The Best of Northern Patagonia Motorcycle Tour of Chile & Argentina
Day 1- Arrive in Santiago, Chile then Pucón
Whether you’re taking extra time to explore the capital city of Santiago or just flying through, riders need to arrive in Pucón 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 - Flight should be Santiago (SCL) to Temuco (ZCO)
After a one-hour shuttle ride from Temuco, you’ll reach Pucón, a charming mountain town nestled at the foot of Volcano Villarica in the breathtaking Chilean Lake District. We‘ll get you acquainted with your bike and do your paperwork before everyone meets at the welcome Dinner.
Day 2- Pucón, Chile to Curacautin, Chile - 270km – Ride time 7-9 hours
After our morning briefing we’ll be ready to go when everyone is comfortable for departure. Leaving the active Volcano Villarrica and National Park Villarrica to our right, we’ll start climbing the Andes Mountains along the border of Chile/Argentina. Later riding right through National Park Huerquehue to Playa Negra, it’s picture time already! Enjoy Lago Caburgua in front, Volcano Villarica in the background, and all the gorgeous forestry around. After lunch in Conco, we enter National Park Conquillo where 3 beautiful lagoons await us. Riding along old lava flows of Volcano Llaima and through forests that are home to 1000 year old Araucania Trees, this is a fantastic first day of riding on challenging gravel roads with many photo stops. Settling into the night near Curacautin, our hotel and dinner await us.
Day 3 – Curacautin, Chile to Lago Alumine, Argentina - 180km - Ride time 6-8 hours
Yesterday was a fantastic day of challenging riding and stunning landscape, but today it gets even better. Our ride takes us up along the base of the active Volcano Lonquimay and Crater Navidad where we’ll follow its latest lava flow from 1988. As if the black-lava landscape isn’t surreal enough, we’ll then cross the Cordillera Lonquimay with more stunning views. After lunch we cross the Sierra Nevada, follow three beautiful lagunas, and reach Paso Icalma for crossing from Chile into Argentina! A short ride later we reach our destination, Villa Pehuenia at the shore of Lago Alumine, surely in time to catch a beautiful sunset over the lake.
Day 4 – Lago Alumine to Bariloche, Argentina - 350km - Ride time 6-8 hours
Leaving Lago Alumine, the scenery changes dramatically on our ride to the Swiss style town of San Martin de los Andes. Now you’ll get a feel for the vast emptiness of the Argentina pampas region as we will see Volcano Lanin (3728m) from a distance and probably deal with some of the typically forceful winds on the Argentine side of the Andes Mountains. After lunch we will take the famous “Seven Lakes Route“ through National Park Nahuel Huapi, and many photo stops later we reach the ski resort town of Bariloche for the night and our first Argentine “asado” (barbeque) in this lively town.
Even the most conditioned riders need to rest occasionally, so it’s important to have some off-motorcycle time. For those who still want to remain active though, the charming ski resort town of Bariloche offers plenty of local culture, shopping and restaurants with great views of Llao Llao and Lago Nahuel Huapi. Anyone wishing to take a short ride can enjoy the “Circuito Chico,” a one-hour loop through the famous Llao Llao Resort with many great viewpoints, or as noted on this page, your Rest Day in the Chilean town of Futaleufú sets you up for some world class whitewater rafting!
Day 6 - Bariloche, Argentina to Futaleufú, Chile - 360km - Ride time 7-9 hours
Leaving Bariloche we first follow the legendary Ruta 40 as sweeping turns take us through rural Argentina. Later, we will enjoy a detour through “Parque National los Alerces” where sandy turns through “Fitzroya” trees (cousin to the Redwoods found in California) make for more scenic riding. Beautiful lakes and mountains guide us through the National Park, then crossing the Andes again, we’ll be back in Chile for the night in the famous whitewater-rafting town of Futaleufú.
Day 7 – Futaleufú to Hornopiren, Chile - 270km - Ride time 7-9 hours – (with 2 ferries)
Today the gravel road follows the whitewaters of Rio Futaleufú and the Sierra la Ventana. Near Lago Yelcho, we’ll reach the world famous “Carretera Austral,” and some of the most picturesque scenery in the world. Riding through Parque Pumalin, owned and preserved by the late Doug Tompkins, founder of "The North Face" clothing company, more interesting history and status of Patagonia will be revealed. After stopping in Chaiten, the town that was destroyed at the 2008 volcano eruption, we’ll take the ferry to Hornopiren where suddenly you’re on the seawater of the Pacific Ocean! Two scenic ferry rides will take us through the Reñihué and Coman Leprepu Fjords, a major center point of Chilean salmon farming.
Today we pass through National Park Hornopiren and follow the shoreline of these Pacific inlets to start things out. Across the fjord we see Parque Nacional Alerces/Andino near the Cochamo Valley, which many people call it the “Yosemite” of Chile. Pressing on to Ensenada on Lago LLanquihue on our way to Lago Todos los Santos, we’ll stop at Petrohue waterfalls and then a fantastic asphalt road (riding paradise) takes us up Volcano Osorno. At the base of the Ski resort there, we’ll enjoy a beautiful view over Lago Llanquihue before descending to the touristy town of Puerto Varas on the lake shore of Lago Llanquihue for the night.
Day 9 – Puerto Varas to Pucón, Chile - 360km - Ride time 7-9 hours
Wake up with a fantastic view of Volcano Osorno across Lago Llanquihue! Following the lake through Frutillar (Germans settled here in the late 1800s) and Puerto Octay, we’ll finally spend some moments on the Panamerican Highway. On our way back to Pucón we’ll follow the shore line of Lago Panguipulli, Lago Neptune, Lago Calafquen and Lago Villarrica, where the Chilean Lake District holds such a simple and pleasant beauty. The ride down into Pucón might bring on a case of mixed emotions as you look back at the amazing trip through Northern Patagonia. A Farewell Dinner awaits you in Pucón.
If you absolutely must leave on your last day, we do understand you’ll be fighting the temptation to skip the flight. Chile has so much more to offer and we have so much more to show you, so we hope you enjoyed yourself and will return for other Patagonia tours!
BMW F700GS (twin cylinder)
BMW R1200GS - Liquid Cooled
Honda Africa Twin
Another recent assertion by Honda Motorcycles into the Adventure Riding world, riders seeking a compact-sized adventure bike have been raving about the CB500X. With plenty of power emanating from the parallel-twin engine, and an agile disposition, everything from paved twisties to gravel, dirt, and sand can be conquered with this fun adventuring option.
- Wet Weight - 428lbs
- Seat Height - 31.8 inches
- Fuel Capacity - 4.6 gal
471cc Parallel Twin