the mighty Pantanal, we ride back to Foz do Iguaçu 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. We see the week out as we reach the colonial city of Salta.

Week 8: 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 ride 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, including Tupiza 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. We continue on to 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 visit a train cemetery, a wonderful collection of old steam trains simply driven into the Salar region and left to rust.

Week 9: Leaving Uyuni we ride the Altiplano before arriving to the city of La Paz. 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. Leaving La Paz, we cross Lake Titicaca and cross into Peru before riding on to 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.

Week 10: Leaving Arequipa we take an amazing ride through a magnificent landscape of towering volcano and yawning valleys before reaching Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest canyon and home of the giant Condors. 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 has one of the finest Plaza de Armas in all of South America, bordered by colonial arcades it has the mighty cathedral as its centerpiece. 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 Rain forest. 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 11: 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 12: We start the week off spectacularly as we reach the breathtaking Huaraz in Peru’s stunning Cordillera Blanca where we spend two nights allowing us time to explore this mighty mountainside or towering snow capped peaks, remote glacial lakes or simply explore Huaraz. We eventually descend from the Andes to Trujillo on the shores of the Pacific and continue northward onto Mancora where we spend two nights simply relaxing in this coastal resort. We cross into Ecuador and visit the wonderful city of Cuenca, a spectacular colonial city, curiously known as the birthplace of the Panama Hat. our last night of week twelve shall see us ride into the port city of Guayaquil where we take a flight to the legendary Galapagos Islands.

Week 13: 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 or take a trip out to the nearby legendary Otavalo Markets. Crossing into Colombia we overnight at Pasto.
Week 14: 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. We se the week out as we overnight near the legendary Medellin and visit Pablo Escobar’s former mansion.

Week 15:
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 night 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.

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Included


  • Bike shipping from a selected port in your home country to Valparaiso, Chile and return from Cartagena
  • Airport transfers
  • 100 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast everyday
  • Lunches on all ride days
  • One dinner per week
  • Return flights from Cusco to the Amazon Jungle, Peru
  • Services of ride leader and support vehicle driver
  • Support vehicle with passenger & luggage carrying ability
  • Pre-departure material and route maps
  • Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
  • Compass Expeditions tour shirt
  • Extensive list of sights and inclusions as per the Client Info Kit

Not Included


  • 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
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Upgrades


All accommodation is twin or double share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: US$ 7,025
(please note, you will likely 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

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Ride Details


Ride Profile

Every imaginable road condition is to be expected on this expedition, while the vast majority of the ride is on paved roads some off road riding must be expected. Generally the dirt is in the far south of the continent; Patagonia. This dirt can consist of long gravel sections that can be loose and heaped in the middle of the track. Riders can expect some small sand & corrugated sections in Bolivia and some loose rutted dirt tracks in Peru; a number of shallow creek crossings must also be expected.
 
Paved roads are generally in poor condition with Northern Brazil being very bad with huge potholes. Some roads though the Andean countries of Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia are narrow and can have heavy truck traffic while riding in Colombia twisties are the norm not the exception. Riders must expect the unexpected in South America as other road users do not share the same road sense as what might be expected in the west.
 
This expedition is perfectly suited to 2-up riding and is completely achievable by the novice off -road rider.

Tour Start/End

Tour Start: Santiago, Chile
Tour End: Cartagena, Colombia
 

Climate

 
We shall be leaving Santiago late February and will be anticipating good weather that can be on the colder side, as we head south towards Patagonia; it’s autumn and some of the best time to ride Patagonia with average temps of 15 degree Celsius / 60 Fahrenheit. A little rain should be expected, and it can be cool to cold at night. The prevailing winds, from the southwest, are dry, cold, and can be very strong at times. Riding north we shall be hitting warmer weather especially in northern Argentina where rain generally appears in the afternoon and is usually short-lived. We can expect tropical conditions as we venture into Brazil as the rainy season is at an end. Days can be an average of 27 degree Celsius / 80 Fahrenheit. Riding into the Andes (Bolivia & Peru) we can expect beautiful sunny days with an average of 20 degree Celsius / 68 Fahrenheit with very cool nights and early mornings. Further north in Ecuador we can expect temps of around 20 degree Celsius / 68 Fahrenheit in the highlands and a little rain should be expected on the Galapagos. Colombia we can see an increase in rain, but this is usually restricted to the afternoons. The temps will be hotter and more humid as we reach the coastal lowlands

Important Information

  • You will need to be in Santiago one day prior to start of expedition to clear motorcycles from customs.
  • All riders must have a valid motorcycle licence and at least two years riding experience.
  • It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
 
 
Ride Grade
5
 

Ride Distance
24,000 km / 15,000 mi

 

Sealed / Dirt
95% / 5%

Accommodation


    • 100 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$7,025 (please note that you may be required to share a bathroom on a small number of occasions on this trip).
      • Solo Travellers: We endeavour to pair you up with a fellow solo traveller however if numbers are limited you may be required to pay a single supplement.


     
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    Dining


    • On every day of the tour we include breakfast: 100 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
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    Bikes



     

     

    BMW R1250GS
    • 1254cc Twin cylinder boxer engine
    • Seat height 90cm (35In) Approx.
    • Inner Leg Curve 195cm (78in) Approx
    • Heated Hand Grips
    • BMW style accessory power socket
    • Top Box
    • Engine protection bars
    • Bash plate
    • Dual purpose tyres


     

     

    BMW F850GS
    • 853cc Parallel twin cylinder engine
    • Seat height 88cm (34In) Approx.
    • Inner Leg Curve 193cm (76in) Approx
    • Heated Hand Grips
    • BMW style accessory power socket
    • Top Box
    • Engine protection bars
    • Bash plate
    • Dual purpose tyres 

     
     
    BMW F750GS
    • 853cc (de-tuned) Parallel twin cylinder engine
    • Seat height 82cm (32In) Approx.
    • Inner Leg Curve 181cm (71in) Approx
    • Heated Hand Grips
    • BMW style accessory power socket
    • Top Box
    • Engine protection bars
    • Bash plate
    • Duel purpose tyres
    • Low seat option available (79cm / 31 in)

    Insurance


    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 our tours, but it makes sense.

    If choosing your own insurance – for motorcycle tours it is crucial the insurance policy you choose will offer a policy for riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy.

    Our experienced In-house travel team are happy to help with getting you the right insurance for your tour and for any other travel you might be doing before or after. Contact our in-house travel team.

    So you’ve read all the info and think you’re ready?...