Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/)
-   Route Planning (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/)
-   -   Los Angeles to Buenos Aires (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/los-angeles-to-buenos-aires-2008)

Lapper 9 Aug 2004 01:30

Los Angeles to Buenos Aires
I am in the begining stages of planning a trip from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. In ball park terms how long will this take? Is there anywhere online to figure out mileage totals? If not, does anyone recommend a particular brand of map? Also, what would be the big "do's" and more importantly the big "don'ts" of a trip such as this. It will be my first big trip. Going solo. On GS 650 Dakar.

Grant Johnson 9 Aug 2004 04:12

Lapper, there is a ton of info on your questions all over the HUBB and in the Travellers stories, Check the links page too.

Time will be from 3 weeks to 3 years - it's completely up to you!

Mileage is unimportant - it is what it is. And of course it depends completely on your route - via Ushuaia or Venezuela? All that matters is that you DO go, and DO take your time and enjoy the trip. DON'T get suckered into overplanning it. DO work out a rough route, again DO read the stories and ezine on the site, and relax and have a good time. DON'T set a schedule and DO give yourself lots of time.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Lapper 9 Aug 2004 05:12

Thanks for the reply, Grant. And my apologies for not being more specific. I have been on the HUBB site for several days now (great site!) and have learned a lot, pciking up little bits here and little bits there.

To be specific;
1.) Would three months be a reasonable time to allow travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires?
2.) What is the mileage, if anyone knows a rough estimate - clearly there are differences in road choice, but like one can say it's 3000 miles from LA to NYC, what is it from LA to Buenos Aires?
3.) Road maps; I hope to do a decent amount of travel on the smaller roads, is there a map better situated for this, and is there a brand that shows campgrounds etc? Or is it prefereable to purchase at each new country?
4.) What would be the high end of shipping cost from Brazil back to Los Angeles, again I am looking for rough estimates.

I've recently sold my house in LA, which netted me a bundle (thank you thank you lucky star) and decided I could take four months off. I've never done anything like this and I just said screw it - selling the Harley! I'm just wondering if 4 months, a little buffer on each end, will be ample to make a trip like this or should I just do Mexico and Central America - just looking for thoughts and ideas from anyone who has traveled this route.

Much thanks. If you see a short bald guy with shiney new equipment, that's me and I just started out, if you see a short bald guy all beat up and dirty in Buenos Aires, that's me and I'll be finishing up!

Mick O'Malley 9 Aug 2004 14:55


As Grant says, everything you need to know can be found using the search facility, and you'll have a lot of fun finding it all.

You'll have a much better trip if you don't restrict yourself with a time limit or a rigid itinerary, just point the bike at Antarctica and go!



Stretcher Monkey 10 Aug 2004 02:28

I am planning, (very loosely), a trip from BA to Guatemala starting the 1st. December. I have used the "Ask Jeeves" site for distances, but I think the key is not to plan too much. There's too much out there and too many possibilities/challenges to be faced. Go with the flow, and if needed, howabout taking some time out in Guatemala for Spanish lessons? For my adventure, I'm allowing 2-3 months, spending Xmas in Rio. Good Luck!!

Mick P

There's no justice, just us.

[This message has been edited by Stretcher Monkey (edited 09 August 2004).]

Arne Bomblies 10 Aug 2004 08:36

Hi there Lapper,
I've recently done the trip Denver->Buenos Aires via Ushuaia, maybe I can give you some insight. First of all congratulations on selling your house and deciding to do the trip- an excellent choice!!!
I took eight months to do that route (but went via Ushuaia to B.A.), and total distance on the bike was about 17,000 miles. In many places we took the long, slow way to explore the off-the-beaten-path areas. Not doing so would certainly have saved time and distance. Obviously not going to Ushuaia would save a few thousand miles. I travelled with a friend for most of the way, and we allowed ourselves time to get to know various spots well- it's nice not to be tied to a schedule so that if you really like a spot, you can stay for a while. We also spent days and sometimes weeks at a time scuba diving, trekking, or climbing mountains or just going slowly through the great spots, which added to the time. I would say if non-riding adventures really aren't your cup of tea and you feel like spending most of your time on the bike, then you can go all the way to B.A. in three months, easily. You could do it in much less if you set your mind to it.
Otherwise my suggestion is to restrict yourself to Central America and make Panama your goal. I think you'll have a much more rewarding trip if you only have 3-4 months.
As for road maps, I used Nelles maps. They are not very detailed, but for overall quality I found them to be by far the best maps out there. The Trails Illustrated of Costa Rica is a good one to have, too.
Good luck and have fun with the planning. Check out my blog on this site- I wrote up pretty much the whole trip.

navegante 16 Aug 2004 04:07

Hola Lapper:
I am doing a similar trip, from México to Tierra del Fuego next year. Please go to
where I describe my travesía. In one of the pages you will find my route with distances all the way down. I will start from Ciudad Obregon, Mexico. This town is 600 km south of Nogales, AZ. I know this site is mostly for motorcycle travellers, but I´m doing this trip with my family so I will go by car. If you need more info, just mail me.- Sorry my poor english, my native language is Spanish.-

hava98 19 Aug 2004 09:13

Hello list,

Live in SoCal like Lapper and planning similar trips. The difference is, as I'm sure many people with busy careers and families to raise have to accept, I cannot afford to take such a huge chunk of time at once. Therefore, I'm starting to plan (and planning to start) the Big Trip in smaller bites.

Do you more experienced motorcycle travelers think this is a viable schedule?

1. Los Angeles - Baja and back (2 weeks)
2. Transamerica Trail east to west - (4 weeks)
3. Los Angeles to Arctic Circle, AK and back (4 weeks)
4. Los Angeles through mainland Mexico, to the Darien Gap and back - (8 weeks)
5. Ecuador (by air from LA) to Tierra del Fuego (return by air to LA) (8 weeks)

This way, I would never be away for more than 8 weeks at a time. Less demanding to a non-riding wife, college-aged children, and a small business.

I wish I could take a year off to do this, but it's just not looking possible at the moment, and I see this as an acceptable compromise.

Your comments are welcomed.


Grant Johnson 19 Aug 2004 14:22


Good onya! It's all about doing what you can as you can.

All of what you propose is very doable, but the South American leg is rushed. Why not leave the bike somewhere along the way for awhile, then come back and finish? That will give you up to 16 weeks in SA, and that's a more reasonable time to do it in, although you could leave it twice and have 24 weeks, even better! http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif

Also I'd skip the Transam for now - it's not really a part of the overall north to south run, and can be done anytime in the future too. You could skip the La to Baja for that matter - or plan on making it LA to Copper Canyon around about Oct 14 for the HU Meeting - lots of inspiration and information AND awesome riding.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 19:56.