The Wild Wild West
17 Days. Level: Medium 2301 km, 60% offroad extended price info
Train Cemetery Uyuni
Snack at a ancient railway bridge
Where shall we go ?
Red cliffs in Tupiza
The Devils gate
Salt flats of Uyuni
A great motorcycle adventure for those who are not afraid to leave the tarmac.
There are some pretty challenging off-road sections, but nothing too long or too difficult and if things get too hairy to your taste, we always have a trailer for your bike and a comfy spot in the car for you for 5 minutes of 5 hours.
Crossing the wild west of South America. Ascending to well over 4.000 meters to visit the largest salt-flats in the world (and ride across it). Entering the oldest still operating silver mine in Potosi (and set off some dynamite). Follow the footsteps of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the spectacular scenery of Tupiza. Have a glass in one of Bolivia's wine bodegas in Tarija and enjoy the fantastic roads and scenery of South Bolivia.
(This tour always starts on Wednesday!)
Day 1. Airport pickup at Viru viru, Santa Cruz (alt. 400 mtr.)
We pick you up at the airport of Santa Cruz, Bolivia from where we drive to the small town Samaipata (120 km, 3 hours). There we check into a comfortable hotel and spend the rest of the day to relax and rest from the flight. If your flight arrives late, we will spend the night in Santa Cruz. In that case the following day is considered day 1.
Day 2. Samaipata (alt. 1,600 mtr.)
We start with a "briefing" where we learn more about our route, the weird local "traffic rules" and about each other. To get used to your bike we go for a ride to the archeological site "El Fuerte" which is an old Inca town build around the, much older, largest stone-sculpture in the Americas.
Day 3. To La Higuera. (alt. 1,900 mtr) 175 km, 50% offroad
In the morning we go towards the tiny mountain-village La Higuera, the place where revolutionary hero Ernesto Che Guevara was captured and executed.
We stop for lunch in Vallegrande where we also visit the "Che Guevara" museum and the hospital-laundry where Che’s lifeless body was presented to the world.
At the end of the afternoon we arrive in La Higuera where, with some luck, you can have a chat with eye-witnesses of the events some 40 years ago.
Day 4. To Villa Serrano. 120 km, 100% offroad
After visiting the school-building where Che Guevara was killed we leave towards Villa Serrano. On the suspension-bridge over the Rio Grande we’ll have a picnic-lunch and if the conditions are good (mostly the water level) you can go for a swim.
We’ll arrive in Villa Serrano in the afternoon where, if we are lucky, we can also see the world's largest charango (a 6 meter tall guitar) build to commemorate don Mauro, a local charango hero.
Day 5. To Sucre. (alt. 2,800 mtr) 190 km, 50% offroad
We leave Villa Serrano early in the morning so we can visit the Tarabuco “Sunday-market”. This is the only place in Bolivia where you can take photos of traditionally dressed indigenous people without them turning away or throwing stuff at you.
After lunch we continue to Sucre, the capital of Bolivia. The rest of the afternoon and evening is for exploring this beautiful colonial city. The entire city-center is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Day 6. To Potosi. (alt. 4,000 mtr) 155 km, 0% offroad
We leave Sucre after lunch. On smooth tarmac we start to climb towards the altiplano (high planes) until we reach Potosi, at 4,000 meters above sea level the highest city in the world.
Day 7. The silver mines.
In the morning we visit the "miner's market" where you can buy anything, ranging from coca leaves to dynamite. Here we do some interesting shopping to have some "boys fun" later. (When we come out of the mines we'll find something to "blow up".)
Then we continue to the mines where we will be "geared up" and descent into the belly of "Pajcha Mama" (mother earth) to see the 500 year old, still operating silver mine. (Not suitable for those who don't like small spaces).
After lunch you can explore the “Casa de Moneda” (the mint). At one time every single coin, used in the western world, was made here.
Day 8. To Uyuni. (alt. 3,700 mtr.) 205 km, 0% offroad
Crossing incredible scenery and passing tiny villages and thousands of lamas, we go to Uyuni where we visit a “train graveyard”; a fantastic collection of discarded railway material dating back to the 19th century. This includes at least a dozen steam locomotives.
Day 9. Visit Salar de Uyuni (Largest salt-flats in the world) 230 km, 100% offroad (salt)
The “Salar de Uyuni” is a dried up salt-lake the size of a small country (11.000 square kilometers). Since there are no references what so ever (no trees, houses, roads or mountains) and because there are only two colors in the world (blue sky and white salt) there is no perspective. Your brain will have a meltdown and you can take the most weird photos. (See our Uyuni Weird Photo Contest). Even the human eye cannot see the difference between a real car in the distance and a toy car nearby.
Of course we take some photos at the “Dakar monument”.
Day 10. To Tupiza (alt. 2,950 mtr.) 185 km, 100% offroad
In the morning we leave Uyuni behind us and via the altiplano desert we make our way towards Tupiza, the place where the infamous Banditos Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were finally killed. The scenery is among the world's best.
Day 11. To Tarija (alt. 1,860 mtr.) 205 km, 50% offroad
Via scenic back-country roads with deep canyons we ride to Tarija, the wine-region of Bolivia. Dinner will be served in the house of the marquis of Tarija.
Day 12. Rest day in Tarija.
Various options to discover Bolivias wine capital or just rest....
Day 13. To Villamontes (alt. 390 m) 245 km, 75% offroad
Snaking mountain-roads take us from the rolling hills of Tarija to the arid dry Chaco. The last part of this road is considered one of the scariest "bus-rides" in the country. On the motorcycle, where you yourself are in control, it is a lot less 'hazardous'.
Day 14. To Abapo (alt. 445 m) 321 km. 15% terrain
After all the "off road" days it is again pleasant to feel asphalt under the tires. Our way leads us through the gas production zone of Bolivia. After visiting a monastery, we drive on a very narrow but abandoned railway bridge. An exciting ride.
The highlight of the day is another crossing of the Rio Grande, this time over an old but still used railway bridge.
Day 15. To Samaipata. 206 km. 50% terrain variant depending on weather conditions
The road to Samaipata takes us alternately over sandy roads and asphalt roads along the Pirai River, the Eastern Cordillera up to Samaipata, our starting point.
After we arrive, it's time to say goodbye to the bike, get under a hot shower for a while and pack up.
Day 16. To Santa Cruz
We leave our bikes behind and set off for Santa Cruz where we can do some last minute souvenir shopping and enjoy Brazilian Churasquero as well as oriental cuisine.
Day 17. To the airport.
Always a sad moment when we say goodbye at the airport. But who knows? You won´t be the first to come back for more.
BOLIVIA MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURES
Casa El Barquito, Camino a San del Rosario, Barrio Arriba, Samaipata, Santa Cruz, BOLIVIA
Phone: 00591-67777277 / 00591-3-944-6716. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures
Ride your dreams...
The best way to explore Bolivia by motorcycle