We're constantly trying to provide you with more motorcycle travel information, so please find these Q's and A's we've recently exchanged with customers useful. As always, keep in mind that you can download some great information on our Free Motorcycle Travel Info page, and ask us questions anytime. RIDE Adventures was founded on the notion that "more people need to see this," so be sure to ask us more about just which destinations you should be seeing!
Q: If we detour to El Chaltén/Fitz Roy on the ride down from Estancia Los Toldos, will we be able to get gas in El Chaltén? Is it even feasible that we could make it to El Chaltén (it looks like it would add about 90-100 miles to the already long and windy day?)
A: El Chalten/Mt. Fitz Roy: Yes, it'll add about 200 km of riding to your already long day, and unless they're sold out, there is a fuel station there in El Chaltén. However, if it's cloudy and overcast, you'll never get to see the peaks of Fitz Roy anyway. With clear weather, you can see them in the distance once you're about halfway to El Chaltén on that detour. Getting truly "close" to them though requires about 4-5 hours of hiking though.
Q: At Perito Moreno Glacier, I take it that you recommend against the boat tour to the glacier?
A: Boat Tour at Perito Moreno: In my opinion, the boat tour pales in comparison to walking out on the decks and stairs accessed through the Visitor's Center. Just my opinion though (other tour customers have felt the same though.) If you do the boat tour though, probably do it first so it's like you're building up to the better view, and keep in mind your 5-6 hour journey ahead that day on the way to Torres del Paine.
Q: What do you recommend with regards to hiking in Torres del Paine?
A: Hiking Torres del Paine: Most adventure riders are usually quite ready for some rest by that the time they arrive in Torres del Paine. If you do though, most of the trekking activity for "Las Torres" (The Towers) stars from around Hotel Las Torres and Eco Camp. From there it's about 7-8 hours to see Las Torres by foot, and the downside to staying at either of those places is a) lack of availability typically and b) not waking up to the view of "Los Cuernos." If you're sure you'll be fit for hiking that day, we can help you arrange hotels that put you in the perfect spot.
Q: We heard there are penguin colonies around Ushuaia and Punta Arenas. Are they easily accessible?
A: Penguins: The Otway Penguin reserve just north of Punta Arenas is fairly convenient for anyone passing through. To last news, it still requires about 2 miles of walking (tough in motorcycle gear?) and the seasonality should be noted, as by March the penguins are a bit more scarcely seen. Just outside of Ushuaia are the Estancia Harberton and Magellanic Penguins. Although reservations are needed as there's limited access every day, it's an excellent activity if you're planning on a rest day there in Ushuaia.
Q: Can you walk us through the process of crossing the border with the rental motorcycles in a little more detail?
A: Border Crossings: Actually, describing border crossings in better detail is tough to do, as there tends to be little differences between all of the points of crossing between Chile and Argentina. Generally speaking, you could have either separate buildings for Argentina and Chile or the Customs & Immigration building (Aduana y Migracion) will be together in the same physical structure. It's different for each one, but as simple as parking the bike, walking in, and standing in line with your papers. You'll typically go through immigration first, and then clear the bike through customs and this is usually indicated with a "1" and a "2" in overhead signs. At most crossings you'll be collecting stamps on a small piece of paper that is then given to a border guard once you start riding away from the facility. The absolute keys to making it through successfully are a) don't misplace or lose a single document from your personal immigration papers to the motorcycle rental papers, and b) no matter what happens: Stay calm, cool, be polite, and remember that THEY are in charge! These border officials and guards are generally very friendly people, but if you show the slightest sign of haste, impatience, or disrespect, they can keep you there as long as they want to.