Ultimate South America
Ride / Rest day
63 / 37
Sealed / Dirt
95% / 5%
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.
Dates and Pricing
22nd Feb 2024 to 1st Jun 2024
Rider / BYO Bike
Rider / BMW F750 GS
Rider / BMW F850 GS
Rider / BMW R1250 GS
Pillion / Support Vehicle
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.
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 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
Ride Details book now JOIN THE WAITLIST
- 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 license and at least two years riding experience.
- It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
24,000 km / 15,000 mi
Sealed / Dirt
95% / 5%
- 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).
- 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
book now JOIN THE WAITLIST
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.