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RIDE Adventures Blog

Motorcycle Tours in South America: "Is it safe to travel there?"

Posted by Eric Lange on September 6, 2011
Eric Lange
Since riding his KTM 950 Adventure down to South America in 2008 and launching RIDE Adventures in 2010, Eric now resides in Oregon for most of each year. Riding is still a regular part of his work though, in that guiding tours is a passion he'll always have, and researching new routes and regions allows RIDE Adventures to continue growing and providing reliable travel services to adventure minded riders and travelers from around the world.

If you've beenresearching motorcycle tours in South America, have you been led to believe that it's unsafe to go there?  While information conveyed can sometimes be useful, it’s a shame sometimes what “over coverage” can do to misshape our perceptions.

Tourism in Chile suffered a great loss when the February 2010 earthquake was made out to be “Armageddon” in this South American wonderland.  Around 500 lives were lost, hundreds of homes and businesses suffered irreparable damages, and some local residents did take advantage by looting stores and such that were unattended to. 

South America Motorcycle ToursDespite all this destruction and temporary confusion though, around 17 million other citizens and tourists in Chile went about their daily lives, aware of what had taken place but essentially unaffected by it.  Take a moment to think about the percentages here, and you might agree that it’s silly to start thinking of Chile as a dangerous place to travel.

The Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic eruption in June of 2011 in Chile was another example of how outsiders might draw the conclusion that this volcano-peppered country is unsafe for travel.  (This eruption happened only 2 months after our Patagonia motorcycle tour rode past that very same volcano!)  The absolutely amazing collection of photos on Boston.com’s article by Lloyd Young show what folks would expect to be a path of destruction that led to many deaths.  Truth is though, no fatalities were reported during or after this amazing sequence of events.

This post is being written to encourage tourists everywhere to peel back the few bits of information we typically collect about potential travel destinations around the world, and look closely at the big picture beneath.  We are constantly being fed the tragedies, controversies, and destruction while in the background, another 6 billion+ people go about their lives every day. 

Contact a trusted travel agent like RIDE Adventures and get the truth about areas you’re curious about.  Chances are, you’ll find that plenty of safe travel opportunities await you…even in places you’ve thought for years weren’t fit for your arrival.

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