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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #1  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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Buenos Aires to Bogota

in mid-january, 2013, i'll be flying into buenos aires to start a trip i've been dreaming about for a long time. my current plan is to ride from buenos aires, argentina to florianopolis, brazil to visit some old friends, then back-track down to the end of the world - ushuaia, argentina, and then make my way up the south american west coast to bogota, columbia where i'll fly myself and the dirty bike back home. i've not yet hammered out many of the waypoints. rather, i'm wanting to collect suggestions from other riders, and in general, go where the bike takes me.

i could use suggestions for places and motorcycling roads not to miss, great spots to stay or restaurants to eat at, people to meet along the way, and more.

i'll take whoever is interested along on the journey, and share as much as i can good and bad, as well as devoting myself to posting great photos and videos along the way. viva la moto!

cheers,

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 19 Oct 2022 at 21:32. Reason: removing personal info
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  #2  
Old 14 Jul 2012
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For Peru, you have all the wrong information:

(1) Nazca is mostly hype. Yes it's an amazing concept... and WHY they did it does boggle the mind but you will leave feeling: "Is that all there is?" The town? A bit of a let-down there too. The only real reason to go to Nazca is to say you've been there.
(2) Huancachina? Okay, after you've been traveling days on end down the boring desert which the Panam follows, Huancachina is a bit of novelty... but it will cost you an arm and a leg to stay there..
(3) Cuzco and Machu Picchu... DEFINITELY go there. I think the best time to go there is Jan-Feb because everything is so green and there are less tourists, but NOT the time to try to get there by motorcycle! The ride from Nazca over the Puquillo pass will kill you that time of year! In fact, stay out of the central Andes (Peru Bolivia) Dec to March unless you are willing to travel VERY short distances each day, and not travel some days. Freezing rain and hail at 15,000 ft is not something to mess with! (Been there, done that...IN Peru for many years).

Because of the time you are starting, start in the south and travel north. Forget the Panamericana and go up thru the center of Bolivia and Peru. From Cuzco keep going up the center. Later April, May, June the weather will be great! 70 degrees and sunny every day (until about 3 pm when the wind picks up and it starts getting colder). Go Cuzco-Andahuaylas-Ayacucho-Huancayo-Huanuco-Huaraz-Canyon del Pato, Huamachuco, Cajamarca-Chachapoyas (Gocta waterfalls and Fortress of Kuelap which rivals Machu Picchu)-Jaen and north into Ecuador to Banos-Cuenca-Quito.

50% of that is gravel and you will only see other vehicles every 20 min. the views are to die for and the room and board cheap and the people friendly. You will get NONE of that (but you will get dangerous traffic and corrupt cops) if you stick to the !@#$%^&* PANAM!



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  #3  
Old 15 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Ushuaia (although I've heard it's a pretty boring ride?? and not really worth the long trip?? unless you just HAVE to do the Ushuaia thing??)
*Argentina (route 40, 68, 9, Patagonia near Bariloche, Valle de la Luna)
January or February would be the best season.
Valle de la Luna, winter, if not, you are going to boil lol
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  #4  
Old 29 Jul 2012
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I did south america November and December last year, starting Buenos Aires, down to south Chile, all the way up through Chile, into Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and finishing in Bogota Columbia. It was all fantastic and I can give you more detail if you you need, but.....
I have one key piece of advise - unless you are a very experienced off roader and have the right bike, DO NOT enter Bolivia via San Pedro De Aticama to Uyuni. It is beyond doubt the hardest riding I have ever done; mostly on sand with impossible navigation. hardest thing I've ever done, not helped by altitude sickness. My BMW 1200 GSA, which was faultless on the rest of the trip, was just too heavy for the terrain (though I wasn't riding on nobblies!). It is spectacular place but very difficult. If you have plenty of experience on the loose stuff and are on something light (KTM 640 etc) with the right set up - then it could be amazing but if not.... be warned
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  #5  
Old 1 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charapashanperu View Post
(3) Cuzco and Machu Picchu... DEFINITELY go there. I think the best time to go there is Jan-Feb because everything is so green and there are less tourists, but NOT the time to try to get there by motorcycle! The ride from Nazca over the Puquillo pass will kill you that time of year! In fact, stay out of the central Andes (Peru Bolivia) Dec to March unless you are willing to travel VERY short distances each day, and not travel some days. Freezing rain and hail at 15,000 ft is not something to mess with! (Been there, done that...IN Peru for many years).

Because of the time you are starting, start in the south and travel north. Forget the Panamericana and go up thru the center of Bolivia and Peru. From Cuzco keep going up the center. Later April, May, June the weather will be great! 70 degrees and sunny every day (until about 3 pm when the wind picks up and it starts getting colder). Go Cuzco-Andahuaylas-Ayacucho-Huancayo-Huanuco-Huaraz-Canyon del Pato, Huamachuco, Cajamarca-Chachapoyas (Gocta waterfalls and Fortress of Kuelap which rivals Machu Picchu)-Jaen and north into Ecuador to Banos-Cuenca-Quito.
What he said, but a detour to Caral might be cool. I really enjoyed looking around there, and it is one of the fewplaces on Earth where Civilization started without outside influence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charapashanperu View Post
You will get NONE of that (but you will get dangerous traffic and corrupt cops) if you stick to the !@#$%^&* PANAM!
I didn't run into any corrupt cops in South America, but did hear stories from other riders. I kept going up and down, switching up my scenery. Costs off the PanAm were definitely lower.
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  #6  
Old 1 Aug 2012
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Just for counterpoint to #2: I liked Nazca and the surrounding area, and I liked the high altitude riding in December and January, including the very fun road from Nazca to Cuzco and many others. There were bits of hail plus one set of snow squalls, but for the most part things went just fine....and I'm not particularly rugged. I rode long days and never skipped a day due to weather. No electric grips or clothing, either.

Just another data point. Ride your own ride.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 2 Aug 2012
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South. You want to go south from where you are.
I say take the trip as it comes. Nothing stops the fun more than looking at your map and say "I need to be here in x days"
But take a look as some of this Top Eleven Mysterious Mysteries of the Pre-Columbian Americas That We Decided to Cram Into One Article....Page 54
6 Must See Ruins of South America
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  #8  
Old 5 Aug 2012
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Hi P&Corn

I think you are planning a very long trip.... you will find very differents wheathers, I dont know how many experience you have, all is possible, but you must to know that you are planning an autenthic rally, ja ja. If you hate sand, forget Bolivia and a big part of the dessert ! Going alone ? If you want to go to Ushuaia,you must go in January/earlier february.... is practically impossible going in other time. You will find WIND (not wind, WIND, ja ja) and after february very probably snow. And you cannot begin your travel there, probably the most southest point were you can send your moto is Valparaiso, in Chile, 3000 kms from Ushuaia... Any way, all depends what you like, what you can, and the time what you have... all the south of Argentina and Chile in the two sides of the Andes are very very nice.... the pacific coast of Chile from Santiago is not nice... is better Santiago - Mendoza (Argentina) and then go to the north by the Argentine side to Salta/Jujuy (argentine states ) , then across the Andes ( by road o grave, as you like ) -incredible nice- to the north of Chile, then Peru / Machu Picchu (YOU MUST GO TO MP ) .... but the east of Peru is better in Sep/October... other months before you find TOO MUCH cold or after too much RAIN ( realy dangerous ) . From there to Brasil ? Easy : across the Matto Grosso , JA JA ! ( It´s possible, I did it, but .... MY GOD !!! The way could be Cusco-Titicaca Lake-La Paz -Santa Cruz de la Sierra- Puerto Suarez-Corumba- and other 2000 kms to the south of Brasil , over the Atlantic sea. From there to Rio, mav be other 1000 kms, this time with good roads, beachs and caipirinha. At this time, it seems like an adventures book, don´t you know ? But I insist : depends of your experience and time....
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  #9  
Old 6 Aug 2012
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maybe you find also interessting info on our blog.
www.kisstheride.blogspot.com
there is a translationbutton on the right

ils
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  #10  
Old 12 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docrafita View Post
is practically impossible going in other time. Y and after february very probably snow. A
That's not true.
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  #11  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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Peru is to die for!

Pork,

So much to say such little time!

We have jsut arrived on the Caribbean coast haven riden up from Ushuaia. We started on In BA aswell and have covered about 31,000km in 8 months of riding.

Our blog is pretty comprehensive and is worth reading like you im a fan of good photos, these always help tell the story! A couple of things;

Totally agree with post number 2, Nazca is a little over rated, but its worth going just to be able to ride the road between Nazca and Cuzco (machu picchu). Its tarmac but its two days of mind bending brilliance!

Someone mentioned the routh north from San Pedro De Atacama into Bolivia. We bottled it, but found an equally good route in Chile north/east from Calama. It follows the border with Bolivia to the crossing town of Ollague. This was stunning, a hard compacted gravel road and (very) basic accommodation saw us safely from Calama to Uyuni (500km with no fuel between!) Its covered in our blog here

Northern Argentina is MEGA! Go to Iruya!

But the true highlight is northern Peru, dont swing south of the Cordillera Blanca range to Huaraz. Stay east up towards San Luis and Yanama then cross the range towards Yungay! ! ! ! Epic, story and photos here! I just wish I did it twice!

Oh and the road between Celendine and Chachapoyas is BRILLIANT!!!!!!!

Get in touch if you have any more questions

Chris
BUENOS AIRES to VANCOUVER | Chris, Chloe & two motorbikes across South, Central & North America

Last edited by chloechrisSA2011; 6 Oct 2012 at 00:16. Reason: my spelling is terrible!
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  #12  
Old 31 Dec 2012
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Route

Personally, I'm in the middle of doing US to/from Argentina for the third time in 4 years and I really like northern Argentina: Tucuman, Salta, Jujuy, and the roads west of those cities. I then like to go over the pass to Calama, but this is VERY high, over 5,000 meters, but the road is good and there is little traffic.
Since it is the rainy season in Bolivia, I wouldn't recommend trying to do the road of death. I'm skipping it the country altogether, even though I lived there, as I want to follow, and have a chance to work on a team doing the Dakar.
In December, I rode a great fairly new road from Riobamba toward Guayaquil. Lots of twisties, little traffic, and no police, but I'm an ex-road racer who loves canyon carving.
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  #13  
Old 2 Jan 2013
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Frontera

I went from Tucuman, to Salta around the west side, then up to Jujuy. From there I went west on a good, but sparcely traveled road up over 5,000+ meters, where my carbureted bike ran poorly and it got quite cold.
The officials did customs and immigration for at Paso de Jama, Argentina, but I remember having to go all the way to San Pedro de Atacama, before there was any officials to do immigration and customs to enter Chile. There were busloads of people doing the same thing there.
The next major town was Calama in Chile.
In reverse, this looks like what tht Dakar Rally wil do.
I think you are right in that I went through on 27 in Chile.
My plan is to go to Calama where I start enquiring about the border crossing and do the same in San Pedro de Atacama. I'll put on heavier clothes as I froze last time, but I now have a FI bike, so I don't expect that this engine will run as bad as before. I also don't remember an excess of grifos, so I may carry
more extra gas addition to the extra liter that I always carry.

I don't see the B357 road that you mention.
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