As another gigantic season of Patagonia riding comes to a close, our thanks goes out to all Customers who endured the sometimes-grueling Patagonia conditions, terrains, and weather since all the riding began back in September. A special and HUGE thanks goes out to those who shared Customer Testimonials. Not exaggerating folks, reading your appreciation and positive reactions to the motorcycle rentals, routes & hotel packages we set up for you is still one of the greatest thrills we could ask for!
Moving into the winter months for Patagonia (late May through September) we're very excited to announce some new motorcycle trip packages in the Atacama Desert, much further north in Chile. I had blogged about the Atacama region not too long ago, and admittedly got a bit emotional as it brought back memories of my first couple years living, working, riding, and guiding in Chile. Since then, our work in Patagonia, Europe, and southern Africa has been so time-consuming, that attention to the Atacama region had just sort of "slipped" down the list of priorities, as inappropriate as that may be.So while operations shut down in Patagonia for the southern hemipshere's oncoming winter months, we'll be spending time up in Antofagasta, Chile, a thriving city famous for its nearby mining operations, and also an excellent departure point for motorcycle trips into the Altiplano (High Plains) and Atacama Desert features of the Andes Mountains. Andres and Ulli had fun touching-base again on the region and checking out which hotels we'd be using back in June, and talked about it in blog posts like this one from the Pacific Coast.
What has come from our combined experience in the region is a Guided Group Tour called "RIDE the 3 Corners: Argentina, Bolivia & Chile," a trip that packs an amazing amount of exploration of the Andes into just 13-Days. This motorcycle trip not only grants you at least 3 new country-stamps for your passport, but gives you an up-close experience with places & sites like The Hand of the Desert (El Mano del Desierto), San Pedro de Atacama and it's surrounding geological phenomenon, the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) and much more. This particular Guided Group Tour format works best for folks who don't want to fuss with having to fix a flat tire, translate languages, figure out currencies, and also appreciate the safety and support that comes with having a Lead Motorcycle Guide and Support Truck there for the trip. We do all the silly little things for you, so you can relax, explore, and RIDE without much else to do but ENJOY.
For those who prefer more of a "Lone Wolf" motorcycle travel experience, and would rather just travel alone or with a few friends (instead of riding with our Guides and a Group) the Self-Guided "Fly & RIDE The 3 Corners: Argentina, Bolivia & Chile" is available as well. Sure, Self-Guided motorcycle trips come with more challenges. We provide a tire repair kit with every motorcycle rental, but you'll essentially be on your own to get the rare flat tire fixed. Self-Guided riders will also have to figure out their own fuel and food needs, and follow the Road Book we provide to the pre-reserved, pre-paid hotel location each day. Your luggage will be on your own bike, instead of in the Support Truck, and of course, Self-Guided riders will need to be extra-cautious when riding, given the extremely remote nature of the Atacama Desert and route you'll follow.
With all the motorcycle routes we design, we tend to focus on staying as far away from major cities and traffic as possible. Not just for reasons of avoiding the commotion, but also because being "off the beaten path" often leads to the most precious and rare experiences. Can't deny it, there's a great feeling that comes with seeing such incredible things on trips like "RIDE the 3 Corners", and realizing that "so many more people still need to see this." Having focused on Patagonia, Europe, and Africa so much the past 6-7 years, this revival of the Atacama Region in my life is a very welcome one. Reminding me of my first days exploring the Atacama Desert back in 2009, before I ever actually had a job in "motorcycle tourism" ... friends, I'd be lying if I said times like this don't have me choked up a bit. Circling back to the Altiplano region that I found so fascinating and beautiful, only now with RIDE Adventures up and running like freshly-tuned adventure bike, I thank all of you once again for being such fantastic Riders and Customers.