"The Patagonia Experience" Motorcycle Tour - 13 Days
Day 1 – Arrive in Santiago, Chile and then Osorno, Chile
Whether you’re taking extra time to explore the capital city of Santiago or just flying through, riders need to arrive in Osorno on or before this date, as we'll be departing early the next morning. Your intra-Chile flights can be booked through www.lan.com or www.skyairline.cl (Santiago (SCL) to Osorno (ZOS) and then Punta Arenas (PUQ) to Santiago at the end of the trip.) Your RIDE Adventures guides will pick you up from the airport, and a welcome meeting and dinner will be held once everyone is together in Osorno.
Day 2 – Osorno, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina – 239km – Ride time: 5-7 hours
It’s time to start riding into the heart of Patagonia!
After our morning meeting and fitting of your motorcycle, we’ll be ready to go when everyone is comfortable for departure. We certainly have the opportunity to bring any unique parts & accessories from home to customize the bike’s fit to your liking and assistance with anything you need is of the utmost importance, as safety is key to enjoyment and completion of the incredible journey ahead.
Due to the wild series of inlets and land formations that make up the coast of southern Chile, this trip heads east up into the Andes Mountains before going further south into Patagonia. Depending on how aggressive the group wants to be, this first day can actually become a long 9-10 hour day of riding if we head north to ride the 7 Lakes Route on the way to Bariloche. Either way, passing through Parque Nacional Puyuhue and later Nahuel Huapi, it’s going to be a fantastic first day’s ride, with the option to ride the "Circuito Chico," a one-hour loop through Llao Llao to the west of Bariloche. Settling down into the ski-resort town of Bariloche for the night and first Argentine asado (barbeque) in this lively town sets us up for even greater riding ahead.
Day 3 – Bariloche to Trevelin, Chile – 308km - Ride time: 7-9 hours
Leaving Bariloche, most of the trucks and traffic will take the obvious Route 40 south, but we’ll enjoy a detour through Parque Nacional Los Alerces just to the west. Sweeping sandy turns through the “Fitzroy” trees (cousin to the Redwoods found in California and the tallest trees in all of South America,) beautiful lakes and mountains guide us through the national park. Positioning ourselves to cross back into Chile the next day, how did you do in the gravel?
Day 4 – Trevelin to Puyuhaupi, Chile – 246km – Ride time: 6-8 hours
Today marks the start of our ride down the Carretera Austral (Highway to the South) and what many folks will agree is some of the best riding in the world! First crossing the Futaleufú River, we’ll also be passing near Parque National Corcovado, one of very few privately owned land preserves in the world (owned by Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face clothing company.)
Heading further south on the Carretera, rain is likely before arriving in the town of Puyuhaupi, and this area is an absolute highlight for riders experiencing Patagonia for the first time. Glaciers to the left, waterfalls all around, and the rainforest riding for the Patagonia riders.
Day 5 - Puyuhuapi to Coihaique, Chile - 224km - Ride time: 4-6 hours
If we're going to get rain on this trip, it'll likely be here in the Queulat Rainforest in this stunning valley full of switchbacks and unforgettable scenery. Even the most "reserved" personalities tend to burst a bit in this section, as every turn reveals a new view of the precious Patagonia we've grown to love. Waterfalls that cascade down from a few hundred meters high and all the bright green forestry of Patagonia await you.
Day 6 – Coihaique to Puerto Tranquilo, Chile – 225km – Ride time: 6-7 hours
The enormous Nalca plants will line your ride through Parque Nacional Queulat, and likely some rain today. The plant life and rain makes for an amazing atmosphere though with snow-capped mountains, rivers and waterfalls, and in the right season, salmon spawning in the River Cisnes.
After Reserva Nacional Cerro Castillo and its sharp mountain peaks, you’ll get your first glimpses of Lago General Carrera, and if the sun is out, another site never to be forgotten. Glacier fed waters reflect blue light, and combined with more snow-capped mountains in the background, this is one fantastic ride into Puerto Tranquilo. If we arrived early enough, opportunities for fishing, boat tours of the nearby Marble Caves, and canopy tours are possible.
Day 7 – REST DAY in Puerto Tranquilo (area), Chile
The rest day in Puerto Tranquilo is chosen for a couple of reasons. First, Patagonia makes for some tough riding and we need to rest up, and second, because you probably won’t want to leave the Puerto Tranquilo area! We will be far off “the beaten path” at this point and varying emotions about seclusion and our normal lives are bound to set in. With activities like boat tours, fly-fishing, horseback riding, canopy tours, and river rafting on the Rio Baker, this is barely a relaxing rest day. On the other hand, if you really feel you want to ride a little this day, the fabulous "Patagonia Park," one of the late Doug Tompkin's conservation efforts is right near by with plenty of guanacos bouncing around the lodge Valle Chacabuco.
Day 8 - Puerto Tranquilo (area) to near Bajo Caracoles, Arg. – 260km – Ride time: 5-7 hours
Leaving this spot about 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean, we’ll ride along the shores of Lago General Carrera with its blue beauty guiding us along rock walls and fantastic scenery on our way back into Argentina. Now get ready for the wind! As Pacific air rolls across the Andes, it typically rushes down the Eastern side in quite a hurry, so this can be a challenging day of riding.
Day 9– Bajo Caracoles to El Calafate – 580km – Ride time: 8-10 hours
Just grip down and get through what is likely to be more pounding winds today, this is why Ruta 40 is so famous! Extremely remote territories, very few fueling points, and the wide-open “pampas” region of Argentina again add to the variety in this adventure.
Day 10 – REST DAY in El Calafate (optional visit to Glacier: 160km)
It's important to rest once again, and there might be no better town to do so in. Just a short ride morning starts with a visit to yet another incredible site in Patagonia: The Perito Moreno Glacier! One of only 3 known glaciers in the world that is still actually growing, huge chunks of ice will fall off before our eyes, crashing into the bay before us. As if this awesome sight isn’t enough, the rumbling sounds of ice cracking throughout the ice field will remain a definite part of your Patagonia memories. Enjoy the remainder of the day around the town of El Calafate where shopping, crafts, culture and restaurants all await you.
Day 11 – El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park – 379km – Ride time: 5-6 hours
Circling back through the wide-open “pampas” of Argentina one more time, the goal is yet another stunning site on the Chilean side. Crossing the border at Paso Rio Don Guillermo, it might not appear that there’s anything in site; however, when approaching the middle of Torres del Paine National Park, riders will understand why this is a special place in Patagonia.
The famous Torres (towers) and Cuernos (horns) of Torres del Paine National Park beg you to take a rest day and either hike or ride around the area to enjoy the beauty. From the south side of “Los Cuernos”(The Horns,) travelers can be found waiting to photograph that perfect sunrise where orange and pink hues radiate across this unforgettable mountain formation. Designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 by UNESCO, photos might not even be necessary as the images will remain clear in traveler’s minds forever.
Day 12 – Torres del Paine N.P. to Punta Arenas, Chile – 320km – Ride time: 5-6 hours (PLEASE NOTE: "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" Riders Continue to Straight of Magellan Ferry at Punta Delgada)
Finally, the Province and Island of Tierra del Fuego! Originally given that name by Ferdinand Magellan (meaning “Land of Fire”) because of the Indian’s fires he saw blazing before him, he might have better named it “Land of Wind,” because you’re likely be inundated by it most of the day. Although you might not actually touch Tierra del Fuego, you'll be just about 1 kilometer from it across the Straight of Magellan, and definitely have the sensation of what it's like to be out there. We'll say goodbyes at lunch time en route, and those who are finishing in Punta Arenas today will be guided back to the shop to return the motorcycles and reflect back on the incredible journey behind.
Day 13 - Breakfast, hotel transfer, flights home
If you absolutely must leave this day, we understand you'll be fighting the temptation to skip the flight, turn around, and ride all the way through Patagonia again. Such sentiment won't find you alone though, as the friends we've made on this journey and previous customers of RIDE Adventures all feel the same way. We thank you for joining us!
BMW 650 GS (Single Cylinder)
BMW F700GS (twin cylinder)
BMW R1200GS - Liquid Cooled 2013
BMW R1200GS Adventure (2014+ Liquid Cooled)
Honda Africa Twin
Kawasaki KLR 650